Wednesday, 6 May 2009

'Poor' Old Chelsea

Chelsea 1 - 1 Barcelona - (Barcelona win on away goals)

What a fantastic game of football...resiliant defending by an expensive Chelsea outfit...a sublime looping volley from Essien in the first 10...and 84 minutes later...a sucker punch blow with a superb strike from Niesta in the 93rd minute - harsh...but so sweet!

I enjoyed this match in Reading's College Arms pub this evening with a large number of erm....rather passionate Chelsea fans.
I thought I would share with you the look on Didier Drogba's face after his second penalty appeal is turned down - seriously this guy deserves an Oscar for his play acting. Another consideration would be to enter him into the 2012 Olympics for the Diving Events - I mean this guy is good!
His diving is certainly better than Florent Malouda's current haircut - serious issues there!

Anyway, similar faces were expressed by Chelsea fans in the pub as once again I enjoyed the ironic phrase of "Poor" Old (Multi-billionaire owned) Chelsea echoing around throughout the pub!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

'Idol Chatter'

After being at New Word Alive and attending seminars led by Dr. Dan Strange I have been increasingly struck by my rebellious tendency to worship idols rather than God.
As a human, I am designed to worship. However, most of the time I am worshipping created things – I am worshipping idols.
What do I mean by that – well I do not ‘love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength’ – I do not delight in the Lord with all of me – I sin!

It’s made me think about sin. Jeremiah points out that God’s people have committed two sins – they have turned away from God and dug out gods/idols for themselves. Jeremiah describes it as turning away from the living fountain and digging out leaky broken cisterns for water, or life perhaps.
The thing is that only the fountain (or God) can bring real fresh water - life – only God can bring joy, satisfaction, fulfillment etc.
Leaky broken cisterns leak, are polluted and to be honest – they don’t hold much water (excuse the pun). But…we are in the same situation, I am in the same situation – we put our hope, our delight etc. in leaky broken cisterns – in other words, idols! They do not work!

If I keep asking questions about my life - ‘Why do I do that? Why do I think that? Why, Why, Why?’ - I realize that I am always reaching out for something that the leaky cistern idols I worship cannot give me – these two things I believe are acceptance and security. I am worshipping things, going after things, delighting in things that in fact ultimately bring neither of those things – not completely at least – they don’t hold much water!
These idols/leaky cisterns are not in themselves ‘bad’ things – relationships, achievement, the state of my bank account, the fortunes of Derby County FC –they do in fact bring some sense of security and acceptance, some fulfillment, joy and satisfaction.
But all of these things ultimately fail – relationships break down, achievement is never good enough for everyone, my bank account…well take a look at the global economic situation to see how little security we have – and well the fortunes of Derby County FC speak for themselves.

Putting our hope in leaky polluted broken cisterns (idols) that do not hold much water or give real life is completely hopeless!

However, the gospel of Jesus Christ brings the greatest and only hope the world has. Jesus came and said ‘I come to give you life and life in all its fullness’. He is the fountain of water that will satisfy and bring joy. And he did this through his death and resurrection. We who previously were lost in worshipping leaky cisterns and deserving punishment for that are set free as Jesus takes God’s wrath and anger on himself. He rose again and defeated the power of death that sin brings!
Putting our trust in Jesus means we are marked with God’s eternal stamp of approval – we are marked with his precious blood which says – You are acceptable to me through Jesus blood. This eternal stamp of approval also brings hope within the hopelessness of this world. God promises in Romans that he works for the good of those who love him.
We can be secure in the promises of God, because he is faithful, his word is true and will never ever fail his word as he cannot deny himself and lie!

So in the same way that I’ve been challenged if you’ve read this and been challenged: think about how ridiculous worshipping idols is, how hopeless it is, how unsatisfactory it is and how much we all deserve to be eternally punished for worshipping idols other than God!

Equally or maybe even more so, rejoice in the hope we do have, the life we have because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – and live in the light of that hope!

Let’s be satisfied in God, delight in him and bring him glory he is due!