Sunday, October 17, 2010

Plane Conversation

Flying from Perth to Jo’burg I found myself sitting next to a young South African graduate who had been at a conference in Canberra. After some lengthy discussion around the World Cup and the future of soccer in Africa we moved on to talk of other things. He was interested to hear about the conference I was going to and how Christians were responding to the big issues. In particular our response to climate change, trade policy, poverty and aids and how we related to people of other faiths. He described himself as believing in God and he was absolutely clear that spirituality was key in people respecting and understanding humanity. His view was that the way that a scientific worldview has been embraced in the west has diminished those cultures value of humanity. He was reading a couple of books on poverty and was an impressive guy looking at a career in public service. Two things were plain from this plane conversation.

The first was that he would not take anything seriously, which did not have an authentic passion for the world and a concern for people at its heart. I want to say that I believe that the Bible is clear that loving God and loving our neighbour go hand in hand and that right theology leads to compassionate engagement but I realise that I know many Christians for whom this is simply not the case.

The second was that although he regarded himself as being spiritual he did not want to be aligned with any particular faith position. This was largely driven by a desire to avoid guilt by association. It was not interested in engaging with the truth claims of the relative options because he did not want to have to accept the moral guilt and hypocrisy of all religious traditions. He was happy to go to a church if he wanted to but would be very uncomfortable being labelled as a Christian. "I have had some discussions with Christians but they tend not to listen. Their religion closes their minds and their hearts"
Sitting beside this bright young man who had considered and dismissed any value in Christian faith I realised that he had never explored or encountered Jesus.

“What is the purpose of this Congress on World Evangelisation?” he asked near the end of our conversation. I guess it is that we might be better representatives of Christ on earth so that people like you will see something in our lives which draws you in to want to explore more about Jesus for themselves.

I am left wondering about the things I value and the way we live our lives.

Monday, August 09, 2010


E100 started life in the US as a book of 100 Essential Bible Readings. 50 are from the Old Testament and 50 from the New. The aim was to help people see something of God's Big Story and their part in it. It is not an easy task to select 100 readings and I guess some might disagree with the readings selected but in NZ it has been picked up in a joint venture with Wycliffe, Scripture Union and the Bible Society and it has got people reading the Bible for themselves - which is great.

Over 330 churches and 24,000 individuals have signed up to take the E100 challenge. They have also worked with radio Rhema to produce a short radio slot for each reading to be broadcast over 100 days. 20 "well known Christians" were asked to do 5 each. The list included Dick Hubbard – businessman and former Mayor of Auckland, Petra Bagust – television and radio broadcaster, Judge Andrew Becroft – Principal Youth Court Judge, Mary Perkins – World champion FMX rider, Julia Grace musician, Ross Robertson – Labour Member of Parliament and Chester Borrows – National Member of Parliament. I was asked to do the 5 on Paul's letters to the churches. Which meant one each on Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philipians and Colossians.

They have set up a blog for E100 in NZ and it is also possible to listen to the recordings on the Rhema site.
On the Rhema site I am described as "Spokesman, Author, Director of Pacific Partnership Trust and Mission Scotland" which was a description they came up with themselves and is quite entertaining given that today the guy doing the introduction had several goes at rearranging Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship and adding some of his own variations as well.

It has been a real privilege to be involved in this and to be being broadcast 5 times a day this week. It has also been a reminder that i do quite enjoy creative media stuff. I had lunch with Andrew Becroft today and he was suggesting it might be essential. You can also listen to his broadcasts on Judges on the same site.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Probably! Really?

Atheism is in the news. As I write there is controversy in the New Zealand media over the decision not to run atheistic adverts on buses in Auckland. By the time you read this, Richard Dawkins will have spoken to sell out audiences in New Zealand and will be doing the same in Australia. Many universities have atheist societies. At the Wellington Sevens last year a whole row behind us were wearing Victoria University t-shirts with the new atheist symbol proudly printed on the front. Why is this happening, does it matter and how should we respond?

This new wave of atheism has been promoted by an unlikely alliance of academics and comedians. It finds voice in the lecture and the open mic. In books, movies, and on television there is a worldview being articulated that says clearly and persuasively that there is no God.

