Thursday, June 07, 2007

Give us today our daily bread

How much do you eat in a week? How much does your family eat in a week?

Jesus taught us to pray "Give us today our daily BREAD". Bread was the basic necessity of life. Bread and water. And yet we get so much more than the basic necessities - we get dessert too.

Jesus also taught us to pray, "Give US today our daily bread." Our prayers are so often self-centred, how often do we pray, and then act on behalf of the hungry?

Here's a couple of pics from a photo essay you can see the rest of over here. They show what a family in the UK eats in a week, and a family from Chad - along with the relative amount spent on food per week.

Great Britain: The Bainton family of Cllingbourne Ducis

Food expenditure for one week: 155.54 British Pounds or $253.15
Favorite foods: avocado, mayonnaise sandwich, prawn cocktail, chocolate fudge cake with cream

Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp

Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23
Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat

You can hear a sermon I preached on "Give us today our daily bread" here

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Another Voice - More than conquering your circumstances

Two old men were sitting watching a heavily loaded van making its way across an old bridge. The bridge croaked and groaned under the weight. As they watched, a starling landing on top of the cab, and immediately the bridge collapsed in a cloud of dust. One of the men turned to the other and said, “Heavy wee thing, that bird.”

Sometimes it’s not the big things in life that get to us, it’s the collection of little things that mount up, and soon you feel up to you neck. And perhaps you find yourself lying awake at night and your mind is racing with the circumstances you find yourself in, and it gets to the point where you are on the verge of panic.

Perhaps it’s the kids, they’re playing up, and you just don’t have the energy for this. Perhaps it’s bills coming in, perhaps it’s reports coming home from school of disruptive behaviour, perhaps it’s worries about a job, work isn’t coming in, or too much work is piling up. Perhaps it’s losing your job, and how then are you going to provide?

Perhaps it’s just that you are caught in a pattern you can’t get out of – you can’t seem to break free. Perhaps something has you addicted and you can’t break free. Perhaps choices you made have left you in a hopeless situation. Perhaps you have been dumped into your circumstances by others, and you are left there and you feel you are floundering, just keeping afloat and no more.

Is there hope?

We can’t always change our circumstances – despite what Oprah and the positive thinking gurus say. But the Bible teaches that we can be changed in our circumstances. In other words we can live in the same circumstances, but with a radically different mindset, and more importantly with the strength of God working in us and through us enabling us to cope. And often it is as he changes us that God does what we can’t do, and changes our circumstances.

The Bible also teaches that those who put their trust in God find that he controls their circumstances for their good. That gives a strength and a peace amidst the turmoil. And, although it doesn’t always happen, often he does lift us out of our circumstances and transform both them and us.

On Sunday evening (10th) we’ll be looking at what the Bible has to say this on topic in greater detail – ‘More than Conquering your Circumstances’. It’s open to anyone. It will be held in the Day Centre off Oliver Plunkett Road, Letterkenny at 8pm. Why not come along and hear more?