The Plant: Fragile to Flourish

There it is. The first signs of growth. Bursting through the soil reaching tentatively to the sun.

There are so many factors going against it. What if there are is an adverse climate? What if the surroundings are made hostile? Perhaps a rodent or pest may trample it down before it ever has a chance to really get to its fullness. There is no guarantee that it will survive from day to day.

Yet, somehow, despite the factors going against it, it does not just survive, it thrives. Adapting to its environment, drawing nourishment and strength from within and it’s roots, that fragile looking plant slowly but surely finds its place and flourishes. It is a beautiful sight that did not happen overnight and was not always meant to happen, but from deep down within it flourishes from the inside out and its flourishing is a blessing to those who see it for what it is and how it has got there.

It’s flourishing may last but a brief time, but the ripple effects may last way past its time on earth.

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

The Kettle: Patient Passion

The kettle.

It contains water. Water that is in the process of going from one temperature to another. The state of the water previously was not good enough for the task required. The final state of the water will reach will be perfect for the task. You just need to raise the heat over time. In the suitable container that process can take place to the benefit of those who need the hot water.

Some people like it hot. Some people need it hot. Where are the kettles who can take the heat to deliver the goods?

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

How The Story Goes

It can come across as rather presumptuous to think you know how the story goes. After all, what makes you think you know. Who are you anyway? What do you know?

So at best it’s good to just let the story tell the story and not get involved in things you know nothing about.

That’s one approach.

But consider what’s happening in the story – the mess ain’t getting any tidier for all the pleasant sentiments, for all the outrage, for all the campaigns, for all the innovations. The mess might be glorified better, it might come across as more sophisticated, it might be justified as a part of the way things are or the way things must be. All of that, however, does nothing to deal with the mess.

Some might give the impression that the mess is all there is and we just have to get accustomed to it. Make the best of the messy situation.

Ahhhh but in as much as that works for some, it is not how the story goes. Someone lived in a way that showed there’s a better story to be told.

So the mess in me, the mess in my community, the mess in the church, the mess that is the world – it does not have to be that way.

That’s not how the story goes.

There’s a better story to tell – want to hear it? Want to write the next chapter in it? I got this idea for a project and what happens is …

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Can You See Progress?

I love Steve.

He is among the greatest men I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. Great, because he is a man of integrity. He values the truth, he doesn’t take rubbish. His generosity has benefited many and he is humble enough never to make a big deal of it at all. His commitment to his family is something that still fills me with tears of admiration.

Steve is also a Liverpool fan reaffirming what a great human being he is!

It’s our shared love of Liverpool Football Club that remains one of the best things ever. I love it. I love our conversations and his insights on football and all things about the club we admire so much.

One thing that Steve and I are usually agreed on is that Steve is right. It takes much for me to actually go out of my way to suggest that Steve may not have it completely correct.

What did I disagree with him about? Well …

Ahhhhhhh you don’t wanna know. What you do want to know is that it’s good when you can see progress. I mean really see it.

You see, we live in a world that is good at marketing and spinning. So appearances are made and crafted in a bid to give a particular story, even if that story is not true. You tell that story suggestively enough and persistently enough and people believe it. Which, when you strip it all away, is people believing a lie.

Some are suckered into believing in progress for a lot of superficial platitudes. So convenient facts are highlighted and trumpeted, where not so pertinent truths are dismissed or neglected. Tragically leaving people sticking to something that was dead a long time ago, but they are persuaded to endure because of clever marketing.

Meanwhile it is good to actually see things for what they are. When you see progress, despite the opposition and challenging circumstances, it is good to recognise it for what it is, especially if it is that progress that can keep you going.

So can you see progress? Is it really there?

Meanwhile Steve was probably right. Probably.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Running By The Rules

There is a saying going around that says that following Jesus isn’t about rules, it’s about relationship.

I hear that. I certainly get the gist of what it looks to oppose. There is a very real legalistic streak among some of us that is so rules oriented that the purpose of living and the real spirit of life gets extinguished.

Yet can you think of a world without rules? I mean the basics. Doesn’t your body operate by rules – you know, the way it says if you drink too much of one thing you can expect a shut down soon.

And anyway, don’t even relationships operate on rules? Informal, unwritten and casual though they may be, break them and see what happens. What happens when someone trusts you with something important to them and you break their trust. Tell me it’s not about rules then.

This is why the relationship with Jesus operates by understanding His own rules. You don’t have to get hung up on the rules side of things, primarily because the relationship is about liberating you to truly become what you were created to be.

That’s why it’s certainly worth knowing, in the race of life, what the rules are. It would be a shame to run it and lose because you were disqualified. It would similarly be tragic not to finish the race because you did not make the most of the support available to run the race well. The rules gives a lot of scope for help in excelling in running. The support on your side, if you choose to rely on it, will not just see you make it across the finish line, it will allow you to do it and win the prize.

That’s all there in the rules – if you take the time to check them out. Rather than than run into a dead end.

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

When A Revelation Leads To A Reformation

For those of you looking for a piece on Martin Luther and the last book in the Bible, this is not that kind of article.

2 Chronicles 34 outlines an impressive chapter in the life of the nation of Judah. The new king Josiah lives up to the standard of David, one of the few kings to live up to it. It started well at an early age and stage after stage he continued to pursue God wholeheartedly.

One of the most impressive aspects of his reign was what happened when the book was revealed to him. The book read and the findings lead to him renewing an even greater zeal of national reformation to bring God’s people back to proper wholehearted devotion to God as He instructed.

While I don’t dismiss out of hand the possibility of a national fervour for the things of God, something of great importance for the church of the Living God is to realise from time to time, how we need to have the Word revealed to us again to make the necessary changes. Oh for the heart like Josiah to get rid of all the competing gods so as to establish the worship of the one true God as supreme over all.

2 Chronicles 34 – It’s a chapter worth considering …

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden