Sunday, 13 September 2009

Trusting (Psalm 13)

Psalm 13

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.

I've always wondered what these Psalms would sound like depending on the musical tastes of the director of music. I mean, how different would a psalm sound if he or she were heavily into thrash metal or even something like dub step? Not sure, I reckon if I were the director of music I would like a few psalms, maybe not this one to a bit of motown, just emphasise the soul, but then it may sound a bit to chilled out...thankfully for me, I'm not the director of music for the psalms...

But it's just so true. I simply just want to trust God. He does give his people unfailing love and salvation. It may not always seem so black and white and simple, but trusting in God is opening yourself up to his unfailing love.

The guy in this psalm was obviously in a place of desperation and rejection. He was calling out and seem like nothing was there. But it's in these places of weakness that God comes to us and picks us out and shows us his love. I've got various friends with great testimonies of this exact thing and its amazing to hear how God has turned their lives around.

I've got a lot running my head at the moment. But trusting in God allows you to just put that to one side and just be at peace.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Feeling thankful.

So my last post came at the beginning of summer when I was very much experiencing the 'post uni' syndrome. Since then, a lot, yet not a lot has happened, a few weddings, graduations, test matches and festivals have passed, which has filled the time really nicely, even though I have still had a lot of down time.

It's been a great summer in many ways, and also a difficult one. A few issues have been running through my head and have really been dragging down, yet thanks to God's grace I have been able to see, not necessarily overcome my fears, but see a greater perspective, and certainly feel than long term joy and peace that knowing God brings.

This is not a post about my issues I guess, but one that stems from a heart of thankfulness. A state of mind that I can get into when I purposely make myself and become less introverted and long to serve others, and take note of how many people serve me, so lovingly, which in tern humbles me greatly. I must say, this is a much more satisfying mindset than one that is focused purely on myself.

I was at my Grandma's 80th birthday celebration today. I was just struck when I got home and thought about the day, how blessed I am to have so many people in my life who care about me and take a vested interest in me. The love and beauty that I saw around the party this afternoon was wonderful. Granted, we as a family may not be anything special. We are all fairly plain, simple, average looking people I suppose. Although having said that I would then argue that the females are certainly above average. Us guys just seem to be declining, fairly rapidly it would seem! But oh well...

It seems that today God opened up my eyes to a new kind of beauty. A beauty that I have been searching for for sometime. The beauty of fellowship, love and care, the beauty of interesting convosation and laughter. The beauty of just enjoying one and others company and the beauty of knowing God with all your heart, and letting that be your everything in your life, your reason for living, the one your go for in times of happiness and in times of need.

It's so freeing to see and feel this, and I wish it was something everyone could see.

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for my friends, who I feel I don't treat as well as I should. If I really loved God, I would love my friends more. I really want to tell them more how much appreciate them, but I feel if I kept saying it I would get a bit annoying!

It's so beautiful to see a servant heart. When my Grandma was making her speech this afternoon, she said thank you for everything to my Granddad. Slightly confused by this, and to much hilarity, he simply replied "What for?"

I long to live the rest of my life as a servant to others, so they may know the goodness of God that I have received. I also long never to loose this perspective I can live my life through and never the goodness of God in my life.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Thomas Davis

I love you.

I know that my blog comes up on your igoogle. So hopefully you will get this.

Your a legend and it has been a pleasure living with for 3 years at uni!

You also make cool websites.

If you need a slick, professional and reliable site, visit

I am aware that I may be advertising you, to you, as you are one of the few who read my blog!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Moving on

Again, this has gotta be a quick one as I need to catch a train in a bit.

Got home from uni yesterday and have mixed feelings, generally feel a little bit flat. I'm going to miss it more than I thought. I've made some of the best friends i've ever had, whom I love dearly. I'll probably miss the laid back lifestyle and nature of my course. In fact, third year, i'll probably look back on over the next few years and will probably be seen as the nicest, most relaxed years of my life. I mean, one hour a week lectures from just one term!

Anyway, for all the missing of my friends and the life, i've got to move on. I know I will see my friends again, its just they will develop into the next form of the relationship. If I trust in God and live my life as a sacrifice to him, then there is enough love, worth, meaning and reason to keep pressing on for him. It's joyful and satisfying.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Weakness is my one true strength

Gonna do this quickly because I really want to go to bed, but I want to write this now or else I never will!

A lot has happened over the last year, much of which has confirmed to me that I am quite a weak person. I want go into it, but like most I face struggles, problems and insecurities.

I got a first in my degree, which I cannot attribute to my own talent and skill. Thinking back over many of my compositions, I cannot say that everything I did was exactly how I intended. I stopped, started, reworked many pieces, many times. For one composition I didn't sleep for around a day and a half because I decided to change it at the last minute. My last composition changed six times over the course a term. Yet they got good mark. The last one a first. Had I submitted any of the other work I was doing, I wouldn't have got a first.

I can only attribute this to God divine intervention. He has graceful blessed my work and guided me through it, for his glory. I am determined to fight my sinful nature to make my work for him and for his glory. Otherwise, in many cases, I deem it worthless. I want my work to bless people, and I want to glorify God through creativity and everything that goes with it.

