Setting the world right

One lazy Sunday afternoon, a father was dozing on the sofa. His wee girl shook him awake, “Daddy, I’m bored!” He looked around for something to do, and noticed that the Sunday newspaper had a photo of a map of the world. He showed her the picture, then tore it into pieces, and told her to put the world back together again. Since she was too young to know where all the countries were, he thought the rest of the afternoon was his to doze in.
A few minutes later she shook him again. “I’m finished, Daddy!”
“You can’t be!”, but when he looked he saw that the world had indeed been put back together. “How did you do that? You didn’t know where all the countries are!”
“Well,” she said, “there was a picture of a person on the other side, and when I got my person back together, the world got back together too.”
We are like that. Too often our lives get ripped to bits. Our person is in pieces, and because our lives are in pieces, our world is too.

Who is in charge around here?

I have been watching the events in Egypt with astonishment. I have marvelled at the courage of the people, and there is no doubt that the world has changed dramatically. Twitter, Facebook and the internet in general gave them a “weapon” which was never before possible, and put the world in a place where revolution can take place with scarcely any bloodshed. There is no doubt that the impact which the protest had on the shaky economy also brought pressure to bear, as did the worldwide TV coverage. Thirty years of authoritarian government ended in fewer days.

Perfect sense

I have blogged before about perfection in Being Perfect and it is one area where I tend to get into disagreement with other Christians, even Pastors. Most people I talk to say that it is impossible to be perfect. Bearing in mind my own track record, I tend to agree with them. But – and it is an almighty but – we are told to be perfect by Jesus himself :
You must be perfect — just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48, TEV)
It doesn’t seem to matter what translation you use. I looked at 15 different versions, and all of them, with the sole exception of The Message, used the word “perfect”. In all of these translations, it wasn’t a request, it wasn’t a suggestion. It was a command.

Laughter might be bad for you

When my brother and I were very small I remember that we would sometimes get the giggles. I am sure that we started laughing for some valid reason, but when it got out of control we were just laughing because we were laughing. There was no stopping it, even with the threat of punishment from whatever authority was lurking near us who could not see the funny side of things.
I like to see people laughing, and I love to make people laugh. I too like a good laugh, and I would rather laugh than cry. Sometimes I go back to the old days with my brother and laugh so much that I can’t stop and laugh so much that it hurts my stomach. Sometimes I laugh so much that I cry. In the wonderful years since I met Libby and became a Christian I have laughed a lot. When you have a good life, laughter is easy.

Right, Mountain, out of the way!

A friend of mine will shortly set out on an amazing adventure – to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – to help raise funds for the charity Scottish Spina Bifida. I really admire him for that. It will take courage, strength and endurance. You can sponsor him if you would like to give him a wee bit more encouragement.
But I ask myself why he doesn’t just walk round it. After all, when we face problems in our lives, some of them look like mountains, and that’s often the easiest thing to do, isn’t it – walk round them? Sometimes we don’t even do that – we just stand there and look at them. They are huge! I’ll never get over it! Scientists say that Mount Everest is getting higher all the time. As we just stand and look at our problems, they get bigger too. Sometimes we can’t even see the top.