Faithful to the Mission

When I am asked to do something within my strengths and in line with my passions there is something about me that gets tunnel visioned. It’s as if I block everything out except endeavouring to excel in that area. It can be remarkably useful and also remarkably off-putting to others. As well as that, however, in time past I have placed a great deal of pressure on myself during and after the activity.

It’s not unusual for me to be heavily morose afterwards and needing to be left on my own to recover from that activity. Go ahead, say it, “That’s weird, CD.” It was the way it was for me for a long time. In some ways it worked, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a way of engaging with the things you love and look to use for the benefit of others.

One massive thing that has changed for me in recent years is a more considered approach to the whole process. My favourite time in that process continues to be the preparation stages. What I am learning to appreciate all the more is how important God wants me to see the need to rest in Him throughout the entire process, not just the preparation. That is something that helps me truly endeavour to trust God all the more through everything.

What that has also made me aware of is how great it is feeling I was faithful to the mission. Doing what needed to be done in the way it should have been done and leaving it there. Leaving it with God, who after all initiated the mission, so is more than able to see that mission accomplished for His honour and glory. It’s really just to enjoy the privilege of playing a role in that process.

It doesn’t negate the benefits of reflection and reviewing things. It just saves those around me the time having to deal with the hours of me being morose. The bigger picture is as well it keeps the focus on what matters – the mission.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Word in Action 

I love God. 

I really do. It’s the reason why I live and move and have such verve for doing my best. Among the countless reasons for loving Him is His unerring habit of speaking and then when He speaks, what He says happens. I love it. 

At the start of this year, I spoke to a few people who shared what they wanted to achieve in the year and I shared what I wanted as well. It’s easy to talk, but it’s a beautiful thing when the word becomes action. It’s not about a massive splash and everything being done perfectly first time, but it is a clear indication that what was planted within that honours God by blessing others moves from thoughts to manifest in the natural, physical, real world. 

I recently was privileged to witness a friend’s first steps into manifesting and I was so excited I couldn’t contain my joy. Not that the task is over and everything is perfect, but that critical first step was taken – the intentional first step in the journey to realising the Word. It’s so exciting to witness it, especially knowing that if it is of God, whatever challenges that may be faced will only prove to be the fuel that motors the Word being realised all the more. 

Witnessing these developments is hugely encouraging to me. It lifts my faith to know that His Word will not return to Him void. It will accomplish the purpose for which it was sent. A purpose to bless and show the brilliance of our glorious God to the world! 

It’s a good reason to live. It’s a good reason to do the best. It’s a great reason to simply declare:

I love God. 

(Photo: Unsplash) 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

My Word

Back in the day, I loved the commentary styles of the likes of David Coleman, Brian Moore, Barry Davies and John Motson. If you’re not interested in sport and English commentary on the variety of sport then this won’t mean much to you, but it meant heaps to me for years. Apparently there was some large global multi-sport experience that took place recently, but I was not that interested in any aspect of it. I didn’t watch any of the events and the results mattered very little to me. The event itself, though, reminded me of the 1980’s into the early 1990’s when I paid more attention to the competition and it was the commentary that had me hooked. In and amongst the excitement the commentators would bring to the action I can hear ringing in my ears the distinguished and considered phrases used to describe the elation and exhilaration of key moments in the competition. One phrase that was distinct and expressed exclamation brilliantly was the simple phrase, ‘My word’. It was so sweet hearing that phrase to convey the heightened level of attention to that which the commentator beheld. 

Decades later and the phrase has added meaning and value to me. It says something of my ambition in doing and saying. It says something about my desire to be an ever more effective and excellent communicator carrying across Christ in any setting I am in. It says something about the joy I have in cherishing the value of what emits from me when inspired by God in spoken or written form. It says something about the legacy in the hearts and minds of others when they recall experiences with me. Others have their music, their craft, their culinary delights, their mesmerising dance, their awe-inspiring architecture, their compassion for children, their ability to create communal facilities that enhances life for others. I dedicate my life again to employing the greatest gift God has given me. It’s for the benefit of others and for the glory of His Name. It may not mean much to some, but it will mean life for others. I dedicated my life to joyfully use that gloriously simple phrase. 

My word. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

A Word of Advice – A Jesus Vision

A very good friend celebrates his birthday today. He turns an age that is relatively familiar to me and in as much as there are better qualified folks to give advice, I got to thinking what advice I would share with my good friend to help him enjoy the day and enjoy this stage of his life.

