Monday, October 30, 2006

Are you a better Christian than me?

I was chatting to an old friend on the bus a couple months ago when something came up that I felt i needed to talk about. And yes, I have only just gotten around to talking about it. But this issue has come up since then a couple of times. What it was that triggereed this off for me was my friends comment, 'Well I do believe, but I'm not as good a Christian as you'. I quickly corrected that statement to how I think of this. I do not think it is fair to say that one Christian is better than another. If it should be judged at all, it should be judged on how close your relationship is with God, but even that is something personal to the individual and should only be shared by the individual if he or she would like to share that.

Each persons experience and relationship with God is different. If you look at a family with at least two children. Each child has a different relationship with their father, yet the father does not love one of them more than the other. This is how I see our relatioships with God. God loves us all, but some of us are closer, some are not so close. But we are all brothers and sisters and no-one is better than another.

I have just finished reading an amazing book. A book that was recommended to me by my friend and fellow blogger Adrian Warnock, and really set things clearer for me. The book is called 'Living the Cross-Centered Life', by C.J.Mahaney (Adrian does a very good review of this book and you can read it if you click on the link). I am not sure what I can and can't say without quoting from the book, but one thing that has helped be become closer to God in my relationship with Him, is to focus a lot more on the Cross than I had been in the past.

My main message in this post is to not get disheartened if someone thinks they are a better Christian than you. You are either a Christian or you are not and your relationship with God is your own. God loves you, He loves me and He loves us all. Love your Christian brothers and sisters and give each other support.

God bless.............
Jason :D

Monday, October 23, 2006

So Welcome to My Blog

After my amazing weekend and all the excitement of deciding to start a blog, I think it is now time to think about where this blog will go next. I have been thinking about this hard and I think it is important that recently born-again Christian's have support so they do not turn back their old lives of sin. I know that the leaders and elders of the church are there for everyone, but it is also good to talk to Christians who have recently been through the temptations given to new Christians as these are the people who have kept their faith. It is important that a new Christian is around these types of people so they can really get to know God in a way they would never have imagined.

In no way do I want to seem patronising, so please let me know if I am. I want everyone to know God and to love Jesus, just as Jesus loves you. I don't know everything, actually I know far from everything, but I know people who do, so if there are any questions at all, please leave a comment, and I'll reply.

If there are any other bloggers out there, who read this and feel like they would either like to be a guest blogger on this blog, or wants to give me a link to their blog, I would be most happy to display it in my links column, or invite you to be a guest blogger. I read a few blogs of people I know from a church I attended over the summer, a lot of the content being very interesting and I will let you know of anything that really sticks out.

One blogger who I have in mind, and whose blog I try to read often is Adrian Warnock's blog. Adrian is a preacher at Jubilee Church in Enfield and someone who I respect and see as a very intellectual Christian and I love how Christ moves in him. Adrian preaches with so much passion and you can see this in his blogging. I truely recommend reading his blog.

I will try and blog over the next couple days, but feel free to write any comments you may have so far.

May God Bless You All :D

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I've done it!! Iive been baptised!!

Wow, what a day!! I know that the blog from yesterday hasnt been read yet, but as promised, here is a blog on the actual event. It was amazing, yet I was so very nervous leading up to giving my testimony, but i guess that was just nerves of speaking in front of many people. I had my testimony all writen out how I wanted to say it, yet I went off course, but I still got in the important parts. Here is my testimony in full for those of you who were unable to attend, and for those who would like to read the ful story.

It all started for me, funnily enough, when I read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ last summer. When I read this book, I made the same mistake as I’m sure many other readers did. I started to believe everything that was written. What I had forgotten was that this book is a novel. The views were just that of the different characters, but the line in the book that made me look into the truth, was that of Bishop Aringarosa’s when he was on the plane. The line is, ‘people are afraid of what they do not understand’. So I was like, ok, I want to understand. So a few months after, I started to ask people about their views on the book, and then started to ask my Christian friends about what they thought. The time that really broke through though was one night at the pub with sarah and my house mates, and I was asking her all the questions I could think of to try and disprove what Christians believed by only going on what was written in this book. I could see that she was getting uneasy about all these questions, then she suddenly turned to me and said, ‘I can’t answer all of these questions J, but there is an Alpha course starting in 3 weeks, please come along and your questions will be answered’. I thought about this, and found myself turning up on the 1st week of Alpha.

In these 3 weeks though, I had made a deal with Sarah that if she was to read the Da Vinci Code, I would read the Bible, or at least the New Testament (Gideons). (if I had read the whole Bible, it would have been very unfair, as the novel is somewhat shorter than the Bible). I will say now that I had only got through half of Matthew before putting it down that night.

