Sunday, April 23, 2006


Happy St. George's Day everyone... today is England's national day! An occasion suppressed by political correctness, but never forgotten. Nor should it be, lest fascist bully boys claim it as their own.

Most people in Britain know some part of St. George's story. Much of it is steeped in myth and knightly fantasies concerning the rescue of helpless maidens from the jaws of dragons. He was born in Palestine and served as a tribune under the anti-Christian emperor Diocletian. It was the time that was known as "The Great Persecution". A time when some statistics suggest an average of 17,000 Christians were killed a month. The reason George was initially canonised was because of his opposition to Diocletian's policy. He openly protested against the murder of Christians in Libya and was numbered among them in martyrdom. Slain by the Empire he had spent a lifetime serving... and yet welcomed into a Kingdom that would continue beyond the span of Rome's life... stretching into eternity.

Anyway, that's enough of a voyage into Jackanory territory!

At Church today, we looked at Thomas and his moment of doubt. Poor old Thomas... he gets such a bad press. Everyone forgets he was one of the hardcore of Jesus' followers... the one disciple who suggested the others should go up to Jerusalem to die for Jesus. It must have been hard for him. All of his close friends had seen the risen Christ... Thomas was the first person to be asked to accept the facts without having seen them firsthand. It's possible Thomas had seen Jesus die, because he had knowledge of the spearing of Christ's side (although that could have been related to him with the others by John or Mary). Either way he was pretty upset... and then to cap it all off, his mates start acting off their heads or play some cruel joke by pretending his best friend was alive and risen. If I were Thomas I would be pretty angry. I'd probably want to swing for the others over their apparent disrespect.

Of course, with nearly 2,000 years of hindsight we know better. We know that Jesus had risen.

Thomas made his famous remark about not believing unless he could place his hands in the wounds of Christ. Christ them appeared on the scene in Beadle like fashion and Thomas fell on the floor, astounded by his confrontation with the awesome truth and proclaiming "My Lord and my God!"

I know that moment. I experienced it a couple of weeks ago when I was blessed with my job. Jesus blew apart my perceptions. I prayed before interview and gave it my best shot. i did well... but was beaten. Events like that were par for the course in my previous walk as a Christian. Always giving it my all but just coming up short. However as you may know if you read my earlier blog, the job fell back into my lap again... not by my effort but by God's grace. That was the "My Lord and my God!" moment. God displaying his sovereignty in my life.

So what has this to do with dragonslaying? Well, during my life of toiling against the tide of events... I had naturally grown a negative self image of myself. Fed over time by negativity and misfortune, that tiny creature grew and grew into a behemoth, a leviathan.... a dragon. We all have our inner dragons to slay... and you find them in the strangest of places. some are ever present and oppressive, some only come out at certain times to wreak havoc... other's still are like chamaeleons and blend in with the environment that they invisibly damage. They are like parasites. There is a parasite that when it enters a fish, alters it's nervous system... when all the other fish run away at the sign of danger, the altered fish sits there and waits to be eaten... because that's what the parasite wants. it wants to find it's way into a heron. that is exaclty what our inner dragons do to us. they change our way of thinking and make us act in a way thast is detrimental to our own wellbeing.

Ignore them and they will run amok in your life. Engage them in single combat and they will drain your strength and take away your focus from beneficial things.

Turn them over to God and great things happen.

The recent turn of events in my life has reshaped my attitude to myself and others. I'm not nearly so paranoid or defensive as I was. I'm not afraid of taking a few more risks... and when I do slip up I don't think the sky is falling.

I let God down the other night, because of this I turned up to Church today expecting to not get much out of the service. Instead I was reminded that:

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

God is on the prowl in my life. He is riding into battle and taking out my personal demons... one by one. in their place he sows a crop of good things, that even as I speak blossom and shape my attitudes more positively.

If you have dragons... seek the Lord. He will fight for you and you will overcome. do not rely on your own might for:

"I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all." Ecclesiastes 9:11

If you live only by using the tools and weapons that are found under the sun... you are left to time and chance. You might get lucky, but you might come badly unstuck.

Live life above the sun... under the authority and power of God... and those dragons have no power over you.

Want to slay your dragons? Let the Lord unleash his power on them!



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