Monday, February 26, 2007


now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see.

faith is confidence, borne out by experience.

experience is essential for faith. but faith is a gift? how can we have confidence in something we have no experience in? how can i be confident in God's goodness if i have no experience of his goodness to me? maybe that's where the gift part comes in.

if most of us come to confidence in God because we hear the kingdom being preached, and we hope for the experiences of the kingdom to be true in our lives - that is 'faith'. and sometimes the kingdom is beyond our sight - the heavens are closed to us for the time being - but our certainty in their reality is never in doubt - that too is 'faith'.

experience plays a large part in our confidence in God, and building confidence in God. he calls us to do that which is impossible - to stretch out our withered hand, to raise our paralysed body up from our bed, to wake from the sleep of death and come forth from our tomb. we may hope for it, but if we are not sure that our hope can be realised, we do not attempt the impossible. our healing may lie beyond our powers of sight, but if we are not certain that it lies there, we do not reach for it. but our imaginations are not adequate substitutes for confidence.

what have we experienced of God? what experiences have given birth to solid confidence in his reality? have you the confidence of your past hopes being realised, or that which you have not yet seen being truly there?

for it is from this confidence that you now act. if your actions are not 'good fruit', don't beat yourself up for your sin, nor blame God for hiding. look for your confidence - where have you put it? is it in your abilities, your appearance, or your standing before men? you will surely know from your actions where you put your confidence. and as for God - why, his address is at 'the end of your rope'. when you get there, with no more tricks up your sleeve to pull, no more confidence in anything of the world or your natural abilities, you will find him... waiting for, and worthy of, the mustard seed of confidence that you offer him.
blogger interrupted

my change in weekly routine has cut my internet access down considerably. i now have roughly one day a week when my trusty PowerBook 'abides' in the interweb 'vine'. but, despite all outward appearances, i continue to think on other days of the week. thanks to the folks at hogbay software, i'm able to jot down my thoughts on the wonderful writeroom.

my only continuing niggle is the unpolished feel they have, but hey, life's too short. as a result, i'll shortly post one or two thoughts that have been fermenting over the last few months. you'll be unsurprised to know i've been reading a lot of willard and oswald chambers recently.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

photo update

i've just uploaded a burst of recent pics onto my flickr account. to explain such an 'ecclesia':

- me reading in our basement in front of the washing machine. yes, i know it's odd, but it's a habit left over from days when i had to use a laundrette. actually i am normally hypnotised by the action of the machine cleaning my clothes and meditating as follows: is there enough detergent? is there too much detergent? how grey will the water get? is that my old shirt in there? will it get that stain out? is there enough detergent?

- burns night at estelle's. i had the honour of giving the address to the haggis, that great chieftain o' the puddin' race.

- hayling island (various). mrs hope and i spent a week at the vineyard national leaders conference at hayling island (which is near portsmouth). we had a wonderful time with old friends, had the pleasure of meeting and making several new friends, the pleasure of celebrating God and his goodness with our vineyard family and the privilege of hearing wise and challenging words from our extended church family. we also had time to indulge my interest in glorious old war machines like HMS Victory, who is in dry dock at portsmouth's historical naval docks... makes me want to watch Master and Commander again!

- dancing girls in plymouth. the saturday following the conference, we travelled down to plymouth to help out at a Great Big God kid's event. part of the superiority of children's worship to adult worship is found in the acceptable involvement of your entire body with worshipping God. these girls led the way with great aplomb, and i managed to catch them in rehersal.

- latte at clements. this past weekend found us on the beautiful causeway coast of northern ireland. we were with our immediate network of via centres (and affiliates) for a teaching weekend. it was wonderful for us to gather together with our fellow travellers on the way, to hear and to share encouraging stories and experiences. we had most of a day to while away in belfast city centre. i learnt the appropriate expression for my low temperature was 'foundering', and then had the not small pleasure of this latte to alleviate this.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

search engines, searching questions

wabbadabba has arrived... what it does or how it works i don't know. i guess it promises a little silver lining to your otherwise routinely cloudy web-searching. and yes, i have sold out by posting this on my blog - i want a 42" plasma screen too!

Monday, February 05, 2007

welcome natasha!

i have recently become an uncle for the second time - hurrah for my big brother charlie, his wife juliet, and their first daughter amber! natasha is a star - she decided to be born on charlie's birthday so that i won't have to remember an extra date - how considerate!