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A present for the present

Christianity

The Lord has gifted Bezalel, Oholiab, and the other skilled craftsmen with wisdom and ability to perform any task involved in building the sanctuary. Let them construct and furnish the Tabernacle, just as the Lord has commanded. (Ex 36:1, NLT)
It’s always great to watch an artist at work. With just a few lines, a blank page can be brought to life, a story can reveal itself. But it isn’t just artists that can amaze – I am stunned at how quickly a carpet fitter can transform a great sheet of stiff carpet into a perfect fit for a room; or how an author can grab our attention with that book you just can’t put down; or how a surgeon can mend a broken face. There are so many skills out there, so many abilities.

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Setting the world right

Christianity,General

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.

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Perfect sense

Christianity

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.

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Right, Mountain, out of the way!

Christianity

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.

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Making the best of the worst

Christianity

Can you remember the worst thing you have ever done? What category does it fall into – embarrassing, dodgy, illegal, evil? Is it worse than anything anyone you know has ever done? Does it scream at you, or merely give you a nudge? Was it a long time ago, or fairly recent? Maybe it was a one-off, or perhaps a serial occurrence? Does it lie in wait for you, or is it in your mind all the time?
Answers on a postcard to…..

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