Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Image

I want to show you a picture - this was taken just off Alexandria Parade in Dennistoun, Glasgow...

Its something else, isn't it?

Its just an old East End building; its seen better days, it could probably tell as many stories outside as it does inside. I don't even know if its a church building or if its connected to anywhere at all but, needless to say, the moment I saw the big white sign, I was struck. And when I moved closer to it, I saw the barbed-wire and I couldn't have been awe-struck anymore!

A couple of things came to mind:

Christ's crown of thorns when he hung on the cross

The old with a touch of the new

The contrast of darkness in the bright, beautiful sunshine

Barriers we put up between ourselves and Jesus.

I know there'll be many more from many other people who walk by this building or look at this photo. For those of you who happen to visit the West Scotland Divisional Youth Band's bebo page, you can now catch it as the front profile image (www.bebo.com/wsdyb). But if you'd like to leave any comments or thoughts about what you see, and what it means to you, get in touch.

Blessings

dw :)

Monday, 11 August 2008

Crash and burn or run the race?...

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Life has it's challenges every so often and one of those challenges we often find in the Salvation Army is keeping on top of things; trying to remain in control of our church commitments, as well as balancing that with work, family and a social life. And really, when each of those areas start to get busy at the same time, its a lot easier said than done.

Time management is as much a part of our Christian life as it is in a professional environment because we have to work with what God's blessed us with, or else He'll take it away from us.

Before the summer break, I was out nearly every night of the week straight; either socially, on my shifts or doing something for the S.A - and believe me, I was knackered at the end of it all. In fact, I was knackered during it all.

Now, you may think "Oh he's a young thing, he's got energy to burn, he can handle it." Well, maybe - but its when you start burning that energy you're also burning yourself out. And that's not good for yourself, nor is it good for how God wants you to lead the life he's given you.

They say its best to fill your week before your week is filled for you. We don't have to be busy to prove anything because we're saved by the grace of a man who died for us in a method that couldn't have scarred and broken a person anymore. But the end result, the ultimate benefit, the supreme reward of our labours, when done right - by fixing our eyes on Jesus - is better than any consolation prize here on earth.

And I pray that, as we "run the race...with perserverance", we will "throw off everything else that hinders" so that when we cross the finish line, the big fresh drink of water we take is that of Christ's blessings.

"When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun"

dw :)