On The Buses

The bus campaign is an interesting example. In June 2008 Araine Sherine, a British comedian, wrote an article in The Guardian complaining about the adverts from which linked to a website that spoke about God’s judgement and the reality of hell. Sherine raised the idea of non-Christians giving £5 to pay for a ‘positive philosophical advert’. The initial response was slow but a follow-up piece in August drew support from the British Humanist Association, and Richard Dawkins offered to match-fund half the £5000 needed for the first campaign. The official launch of the campaign in October 2008 exceeded all expectations with £48,000 given in the first day. To date, over £150,000 has been given in the UK and the idea has spread around the world. The New Zealand fundraising campaign was launched in December 2009 by the Humanist Society of New Zealand and had doubled its original target of $10,000 within a couple of weeks. This being sufficient to fund 12 buses in Auckland, 8 in Wellington and 4 in Christchurch for 4 weeks.

The slogan on the original campaign, which has been widely copied around the world is, ‘There’s probably no God. So stop worrying and enjoy yourself’. The word ‘probably’ has not been without controversy with some hardliners feeling that ‘there almost certainly isn’t’ or ‘definitely isn’t’ would be less of an accommodation. That aside, the slogan is interesting in that it does say a great deal about the view of God and religion that the campaign seeks to counter.

The kind of God being dismissed is a God who in some way is against us enjoying ourselves. Religion is a source of repression and anxiety. The message is clear: atheism will set you free.

In the USA, a number of other slogans have been used in campaigns. Washington DC ran with: ‘Why believe in God? You can be good for goodness sake’ which counters concerns that Christians believe they have a monopoly on morality. New York in a similar vein chose: ‘You can be good without God’. Seattle went with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: ‘Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear’.
The bus adverts have been a global phenomenon. Many atheists feel that they have been given a vehicle to express their beliefs and have been able to participate in something that promotes their opinions.

The Four Horseman

The bus campaign is just the tip of the iceberg of the new atheism. The key ideas have been shaped and championed by four successful authors. These self-styled ‘four horsemen’ have between them sold over 3 million books and have increasingly dominated the shaping of the conversation in Europe and North America over the past twenty years. Richard Dawkins is a scientist who made his name as a geneticist with his first book The Selfish Gene. He went on to be Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He argued against Natural Theology and an argument from design in his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, and subsequently authored The God Delusion in 2006, which has been translated into over 30 languages and has sold 1.5 million copies worldwide.

Christopher Hitchins is an author and public speaker who is English by birth but has become an American citizen. Daniel Dennet is an American professor and philosopher. Sam Harris is the youngest and most articulate of the ‘horsemen’. His best selling books The End of Faith in 2004 and Letter to a Christian Nation in 2006 combining political commentary with atheist and rationalist ideology have had a significant impact in the US.

The common threads of the new atheism are the assertion that God does not exist, the dismissal of religion as nothing more than an illusion or delusion, the assertion that morality and good living does not depend on referencing behaviour to any theological text or deity and that non-religious people can and do, live good, and even better lives than religious people.
High on the agenda is the intention to move people away from faith. In the roundtable discussion between the four, Christopher Hitchins comments on this explicitly.

‘I think it may be easier than we’re supposing to shake peoples’ faith. There’s been a moratorium on this for a long time. We’re just the beginning of a new wave of explicit attempts to shake peoples’ faith. And it’s bearing fruit, and the obstacles it seems to me are not that we don’t have the facts or the arguments, it’s these strategic reasons for not professing it, not admitting it. Not admitting it to yourself, not admitting it in public because your family is going to view it as a betrayal, you’re just embarrassed to admit that you were taken in by this for so long. It takes, I think, tremendous courage to just declare that you’ve given that all up and if we can find ways to help people find that courage, and give them some examples of people who have done this and they’re doing just fine, they may have lost the affections of a parent or something like that, they may have hurt some family members, but still I think it’s a good thing to encourage and I don’t think we should assume that we can’t do this. I think we can.’

The influence of the four through published material, lecture and debate is significant but it is the Internet that has accelerated the spread of their ideas and helped build a sense of solidarity or community around a shared worldview. To many, these men are heroes. Regardless of our opinion of them, they are thinkers whom we should be familiar with first hand. They all have websites where their material is readily available at no cost.

The Coming Out of the Comedians

The kind of high-level thinking that characterise the ‘horsemen’ has some popular appeal, but the new atheism has another group of proponents who are not just popular but populist.

