There are often discussions about the roles of men and women in the church in the light of what scripture says (or does not say). Here are my thoughts on the subject in a talk called “The key to marriage”.
This last year has been tough and as the year draws to a close the natural process of reviewing has begun.
What am I grateful for? What do I want to change? I usually make a few resolutions, simple ones each year. Most of the time they are around health, relationship with God and people.
This year I think one simple one will do.
The year was tough, but we are all here and mostly sane, so I am very thankful. But the struggles have shown themselves on my waistline. When things have got difficult I have sort comfort and become comfortable. But it it not just my gut, it’s my thinking, praying, relating and leading that have all become a little weighed down with comfort.
So I resolve in 2014 to leave comfort behind and go for growth.
Once upon a time there was a man who lived in a house on the cliff top in Torquay. Everyone new that one day the house would fall down the cliff but it hadn’t happen yet so the man felt safe and did nothing except fill the house with life’s little luxuries. The views were wonderful and life was good.
Every so often a storm would come and a little of the cliff beneath the house would crumble away. But the house never fell into the sea. So the man did nothing except invite his friends to come and live in the house with him and enjoy the amazing views.
Then one day a big storm came (as happens about every 20-30 years) and the cliffs became sodden and soft. The people in the surrounding area became afraid and so they all sort shelter in the house. Even thought the winds blew they became a wonderful community.Then in the middle of the night the red cliff just crumbed and fell into the sea. Trees gone, garden gone, patio gone and the house? Well it began to crumble and the walls at one end fell into the sea. The house still stood but it was only a matter of time. The solid ground had gone but the house still stood, well just, so the man did nothing. Except now he had many guests. So he continued to equip the house and cook for everyone, he cut back a little but mostly he just carried on as normal, living in the house on the edge of the cliff that was falling into the sea.
One day the man got bad news, his money had dried up and so he had to make cut backs. He could have asked the people who where living with him what they should all do, he could have asked for help at a house down the road. But no, he thought the answer to his problems would be to get rid of all the people who where now living in his house seeking shelter and comfort from the storms. So with very little notice the man drew in his belt and proposed a new household budget that involved pulling down the house that was already so badly damaged.
He made no provision for all the people that had found care and protection living in his house. He looked for no alternative accommodation. He just put his hands in the air and called in the demolition crews.
If you stand in that place now the views are still fantastic. But the man’s cliff top house has gone. The wonderful community that had lived in his house crumbed like the cliffs and drifted away. Now they live wherever they can and have no shelter from the storm.
What happened to the man you ask? Well he just kept on ignoring the storm and the crumbling cliffs and doing nothing.
Please sign the Torbay SOS petition and help to Save Our Services http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/torbay-council-save-our-services
Doing nothing is not an option.