Thursday, 28 June 2012

Ten thousand pageviews

Rejoice with me, the Single for Jesus blog is about to reach ten thousand pageviews.

Here's the snapshot of the pageview count at the time of writing this post:

Single for Jesus pageview count

And the real-time pageview count is at the bottom of the sidebar on the right.

It's edging up to ten thousand, and will probably be there by the end of the day.

That works out as about 400 views per month, 100 per week.

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog - I really appreciate it, and I hope it provides inspiration to all who call in. Many blessings to all.

Some astounding news

good-news-jesus-christ
Sack living for the old, normal, natural things. The comfortable things. The predictable.

Sack living a this-is-how-it's-always-been kind of life.

An everyone-else-does-it-so-it-must-be-the-way-to-go kind of life.

A norms-of-society-don't-rock-the-boat-live-a-decent-life-get-a-job-have-a-family-buy-a-house-with-a-nice-little-dog-two-cars-and-a-beautifully-paved-drive-all-nicely-placed-in-the-middle-of-the-road kind of life.

Sack that!

Living for Jesus is about the never-seen-before, not the always-been-there; it's a journey of discovery into what's on its way, what's coming in, what is destined to be.

It's about the new, not the old.

And the good news of the New Testament is exactly that - news! The news, or new things, as spoken by and lived out by Jesus. The news, or new things, as freshly passed on to his disciples. The news, or new things, as startlingly endowed with power by the Holy Spirit.

The strong, exciting, life-changing, brand spanking new things, fresh out of God's exceptional, inimitable, omnifangled heart.

And, in Christ, it's available to anyone and everyone.

Here's a short burst of the kind of news I'm talking about:

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New Birth 

(John 3:1-8)

New Birth in Jesus
Dead, buried and
risen with Christ

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 New Wine 

(Matthew 9:16-17)

New Wine in Jesus
Drinking of the Holy Spirit

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New Covenant

(Luke 22:17-20)

New Covenant in Jesus
God's promises made new;
life poured out

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New Creation

(2 Corinthians 5:14-17)

New Creation in Jesus
If anyone is in Christ,
the new creation has come!

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New Man

(Ephesians 2:14-16)

New Man in Jesus
A new kind of humanity
through the power of the cross

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New Earth

(2 Peter 3:11-13)

New Earth in Jesus
As if heaven wasn't enough,
there's a new earth on its way!

And, of course, we mustn't forget the new commandment either.

Ahhh, it's good to be in the news.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Drum solo without bass pedal

Nothing like revealing your past online. By video.

It's a little-known fact that I was a drummer in various bands throughout my teens.

Here's a snippet of one of them.

The band was called 31 Flavours and this video is a snippet from a pub gig somewhere in Essex.

My bass drum pedal breaks shortly before I'm supposed to do a drum solo, but I still manage to pull off a half decent solo, much to the amusement of the rest of the band. Great fun.

The year is 1993 - nineteen years ago and I've got the haircut to prove it.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

People are Beautiful

Some Beautiful White Stone Jesus People
People are beautiful.

I walked past a man in the street earlier on.

Looked at his beautiful face, adorned with wrinkles and crowned with wizened, grey hair.

As I crossed the road to the post box, I thought about how beautiful his story would be if I asked him.

How many billions of beautiful stories are there out there that I'll never know about?

Maybe I should have asked him about his life.

At the post box, I posted the birthday card I'd made for my beautiful dad. He's got a beautiful laugh and is a seasoned expert at telling stories, true or fabled. Beautiful.

On the way back from the post box, I popped into the shop and got a gift of Coke Zero for Anna, one of my beautiful housemates. I wanted to say thanks for all the hard work she puts in at home, in lots of different, beautiful ways.

You know sometimes you can look up at the sky and be wowed by its overwhelming beauty, and yet realise how long its been since you last looked up? It's a bit like that today. Nothing different about the day, really; guess I've just had a looking-up moment, realising again how beautiful people are. All the people around me; all the people everywhere.

I must keep looking up.

A middle-aged man with glasses just cycled past my window with a toddler on the back of his bike. Someone else just pulled out of their drive opposite. Someone just ran down the stairs behind me. Beautiful, beautiful people everywhere.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Jesus, the Great Celibate

I’ve been finding myself freshly struck.

By the fact that Jesus was a celibate, and about what that means for us.

To use just a few descriptive phrases from the New Testament ...

He is the King, the Master; he is the Christ, the Messiah. The author and concluder of our faith, the first and the last.

All things begin and end in him. He embodies perfectly all aspects of God's kingdom here on earth.

So if we want to know how best to live for God, we must look at how he lived and do the same.

But he was celibate. Why, then, aren't there many more Christians who choose the way of celibacy?

Even from the age of twelve, with a pure, honest heart he was devoted to 'his father’s business', focussed on doing God's will, putting that first above the needs of family. Clearly he loved his family but, even as a child, there was something he loved more. And in all that he said and did throughout his life, this remains the theme; and in this, the light of celibacy shines brightly. As God the Son, eternally joined in union with the Father and the Spirit, we can hardly expect him to be seeking a wife or raising his own children. He had a totally different agenda.

Where does this leave me? And where does it leave all those people who have chosen to live a life given over to Jesus and to God's kingdom? It leaves us utterly challenged. It leaves us with a mission to fulfil and choices to make about the things we don't have time for. It leaves us thinking seriously about the things, and the people, we love - and about whether we love God's kingdom more. It leaves us knowing that if we want to live a truly 'kingdom of God' lifestyle instead of just carrying the name of 'Christian', or even 'Celibate', then we have to be like him. We have to do the things that he does; think the things he thinks; love the things he loves.

Do we? Or do we love other things more?

Wife or husband? Children? Work? Money issues? Recreational pursuits? Pleasures? Worries? Cares? These are just some of the things we can end up loving more than God's kingdom.

Jesus was, and is, the Great Celibate. It’s all too easy for us as Christians (celibates included) to secretly excuse ourselves by thinking, "It was okay for him, he’s the Son of God, but I couldn't do that." But surely, if the Holy Spirit has been poured out, if the very heart of Jesus Christ, the Great Celibate, has been made available to all, if we're really, truly followers of Christ, then we have to raise the bar, don't we?

Don't we?