An increasing number of comedians and celebrities have been coming out as atheists. I have been reading, There is probably no God – The Atheists Guide to Christmas. It is a collection of largely humorous observations on Christmas and life. Each of the contributors is an atheist. They include Richard Dawkins, Derren Brown, Lucy Porter, David Baddiel and Ed Byrne. Atheism has become fashionable.

Eddie Izzard is typical of the new wave of celebrity atheist. He talks about the hypocrisy of religion and the problem of suffering in his shows, and in interviews he has been upfront about his views: ‘Kids brought up in the Catholic Church have to really fight to separate their own minds from an indoctrinated idea. And yeah – I don’t believe in an organised God. He doesn’t seem to be organised at all.’ The main argument is that if there is a God, he should have intervened in the Second World War. Or got rid of the dinosaurs quicker. And if there is intelligent design, why do we have appendixes?’

A recent movie The Invention of Lying saw Ricky Gervais playing a character living in a world where everyone speaks the truth. Unable to cope with his mother’s fear of dying he invents a story to make her happy. This initial description of a great place, with the people you love, where everyone gets a mansion, soon grows into a more elaborate invention. In this place everything is under the control of ‘the Man in the Sky’. Gervais becomes the prophet of the man in the sky, even having his image on a stained glass window in a ‘church’. His ‘religion’ is a big lie. His answers to life’s big questions are bogus. The parable is not difficult for people to apply.

Philip Pullman is a children’s author who is on record as regarding himself as the atheist version of C.S. Lewis for a new generation. The world of The Golden Compass is intentionally seeking to undermine young people’s faith in God and to help them trust in themselves and in science.

This new wave of atheistic ideology in the arts and media is having an influence on those inside and outside the church. Whether we are interested in this kind of thing or not, it is impacting us all. We need a response which is pastoral in helping nurture faith and which is missional in engaging evangelistically with culture.

A short history of inadequate responses

Some Christians have responded with indifference. What does it matter if people are atheists and if their teaching is promoted? I was talking to a student recently who said, ‘Me and my friends are not remotely interested in all that atheism kind of stuff, it is not where we are at’. Maybe so, but it is shaping the landscape that they live in. Debates around the environment, equality, poverty and euthanasia all revolve around what our understanding is of human nature. The Bible teaches that human beings are unique in being made in the image of God, that we have a responsibility for the environment to its creator, that God is the giver and sustainer of life, that Jesus’ death and resurrection is the pivot of human history and that there is accountability for how we live now which has implications for our future. It is not an option to absent ourselves from the interface of the whole gospel applying to the whole of life. One of the key issues here is that our comment or contribution should not be dismissed as ‘being religious’ as if that somehow invalidates the ideas which we bring to the table. God is not an opinion.

Some Christians respond by developing an entirely alternative worldview. I chatted with a church leader in the US in January who told me ‘all science is the work of the devil’. He believed that to be a scientist you had to be an atheist. I asked if there were any students in his church studying science or any academics working in the university. He confided that there were some and that while he did not believe in what they were doing it at least gave them the opportunity to tell other scientists about Jesus. This compartmentalisation of life and the building of a parallel universe do little to acknowledge Jesus as Lord over all creation or God bringing all things together under Him. We need to be engaging on the cutting edge of science and technology, listening, conversing, challenging and participating. I did raise an eyebrow when the minister produced an iPhone from his pocket but my comment ‘why should the devil have all the best toys?’ was lost on him.

Other Christians respond with personal criticism. The level of personal attack on Dawkins and others has been extreme. The most common charge is of arrogance, but they have also been accused and labelled as evil, uncaring, smug, self-satisfied and self-serving. We need to make sure that we do not undermine the heart of the gospel in attempting to defend its core. The Bible says, ‘The fool says in his heart there is no God’. Foolishness is one of the worst things God can say about somebody. God does not mince words when it comes to those who distort and corrupt the truth but much of that anger is directed against false teachers within the church. Even if there are hard things that need to be said, Jesus calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Paul dialoguing with the philosophers of his day on the Areopagus in Athens does not start by flinging mud and calling names, he engages with them, respects their beliefs and introduces Jesus into the conversation. One of the errors in relating to atheists is for Christians to insist that atheism is a religion. We argue that it requires more faith to disbelieve in God, that they have their own sacred texts and high priests and that rational humanism goes beyond science into the area of beliefs covered by religion. Atheists are very clear that atheism is not a religion. For Christians to insist that it is does not help the conversation or respect their views.

