Sunday, March 28, 2010

Proverbs Illustrated

‘Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart’. Proverbs 25:20. Ever wondered what vinegar poured on soda is like? Well it erupts like a volcano as you see in this science experiment.

Last Thursday in our home group we were chatting about a few proverbs over one of our regular bring-and-share meals and Harry did a volcano like this as an illustration. This provoked some interesting thoughts about people may react to ‘pat’ answers or how when we are grieving we might not appreciate happy-clappy-worship songs.

We also looked at Proverbs 6:6-8 and learnt a few things about ants using this illustration I've blogged before and 11:11 using this gif from Andrew Jones's blog. A laptops and wireless internet at home group! Whatever next?

And Proverbs 27:17 ‘iron sharpens iron’ raised some interesting thoughts about mutual accountability and 29:18 ‘without revelation the people cast off restraint’ got us examining our motivation. Thanks for those thoughts too Harry. It was a great.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Messy Fiesta

On Saturday my wife Nettes and Simon - a friend of ours from our church - went to Messy Fiesta - a conference all about Messy Church - a technique that took off a few years ago when it was featured on a DVD by Fresh Expressions. Both Nettes and Simon came back very enthusiastic about beginning to do something like this with the families of the kids that come to our kids club.

Today Nettes took Callie and a couple of Callie’s friends from church to Kidz Aloud who run their own mix of Messy Church and Godly Play. A good time was had by all.

These are brilliant ideas for kids and families. If they are new to you please check out the links above and Barnabas in Churches for more details.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

honest confession from our Time With God

During our church’s ‘Time With God’ last weekend the following quote was written on the wall. - well, actually on flip chart paper blu-tacked to the wall. We were struck at how honest this confession was and I am sure that it spoke to a number of us when we were looking around the rooms:

Lord, I want to know your security
as I step forward and take the risks
that you have called me to.
For too long I have felt over-looked
and not taken those opportunities
because of my personality type.
'Why is it like this?' I cry.
But do I really need to know?
I long to let go of the bitterness
and be born anew.
I gladly share with you the cup of suffering
in my daily hassles.
And sense that as I drink it,
it becomes a cup of blessing to me
and to others.
But only as I step forward
and, at last, take those risks.

‘Time With God’ happens once or twice a year and is a time when our little building is open 24 hours for people to spend time with God. We have plenty of beanbags, throws and drapes and bring in candles and tee-lights. There are usually a few creative installations too. This time there was a cross that Ruth made - to which people stuck post-its with their thoughts and prayers on. Ruth had also put together a rolling slideshow for the evening.

It is often commented that during these times people find God speaking really deeply to them. The prayer above was probably written during someone’s individual time when people tended to stay in one of the rooms as opposed to the ‘corporate times’ we had more people there and they could move more freely around the installations.