Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You are probably all too aware that the end of 2009 is coming rather quickly…
We get to leave the ‘naughties’ as some have nicknamed the decade and head into a new one.
I don’t know about you, but I looking forward to saying that I lived in the ‘twenties’. But I have to wait a little bit longer for that…

With a new year come new beginnings.
You can start again with any area of life we choose.
Many people make big decisions around this time of year because it just seems right somehow.

Some people like to make things we called resolutions.
Here are some interesting stats I found on them...

Forty-five percent of Americans usually set New Year's Resolutions; seventeen percent infrequently set
resolutions; thirty-eight percent never set resolutions.
Eight percent are always successful in achieving their resolutions; nineteen percent achieve their resolutions every other year; forty-nine percent have infrequent success; twenty-four percent (one in four) never
succeed and have failed on every resolution every year.
Thirty-eight percent set resolutions related to weight.
Thirty-four percent set resolutions related to money.
Thirty-one percent set resolutions related to
relationships.
The younger you are, the more likely you are to achieve your resolutions.
The less happy you are, the more likely you are to set New Year's resolutions.
There is actually no correlation between happiness and resolution setting/success

Stephen Shapiro, "Interesting New Year's Resolution Statistics," Stephen Shapiro's 24/7 (stephenshapiro.com)

I am not saying to make a resolution or not.
That is not my goal here.
I guess what I would like to say is...why not go back to the source of everything any how, and ask him for whatever help you may need.
Then the ball is in his court.
You can then rest in the grace he freely gives you.
And rock into a new year with confidence that God will help you to have a great year!

Something to think about…

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We seem to have lots of ‘sayings’ don’t we?
Things like...
“Don’t watch too much TV or your eyes will go square”
“Don’t point or you will poke holes in the air”

What about this simple one?
“Curiosity killed the cat”
Did it? How did it do that?
And why is the cat the poor animal that pays the ultimate price?

Like most of our “sayings”, they start off with an element of truth or wisdom.
But ultimately most of them come across a little silly if thought about long enough.

I think curiosity is a good thing. It is not something to be afraid of or hidden from.
Curiosity is not a disease we should be vaccinated against.
Nor is it a condition that should be medicated.
Curiosity is a natural occurring part of the human experience.

A while ago now some very ‘wise’ people were curious about writings regarding a baby being born in a strange little place. They also noticed a strange astronomical event happening in the sky.
Their curiosity drew them to go on a long journey to see what it was all about.

That was the first Christmas.
People just like you and me curious to see.
They came and found a baby, who we now know was called Jesus.

This Christmas don’t be afraid to be curious.
Let it take you somewhere.
Maybe let it take you to one of the many Christmas celebrations around Taupo.
It won’t kill you! You aren’t a cat...


Something to think about...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

is there anyone out there?

It seems that people have always had questions about whether we are alone in the universe?
As they gaze up into the night sky it seems to make sense to them that we can’t be alone in the universe.
How can something so big be so empty?
How can there not be planets like ours orbiting a sun like ours with people just like us?

In a movie I have watched way too many times (Independence Day), the President utters these words… “The question about whether we are alone in the universe has been answered…”
Movies like this help fuel I think in part, that belief for many people. Star Wars, Star Trek...all tap into our desire to believe there is something else out there.

I don’t think we can stand the idea that we are alone in this cosmos. It seems wired into us in some way.
And we are right!

Christmas to a huge degree answers that this age old question.
Years before the first Christmas, God promised it would happen. And that when it did finally happen it fulfilled a promise. The promise of someone coming also called Immanuel, which means God Is With Us!

That’s the deal. There is the answer.
The universe is not as empty as some have feared.
Our natural inclination to believe in something out there is right.
The Kingdom of Heaven is there...and then with one small baby...he brought it here!
God is with us!!!!

We are not alone!
Never have been and we never will be!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

inspired


Maybe I was inspired after going past a café earlier in the day?
Whatever it was, it set me up to make what you can see in the picture.

So I cooked up my baby potatoes in extra virgin olive oil and freshly picked rosemary.

Then added my acid free tomatoes…
and my lunch began to take shape.

Suze’s reaction was of surprise.
A sandwich would have been the normal thing to make.

But that is not me...and that is totally my point!
I have found that what you naturally have some affinity to, what comes at least a little natural…can be a big part of how God made you.

For me I love being spontaneous.
I like doing things no one expects.
I love being creative.
And I have found that is how God has wired me.
If I try and live any other way I quickly get frustrated.

So what about you?
What are you naturally good at?
What pushes your buttons in a good way?
If you are doing something with that then good.
If not...then take some time to think and pray...and then do something with it.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

what is revival?

Just the other day someone asked me a question that I found quite interesting.
Now that is not to say that people ask me questions that I am not interested in...it is just this one caught my attention a little more.

This person wanted to know about this thing we call ‘revival’.

I have lost track of the number of times I have heard people pray for ‘revival’.
I have read books on ‘revival’.
Watched dvd’s on ‘revival’.
And got really frustrated along the way…

Why?
Because it hasn’t seemed to happen maybe in the way I was expecting. And maybe that is the point really.
Maybe ‘revival’ isn’t about what I want, but all about what God wants?

I think there are many Christians praying and waiting for a thing called 'revival' and either getting disappointed because it hasn't happened the way they expect...or they are always just waiting.
Many people are praying that God will do what he did back in the early 1900's like in Wales and California. But God doesn't do things the same every time.
What if God wants to do things differently?
What if he already is?

All over the world 1000's upon 1000's are getting saved. Take Africa on its own...isn't that a revival?
We live in a country where the Holy Spirit moves in peoples lives and churches in general more than ever...isn't that some sort of revival?

Is it right to ask God to move and do something amazing? YES.
But it also right that while we might wait for that, we do something with what we have and where we are at now.
God also says that the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few...

I don’t know about you, but as I wait patiently I am going to work the best I can for God.
He says the harvest is already plentiful.
So I want to take his word at that.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The world is full of questions…
Some are real serious. Maybe you have some right now?
Others are a little less serious.
Let’s start with some of those...

