Wednesday, 22 June 2016

One of us

I am going through a "what if?" phase and whilst providing hypothetical answers to my seeming  endless scenarios, the lyrics to a song called "One of us?" by Joan Osborne popped into my mind. It is a song about we would behave if we knew who God was and whether seeing him would make a difference to our beliefs. I particularly like the chorus:

"What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us?
Just a stranger on a bus, trying to make his way home?"

We believe that God sent Jesus to live among us but after his death our belief in Him that sustains us even though we can't see Him. But what if we that isn't the end of the story? What if God decided to come to earth for himself and chose to live quietly among us?  What if God is the train driver who took you to work or college this morning? What if He is the waitress at the restaurant you were rude to because your meal didn't arrive quickly enough? Or perhaps the man the selling the Big Issue in town? He could be anybody at all whom you come into contact with during your daily life, and you would never know.

The big question is whether you would treat that person any differently if you thought that they were actually God. The answer to that should of course be no, because you should treat everybody with the respect with which you would God, but we all know that not many of us actually do that. We're rushing about from one moment to the next, filling our minds with information that we must not forget and out minutes with jobs that must be done. We don't always have time to think that every other person we might meet because we just have too much to do.

Normally at Lent I give something up but this year I tried to do something positive everyday and whilst I had a few lapses, on the whole I didn't do too badly and it was good for me to remember to do it and the reason why. Now that Lent has ended for this year, it would been easy to let these good intentions slip-much as New Year's resolutions fade-but because it didn't involve up giving coffee, I'm inclined to try and keep it up and perhaps even add a new intention; to try to treat others with the respect that I would I offer to God if He was really standing in front of me. It sounds easy enough as I'm polite person, but I know that it goes beyond good manners and at times it won't be easy at all. But worth a try!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Surpsirinsg what you find lurking around

This isn't going to me a normal blog post about what I got up to. House moving is stressful on top of the other things that has happened in the mix. More on Monthly musings: June. You just have to wait. But in the meantime, you can read this post.

So my bedroom is tidy but got a lot of useless stuff things I don't use and just take a lot of space. Though one type of object I got a lot of but it won't go anyway soon and this snow globes. I stumbled over a folder which was a bit intriguing to what I put in that folder. I spent a  bit of time looking through it and found it was all my documents that I did for a youth group I tried to organized at my local church though not a lot of people attend though it did made me grow in my Christian life.

I found some really good sermons stuff which I would like to share with you.

St Georges day

On 23rd April,  a lot of people celebrate St Georges day. Though I never understood why and who is exactly St George? There is a lot written about St George, some of it is fact but some is fiction.

Let's start with what is believed to be facts.

George was an excellent soldier and was chosen to protect the Emperor, Diocletian.

Emperor Diocletian was not a Christian, in fact he hated Christians! He order that any Christians within the Roman army should be killed!

George disagreed with the emperor and told him that he was himself, a Christian. The emperor didn't want to lose one of his best soldiers and tried to convince George to stop being a Christian. He even offered him land and money!

Time and time again, George refused the emperor's offers, saying that his Christian faith was too important to him. Eventually Diocletian lost patience and had George beheaded on 23rd April 303.

Christians were so proud of George's bravery that he made a saint. They built churches in his honour and George's story was used to demonstrate the power of faith and to convince others to become Christians.

So those were the facts. Now for the fiction.

Long ago in Turkey lived a solider called George.

He sailed across the sea to a land called Libya.

When he got there a man told him that his village was being terrorised by a dragon. Each day they had to feed a maiden to the dragon, and now only the king's daughter was left.

He threw his spear at the dragon, but it hit his tough scales and broke in two.

The dragon was furious and knocked George onto the ground!

George tried to stab the dragon with his sword but again, the scales were tough.

George escaped and ran behind a tree. The dragon took another breath to breathe out fire, George stuck his sword between his ribs. The dragon was dead!

The village was saved! George married the princess and they lived happily ever after.

As exciting as this story is, it is only a legend. Dragons were often used in stories to represent evil. So this story could represent George's battle with Emperor Diocletian.

The prodigal son

There once was a man with two sons. The younger son said Give me my share of my inheritance." The father gave him his property and all that would belong to him.  
       The son then went to a distant country and spent all he had on worthless things. When his money was home, he got a job feeding pigs. Even though he was hungry, no one gave him anything to eat.  
        The young man came to his senses "What? Am I crazy? My father has enough food for everyone and here I am about to die of hunger."
        The boy returned home and asked his father to forgive him. The father was full of mercy. He forgave his son and welcomed him with a hug. Then he celebrated with a big party because his son was home again. (Luke 15:11-32) 

Jesus tells the story of a man who has two sons. The younger son asks his father to give him his portion of the family estate as an early inheritance. Once received, the son promptly sets off on a long journey to a distant land and begins to waste his fortune on the wild living. When the money runs out, a severe famine hits the country and the son find himself in dire circumstances. He takes a job feeding pigs. He is so destitute that he even longs to eat the food assigned to pigs.

The young man finally comes to his senses, remembering his father. In humility, he recognise his foolishness, decides to return to his father and ask for forgiveness and mercy. The father who had been watching and waiting, receives his son back with open arms of compassion. He is overjoyed by the return of his lost son! Immediately the father turns to his servants and ask them to prepare a giant feast in celebration.

Meanwhile, the older son is not one  bit happy when he comes in from working the fields and discovers a party going on to celebrate his younger brother's return. The father tries to dissuade the older brother from his jealous rage explaining. "You are always with me, and everything."

God's love

For God so loved the world he gave his one and only son, the whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

One of my favourite Bible verse begins, "For God so loved the world." I was thinking about the verse and wondering-just how great is God's love and how could we measure it? I though several things that we often use in measuring other things. I thought they might help us measure God's love.

Sometimes we use a measuring cup to measure things. If I were making some cookies, I would use a measuring cup to make sure I put in exactly the right amount of flour, sugar and milk. I wonder if we might use a measuring cup to measure God's love. The bible says, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not cup runneth over." (Psalm 23:1-5). Well, if our cup runs over with God's love, I don't guess we could use a measuring cup to measure it.

If I were building something, we might use a tape measure to measure the length, width and height of different things. I wonder if might use a tape measure to measure God's love? The bible tells us, that "God's love is higher than the heavens." (Psalm 108:4) If God's love I higher than the heavens, I don't think we could use a tape measure to measure it, could we?

We use a watch to measure time. There will probably be some people reading this you used a watch to measure how long the Pastor's sermon last on Sunday. I wonder if we could use a watch to measure how long God's love will last. The bible tell us that "God love is from everlasting to everlasting." (Psalm 103:17) Wow! If God's love from everlasting to everlasting, I don't guess we could measure it with  a watch.

"For God so loved the world he gave his one and only son, the whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." How do you measure a love like that? We can't measure it-we don't need to-but we do need to experience it.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Another little corner of mine

Hello friends and family!

It's surprsing what I get up to when I am up to ears of my assignments. I still manage to blog and takep pictures oh and set up a new blog on another form of blogging. Well since my friends and family are all over the place and my phone is up to capacity for strorage it's even saying 'OH NO, not anoher photo' well ok that was exaggerated. Can phones actually talk to you? You know to remind you what you have to do. That would be cool even I say so myself. 

Amd you propbably remenber me keep saying, 'one day, I will set up Flickr' Yeah that did happen but I jsut couldn't get my head around it and I like to write about my pictures. Plus since I am doing my next three years on Photography I might esle well do another blog that is delegated just for photogrpahy. Makes sense really!!

So here is the website. Yes really Rebecca Elsdon (me) does photogprahy.