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REFLECTIONS

A Cup of Tea, and Me

THURSDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER  2021

A cup of tea.  What possibilities there are, as we sit down with that particular cup for this special time of the day? What might emerge as we pause, pause to just be. 

A cup of tea, and me. 

 

During this ‘tea and me’ time the usual pattern emerges: 

Savouring and quietening. Reflecting and smiling. Honouring and praying. 

… when I remember part of a phrase that disturbed my reverie. 

 

He didn’t believe in a personal God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings, a view which he described as naïve

 

What was it that caught my attention - that stirred my heart?

 

Naïve! 

It was the word naïve. 

Could having this belief be described as being naïve? 

 

Settling down to my cup of tea, I ponder this thought:

Am I naïve in believing in such a God? 

 

Am I naive to believe that He knows the number of hairs on my head – does He know the number of grey ones too?

Am I simplistic to credit Him with intimate knowledge of me? That before a word is on my tongue that you, God, know it completely.  Oh heck – even those colourful words!

Am I childlike to have the hope that I was purposefully created – my complexity and my originality, a design not an accident; fearfully and wonderfully made!

 

Such beautiful promises. Gentle and affirming. Evoking a natural response from me to relax and just be held. Held in this childlike imagination. 

 

I smile as I swirl the tea gently in my cup, take a sip, feel the warmth against my throat. 

 

But wait …

 

Am I naïve to believe in such promises?

What am I claiming?

A God who cares for me, my life…. my whole life?

 

Am I unrealistic to consider that my presence (sometimes dysfunctional), within this hurting world might concern its Architect? 

Am I irrational to believe that my Maker, perceiving this darkness, wouldn’t turn and depart from that which He had once declared ‘Good, Very Good’?

Am I stupid to hope that even as I turn inward and away, that there might be One who turns towards, reaches down, comes down, enters … enters my darkness …

 

I think about what I am requesting. 

Would it be so extraordinarily naïve to believe in such a God?

Why might God want to be personally involved in a world like this?

 

Surely such a One would be intimately familiar with the world, and its ways. 

Not lacking information nor powers of analysis, wouldn’t the Creator reason that the most efficient and economical way to proceed was to call it a day. 

 

Wouldn’t any further involvement therefore describe God as naïve?


 

Is God simplistic to credit the pain He hears above the groan of winging and complaining?

 

Is God childlike to chase after unique individuality with a goal to redeem ashes,

to transform brokenness? 

 

Is God unrealistic to believe that this Adam might choose a relationship for anything other than what I can get out of it! 

 

This relationship:

All about me! It’s my life. My life!


 

I place my hands around my cup. Opening my fingers to gently swirl the tea as I consider the gravity of my thoughts.

 

A personal God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings

A God who is naïve? 

 

I consider a God; unworldly to descend and meet with us here on earth,

rather than demand that we rise to Him

 

I consider a God; simplistic to hold out His arms of love whilst upholding His law of freedom. 

 

I consider a God; naïve to imagine that this world wouldn’t at best smile politely …

Wouldn’t scorn His interference.

Turn from Him… Reject Him…  Eject Him… 

Kill Him…. ‘Crucify Him’ 

 

Crucify Him

 

Oh God, My God! The cost! What cost! 



A personal God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.

A view that might be described as naive

 

Naïve?

No, not naïve.

No, that word is far too small, lacking in depth, minuscule in pain, tame in passion!

 

I can’t imagine sitting with my God and saying:

“I think that you were naïve to bother with this world.”

 

I think I’ll be speechless – lost in the mystery. 

The mystery of a Love that demanded ALL of God … for so little of me. 

 

Oh my Lord. My God.

 

Your spontaneous response to the world that You Love so much. So much.

 

Thank You

 

A personal God who cares about me. 

 

My cup of tea, and me!

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Running

SUNDAY 4th JULY  2021

Every Monday I meet with a group of ladies.  We call ourselves Ladies of the Upper Room.

This week we reflected on Faithfulness and Goodness. I write the words with a capital as we wonder at the possibility of there being A Faithfulness, A Goodness.  

 

I roll the words round my tongue, tasting them, and trying them on for size. 

I imagine speaking to you

 

“I am faithful”   “I am faithful to you”

 

“I am good”     “I am good to you”

 

What do I notice? Sweet, real and well put together on a good day. Sour and shakily inauthentic on a bad one. Is this just me? Impacted by the day and its circumstances, my emotions and the ‘you’ that I imagine myself speaking to.