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?
What disease did cured ham actually have?
Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours?
Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?
If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Why did you just try singing the two songs above?
Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?
Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?
Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?
Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance
How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?
Source Unknown

Maybe you have some questions about your life?
What to do next? What is going to happen?

Something that I hope will give you some comfort is that God knows your questions. And he can answer every one of them.
The Bible talks about God knowing our thoughts.
That his ear to turned towards us.
That the steps of a righteous person are sorted by God.
That he wants to speak to us.

This week, if you have questions that need answering…
Take to them God.
And see what he might say to you.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Did you know that one of the best things about you is whatever is your greatest weakness?

Now that I have your attention please let me explain?

I think one of the things we get wrong about faith in Jesus is that many think it is a ticket to utopia.
A ‘divine’ opportunity to escape trouble.
A ‘divine’ opportunity to gain resource.
A ‘divine’ opportunity to true happiness.
While some of that is true. It is not the whole truth.

Paul wrote these profound words…
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Your relationship with God isn’t all about wholeness.
It is all about wholiness.
It is keeping your eyes on him no matter what.
It is saying to whatever bothers you or you holds you back…“all I want to focus on is Jesus”

Faith is completely wrapped up for me in Trust.
You can’t have faith without trust.
Faith is trusting that God is true and the devil is a liar.
It is knowing that God will strengthen you where you are weak so you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

May this week be for you a week where you determine in your own heart to trust God completely.
Know he is on your side. That he will give you the strength you know, and he knows, that you need...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I guess one of the things painfully obvious about this whole ‘love dare’ thing is that marriage can be like a parabola.
Maybe you ignored this maths lesson at school...but essentially it is a bell curve. Where you start on the left travelling right up and up till you reach a pinnacle and then curve back down again.



What I am trying to say, is marriages and relationships can seem to be on one of these many times.

You get to know someone, fall in love...it just keeps getting better and better to the point you don’t know where the top of your parabola is.
And just as subtly it heads back down the other direction.

We seem to only notice something is wrong when we are hitting the bottom.
Like when we are near the level we first started.

I think many Christians find the same thing happening with their relationship with God.
It grows and grows as you get more and more hungry to learn and develop.
Then you get comfortable.
Then one day you find things aren’t quiet the same.

Just as your relationship to a partner is not limited to some ‘maths’ idea, nor is your relationship to God. Both don’t have to succumb to this fate.
But you can’t just hope that they won’t.

Any relationship takes some effort.
If you want to grow in God you need to feed the relationship. You need to take some time out for each other.

My encouragement to you this week is take some time out for just you and God.
Shut everything else away.
Do the ‘Jesus’ thing and withdraw for a time.
Pray.
Read.
Think.
Talk.

Don’t settle for less.
Go for everything in this relationship with God that he has for you.
And don’t be limited to a parabola.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Maybe I was little influenced by the event we hosted last night, but I have been thinking about common phrases we use when we pray.

One I have thought about for some time is one that talks about hedges.
Do you know the one I mean?
Where people pray that God would build a hedge around someone.

When you think about it, it does seem a little strange…
A hedge is a collection of closely planted trees or shrubs that interlink to form a wall of plants.
Why would you pray that someone has a wall of shrubs around them?

It is actually in the Bible.
Amazing aye?

If you look in the first chapter of Job you see this amazing story of God and satan having a conversation.
They are talking about a guy called Job and how honourable and blessed he is.
Satan challenges God as part of this conversation.
“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?” Job 1:10 niv

Hedge is all about protection.
A hedge can give you shelter from storms.
A hedge can give you shade from heat.
A hedge can protect you from attack.
And a hedge can keep what you have from disappearing.

God hadn’t just build a physical hedge around Job and all he had. It was a spiritual hedge.
A circle of his protection around all he was and had.
So I think it is a cool thing to pray for someone or even yourself.

Why don’t you pray that for someone today.
Why don’t you pray it for yourself and your family.
That God would hedge you or someone else about.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I was looking for a clip on youtube today.
Something that I knew about by a guy I have heard of.
He has a great reputation.
He has taught me heaps over the last few years.

My search results surprised me.

The majority of the suggested clips to my search were all about how bad, how wrong, how stupid...any negative something that someone could produce.
I thought surely this person is not that bad.
I then thought this must be just a weird search result so decided to search for someone else I respect.
Just to see if this was a one off result.
And guess what? Same thing...
The majority of the suggested clips to my search were all about how bad, how wrong, how stupid...you get the idea.

What disappointed me the most was these people call themselves ‘believers’. Yet they spend seemingly endless hours producing material to publish, complaining about others.

Now I am not against pointing out something that is wrong. I am the first to say something (I hope) when someone’s theology is completely mental or misguided.
But this stuff just stinks of stinky stink stuff.
It embarrasses me that our world can watch us griping about each other!

I believe we need to be careful about criticising others.
I mean, who is critiquing our critique?

The Bible tells us to pray for those over us.
Pray that they can remain strong. That they can be wise. Pray that they will interpret the Bible correctly.
It also says to be careful to not call something wrong that God might be calling right.
Sometimes we just don’t know.
You need to be comfortable with that. Remember we are following God, not being God.
Only God can judge someone’s heart.

I have learnt that I have an opinion but not always all the answers, so I just let some things play themselves out.
I have also learnt that people no matter who they are, great or small, respond better to being told what they have done right more than what they have done wrong…

Let God judge for us. He seems to do such a better job.

Something to think about.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Do you ever wonder whether things just happen by chance?

Is life random, or a collection of random events?

I am more and more convinced that it is not.
This is why...

If life is so random...
Why is it that some randomly good things happen to some people?
And then why is it that some random bad things happen to others?
Then others seem to have random combinations of both.
And who or what decided random was supposed to be the ‘norm’ anyway?

I think that when you give someone control of your life, and they have the power to influence it in every way... random really has no place.
If life is random, then random ends up showing who you gave lordship of your life to, has no control at all.
In fact it isn’t lordship at all!

When you give your life to God. When you give yourself to become a disciple of Jesus.
At that moment, random is not a factor for you.
Nothing happens without a reason and purpose.
You now exist beyond circumstance.
You now live a in a realm beyond secondlife, beyond all imagination.
God has control if you want him to, and if you let him...of what is going to transpire.

