Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 in 5 words

Family - Anniversary -  Friends - Adoption - Resolve

Family – I am sitting in our kitchen and looking at a large photo of family Green jumping into the air on our summer holiday. My, how they have changed this year: Joshua is now a teenager, Lucy started secondary school and Zoe has a considered opinion. I am becoming ever more aware of how short their time with us really is, 5 years from now Joshua could be leaving home. Finding time to be with each of them has been a worthy challenge; as has 'nurturing who they are' whilst 'training them in righteousness'. To be very honest, I can lose heart after those 'difficult days', but on balance I think Liz & I are doing a great job.  

Anniversary – this year we celebrated 15 years of married life. Clearly that is long enough to know someone yet we both feel we're still doing that. We have a tendency to be more aware of our shortfalls than successes but even we have to admit God has done a great work in us. This year was also the 10th anniversary of launching RFC … a decade of proving God able & faithful. The highlight of that day was the cardboard testimonies, hearing what He has done in peoples lives makes it all the more worthwhile.  

Friends – I have always been rich in friendships yet occasionally feel lonely in a crowd. I try to use those moment to reflect on the people God has put around me. I am deeply grateful that so many have opened their hearts to a Task-tastic, earnest, grey at the edges, middle aged Pompey boy. I have friends who ride bikes, blog, lead churches, fiddle with IT, do DIY, and joyfully co-labour for Jesus. I know I am a menace at times yet they seem to cope with that, even cheered me on in my 'specialness'.  

Adoption – being from a broken home I have always found it hard to outwork the reality of God as my Father. I had a real breakthrough in 2010 in this and this year I have been applying it to my outlook. Namely, God is for me and not testing me; I am part of His household so can lean into His resources. Simple stuff but demanded adjustments in my thinking. This word 'adoption' has also helped me cope with my shortfalls in His family likeness. Scripture is clear, God has given us a spirit of adoption as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons (Rom 8:15, 23). Amen  

Resolve – I turned 44 this year and feel like I have progressed in some important stuff like 'how I grow in Christ' and 'what I am about'  ... 'a slower day is not coming' and 'no-one is going to invite me into the game'. So I need to be here now, full of faith & joy. I am rich in family, friends and focus. I am follower of Jesus, a husband to Liz and a father to Joshua, Lucy & Zoe. I'm a wannabe triathlete and a delighted pastor at RFC. And I am resolved to pursue all this for the glory of God in 2012!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder

For those who missed it last night, this is a moving documentary, not just about the illness of one man, but also about how seeing a person and not a problem.

click here to view on 4OD 

The hero of this story is a landscape gardener ... and his lessons to us are innumerable. This is far more than voyeuristic entertainment.  

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A Kitchen update

For the last few weeks I have done little else in my 'spare' time but decorate and install our kitchen alongside Liz. It's going be a great room that will serve us really well as a family with teenage kids. 

But to be honest, I've had a few internal meltdowns, notably on Saturday when having to relay the laminate floor because it wasn't quite right. I've also been very near to crying on a few occasions. For some reason I expect to be able to fit a kitchen like those in the showrooms, but I can't. It really is quite hard. 

It has only been 8 weeks since the extension was started but it feels much longer ... and I'm not finished yet. This morning we learnt the worktops are not going to be fitted this side of Christmas, so I am going to have to re-install our old gas hob on a temporary worktop. 

 Why I am telling you all this? Firstly because its therapy for me. I have lived and breathed this jolly kitchen for some time now and its good for me to remind myself why I am putting myself through it all.

Secondly, because Karena's death last year has changed my outlook in many ways, one being I want to bless my family whilst I have breath in my body. Not that a new kitchen alone does that but it's an outworking of this desire. My wife will be delighted and the children will enjoy the 'bake offs' in the two ovens ... and we now have another TV. 

Our Father in heaven has not just provided us with a superior saviour, He has also given us permission to enjoy being generous to those we deeply love.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Beechy & Willmott drive time show

Gav Thomas aka 'techno dad' has put me on to this podcast - a blokey discussion on reputation. Brilliant!

click here to listen