Go on being filled…

Well we have made it safely to Australia. – no dramas. We managed to get on the right jets at the right time in the right place. Thanks for asking (if you do not understand read my last post).

So this January we are concerned about having enough sun screen rather than thinking of shovelling snow which has been our usual occupation at Scargill. It is nice and warm in Brisbane, and tomorrow we travel down to Sydney for a week. Such hardship!

With more time to reflect, one question I have been asking is how thirsty am I for God? King David has such a desire to know more of God in his life and in Psalm 63 he speaks of this yearning.

“God – you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God” (The Message)

Can’t quite remember when I last felt like that. One thing for sure though is that I would like to have David’s desire. The sentiment “I still haven’t found what I am looking for” resounds often deeply within me. St Paul in Ephesians 5:18 speaks about go on being filled with the Holy Spirit. It is constant asking and probably should be a daily discipline. For without the Holy Spirit I am stuffed (hope you like my profound theological vocabulary). How can I know Jesus, how can I have a blazing love for him? How can I be inwardly transformed and therefore a lively witness to all that Jesus is and all he has done in my life? Where do I get the desire to read scripture and hopefully make sense of it? Through the grace and love of God, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Simon Ponsonby, who recently spoke at Scargill, speaks of how we settle for less, when there is so much more to experience and know of God. He quotes Billy Graham who says “the desperate need of the nation today is that men and women who profess Jesus be filled with the Spirit.”

Jesus says “let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.  As scripture has said, ‘out of the believers heart shall flow rivers of living waters.'” (John 7)

Come Lord Jesus pour out your Spirit on us today

There and back again…

Not sure how this happened but this blog has gone missing – so here it is again….

Traveling can be bit of an ordeal. Di and I are on sabbatical, having a break from Scargill, and today we were hoping and expecting to fly to Australia only to find we had got to the airport a day early. Oh yes! I’m obviously not that good with dates…And not only being a day early, I thought I had lost my wallet only to find that I had left it in my daughter’s car back in Milton Keynes. It had all the usual cards which, without, would have made traveling very difficult. All a bit stressful, particularly to my long suffering wife.

What I have achieved today is to be an embarrassment to my daughter and caused a lot of laughter and head shaking. But no harm done, we will try again tomorrow with tickets checked and wallet safe.

Traveling though can be exhausting even straightforward trips. The bible are full of journeys many that are very hazardous.The Israelites in the Old Testament journeyed for forty years in the wilderness, full of trails and difficulties, learning huge life lessons on the way. In the New Testament we read of the the holy family’s trip to Bethlehem, (Mary on a donkey = virgin on the ridiculous. You can thank Adrian Plass for that!). A couple of years later fleeing for their lives as refugees to Egypt, an enforced journey. Jesus identifies with refugees and we keep in our prayers all who find themselves along way from home. Their plight makes my experiences insignificant and yes, ridiculous.

Yet the “inward” journey is also never straightforward, far from it. Christians, often speak of their walk with God, or their desire to discover God, with phrases such as a desert experience or walking through a valley, or mountain top experience. The inward journey for the majority of us is exhausting and hazardous. St Augustine wrote in one of his prayers, “our hearts are restless until they rest in you”. Very true. This is the journey which will bring life, love and hope, and like the younger son in his parable, we stumble along in the hope of coming home to the unconditional love and welcome of our Heavenly Father. The road can seem long and tough but let us not be discouraged, as Jesus promises to journey with us, speaking to us, and that “if we listen carefully we discover we are already home while on the way” (Henri Nouwen).

Will I make it to Australia, will I journey more into the love of God? Both journeys are keenly on my agenda – I’ll let you know.