Take the story in Exodus of Moses being a baby.
The Egyptian’s have demanded that all male babies born to Israelite women be thrown in the Nile to drown.
But Moses’ mum doesn’t want to do that.
Instead she places him in a basket to float instead of drown. Giving what might seem like a random chance to survive. And who rescues the baby?
Pharaohs daughter. From the very family declaring he should die.
And who gets asked to nurse the child?
Moses’ actual mother!
How random is that?

On that face of it, it is totally random. But it is not!
God is in control. You can trust him to work things out exactly the way they need to work out.
When things seem impossible, that is when it seems all the more possible for God.

Your life doesn’t have to be random.
It can be full of purpose, direction and security.
You just have to give it to God.

Something to think about.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Suze and I have been married for a little while now…
Actually it has nearly been 15 years! Awesome!!!

It is pretty easy after that period of time to just be in a routine. To assume things are ok, or if they aren’t to assume that they can’t change for the better.

I have been what they call a ‘Christian’ for 18 years!
Extra Awesome!!!

It is pretty easy there too to just have a routine.
To assume this relationship that God saved me to have is ok, or if not, to think that maybe it can’t be better…

Here is a profound thought for you…

If you want change...you have to create change.
You have to position yourself for change.
Same just breeds same.

So this is what I am doing…

To keep things ‘interesting’ in my relationship with Suze we are going to join our Love Dare challenge in a few weeks.

To keep things ‘interesting’ in my relationship with God, I have just started doing a new Bible Reading plan which is different to anything else I have done before.

There is a quote that people are over quoting at the moment...so I will too.
It is “be the change you want to be”

Very simply, if want change...do something about it.
Nothing worth doing comes without some effort.
And most things never change unless you want it to first.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I thought to myself today...why not do the simple thought a little different?
So I am going to...

...Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 5:16

…Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
Luke 10:37

...those who seek me find me
Proverbs 8:17

You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
I will be found by you," declares the LORD

Jeremiah 29:12-14

Something to think about…
And maybe something you could do?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I started to write this simple thought waiting in our car to pick someone up.
Because I had some time on my own, I had time to reflect on the week and what had been impacting my life.

You may have thought that it would be the teaching at the conference we were at.
Maybe the worship or the atmosphere?
Maybe great coffee?

But what impacted me the most this week was my
interaction with other people.

It was our first time back to our old church since officially moving to Taupo, and it seemed people might have missed us?
Every few meters someone would come and say hello.
Want a hug.
Take a few moments to catch up…

I am not sure how to describe it without sounding like a weirdo, but it was awesome! You realized after you had gone and then come back, that maybe people like you after all.

Isn’t that how it is?
That we generally don’t take the time to show how much we care, when we have the people we care about around us all the time. It is when they are gone, that we realize just how much we cared.
Funerals are a big case and point.

Maybe over the next few days you could think about the people in your life. The ones you care the most for…
Maybe, just maybe, you could tell them.
Appreciate them now.

Because people and the days we spend together are a gift that doesn’t always last forever...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some people think imagination is a bad thing.
Maybe it is because an over active or unrealistic imagination can get you into trouble.
Beyond that, imagination is fun and extremely powerful.

Just watch a kid playing with some Lego.
Or writing a story.
Or playing some game with their friends.
Imagination seems to play a natural part of who they are and how they behave.
As adults we can sometimes think imagination is a childish thing that should be left...in our childhood.

Belief and Imagination I believe are two related entities.
Without them in your life...well it just seems a little boring.

Without belief you don’t dream.
Without belief you don’t try something new.
Without belief you don’t take chances.
Without belief nothing much changes…

In fact the only things that seem to change for you are what you think happens just by chance. Which can fuel your feelings of thinking life is random or even out of control.

I am convinced God wants you to believe, yes in him and what Jesus has done for you on the cross…
But beyond that to keep believing.
Believing is a stagnant experience when it is based on what has already happened.
God has more for you and I to believe in and believe for.
It is like he wants to use your imagination to dream (with his leading) what to believe for now and what to believe for next.
Trying to shut it down will cripple you.
It will cause you to miss out on what God has for you, under the guise of being ’adult’ or ‘grown-up’

Didn’t Jesus say about having something like a faith that was childlike? Where your outlook on God’s Kingdom needed to be like a kid...maybe even with some imagination?

The Israelites even illustrated this as well.
They didn’t all entered into the promised land.

Hebrews 3:19 records it like this…
They were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

It wasn’t that they didn’t have the gifts or talents.
It wasn’t that they didn't have the opportunity.
It is just that they would not believe God could really do what he said he would do.

So here is my simple challenge to you this week…
Please dream, please imagine, please believe.
Believe for something in God beyond where you are right now...something you may even need.
Pray for it. Focus on it. Believe for it!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I bet you played all sorts of games when you were a kid you don’t like admitting too now!
Games like Catch and Kiss.
Spin the Bottle.
Or even Dare, Truth and Promise…

Most of the time it was harmless fun.
Normally it is until someone takes it too far…

To be honest I liked Catch and Kiss.
I don’t mind admitting it.
In fact I would make sure I got caught...

Enough of all that.
What about being ‘dared’ to do something?
It was always a case of the longer the game went on, the more outrageous the ‘dares’ became.

The essence of the whole ‘dare’ thing is two fold.
One, it is a chance for the person giving you the ‘dare’ to push you into something you wouldn’t normally do.
Secondly, it was a chance for you to see how brave or crazy you could really be when pushed and challenged a little.

I want to give you a ‘dare’.

I ‘dare’ you to do something completely over the top for someone else.
I ‘dare’ you to bless someone who is not expecting it and in a way that will amaze them.
I ‘dare’ you to do it without anything being in it for you.

So what are you are waiting for?
Pray about who it could be,
Then go for it!
I ‘dare’ ya!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Apparently today was a special day…
The date and time did something that had never been done before, where it was 09:09am on the 09/09/09.
I have no idea what that means.
Or if there was something special spiritual significance, beyond a quirk in our clock and date systems…
But a little fun none the less.

