God’s ultimate back up plan.

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Yesterday I posted about how God always has a back up plan when things go wrong (Rom. 8:28). That set me to thinking of not just my little life, not even nationally, but about God’s global back up plans.
Yes, he has a back up plan for if/when we screw up this earth beyond redemption. It’s not about electing Christian politicians, edgy liberalist ideas, or law enforcement. It’s all explained in the book of Revelations (and a few other places). God’s ultimate contingency plan is to come rescue us (and the earth we were meant to care for).
It says, He’s going to take over with a whole new ball game, and this time we play by His rules, not ours. Finally, justice (and mercy – can’t have one without the other) will be meted out, our whole economic system uprooted, no more rich, no more poor, no more exploitation. The earth’s replenished land and resources will be shared by all, no more hunger, no more crippling mortgages. For sure there will be work, but wholesome, independent work, no more bosses! No more curse on the land, (no weeds, pests or fungus). Tame animals, less sickness, prolonged age expectancy etc. etc.
When I see us continually screwing up I remind myself – there’s a back up plan and its incredible!

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What is a church?

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Many of us associate the word church with a building, but the original meaning was a group of believers. While a church building may be old, beautiful, a remembrance, or a masterpiece of creativity, it is an empty shell without the congregation. A true church is the sum of its members, whether they meet in a movie theatre, coffee shop, or simple home. Perhaps some of the strongest churches have met in forests, on mountains, even in cellars, during times of persecution (and still do in some parts of the world.)

A recent blog post set me thinking about churches. Probably the most diabolically clever move the enemy ever made was to make Christianity acceptable, safe. The ancient “church”, heartily relieved to no longer be hounded and persecuted, settled down to work in harmony with the prevailing worldly systems of its day. Sure, it had its revolutionaries, St. Francis, Luther, etc. But even Luther compromised when he saw where the truth of the scriptures was leading – the overthrow of the status quo. He sold out his followers and thousands died.

In every generation, and scattered throughout denominations one finds true Christians, always a minority. The proportion of these individuals in a church tends to decide how dead (going through the motions) or alive it is. A spirit filled pastor can sometimes bring a church to life, but the choice rests always on the congregation. It is not always shown by large numbers (think Noah and Jeremiah). In my experience small, personal churches tend to be more on fire, as they grow so do the problems. If you build something successful someone is sure to either try to destroy it or take it over – this happens!

The church I frequently attend is small, personal, accepting. They have all types and ages in their congregation, wealthy and privileged, to poor single mums from the counsel estate, 90 year olds to tiny tots (even teenagers). The pastors are sincere and loving. Testimonies, prophecy and prayer abound and are freely shared among the congregation both after and often during the service. It’s easy to see the love of Christ abounding. I notice how no one minds when a woman sings off key and two beats behind on every song, when several get up to help the one in a wheelchair, when someone breaks down in tears and the person next to them (not in any church position) puts an arm around them, when I see the free lunches offered to any that come (minus a sermon) and note the guy with a tattooed face I’d avoided sitting among them, greeted with a smile. While perhaps not as radical as my own beliefs (it still operates in conjunction with the “system”) I’d say it is an alive and growing church in the best meaning of the word.

 

The morning after.

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The morning after Christmas dawns

The tree bedecked with lights adorns.

But loved ones scuttled to their homes

No more the joy and laugher roams.

Only photos mark the place

And filial love and fun replace.

 

And yet, if I’m to answer true

My head is pounding, and I rue

The ceasless round of food and drink

I’ve got too old for this I think.

 

Not too old for joy, and hugs,

Not too old for cuddle bugs.

Love each moment with my kids

And their offspring and their vid’s.

 

But at my age I need to pause

Rest, recuperate from chores

Listen to the still clear vioce

That makes the inner me rejioce.

I am so blessed in all you see

I think old age is suiting me.

the message of christmas.

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To believe the unbelievable, and then to find it true.

To turn on the colour in a world of shades of grey.

To feel joy growing in your heart till it gushes out embracing all around.

To have a light, a candle, which, though it may flicker, can never be extinguished.

A flame to kindle others, as stars bedeck the night sky.

Happy Christmas from songbird! But, if not…

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Wishing you all a wonderfully happy Christmas full of love, joy, hugs and kisses from those you love.

For those alone this Christmas, for whatever reason, may the Prince of Christmas himself fill your heart with the joy of his presence, that never leaves, always loves, forgives, cares. No matter where we find ourselves in life he’s just a prayer away each and every day and would love to spend Christmas cuddled together with you, bringing with him the magic innocence of childhood and the implicit wisdom of the ages.

From this little birdie let me add my own love, brother, sister, and a long lingering hug to any that may need one. xxx

A Child’s Christmas gift.

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My youngest daughter suffers dreadfully from insomnia. After a particularly difficult night last night, her five year old son realised mum had slept badly. Dragging herself out of bed she was confronted by her golden haired son in his reindeer onesie. Blue eyes gleaming he said, “ I found something nice for you.”

He proceeded to put on a Netflix video of a fireplace with Christmas music.

“Mummy, I want you to enjoy it,” he said.

This is all the more special as generally he’ll hog the TV (when dad’s not home) for his Wild Krats and Dino Train programs. I think we have a “Christmas angel”.

“This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light.”

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Why would we choose darkness? Because we have something to hide? We all have something to hide. Light exposes every wrinkle, every blemish, every imperfection, our flawed, secret self.

Ask yourself, could I stand naked in front of a room full of people, not strangers, people I interact with? The answer for most of us is no. Then think, could I be entirely naked before someone I love and who I know loves me, just as I am warts and all?

This is the secret of embracing the light. Knowing  God loves us with such perfect love He sees past our imperfections, we can yield ourselves in total, naked, honesty. Not because we feel we are perfect or beautiful, but because we trust totally in His limitless love for us. This is true humility and only in this way can we embrace the light.