Thursday, April 27, 2006

When I was fairly new to this 'christian' thing, someone said something to me that really bothered me!
There was a group of us travelling in my car to an event. Me and my best mate in the front and two young ladies in the back. We were talking about how we had recently made 'decision's for Christ' and they replied...
"how cute, we just love baby christians"

I just about stopped the car and kicked them out...but was too much of a gentlemen.

The thing is, it doesn't matter how long you have been a christian or where you are at in your journey with God...we are all the same. Yes, our knowledge and experience levels might be different, but God loves us as equals.

A short time later something cool happened!
I was sitting reading my Bible at someone's house while I waited for them.
Reading through 1 Timothy, I came across some verses that changed my life and influenced my thinking, also who I was as a christian forever (1 Tim 4:12-14)!
It had such an impact on me that day that I could tell you where I was, what time of the day, what couch I was sitting get the picture.

Part of that scripture goes like this.
1 Timothy 4:12 (niv)
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.

What God is saying is that it doesn't matter if you are young or new to christianity. We are called to the same thing.
We are called to live our lives as examples to others, even those who we think may be more 'sprititual' than us.
The phrase "Don't let anyone look down on you" can also be interepted "Do stuff so that it causes people to look at you differently".
You don't have to have 20 years of experience to be an example for other christians!
Don't be who people expect you to be, do what you think God expects you to be.
That is why as a so called young christian I went for it. Studied what I could. Changed the course of my life...because God said I could.

God is encouraging us to let all of our life be an example. That God can use all of us to help others.
God is saying that you can be like this. It is not just a pipe dream. God doesn't say stuff to us that is not possible.

Remember to be who God has called you to be...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

When I was a kid I had a wild imagination!
I would dream of being all sorts of things, but I had a particular favourite...
I dreamed of being an astronaut.
My toys included rockets, star wars ships and figures...anything to do with 'space' was alright by me.
When it came time to do some 'creative writing' at primary school I generally only wrote about my space adventures. In fact my first song I ever wrote was called the 'Spaceship'

Then something happens to your life. You get older!
And people start telling you, that you have to stop imaginning silly things, like going to space and get a 'real' job.
Essentially they are telling you to grow up and stop pretending.

But I have noticed a funny paradox here. Most of us still pretend.

I used to be a Salesman as part of one of my jobs I used to do.
My boss would regularly try to tell me to pretend.
To pretend I knew what I as talking about when I didn't. To pretend I had done something before when I hadn't.
People wear makeup to pretend they look different to what they really do (please don't stone me!).
We get operations to make ourselves look different to what we really look like.
And sometimes we pretend to have life all sorted out, so that we won't look weak to someone else???

There is one place you don't need to pretend....and this is with God.
What is the point of pretending with God? He knows eveything. He knows all about our lives.
And there is huge safety in that! You can go to God not having to pretend anymore.
God accepts you as you are, not who you think you should be.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

One thing I take great comfort from, is knowing I can go to God at anytime and talk to him honestly about where I am at. So can I encourage you to always be honest with God. Let him more into the real life you are living this week....
He cares and he wants to help!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Over my ‘christian’ lifetime I have tried to keep learning.
Initially it was mostly for me. I wanted to understand what this whole ‘being a christian thing’ was all about. I wasn’t ever happy with just saying I was one, I wanted to know why I was one.

I have found most people are the same. They don’t naturally choose to be confused about what we believe, they don’t choose to not understand.
You see this most of all in people who have just made the decision to become disciples.

The other day I was sitting in the lounge early in the morning trying to read my Bible when Jack came in.
Basically my reading was shot…but in a good way.
Jack wanted to read what I was reading and he picked Matthew to start.
He started to read how Jesus was born, which brought up questions.

“Daddy, how does God make babies?” was his first question, which he attempted to answer himself. He said that God does magic. He wiggles his fingers and says a special phrase and all of a sudden there is a baby.

Now he was actually right to some degree.
But I wanted to help him understand a little better, so we looked up Genesis 1:1.
It simply talks about God speaking and then it happens. No need for God to wiggle fingers, he is all poweful and can do anything.

We then went to Psalm 139 and I showed him the passage about God knitting us together in our mothers womb.
He loved it! Talked about how God knitted his ears and how God made him from the tip of his head to his toes.

God wants us to PASS
Pass on to others what we have learnt, what we have found from Him.
Especially his Words, which are way more prowerful and have more authority than our opinions.
Under the Old Covenant, Moses passed on the words he got from God to the people. (Acts 7:38)
Under the New Covenant, we all are called to Pass the Word of God on.

1 Corinthians 11:2
I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.

So what is my point?
Very simply, we need to pass on what we have to others…and the Word of God is the easiest to pass on. It is the most important to pass on. It is the most powerful ‘word' to pass on.It takes the pressure off us to personally to have every answer for every situation.

Simply trust that whatever you read and study from his word...he will bring out of you just when it is needed.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I regularly sit at a set of traffic lights waiting my turn in Manurewa.
It is like most other intersections in Auckland. Mad rush in the mornings. Most people looking tired, or grumpy or both!
But this intersection has these little areas they call 'bus lanes'. They are marked very clearly with signs on poles plus the road has this crazy green coloured seal on it.
You are probably wondering why I am telling this?

Well, those little bus lane make me grumpy. No it is not the bus lanes itself, it is the cheeky people who cue jump the rest of us and use them when they know they shouldn't. I sit there looking at them, thinking how I would like to do something that would 'punish' them or whatever.
If I am not careful I start to get angry. I start talking out loud about how rude they are....
I think you get the picture.

The problem is, is that all my ranting and raving, my getting upset...doesn't effect them in the slightest.
They don't even know about how unhappy I am. I am in my car...they are in theirs.

Today it happened again!
Plus someone ran a red light in front of me.
Plus someone cut me off on the motorway, while talking on their cellphone!

But today I tried something different. I said under my breath that I forgive them.
I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they really didn't mean to annoy me. And that felt much better.
Instead of arriving at work in a grump. I arrived chilled out.
Maybe there is something to this forgiveness thing that applies to simple everyday life...not just the big things.

The bible talks a lot about forgiving one another. God knew that it would an issue for us all our lives, and so reminds us about it again and again.
He tells us this because he knows if we let this stuff on top of us, that it will damage us...not necessarily the person we need to forgive.
He tells us this because he knows it could cause us to harden our hearts towards each others.

So the next time those 'little' things happen that could wind you up...
How about forgiving, letting it go...and maybe you will have a much better day?