on Christmas day, tbV and i went to visit a church called Epic that our friends Cody and Lyndsey go to and really had a great time – they meet in a cinema and we were greeted with good coffee and donuts, so pretty much everything i look for in a church [harr!] and then we found the one thing we had been missing in a bunch of churches we have visited since being in Philly which was a great message…
using clips from Elf [which we watched later that nite with some kids from the block cos we were so inspired, what a fun movie] and Charlie Brown Christmas [Linus the evangelist, who knew] Kent preached a simple yet powerful message on the need for us to learn from and be inspired by and emulate a lot of what kids, and specifically his kids, live.
from Psalm 118.24 “this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” he spoke about the unbridled passion and abandon that kids often have about life and used the example of a child opening a present [the real way] by just ripping it apart and trying to get to the gift [whereas the adult is being all mature and old and worrying about saving the paper and the ribbon and so on]
then in the Message, Matthew 6.34 reads “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
the focus is on ‘what God is doing right now’ – often we have ideas of how and where God works and often He throws that on its head by working in different places and differently to how we might expect and part of our job is to take time to be still and observe and listen and watch to see where God is at work right now and where He is wanting us to get involved – it may not look like what we would expect, but by doing what we expect He would say, we may well be missing what He is actually calling us to – are we really being led by God. i would never have imagined that tbV and i would be living and working in the Simple Way, even after being so inspired by the book years ago, but we took time to wait on God and hear and none of us have a doubt now that this is where we are meant to be living and ministering…
lastly he mentioned the story in Acts 16. 22-26 which starts with Paul [and Silas] being stripped and beaten with rods and goes directly to him praying and singing hymns to God – how do we respond to adversity? one of the things children love to do is sing – with reckless abandon, any time any place. why don’t we sing any more?
and why do we sing songs to God in church? is it because He has forgotten how good He is? No! It is because we need to be reminded regularly how awesomely good our God is.
Grow up and become like a child. Your life [and living as opposed to existing] might depend on it.