Changeable!

But as I taste these expressions, I do know that faithfulness and goodness

are important to my soul – to my health and my well-being.

Faithful - Constant, unchangeable, loyal, reliable, congruent  … 

Experience of unfaithfulness - Seasick, sinking sand, cut adrift …

 

So I run. 

 

I run towards faithfulness; a rock like place of trust, of security, a space of freedom

to bring myself - just as me, with my changeable, misfit attire.  

 

Where do I run?

I head towards those who are faithful in their goodness to me. Thank you. Thank you! 

 

And me?

Do people run to me?

 

I try to be the same to them. And I hope to be found ‘faithful to you’. But, I have a limited capacity and know that I cannot own to being ‘Faithful to You’. Certainly not a Capital!  

Is there a Capital?

 

The Faithful One – Constant One - faithful in spite of my unfaithfulness?

Always Good in spite of my sourness? 

Is there such a One? Is this even possible?

 

If there is such a One – open your arms wide and let me in – so that I can taste and know refuge under the shadow of your wings. A place to bring, Just Julie, on my good and specifically my bad days. A place where I am certain that responses to me are guided by goodness. 

Your Goodness, directed towards my good. 

 

Is there such a One?

A Capital to run towards?

 

On Monday evening this is the question we ponder, as we climb the stairs to the Upper Room. Meeting together to comprehend the One who has no shadow of darkness, for He is Good.  

He is Good to me. Good to us ladies, coming just as we are.

 

And if I spend time with One such as this, One who is good always and always good,

will His fruit not grow within me? 

 

Oh taste and see that the Lord is Good.  One who has Faithful and True written on His robes – even as He went to the cross wearing my tattered rags.  

 

So, we meet together, kick off our shoes and run into the arms of the One.

Hoping that as we are encircled within these Arms, that we are transformed into His likeness. Gracing us with arms that invite people into a hug, into a conversation fragranced with faithfulness and goodness.

 

So we run. 

 

Run towards that which is Faithful and True. 

 

Run!

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At Night His Song is With Me

THURSDAY 20th MAY  2021

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For those who believe and trust in the Lord Jesus there is a relational experience of a life journey with Him. So we follow Him in the way we should go and we trust in Him as we journey together.  

 

Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him... Psalm 37

 

But what is our part? What is in our role in the everyday actions and inactions? For seasons and timings are part of being in the Lord’s way. 

 

As a mother, and a wife, I do find that my internal chatter can be quite noisy with questions such as “What should I be doing?  “What is stepping into someone else’s backyard?”  And the indecision and internal analysis that follows can leave me weary, and seasick, as I attempt to rationalise a situation from my knowledge and understanding, mingled with my doubts. As I listened to a Lectio365 night meditation I came upon an ‘active trust’ “technique” that settled my weary soul. An intentional laying down of my burden, at least for the night! 

 

A prayer to the God of my life. My evening conversation with Jesus: 

“Julie you are troubled by many things.  What do you want me to do for you?”

I look with Jesus at my heart and we see the burden together. 

I name it. Jesus my burden is …

“Julie, what is your faith for this situation?” “What is your honest, bottom line, small mustard seed of faith that I have given to you?” 

I look at the light of His countenance shining upon me. And together we look, and searching we find it.  A perfectly matched belief in Him – in who He is – a part of His countenance that He had revealed to me. It may be a small seed of faith, but it is real, it is mine to hold on to for me at this time. It has the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob written all over it. 

“Julie, who do you say I am?” 

I name it.  Jesus you are … (All wise, Almighty, Ever compassionate, My refuge, The Lifter of My Head … an attribute of God that I can trust in Him for, in my situation)

I bring this tiny seed of faith, and together we plant it.  We plant my faith, as small as a mustard seed, for this specific burden. 

And I sleep. This is my Sabbath rest.

 

What is the Lord doing whilst I sleep? He surely delights in our trust in Him. 

No wonder the psalmist wrote ‘At night His song is with me’ 

What is the Lord doing whilst I sleep? Is my seed germinating, taking root, about to bud? 

I may not know, but as I wake I enquire of the Lord. “What is my part following on from your night work?” And as I listen, I hear His love directing me to take a step; a small mustard seed step, or a great stride – as He directs.

 

‘By day the Lord directs His love’

Psalm 42

 

Committing our way to the Lord. Trusting in Him.

Creating with Jesus – the 'active trust' way

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