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 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? 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!
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…