Truth Matters

“The Matrix is a web that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth”

We live in a age and society where truth is diluted and ridiculed, and sin is celebrated and upheld.  To state that you believe Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and THE life doesn’t sit well in a milti-faith, multi-cultural, post-modern society where truth is relative, and absolute truth is lost, where black and white are blurred and recognised simply as different shades of grey.

But are we better off, does this new found thinking benefit us as a society, is it helpful to our teenagers who are trying to find themselves and form an identity of who they are and where they belong.  As teenage pregnancy rates rise, binge drinking and a yobbish society evolves before our eyes, has diluting the truth benefitted us?  Might i suggest from my observation point, NO.

Are we modelling the truth to a generation that is searching for truth amidst a world of relativism and blurred shades of grey?

Are we as Christ’s ambassadors modelling truth, upholding truth, being truth in a society that has become clueless and desperately is searching?

John 8:31-32 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Jesus words here to his disciples should ring true to us today, it is only the TRUTH that will set us free: sin enslaves, entangles but only TRUTH endures.  Are we Ambassadors of Truth?

These are some musings / ponderings that are on my mind at present as I prepare for a new series exploring why Truth Matters with our youthgroup over the coming weeks.  Without boundaries we are in fact slaves to sin, and the boundaries God gives us in the truth of scripture enable us to live life to the full, given from our father the creator of life.

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Standing Firm

I’ve been looking at the book of Daniel with our youth these past months, how one young man with an unswerving obedience to his God, stood firm in the ungodly Babylonian empire that he found himself in and refused to conform to the ungodly culture around him, but rather sought to transform it by his unswerving faithful obedience to his God.  It wasn’t a popular path to follow (the ungodly majority had it in for him from the outset), it was a costly path (his friends were cast into the lions den and he was cast into a fiery furnace), but he chose to stand firm, and his God honoured his stance time and time again, using his obedience and example to transform a society and bring a succession of leaders to confess “The God of Daniel is the one true God”.

The Script have the line in their track fall for anything “You’ve gotta stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything”, and again it’s gripped me in recent months as i’ve considered Daniel who stood firm in the face of immense pressure in his days.  Am I falling for anything, or taking a stand for my faith in these days?  Am I a consumer of the ideas and messages of the culture around me, or am I seeking to transform it and indeed reform it to the Godly values my faith calls me to? Am I being an influencer of those around me, or being influenced by the world and allowing it to dictate my values.

Will I stand for God and his values in these days, or will I fall for the lies of this world as it seeks to own me?

What about you……………………….

Feel free to help me flesh out these musings by carrying on the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Standing In The Way Of Control lyrics

Your back’s against the wall
There’s no one home to call
You’re forgetting who you are
You can’t stop crying
It’s part not giving in
Part trusting your friends
You do it all again and I’m not lying

Oh oh oh
Standing in the way of control
Yeah live your lives
By the only way that you know, know

I’m doing this for you
Because it’s easier to lose
And it’s hard to face the truth
When you think you’re dying
It’s part not giving in
And part trusting your friends
You do it all again but you don’t stop trying

Oh oh oh
Standing in the way of control
Yeah live your lives
By the only way that you know, know
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/g/gossip-lyrics/standing-in-the-way-of-control-lyrics.html ]

Oh oh oh
Standing in the way of control
We’ll live our lives
Because we’re standing in the way of control
We will live our lives
Because we’re standing in the way of control
We’ll live our lives
Because we’re standing in the way of control
We will live our lives, lives, lives

Your back’s against the wall
There’s no one home to call
You’re forgetting who you are
You can’t stop crying
It’s part not giving in
And part trusting your friends
You do it all again, you don’t stop trying

Oh oh oh
Standing in the way of control
Yeah live your lives
By the only way that you know, know

Prayer……..some musings

I posted some thoughts on my blog a couple of years ago, a reflection on the song “Breakeven” by the Irish band The Script.  The lyric “Just prayed to a God I don’t believe in” has kinda grabbed hold of me and my thoughts a number of times in recent months have went back to these words.

Prayer has been on my mind alot recently as we embark on reFuel, a weekend of uninterupted prayer in church starting tonight.

Do we as God’s people really believe in the power of prayer, and more than that, do we live like we believe in it.  Time and time again we read in scripture of how prayer is a powerful waepon. James 5:16 is just one example “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”

So what if we lived as a people who believed in the power of prayer.  What If …………..  That’s the question that 24-7 prayer Ireland have as their motto as they embark on a year of unceasing prayer for this land.

Do we pray to a God whom we believe in, What If we did???

OVERWHELMED

pause

Is this ever how you feel, weighed down by the task that lies ahead, uncertain what the future holds, snowed under by the sheer volume of information to assimilate and process???  If you do then phew…. i’m not on my own. The world we live in breeds this feeling day and daily in our lives : whether it’s work deadlines, relationship strains, health problems, information overload none of us are averse to this sense of helplessness.  And for this web 2.0, net savvy, dot-com generation the sheer volume of information seems like a waterfall overpowering us at times with RSS feeds to read, Status updates to check, Emails to process, SMS messages to send, MP3’s to download, box sets to watch…………….
As U2 put it so eloquently, sometimes it seems like there’s “No line on the Horizon”.

And it’s into this chaos of life, this volume of noise, this endless cycle of pressures and to-do-lists, that the still small voice of God calls us to himself, urging us to rest in Him, lay our burdens at the foot of the cross if only we would take the time and Pause, Reflect, Listen, Be……..