There is something about us that looks for meaning in the small things.
Just recently I saw a website where one of the sections was headed up ‘be the change’.
It is a nice phrase with plenty of meaning.
It is a quote from another guy many years a go now, and people (especially Christians) have latched on to it, flogging it for all its worth.

In a job I had some years a go now, the walls around the board room and offices were lined with little phrases.
The management had gone to a lot of trouble to display them as each one was typed up and well presented in frames.
They said things like…
“Plan the work, work the plan”
“You can avoid frustration by simple preparation”
“You get what you go for”

All good I guess, but after a few views you start to ignore them. Even though they invade your line of sight each day, you start to not notice them.

I reckon Jesus had some good one liners as well!
He said things like…
“Get behind me Satan” now that was a good one!
“Come follow me”
“Neither do I condemn you”
“What do you want me to do for you?”


Don’t just take my word for it, how about checking some of them out for yourself this week. Grab a gospel and have a read.

I personally think the one liners we can read from God can have a bigger impact on our lives then any other quote...

Something to think about…

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I bet there is a lot you don’t know about me!

And I can guarantee there is a lot I don’t know about you…

I think that is exciting!

Now I am not excited that I have secrets from you.
I am not hiding the fact I am some axe wielding maniac!
It is just that you and I have something awesome to share beyond what we already know about each other.

I think I know what you are now thinking…
That as you read down this simple thought I am going to share with you some of my secrets?
That I might tell you some crazy new story?
Well I am not going too!
That is not the deal I am offering you today.

The Bible says this about our relationships…

...your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.
Romans 1:12 (new century)

The story of your journey in life so far can actually help me, and mine can help you.
You simply can’t get this help from a distance, or from another source. It is simple human interaction, the giving and sharing of our lives, that enriches us all.

Maybe this week you could find someone to share with?
Invite someone for a coffee?
Visit someone you haven’t seen for a while?
Whatever it is, please know you need it, and they need it.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Some words sound intriguing to me…
Take the word ‘fertilizer’, it just sounds a little weird doesn’t it?
When I sound out the word I think it is much more fun with an Irish accent (btw do not be offended if you are Irish, your accent is awesome!)
How about you say it with me...Fur—till—lies—errr
Make sure you roll your r’s really strong!

After what I wrote last week I found a piece in the Bible that is as intriguing as the word sounds.
It was one of the many stories that Jesus told…

6..."A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'
8" 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it.

Luke 13:6-8 niv

Jesus loves to see fruit from our lives.
Not just that we become monetarily rich and dish that out…but rich and fruitful in every area we can be.

Over time if we ignore a tree it stops being as fruitful as it has the potential to be. Our lives are the same.
If we ignore our spiritual, physical or emotional health for some time it will eventually look a little dead...and dead stuff tends not to make much fruit…

My encouragement to you this week is apply some fertilizer to your life.
That fertilizer can be many different things...
- Take some time to read the Bible or another good Christian book.
- Listen to some good music.
- Hang out with someone who can encourage you.
- Or even simply rest in his presence...

Chuck some fertilizer around your feet and see how big you can grow. Go on...give a try!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yesterday I took the new owners of our Auckland house through on there pre settlement inspection…
It felt kind of weird to be honest.
I was happy to be nearly all sold up.
But I was sad to say goodbye to our home of 9 years.

As I showed them around and how things like the alarm and air system work, I found myself talking about the plum tree.

Of all the things I could miss about that home, the plum tree has to be way up there on my list.
I reckon that plum tree was the best plum tree I have ever had anything to do with!
It produces large red fleshed plums by the bag load.
You can’t get these plums in shops!
They are juicy and sweet…I will miss that tree!

I found myself talking about how to look after it.
When to prune, when to fertilise.
I knew that tree well, and how to get the best out of it.

Jesus also knows a lot about trees…
That is why he uses them as illustrations about our lives.
Jesus understands the similarities we have.

Have a read of what he says here…

44Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:44-45 (New International Version)

Just like a tree, we need to make sure we prune ourselves and feed ourselves in the right way and at the right times and seasons. It makes sense to do just that so that good things come out of our lives.
People do recognize us by what we do and act more than any label we might try and take for ourselves.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I want to let you in on a secret…
I am not perfect!

Sorry about that…now that I have burst your bubble about me…
By the way, please know that I am joking about your bubble being burst?

Seriously though, I am not perfect.
I am the first to admit it.
I know that I have faults.
I know that I have limitations.
But to counter all that…I have God.

You see God picks me and you to be part of his kingdom, not because we are perfect, but because we aren’t.
Didn’t Jesus say he came not for the healthy but for the sick. (Mark 2:17)

I take so much encouragement (and you should to) from the example of a guy called Simon/Peter.
In the gospels it tells of him being impetuous, head strong and down-right stupid sometimes.
His ultimate blunder is proclaiming he would never deny Jesus. History tells us he did just that.
He felt terrible and condemned.
But what does this Jesus do to him?
He makes him the head of the early church!
Not bad for a screwup…

My encouragement to you this week is to know that God loves you…even if you are not perfect.
He picks you not because of your looks and talents.
He picks you because he knows who you are and who you can be.
He sees your heart, the real you, not just the wrapping.
He looks at you through the eyes of Jesus. Eyes that see past ‘our stuff’ to who he created you to be.
I like that!
It takes the pressure off a bit…and maybe you needed to hear this today?

Something to think about…

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Well we have moved…
Moved to our new little corner of the world in a place called Taupo.

With any house move you have to pack all the stuff your own and have collected into little boxes.
Side Note : I have bought 50 in the last week or so…
Anyway after 9 years in one house you certainly have an ‘interesting’ time packing.
On one hand you realize how much stuff you can accumulate over time.
On the other, you find things you never know you had, or that had been missing for a while.

Among the treasures I found were:
- Photos of things and events that I had been looking for.
- Some cash which looked very different, it was a memorial $10 note.
- Missing recordings from when my band recorded at York Street.

It is fun finding these treasures.
There is this mix of being planned to do something in particular and the random of finding treasure.
In fact, no one ever finds treasure by just sitting still. You have be at least a little proactive.

