Sunday, March 05, 2006

Themes Continued

Hello Friends,

I have just finished writing this week's blog and it is the longest without doubt. Almost 5000 words. But don't lost heart friends, I intend to "chapterise" it and over the next few days send out a chapter at a time so you can think about each bit on its own. This email will contain the introduction Then every three days, i will post one of the chapters (There are three) until you have the whole blog.

With this blog, I encourage you to share it with your friends. I really sensed the Lord was speaking to people through this and so feel free to share it with as many friends as you like. Friends, please don't feel that I am getting at you if this blog gets a bit personal - I have sent this email out to a lot of people, and I trust that what i have written was what the Lord laid on my heart for me to write. If it touches a nerve, talk to the Lord about it.


YOur friend and brother in the Lord,


Dear Friends,
Last week I wrote about Themes. From an educationalist perspective, the use of themes in education are a useful tool. So from time to time a school may decide on a specific theme and the various teachers in the school work to tie in the various lesson to fit with the "the theme" whatever that may be. Themes can be a useful technique to aid learning. Some themes impose themselves on the system, for instance, "The Olympics" when these are going on is a favourite theme. After big events, and at the anniversary of a big event a natural teaching can emerge. Last year, 2005, being the sixtieth Anniversary of the end of WWII, had a lot of historical themes. Then there are Easter, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Valentine's Day themes.
But, I don't think it was just a good educational idea, but the Lord Himself, teaches using themes. Look at Luke 15 - three stories - with a common theme - being lost and found. What's the theme in John 15? "I am the vine, and you are the branches." Yes the Lord taught, sometimes according to a theme back then, and he still does. Look again at last week's blog, God bringing about discussion on a particular theme over a period of time, in different contexts, until we  get the message.
I was planning to write more about 2 Tim 3:14 - 4:6 as thought I had more to write about it, but I sense that God is steering me in a different direction, so I shall leave you to mull over the implications of this text for yourselves, and what follows is my meditation on "lost and found".
Just this evening, I have been looking for a booklet in which I writing a journal for my university studies - I've put it down somewhere but cannot find it. People have said about me, "John, if your head wasn't screwed on, you'd lose that." It seems to be a particular weakness of mine, losing or mis-laying things, that is.
Let me relate to you a story that happened in my early chilhood, when I was lost. This story is related from my memory and from what my mum told me about the occasion as I was very young, about four or five.
It was the beginning of the bush war in Rhodesia, where I grew up. We as a family had gone to Inyanga and were camping in the National Parks camping site which was in amongst a forest of pine trees. The one day, my family had all gone out, fishing or walking at one of the dams in the National Park. I was left with a minder, at the camp, quite content to play by myself at the camp site. For some reason, my minder was not watching me (perhaps he had gone to relieve himself or maybe he was preparing for the evening meal, ) and I took it in my head to go for a walk - I wondered off into the forest, oblivious of the potential danger I was getting into, and I wondered quite far away from the campsite and there was no distinct path to follow. I'm sure my sense of direction, or common survival skills were not that great. At some point, I heard a voice coming out of the trees. I looked up but didn't see anything, but I answered the voice. The voice said, "My name is Abba." We talked a bit more and the voice said he had a son, called "Amma" - I had a new invisible friend and we talked and played together, and a little later, I emerged from the forest, back where I had started, by the campsite only to find a frantic family who were looking for me. I told my Mum about Abba and Amma. It was only many years later that I learnt that Jesus called his Father, Abba - "Daddy." I believe that God revealed himself to me, a little boy, when I was in great danger and brought me back to safety. I was lost in the forest, God found me (not that at any point in time was He unaware of my location), and he steered me very gently back to safety. At no point, as far as I can remember, was I anxious or did I feel lost. I certainly didn't get any big scares, and if I did come close to dangers, such as snakes or wild animals, God must shielded me from them.

No comments: