Lessons from those over the pond, over here

Since my recent “transformation” I have had the immense joy of meeting, and getting to know, all the people my dear missus has talked about since she joined the Church – especially those in our housegroup.

If you thought of a mixed bunch of people in rural England, with most of us not actually being *from* rural England… you’d get an idea of what the group is like. We’re led by the Irish, with another Irish contingent, there are northerners, southerners, midlanders… and a couple of cousins from over the pond.

I have to say that I am rapidly coming to feel a part of the group and they have all made me feel so welcome and loved… and I hope that they are fully aware of how much I appreciate them and all they have done, and just how much they are all coming to mean to me.

The pondside contingent have a blog that they keep for updating their family and, being the nosey so-and-so I am, I stumbled across it the other day.

I’ve found it to be a really amusing, touching, honest and (at times) blunt story of their relocation over to the UK and how they are coping along with all their adventures. I have also found myself being hugely challenged.

Challenged?

Yup – Challenged… because along with their holidays and shopping struggles, driving adventures and family giggles, there has also been discussion of their faith and how it is so core in their family. It’s that aspect of their lives that really hit’s me hard because it’s just not in our family life. God is there… but time with God as a family isn’t. It just isn’t something that I have every pushed for or pursued.

Before I was an atheist, in the time when I was a kerazee Christian, I never encouraged us to pray as a family and nor as a couple. The bible was a book for groups, prayer meetings and services and that was it.

Since my transformation again I have been soooooooo hungry for prayer and I am also trying to discover the bible in my personal walk… but it’s still not all there in my family life.

Our daughter went on Youth camp the other month and came back changed – full of joy and passion for God – and we have been doing a daily bible study type thing with her which is really great and has been brilliant fun.

BUT WE NEED MORE!

It’s so hard knowing that I should be encouraging praying together, and reading together, but not doing it… I struggle with the fact that I find praying, and reading the bible, with my other half such a hard thing to even try to do. If I’m honest about it – I find it a really daunting prospect and I know that is illogical and a stupid way to feel but I do feel that way.

I’m praying for a breakthrough on this and I know that I need to take the lead and sit down and do something about it… *gulp*

(p.s. if any of the housegroup folks see this, especially our american friends, and aren’t comfortable with some of what I’ve said – please clobber me and let me know… I’m all too willing to edit and correct things – the last thing I want to do is upset or offend anyone!)

*Never* lose the wonder

As I said the other day – I am totally in awe of Gods Grace and feel totally humbled by all that He has done for us.

One of the other areas that really shakes me to my core is the sacrifice that Christ made for us. The sheer quantity of love that led to the crucifixion and resurrection and the fact that God wants us so much that His Son was sacrificed.

At Church on Sunday it was, probably, the best service I have been to yet at Kingsgate (and yes, I know that’s not saying much as I’ve not been going long)

The worship flowed amazingly, the presence of the Holy Spirit was so noticeable I kept looking around to see if I was being crowded and Dave Smiths talk was absolutely brilliant – definitely one to download and listen to again and again (when it’s put on the site later this week)

During the worship we sang a song that could easily be confused for an old hymn – except for the giveaway that it has a chorus and not many hymns do! The song/hymn is one by Vicky Beeching and is called “The Wonder of The Cross” and is hugely powerful. So much so that I can rarely get through the whole song without tears running down my cheeks as I am reminded of the price that was paid for me… and for you!

If you go here you can listen to Vicky singing the song as well as watching a video (admittedly slightly cringeworthy at points) where she is interviewed about the song.

If you don’t have time, or the speakers, to listen right now… take a read of the lyrics. Powerful stuff!

The Wonder of The Cross – Vicky Beeching
O precious sight my Savior stands
Dying for me with outstretched Hands
O precious sight I love to gaze
Remembering salvation’s day
Remembering salvation’s day
Though my eyes linger on this scene
May passing time and years
Not steal the pow’r with which it impacts me
The freshness of its mystery
The freshness of its mystery

May I never lose the wonder
The wonder of the cross
May I see it like the first time
Standing as a sinner lost
Undone by mercy and left speechless
Watching wide eyed at the cost
May I never lose the wonder
The wonder of the cross

Behold the God-man crucified
The perfect sinless Sacrifice
As Blood ran down those nails and wood
History was split in two
Yes history was split in two
Behold the empty wooden tree
His Body gone alive and free
We sing with everlasting joy
For sin and death have been destroyed
Yes sin and death have been destroyed

2007 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)

Amazing Grace

One of the big things that moves me daily – especially as a prodigal – is just how amazing the GRACE of God truly is…

Chris Tomlin has recorded a brilliant version of the song, featuring the original last verse (although I would love it if the well-known final verse “If we’d been there…” were included as well)… so I thought I’d share it with you – enjoy! I know I do…

Chris Tomlin – Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)

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No longer an atheist – what happened?

When I joined facebook back in December I posted a note called “Now an atheist – what happened” (now removed) which detailed my journey from Christianity to Atheism, a place which I have sat in for about 4 1/2 years… BUT there’s been a shift and rather than just post it on facebook I thought I’d post here and then let people find it 🙂

So… “No longer an atheist” – does that mean what many think, and hope, it means. Probably, yes. Let’s take a quick flashback – cue the swirly line effects please Scooby Doo.

And if you don’t want to read the whole saga in diary format (or simply haven’t got three years to spend reading) then skip to the bottom and catch the summary and the good news 🙂 (but don’t skip the excellent Jars of Clay song – the video is done by a fan but seems to be pretty nicely done)

Continue reading “No longer an atheist – what happened?”

A throaty boiling with a dash of sleep

Wowsers – doesn’t 6 months just fly by??? We are still alive – honestly!!!

I know many folks have found us on Facebook now, which is a good way of catching up – but that doesn’t excuse my tardiness here – sorry!!

Well, we’ve just had among the most annoying couple of months. Mrs H managed to crash her car, kids have all been ill with various things (including a really nasty dose of conjunctivitis for our daughter), we’ve both had tonsillitis as well as other bugs and illnesses [along with a serious lack of sleep] and then… to top it all off… our boiler died.

Continue reading “A throaty boiling with a dash of sleep”