Friday, January 26, 2007

The Leading of God

One thing I’ve found myself praying recently is the psalmists prayer from Psa 43:3 “Oh send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill, and to Your tabernacles.”

It’s a cry of the soul for the fog which obscures the way to be lifted and for the beacon which ever shines on the hill of Zion to be seen by the pilgrim travelling there. Sometimes are way is unclear, and we need to cry out to see the way through. We also need to persevere and press on. As it says in Psa 97:11, “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” These are crops which can take time to grow, but as we continue they will grow up and we shall see their fruit. “To the upright there arises light in the darkness.”

Since I still am unsure of what my course is after my time in Malawi and since I am still seeking God for a broader idea of His plans for me on many levels, I just want to remind myself to carry on. To be patient in well doing, as Rom. 2:5-7 speaks of. If we continue patiently in well doing we will reap glory, honour, immortality and eternal life.

This is more of a personal note to myself than anything else, but it doesn’t hurt to remind myself that no matter what happens I must do what is right, if I do God will lead me by His light. Sometimes I may not feel very hopeful, but if I abandon what is right, what hope do I have? If I do what is right, eventually I will reap both light and gladness, what a harvest!

Anyway, God bless all you readers out there. May you also reap His light as you continue in His ways.

Sunshiny Day

Yesterday dad and I worked on afixing barbed wire to posts at the top of our wall. Most of the wall had been done already, it was just the last side that needed to get done. It was the first sunshiny day we’ve had since I got here to do it in (It isn’t called the rainy season for nothing, it’s been raining bucket-loads). It was really hot and humid and now I have a sunburn in several places (including my scalp – now that I’m almost 30 my hair doesn’t cover like it used to). It feels good to have one project out of the way though.

In spite of the rain we have only had 2 power outages so far and they were of very short duration (under 30minutes). So that’s something to be very thankful for.

Tomorrow, I will be speaking to a group of teenagers from the surrounding area, I still need to prepare for that.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Columba – the Hawk turned Dove

Columba lived in the middle of the sixth century and was an Irish missionary to Scotland who personally founded the monastery at Iona, and was responsible for the founding of many monasteries in Scotland and Western Europe. Names associates with his movement include Dallan Forgaill, credited with writing “Be Thou my vision” and later missionaries including Anskar, known as the Apostle to the North, one of the first missionaries to Denmark and Sweden.

Columba means “dove” and in later life he was called “the dove.” However, he wasn’t that way in the beginning, by all accounts in his youth he was a hot-head. His missionary endeavours did not begin in the usual way, his began with a war. He had been involved in copying a book that he had borrowed from someone from another area, and after a dispute over the terms of the loan of the book, both groups got enflamed and went to war. After many people had been killed in the dispute, Columba saw the error of his way and left Ireland in self-banishment to Scotland vowing he would not return until he had seen at least as many conversions as there were casualties in the war.

He wandered somewhat in Scotland eventually establishing his abode on Iona and setting up a community there. From this place much of Scotland and even other parts of the British Isles were evangelised. Columba, himself, gained a reputation for wise counsel and apparently flowed in the prophetic office. I have read accounts of several times when he prophesied of various things to people who came to him. The most noted thing though was that he became known as a man of peace, Columba the dove.

His last day was spent transcribing the Psalms, followed by the evening devotions during which he collapsed. He died shortly afterwards with a peaceful countenance.

I think the best lesson to learn from this man is that how you start is not the most important thing, but how you end. He may have been a hot-head in his youth, but in the end he became a calming influence on those around him and his work remained and was a light to the nations for the next 200 years.

Consistency Thou Art a Jewel

The downside of having a blog is I feel guilty if I don’t write for a while… I feel like I am failing all my precious readers. Hey, if you are going to take time to look at something I wrote, then I need to ensure that I respect you and write something worth reading and write regularly enough to make it worth your while to visit.

Well, here I am in Malawi, having been a little unsettled for a few weeks it’s been hard to write. Now I hope to be able to get an article out once a week (more isn’t feasible). We’ll see how that goes, in the mean time, thanks for dropping by.

Having written this I had a very difficult time in sending it, the Internet Cafes here have such slow connections that my blogging might be very eratic… we’ll see.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Be Careful What You Say

I don't know if I am the only one, but sometimes when I prepare to speak I have a specific illustration that I feel to share and I just know that it's going to happen. Eg. Shortly before I left Singapore I was sharing on humility and I mentioned that one reason we should be humble is because we can't even keep ourselves from getting a cold... about a half an hour later I started getting a sore throat. I ended up about as sick as I have ever been for 2 weeks (the cough is better now, for those wondering). It's something that has happened before, there are actually some messages I dread speaking on because I don't want to experience them... on the other hand I have to speak what I feel God has, and it would be awful to speak something and not be willing to live through it.

There are sometimes I just have to say to myself as something is coming up that I just spoke about, "Well, you spoke on it, let's see if you can live it."

Tha Faithfulness Of God

Well, since it's New Year's Eve I was thinking of writing something on the faithfulness of God... Yet another year has passed and He is still faithful. I am supposed to lead songs tonight for the watchnight service here in Erie, and I've picked out some songs on faithfulness, because I think it's one of the most important attributes of God. Imagine if God were like us, changing, unstable, mutible, we would be in trouble. God would do something for us if He were in a good mood but otherwise He wouldn't.

I love what 2 Timothy 2:13 says, "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."

God's overall purposes are never dependant on us, even if we don't believe He will fulfill HIs will, He may have to use someone else, but His will will be done. He does what He has promised because He is faithful, there is no shadow of changing with Him.

This verse even reminds me of a few times in my life where I had virtually given up hope, I couldn't say that I deserved God to intervene in my life at that time or even that I would have a right to ask Him to. Yet He did, He took me and drew me and lead me in the right path. Why? Even if we falter He is still faithful. That is what He is, the essence of Himself. He is faithful through and through, He can't deny who He is.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love,
Here's my heart O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.

Lord in this coming year may I serve You more faithfully than ever, may You steady me in the course You have set for me and keep me faithful to You both now and forever.