Sometimes we explain some of the truths or things that jump out from the Bible as treasures.
Those phrases that seem to speak directly to who you are.
Either challenging you or encouraging you.

Proverbs 2 (New International Version)
3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,

Can I encourage you this week to head back to your Bible.
Be intentional about it, and see what little surprises or treasures God might show you.

You have nothing to lose!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do you know how much faith you have?
If you had to put an estimate on it…
Or show it on a faith-o-meter…
How much would it show you had?

Last year petrol got really expensive.
We were paying well over $2 per litre and at that time I was very grateful to be driving a small engine car.
You had to feel a little bit sorry for all those suckers driving V8’s.
They must have nearly had a heart attack every
time they filled up?

You were probably like the rest of us…
Watching our full gauge very carefully.
Making sure you knew exactly where you were at with the petrol you had.

Now I am thinking along the same lines with my faith.
How much do I have in my tank?
How much do I have today? Right this minute even?

So do you want to have more faith?
To have a tank as full as it can be?

Faith is gift that God offers us for free!
But there is a cost…
The cost is our human pride and arrogance.

In our western world view we pride ourselves on making it ourselves.
Proving to the world around us that we are strong enough, talented enough or even resourced enough.

But this gift of faith is so much bigger!
It is there to take us beyond our human thinking and limitations.

I have learnt that you need these things to grow your faith…
- To step out, take some risks in God
- Trust him completely even when it doesn’t make any ‘earthly’ sense
- Persevere in what God has you doing right now
- And keep your eyes and thoughts fixed on Jesus

God will bless your obedience.
His gift of faith will grow more and more in your life.
And you will find yourself growing more and more into the person God has dreamed you can be.

Something to think about…

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Maybe what I share today you have read a little before…
Or maybe it is just an extension on what I have also learnt and shared with you.

There is something amazing about giving all you have and are to God.
Something special about saying to God that you will do anything for him, that all you want to do is serve him and glorify him.
For some of us that can happen in a moment where you really feel filled with faith. Or maybe in a moment where you sense what we call ‘the presence of God’, and you feel comfortable to say those sorts of things.

But then you have the so called reality of your decision sink in.
The testing of your faith decision.
The stretch component that inevitably follows…

That is me right now!

I am filled with faith…but also I am a little scared.
I am excited about our future…but also a little apprehensive.
I am passionate about what is now…but unsure at the same time.

Let’s throw some words in here right now…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding proverbs 3:15
The testing of your faith develops perseverance…so that you may be mature and complete james 1:3-4

For me I can easily worry.
If you have read my blogs over time, this has been a reoccurring theme.
But there are two things I am doing to get me through this time.
Firstly I am reminding myself that this is ‘God’s Show’. All that I am swirling in right now is his idea and I simply need to trust his plan, his way…to achieve the goal.
Secondly, I simply go to him. Lying in my bed, driving in my car, even as I type this…
I simply give to him what I am thinking and wrestling with. I vent to the one who I know totally understands.

Maybe you are going through a stretchy, difficult, even trying time right now?
Hang in there my friend…
Let God have his way and lead you through no matter how much it might not make sense right now.
It is so worth it!

Something to think about…

Friday, July 17, 2009

In the last few weeks I have learned a few things…including some things new about honour.

It seems to me that honour has multiple directions in its nature.
You can receive it. You can give. You can witness it. You can benefit from it. You can be encouraged by it.
It reaches in all directions and can permeate all around.

You see, honour isn’t something to be scared of or feel obligated to give.
It is something that should flow naturally in our Christian experience.

As we spent time at the farewell events hosted for us, we experienced honour.
It caused something in my heart to want to give honour.
To honour God and what he has done so far in my life.
To honour leaders over me for their support and guidance.

Honour is something that should be part of each of lives.
We should find every opportunity to honour each other and of course our God.

Romans 12:10 simply says this...
Honour one another above yourselves

Honour should flow from us, to us and all around us.
Maybe honour should even be like an atmosphere that surrounds us just as much as the natural atmosphere we live in already?

Something to think about…

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For those of you reading these simple thoughts for sometime, you will no doubt realise we are coming to a close on a season.
A season where for the last few years I have enjoyed sharing with you my thoughts and feelings.
A season where I have learnt as much as anyone reading these about how big and unlimited a life adventure with God can be.

Today I was thinking about something I can not avoid…

Renovations…

Now if you know me very well you will know that I am not a handyman. I am the first to admit I don’t enjoy working around the home on stuff. I much prefer hanging out with people and drinking lots of COFFEE!!!

Renovations are messy.
You have stuff everywhere.
You find it harder to find things around all the upheaval.
But eventually you finish and it is always worth while.
The short term drama is worth the result.

Early next week we a removing the lino in the kitchen and getting it sanded and resealed.
Again it won’t be much fun getting it done.
But it will satisfying afterwards.

As we move into a new season in our life...going to Taupo to Pastor a great little church...it feels a little uncomfortable as we work through the preparations.
But I know it will be so worth it!In fact is an exciting little adventure.

Don’t shy away from this mucky stuff in life.
Don’t avoid it at all.
Press on.
Press in and see what great new season you can enter into after a short time.
As always keep your eyes on him who is calling you forward into your future...and him who is moving you from your past.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Someone recently prayed that I would have an opportunity to pastor my own church…
...the next day I got a call offering me such a role.

We prayed about getting our kids into a certain school…
...and found a home in the right school zone.

I prayed for a certain meeting I was nervous about to go better than I expected…
...and it was awesome.

I have asked for God to provide certain things I need…
...and he has!

I think I pray for stuff all the time.
And then promptly forget that I had asked for it…
...then God makes it work out.
...and then I remember...

I wonder if sometimes we pray, not expecting anything?
Like prayer is some religious thing to do and it not being something that changes your life, circumstances and/or everything?...

Hopefully you get the idea that prayer works!
That when you pray, when you talk to God…
...that he actually hears.
And his heart is to answer.
I just find I have to remind myself regularly that this is how it works.

Jesus even said for us to ask, seek and knock.
To bring our requests to the one place, the one God who can actually do something for us.

