Failure and success

Lost in translation

Lost in translation

As we entered the British Museum in London, we noticed a large group of people crowded around a display holding up their cameras. We had seen the same phenomenon in the Louvre in Paris. There it was the Venus de Milo, whose one arm was just about visible above the cluster of cameras. Here it was the Rosetta Stone.

I don’t really think many of the onlookers fully understood what it was, and they certainly weren’t taking time to read the carefully written notice beside it.

The Rosetta Stone was discovered by the French in 1799, but repossessed by the British shortly after and carried off to London. It has been in the British Museum since 1802, where it is the most visited display, to which we can indeed bear witness.

The challenge of change

The challenge of change

Change can be lethal. I was trying to exit a congested British roundabout in a large urban centre the other day. I was driving a rented car with everything on the opposite side of normal. Having survived the battle of the roundabout, I fixed my eyes on the busy road at the end of the exit ramp. What I missed was the lady quickly stepping onto the crosswalk with her large umbrella concealing her view of the oncoming traffic. Which was me.

Thankfully in God’s providence and mercy, I whizzed past her and we both went our own ways. Under the cover of her umbrella, she may not even have noticed how close she came to meeting the Lord.

When the foundations are forgotten

When the foundations are forgotten

My friend Don and I were leading a mens’ conference together a couple of weeks ago. Prior to the conference beginning, God had laid a word on my heart about returning to foundations. The Lord had also laid a word on Don’s heart based on the idea of a bulldozer clearing ground. You would have expected that the bulldozer was preparing the land for a totally new building, but on further inspection the machine was actually clearing the dirt off old foundations it was uncovering.

The message was clear: build on the foundations that have been laid.

How to measure your maturity

How to measure your maturity

Maturity is measurable. Sanctification is measurable. But how?

It all comes down to movement.

The meaning of the Hebrew word we translate “repentance” has the basic meaning of “return.” A person who repents is one who has spent the first part of their life moving away from God. But then they are arrested by an encounter with Christ.

The rest of their life is meant to be spent in a continuous movement back to God.

Carrying the treasure

Carrying the treasure

“We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:7). Here in one sentence is expressed the secret of the release of the power of God. God’s destiny for us is to carry his power, the treasure of his presence.

The enemy knows how to attack. That attack so often comes in the form of one thing after another that gradually wears away our defences, grinds us down and leaves us weak, exposed to temptation, and feeling like giving up. We carry the treasure in jars of clay. Clay pots were the humblest form of kitchenware in those days. They were cheap and unattractive. Their greatest value was the food they held within them.