Thursday, August 28, 2008

Over the last few weeks I have been a little disappointed to be honest at some of the news.
News relating to high profile ministries and their failings.
It is a mixture of emotions….anger, pity, frustration…
And as a bystander you wonder how some of these problems ever develop or get left to escalate so much.
At the end of the day you are left to handle these thoughts and feelings…
What do you do?
When disappointments like this happen, what is the best thing to do?

This is what I think...
This is what I try to do...

A simple theme that reoccurs throughout the Bible is ‘where to look’.
What should we focus on, especially when things seem to go wrong?

Proverbs 4:25 says...
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.

Then the Apostle Paul takes this concept a step further...

Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith

Paul knew a story of something that happened to another Apostle many years before he wrote those words.
A story about a guy called Peter and how one day he had this ‘crazy’ idea.
While all the disciples were in a boat without Jesus, they noticed that Jesus was actually walking towards them on the water. Something they knew should be impossible.
But here was their friend, leader, pastor...doing the impossible.
Peter gets excited (I would have as well!), and decides he has to give this trick a try.
The Bible records he was successful until he does one simple thing...

Matthew 14:29-30
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"

The only thing Peter did wrong was he stopped looking directly in front of himself to Jesus!
We will always have things distracting us. The world will bring all sorts of things into our peripheral vision.
We can make it and do the impossible if we simply look in one direction.
The disappointments was face during life.
The challenges we face.
All can fade into insignificance if we simply look in the direction of Jesus.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where is God?

It is a question many of us ask…

So where is he? Like, what is his exact location right now?
If someone came up to you on a street somewhere and asked that same question…
Would you have an answer for them?

This is the question I ponder sometimes.
It is not always because I am struggling or things are not go well.
Sometimes I just want to know.

I actually think there are several answers to the one question.
Not because it sounds more spiritual.
Not because I don’t really have an answer, and I just want to convince myself and others I have an answer.
It is just that I don’t think you can give simple one sentence answers when it comes to God.

How do you truly describe someone who is beyond what we can even imagine at times.
Whose ways are higher than our ways.
Whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
Who created the world we see around us and the universe that envelops us, with a single word.
When the Bible even says we only know in part...not completely.

One thing I feel safe in saying about God is that wants us to find him, and then ultimately represent him.
God is not hidden as some people think. It is just he is too big to be confined to a single simple space in time.
The Bible says that God is with us when we meet together.
The Bible says that God is with us when we do something for someone else in need.
The Bible says God inhibits the songs we sing when we go after him.
The Bible says the God is there when we call out to him.
And the Bible says that God is looking for us probably more often then we realise.

Maybe I haven’t answered the question that easily?
Maybe I have just given you something to think about...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are there sometimes during your week where things just seem a little too crazy?
Where things seem to crowd in a round you, and you can hardly think straight?
Where you no longer feel in control of your life?
Where your life is seemingly being controlled by everything else around you…

I think we all have moments like that.

The trick is to know what to do during those moments.
Is there something you can do that will help?

To be honest, my week has definitely been like that so far.
But the cool thing is, there are 4 things that help me.
4 thoughts I consider that make a huge difference to me...and I know they can help you too.

thought one
Jeremiah 8:18
O my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.
The Bible calls God our comforter. In fact one of the original Greek words for the Holy Spirit means the same thing. He is the one called to come along side us when we need help.
I always ask the Holy Spirit to help me, to comfort lead and guide me...

thought two
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
God doesn’t expect you to be superhuman and carry all your burdens and even everyone else’s on your own.
Simply hand them over to him.
Talk to him along those lines…Hand it over...don’t hang on to them.

thought three
1 Corinthians 10:13
And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
I believe the principle here is the same for when are struggling. God will not let the present trial you are under ever be beyond what you can survive through.
He even will provide a way out.

thought four
James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
This is cool. I know that when I feel under pressure, the best pressure release I have is to simply come before God.
To get in his presence. To get away with him.
To let the peace of God rule over my heart.
It helps get things back into perspective. To know God has get things under control even if I don’t understand them.
I mean, he is the creator if everything. Nothing is beyond his reach or influence.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I got a message from someone from edge this week that got me thinking…
They shared about a decision that they made based on they beliefs of what is right and wrong.
And it reminded me of a very similar decision I faced a few years ago.
Their stand while looking maybe small to others, I think is part of a greater, more powerful truth.

We don’t do it that much now, but we used to rent a lot of dvds to entertain ourselves.
Over the years I have belonged to quite a few video shops and have lots of stories to tell about crazy things that happened with them.
But one day we found a new chain that started that was a little different to all the others we had been part of.
They hired the same movies as everyone else with one subtle difference.
They had a policy of not hiring out porn.
Without trying to sound too ‘holy’, we decided to support them over any other store.
Because of their stand. We made our little stand.
We gave them our business completely.
To some little degree we felt like we were part of something good.

Jesus seemed to have the ability to influence everywhere he went.
You don’t seem to read anywhere that a visit from Jesus meant nothing changed.
Peoples lives, circumstance, dreams...all seemed to change in the light of his presence.

It is like he was a spiritual seasoning to the world around him.

If you have decided to live your life for Christ?
If you have decided to orientate your whole world around who he is?
The Bible calls that being a disciple.
And being a disciple means you can be just like him.

Matthew 5:13 says
You are the salt of the earth

Mark 9:50 says
Salt is good

It is the little we do that changes the flavor of the world around us.
Your life is the seasoning God would like to use.
Just like real salt, a little of it changes the whole taste of something.
You don’t need heaps, you just need some.

You can season the world around you, just by the little things you do.
The stands you take for righteousness.
The doing the ‘right thing’ instead of the ‘wrong thing’.

You don’t to do just have to do something.
That kind of takes the pressure off us.

Your life can change your world. That is guaranteed!

Something to think about...