Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Confession

I have a confession to make, several confessions in fact.  I am a Christian, and have really tried to live as a Christian for about fifteen years even though God entered my life in my early teens.  We look around us and we think everyone else is doing better than us, has a better grip on life than us, are better Christians than us; and we feel less than perfect.


I am occasionally an angry person; I boil up with rage over the slightest and silliest things and I get stressed out because of it.  I don’t act on my anger but it still affects me; I expect many people are the same.  Yet at the same time, I am generally quite a happy-go-lucky hail-fellow-well-met kind of bloke.  In some ways I am what the Americans would call a ‘regular guy’, and in other ways I feel I am not particularly normal; I’m sort of unique; but then, aren’t we all?!  I find myself filled with all kinds of fears and all kinds of dread, and sometimes I don’t know why; at other times, it might be because of this or that, and usually, not always, it’s something trivial or not that important.  I often carry a sense of loss, a black cloud over me that makes my life less than it could be.  I have been told now and again that I’m not a bad looking sort of bloke and yet all I seem to recall is a long list of failures with women; I either didn’t speak up when I should have, or I said the wrong thing at the wrong time it seems.  I could write a hefty book on all my past failures with women.  If I’m honest, some of it was my fault and some of it was probably theirs.  I have been unemployed for large chunks of my life; I’m not proud of this and I often feel guilty because of it.  Much of it was to do with depression, serious depression that blighted my life for a long time.  For a long time, I have endured periods of inner emotional turmoil, a cheery face accompanied by emotional pain that would sometimes recede and then come back again.


I’m a Christian, a full-on believer, a dyed-in-the-wool Christian, and yet I’ve never been to church to worship, don’t really know other Christians in the flesh, as all of my friends are not really believers, and have no real desire to sing hymns on Sunday in some suburban church somewhere; it just doesn’t feel like me.  What’s the answer?  I wish I knew.  As for sharing the Gospel and talking about Jesus, well that happens occasionally, but average Working class blokes like me don’t seem or appear to be the sort of people to be Christians or to talk about Jesus to family, friends and strangers.  Inside, I am on fire with zeal for my faith, outside I look and dress just like most other blokes my age.  But no one said a Christian couldn’t dress smartly or dress ‘street style’ either did they?


All the Worries of the World

Often in my life, and certainly in the past, I seemed to carry all the worries of the world on my shoulders, broad as they are.  No one in this world needs to take on troubles as there’s enough trouble it seems to go round for everyone, whether they want to suffer or not.  It’s certain that all humans at some time will suffer for one reason or another.  And Christians I think will suffer in a world that is often hostile to them and a world that in virtually every way opposes Christian justice and mercy, fair play and a sense of equality.  The world is one thing, and living as a Christian is something else.  I don’t believe anyone should willingly take on all the worries of the world as a Christian, but that if we do find ourselves suffering in some way because we are simply living out our faith as best we can, we should pray to God for the strength to endure and persevere in our faith, whatever happens to us good or bad.


For some reason, I do find myself worrying, even when I don’t appear to have anything particular to worry about.  It’s a pain, it really is, and I sometimes find myself wishing for the moment when I can just relax and basically stop worrying.  Sometimes I do indeed stop worrying.  Now I pray for peace, inner peace as well as peace with other people around me and a general sense of well-being.  I notice that as I draw closer to God, God puts everything in perspective and shines a light on what can be darkness, or what can seem inexplicable.  Why do we suffer?  What is suffering all about?  Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world without any kind of suffering, any kind of pain?  It would be wonderful wouldn’t it!  Sadly, we live in a fallen world, and it seems the whole of creation groans under the weight of sin and simply because so many humans abandon the ways of God and choose to ‘do their own thing’ regardless of the impact on other people; we’re all hurting in effect.  So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'  (Matthew 6:34 NJB)


Carrying a Sense of Loss

I have carried a sense of loss with me for a long time; it is it seems just another part of me, a part of my personality that is like any other part of me.  I think it is true to say that many people carry a sense of loss, for whatever reason, or maybe a number of reasons, and they accept it.  It could be because a person has failed at a number of things or been unlucky with the opposite sex or been unemployed for a long time, and so on and on.  It is in many cases, and certainly in my life, an acceptance of a third-rate life and a life lived in the full knowledge that we are only existing rather than living a full and happy life.  When we have lived in sin for a long time, God will straighten us out eventually, and one of the ways God punishes us is by letting us understand what life is like without His blessing and guidance in our lives.  In short, He keeps us at arm’s length for a time, whilst filling us with a desire to serve Him again.  We are between Him and the deep blue sea.  I found that at these times, God spoke to my heart and taught me valuable lessons.  We desire a perfect relationship with God; and yet most of the time what we have is imperfect and full of holes, a half-cocked friendship that stops and starts, boils over occasionally and often seems to be going nowhere.  We are impatient, hoping for the next phase, and yet God seems in no particular hurry.  We live in a fast-paced want-it-yesterday sort of world, where we are bombarded everyday with all kinds of desires, desires for a bigger house, a new TV, the best holiday experiences, the newest most expensive gadgets, the wonderful life we all seem to be missing and we become dissatisfied or think we are unfulfilled if we don’t get what we think we want.  We are meant to be unsatisfied, it’s almost beaten into us, unless we get what we think is our heart’s desire; then we wonder why we feel unhappy.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is stand back from every situation and just be grateful for all the good things God has blessed us with, and stop worrying about what we haven’t got. 


