Saturday, June 25, 2011

Time Goes By...

Haven't been on this for some time now and I fell bad about it. Summer is about to get busy but I'm gonna try and get back into this. God has been doing amazing things with us as a family and me personally. I'm constantly reminded how awesome God is and of his desire's for us individually and as a community. What am I learning from others and what are others learning from me? Forget about who is my neighbour, I think the real question is to whom am I a neighbour! Ru and I have been talking about how we love what God has been doing with us and we've a real contentment about where we are and how are life is going. At the same time we want more! I think its a Holy Discontent. I was talking to a friend awhile ago about how people rob so many things from us that breaks God's heart, and God want's to give back what the locusts have taken. I believe, and have experienced this in so many ways over the last while.

We are eating and being satisfied...but we want more!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Christian Culture Justification

On Sunday past I was preaching about "How to grow as a christian". Discipleship and seeing people grow to there potential in Jesus is what I'm passionate about. I was getting across that our growth albiet supernatural through the holy spirit, is a choice we make every day in our walk with Jesus. We have to choose every day what we want to stand for. An example I gave was about using God's name in vain. Most (if not all) people who don't have a relationship with Jesus do this all the time without thinking. What amazes me is that someone with a relationship with Jesus would do this.
Is it a greater or lesser sin than a lie or a murder? It's a sin! Now I have to be honest and say that for quite some time sin has not been something I've focused on. For the last couple of "seasons" my focus has been the kingdom, Jesus' lifestyle, church, Gods will etc. A focus on sin just hasn't been on my agenda. It has amazed me how some Christians justify this particular "sin". Most seem to think that because they have a relationship with God that it's ok to use his name in vain. I've given this as an example to my daughter (who's been hearing this alot in the school yard!) Imagine you phone someone you love and when they answer you hang up. Its a prank call! When we use God's name in vain it's like that. We're calling God but not wanting to talk to him. We don't like it when someone does it to us, why would God? Just because we've relationship with Jesus, it doesn't give us licence to abuse his beautiful name or his fathers! I've never liked it when people use God's name in vain but I sort of accept it when it's by those that don't have relationship with him. Those of us that do have relationship with God it's not acceptable.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Church Being Church...

This weekend past has been great. Ru and I still have to remind ourselves that we've only been in Wicklow less than 3months. On Saturday night we'd a Youth Games Night. Went really well and already relationships are forming in a positive way. The teens are a great bunch and I'm excited to see what Gods wanting to do with them.
On Sunday morning Roly (the pastor) was preaching. This month we're doing a "How To " series. Yesterday's title was "How To Heal in Jesus Name". I was looking forward to this one to see how it'd go down and the response it would get. I wasn't disappointed. Now I remember very little of what was said but as to what happened....that I remember. Roly talked and reminded us that we are called to heal and do great things in Jesus name. That being said we need to ACT on FAITH in doing this. Then Roly called for someone who had a sore right shoulder (as that's what God told him to ask for early that morning!) Sure enough a man (who is the spitting image of Capt.Picard from Star Trek!) stepped forward. He told us his name and story of his shoulder, it'd been in ruins for a while and had very little movement. Roly then used Frank as an example as to how we should pray for healing for those around us in Jesus name.
After the explaining and the praying...Frank was healed. That simple...but the mind can be cynical. So, Roly called for anyone who was ill or who needed healing to stand up. Many did (including myself) Then he asked for those that were sitting to get involved and pray has then had just learnt.
Now the thing I loved about this is that they was no awkward silence, shuffling of feet or blank expression on peoples faces. Straight from the word go people moved to those that needed prayer. People prayed, people got healed! After the praying came the testimonies. It's a wonderful thing seeing the church be the church.
That afternoon we were invited to a couples home as they had felt called by God to be baptised. Right by their home is a river. Roly was going to baptise them and about 15 of us were there to witness it. It was a genuinely beautiful time. Seeing a couple obedient to God's call and wanting to share it with His family. There really was a sense of Gods presence. It's a wonderful thing seeing the church be the church.
Once a month Redcross a Sunday evening service called "Going Deeper". Last night was that time. I felt we should do a "Prayer Concert". I (with help) had set up the room to be focused on certain areas (Personal, Redcross, Ireland, World) and to be a place were people could be intimate with Jesus. Again, God and his people connected and it was sweet. God's presence was so tangible you could smell His holiness. It was humbling seeing people just submit themselves to God in prayer. I'm a believer in Jesus and I believe him too! I'm also a believer in the church. The Church that God so desperately wants to see alive and effective for Him and his purposes.

It's a Wonderful thing Seeing the Church be the Church...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Schools Around The Corner...

Been awhile, been a busy few weeks. We moved into our new home a little over 2wks ago. We've loved every moment of it so far (even the leak in the kitchen ceiling!) We had great friends who helped with the move (no joke, started at 9.30am and had everything in our new home by 2.15pm). No looking back, it's been great. We've settled well and getting to know our neighbours too. Really excited as to how Gods gonna use us and our/his home. We feel so blessed as to what He's done for us.

