Tag Archives: God

Quantum Observation

Quantum physics says: “If noone is observing an object, it does not exist”.

I say, thank goodness God exists then! If he wasn’t watching the whole universe all the time, parts of it would stop existing.

Crazy physicists.

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Blog Action Day!

Ah the internet, birthplace of international talk like a pirate day, once again you have created something quite special. A day in the year when thousands of bloggers write about the same thing in order to raise awareness. This year I have jumped on the bandwagon, and the topic on the table is climate change.

Climate change is one of those hot topic issues at the moment, lots of important people are making a big fuss over it and raising it’s importance. I don’t really have a problem with this, climate change I’m sure is a really big deal and should be addressed. What I do have a problem with though is peoples approach, and supposed solutions to the problem.

Almost without exception every supposed solution to climate change has one thing in common. They all rely on us. I’ll be honest, I don’t really want to rely on us if there is a global crisis in the making (or already made, depending on your point of view). In my experience people are generally unreliable, and prone to do stuff for selfish reasons.

I’m all for good stewardship of our planet. God commands us to look after where we live, right from the very beginning (Adam) this was our job. I’m certain that a lot of the proposed solutions for climate change are 100% positive things and we should probably all be doing them. However the only person who can really avert a global disaster is God. I will do my utmost to look after this planet I live on, but I pray that I never forget who is really in charge, and who can really affect change in this place.

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Nothing above God

I was trying to express something quite specific in my previous post, and I think I failed to do so.

All I really wanted to say was this:
Don’t put anything above God, not even the physical act of worshipping him.

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Conversations with sinners

I asked God on the way: “PLEASE don’t let me say something stupid. PLEASE don’t let me be done with this conversation, and think ‘I shoulda said’ or ‘Why did I say THAT?’ PLEASE have mercy on me, and him. I don’t know this guy, and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

One more thing, I said: “And if I’m wrong, about anything, I want to know. I honestly do. I’m convinced on this, but if I’m shown otherwise, I will change my thinking on this. I want you to know that.”

I just read this wonderful blog post by some guy I don’t know (isn’t the internet great!) and I can honestly say I have been humbled.

He talks about an encounter he had with a gay Christian guy and his attitude is frankly awe inspiring. All I can really say is that if I am ever in a similar situation I hope I can be humble enough to pray the prayer he prayed and speak with the same heart for God as he clearly has.

As a sort of side note, this is I think the way we should deal with every kind of sin, not just the ones the Church happens to make a fuss about today.

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Praising and leading others to praise

I love my guitar very much. The main reason I love it is because having learnt to play it I can now pick up most worship music and play it fairly quickly. This is great because it means when I want to, I can spend some time singing songs of worship to God in my bedroom really easily.

When I’m at home singing on my own it’s really easy, I know that if I miss a chord it doesn’t matter, if I sing out of tune I don’t mind and if my fingers hurt I can stop for a while. When I’m at home I sing really loudly and I can focus completely on God and what he is like which just leads me to worship him even more.

Now tomorrow I have to lead a group of other people in worship. I will be playing my guitar and singing worship songs to God, but I know that it will feel very different. If I miss a chord or sing out of tune it does matter, perhaps not a huge amount (it’s a pretty informal setting), but it does make a difference. If my fingers begin to hurt I have to ignore that and carry on anyway. On top of that, I have a room full of other people to think about. If I’m going to move from the chorus back to the first verse again I need to indicate that in some way to other people, I can’t just do what I feel like and expect everyone to follow easily. This (and various other things which will be running through my mind) means that it becomes harder to focus totally on God.

On top of all that, the aim of corporate worship is to worship in community, to lift up God and declare truths about him together so that we remind each other what God is like, and that we are part of a family. I cannot simply get lost in my own private world of worship, I must be in a place where I am praising God in the company of others. I must take part in eyes open worship, where I can observe the people around me and be uplifted and inspired by them.

This is both a fantastically exciting prospect, and a really scary one. As I prepare the music I will be playing tomorrow I pray that God would empower me to worship tomorrow with a right attitude. This is no mere performance, nor is this an individual act of worship, this is something different, something much better!

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A few highlights

I have just finished clearing my backlog of blog reading, it’s been really nice to have some free time to just sit and read through lots of stuff, especially as quite a few of the bloggers I read have had lots to say about things I’ve been involved with recently like the Brighton New Frontiers conference.

I’ve especially enjoyed reading Dave Bish’s blog, especially when he has insightful things to say about CUs. In addition to his what if list which I quoted in my previous post, he also wrote a couple of really helpful posts on unity in Christian Unions, first of all on the principle of unity, and then on the practice of it.
How to do unity in a Christian Union, in principle…
How to do unity in a Christian Union, in practice…

The other series of posts I want to draw attention to are from the most excellent Biblical Preaching, a blog of daily insights into the world of preaching by Peter Mead. Peter uses an 8 stage system for preparing his sermons, and last week began a series of posts briefly explaining each stage. I would highly recommend his blog in general, and this would seem like a good place to start getting into it!
Stage 1 – Passage Selection

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What If…

Dave Bish recently wrote a wonderful list of what ifs for CUs, which I feel the need to share here.

