Monday, 14 December 2009

God - It's about relationship not formality.

I was going to write and tell you about the most practical Christmas present I have received to date. So practical that I was blown away by it's usefulness. Unfortunately I think I may have laboured the point a little bit too much at a recent works Christmas dinner, but more of that next time.


I felt so blessed to attend a service with my four children that a great friend and brother Reverend T. T. held yesterday. It was his last service at that particular church, where he had ministered for over a decade. I had been privileged to have preached at that church recently and the greatest thing about it is the heart of the people and the presence of God that resides there. For those of you who may not know, the meaning of church is not a building but Biblically it means the gathering of the believers, this is why you have many meetings in building that are not traditional church buildings. If you read in the book of 'Acts' in the Bible, you will actually see that the early 'church' met in houses and other small group venues.


Where are you heading with this Brother Don, I hear some of you say; well I just want you to know that God loves you and that He is not a formal disciplinarian, headmaster type image, but that of a loving Father who loves all of His children and watches eagerly for those who have stray way away from Him or those who have never truly known Him (may have known or encountered religion and people, but not Father God) to return.


This short story that follows (Thank you Dad - my earthly father that is - for sending it to me)  goes some way to show the point that God is a lover of people and delights in those who diligently/earnestly seek him . Life, in my opinion is about good, supportive, caring relationships. Many people who do not seem to show those traits are usually people who themselves have been hurt by the harsh and hard world that we live in and have developed mechanisms of survival. This brings back to mind some of the issues that Jeremiah Walker talks about in his book ' To be somebody's father' - but again, more of that at another time (keep watching out for further excerpts of the book. I have listed some recent excerpts......).


Excerpt 1 - 'To be somebody's father' by Jeremiah Walker

Excerpt 2 - 'Abandonment' from 'To be somebody's father' by Jeremiah Walker


I hope this short story gives you the same feeling of hope that it gave me:


A minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,

Decided to pause by the altar and see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened, a man came down the aisle,

The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn't shaved in a while.

His shirt was kinda shabby and his coat was worn and frayed,

the man knelt and he bowed his head, Then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed, each noon time came this chap,

Each time he knelt just for a moment, A lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister's suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,

He decided to stop the man and ask him, 'What are you doing here?'

The old man said, he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.

Lunchtime was his prayer time,
For finding strength and power.

'I stay only moments, see,
because the factory is so far away;


As I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is kinda what I say:

'I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,

BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.

SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM CHECKING IN TODAY.'


The minister feeling foolish,
told Jim, that was fine.

He told the man he was welcome
To come to pray just anytime.

Time to go, Jim smiled, said 'Thanks.'
He hurried to the door.

The minister knelt at the altar,
he'd never done it before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
and met with Jesus there.

As the tears flowed, in his heart,
he repeated old Jim's prayer:

'I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,

HOW HAPPY I'VE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER'S FRIENDSHIP

AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

I DON'T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT


I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.

SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME CHECKING IN TODAY'


Past noon one day, the minister noticed
that old Jim hadn't come.

As more days passed without Jim,
he began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him,
learning he was ill.

The hospital staff was worried,
But he'd given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.

His smiles, a joy contagious.
Changed people, were his reward.

The head nurse couldn't understand
why Jim was so glad,

when no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse's concern:

No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Jim spoke
up and with a winsome smile;

'the nurse is wrong, she couldn't know,
that in here all the while everyday at noon He's here,
a dear friend of mine, you see, He sits right down, takes my hand, Leans over and says to me:'

I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN, SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP,
AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.

ALWAYS LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY,
I THINK ABOUT YOU EACH DAY,
AND SO JIM, THIS IS JESUS
CHECKING IN TODAY.




A Fathers Love







Numbers 6:24-26 (New King James Version)


24 “The LORD bless you and keep you;
25 The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’



Love Brother Don

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (New Living Translation)
21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.



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