Why not give it a go today?
Again and again…

Something to think about...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It seems that the big adventure into our new role has rolled into play so fast!
It only seems a few week a go that we said the word yes.
And that yes his exploded into lots of activity.

One thing that I have been doing is meeting lots of new people. And I means lots.
I have had curry’s and chili's.
Lots of desserts.

The thing I realise is that what makes it fun is that I am hanging out with people! There is something exciting about learning about someone else’s life. Getting to know them even just a little bit at a time.
As corny as it may sound, it really does add some sort of richness to your life.

Then I think about Jesus and how he lived…
And there are tons of stories where he just hung out with people. In houses, on the side of the large hills, beside a well, in a garden, the list is endless!
And so many times there was food. Maybe not curry’s and chili's but food to share just the same.

I think this is normal!
It is normal to get to know more and more people.
It is normal to have opportunity to share life and your stories with others.
Plus you will never run out of this opportunity because I bet you can’t meet all 6 billion on the earth in a lifetime!

Maybe what I wanting to say is this?...To make sure you meet as many people as you can.
To let you light, the seasoning of who you are...get into as much of this world as possible.
Don’t hide, you are too awesome for that!
Get out there. Meet as many people as you can.
And see what God can do through you as you do.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Here is another phrase that gets used in church a lot these days that you may or may not have been thinking about…

People keep referring to the times we get together as coming to the House of God.
It is like it is a reference to a place you come too, and at the end leave.

Personally I like the deeper meaning that can be found in the statement. It takes it beyond a place to go to being a place we create!

1 Peter 4-5
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house

We are living, spiritual stones...that make something amazing when we join together.
Apart, we are amazing and loved by God.Together, we make something very special.
Together we create a structure that we call the House of God.

The Bible says that when two or more are gathered in his (God’s) name, he (God) will be there and hang out with them. It is this concept that of joining spiritual lives together that invites the power and presence of God.

So when you come to Church or meet together in a Connect Group or whatever else you find yourself at…
Remember that very act creates a special house.
A place where God can come visit.
And where God is...amazing things can happen!

Something to think about...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I keep saying that these thoughts I share are simple and it won’t get much more simple than this one...

I can’t help but feel that part of our current journey started with a little spark.
And that spark was someone praying for us.

What happened was this…
Every 6 months or so I meet with someone that I can share with. This someone isn’t another staff member.
They are someone I can be open with.
To talk about where I am at...that sort of thing.

We met again recently and as part of our conversation we talked about my dreams for the future.
One of those dreams was to one day Pastor my own church. Now I must point out that when I was talking about that, I was thinking quite a few more years away.
It was only a part of the discussion we shared together.

After the conversation ended, he asked if he could pray.
What was I going to say?
No!
Of course not, I love it when people pray for me!
...so he began to pray.

He started by praying that God would open a door so that I could Pastor a church.
I opened my eyes to look at him, thinking dude, why are you praying that?…

The next day, yes the next day I got a call from a member of the elim national leadership team asking if we would consider pastoring the Taupo Church.
The rest is now history!

Simple thought for this week…
God answers prayer!

Something to think about...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another word that we use a lot is faith.
We say things like…
“I am on a journey of faith”
“I walk by faith”

Recently I was reading about faith.
I began to wonder how much of it I really did have.
I wondered if it was growing or whether my growth had stopped in some way.

You see it is easy for me to be really busy.
But being busy doesn’t always mean I am living in faith or relying on it.
I just may be really busy.

So here I am thinking and praying that maybe my faith needs stretching and then something happened.
In fact a lot of things happened.
They happened very quickly.
So quickly in fact, we feel our faith stretched already.
And while we are stretching there is this underlying peace that can only come from God himself, because the circumstances don’t naturally lend themselves to feeling that way.

So here it is…
In a few short weeks Suze and I will be the new Pastors of the Taupo Elim Church.
This is huge thing for us and we are feeling a mixture of feelings at this time. We are feeling stretched (in a good way), but excited to be given this huge honour and responsibility.

Obviously this will come to most of you as a shock, and I apologise for that. It is something that has caught us a little by surprise as well. But we are confident this is the next step for us in ministry.

Because this has happened quite quickly we have many details still to work out.
I will say this now, and probably many times before we officially finish at Elim here in Auckland…you guys are fantastic.
You have helped make our lives as young adult pastors an absolute pleasure.
We are going to miss you a lot!

Neena will begin to take more responsibility for the young adults ministry as we transition. I am sure you will join with me supporting her as she takes on more responsibility. She is an awesome lady with the call of God on her life.

I am available to answer questions you may have.
Thanks again for your support.

Locky, Suze, Jack & Alex

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

There was once a job I thought I might like to have…
To be a food critic.

It seems so exciting.
You get to go around eating lots of cool things.
Sometimes you don’t even have to pay.
People fear you even, if you are respected enough.

Obviously that is not the career path I went down…

An pastor/author I follow sometimes said this recently:
“I'd rather be a film maker than a film critic”
Mark Batterson

He actually brings up a really good point!

Anyone can be a critic.
Anyone can have an opinion and find someone to share it with. And anyone can find fault with someone else’s efforts.
But it seems to me that the person who has the most fun is the person who takes a chance. Who puts something out there. The person who offers the world something.

It is easy for all of us to sit on the sidelines and critique the world around us. Even the church.
It takes a different sort of person to get out there and make a difference.
And guess what?
You can be that sort of person!

If you know Jesus...
If you have the Spirit of God resting on your life…
You can do amazing things, even if you don’t think you can right now.

Part of Gods plan for your life is to have you on the field.
To be the one making the movie.
Making that masterpiece of a meal.
Where ever you find yourself, and with whatever you find in your hand.

God refers to our lives as like salt.
And just like our lives, they don’t have as much impact sitting there looking pretty.
You are designed to be in the world and flavor it as much as possible.
That is who God designed you to be.

Something to think about….

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I wonder if you are like me?

If you are like me then you want to be healthy in life, even if you sometimes lack the will power to follow through with the goal.

But something has occurred to me recently, that maybe being healthy in my body is only one part of the whole equation.
I have met plenty of physically fit people struggling with issues. Struggling with depression. Struggling to make a relationship work.