The big piece of advice that emerged, though, was the importance of setting a big vision in front of you. I got married at the age of 25 and at the time we were involved in a number of exciting projects. Those projects were a lot about the vision of others. There was little in the way of a vision for how life in Christ would look like for me and my new life as a married man. I put that to the side to look at the vision of others and learnt a lot from serving under others. The neglect of the personal vision – recognising more who I am in Christ and what He calls me to be – had some negative consequences later on. So a big piece of advice growing up is to appreciate in serving others and loving people in the context of church life and community engagement, having an ever growing vision of who you are in Christ is very important.

That vision will excite and inspire you at times. What I particularly appreciate is how reassuring and consoling it can be in times of confusion, uncertainty, rejection and seeming defeat. I read in Acts of a time where the apostle Paul received encouragement from Jesus whilst in prison that his mission would continue and go on to give God glory even in the challenging circumstances. That degree of engagement with Jesus is not exclusive to Paul and can prove to be a source of great encouragement. That is sourced in a developing relationship between Paul and Jesus where Paul grows in knowing his call and identity in Christ.

That is something I would encourage and advise strongly. It will help considerably to avoid the numerous well meaning demands that seek to drain you of time and energy. It is not going to make everyone happy that’s for sure and some will be upset by your life in the light of that discernment, but it works out better for your growth in doing and being everything pleasing to God.

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
C. L. J. Dryden

What Was The Way Is Not Always The Way

This journey with Jesus has some very interesting stopping points. For me, the challenge is to distinguish between Jesus and what is just tradition that has served its purpose but is no longer fit for function in helping relationship with Jesus.

I grew up in a Christian background in which there were plenty of positive aspects that helped understand God and the importance of His Word. What came as ironic, then, were a number of practices and unspoken conventions that were held previously by some but were not to be found in scripture and often clashed with the character of Christ and His mission. They were not the sort to get me to repudiate them, but it certainly highlighted the need to be careful and honest about claims that can be made against the reality experienced. It also challenged me to look again at the Word on its own merits rather than just through an organisational lens.

That approach has done a lot to help me realise my own pride and pompous approach to others and how damaging that was. That approach made me more eager to view Jesus as He is in scripture and now that was faithful to how He expressed Himself. That still calls for time to reflect on practice and genuinely consider how they measure to what God expects and expresses.

I am grateful for the brothers and sisters who continue to help me tremendously with the thinking and application in those areas.

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
C. L. J. Dryden

Where Next For The Journeyman?

Deborah, which as you know is the greatest name a girl could ever have, is my firstborn. She’s 11 years old, but has a maturity about her that I like a great deal. Of course she’s still a child and I am not rushing that, but it’s good to see her just looking at adulthood and the things in that and taking it a lot more seriously than I did at her age.

In any case, we were conversing and she was talking about places she would live when she is older. Listening to her was fascinating, hearing her map out her life the way she did. Such wanderings in her mind reminded me of the importance of the Journeyman.

Last year can safely be said to be the debut of the Journeyman in the brief sojourn to Aberdeen. Of late the Journeyman has taken on a meaning of more than just geographical forays, but the journey of life, especially from the old travelling to the new. Yet exploring the geographical is still in the thinking.

There are a few locations I have in mind in this country and further a field. I am in conversation to explore one later this summer with a few friends, which I will update you on as time progresses. All being well, God willing, I hope there is another location that will be explored before the end of the year.

The real big one, however, is the trip abroad. Lately a location came to mind that I have a great passion for. I’m trusting as time progresses and intentional prayer and planning takes place to share with you the outcome of that expedition. In a season stretching me beyond my comfort zone, this particular venture would take me far beyond anywhere I have previously considered which is equally daunting and exciting.

All this, bear in mind, in the context of the journey of life on mission with God. It’s not primarily about having a jolly, though it does tap into the root of the holiday (holy-day) and the pilgrimage that sees the journey as being important in discovering different aspects of who God is and who I am and we are in the light of that.

This is all thanks to my daughter already using her amazing imagination to depict her journey of life. Seeing her, I know her journey will be even more wondrous than mine could ever be – and I intend mine to be very wondrous indeed! Look out for more updates as time goes by.

For His Name’s Sake
Shalom
C. L. J. Dryden