Anyway, to weakness. I could not have achieved this without God. In fact, I could not have made it through university without God. If I didn't not have the hope and strength that God brings, I don't know what I would do.

A few friends and I met a homeless man tonight who needs help. Above all things he needs the grace of God in his life and the strength that comes with knowing God. If he were to accept that on his own he cannot make it, and in fact in his greatest weakness he can find his greatest strength in God. For him and for me, the moment we go it alone and think we can make it on our own is the times that we will loose my way. I can only pray that God is gracious and comes into this guys life.

The Bible talks of this a lot. In my eyes it is one of the cornerstones on my faith. My weakness is strength in God. God is all loving, just and powerful. To rely on and depend of his strength, essentially tapping into, well, you can't find that kind of strength on your own.

Psalms are built around the idea of being weak and crying out to God for strength.

Philippians 4:13 says "I can do everything through him who gives me strength".

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 says "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong".

Like the guys in the psalms, like Paul, who did great things for God in his life, I am weak. I know am. I always will being many respects. BUt as long as I can find my strength in God, in many ways, my weakness is my greatest strength.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Feeling convicted, not guilty...

Just sat down. Feel very convicted of my sin. For my failings as a human. Not being there for my friends, getting caught up in my own trivial affairs. Am I truly living the life that God is calling me to live? I don't think so.

It's an incredibly liberating. Not placing a responsibility on yourself to make yourself happy. When I do that I find, on the whole, I am left unsatisfied. You can never conjure up true happiness and satisfaction yourself. The I think, the more I believe it comes from serving God, lovingly and faithfully.

I would hate to sit down and look at a chart and tot up the number of hours that I have spent satisfying myself, my needs, or things that I think I need. It would not make for pleasant reading.

I am really aware of my sin, yet God forgives, which as I said, is freeing and liberating. It's not a guilt that leaves you to wallow in self pity, but a conviction that leads to improve, to take action and to help and serve others.

You need to find a place of true humility. I don't deserve this, but yet I have it, so what shall I do? I am free to radically love others. I just need to do it.

Monday, 4 May 2009

The meaning of love

Depeche Mode once sang the words:

"Ive read more than a hundred books, Seen love mentioned many thousand times, But despite all the places Ive looked, Its still no clearer its just not enough, Im still no nearer the meaning of love."

If you find the rest of the lyrics on the internet, you can see that singer Dave Gahan was obviously searching for the meaning of love...that is, afterall, the name of the song.

Love is one of the most commonly used words I know. Used to describe feelings towards friends and family, to a piece of music you like, something you eat or drink or even drive. I could go on for along time. Yet, while this word is so commonly used, why do we see so little of this 'love' in the world today.

It seems that love is something we create to make us feel better in the situation we are in. Having said that, I am not discounting love between freidns and family, or to something that genuinly touches your heart. In fact, to some extent, I disagree with what i've just written! However, somewhere in there I believe there is some truth.

The fact that love is used to describe so many things really does begin to detract away from what it really is and really means. Maybe, the love that one feels towards the homeless is compassion, which is possibly an aspect of love, but not love itself. The love for a film could be the way it has made you smile and connected with your emotions during those few hours.

We search for love in many different places, to appease our many different desires. Everything we do in life is essentially us trying to calm our desires to feel wanted by another person, to joke and to laugh, to feel security, both physically and financially etc. Do all the apsects of life that we strive to find and live out come under the concept of love? If we found true love, everything would be okay right? I mean, thats all we really want at the end of the day?

My friend Jack recently leant me a book by Andrew Wilson called Incomparable: Explore the Character of God (by the way, if you have read my last, I doubt it would surprise you if I told you I was a Christian!) Anyway, this books, as I just typed, is about God's character.

I opened it up flicked the chapater entitled "God is Love". I won't spend ages typing on this, otherwise I may just end up typing the chapter, but the jist is that God doesn't just love us, and give love to us, but he is love. 1 John 4:8-10 says:

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."

If this is true, how can we know true love if we do not know God? We can have glances of it, we can feel wanted, we can fuzzy. But it isn't love. Those things don't last. God does...

This theory is obviously going to have his critics, but you can't judge a persons character unless you truley know him. So you can't pass judgement on God's love unless you make the effort to know him.

So, if God is love, that I presume that means everything will be fine as we see it if we know God? I'm not sure if that is true. Being a Christian certainly hasn't madfe life a breeze for me. But God being love, and knowing God's love you can start to see what it really is. It is the humble, sacfrifical nature of allowing the death of his son for ours sins, it is the underlying assurance and hope he puts in our life, it is the fact that we know that someone does care for us, even if it seems as if knowone else does. God's love certinaly isn't flashy, but it is true, and it is constant and everlasting.

Andrew Wilson says that trying to describe God's love is like trying to rugby tackle a snooker table. You can give it your best shot, but ultimatley it is far to big for you to get oyur arms around it. So I think i'll stop there.

However, if I were to meet Dave Gahan and tried to exaplain to him my understanding of love I would probably say that while he does feel happiness, he does care for others, and others care for him, while he may feel warm when he recieves a hug from a friend, all these things are not love. They are other feelings, that are elements of love. But not true love. That can come from knowing God, who is he is, how he views us, and what he has done for us.