I read some research recently.
It talked about how not only diet can effect our health, but that your relationships can as well.

The University of Utah did a study on 150 couples and found some crazy results…
Women who buried anger rather than speaking out were more likely to succumb to heart disease than wives who were vocal, the study found.
And when women became domineering and controlling, rather than seeking consensus, damage was done to husbands' coronary health.*

In another country some similar research was done…
Researchers found that those with hostile intimate relationships were 34 percent more likely to experience chest pains, heart attacks, and other heart trouble.
Even after typical contributing factors such as obesity, smoking, and drinking were eliminated from the equation, those in troubled relationships were still at 23 percent greater risk for a heart attack.

"If you have good people around, it's good for your health," said lead researcher Roberto De Vogli. "If you have bad people around you, it is much worse for your health."*

When Jesus said that he wanted us to have life and have it in its fullness, he wasn’t just talking about weight loss or having fun fuzzy feelings each morning.
When you look at your life…
...remember that all of it is important.
Your relationships will effect your life!
Let’s try and make sure we have good ones...

Something to think about….

Locky

* Source Ted DeHass, Bedford, Iowa, and Brandon O'Brien, assistant editor, PreachingToday.com

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This is what I think…
I think that God wants us to get it.
For as much of our faith and why we do what we do to make sense.

Yes, there will always be some sort of mystery and unknown. But that adds for me the fun part of our faith.
I certainly don’t see that as a negative.

In Corinthians it says “we know in part and see in part”
Which gives me comfort that I don’t have to know everything right this minute.
It means as disciples we don’t have to have all the answers all the time.

There are some things though that need to be definitive.
Some things that really do need us to understand fully or for us to engage in completely, otherwise they don’t make sense.

If you asked Jesus today what he thinks about our faith, he would tell you that he wants you to get it.
To understand it. To live it out!
He wants us to give our all for it or there doesn’t seem much point.

And that is what I am trying to say.
I want to encourage you to dive deeper into our faith this week. To press further into God this week.
Because then it will make that little bit more sense to you.

To help illustrate this here are some links…
Click on them…
Watch them…
See what you think?

Clip ONE
Clip TWO

Almost is not enough in any area of life.

Don’t settle for almost with your relationship with God or how you live it out.
Don’t put things off.
Go hard after him.
You won’t be disappointed and it will make way more sense!

Something to think about….

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Have you heard of people being called “saints”?
Have you ever wondered why or how they got that title?
Did they ever want to be recognized like that?

The term has always intrigued me.

You see I grew up hearing of people like:
St Peter
St Patrick
St George
...and even St Nicholas.
They were extra special people by way of what they did.
Their act or service seemed to be above and beyond what other mortal men or women could realistically achieve.

Today I read about St George.
What an amazing story!
Many of us have heard about some guy fighting a dragon, but from what I have researched that part was just a myth.

This George was born a long time ago in a place called Cappadocia. Born to Christian parents who died while he was still young, he joined the army of the day under Emperor Diocletian.
He rose to a high rank by the time he was only 20.

Unfortunately this same emperor hated Christians and demanded that all serving under his rule should sacrifice to the roman gods of the time. George refused to do this.

They tortured him many times and even offered him bribes to get him to change his mind...but he simply wouldn’t.
One account even has him being strapped to a machine with rotating blades that shredded parts of his body.
Knowing that his time was nearly up, he gave away all he owned and the wealth he had a accumulated.

In the end the emperor had him beheaded.
But it doesn’t finished there!
The emperors wife and a pagan priest who watched all this were so impacted by what they saw, that they became Christians and were beheaded the same day.

Over time some have decided that he should have the mantle of ‘saint’.
In the Bible it actually uses the phrase quite a few times but not in the way the rest of us might expect.
In fact it refers to everyone who is a disciple of Christ a ‘saint’.
You, me and everyone else who says they are Christian is supposed to be a saint.

Know you probably won’t have to be as hardcore as George…
…but maybe you feel just that little bit more encouraged to live out this life for God with a little more passion.
To give your all for him.

Something to think about…St [your name here]

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I challenged myself over easter this year.
No, not to cut my chocolate consumption.
No, not to deny myself the simple things that I enjoy as some sort of religious observance.
No, I simply decided to make sure the season impacted me.

I have lived through lots of easters in my lifetime.
And with anything that you have experienced a lot, it can sometimes lose its meaning or impact in some way.
But I do not want easter to lose impact or meaning in my life. The whole story is what our faith is based upon.
If you take easter out, then you take everything that was the climax of Jesus life on earth away.
We lose that defining moment where Gods plan played out in bridging the gap between heaven and earth, in the most dramatic of ways.

As part of making sure I got the easter season a fresh into my life...I read the gospel accounts again...I came to church...I prayed about it...I listened to preachers from other parts of the world...
I don’t think you can od on this event!

My question for you today is…
Does our faith make sense to you?

I have been thinking about it over the last day.
And came to the realization that it can never make sense unless you dive bomb your way into it.
Unless you make this Jesus everything...
Unless Jesus becomes your biggest priority...
You will always have some struggle with this faith we
profess.

Jesus even put it this way...
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:44-46

The thing with God is that what you think you might lose for his sake is by far covered by what you gain.
Another guy says it so well…
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21

So this ‘post’ easter…
Can I encourage you to give God your all?
Take on board all that God has for you.
Give your all for him no matter what the cost.
One of the needs I think he meets in your life if you let him, is that it will make sense to you.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his
glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Just something to think about…

Monday, April 13, 2009

It is that time of year where people like me state the obvious…

Even though you have probably already guessed it, the season has changed.
It is no longer the balmy months of summer.
No more daylight savings.
No more shorts and jandals for most of us.

But I don’t want to tell you about a simple season change.
Just something that I realised the other day, while thinking about the autumn days that are now arriving.

It is one thing to recognise a season change.
It is another to be prepared for it.

Here I am chopping up the firewood that had just been delivered. Doing my fatherly duty in providing heating
material for the winter time I know is around the corner.
I felt good that I was being prepared.
Knowing I am a step a head of where we have been other winters.
And then I began to think about this in the context of our lives in general.

