The door has been slammed!

slam doorFor many years I would struggle to “enter in” during worship. Others seemed to “feel the presence”, but I would be feeling unworthy and thinking of all that disqualified me and trying to confess everything and trying to stop thinking about something which I shouldn’t be thinking about in church and…

I arrived a bit late for church after a rushed 45min drive to HCC and worship had begun. I looked at the words and began to sing. Some distracting thoughts came in: How I had sped, trying to make up time, other thoughts crowded for attention. But, I just found myself ‘brushing’ them aside. I am in Christ. I’m here to enjoy some corporate Worship and share the Word with fellow believers.

Then the picture…

The queue of thoughts, were cartoon characters, all rushing towards the doorway of my heart. As they got there, Jesus slammed the door in their face. Typical cartoon, they all got their faces/noses flattened as they hit the door and piled into one another.

When you are in Jesus, you are IN Him. When you are ‘attacked’, you are not out on a battle field all alone, desperately trying to remember what you were taught by the Commander and what your orders werefrom the General and “What must I do to make sure I get into base!”

When whatever comes at you, remember that Jesus is no longer outside, knocking, wanting to come in. You have allowed Him in and you are now IN Christ. Thoughts are a reality. So is temptation and condemnation. But the reality to live by is that Jesus knows all our weaknesses and troubles. He died to clear their blot even before you repented or understood His Love or The Fathers Grace, even before you promised ‘never to do that again’, for the 1000th time.

That’s releasing, freeing, liberating GOOD NEWS.

What fun to slam the door on guilt and condemnation. Even better, to know that Jesus slammed the door completely and finally at the cross.

 Words – Stan Dugmore (20 July 2014 – During Worship)

 

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Live Reflecting

Live Reflecting

Our lives are best spent reflecting the nature of our Creator

Flash Fiction Photo Challenge

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This is a first for HCC Living Letters – a photo inspired flash fiction challenge. It came out of one of our small groups – Write and Be Read, and was intended as a mere exercise for writers to flex their story-telling muscles. The challenge was simple – using the above image as a launch point, write a piece no more than 200 words. The two pieces that came in this evening are completely different, each stunning in their own right. I love that they are written by husband and wife. I’ll stop gassing on. Enjoy!


Story 1 by Andrea Rautenbach

I sat in the silence at the crossroad.  What was I going to do?  The blow had come like a sudden hard rain. The anger was simmering below the surface but the fear was winning as it rippled across my mind. Run, RUN, RUN!

We had met two months before at a friend’s house. He was classic tall, dark and handsome and seemed to be perfect.  Tonight perfect seems overrated.

The dinners were evenings spent enjoying stories of misspent youth and previous dates gone wrong.  Afternoons were spent learning to appreciate the outdoors and how much he loved riding his bike.

Tonight was a celebration of sorts, two months of fun, learning and sharing.  Maybe tonight we would become serious.  But not now!  Now I sat wondering how I had missed this, how had I not seen?  What was I going to do?

I had to move had to keep going but where?  Looking in the rear view mirror I noticed the blood trailing down my chin; saw for the first time the damage done.  It was over.  What had started as a dream was done.  Never would he touch me again, never would he see me again.

 

Life 2 by James Rautenbach

O dear, what is that coming from the rear?

There is light, there is shadow, there is bone, there is marrow!  How can I go far when I spend nights looking at the retreating mists of my life while strapped into my safe haven of a car?

O delight, I can see a light – what have I missed, deep in the night.  “It’s all over” they say, “the chance is gone, you are done”.  The light I see broadcasts mockingly at me, or does it?

What if it’s all true; hope can renew me and you?

What if all my regrets, guilt and shame, what if those blotches held against my name, what if whispers, fears and pains, what if anger, darkness and the perceived hatred and negative thoughts words and actions of others, which cover me like a stifling bank of dirt, trying to squeeze my life to despair and helplessness – what if all of this CAN BE SWEPT AWAY IN AN OVERWHELMING, ALL-ENCOMPASSING, EVERLIVING, EVERGIVING, EVERFILLING, EFFERVESCENT, PULSATING, NEVER-ENDING, ALWAYS-HOPING, ALWAYS-LOVING, SAVIOUR-SATURATED, HOPE-RESTORING, PEACE-RETURING inundation of LIFE.

So I unharness, open the door and slowly step into the fresh air of a new-life, everlasting and full of glory…

Working with Wood

I’ve been hanging onto this post, wondering how to show off these images in the best way possible. The story behind them is something very close to my heart. I’d like to introduce you to Grant Puchert – who is 11, and Richard Whitbread, a sprightly 85. Richard is a carpenter with an extraordinary way with wood. He also has a teacher’s heart  and has been mentoring Grant in the art of woodwork. Below you will find photos of some of the things that Grant has made. Did I mention that he’s only 11?

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I think there is something so right about 85 years of finely honed gifting and talent being passed onto the new generation.

Dream with me for a moment, if you will… imagine each of us took the time to take our gifting – whatever it may be – and pass it on to a younger someone with similar talents.

Can you imagine?

 

Bubbles & Reflections

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Photos by Scott Wilson