So how then do we respond?

The way that Jesus deals with Thomas and his questions after the resurrection is very interesting. Jesus lets him close, speaks to him, engages with his doubts, invites him to make a hands-on inspection. The faith that is asked for is not a leap in the dark; it is a step in the light. Thomas’s acknowledgment ‘My Lord and my God’ comes as he uses his mind and his senses and discovers the truth for himself.

Jesus makes it clear that not everyone in the future will see things as conclusively as Thomas, but faith will be required. We can never be absolutely certain of everything, but God meets us in our uncertainty and as we trust in Him our faith grows as the father of the possessed boy in Mark 9:24 exclaimed ‘I believe, help me overcome my unbelief’. Faith is not a supernatural experience for a certain kind of person. It is a daily event for everyone following through on as much as you know with all that you have. The faith question is who do we trust, what do we have faith in, who do we believe and why?

Evidence for God’s existence and clues as to his nature are to be seen in the world around us, in the phenomena of religion and spiritual hunger, in our conscience and our humanity.

The God of the Bible is not an absentee landlord who got things going and then left. God is imminent in creation; it is his power that sustains it. The God of the Bible is not indifferent to human death and suffering; he sent his son Jesus to die in an act of redemption. The foolishness of the cross will not be any more popular in this era in history than it was in previous times. It is not the job of the Christian to modify Christ to make the gospel more acceptable to culture, rather to communicate the good news with boldness and confidence.

One of the key challenges that we face is to shape the debate more constructively by not surrendering the framework of the debate to the atheists. Truth is not, fundamentally, an abstract concept, it’s personal. Being clear that the truth is found in Jesus and it is Him that brings life, forgiveness, freedom and community is at the heart of our work with students on campus.

We also need to apologise. Some of the things that have been done in the name of Christ in history and in society have done nothing to advance his kingdom. We need to beware of trying to corner political power as a minority. The tagline of the National Secular Society in the UK is ‘challenging religious privilege’.

We need to be equipping Christians to engage with the big issues of our times. Apologetics is not a special subject for a few crack teams. We may not be debating with Richard Dawkins but we need to be able to engage with our friend who has read The Greatest Show on Earth or chat over coffee after the movies. We all need to be able to give an account of the hope that we have with gentleness and respect.

TSCF also sees the academic world as being a key place where ideas are debated and refined before finding their way into the mainstream of culture. We are working to give greater support to Christian academics and postgraduate students. We want to see more students feeling called into education at every level and are working to make quality books and speakers available in New Zealand, which will be a help and an encouragement. We want to see people equipped to think through schools and universities and trained to think Christianly through churches and Christian unions. Thinking is important. Deep thought is not just one of our aims - it is one of our passions. We need to be debating and discussing these ideas in public. If we focus on shoring up the beliefs of the faithful in private then we surrender the public ground to those who talk the loudest and do not help Christians to engage with integrity.

Richard Dawkins’ website describes itself as ‘a clear thinking oasis’
We are committed to clear thinking. We are renewed through the transforming of our minds. God, who made our minds, works through our minds to renew us and recreate us in his image.

Some of the thinking of the new atheism may actually help get us away from sloppy thinking and defective theology. I think as Christians we should be the most enthusiastic people in the world about ideas. I believe that God is real and powerful, I believe the resurrection is the key event in human history with profound implications for every single person on the planet, I believe God loves all people including Richard, Christopher, Sam, Dan, Eddie, Ricky and Araine.

And for the record I am entirely happy to see a bus in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch or anywhere else with the line ‘There’s probably no God. So stop worrying and enjoy yourself’. I do not believe for a moment that it is true but I would be more than happy to talk about it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Worrying About Money

This picture was taken on the last Sunday we were at Davidson's Mains, our home church in Edinburgh, before we left for New Zealand at the end of 2005. It is amazing how much the boys have changed over that time. The tree in the background to the left of the church is one of my favourite trees. It reminds me that God does not change through the seasons of the year or the seasons of life.

