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, March 31, 2008

Something that inspired me today...

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Cor 4:16-18

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I was reading through John yesterday, especially the last few days before Jesus death.

I am continually baffled, amazed, challenged, confused, and inspired when I read the teachings of Jesus... and I am always reassured when I read the responses of his followers. I find it very encouraging to know that some of Jesus closest friends were just as dim as I am.

But there is one thing that Jesus said, that I have read many many times, that I really wish I had a better grasp of. Its not that its one of Jesus' famous, confusing parables or rebuttals, or that it is in any way vague or lacking clarity. The problem is that it's too clear, too straight forward, almost without any room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding.

"I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name and I will do it!" John 14: 12-14

Whenever I read this I have to ask myself: Do I really believe this? Do I really live this? .... I want to say that I do. I want to believe it with my whole heart, with all that I am... but I know it doesn't add up in my life.

Is it just me or does anyone else read this and think, wow I am really missing out on something big here, something gigantic... even, dare I say it, something world changing!

But how do we move from here to there? How do we become a Church that does greater works than Jesus to bring Glory to the Father?

This is what I am looking for.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It seems like there is a bit of a “tagging” epidemic going on right now and I have succumbed to the affliction despite installing some free virus protection software. It just shows you that nothing is 100% safe!

7 things you might or might not know about me.

1. I sucked my thumb until I was probably 8 or so.

2. I also knocked out my 2 front teeth engaging in that lost art form of roller-skating when I was about 8 (not exactly sure on the accuracy of the age – I had a bit of amnesia).

3. I hated reading while I was in school but have loved it ever since I got out. (I kind of wish it would have been the other way around… I might have done better.)

4. I had a serious mullet/shortlong in high school and I thought it was cool. (It may or may not have been)

5. I wrote my History dissertation on “Family planning in Nazi Germany.” Sounds interesting doesn’t it.

6. Every sports team I support is playing abysmally right now. (Arsenal, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Bills) What can you do?

7. I regularly wake Fiona up sleeping walking/talking or even capturing imaginary spiders in our bed in the wee hours of the morning. (She hates it but I think it’s quite humorous.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another first...

On Saturday night Fiona and I went to our first Romanian professional basketball game. Our city has a team and I think they are actually about 4th in the league which is pretty good. Well some of the boys that I hang out with every week have been asking me to go for some time now so we finally all got together and went.

It was actually pretty good (Not the NBA or anything but still quite entertaining) and the Romanian's love it so its really hard to get a ticket. They are almost sold out every game and the people shout and go crazy the entire time. They even booo and hiss every time the visiting team touches the ball which I thought was very welcoming and inviting of them.

But it was a great night with the guys and they loved getting their picture taken with a "black guy" at the end of the game. They have very limited knowledge of life outside of Romania and most of what they see about the west is from MTV so they obviously think that black people are the coolest people on the planet... They could be right.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Too wonderful for you to understand.

I was reading this morning in the book of Judges. A weird and amazing book about many unusual and unexpected heroes. But more amazing than the heroes that God chose to use were the people that He continually chose to save.

God has done miracle after miracle for these people over the generations and they have been passing these stories on to their children and their children's children... but they always forget. They forget the parting of the seas and the pillar of fire and the conquering of kingdom after kingdom in the promised land. They forget food from heaven and they forget the earth swallowing up their relatives. They always end up swapping the One True God for bits of gold or wood, or other every day items. Absolutely unbelievable to me... and yet this story also seems
far too familiar and far to close to home!

So as I was reading I came to the story of Samson (Judges 13) who has to be one of the coolest of the Judges. And I was reading about how the Spirit of God came and told Samson's baron parents that they were going to have a boy (that would be Samson by the way) and that he was going to be set apart for God from the day he was born and that he was going to rescue Israel.

After He gives them this amazing message about their soon to be son they ask the Spirit of God this brilliant question: "What is your name? For when all this comes true we want to honour you."

And they get an even better response: "Why do you ask my name? It is too wonderful for you to understand."

Wow, what an answer!

Sometimes I think I am definitely too comfortable with a God who just wants to help me out and chat with me and just loves forgiving me. As I thought about this I realized that I don't want to know my home made chummy chummy God that just smiles and winks and everything is ok. I don't want to know the comfortable God, the God who is just there to make my life easier or to help me feel like I am doing something good.

I want to seek the true God who's name is even too wonderful to understand.