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New Year, New Adventure, Same Jesus

So its 2012 already, Happy New year! 2011 has been a blast in so many ways to count. God’s done amazing things in Mine and Marie’s life this last year and He’s calling us onto new adventures this year. It’s no secret Marie and I are planning on moving to Zimbabwe this year, we have talked about it a fair bit. Well the hard deadline is now set, we just booked our tickets to go for 30th August.

So we are on a new adventure from August, we are off to Zim, i plan to continue doing my business from there, Marie is going to be doing some volunteering for a Church out there assuming she has the time to do it and we will both be getting stuck into a new church plant/evening service called One which meets at the SevenArts Cinema in the Avondale area of Harare, more info here: http://www.facebook.com/ONEpeeps

Matt Ellis made a great comment at church yesterday, “It’s a New Year but its still the same Jesus!” which reminded me that although we will be going to a new country, We’ll still be following the same God that is with us in the UK. and just following on from that Andy Tilsley’s talk on Greed and Contentment, he was talking about being content with what we have and what God has blessed us with. These are going to be powerful words when times are challenging in a whole new country.

After his preach Andy got Lydia and the band to sing an old Hymn over the congregation called Give me Jesus, its actually on the end of the podcast itself over here i had the pleasure of editing the podcast this week because of the song, from our Multi-Track recording of the service so have the song on its own. It’s such a simple song that i want to make my philosophy for the year. you should have a listen to it.

Give Me Jesus

This was taken direct off one of the sound desks yesterday and has only had a little processing done to it, no re-recording or over dubbing. It’s a really beautiful track.




Fireproof – Review (Kind of)

Marie and I watched a film called Fireproof last night. One of Marie’s work colleagues lent it to us, it’s a Christian movie and at first I thought it was going to be a cheesy movie about some bible story or just plain bad acting. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to watching to start with.

The film is basically about a couple who after 7 years things are just drifting apart to the point they consider divorce, The main character Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) is challenged by his father to take on the “Love Dare” for 40 days rather than just signing the divorce papers and while it starts hard he sticks at it. He hits rock bottom around day 20 when his wife Katherine Holt (Erin Bethea) tells him that she no longer loves him. At this point he speaks to his father who comes down to visit and shares the gospel with him and he gets saved.

Now that he is saved he has a new heart to continue on the Love Dare through to completion and beyond even though he hasn’t been shown any appreciation up to that point. The film culminates in the (somewhat expected) ending of his wife coming to him and saying “Something’s Changed in you & I want that too!”

While my brief synopsis doesn’t really do much for the story or the film itself I can say it was excellent and quite moving in places, I dont want to give too many of the story points away, but at times it was humorous, especially the tabasco sauce drinking scene! and at times it was very moving, when Katherine suddenly realised who paid the $24,000 to supply her Mum the right bed and wheelchair she needed after suffering a stroke.

I did particularly like the similarities in the middle when Caleb was asking his Dad, how can he (Caleb) love someone despite constantly being despised and rejected – Remind you of Jesus much?

For sure the acting is not hollywood level, but its not bad either, it’s pretty respectable and it did lack the cheesy cringe factor that I’ve witnessed when seeing some other christian videos, they even apparently filmed it on location in 30 days!.

Watching the film left me with an interesting thought and in many respects a warning to myself and probably any other married couple – marriages don’t just break up overnight, they break up slowly over a long time, so subtly perhaps that you probably don’t even notice something is wrong until its often too late. In fact the DVD extra features includes a music video and the film itself has as part of its sound track, the song by Casting Crowns – Slow Fade, heres the chorus:

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

This really got me thinking how easy that could happen to Marie and myself if I’m not careful, it’s not one big mistake that would cost me my marriage one day, its would be a systematic and constant assumption that “everything is fine” or making compromises for things that really shouldn’t be compromised in the first place.

For example in the film Katherine talks about the “trash” on the internet that he views, and there are further references to it, and it basically means looking at porn. while i would consider myself blessed that I don’t struggle with that temptation anymore it got me thinking is there anything that I do that might be considered to be valuing more than my wife? it’s a good reality check to make sure I am keeping anything like that in check, like the desire to always have the latest Apple gadgets like the iPad or Working too much.

