Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Some words in songs make me think…
Especially the ones we sing in our church!

I don’t know about you, but I want to mean what I am singing.
I don’t want to say things like ‘I lift my hands’...and not do just that.
I don’t want to say I am happy to praise God...and not mean it somehow.

It is part of the dna of our generation to not like hypocrisy.
We like things to be real. To have meaning.
We don’t like boring cold religion.
We want what is true and good and real in our lives.

The other week we had a guest worship band at church.
Citipointe Band played all their own material. Most of which I hadn’t heard before that night.
But as I stood near the front trying to keep up...trying to be real and go after God...some lyrics really hit me. And to be honest I haven’t been able to shake them from my mind.
I haven’t heard the song since then so that is not the reason why it always comes to mind. I
t was simply the phrase.
It has caused me to meditate on its meaning for me.

Very simply the chorus goes…
Louder now, louder now
Break out in praise to God

On the face of it, it simply looks like the writer encouraging us to sing louder.
To scream and to shout.
But for me it has meant so much more than passionate singing!
The louder now phrase rings through my consciousness.
And what it says to me is that I need to find ways for my life to be louder now.
God wants my life to be loud to our world.
To have an impact.
Not as a protestor! Not as someone just being loud because I am arrogant!
But for bigger things…
God wants my love for others to be loud!
God wants my passion for him to loud!

Like the vision of our church talks about, we want to be known more for what we are for, than what we are against.

Matthew 5 (niv)
14You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

So this week, maybe you can think about how God might turn the volume up of your life. How your loudness can change your world for the better.
There is a sound that can come from all of us that is awesome if we let it!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

With all that has happened this week...what else can I write about but the tragedy and what it has done in me.

As most of you will be aware, 6 students and 1 teacher from our college lost their lives in a freak flash flood last week.
Since Saturday their have been 7 funerals!
All of them celebrating their lives and what they had achieved in such a short time on this earth.

You can’t help but wonder what they would have done if they were still here with us longer…we will never know...

What we do know is that they have run their race.
They have gained the prize.
They have entered their rest with God.

Life is so short, and this has been emphasized so much over this last week!What we have been given on this earth can finish so quickly, and normally without any warning.
But dying is so important!
Without death a seed doesn’t begin to germinate and grow.
Without dying to our selves we don’t really grow in God.
And without ultimately passing from this life into the next, we don’t get to hang out with God in his presence forever!

There are so many thoughts, so many ideas…
Maybe I shouldn’t call this week a simple thought?

The reality is that what has happened has affected us.
It should affect us.
It should cause something in our lives to happen.

The challenge is to learn from God what he wants us to do now.
I am sure if Tony, Tom, Floyd, Portia, Natasha, Anthony & Tara could speak to us today from heaven, that they would all say the same thing…
For all of us to go after God!
To make the most of the life we have been given!
And run our race until the we can be with each other again in a better place!

Something to think about...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Many of you will now know what we as a church have had to face...and continue to deal with at this time...
The tragedy of losing 7 amazing people from our school, church and our lives.

A simple thought is not enough!
In fact the thoughts you have during these times change continually as you walk through a path not of your choosing.
But one thought we shared last night...I want to share with you now...

The Bible says that we are a body.
You know that if you hurt your finger, you feel it and are aware of it.
It doesn’t happen without you noticing and being affected by it.

The same goes for the situation we now find ourselves in.
Part of our body is hurting, and we are noticing it!
My heart is that we stand together.
That we support each other through this time.
That we cry out to God together. We need him!

If you are wondering how to respond...simply prayer.
If you want to do more, please get involved...We are all pulling together. No one is worrying about departments or their issues.
We are standing together because we are hurt.

We share a hope that no one or nothing could ever take away!

Something to think about?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Here I was last night at the gym sweating up a storm…
And a guy comes over to me, mentions my name, and asks how my workout is going…
And guess what? I haven’t got a clue who he is….
(note - if you are that guy, please accept my apologies for not knowing who you are. But know that I appreciated you asking!)

This of course got me thinking, as I racked my brains to where he knows me from…maybe church, maybe somewhere else...
I wondered how many other people during the day notice me, even without saying, and what they might think when they see me.

What about you?
This is probably happening to you as well many times a day without you even noticing. Scary thought really! Does this mean that our lives are really ‘on show’ to others around us, even if we don’t want them to be?

We quote a Bible verse a lot from Hebrews, and many interpret it to refer to angels and even people already gone to heaven. But I have been wondering if it refers to more than that?
It simply says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 niv)

I think that great cloud includes people here and now. Not just those far away or in some spiritual realm. It is the people your presence passes near everyday.
Our world is looking for truth.It wants to know what we stand for.
How we live is way more open and exposed than we probably realise.

But that is a good thing as well!
It means that the love of God that rests on, and moves through those who love him, will be seen by our world without us trying too hard.
In another place in the Bible it likens our lives to a lamp. A lamp that God wants exposed to the world, because the light of our lives is supposed to shine everywhere it possibly can.

Something to think about?