Getting noticed!

I guess being blind, and visiting schools and youth groups you do kind of stand out a bit, and people really do seem to remember you, and even what you have said.
This last week, a girl 26 year old came up to me and informed me that she remembered me teaching her in school, and she cold remember the topics that we discussed, and even though she was out celebrating recently getting engaged, she talked to me on a couple of ocasions during the night and chatted about the topics we had discussed in school.
A secondd ocasion also happened when the cinema with my eldest daughter, and when walkiing into the screen showing our film, a young person turned to thier friend they were with, and said: ” I know that man, he has come into my school”, and they carried on talking about me being in school, although i couldn’t hear the rest of the discussion as we moved to a different part of the cinema.
I am sure  without doubt that not everyone will remember me, or anything that i have said, but our prayer continues to be that something that is said, some discussion makes a difference in people’s lives, and maybe spotting me in different places sparks memories, sparks thoughts, and mayybe resparks an interst that might have been kindled during discussions.

Where do we get confidence from?

I have been thinking a lot about confidence  recently, and it was highlighted to me even more whilst watching DR Who on Saturday night.There was a discussion between the DR’s 2 assistants about what the DR would do in a difficult situation, and how wold he get himself out of it. As part of the discussion, one asked the question of how the DR always came up with a solution to his circumsntace? To which the other replied, that he always knew that he would, and so he did!!!
Obviouusly a fictional context, but yet, something interesting that the DR knew he would resolve the situation, because he always did.
In this context, the DR had confidence in himself, but i wonder if we can transfer this into our lives, so that we can have confidence in god in all contexts of our lives, so we know that he will enable us to work through the situation.
Our lives are surrounded by people, business, who tell us that we can have confiidene in them, and that they are trustworthy.
But the reality is, that  people do let us down, business will always let us down, but God is always there for us through great situations and tough ones.
So can we live lives that are full of confidence, but confidence in God who will always be there for us rather than in other things and people who are likely to elt us down in life. 
What does it look like for you to have ultimate confidence in God that he will always pull through for you, and you will always succeed in God’s terms, because God is your confidence and the trust you place in him.


There is much about this film that I don’t recognise from the accounts given in Genesis, but still it does highlight some key points:

1: Processing what he hears from God: noah wrestles with visions and what he feels god is saying to him. The main point of this whether it happened that way or not, is simply that Noah became aware of god saying something to him, and he pursued God, pursued what was being said to him, and esnured to the best of his ability he followed.

2: noah followed: again whether it happend quite the way the film suggests in some ways doesn’t actually matter, but what does matter, is the fact that despite provocation, distraction, and even internal questioning, noah still followed and went with what god was telling him. Even though it didn’t make logical sense, he still followed, and went with it. the fullfillment of god’s plan, came from Noah not just doing the processing, but actually doing the following up and acting upon, it and despite all around him, got giving in.

As i say there is much that doesn’t seem to follow the accounts given in Genesis, such as Noah’s discussions with grandfather, Noah’s daughter-in-law giving birth on the Arc, and Noah feeling he needed tokill them becuase they were daughters not sons, none of which i read anywhere, but Noah’s pursuit of god, and his unrelenting determination to follow what god was calling out of him, is certainly something that we can learn from today.

how much do we feel that we have heard something from god?
how much are we prepared to keep pushing so we know what it is god is asking of us?
how much will we trust god that even when things don’t make human logical sense, that actually we keep going, becuase we trust that God is right.

These are indeed huge challenges to us today, because many of us would possibly fall into the camp of all the others around Noah, challeninging him, questioning him, mocking him, and acutally not trusting god, or believing that god had let them down and left them.

but just maybe the world would be a better place if more of us pursued whaat god was saying, had the determination to follow up on it, and keep going despite all around us.

American sniper

A controversial film, which in many ways has been misrepresented – in my humble opinion, for what it is worth. It is a powerful film, which challenges many preconceived ideas, and demonstrates powerfully how people get drawn into situations.

As a lad Chris is brought up to defend people around him, particularly thsoe he cares about, be a “sheep-dog, not a sheep or a wolf”.

As he grows up he sees the pictures of 9/11 and is bothered about what is happening to America, his country. He joins the army, and ends up being sent to Iraq.

Much has been eliberated about hwo much truth there is or isn’t in the film, but i don’t wish to engage in that, as I don’t know the person chris personally, obviously.

What is clear is the struggles that no-one really understands when you engage in difficult situations, face hard things, are invovled in horrible thinggs, and then also have to try to be a family person with those who have o idea what you have experienced.

It also shows from bothh sides, how family men, are drawn into war, because of what they perceive to be happening to them, or their country.

Within the film, Chris is held up as a hero by many of his colleagues because of how he defended them, how he killed the enemy to defend them, and he gains the title of “legend”. Later on he with younger SEALS, and one claims to be the new “legend”, and chris points out that that is not a title he would want to have!!!

How we are perceived by others, held on that mountain, for everyone to see, to become a lenged in others eyes, is very a dangerous place, and something that Chris seemingly warns others never to want to reach!

As i say, whether certain elements are true or not is not what I am engaging with here, but the struggle of existence, when experiencing extremely difficult situations in life.The reality of hwo people get drawn into war by media that is put out there, how people process what they see, hear or experience! Very powerful, very challenging, hugely thought provoking, and will leave the viewer with lots of questions.

People miss the challenges fo the film as they think, or regard it as a propaganda film which it isn’t, or start getting involved in the personal of the film, which none of us can really engage with if we don’t know him personally. Well worth a watch with an open mind, and see the film for what it really is, a challenge to whether war is actually worth it, and maybe we shoud have a greater regard for those who face horrible situations and not have unrealistic expectations upon them, and maybe, just maybe, we should show more understanding, compassion, love to those around us, then maybe lives could be made a bit easier.