The film is a good reminder that marriage is hard work and there are times when it’s not easy and it’s not just about feelings sometimes but just as much about making conscious decisions to love someone even when its hard, probably one of the cheesiest lines of the film was “Just because you fireproof your home, it doesn’t mean fire wont come to it” such a great reminder that yes as you work on your marriage, it doesn’t guarantee you safety from tests and trials but it should warn you not to get complacent

So I guess my review ends with a warning to any married couples out there to keep checking on your marriage and making sure there’s nothing that would cause you to make compromises on it or your partner. I’d actually recommend the film as well as a good watch too!

The film ends with this song, Love is Not a Fight by Warren Barfield, and I think it does a fairly good job of summing up what love (and by extension marriage too), i thought i would post the lyrics up:

Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It’s a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We’ll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they’re falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we’ll only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all

Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It’s worth fighting for

I’ll end with this question, Is your partner worth fighting for? and if so, Why aren’t you fighting for them, even when the times are good as well as bad?
That reminds me of the Mark Driscoll line: “if you don’t date your Spouse, Somebody else will”
My answer: I’ll fight until God calls me up to make his websites run fast!



You wont relent – Jesus Culture

Marie had a Jesus Culture song in her head yesterday so we got the album of iTunes and been listening to it today and heard this great tune, it’s a song about how God wont stop chasing us until we give our hearts to him and how we should respond by asking Him to dwell in us more, I thought the words were quite poignant given Andy’s preach on Sunday where he mentioned the sheer statistics of people who wont have run the race well by the time they get to the end of their life and how people can do all the “right things” at church but lot be giving our hearts to Jesus

You won’t relent until You, have it all
My heart is Yours
You won’t relent until You, have it all
My heart is Yours

I’ll set You as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until You and I are One

I don’t want to talk about You
Like You’re not in the room
I want to look right at You
I want to sing right to You




3 months to go

its 3 months until the big day and i cant wait. in 3 months i get to witness my best friend and the love of my life walk down the aisle towards me as we step out on a journey of faith that will take the rest of our lives to truly enjoy to its fullest. and i truly believe that Jesus is with us on this adventure, he has been with us already in the previous 5 and a half months since we got together and even since before then working seperately within our lives for His Glory. a few people have been surprised by how quickly our relationship has progressed but if you were “on the inside” over a year ago (ie working in the Newfrontiers, London office) then it doesnt come as too much of one 🙂

Having worked alongside each other for over a year has had its great advantages but as you know now that i no longer work for Newfrontiers it brings different challenges over the next 3 months. firstly is contact time, now that i am not in the office i dont have anywhere near as much time in contact directly with Marie, i cant just make her a cup of her favourite tea (Peppermint or Earl Gray) and there are just less opportunities to see her. this means that i do have to be more intentional in seeing Marie, i have to pursue like i have never pursued before, i think Mark Driscoll says something like this over on his blog (although aimed at married couples i am pretty sure most of it can apply to not yet married couples) “Men, if you don’t date your wife, someone else may eventually volunteer for the job.” the buget is tight because of studying, freelancing and all the expenses that are incurred as a result of preparing for a wedding but that still shouldnt stop me, its one of those challenges that will be fun and i will only learn good habits ready for marriage

The next challenge for me is communication, i am no longer in the same office or next room from Marie every day, i cant just walk by her desk and say “Hi” or discuss anything and everything over lunch. this means again i have to more intentionally communicate, we have to use the phone more than we used to (hooray for a linked contract with free minutes – Finally O2!) communication is probably often not my strongest point especially if i dont see someone all the time, yes i can articulate myself if i need to particularly on a geeky level but remembering to initiate will often be my weakness. this challenge is gonna be a big one and again i only think God is going to use this next 3 months to build some more strong foundations with the existing ones and only make me a stronger more solid Christian Man of God and it will only set things on the good foundations when we are married, focused on Him.

and thirdly (sounds like a mini sermon doesnt it!) Absence really does make the heart grow fonder! I have only been freelancing for a week now and working mostly from home but i do miss Marie when she is not here, and i cant wait for the moments we can spend together, even when its not just the 2 of us! its only making me love her more and want look after and protect her and cherish her more (sounds like i am saying my vows already!)

will get off my soppy love box now 🙂 in short (and in guy speak) its gonna be a hectic 3 months full of challenges that i am going to need prayer for and to pray about, so would appreciate any prayers you have. I know God is in this because he has been there every single step of the way so far and i really dont doubt that that will change anytime soon either!




Jesus

From the words of Casting Crowns:

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day,
oh glorious day

(Chorus from Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) off the Until the Whole World Hears album)




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