Paul Coles, Youthworkerish type guy. Present location: Targu Mures, Romania. Married to an amazing girl named Fiona. I'm on a JOURNEY and have no idea where I'll end up other than in the hands of God.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Apparently the sheep around Hen Mountain are more fragile than most...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I've never said this before but I'm saying it now...

I'm really getting into the book of Revelation right now, which I can honestly say has never happened before in my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm not any clearer about what the end of the world is going to look like, when it's going to happen or in what order things are going to take place... but you can't help but be left in awe of an awsome God. I't kind of leaves me with the feeling, do I take Him seriously enough? If we have "declawed the Lion of Judah" then Revelation certainly gives them back...and then some!

One of my favourite parts is the letters to the 7 Churches. Talk about a firm kick up my back side!

So I encourage you, even if like me, you have be intimidated or turned off by this book in the past, pick it back up. Give it a read. I guarantee, you will be blessed.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Another highlight of the last few months was going to
Donegal with some friends back in November. We spent a week in a house on Island Roy, near Downings. Fantastic time and many memorable moments. Lots of settlers, movies, relaxing...and a bit of exploring the miles of costal cliffs, beaches and tidal pools.

We felt like kids again exploring the many nooks and cranies of the tidal pools and it was brilliant. I fell in the sea up to my waist at one point, luckily we were on our way to go swimming so in the end I only had to deal with a soaker for about 15 mins. Usually I am a bit of a woos in the cold water but I managed to stay in for about 45 mis without a wetsuit on our second day at Murder Hole. I have to admit the first day I would not have touched the water without protection. I think Emma, Claire and Fiona are cold blooded though becase the baltic waters do not seem to bother them that much. maybe they are actually aliens!?

If you live on this Island and you haven't been to Donegal than you are missing out and I strongly suggest you make the trip. Downings is only a few hours drive from Ballynahinch so it's a perfect destination for a long weekend getaway. Take the family, take some friends or take a quiet weekend on your lonesome. It will be well worth it!
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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

An inspiring story

I have been teaching P7 RE at Ballynahinch Primary since September and I have to say it has been pretty refreshing working with energetic, fun and not yet too cool for school kids for a change. I love the guys at the Edge but a change is nice.

The topics for P7 so far have been CS Lewis The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (nice one), and now the Amy Carmichael story. I have to say that I have found the latter one more inspiring.

Amy Carmichael is a lady who was born in the beautiful North of Ireland but lived most of her life in India giving homes and love to abandoned and abused children. It is a powerful story of full life commitment to Jesus and people but even better is the simple way her whole journey began.

It all started on her way home from church one Sunday. As they were walking they came upon an old lady struggling with the bundle she was carrying on her way somewhere. The situation really annoyed Amy because all the supposed Christians that had just been to church with her just turned their noses up at the lady and walked on by, probably judging her for doing anything physical on a Sunday.

Amy thought this was so hypocritical from people who supposedly followed a God who gave His life to serve and love them. Well Amy and her brother stopped and helped this lady even though they were embarrassed of all the terrible looks they were getting from those continuing to walk on by.

This event had such an impact on Amy that she decided to take the teaching of Jesus very seriously from that day on and would spend the rest of her life serving those in need. She made her life verse; “as you have done unto the least of these brothers of mine, that is what you have done unto me.” Matthew 25:40

I have found this story pretty challenging and inspiring. It has made me rethink what it means to really live the teachings of the Man that changed the world. And it is also cool how it was such a seemingly small and insignificant event that stated it all of.

Who knows what will happen to us today or tomorrow as we do to the people we meet as Jesus has done to us…

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The answers are never simple, are they…

Food aid in Africa can cause absolute havoc, says Thilo Thielke. Take Northern Kenya. This barren wasteland racked by years of warfare, drought and government neglect never had the resources to sustain more than a few people. In the pre-aid days, nomads would kill off some of their livestock to survive, thereby helping the grazing lands to recover. Those who couldn’t sustain themselves would depart to find work in the cities. Yet today, after years of well-meaning UN handouts, the region has become “hopelessly” overpopulated. Thanks to the UN’s World Food Programme people don’t even bother growing vegetables; they just hang around waiting for the corn trucks to arrive from Nairobi. As long as they are fed they have no incentive to slaughter their cattle, a local currency which is inflating so fast it now costs 100 cows to purchase a bride. The huge herds are destroying grasslands and even starting to encroach on Kenya’s national parks, speeding up the process of desertification. None of this is remotely understood by western donors. If only they could see that food aid has created a “deadly dependency,” and that not all of Africa’s poor are equally deserving.

Taken from Der Spiegel (Hamburg) via The Week