Tag Archive: winnie the pooh

‘We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.’

[A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh]

there is just so much good stuff to be taken from looking backwards in life if we are using it to help us move forwards well and that is what this continuing series is about…

this one is a little bit similiar to the one i did on People Gratitude [taking time to be grateful for the people who have poured into your life] but taking it a step further…

i firmly appreciate the idea of ‘seasons’ – that some people and situations are in our life simply for a time period and then we or they move on and how that can be okay… i was strongly reminded about this recently when two good friends of mine from South Africa, Debbie and Barry Austwick, came to visit for three nights and we just completely reconnected [as if we’d lived together for three years solidly, or maybe more accurately as if we HADN’T lived together for three years solidly – ha ha, one of those for sure] as if no time had passed and we laughed so much and had great and deep conversations about important things and it was such an injection of life into me.

and while i don’t think it’s important or good or needed to reconnect with everyone in your life who has been in your life for a season, i do think it can be so helpful and encouraging and life-giving [especially if you shared a good time together]

i remember a certain camp a whole bunch of us used to go on with a whole bunch of people from a certain demonisation, um denomination, and there would be a bunch of okes who would get together and absolutely celebrate the past, reliving the highlights, telling funny stories, remembering close encounters and just completely adding life to each other and good times. then there were others who would get together and moan about all the bad times and the organisation they had been part of and how it had messed up their lives and how badly they’d been treated and so on and it was just so negative and soul-destroying in some senses…

two different groups of people getting together and telling stories, but just completely different experiences – one bringing back the good and reliving and celebrating, the other bringing back anger and bitterness and fueling fires that should have been long forgotten or allowed to burn out. and probably a bunch of us who were stuck somewhere in the middle but hopefully with the good stories and life-givingness outweighing the bad.

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
[E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web]

so i want to encourage you to think back and see if there is someone who used to be part of a good time in your life [maybe it was a youth group or a missions trip, maybe it was a grade at school or a class at varsity or a job you worked on together or a hundred other possibilities. if they’re nearby, call them up and invite them to go and grab a drink with you. if they’re further away why not set up a Skype call or plan a trip and chance to hang out? [Some Skype calls i have had in the last three years while being in Americaland with good mates and family back home have been such a much needed boost at times]

you can’t relive all of the past, and you shouldn’t. but it doesn’t hurt [and can sometimes help a lot] to organise a meal with a friend or a reunion of mates or to simply reconnect over the phone.

do it! 

and then come back here and tell me how it went…

‘For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.’ [ Judy Garland]

This is just the smallest glimpse of some of the moments of memory creation – my photo collection and patience is too small to come close to inserting literally hundreds of people who should be in here as people i share some of these memories with. thank you to all of you who have been a part of these and other memorables.

[To return to the beginning of this series on looking back to move forwards well, click here]

Excerpt from Erwin McManus ‘an unstoppable force’ (available from Loot – http://www.loot.co.za/refer.html?referrer=85894849355 – for R170)

Wow this last chapter of the EM book i’ve been reading resonated so hugely with my spirit i had to share (go and buy the book!):


On August 20, 1978, I walked to the altar at the first Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida and gave my life to Jesus Christ as my Lord. I remember standing there, looking up at Jim Henry, the pastor of the congregation, as he held his Bible and asked the question, “Do you confess Jesus as Lord, and will you obey His Word?”

I have to admit that, at that moment, I had virtually no idea what was inside the Bible other than what I had learned from Brother Jim’s preaching. It could have been a copy of ‘War and Peace.’ It could have been a leather-bound version of ‘Winnie-the-Pooh,’ but I figured if it was connected to Jesus and affirmed by this people I had come to trust, it was good enough for me. I was genuinely a blank slate to the whole process of what it meant to be a Christian. Soon I discovered that I had a terrible misconception of what I had done on that Sunday night.

After I left Orlando and returned to college, i ran head-on into a layered view of Christianity. I began learning that it was necessary to not only receive Jesus as your Saviour, but also to accept Him as your Lord. I learned this not only through osmosis, but also through listening carefully to Christian vernacular from people who claimed to be Christians, yet who somehow lived extraordinarily worldly lives. It was explained to me that these people had Jesus as Savious but not as Lord.

Another misconception I had was that every Christian was called to proclaim the Gospel. I remember coming home from college around Thanksgiving and sitting in a room with a bunch of guys. I pondered aloud about how amazing g it would be when all of us ended up all over the world, telling people about Jesus. Everyone else in the room proceeded to tell me that they did not feel called to “preach the Gospel.” They explained to me that required a “unique” calling.

So now I had discovered that there were at least three callings: a calling to be saved, a calling to Lordship, and a calling to ministry. Again, this concept was confirmed by simple observation. There were all kinds of Christians who were not involved in ministry. In fact, in most places only the pastor seemed to do ministry. Sometimes his wife would, but not always. Ministry was what pastors did in relationship to their congregations. If you were called to the ministry, then your focus was to care for and nurture the Christians in your congregation.

Later I discovered there was even a higher level of calling. At a missions conference the speaker began inviting people to give their lives to missions. I was somewhat confused since I was still a new Christian. I asked the person next to me what the invitation was specifically asking for. She said, “If you feel that God is calling you to missions, to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world, then you’re supposed to go forward.” I went forward again.

This was my third calling. I went forward for the purpose of salvation, I went forward to respond to a call to full-time ministry, and now I was going forward in response to a call to be a missionary. But this time I discovered that there were two levels of missionary calling. One was to be a home missionary and one was to be a foreign missionary.

So now I had discovered five levels of calling from God – a calling to be saved, a calling for Jesus to be Lord, a calling to ministry, a calling to home missions, and a calling to foreign missions. These five levels of calling don’t even take into consideration my conversation with someone from the Church of God of Prophesy in which I was told about my need to be sanctified. They don’t take into account my engagements in the charismatic community, where it was explained to me that I needed to receive a second baptism…

[to be continued]

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