I am sitting in my Dads house on New Years Eve looking forward to 2006. Remembering what has happened over the last year the good and the bad, and dreaming of what lies ahead in 2006.
2005 has been good. My job is my life. I have a great life. Sometimes I just can't believe I get to do what I do. I have a great family, great friends and have a part in leading a great church.
This year has seen people start following Jesus for the first time and become part of our church in Milton Keynes. We have seen people grow and develop on their walk with God, get involved as ministers in the local church and get involved in missions work in the UK and abroad.
I went down to the sea shore today to see a boat that had run aground on the rocks close to my home village. They were heading for the port of Fraserburgh but misjudged it and ended up lodging on a reef only yards from a large beacon highlighting the very fact that danger was there. It seems impossible that with the warning staring them in the face that they ended up high and well not dry. My only conclusion is that they could not have been looking where they were going.
I go into 2006 remembering what has happened but looking forward to what is to come. Realising that not everything will be plain sailing and there will be dangers but keeping alert as I go forward there are brand new adventures and opportunities out there.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 6:35 pm
Thursday, December 29, 2005
After spending Christmas celebrating with my wife's family yesterday we traveled up to Inverallochy in my homeland Scotland. We are here to bring in the New Year 06. 10 hours in a car with my beloved family is not my idea of heaven but hey we got here in one piece so it was not that bad.
utilized the time to catch up on a series of podcasts from Mosaic church in Los Angeles called extraordinary Living. Based on the Apostle Pauls letter in the Bible to the Christians in a place called Phillipi it encourages us to not to settle for good but to go for the best.
He covered subjects like Extraordinary Insight, Extraordinary Strength, Extraordinary Love, Extraordinary Contentment and Extraordinary Service.
I am reminded yet again that Jesus came so that I could have an extraordinary life. He has placed all His confidence in us for the future of the human race. Sometimes I feel this confidence is misplaced as I know others and my own weaknesses only too well. Despite this Jesus always seems to see greatness in us and keeps calling it out. Maybe its time questioning His belief and becoming a true follower of Christ in this extraordinary life.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 4:47 pm
Thursday, December 22, 2005
I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I decided to live the rest of my life following Jesus. I was at a Youth Camp in Great Walstead in the South of England. A group of us had traveled there with our relatively new leader Roger Blackmore from our home in the North of Scotland. Little did I know that when I left Cairnbulg for what seemed then a mammoth journey it would be a week that would change my life for ever.
I went to church and counted myself as a Christian but that was where it ended. During my week in England I fell in Love with Jesus and realized he had a great plan and a purpose for my life. His cause was the only one worth living for and I had to devote the rest of my life to following Jesus.
Since that time I have made decisions which have allowed me to follow this dream. I have sought to learn from others, be active in church and to share with others what God has done for me. Somewhere along the journey though I feel I got sidetracked into something less than what I entered into all those years ago.
With Christmas looming large I have been reminded of the reason that Jesus the transcendent God took on the incredible mission to leave the splendor of heaven and to live on this planet and set up His kingdom. His call then was for people to become radical followers. To leave everything, to give up everything to follow Him. His mission demands no less.
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 9:38 pm
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Took the opportunity to go to the opening night of the new Disney film The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. We have been looking forward to it coming out so we booked up tickets for one of the first showings in our local cinema.
I wondered if the film would do justice to the incredible book by the same name written by the incredible C.S. Lewis. I was not disappointed. I was sucked into Disney's new interpretation of this classic story from the start.
Once Aslan entered the frame all the allegorical links with the story of Jesus came flooding to mind. Aslan was to give his life in exchange for the treacherous Edmund. What struck me most was that Aslan the strong ferocious Lion walked into the den of the Evil White Witch and volunteered his life. This powerful Lion could have fought back and possible won but he chose to lay his life down so that another undeserved person could go free. The motivation? Summed up by the White Witch when she whispered to Aslan as she killed him "So much for love.".
That is the driving force behind the actions of Jesus. For love he gave up the splendor of Heaven. For love he gave His life in my place even when I did not deserve it.
So much for love!
Posted by Billy Ritchie at 12:19 pm