  • We, in Christian Unions, started to think of everything we do as missional?
  • We abolished ‘CU Evangelism Secretary’ because the CU President is responsible for evangelism…
  • Everything we did was tailored towards intentionally driving us to mission?
  • Mission was the focus of our prayer?
  • Each week we could share the story of how people became Christians?
  • We understood that having the Bible taught was about transforming and equipping us for mission as lovers of Jesus?
  • We engaged with the false gospels preached on our campuses, of acceptance, shame, ambition, salvation by graduate job, security, money,…
  • We engaged with the fears and hopes that people have – which the gospel has better answers for…
  • We did mission weeks based on evangelistic preaching series on Job, Ecclesiastes, Ruth, Song of Songs – done right, publicised right…

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Oh redemption, sweet redemption!

I bought Matt Giles’ album earlier this week, and I have been listening to it a lot. This song is one of the reasons why, and you can listen to it on his MySpace page

Oh redemption, sweet redemption!
Satan has no hold on me!
Full indemnity, I have indemnity,
The debt is paid and I am free!
So impoverished and desperate,
In my sins, I would have died,
Yet my Kings eternal ransom,
Did my every need provide!

Oh the cross, my final plea!
Naught else to offer Thee,
But what Christ did for me.
A million sins implored my fall,
Christ died once, and crushed them all!

Power of death obliterated,
Serpent crushed beneath His feet.
From the grave He rose untainted,
And still He stands in victory.
In His death we stand united,
In His life we shall arise,
Earthly shadows now receding,
For heavens glory draws yet nigh!

Resurrected I shall be!
For His empty tomb
Will now ring true for me!
Blast of trumpet will resound,
We shall arise to claim our crowns!

He has raised a mighty army,
Where there once were only bones.
A people confident in His accomplishment;
That His perfect blood atones.
We will raise a royal banner,
With our heads held proudly high,
Boasting in the death of Jesus,
And His resurrection life!

Oh the cross, our final plea!
Jesus leads us on
To the victory!
Death and hell have been disarmed,
Christ is Lord! His kingdom come!

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Peace in the New Testament?

On Saturday I went to Word Plus, a theology course that New Frontiers runs. It’s spread over 10 core modules which take up a day each, those days are spread over 2 years, and this was module number 7 on the New Testament. Word Plus has been really good, I’ve learnt an awful lot about a huge variety of subjects, some of which I’d never really considered, and some of which I thought I knew about (in most cases I was very wrong!). In studying the New Testament we looked briefly at the gap between the Old and New Testaments and what was going on during that time. We spent a fair bit of time thinking about the situation the Jews were in during the New Testament as well, a lot of things came up which I didn’t know, and had never really thought about.

I already knew that many of the Jews at the time would have been expecting a messiah to come and liberate them from their Roman oppressors and set up Israel as a mighty nation again. What didn’t really occur to me was just how bad a situation the Jews were in at the time, and how confusing and disappointing it would have been to be told that their messiah wasn’t actually there to liberate them at all, but rather to save their oppressors as well!

It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to be living under Roman rule, but to set the scene, when the Romans siezed control of Palestine in 63BC they lay siege to the temple area for three months, during which time they killed many priests whilst they were performing their daily duties and entered the Most Holy Place. There was a great deal of unrest during the Roman rule, which led to a number of uprisings, all of which resulted in the Romans killing a lot of Jews. This conflict was present for the duration of Jesus’ life, and in fact came to a head a few years after his death in 66AD when the Great Jewish Revolt began. As a result in 70AD the Romans layed siege to Jerusalem, and when they took it they destroyed the temple completely. During the siege over 100,000 Jews were killed, and nearly 100,000 more were taken to be Roman slaves.

It’s so easy to read the New Testament and imagine it to be a peaceful place where everyone was content with their situation, we throw our western lives into the Bible without even thinking about it! But when you realise just how serious the Roman occupation was to the Jews at the time, and how much tension there was between them, it throws a new light on so many of the events in the Gospels. I rather feel like I need to read all of it again with this new viewpoint and find out what I’ve been missing the whole time!

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Note For a Child – The Day of Your Return

Note For a ChildThe Day of Your Return

Were you a star alone that light the evening heaven
One star in all the hosts that dance at night
I know that I would feel your absence like a vacuum
If you would fail to rise one time

But you are all the stars and suns and moons above me
And you are all the light I’m standing in
Within the love of one who knows and has surrendered
To give the life that we delight to know

For you are all the love and beauty I remember
Through all the turns your journey takes
And you must know that I am longing for your presence
For the day of your return
And I am waiting.
For you are all the love and beauty I remember
Through all the turns your journey takes
And you must know that I am longing for your presence
For the day of your return
And I am waiting, yes I am waiting

Were I to realise the greatness of your passion
How pure and sacred is your love for me
How vast and infinite the depths of your compassion
So much greater than I’ve ever seen
For you are all the love and beauty I remember
Through all the turns your journey takes
And you must know that I am longing for your presence
For the day of your return

And I am waiting, for the day of your return
Yes I am waiting, for the day of your return
My heart is aching, for the day of your return
When you are all the light I’m standing in

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