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Showing posts from April, 2015

Be like a child: be furious

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Jesus said "unless you change and become like little children" you will never enter the kingdom of heaven". When interpreting this most people think of all the lovely qualities of children, so trusting, meek and gentle.

A few days ago I was in some woods with my family and some friends of ours. My daughter (four years old) rushed up to tell me something just as the son of my friend demonstrated his ninja kicking skills on a large branch. The branch whistled past my daughter's head, mere millimetres from knocking her out.

I held Irina whilst she recovered from the initial shock, reassuring her that it was alright to cry if she wanted and that it was no-one's fault, just an accident. When I finally let go of her the expression on her face wasn't a tearful one, but one of unbridled fury - utter rage shining in her eyes. But it wasn't directed at poor Sam, despite the depth of her emotion she was holding the anger, controlling it. Just. Without speaking sh…

Bring on the battle. A call to war.

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I've been watching a TV series called Vikings, following the adventures of Ragnar Lothbrok and his band of fierce vikings as they fight, love and adventure their way across Europe. The series is fictional but based on the norse legends of an at least partly-historical warrior king called Ragnar Lothbrok.

In this TV series the vikings fervently believe that their place in Valhalla is secured by dying in battle. Warfare is not something to be feared, but relished as either a means of acquiring wealth and land or securing their place in paradise. And so they rush joyfully and fearlessly into the fray, more afraid of dying in their beds than on the battleground. This makes them a terrible force, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

In the episode I watched yesterday, season 3 episode 9 I believe, the vikings are attacking Paris (an historical event from the 9th century apparently). The warfare has turned against them and it looks like the vikings will be repelled. At th…

Rehabilitating Intensity

I've been in my church, the Jesus Fellowship UK,  for nearly twenty years now. Again I'm feeling old! The church has been through many changes, and indeed is in a particular period of change right now.

It used to be, back in the day, that we would often chasten brothers or sisters who were over-zealously applying rules "don't be too intense".

Maybe in those days we were too intense, both in fervour and in our desire to conform other people's behaviour to our expectations. The change to a more relaxed approach, accepting people for who they are and concentrating on loving them, is certainly an improvement in many ways.

But I'd like to rehabilitate intensity. Not intensity of enforcing rules, but intensity of faith and experience. I don't want my life to drift, wondering if it could or should have been more. I want my life to burn, to blaze, to mean something.

David, a man after God's own heart, wrote:
Psalm 69
9 for zeal for your house consumes me …