Above is a photo taken last saturday of my daughter in Glendalough. She loves it there as she has her "very own" secret path and gets to visit Rapunzels tower. Anyway, tomoro is a huge day in her little life...She starts school. I can't believe this day has come. She's well ready for it, I'm just not sure that mom and dad are! She's so so excited about it and we are too. Its amazing to watch her grow, learn and appreciate many things around her. Her heart is massive for people and shes got a special merciful spirit about her too.

I'm looking forward to see the impact she'll have on her classmates and teacher.

Monday, August 3, 2009

House To A Home

This week we leave our "home" to move to our new "home". Now when I say leave our "home" I really should say house, as that's what it's been over the last 6 months. There's a saying "Home is where the heart is" well our heart has not been in this place for the last number of months. That being said, our current house has many great memories. We've been living here all 8yrs of our wonderful married life. We've seen our children born and have such fun here. We've had many special times here with many special people. But now this place is just a house. It's like God has prepared our hearts to leave this place.

We're moving to our new home this week. God has brought this place into our lives in the most remarkable way. At the beginning of April we saw the house that we knew God had for us. Ru and I had talked as to how we'd know....well we just knew. Ru was so convinced, she wanted us to claim it straight out! Faith or What!?! So often when we look back on our journey we can see the moments of faith that define the future. We saw the house on Sunday and got an offer accepted on the Monday. Very Quick. I wasn't working for 2 months (no wage) and we got the keys for the house a week in to my new job starting. God continues to Rock (in a very good way!) our world.

We are so ready and so excited to move into our new home. We're looking forward to seeing how God will use it and us in the future. Naomi has already made friends with the girls next door. In fact while I was dropping some stuff off at the house yesterday the girls came in to me and talked to me for 20mins. Very cool, funny and sweet. We all feel very good about this place and the seasons ahead!I need to remind myself of this as we pack up and sort stuff out this week.


Monday, July 27, 2009

U2's Second Homecoming Gig

On Saturday night Ru and I and Ferg and Jane went to see and experience U2 all over again (Ferg and I were there on the Friday night too!). It's an amazing show and the crowd were loving it. Saturday was great as the four of us being there together was special. Last time Ru had seen U2 with me was "Pop" back in 1997. I must be honest though and say that there was something lacking on the Saturday night in comparsion to Friday night. Don't know what it was.

On the Friday night Ferg and I got into the pit. That experience was fantastic. Being so close to the band and other fans was great. Standing in the stands on Saturday night was also great as we got to experience and see the whole show, lights and all.
In the pit you couldn't take in all the effects, but you were up close with the band. On Saturday you saw all the show-effects and over 80,000 people bouncing and singing away with 4 guys on a stage.
Now in the past I'd stand up for anything U2 but I've toned that down a bit. Not because my love for the band has diminished but I just needed to back down a little. One of the good things about U2 is people can take them on whatever level they want too. Some just want songs, (like the guy who kept singing "we don't need no education" when Bono would talk. He did need education!) others want a "U2 at home" experience, (many people at both gigs where from all over the world) and others want the spirituality in the band.

For me over the last many years of following U2, I see the depth of their lyrics and love identifying with that. On the Friday night I had I very definite worship experience. Not of the Band but of Jesus. At every U2 gig I've been to I've had friends come and say that they now "get it". Friends who have a relationship with Jesus. They get that U2 have a relationship with Jesus and it shows through what they do (not all that they do but alot of what they do). Many of U2's songs are worship songs. Every album has some theme in relation to Jesus, The Kingdom, Love, Life, Death and what we do with such moments.
Being able to sing with passion in the knowledge of where the lyrics have come from is freeing. Like when you hear the story behind some of the old hymns people sing in church. It gives more meaning to the song.

Great Gigs. Friday beats Saturdays setlist hands down, but Saturday was awesome being able to experience U2 live with Ru, Jane and Ferg.

Below is the Setlist From Saturday

No Line On The Horizon
Get On Your Boots
Beautiful Day / Here Comes The Sun (Snippet)
Mysterious Ways
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Stand By Me (Snippet)
Angel Of Harlem / Don't Stop Til You Get Enough (Snippet)
In A Little While
Unknown Caller
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights / Rain (Snippet)
Vertigo / Thunderstruck (Snippet)
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix) / Come All Ye Faithful (Snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (Snippet)
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (Snippet)
Where The Streets Have No Name


Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender

Saturday, July 25, 2009

U2 Homecoming Gig

Not going to say much now except Wow. The gig tonight was incredible... My mind is still buzzing and all in all it was a fantastic night. U2 were on form and I'm really looking forward to going again with my wonderful wife, brother and sister-in-law!
Good times...
Below is the set-list from tonight...

No Line on the Horizon
Get On Your Boots
Beautiful Day/Blackbird (snippet)
Stuck In A Moment
The Old Canal (cover)
Until The End of the World
The Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
Crazy remix
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rocking the Casbah (snippet)
Pride (In the Name of Love)
Walk On/ You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
Where the Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)
40 (snippet)/ Bad / 40 (snippet)
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender