Saturday, 28 March 2009

Moving House Part 1

Well, we're planning to move house in about a month or so, the date still hasn't been decided. Still, we've made a start packing things into boxes. I haven't really started on my own belongings yet, and when I do I will undoubtedly realise that I own a huge amount of stuff. So I guess now would be the ideal time to sell off some of my possessions.

I think this would be hard for me, mainly for two reasons;

1 - I get quite attached to the things I've had for a while. It's very hard to give away anything that I've owned for years, even if I don't use it. Sentimental value, I guess.

2 - If I get rid of an item, it's almost a confession that I bought something I didn't need, so I feel like I should keep things to justify the fact that I bought them in the first place. It seems like a waste of money to give away the hat I bought for £10 and wore twice, but actually it was a waste of money to buy a hat I would only wear twice.

If I don't give it away though, I might wear it more in the future!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Cheese

So, the latest poll shows that most people prefer Stilton.

How did that happen?

Edam should clearly have won. At least it wasn't cheddar at the top of the list - a pleasant, but wildly overrated fromage.

I think I'd get more accurate results with a bigger sample. With this in mind - check out the next poll and remember to vote!

Friday, 6 March 2009

What does God do? Part 2

On re-reading, the last post does sound pretty cynical so I want to redress the balance with a few more points.

God works in mysterious ways.

I've got to realise that if I ever actually understand how God works then it will no longer be a mystery, and God would no longer be God.
Whilst the mysteriousness often confuses and sometimes frustrates me, I'm glad that it's like that.

God's unfathomable nature is another reason why I worship Him.

Also, I absolutely wholeheartedly trust God. When I can't see what's going on, then I am even more willing to just be dependent on Him. I know that God is not just another part of the situation, but He is above every situation.

It's also exciting to think that God might be doing things in my life that I can't see, but that a few years down the line I might suddenly notice. Things that seem unimportant, or things that go hideously wrong, can all be used by God to do other things.

I'm imagining a machine where all the stuff from my life goes in at the top, God presses a few buttons, and something amazing pops out at the bottom. (It's a primitive example, I know). I'd really like to see exactly what happens inside the machine, but am content to just let it happen and anticipate the exciting product.

Also, the church is called the body of Christ. So a lot of the time God works directly through the things we do. Instead of sitting around thinking "where's Jesus in the world today?" we can actually go and do the things that Jesus would. With some help, of course.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

What does God do?

I've been thinking about this a lot recently. As an Evangelical Christian, I believe that God is at work in the world today. I believe that God works in the lives of human beings to bring about his sovereign will. I'm just not sure about how.

This could be a heavy one, so I'm going to break it down into a few examples.

1. "God made me like this."
People sometimes say things like, "I'm really shy, but that's how God's made me so there must be a reason." I would say that shyness is usually a result of a web of experiences, often at childhood, and is generally not a good thing. I wouldn't say it's bad to be shy, but it's well worth trying to break out of it.

The problem is, if you're going to say that God created your personality then what about the aspects of your character that aren't God-glorifying?

2. "What a blessing."
Last year our church had a gift day to raise money to pay off our mortgage. The result was staggering, with over £100,000 being offered (after gift-aid, I think). This money was earned by members of the church for doing their jobs, and then generously given away.

We thanked God for blessing us with such a huge amount, knowing that it had come from our own pockets. I don't want to sound cynical - I'm just trying to put forward the most challenging facet of my thought process.

3. "God put me here."
We often give credit to God for providing us with various things, especially jobs. As a Christian youth worker, lots of people tend to assume that I heard God's voice calling me to youth work, and then was assigned the position because the trustees recognised that calling.

Actually I applied because I needed a job and it sounded interesting. I was accepted because the trustees thought I was the best candidate.

4. "God formed me in the womb."
Crunch time. How was I formed? Through a natural biological process. How was God involved? I don't know. God is obviously quite discreet.

I believe that God is in control. However, "in control" is a passive state. The question is; how much does God actively control?

Of the events that happen in my life, how many are planned out by God?
A: All of them - the good, bad and seemingly irrelevant.
B: Just the good ones.
C: Specific ones that God uses to acheive a specific goal.
D: God only acts in response to prayer.
E: Only events that can be deemed miraculous are the direct work of God.
F: God is not actively involved now, but He is the master of the "butterfly effect", and so probably factored all the events of my life into His original creation plan.
G: None.

Votes please?

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

NEXT are muppets

I buy some clothes from NEXT, and they tend to be pretty good as far as quality, durability and comfort go. So, the other day, having decided to invest in a manbag, NEXT was my first stop.

Now, I'm one of those people that likes to read things that have been written on stuff. For example, I like to read graffiti and see whether it makes sense. I like to read people's tee-shirts (mostly men's of course). I like to read packaging.

Whilst I was perusing the selection of bags in NEXT I noticed a label with fashionable, barely legible writing scrawled on it. So I read it, and it said:

"every so often you will see something that changes your view on life. Take a good look at this bag and think. Ask yourself... why haven't I got one. You will want this."

What the fl*p? Apparently, there are people who are so shallow that their view of life can change by looking at a bag. It wasn't anything special in my opinion. Absolute r*bb*sh. (I'm using the asterisks to add more drama without actually using expletives - interesting effect, I think.)

I took my custom elsewhere.