Thursday, December 06, 2007

10th Birthday...

It was 10 years ago on Saturday 6th December 1997 that i gave my life to God. I remember it very well, and some of you probably remember it too! It happened at Mannafest at the Ulster Hall. Sadly, my memory isn't good enough to remember the name of the guy who was speaking that night but i remember he was particularly talking to people who believed in God but had not received him into their life. That was exactly what i needed to hear as God had been messing with my head for about 2 months. Prior to that i didn't even believe in God!

From that moment on everything changed for me. It's hard to imagine what my life would have been like if i had never become a Christian. I reckon i would probably have pursued a career in Accounting or Finance because that's what i thought i wanted to do at that stage.

My faith gave me an understanding of what life was really all about - a new perspective and purpose that gradually changed my goals, dreams and desires. It has been an amazing journey over the last decade with lots of highs and lows but never once have i ever had any serious doubts or regrets about living for God. I have gotten to know God better in this time and yet i still know i have only scratched the surface of who He is. Here are just a few truths that i have collected and stored along the journey:
  • I am not always faithful but God is always faithful.
  • There are times when i feel incredibly far away from God and yet those are the experiences that have lifted my faith to an entirely new level.
  • Without strong Christian friends i would have given up on faith long ago. Thank-you.
  • God is incredibly patient with me and constantly reminds me that He is not finished with me yet.
  • Sadly there are lots of Christians who give God a bad name.
  • God is interested in making disciples not just saving people.
  • I am convinced that nothing else can provide the peace and fulfillment that God brings in a life.
As for the next decade? Who knows? I'm really happy with life at the moment. I love my job at WPC and can certainly see me sticking around for a few years yet. God is stirring many dreams within me for the local area that i long to see becoming reality. Family and friends are both very important to me in providing constant support and encouragement. What more could a young, single but eligible bloke want! ;-)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Have a little patience...

This term in 20:20 we have been looking at the Fruit of the Spirit. Last week was 'Patience' and our in-house drama team decided to put together this little sketch representing one common situation they get really annoyed with - parents! It's really funny so i hope you enjoy it. I think they are amazing and i believe the next episode has already been filmed and is being edited as we speak. I am led to believe that it is even funnier so watch this space!

Maybe you find yourself being impatient? What are some of the things you get impatient about? Here are my top 8, in no particular order:
  1. People who want to try and talk to me when I am watching a movie or TV show like 24/prison break.
  2. Strangers who stand too close to me in queues.
  3. Bank queues that move really slow.
  4. Messiness.
  5. Really slow drivers.
  6. When my PC breaks down.
  7. Family – much less patience for family than non-family.
  8. Technical Helplines where they don’t understand me and I don’t understand them.
Here are just a couple of thoughts and quotes on patience i shared last week.

Our prayer is not ‘Lord, take away all the things that drive me crazy’. No, God wants us to grow in patience through our troubles. Thomas a Kempis wrote:
‘Patience is necessary in this life because so much of life is fraught with adversity. No matter how hard we try, our lives will never be without strife and grief. Thus, we should not strive for peace that is without temptation, or for a life that never feels adversity. Peace is not found by escaping temptations, but by being tried by them. We will have discovered peace when we have been tried and come through the trial of temptation.’
Finally, another fantastic quote about patience i found in Wikipedia:
"Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope, Patience with God is Faith." Adel Bestavros