Thursday, February 28, 2008

Can I tell you what I think?

For a while now I have been saying the same thing...which I hope hasn’t driven you nuts!
For many years, what I saw around me and what I saw in God’s word didn’t seem to match perfectly. But instead of making me question God or get cynical it made me cry out to him for answers.
I have spent quite a bit of time praying and thinking over those things…


When I read the Bible it tells me things like:
“By his work on the cross you can have healing”
“That his Spirit rests on me”
“You shall lay hands on the sick and they will recover”
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”
“Pray for one another”

Now I look at us, and I see that up until this time my life hasn’t always reflected these things that well. Has God got it wrong or has he changed his mind since these words were first written? NO WAY!
Like I have been saying, I think God wants to use this generation ‘as it is written’. He wants to use all of our generation for his glory, not just a select few. And all he is doing is waiting…

Many years a go God was looking for someone to help.He asked around, and one man said yes...please send me. His name was Isaiah, and he was an amazing man of God. But only after he chose to go, only after he chose to give it a go.

Even this week, we have had opportunities to pray for people for healing. In fact the subject has come up more than any other for me.And I am going for it. I am standing on what the word of God says and guess what? I have seen people healed this week!
But this is not just for me as a Pastor.You too can get in on the fun. It doesn’t matter who you are!

My challenge for us this week, is to really think, to really pray, and see whether you want to really be in the game with God.I know he wants to use you in some amazing way. He is simply waiting for you to give it a go!
Maybe you could find someone who is sick or pain and pray for them.
What have you got to lose?

Something to think about...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Did you know that you have a title that you probably will not write on your CV or Business Card, but it is yours none the less?
You could write Priest your name or whatever you send out representing yourself...because that is exactly what you are.

I would agree that it is probably not very cool. But it is truly how God sees you!

I am not talking about the general world view of a priest. You know those guys who wear funny looking clothes, walk around calmly, doing all sorts of religious things. I am talking about being a priest the way God sees you.

This is why I say that...
1 Peter 2:9 (niv) says this..

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God...

1 Peter 2:9 (the message) puts it this way...
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

A Priest is a very special person.
In the old testament it was a role only the Levites could be considered for. They were the only ones who could connect with God.
They were the only ones who could serve him in the temple (church of that time).
They were the only ones who had total access to the scriptures.
And they were the only ones who could have opportunity to minister.

But Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and he setup a new priesthood that you can be part of.
God has picked you, not based on your family connections or planned inheritance, but because he thinks you can do it...

I hope that this is of some encouragement to you today?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Isn’t it funny how we come up with special events based on some thing that happened and the meaning gets mutated over the years?
Here we are at Valentines Day, that annual event that you look forward to or possibly dread (depending on your relationship status).

One of the images used for the day is a fat little toddler, in a nappy trying to shoot people with arrows to make them fall in love. As cute as it maybe, if you think about it, it is a little crazy.
I have personally known quite a few toddlers, and I would never give them a weapon to use or let them choose a partner for me.
The reality is that they would probably make you fall in love with a teddy bear or Barney.

Anyway, the real story behind Valentines Day is quite cool!

During the early church times Valentine seemed to be quite a common name. The name became more popular it seems because many were martyred for their faith who had that special name.
One man in particular who lived in Rome stood for his faith against growing opposition and persecution, again his name was Valentine.
Claudius passed a law banning marriage so that the young men would join his army and not be distracted by fiancées or wives. But Valentine believed marriage was in fact a gift from God and something to embraced and celebrated, not run away from. So he would hold secret wedding ceremonies. Couples would meet with him and he would whisper the vows.

Unfortunately one day he was caught and thrown in prison for his activities.
Apparently the jailers daughter would visit him many times. She supported his stand and wanted to learn more from him.
The story goes that on the day Valentine was to die he left this girl a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “Love from your Valentine”. That note, written on the day Valentine died – February 14th, 269 AD – started the custom of exchanging love notes on St Valentine’s Day.

As you can see, Valentines day is for people in love, but also for people to thank others for their love.
The Bible talks a lot about the relationship we are supposed to have with each other. It says things like love another, do nothing out of selfish ambition, do what you can to get along with each other, greet one another with a holy kiss…(ok I am getting carried away, but you get the picture).
As Christians we are supposed to be the expression of Gods love on this planet.

Part of our role is to share that with anyone we meet.

So today, how about showing some love?
Maybe a simple email or text to a loved one or friend?
Thank someone for caring about you...
That is the real Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I bet you have done this at least sometime recently…
Maybe you did unaware that it was this particular thing?
Or maybe you did it on purpose?…
Are you wondering what I am talking about?


I found a little report this week:
In 2004 Bella DePaulo, a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who specializes in studying forms of human deception, asked college students and members of the community-at-large to keep a notebook to tally up the number of lies they told in one week. By the end of the experiment, DePaulo found that the students had lied at least once to 38 percent of the people they came into contact with, while the community-at-large had lied to 30 percent of those with whom they interacted.

Based on her research, DePaulo insists that we all fall into one of two categories of liars:
Some of us are "self-centered liars"—we lie in order to make ourselves look better to others.

The rest of us are "other-centered liars"—we lie in order to avoid hurting someone else's feelings.

The experiment also found that the proverbial "white lie" was more often told to strangers; deeper lies were reserved for those the liar loved most.
"In everyday life, people are often telling lies," says DePaulo. "[It's] not to get something concrete that they want, like more money, but for psychological reasons… "Sometimes in our real lives, our valuing of honesty clashes with something else we also value, like wanting to be gracious or kind or compassionate."

Colossians 3:9 simple says...
Do not lie to each other,
since you have taken off your old self with its practices.

I have to be honest I have probably ‘lied’ many times as a christian.
And being someone who enjoys preaching and speaking I have to be careful not to embellish stories too much...otherwise I am in danger of making my ‘lies’ into other peoples truth.

No matter how you feel about this challenging thought today please know one thing...that no matter how much you may struggle with this, God has never changed his mind about you!
The key is to recognize that God’s heart is to give us the best life possible.
A life free from the things this world offers us and which can hurt us tremendously. Lying is one of those things that will ultimately hurt us, not help us.

I know I am going to be a little more careful!
Something to think about...

Article Courtesy : Brian Lowery, associate editor, PreachingToday.com; source: Jocelyn Voo, "Honestly, all of us are liars," www.cnn.com (1-21-08)
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