Sunday, 31 October 2010

We need a whole lot more of Jesus!

Nope, this week's not been easy. Being with typical teenagers talking about all these things teenagers do (I'm still one myself, but don't fit in with them.) is tough. But that's not completely what I'm writing about.

I saw an article in a daily paper yesterday, about a Christian couple being denied the opportunity of fostering because they didn't believe in homosexuality. Seriously, there were quotes saying their views were "out of date" and even that "Christians may not be able to foster / adopt in the future". This makes me rather angry as I'm sure it can do to many others!

The Bible is very clear on this issue: "Do not lie with a man as you would with a woman, for this is a most hateful sin." (Leviticus 18:22)Simple. We can't really claim to be Christians and pretend this is acceptable. Other things too, we are called to show God's love to all, no matter what. "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and praise our Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) I saw a comment on a YouTube video the other day which was really powerful, saying how we need to get out there and let our "life songs sing for God", because "we can't just sit back and hope they'll somehow find a way to Jesus" and "if we don't, who else is going to?"

With this and other things, this country, and likely others too, aren't going according to God's will. There are a lot of things now considered "acceptable" which shouldn't be. As I said before about being among "typical" teenagers, they're doing things like getting drunk purposefully, or getting in trouble with the police. Do they care? No, doesn't seem like it. Added to that all that horrible language: I hate it if I'm honest!

Which brings me to Halloween. I'm not saying it's bad everywhere, from what I can tell it isn't, but here, it's too much. They're celebrating evil and though not intended, it's stopping some from worshipping God. Nobody shows up for children's Bible class Friday night: they all went to a Halloween party instead. No church service here tonight: they're all too scared to leave the house. Even though I wouldn't go out on Halloween generally, it is Sunday today and nothing like this should keep us from God.

Strangely enough I was just on Bible to find the references and the Verse of the Day is quite appropriate:

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”- 1 Peter 5:8-9

And the title: who says the Bible and suchlike goes out of date? These songs I'm listening to were taken off an old LP record from the 70's and the words are just as true today as they ever were:

"You can read it in the morning paper, you can hear it on the radio, how crime is sweeping our nation, this world is about to go. We need a good old case of salvation, to put the love of God in our soul, we need a whole lot more of Jesus and a lot less rock'n'roll! we need lots more prayers of faith, prayers that will move a mountain, save souls from a burning fate."

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Struggles & Perseverance

For some reason October is often a hard time of year for staying on track in faith. It's probably partly, or mainly, to do with the fact that regular Christian gatherings don't run in school holidays. This is always difficult, but the early part of October has been pretty good since I went away to do a camp again - this time somewhere I barely knew anybody so quite a leap of faith, but so glad I did it. I don't think it was quite the amazing one here in June, but there were still times I felt they were at least asking lots of interesting questions. It's always good to see folk interested, and these are kids from a city rather than here, and some not from church-going families, although you find those most places.

Back home at church - I've probably said before the struggles with a small place with mostly older people, and an old-fashioned kinda setting. There's one preacher in particular who I find hard to listen to and never look forward to. This is just my opinion, but hearing about animal sacrifices and how we don't need to do it anymore isn't what I find useful. I'd rather hear something relevant to modern-day life. It's never easy, but I did remember a verse from James:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

* The picture was taken at camp and it was someone else who pointed out the cross. Now I see it, it looks just beautiful seeing the cross standing in a park with kids enjoying it.