Recently I had a Sunday back at Davidson’s Mains. It is always refreshing to be there but this particular Sunday was especially relevant. It started with Anne was sharing some of the vision of the church for supporting mission and told a story about someone being generous so that “you don’t have to worry about money”. This was interesting to me because it struck me at that point that I was sitting there worrying about money.

We have been tremendously blessed to see many people partner with our work in New Zealand and the Pacific. The Pacific Partnership Trust has £ in pledged monthly income. TSCF in New Zealand has seen its income grow from $375,000 in 2004 to $1,400,000 in 2009. We have been able to meet our commitments for the last four years. But many of the staff funds in New Zealand are tracking below target, funds from the UK have been adversely affected by the weakness of the pound and the global economic downturn has had an impact.

I have been having hard conversations with a number of staff in New Zealand about reducing hours or salary. Our own support is a few hundred short of target for the first time in 4 years. It is a privilege to live by faith but it is hard when the numbers don’t add up. It is when things are tough that you realize how easy it is to put trust in money rather than in God. There is a tremendous amount of security in money and that security really needs to be rooted in God rather than in the idea that is encapsulated in the poster below.

This was where Jerry’s sermon on the day from Zechariah 8 proved to be particularly pertinent to a number of issues we are facing at the present time.
The ten points below are his but some of the additional comments are mine as they relate to our context.

1. The Lord loves you. v 2

We know this in theory but it is easy to lose sight of it in practice. God is with us and for us and works for our good through all circumstances. God does not desert or disappoint. A spiral of discontent or anxiety often starts with questioning, rejecting or doubting God’s love. This is not an abstract concept it is real and relevant and true.

2. The Lord has a big future for you. v3

The people are encouraged to consider the “citadel of truth” and the “mountain of holiness” that is to be. We often drop our horizons to seeing our immediate felt needs being met. God is doing much more. He has caught us up into his eternal plans and purposes. Sometimes we can be tempted to think that plan A is marriage, children, successful career, thriving ministry, prosperity and comfort and that plan B (God’s plan) is the consolation prize for those who don’t win plan A. The future belongs to God and he is preparing his people for that future and working through us to build that future. Some of the building blocks of that may well be marriage, children, careers, effective ministry and possessions but these are means to an end not ends in themselves. We need to give up our small ambitions and embrace the bigger hope and call of the gospel.

3. The Lord is restoring community. v4-5

This is a great picture of different generations dwelling together. Young people play in safety while the elderly look on. This intergenerational vision in the streets of the city is a beautiful picture. Fracture in relationships is one of the results of the fall. Someone said to me recently that breaking apart good relationships is a key strategy of the evil one and that restoring and building relationships of quality and depth is central to the work of God. One of the challenges when facing difficulty is not to turn on each other and to compound the problem through faction, divisions and a culture of blame. Singing together in safety affirms and expresses the fellowship God has with us and desires us to share with each other. Seeing some harmony restored in community in a number of different contexts with students, graduates and staff has been one of the big encouragements of the last four years but it is a fragile thing. Of the increase of his shalom there will be no end. Even in our selfishness and weakness we are called to participate in this.

4. With The Lord nothing is impossible. v6

Hudson Taylor said “ I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God; first it is Impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.” God does things that confound human wisdom and exceed human capacity. The more obstacles we face the more opportunities there are for us to see God overcome them. Nothing takes God by surprise and there is nothing that God cannot do. What is tough about this is keeping in step with what God is doing. If we wait till everything is in place that we think we need before we move we lag behind God, if we jump in foolhardiness rather than faith we can find ourselves attempting the impossible alone. God can do more than we hope for or even imagine. The impossible is his speciality and we have seen it happen time and time again. I remember speaking to the TSCF board in 2005 and talking about the need to get to $1,000,000 of income and to see the staff team double just to get to the baseline that we aspired to be doing. Both seemed impossible. When I first spoke at Davidson’s Mains about our support needs in 2005 I seemed impossible that God could provide, yet through the generosity of many 4 years later we are still going.

5. The Lord saves. v 7-8

This is the business that God is in. His work of redemption is at the heart of the biblical story. He does what we cannot do. He makes a people for himself and gathers them to him. He promises to be their God. This community is gathered
from the peoples of the east and the west, it is international and multi cultural. This past year we have seen 40 or so students coming to faith in New Zealand. Many have been looking at the bible with Christian friends for 18 months to 3 years. Some have been Kiwis, some from other lands. God has saved them. There is rejoicing in heaven for each one. We are encouraged by this, but we know we are just scratching the surface. We long to see many more rescued by the grace of God.

