September 26, 2011


Sometimes we gain greater understanding by looking at events outside of our usual thinking or calendar.
This week provides a great opportunity to do that.
For some time I have found a verse in Ezra really highlighted and so will share the findings for anyone who would like to ponder it further.
Ezra 3:6 (and you will need to read the surrounding chapters to get the full context of this) "On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lord's temple had not yet been laid."
The people of Israel were doing what they could, with what they had, where they were, in that moment in time.  We can do exactly the same - too often we are held back by some idea that we can't move until everything is perfect and in place - this means that much actually never comes to pass!
In terms of the Hebrew calendar, the first day of the seventh month (1 Tishri) is the first day of a new sacred year.  This takes place on Thursday 29 September 2011.  It is marked by the blowing of the ram's horn and known as the Feast of Trumpets.  This is a call to prepare for the Day of Atonement which comes 10 days later - a solemn period of cleansing and preparation.  Five days after Yom Kippur begins the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth) - a time of remembrance of the tent dwelling during the Exodus, and a celebration of the fruit harvest.
These were feasts ordained by God to bring His people together before Him in repentance, remembrance, and rejoicing.
As many of us find ourselves in a time of change, it is good to remember that there are patterns and experiences set out for us in God's Word. 
Perhaps the most useful thing we can remember in this season is that God's endings are also new beginnings.  He closes off the old to bring us into the new.  He Himself is the 'first and last, the beginning and the end' and the 'finisher of our faith'. 
He has shown us a process He works through with all of us that will be like a lamp to our path to show us the way through this current time.

September 12, 2011


It seems so long since I have written anything here!  This is mostly because of the tremendous pressure of change.  Right now there is a feeling of being tossed around in pounding waves - at the same time I sit with the deep peace of God in my heart and know that all is well with Him.

Many years ago now, I stood at the tip of the North Island, New Zealand, and looked at the collision of two great oceans meeting. 
There was foam and flotsam that marked the meeting point, and I remember the Lord speaking clearly to me and saying "When you are at a point of change, stay in the boat, don't get out and try to swim".

If I am sure of anything right now, it is that I am not alone in this place.  Many find themselves caught up in the process of change.  So, stay safely in the place you know in the Lord, hold to Him and He will hold on to you, and you WILL make it safely to the other side.

Right now we have the Rugby World Cup games taking place in this country.  Last night I watched Wales and South Africa play a tremendous game, both sides showing great strength, and there were many collisions in the game, but only one winner. 

There will be many collisions for us at the point of change, many decisions to be made, and we know above all else that God alone rules and reigns, we have chosen to align ourselves with the winning side!

Today I have read Hosea chapter 6 again:

"Come let us return to the Lord, He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.  After two days He will revive us, on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in His presence.  Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him.  As surely as the sun rises He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

We have a great promise and a certainty that is the boat that carries us through the tumult of change and safely into the calm waters on the other side - changed by the process, but ready to embrace all He will now bring our way.