Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Listen | Watch | Wait

There are some similarities and also a lot of differences between my teenage years and that I see of my own kids now.
Take the example of the phone.
Every person in our home has their own phone in the form a mobile.
But when I was a teenager there was only one phone and it wasn't mobile, it was tethered to the wall via a cable that was never considered long enough!

When the phone rang we got excited.
It meant someone wanted to talk to you and you knew they had to be keen.
The simple act of calling you spoke volumes of their desire to want to connect with you. Taking the time to stand tethered via a wire simply to have connection with you.
Going through the girlfriend and young dating phase, listening, watching and waiting were very much part of the equation.
We hung out for those times when the phone would ring. Fights between family members were common as we tried to keep the line free for us and young love.

Check out with me what Proverbs 8:34 says...
Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
 waiting at my doorway.

That version is from the NIV, but if you check out other translations in paints a picture of joy coming from this agenda. If you listen, watch and wait on God, you will more than likely find joy.

Can I encourage you week to make time to simply listen, watch daily, to wait expectantly for God in some way?
You will in no doubt find blessing and joy if you do.
I am confident of His desire to want to connect with you!

Something to think about... 

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

God has planned something better for us

I was struck by this statement near the very end of the famous 'faith chapter' in Hebrews!

Since God had planned something better for us 
so that only together with us would they be made perfect. 
Hebrews 11:40 niv

In the lines and verses proceeding Paul works his way through a whose who of faith.
Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and more.
While their stories had different turns and moments, the basis for all was exactly the same.
They actually lived out their faith with passion, purpose and power.

You can be forgiven I think for your nerves rising up as you then discover others in this speech where shipwrecked, sawn in two, and other less than comfortable expressions of faith.
They too were doing what they could to live by faith, and yet came to sometimes to sticky end.

And Paul brings us back with some relief...
"God had planned something better for us"

Please know today that while you may face challenges, they probably won't for the majority of us include a wreck ship or a nasty saw...
God has something better planned for you.
They never got to see the power of God like we can.
They never got the benefit of Gods Word in the form of the scriptures.
They never got to live out their faith with over 2 Billion others across the globe.
God had something better planned for you.

Whatever you are facing this week, please remind yourself of this truth.
Add faith to your current.
Declare to yourself that you will stand.
As you do you are honouring those who came before you.
And you are saying "YES" to the better that God has planned for you.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Please don’t #EvolveTheDefinition

This hashtag phrase is being promoted by a clothing brand currently.
Their perported goal is to redefine what being a man means, what masculinity means, presumably based on the premise that current masculinity needs drastic changes.
I will never argue that men are perfect and not needing of change, but I am very concerned about a world where being a man should be something to be challenged or even be ashamed of.

The broader issue for me as a follower of Christ is this...
Modern culture is hellbent of redefining everything that has come before.
It is protesting traditions. Shaking up the norms from previous generations. All with a publicised goal of making the world better for everyone.
Unfortunately I think it is an ill advised experiment at best and socially suicidle at worst.
Destroying something to build something better without a clear goal and well thought out strategy is extremely foolhardy.

Jesus never taught ever in all his hours of teaching that men or women were generically bad, superior, needing to changed from one unto another.
What He did teach appears to be a completely different approach to helping us be the better version of our current selves.

He said to love others, serves others, prefer others.
He said to take up your own cross and carry that, not nail others to a cross we are unwilling to bear.

I firmly believe that when we focus on our relationship with God, then the world will be better because we are better.
A clothing label is not the way to see change. Christ is the way to see change.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Just Rest, Don't Retire

I am not a expert and I am personally learning this still - but I believe when you are tired from whatever you are doing or facing - try and rest instead of retiring.
Take a breather instead of quitting!

Again from my experience and watching the life of others, I find our very most dangerous time to make big decisions is in a place of weariness.
It is at those times you may struggle to see clearly.
You most definitely will operate more out of your flesh than the Spirit.

Jesus took time out for rest and find fresh connection with God.
He did so after major moments of ministry and/or misery.
When the crowd become too much with their weighty and never ending expectations.
When those who were inclined to evil killed a family member.
When He needed to make major choices, like who would be His inner circle that we call 'The Disciples'.
When He was preparing for the last push of His earthly ministry.

Jesus wisely encourages us to come away with Him when we are tired and worn down.
He doesn't say quit to regroup.
Nor give up to grow up.
Or even run away for your protection.
He simply encourages us to find a place of rest...

Are you tired today? Maybe weighed down by huge expectations?
Have you been pushing through in life and/or ministry and you are feeling a bit worn out?
Please don't quit. Please find a place of rest whatever and where ever that may be...
Quitting can be such a negative moment when we get it wrong due to our emotions controlling our defining moves. Finding your rest in God will propel to new levels of effectiveness and won't leave you in regret.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Does God have a problem with your questions?

I don't think God has a problem with you asking Him questions?
Those why, when, how, what phrases to heavens throne do not phase Him one little bit...
Jesus asked His disciples and the crowds questions all the time to get them to think.
God through the prophets of old used to ask questions while sharing truths.
In fact questions are the gateway to understanding.

Is there something about this faith in God thing that you don't understand?
Ask a question...
Are you wondering what could be your next assignment from God?
Ask a question...

God has promised each of us that we have ears specifically designed to hear His voice.
God wants to answer your questions.
Speak to your heart.
Give your direction.
Maybe the question back is - will you listen?

Can I encourage you this week to not be afraid or ashamed of asking God anything?
Let Him speak to you and guide you.
You might be pleasantly surprised?

Something to think about...