Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm gonna skip-it

In a moment of 80's nostalgia, My friend Amy and I found, for sale in Romford, wait for it...

...

A SKIP-IT!!!!!

Apparently they are now called 'hoppers', but clearly they are skip-it's.



It turns out I haven't forgotten how to skip-it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Building 'My' House

I was listening to a song on my pink ipod (did I mention that I have one of them?) this morning on the way into work, and realised that I really really wanted to blog it. However, I got frustrated with myself, because I realise that I seem to use song lyrics far too much to define my feelings, so I very nearly didn't. But, then I thought about how grateful I was that when I don't know how to express my thoughts and feelings, I often find other peoples words do that for me. So I decided to blog it anyway, and not feel guilty about it.

I used this song at prayer meeting the other day because I thought about how relevant it was for our church right now, and it is my honest deepest prayer for our church. (And I don't just mean the actual physical building). But as I was listening today, I made it my prayer for my own life too. So, here is my most recent prayer - for both me and my church.

All I am and all I have is yours
There's nothing that I have on earth
that doesn't come from you
I lay aside my pride and worldly wealth
To serve You is the greatest thing
that I could ever do

For unless you build this house
I am building it in vain
Unless the work is yours
There is nothing to be gained
I want something that will stand
When your Holy fire comes
Something that will last
And to hear you say well done
Giving glory to you Lord
Glory to you Lord

So easy to desire what others have
Instead of seeing all the gifts that
You have given me
So help me fan the flame
which you began
And burn in me a love for you
that all will clearly see

(c) 2005 Thankyou Music/The Livingstone Collective

Monday, May 12, 2008

If We Are The Body...

Yes! Kirsty is blogging again! Well, for now anyway - I seem to have had some thoughts while I was walking to work this morning (had to add that bit in there!). As I was walking, I was listening to a familiar song on my new pink ipod (and that bit!). I was introduced to this song at summer school one year when we used it as part of the drama presentation. Today, as I listened, I realised how pertinent a question it is for my church right now. Here are the lyrics:

Its crowded in worship today as she slips in,
And quietly fades into the faces.
The girls teasing laughter is carrying further than they know.

The travler is far away from home,
he sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row.
The weight of their judgement or glances
Tell him that his chances are better out on the road.

But if we are the body,
Why aren't his arms reaching?
Why aren't his hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body,

Why aren't his feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come.
And we are the body of Christ.

To be honest, our Church is often commended for how welcoming we are. These words are not directly applicable to us in that respect, however, I do wonder how welcoming we truly are in our hearts. Are we prepared to really make friends with people who aren't like us. Are we prepared to really invest time in people who need a bit of looking after? Are we prepared to open up our hearts to the potential of being hurt when people take and take and take and don't appear to be getting the message at all? Are we prepared to care so much that it hurts?

I think its worth questioning - Are His arms reaching, His hands healing? His words teaching? His feet going? His love showing the way? If not, then since we are the body, its our arms, hands, words, feet and love that are not doing these things.

I am not trying to be negative, like I say, I do think our Church has a very good starting point for practicing these things because we are welcoming, and for the first few weeks, people often feel very at home with us - but we need to make sure it doesn't just last a few weeks, but that we really let them into our hearts, and treat them as part of the family.

We had a great prayer meeting last night. There were 14 of us who stayed, and I do believe God was speaking last night. I am so excited about the heart some of the people in our church have been given for mission. I am so excited. And I am sooooo excited about the prayer that is surrounding that. I believe this could really happen - if we really commit to making an effort to making this work, I believe we can start to impact the community - but we HAVE to be prepared to love them, if we are going to try to get them interested in God. They will only see God's love through ours.

I am a very practical minded person, and this post has been very generalised so far, so I want to delve into the difficult task of questionning how we actually put that into practice. In all honesty, I don't know, but what I do know is that I am praying that God will teach me how to love. If we can truly love them, actually feel something for them (which does open us up to hurt - lets not pretend it doesn't) then I think a lot of the other stuff will flow from that. I am going to try to befriend some people if I see people looking lonely or a bit out of it in our church. But befriend them in such a way that I actually invite them to dinner, and want to hear about their lives. Its a massive commitment to say that, and clearly there is a limited amount of people anyone can do that for because it means investing time - and time for Salvationists is often precious. But it will be time well spent, and the more of us that do that the more people will start to feel like part of the family of God.

I realise I have got on my soapbox. I am prepared to be challenged on this view if anyone thinks I have got this wrong in any way. What do you think? How can we prepare ourselves for this?