Friday, 24 August 2012

'Thank God for' Friday!

It's been a while and as always, there is much to thank God for but today (tonight) I am going to take this opportunity to thank God for...


'What? Who? Huh?' I hear you say. They are not a kind of Morris-dance or a fish with big eyes, they are actually my family! My Mum's maiden name is actually Figgess and her family are all pretty legendary. And today, very excitingly, the youngest and last Figgess has come to stay, my cousin Kate. When we were younger we used to visit each other several times a year but since we all started leaving home and growing up it's been much less frequent, in fact she said it was 8 years since she'd crossed the border into beautiful Wales. 

Figgesses and family in general are just brilliant, because there is so much shared; in blood and experience and relations, and it has been so fun and so funny to reminisce over various anecdotes and memories. Things that you couldn't understand the full hilarity of unless you knew and loved the people in question as family, like (in a Yorkshire accent), 'Bethan, you can't use that, that's my Dad's flannel!' More than that, there is genuine interest in how you are doing now and what your hopes for the future are, regardless of how long it's been since you've caught up. So thank God very much for Figgesses, we're well enjoying having Kate here so far.

I also can't help but think, as I reflect on family, how marvellous it is that in God's great masterplan for his people, he didn't create a society or a club or a profession, but a family. A people where everyone is accepted as a brother or sister and united by a completely loving Father, each with a unique role to play, but loved regardless of what they do. The best thing is that it is a totally elastic family, and there is always space for one more. Jesus promised, 'My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.'  (John 14:2-3) How I look forward to being there with all my brothers and sisters.

Thank God for family.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

A foretaste

Just a quick blog today. Inspired by the human body and the 2012 Olympics.

On Tuesday at aerobics I was struck by something. No, not the person next to me getting too enthusiastic with their jumping jacks, but a thought. This thought was further cemented in watching Olympians compete this week and the way they power through their events.

The thought was this...

As I was on round 5 or 6 of abdominal exercises and I was really starting to feel the burn, but still wanted to carry on right through it, I was just amazed by the capacity of the human body. Just when you think all the reserves are gone, you can be surprised by how much more your body can do. Then it occurred to me that this is like a tiny foretaste, a hint, an image, of what God's grace to us is like. Just when we think we have experienced the fullness of his love, the extent of his forgiveness, the greatness of  his  power, the intimacy of knowing  him personally, his grace goes further. He shows us that he actually delights to give us more. What's more, unlike our mortal bodies which will eventually reach their limit, God's grace will never run out. However big we think he is, he's bigger. Thank you God.

'The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.' 
Words of the apostle Paul to his young friend Timothy in his first letter, chapter 1, verse 14.