Bible Temptation

I listened to a priest preaching last night about Jesus being tempted during his time in the wilderness. The sermon centred on the fact that Jesus countered the Devil with quotes of scripture that he had obviously memorised. Thus the literal word of God was used to defeat the Devil. The priest then went on to talk about us and the constant temptation coming our way in life. His suggestion was that we should keep a constant contact with the bible and attempt to actually learn passages by heart so that we could as we felt necessary use them to fend off temptations.
What I started to feel was the general lack of bible knowledge that I have ( what many call scripture) let alone how much I could actually call upon for a specific purpose. Like many Christians I have read the Bible in bite size chunks for ages and listen to epistles and readings regularly at church. What I don't do is memorise it. To illustrate my point tell some one a story from the bible ( any story) without referring to the bible while you do it.
In our culture we don't remember things in detail, probably because there is just too much to know. But this got me thinking just how close are we to the knowledge in the bible and how do we apply it in daily life if we don't know it well. Thinking of William Wilberforce and my Lent course, I wonder how well he knew his bible and how many times he had to go scuttling off to read up on the fine print when he arguing about slavery.
I suspect his knowledge of the bible was better than mine. I also think that the priest has a rel event point we should be far more aware of the knowledge in the bible and far more able to apply it, even to the point of utilising specific pieces to ward off temptations. The Bible is our resource after all. I suggest that you make a little time this Lent to read and digest something from the bible. See how well you can remember it, maybe surprise someone you know with a bible story - they might like it.

Peace Dave.


Good Opportunity

There is a lot of talk about slavery at the moment, partly because it is the anniversary of William Wilberforce and partly because slavery has not completely stopped. The Lent course that I have signed up to looks at the underlying Christian values that Mr William Wilberforce adhered to and asks can we make use of them today as Christians ourselves. For those of you that don't know William Wilberforce is credited with changing the political opinions of the British Empire about slavery. Certainly in his time he stood up and said some radical things that definitely went against the grain of the times.
It would have been all too easy for Wilberforce to have sat back and accepted things as they were, as many of his contemporaries must have done. Many others may have agreed with him but never had the opportunities that Wilberforce had to make change. Straight away there's a lesson, you can only do what you can do. Not every Christian can be Mother Theresa or William Wilberforce, you can only do what you can do. That's not a cop out though or an excuse either. What you can do, you should do and do with all your heart. Everyone is blessed with their own talents and abilities, all that is required is the right opportunity. This Lent try to be open to opportunities, what ever they may be and when ever they occur, then challenge yourself to do something good.

Peace Dave


Proper Start

Lent can be a bit like New Year, you make promises to yourself - and sometimes to others. Plans always seem easy, it's when you begin to do the things you plan that reality kicks in. Change can be awkward to manage simply because it is change, you need to make room for it.
So today I have steeled myself and began as I intend to carry on. No great secret, just determination and effort. It may sound dramatic but it's the only alternative to the ever present easy options that surround me. No amount of groups or books will help me if I will not help myself first. Many of the people that Jesus met personally had suddenly realised that they had deep needs and had chosen to do something about it.
Every journey starts - if it ever starts - with a first footstep. Many people though never take the first step, finding change just too hard. The good news is that the next step is easier and with each passing step the journey gets shorter. So if you are sitting on the fence reading this hop off and walk along with me on my journey this Lent, I would relish the company.

Peace Dave.

Lenten Return

I haven't blogged for far too long and I was reminded of this fact by a friend that I encouraged to set up a blog. She, Amanda, e-mailed me to look at her blog and see what I thought. It was one of those sheepish moments when you realise that you haven't really practiced what you preached.
Amanda's blog is very good and is aimed at raising interest in South Sudan and the ongoing situation there. Amanda is Sudanese and so has an inside track on the politics and context of the politics of Sudan. Respect should also go to Kabung her cousin who set up the blog with Amanda. I have blog rolled the blog so please check it out.
Myself I rumble on much as I usually do. Today is Ash Wednesday and for Christians the world over this marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is usually seen as the time when you give things up and fasting is a part of Lent. But much more than that Lent is a time to reflect on ourselves as Christians and try to grow a little. It's a sort of spiritual spring clean.
Thanks to Amanda and a huge pang of guilt part of my Lent observance will be my blog and an abstinence from apathy. I'm back.

Peace Dave.