Thursday, 25 November 2010

So I've been busy this week trying to get my visa application for a work permit for the UK together. Quite an undertaking for us ever perceived suspicious Africans.

One of my struggles was trying to prove my English speaking ability. If only you could just speak to someone. I guess you can if you pay loads of money !!!

Anyway, this whole process has made me think about access.

For me to gain access to reside and work in the UK demanded a number of boxes I had to tick.
1) I had to have a sponsor
2) Prove that I can speak English
3) Prove sustainability (maintenance)
and lastly lots of money.

Although this is called a points based system, you have to get full marks for each category, otherwise you don't get the visa!!(go figure)

So it's tick the boxes or go home.

Understandably, the United Kingdom is doing it's utmost to protect it's shores from suspicious, unsavory charachters and must do what's best and right for it's people and the kingdom.

I suppose in some way the Kingdom of God is like this.

God cannot allow unjust/unholy/imperfect sinners into His kingdom.
He is holy, so His people must be holy and righteous.

There are some boxes to tick here. Unfortunately none of us can tick the boxes.
The bible says that we have all fallen short of the glory of God. No one except for one who is righteous can obtain a visa for the GK. (God's kingdom).

Well we all know the good news is ... that There is ONE man who is righteouss. Jesus - that's right. So how does this help us !!

To cut a long story short, by dying on the cross for our sins, taking the punishment and paying the price for our offence against God. Jesus becomes the advocate and through His innocence, he stands and pleads on our behalf. God listens to to Him and He gives us free access into His wonderful Kingdom of eternal life.

Through Christ only, may we enter the throne of grace, the kingdom of righteousness.
Jesus has become for us righteousness. He has ticked all the boxes. We would not be able to. We enter through Him and only Him. There is nothing we need do but ask Him, trust Him, believe in Him, confess Him and we go straight in.

So as with my visa application.
1)Is my sponsor, He stands before me, His blood covers me and is my guarantee.
2)His blood speaks for me ... proves my acceptability - the language of the redeemed.
3)He proves that He can sustain me. He has paid the price, once for all time. He covers the cost!

Jesus is the stamp in my passport. No other stamp will do. He paid the price.

Thank You Jesus

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

November already

So another month has passed. Better get blogging then.

Been a busy month...

Apart from leading at King's -Norwich, I have also enjoyed various different settings to do some praise related things.

Earlier on in October, had a blast with King's church-Catford/London at their evening meeting. Great multi-cultural environment. I wasn't sure about doing my song "Jalali Yesu" that evening, but randomly asked if anyone there spoke "Urdu". Low and behold we had a taker !!! I probably would have sung it regardless, but how's that. A Pakistani present. London is amazingly cosmopolitan. Speaking of which, I have just got back from doing an evening on multi-cultural Praise with the muso's from Catford. Great discussions, questions. The evening reminded me that demonstrating God's glory through diversity doesn't come easily. We need to grapple, fight, persevere to demonstrate our oneness not sameness. Everything in us calls for selfishness, but Jesus calls for preferring others. Even though I say so myself, I like reflecting on my song, "Simunye- we are one"(album:"Free indeed") at times to soak the theology of this into me. Much of how we do Praise comes out of preference, let's make sure the preference is for others first.

Also did an evening on song-writing at King's-Norwich. I look forward to a bit more time on some practical and seeing what can be produced. Congregational song-writing is a real art-form. Much more challenging than churning out any old love song!

Also had a fantastic night at the Africa night in Great Yarmouth -King's church (seems like a theme - King's church : Norwich, Catford, Gt. Yarmouth !)
Good to see the Buriah's there and so many various African's. Felt like I was back home in Africa. The nations have come to England.

Then it was Together at the east of England conference. I also had the privelege of leading three sessions there and one at Newday east youth meeting.I think it may have been a bit of a culture shock for some who don't know me. Was a great week-end. Loved leading at the Newday-East event ..."everybody in the church was dancing" - I do enjoy doing that song ...particularly when "everbody" participates. More of those please Lord.

Last Sunday, went to Peterborough -Life church. Good times! Even had someone testifying to me that he had been wearing a tie for 2 years and this Sunday was the first time he'd "had" to take it off. Free, free !!

So that and some song-writing has been a good month.

Tracy an I head home to SA for a month to sort out visas and a attend a family wedding. Hoping to be back for a white, cold Christmas in Norwich!
Will grab some time to continue my previous blog on grace praise!!!... Here's to hoping