Anyway, back to Alpha. The 1st week was lovely, we got there, had a lovely meal. Compliments to the chefs. And then I listened to different people’s testimonies, and I felt I could really understand what they meant when they said that whatever they did, they could not be satisfied with life until they found God and the truth. My ears where open from this point on. Now here is my first comforting experience. After the sermons and before we left that night, I spoke to Tope, and he said I should come to church on Sunday morning, and if I remember correctly, my response was ‘I’d never be up at that time’. It got to Sunday and I got up early, and went to church with Sarah. And when the service was starting, Tope came to the front and his exact words were ‘Welcome everybody to Jubilee this morning, Welcome Jason……’ I was taken aback. First time I’d stepped into church in a few years and I get a welcome like that!!! Wow!!!!

Now after this first week at church, I got home from uni one day and sarah gave me a piece of paper, and said I should read this passage. It said Psalm 139. I went and looked at this in my Gideons Bible, and it really touched me. I missed the second week of alpha as I couldn’t make it but I caught up the next week through a CD copy of the sermon. I went home and put the cd on to my itunes and laid back on my bed and listened to it. At the end of the sermon, Tope asked everyone in the room to repeat a prayer after him, if they want to they can just say the words, but if they mean it they can say it with all their heart, because that is your prayer and God truly sees that. As I was lying down, I repeated the prayer, and as I said it I knew I meant every word of it. I didn’t think that was it, but I felt different. Free, like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The rest of that night, I picked up a bible that I had and started to read from Genesis. The next day I didn’t really mention it to anyone, but I had a really good day, and felt amazing the whole day, then that night in the pub, I was speaking to Sarah at the bar and told her about the prayer and how I said the words and meant them, and she started jumping up and down on the spot, saying that’s it, that’s it. You’ve become a Christian!!!! I was so happy, and I didn’t even realise, but it explained why my heart felt warmer. I looked at my watch to see the date, and I couldn’t believe it. It was May 5th, which means I became a Christian on May 4th. Now for those of you who know me really well, you know how cheesy my jokes are. For years before, I had made the same joke on this day. May the 4th be with you. It always used to make me laugh. God clearly had shown how much he wanted me.

The best is yet to come. That night after the pub, we went back home, and me and Sarah we’re sitting in my room and I showed her a Bible I was given 11 years ago at a Christian kids club that I used to attend. I hadn’t picked this Bible up for over 10 years. She flicked through it and I noticed it had a page marked in it with a piece of paper. The page that was marked was none other than Psalm 139!!!! I was shocked, surprised and fascinated, but above all I was amazed. God is really showing himself to me. A few weeks after, I was tidying my room, knelt on the floor, and looked up to my wall and was amazed. When I moved in a year and a half before, I nailed some pictures up on my wall. There was a fairly big framed picture of my families crest, and surrounding it was 4 certificates from school. One above, one below, and one either side. Then below it was a poster. It was a crucifix. God had placed himself in my life before I was ready to accept Jesus into my life, so he could be there for me.

I decided I definitely wanted to get baptised when I went to Brighton for Mobilise 06. those 3 days changed my life for sure, if becoming a Christian hadn’t already completely changed it. God had shown himself to me, He gave me the gift of tongues and made me realise that I truly wanted what He had in store for me in my life. I want to follow Gods plan for me, where ever they may take me. So here I am, giving myself completely to God. I want to serve Him, with all my heart. I’ve been praying that God will find me a church that I can settle down into, whether it’s Jubilee, or somewhere else, all that I ask as that it is as welcoming and friendly as Jubilee.

I truely feel blessed by God that I have been given the chance to be baptised, especially with a church that has been there for me. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures yet, but as soon as I have some available to post, I will. I want to say thanks to everyone who was there to support me and see me testify and take a step on God's path in Jesus' footsteps. For those of you who were unable to be there, I hope you get a chance to read this and I understand that you couldnt make it in time.

I have felt amazng and new since coming out from the water and I truely feel Jesus is walking with me now. I have one word of advice to those who are considering Baptism. Do it, Jesus commanded it of his followers, and it is a way to publically commit yourself to living a life full of God's love.

God bless.........

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Baptisms!! A new start for a Christian!!

I am writing about baptisms in my first blog because tomorrow I am getting baptised. I am really excited about this, and I cannot wait to declare publically that I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and have my sins literally washed away.
I was up at a very early hour this morning to attend a meeting about my baptism to learn what the Bible says about it. I already knew that being baptised meant washing away our sins for good and having a completely new start, but I didn't realise that it was a 'must-do' in the Bible. What more reason do you need as a Christian to get baptised than for Jesus himself to command it?

'Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.' (Matthew 28, v18-19.)

Even after looking at this, I question why I took so long to get baptised after becoming a christian. When I had a choice a few months ago, I said no because I didnt think I was ready. But I was already qualified.

When I get covered in water tomorrow, all my sins of the past will be washed away. I will be completely new and I cannot wait for that. In the 5 and a half months I have been a christian I have really become close to God, but I want to be closer. Everyday, my relationship with God is getting stronger and my full trust in God is getting more and more complete. I will post again tomorrow with pictures from my baptism.

God bless,
Jason Kirk