I cannot get over these views.
While we continue our house hunt, we’ve been incredibly blessed to have a place to stay that’s only 15 minutes away from Strathaven. SU Gowanbank is a part of Scripture Union in the U.K. and normally run events and retreats for churches and school groups.
Because of lockdown restrictions in Scotland, they have had to greatly limit what they are able to do. This has ended up working out for us, though, because it has meant we’ve been able to affordably rent a couple of bedrooms and a lounge here along with access to the kitchen and grounds.
There may be a pandemic on, but I’m in Glasgow for my training course with Cornhill Scotland. My family is moving to a nearby town so I’ll be here every week. Here are some photos from my wandering around over the weekend!
After living in Wilanów since October, we have now left and are currently staying in Ujazdów, a neighbourhood in Warsaw’s city centre. It’s home to a bunch of embassies and right within the tourist district.
As nice as it was in Wilanów, especially its convenience during lockdown, we really needed this change of scenery. And it amazes me just how different all of the districts here feel. If you were to look at these two places, you’d never know they were a part of the same city.
The biggest thing this district is missing, though? Buildings with lifts/elevators. Our AirBnB, which is lovely, is located at the top of eight flights of stairs. It’s quite the challenge right after a run.
The longer I spend away from cars, the more car sick I get when I get back into one.
A surprising thing I’ve learned since I started exercising regularly is that it can actually serve as an effective substitute for caffeine, provided it’s on a day other than a Monday.
Sunday afternoons have become a time for writing fiction while sitting on the terrace of our flat in Warsaw. All my fountain pens are packed away for shipping so I’ve been writing with two uni-ball AIR pens (one black, one blue).
Life has been getting really stressful these last couple of weeks. I’m grateful that my wife encouraged me to do something relaxing. That something relaxing was finally trying Stardew Valley. I never knew that I needed a game before.
Growing up, I was absolutely terrified of the end times. It was the 90’s and Left Behind was everywhere. My mom read them and I ended up reading the YA versions of the books. Every night I would close my eyes and pray not to be left behind. The fear that at literally any moment the trumpets would sound and everyone I knew (my social circle was fairly small, as a homeschool kid in a small town in Arizona) would vanish and suddenly Nicolae Carpathia would become a real person.
It saddens me to know that there will have been countless kids whose stories haven’t turned out the same as mine has. I’m 31 now and I’m an overseas missionary. The apocalypse and its associated fear-mongering didn’t result in me abandoning the hope of the gospel. This is an act of God and I think it can only be found on the fact that the gospel is actually good news. The gospel means that the end is good news.
Right now, one of the most frustrating things that I see online is people not realising what the end of everything means for Christians. But before I go further, let me first state that I don’t believe that what we are seeing is any more a sign of the very end than Nero’s reign was a sign of the very end. Global pandemics are not new. Microchips are just another form of technology, they aren’t a sign of worshipping the devil. Vaccines are not the government’s way of tracking its citizens. Unfettered use of social media and a failure to manage privacy settings means that no government needs to try that hard to know what its people are up to.
Ok, here’s why the end is good news.
Jesus is coming back
“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (ESV)Acts 1:11
The Jesus who lived a sinless life on the behalf of sinful people is coming back. The Jesus who died a sinner’s death on the behalf of sinful people is coming back. The Jesus who rose from the grave and conquered death and the enemy is coming back. The Jesus who did all of this to save you is coming back.
That’s what the end means. The end isn’t about Christians losing their status or privilege in a world that has been actively seeking their destruction since the fall. The end is about God’s people being reunited with their Saviour.
The end means no more suffering
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (ESV)Revelation 21:4
In 2016, my wife and I suffered a miscarriage. This little life that had been growing within her was suddenly gone. It was one of the most painful experiences that we have ever had. We had so much hope and joy from the expectation of a new member of our family.
And one day, it was gone.
But we are not without hope because one day there will be no more pain. One day, we will get to see this life that we were so excited for. Our family will be reunited and it will be better than it ever could have been here on earth. It will be better because we will be together with Jesus. We will be together with our Saviour and we will no longer know pain or tears.
stop fearing the end
If you are in Christ, then you cannot be lost.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (ESV)John 10:29
So much of the fear that I see around ”the end” is a fear of being caught unawares. It was my fear as a child reading Left Behind. But the thing is, our hope is not in our ability to keep our salvation.
Our hope is that we have a Saviour who keeps his promises. So, while we press on in the faith, we press on with the assurance that the Holy Spirit is at work in us and is preparing us for the day we meet our God.
Sometimes the most perfect distraction comes along when things are stressful.