Hope Springs Eternal

Hope is one of the messages of the Bible, it is one of the most important messages of the Gospel and hope is God’s gift to a world that often for many people seems lost and completely hopeless.  It isn’t just people living in shanty towns dressed in rags and lucky to eat one meal a day that seem without hope, even millions of people in wealthy countries seem to be without even a modicum of hope in their lives.  When we in the wealthier parts of the world begin to understand the great blessings God has already gifted us in so many ways, we might stop being so selfish and so ungrateful and might begin to thank God for the plenty we already have.  We might also begin to think about all those people in the world who aren’t so fortunate, who suffer malnutrition, who suffer great hardships as a normal part of their lives and who don’t have access to good food, healthcare and medicines and often can’t read or write so living with very limited chances to advance in life.  Even for these people, where there is life there is always hope.

Hope springs eternal, and a gift of hope from God, injected into hopeless lives is a gift that will revive us and renew all of us to go on to do better things with our lives.  I was completely surrounded, there was no one to help me; I looked for someone to help me, there was no one.  Then I remembered your mercy, Lord, and your deeds from earliest times, how you deliver those who wait for you patiently, and save them from the clutches of their enemies.  And I sent up my plea from the earth, I begged to be delivered from death.  I called on the Lord, the father of my Lord, 'Do not desert me in the days of ordeal, in the days of the proud, when we are helpless. I shall praise your name unceasingly and gratefully sing its praises.'  And my plea was heard, for you saved me from destruction, you delivered me from that time of evil.  And therefore I shall thank you and praise you, and bless the name of the Lord.  (Ecclesiasticus / Sirach 51:7-12 NJB)


  1. Hi Tim,
    a very interesting post. A few things came to mind as I read it. I know you say you don't like singing hymns and going to church, but as I read those words you wrote, 'Do not forsake the gathering of yourselves together' Hebrews ch.10 v.25 came into my mind. I don't know if you might benefit if you just walked into a church one day, you don't have to go all the time. We are all different and I like pentecostal songs which are scriptural but modern but I also like some of the hymns, and who knows who you might meet? Your little pic with the slogan 'what if?' on it reminds me of how often we fear for the future, but how many times can we look back and see that our fears were wrong. Where you state 'It is in many cases, and certainly in my life, an acceptance of a third-rate life and a life lived in the full knowledge that we are only existing rather than living a full and happy life.' DON'T accept a third rate life, and don't expect it. 'You know not what tomorrow brings'.
    Sorry if my comment was long, I'm a talker as you've probably gathered.

    1. I've never been to a church as yet to sing hymns or worship God, and your reply seems very timely. Perhaps I need to just walk into a church sometime, see what it's like and then make up my own mind. Of course, I meet other people who share my views and interests; all my family and friends are not Christian but that's the way it's been all my life so I'm used to it.

      You wrote: '' DON'T accept a third rate life, and don't expect it. 'You know not what tomorrow brings'' Yes, I need to hear that everyday. I find myself struggling against things I have no control over.

      Your comments are always welcome Brenda, they are timely and wise!

    2. Tim, I don't go to regular church services held each week, I honestly don't feel drawn to it in my heart. I grew up in the church though, from a little girl I was in all things God, in the church that is, as I got older I was anything but but things of God.

      Brenda is right we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, we are to gather with other believers even if it is only 2 or 3 like the bible say's God is int the midst. Maybe a church service may not be to your liking but if you go you might find a few people just like you sitting in back or a few zealous folks scattered throughout who might be happy to include you in a bible study group or a prayer group and that may be more to your liking.

      For me I don't like crowds no matter what they're doing but I like interactive small groups whee I can look people in their eyes and talk to them, that I like so I am in groups at a church my brother attends, but Sunday services are not my thing, partly because of the dress coed, I'm a jeans and a t-shirt type of girl, the churches here are big hats skirt suit type of thing.

      I hope you find something to your liking, but go out and give it a shot, and don't just sit in the back talk to somebody, maybe go early and talk to somebody before the service, approach somebody who seems approachable lol and ask if they have prayer groups or bible study groups so you can join one.

    3. Well Sateigdra, I went through a phase in my late teens to to late twenties, about ten years where I was drinking quite heavily and going out with my mates on the town; I've got it out of my system now and sometimes I think that God allows us to 'do our own thing' for a bit so we can experience folly and sin for ourselves.

      I don't like big crowds either, just small friendly groups. I am now seriously thinking of going to a service or church somewhere and just seeing what happens and if I talk to someone like minded. I'm a jeans and t-shirt sort of bloke too although recently I have started to dress a little more conservatively; don't know why.

      Thanks so much; I look forward to reading your next post.