6. Your labour in the lord is never in vain. v 9-13

When things are tough or progress is slower than I would like I sometimes wonder “what is the point of this?” These verses have an architectural idea and an agricultural one. The point in both is that God finishes what he starts and that he calls us to participate in what he is doing. So “the point” is God’s work, in God’s time for God’s glory. Paul finishes 1 Corinthians 15 with the words “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” This is because their work is rooted in the truth of the resurrection and the certain promise of Christ’s return. It is remarkably easy to lose sight of this and to be tempted to give up. In a success orientated culture that values quick fixes and expects happiness and self gratification it is a radical call to faithfulness, service and perseverance. We work to equip students and graduates for the long haul.

7. The Lord loves doing good. v 14-17

After a time of judgement God speaks of his determination to do good. The people are called not to be afraid but rather are to determine to do good as God does. Sometimes the term “do gooder” is used as an insult, implying interference or judgementalism. What is spoken of here is participating in what God is doing by doing good and speaking truth. God delights in this and hates falsehood and lies. Jesus once asked why he was being called good because no one is good apart from God. Goodness is a key facet of God's character. As many of my friends in other countries love to say: "God is good - all the time!" God loves doing good and loves us to be like him. We are to practice our good deeds before others so that they see our father in heaven. Doing good points people to the One who is good and we can only do good because of him.

8. The Lord will turn your sorrow into joy. v18-19

The fasts of the past will become the festivals of the future. This word of God to his people at that point in history reflects the bigger arch of God’s purpose through history. There will a new heaven and a new earth, there will be no more death or sorrow. There are seasons of suffering, heart ache and loss but these do not last forever. God works out his purposes. He blesses his people so that they see his goodness in the land of the living. Ultimately there will be vindication and celebration for eternity. Love truth and peace in the meantime and to remember through tears sometimes that there is a party coming.

9. The Lord has released a flow of grace v20-22

God is doing a new thing and the word of that is getting out. People will come from different cities and seek the Lord. The new thing that God is doing flows out to those who do not know him and draws them into his kingdom. I believe that the grace of God is in every situation that we encounter and that our challenge is to see it and participate in it. We don’t want to keep on doing the same old things, we want to join in with what God is doing. To long for his grace to be released so that people throughout these islands and beyond seek him, his salvation and his will. We work to see a new generation of influence raised up who will be leaders in every aspect of life and work and who will be conduits of that grace to others. I believe that the Catalyst Graduate work is a new thing of great significance that God is doing in this generation. I see signs of similar awakenings in Papua New Guinea and Fiji. New things involve risk. They involve stepping out in faith and trusting in God’s gracious provision. God’s work done in his way will never lack his supplies.

10. The Lord brings healing to the nations. v 23

God’s words “In these days ten men from all languages and nations will take hold of the hem of one Jew” looks forward to Jesus. Jesus will bring all things together through his death, resurrection and return. Right now we have a new term starting on campuses throughout the Southern Hemisphere and the South Pacific in particular. In New Zealand we meet people coming from all over the world. We know that Jesus is the hope of the nations. It is our privilege to be involved in developing leaders around the Pacific, we are starting to explore how North America can partner in that and we continue to invest in Ecuador, India, Bangladesh and many parts of South East Asia, as well as the nations of the South Pacific. With issues of poverty, injustice, inequality, the environment, terror, disease and war constantly before us we look forward to that tree in Revelation whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. We work to see people from every tribe and nation there to join in that great day and to build his kingdom here until he comes.

So as I still sit worrying about money, or rather concerned for the lack of it. The challenge to me is to look to God. The God who provides and who is faithful.

Or as the caption to this picture goes: “Don’t let the fence take your eyes off the view.”

I am thankful to be part of communities of God's people where God's word is opened. I am grateful for all who partner with us in this adventure of faith in different ways. An old missionary once said "Prepare for the worst, expect the best, and take what comes." Which sounds slightly fatalistic but I guess is intended as an expression of faith. The reality of living by faith is often more challenging than the idea. We move on in faith together. Or as God says...