Celebrating creativity! Images from Elim workshop and from House of Bread, Shipston, workshop this month. Amazing stuff!
While you're with us, why not take a moment to check out the Original Paintings page to find some fantastic bargains?!
Now for the Bible blog...................
'Nana,I'm not going to see you again for a very long time.'
'O, why's that?'
'I'm going away for a very long time. I've said good-bye to my friend and we hugged.'
She frowned as she spoke and had her 'serious ' look. This was not a moment to giggle. Four days away is a very long time to a three-and-a-half year old.
I began to think about time and our perception of it. 'I'll only be a couple of minutes,' he says and ten minutes later (sometimes longer) you're still waiting......What about those set times you're given to attend? Do you arrive five minutes early so that you don't miss anything or are they simply guidelines - it'll all happen in due course? How are we supposed to make sense of those rare once in a lifetime travel events when we lose a whole day or gain one? Difficult isn't it? Especially if like me you're not in the slightest logical or scientific. Sometimes I just have to bow to the fact that's just the way it is. We each live within our own time boundary, put in this point of human history for this time.
So it may come as a big surprise when we read in Scripture, 'In the beginning God.....'(Genesis 1:1 NIV). I remember when I first read those words all the 'Who? What? Why?' questions came to mind. These are easy words to simply flip over like, 'Once upon a time' in a children's fairy tale. But, when we read on in Scripture we learn a lot more about God, His interaction with a variety of folk all through history. For instance, about 1500 BC a man called Moses met God and asked God His name. 'I Am.' was the reply. Note the present tense. Moving on to about 700 BC the prophet Isaiah had these words:
'I am God. Yes, and from ancient days, I am He.'
'I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.'
'I am God, there is not other. I am God, there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.' (Isaiah 43:13, 44:6, 46:9-10 NIV)
So we learn from these words that God lives outside time - living in the present 'I Am', the past, 'the Ancient One' and knowing the future 'what is still to come', all at one go!
Then came Jesus. Jesus had a lot to tell us about God. He called God 'His Father' and told wonderful stories about His extravagant love. Perhaps one of His most famous stories is recorded by Luke, a doctor by profession and a first century Christian convert.
Jesus told the story of a son who demanded his inheritance from his father while his father was still alive! His father gave him the money and the son left home to go to a different country where he spent the lot on wild living. Unfortunately, there was a famine in the country so he got a job on a pig farm. It was there, exhausted, penniless and hungry, he came to his senses and said to himself, '...I'm going back to my father. I'll say to him, 'Father, I've sinned against God. I've sinned against you. I don't deserve to be called your son.. Take me on as a hired hand.'
So the young man made his way home. But look at what happened next! The son knew he didn't deserve anything after what he'd done. At best, he hoped he would be able to work on the farm as a hired hand. But, that was better than what he was experiencing right now!
'When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him and kissed him. The son started on his speech, 'Father, I've sinned against God. I've sinned against you. I don't deserve to be called your son ever again.'
But the father wasn't listening. He was calling to his servants. 'Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a heifer and roast it. We're going to have a feast!.....My son is here - given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!' And they began to have a wonderful time.' (Luke 15:18-24 The Message)
Wow! What an amazing Father this is! Watching out. Waiting patiently for His lost sons and daughters to return home. Even though God is outside time, He's not remote. He's longing for relationship. God is watching all of His creation carefully, intently, waiting for a response from His created ones - His ultimate creation - that's us!