We have season changes all the time.
We have the being a kid season.
We have the school season.
Then possibly the study or work season.
The finding a mate season.
The keeping a mate season.
The having babies season.
Buying a house season…
And then add to that, that you have different seasons in God. Different spiritual seasons.

The reality is that you can prepare for a season change in life. The Bible even encourages us to think about this.
In Proverbs it talks about creatures that I have publicly declared my hatred for...’ants’.
How we can learn from them...

Proverbs 30:24-25
Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise:
Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;


Proverbs 6:6
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

So as you head into this new season…
What season are you personally heading into?
And what can you do to prepare for it?

If you are studying this year?
...you are obviously preparing for your working season.
If you are looking for a mate this year?
...you can be more prepared and come along to our real relationships night this week.
If you are wanting to do more in God?
...you can prepare yourself by building your relationship with him.

Just something to think about…

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I have been reminded even over the last few days that I do care what people think of me...maybe just a little…

Sunday night was a little weird for me and many of you would have seen what I am about to write about, well at least part of it. The part you could see.

As part of our pre service build up I lost the flip a coin challenge.
This meant on that particular night that I would have to be dressed up by a team into what people call an ‘emo’.
So as the service rolled a long a group put their creation together. They did an awesome job in the time they had and now I had to face the world looking as ‘emo’ as I would ever get.
Complete with teased wig hair and lots of makeup.

Now many of you know that I am a pastor.
And being a pastor with makeup on and lots of it, well that is a scary thought even on its own.

I did my best to get into spirit of the occasion.
I acted out the part as best I could.
Acted as ‘emo’ as I could...whatever that means...

And one of the things that struck me was how different people reacted to how I now looked.
At church some people treated me differently, like they were avoiding me...even thinking that I had changed beyond my new temporary appearance.
At denny’s minus the wig and some of the makeup (note to readers—it is hard to get rid of it and no one told me) the looks from other people made me a little uncomfortable.
At the gym the next morning, same thing. Yes I had scrubbed myself crazy but the eye liner wouldn’t come off!There were looks and comments. I could just tell.

People tend to judge us by our outward appearance.
We even do it to ourselves…
With my changed appearance some people obviously thought differently about me on some level.

But God doesn’t judge us by what we look like.
Doesn’t judge us by labels or makeup.
God sees me for who I really am.
He sees me and you in our ‘juicy’ centre.

1 Samuel 16:7 puts it this way...
“The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I love this about God.
God can do this because he is the one who designed me, built me and invested his life into me.
No matter what I look like on the outside, I am still the same on the inside.

I am still Locky. And you are still the real you.

So maybe this week, try not to worry as much about what others think of you.
Know that God loves you because he can see the real you...beyond whatever packaging you put on.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

“Hey, did you hear about…”
I bet you have heard that phrase a lot of times!
Maybe you have even said it more than heard it?

It intrigues me how much we want to talk about someone else.
How we sometimes seem driven to share with others some ‘juicy’ or ‘exciting’ detail about someone.
It is like some thing takes over us and we feel we must just ‘share’ the latest in news...again about someone else!

Now we can be more sophisticated about it…
We can publish details and even photo’s on things like facebook to get our point across.

And then if the ‘someone’ we have been speaking about gets upset, we tell them to ‘chill’, that they are over reacting, that it is just a little fun...

And I am just as bad as everyone else at times.
And I am not happy about it.

What is this about?
Why is this such a strong impulse?
What effect does it have?
Does it do any good?

I think everything we do should have seasoning.
Just like when I eat my dinner I instinctively grab some freshly ground pepper and natural sea salt.
God wants us to season everything we do with ‘love’.
If you read 1 Corinthians 13 you get the idea…
That God thinks nothing I do is that great if ‘love’ has no part of it.
If you really do ‘love’ like we are encouraged to do...you are seasoned to not do something or say something about them that will potentially hurt them.
Love looks to do the complete opposite.
Love looks to do the best for someone, to protect them.
Love even has the ability to cover over sin (1 Peter 4:8).

Proverbs 18:8
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.

The reality is that gossip is fun.
It tastes good going down.
But it is not much good after that.
In 2 Corinthians the writer doesn’t have much good to say about gossip. He equates with every other thing we easily consider wrong.

So this week, can I challenge you?
...as I challenge even myself…
Let’s try not to gossip.
But lets try to love each other just that little bit more.
Let's season our thoughts and comments before we let them out.

I think that is a good thing to do...

Something to think about…

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I got a shock today when I found out a good mate of mine was in New Zealand after a long time away overseas…

I want to tell you a little about our relationship.
Just hearing he was back made me think of a story to tell you. I think it is cool!

On one of his last quick visits a number of years a go now, we did our usual…
We got together a few times and ate stuff!
I remember going out for many lunches and just enjoying each others company.

One day after eating way too much we sat down to talk about our shared love of music and where we were both at with it.
He shared his dream of travelling Europe in a band.
My dreams were a little closer to home.

Then we moved onto sharing some of the songs we had written. We played some we both knew of each other.
Some of his.
Some of mine.
...and then he asked me a dreaded question…

“Have I written anything new lately?”

I partly didn’t want to answer.
You see, I had been working on a song.
But I thought it wasn’t any good.
It was too simple.
The words weren’t clever.
There wasn’t much complicated about the music.
...but her talked me into sharing it with him.

After playing it, I was wanting for him to confirm my suspicions, that it was indeed too average for anyone else to ever enjoy.
His reaction wasn’t that at all.
He loved it.
He loved it so much that he asked if he could have it for his own band to play.

In one moment I went from unconfident to confident over a simple song!
Why?
Because someone I cared about encouraged me!
Because of that moment of encouragement I worked some more on the song.
It went on to be one of the most requested songs when I was in my band.
We even used to sing it at church…

1 Thessalonians 5:11
...encourage one another and build each other up...

You have no idea what one simple word or comment of encouragement can do. It can change someone’s life!
How about this week you look for an opportunity to do that for someone.
Speak to them.
Encourage them.
And change their life!

Something to think about…

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