Matthew 11:28-29 (MSG)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

So for me it’s time to listen to that still small voice, to pause, to reflect, to BE………  How about you?

Laminin

If you haven’t heard of this you’ve gotta check it out, laminin : a molecular cell adhesion molecule that is the glue holding together protein molecules in the body.  Sounds very grand, but it’s one of those things you’ve gotta see to totally grasp and be blown away by

.laminin
Look familiar?  Right at the core of our identity is the cross, amazing.  For some more thoughts on this check out Louis Gigilio’s talk on youtube.

IDENTITY

Who are ya?

What are some of the things that make me, me?

What are the influences that shape and mould my life?

On what is my identity founded?

These are some of the things i’ve been pondering in recent weeks as I prepare for sharing a few thoughts on this theme at our youth service at church next week.  Identity is a huge thing in life, something that shapes many of life’s decisions big and small – we all want to feel like we belong, we have purpose, we are valued and significant.  And I guess as I’ve thought through some of the things that give us a sense of Identity, it comes down to what others think about us : status/popularity/success/money/image…..

These words found in verse 17 of Colossians 1 have captivated me somewhat, speaking of Jesus: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” These words speak of how our lives without Christ are missing something, He is the glue that holds our lives together, our Identity centres on Him, and without Him our lives fall apart.  Other things in life : money/popularity/success/status : they’re all temporary and fail to satisfy the longing in our heart.  Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Him.

So where is your identity found, something i’m pondering along the journey at present, what about you?  Feel free to comment below and share thoughts and viewpoints.

Freebie

Gotta love a freebie – just downloaded the Coldplay album leftrightleftrightleft, listening to it now and loving the live vibe off it. Getting something for nothing is pretty awesome – so if you haven’t got it yet i’d recommend you pop by and make the most of it.

FIRM FOUNDATIONS

What are you building your life on? What matters in life?  What are you living for?  These are all pretty foundational questions we all probably ponder over at some stage in life.  Money, success, happiness, popularity…….  All viable options, but is there more to life?  When storms come and shake the foundations of life, do they crumble and fall, or are they sure and firm?

All these questions i’ve pondered over at different stages of life, struggling through questions and frustrations as life has taken it’s twists and turns, high’s and low’s.  And this easter is a time to re-visit some of these ponderings.  Mark 16:6 tells us one of the foundational blocks of the Christian faith “He has risen!”, and Paul reminds us in Corinthians the importance of this fact when he states “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”

Throughout the gospels we are presented with evidence of the life, death and resurrection of the person of Jesus Christ, his ultimate purpose being to rescue rebels like me from the grip of sin and it’s eternal consequences.  The recent Christianity Explored course I’ve been involved in taking has explored some of this evidence through the lens of the gospel of Mark.

Maybe this easter time you may want to spend some moments, as I have been, pondering these things.  Ultimately what you do with the person of Jesus Christ is the single most important decision you will make in this life, on what you will build the foundation of your life.  The bible, especially the gospels that outline the life of Jesus demand a response.  As C S Lewis puts it in his book Mere Christianity “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.”

So I’ve chosen to build my life on this foundation, that “because He lives, I can face tomorrow”.  What about you this easter time?

Just prayed to a God I don’t believe in

The Script – Break Even

The lyrics of this song have came to mind many times in recent months, one line in particular actually : “Just prayed to a God that I don’t believe in”.
Kinda got me thinking abit about prayer, and our approach to it, and societies opinion about prayer and God I guess.  As a Christian who believes there is a God, and who has experienced the forgiveness of Christ, enabling me to be in a living relationship with the God of all creation through him, what significance does prayer take in my life?  Do I believe that God “hears and answers” my prayers? Do I believe in the power of prayer?
I’ve been challenged about my attitude to prayer, and it’s place in my journey of faith thus far : something I’ve been looking together at with our young people at our breakfast club, using the resources from the youth awake call to prayer happening during the period of lent.

So what’s your thoughts on prayer, feel free to leave a comment…

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Long time no post – a long overdue update

Well it’s been a while since I updated this thing, facebook and twitter are updated abit more frequently, but this blog has become abit of a barren land.  Since i’m on a day off work, thought i’d jot down a few thoughts here for anyone who’s interested.
2009 has started as hectic as 2008 finished, but life is good : another year older this past week – retirement looms closer by the day!!  Still carrying out some follow up to the mission we held back in October, have completed the Christianity Explored with our young people, and a will complete the adults course this Sunday.  Has been a busy time preparing weekly for this, but a real time of blessing I trust for all involved – fun, food, faith and fellowship make a good mix.
Looking ahead i’m hoping to start a conversation in coming months with church leaders, youth leaders, young people and parents about the youthwork we are doing, and hoping to develop abit of a strategy of where we go from here.  Exciting times, scary concept at times, but an opportune time to carry it out, and God willing direct and focus us in the days ahead.
In a rapidly changing world we often need to stop from our activity and ask the difficult questions of why/how/where/when we proclaim the never changing truth of the Gospel of Christ in a constantly changing world that is normality to our children and young people.

So thats what’s been going on, and abit of what will be lying ahead God willing, will attempt afresh to breathe some life into this dying blog again, and record my musings as I seek to make sense of this new found faith in the world I am experiencing.