  2. Hi Tim,
    Your article just goes to show how human we really all are! I can identify with many of what you have highlighted above - the feeling of loss, frustration, anger, depair, absense of God and so on, are all familiar sounding emotions.
    The issue over whether you should attend a church is between you and God alone, although I take to Brenda's suggestion in paying a casual visit to one, to see what it is like and what you think of it.
    But there is one good thing I can say about you, Tim - and you certainly know how to write - much better than I can, and better than some "well educated" people I know personally! As your pageviews can testify. Do keep it up. I always enjoy reading your blogs.
    God bless,

    1. Yes we all feel these negative emotions from time to time. I often feel this way and don't really know why. Perhaps I need to go into a church I like the look of and just linger at the back so I don't get in anyone's way!?

      Thankyou for your kindness Frank. Both you and Brenda write exceptionally well-written blogs, I really rate both of you as writers who have something to say-and the litmus test of any writer is whether you want to carry on reading something, and both you and Brenda have that ability. I always enjoy reading your blog too Frank! Thank you! :)

  3. Hi Tim again,
    I have to agree with Frank that you certainly can write. There is something in your writing that portrays a natural ability and a love of writing, with deep understanding in many areas.
    God bless.

    1. Thank you Brenda. My head's so swelled I wonder whether I will get out of the door!

      You wrote: 'There is something in your writing that portrays a natural ability and a love of writing, with deep understanding in many areas.' I would say that goes double for both you and Frank.

  4. Tim, Honestly I really like reading your writing so much, dare I say your one of my favorite bloggers really and truly. I don't get to come on your page often because I'm saying to myself Sateigdra you have been on the computer long enough time to deal with housework and the like. But when I do finally get here I always love it.

    I also have a confession, I have an affinity for the English/British whichever one you guys prefer being called. I really can't explain what it is honestly because I don't know anybody from the U.K in real life, but yet from a child I was always interested in you guys. I mostly love all of your accents, and England has a lot lol. I use to say I really one day would like to visit there, but it's expensive. I want to see it there, I know your not like how many movies depict it there just country sides and things like that, even though I love those country sides I've seen on tv.

    I've also seen movies that show a grittier side of England like the ghetto parts, that kind of reminds me of the projects in America, and you guys have a lot of apartments (flats) there too. All very interesting. Took me a while to get fairy tale castle England out of my head, movies have depicted you guys like that, like everybody speaks with a really posh accent which I know you all don't. I honestly like movies what show "real england" as suppose to Buckingham Palace type of England. I especially don't like when american actors portray every English accent like the queen lol, so unreal lol.

    This post is so nice Tim, I was thinking, and I know God doesn't play cruel tricks on us, but when you was talking about not having Christians friends in real life I was thinking about how I feel the same way, and there you are in England and here I am in the Bahamas, but I would like to be your friend, every time I read things you write it's almost like it's me talking, you say many thing's I feel daily.

    Sometimes I would be sitting in my room and all of a sudden I'm sad, for no reason I'm sad. I also get upset sometimes but I try not to get into rages but I could literally feel it coming. Yesterday I though I was about to snap over something so simple, it was because something had spilled. Little thing's like that tend to sometimes send me over the edge and then afterwards I feel awful about it. Sometimes I burn with indignation over things I see going on around me daily. I try to keep my cool because I know God warns about outbursts of wrath. I use to go around smashing things when I got mad now I don't, but I use to get so upset I would punch stuff like walls and doors and throw cups and thing's like that just to let off some steam, so unladylike.

    I'm currently unemployed so I know that feeling of depression of unemployment. I use to get super depressed at first about it, but now it's like I forget that I am, everything I need God provides somehow, my brother helps out paying bills because he works, so I guess I don't have it that bad, because I don't live all alone, although honestly I feel like I do most days.

    While I was reading your post I kept thinking about a scripture I read earlier last week, and I want to share it with you, "...not that I speak In regard to need, for I have learned that in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned how to be full and how to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:11-13.

    You might already be familiar with that scripture but I learned that contentment, like hope, is such an awesome gift, it brings peace of mind when we most need it, and for most of us that's all the time. I pray God blesses you Tim with Love and Joy and contentment always.

  5. A wonderful comment Sateigdra! You know, the terms British and English are even interchangeable to most of us here too, even though the terms are really two different things. It is true that we have so many different accents in England and throughout the British Isles partially because of the different immigrants that have come into Britain over the centuries. Yes, sometimes we British (English?) get a little fed up over the 'Buckingham Palace' England portrayed in so many Hollywood movies, but at the same time there are parts of Britain that are so beautiful that it would be nice to see them portrayed too.

    I feel the same about your blog too; you're a searcher and your writings reveal an honesty which I like and admire, and you're intelligent as well. God has already gifted you so many things; and then of course you live in the Bahamas! There are millions of people on these rain and wind battered Isles that wish they could live somewhere nice in the Caribbean too! Yes, I hope this is the start of a beautiful (if long-distance) friendship.

    Thank you for the scripture Satiegdra, we always need to hear this when we are feeling a bit down: 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' What wonderful words from a wise man! Your comments are a post in themselves.