Wednesday, February 24, 2010

some people are just 'strange'

Do you have strange things happen to you?
Strange things that involve other people?
Suze & I had one of those experiences in the weekend...

I had the honour of taking a wedding for a close friend of mine in another city from where we live.
So after many hours travelling via car we finally arrived.
It was a beautiful day...but very hot.

The wedding went well I thought.
I didn’t say anything too stupid.
The place where the bridal party and I stood was on the edge of a river bank. I know Suze was worried about me falling into the river. Apparently I kept stepping back towards the edge.
You will be pleased I stayed dry. The happy couple ‘tied the knot’ all without any drama. Nice!

It is what happened afterwards that was strange.

The reception was walking distance away.
And as is normal these days, each table in the venue is allocated seating.
What was funny was that it was very crowded and a couple who were already at the table were blocking the way to our seats. We politely asked if our names were to the left of where they were seated, which they confirmed.
They wouldn’t get up.
They just sat there.
Stopping us from getting to our seats.
Stopping us on purpose!
It was uncomfortable just standing there.
You could see them giggling about it.
We were just dumbfounded why they were doing it.

You see life has these moments.
Moments where you get to chose what happens next.
The point is not what they were doing being dumb or not.
The point is our reaction.

You can guess how I wanted to react.
But we let it go. We worked around it.
Being in ‘the right’ is not our excuse to do something wrong back to them.

When you face people who do strange things why not try this 3 things?
You will feel so much better for it...

- Hold on to your integrity
- Hold on to your sense of humour
- Hold on to love

Something to think about…

ps Wouldn’t it be funny if they read this and work out it was them???

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

what will I wear?

One of the favourite parts of my job is being able to perform wedding ceremonies.
I mean, what isn’t there to like about weddings?
People are happy. We are all curious about how late the bride will be.
Normally there is great tasting food.

But to be honest, there is one thing I feel a bit apprehensive about...what to wear?

Some people want me to wear a suit. Others just a nice shirt and tie.
But I am paranoid about getting it wrong.
I don’t want to look too good and out-shine the groom, and I don’t want to look too scruffy and upset the bride.
Maybe it stems from an experience many years ago where we turned up to a wedding and I was dressed the same as the groom and his party. Same shirt, same waist coat, same dark pants.
It was embarrassing. And people felt the need to tell me again and again how embarrassing it was.

Ultimately I think we all want to fit in.
At weddings we try and dress up...in part to be accepted.
At rugby games people dress up in team jerseys...in part to be accepted.

God on the other hand, accepts us just the way we are.
You don’t have to wear the right church culture clothing for God to accept you.
He is way more interested in you and your heart.
You can meet him just the way you are.
I personally like that...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A couple of days a go I was walking and wondering what it would be like to win lotto.
Thinking about the feelings you would have.
Like not needing to worry about money.
Being able to help heaps of people.
Even how it would show me and everyone else, how much God loves me and wants to bless me...

But then another thought crossed my mind...well actually two to be honest.
- Is that how God wants to bless us?
- How can I win if I don’t buy a ticket?
The first question is obviously the most important!

The Bible says that God doesn’t change.
Not that he is inflexible...but that he is stable.
He has already worked out the best way for things to work. That he doesn’t get confusing with changing his mind all the time…

With that in mind, it made me think of how God has provided for his people in the past.

When the Israelites were travelling to their ‘promised land’ you see God providing for them.
Apparently during those forty years their clothes never wore out...that is cool on its own. As they didn’t have many opportunities to go shopping at dressmart…

You also read that God gave them Manna.
God gave them some every morning.
As they got up each day there it was.
It was enough for them to be happy.
Not too much, and not too little. Just the right amount.
God faithfully provided for them everyday without fail!

Lamentations 3:22-24 says
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."


That is God. He is faithful and that will never change!
He provides for us each day.
As we get up there it is.
It is enough for us to be happy.
Not too much, and not too little.

Maybe it is good that we don’t get all the ‘faithfulness’ in one hit? Maybe that helps us to remember where it comes from in the first place?

God has not changed in our day!
He is still faithful and still wants to bless you and provide what you need.
I am remembering that now.
And I am thanking Him for being faithful to me...

Something to think about…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

plan

The last few weeks for me have been pretty focused on planning. Planning the future of our Church.
Working out what God might want to do with us.
Dreaming, planning, praying, re-arranging…
I needed to be ready for our Vision Sunday.

You just can’t stand in front of people saying you know where you are going...if you have no idea where you are going.
You can’t say what you are going to do...without having some idea what you are going to do.

I think it is good to plan.
God does it himself!

The Bible says that He planned the world before it was even created.
It also says that He planned you and me before he started creating us.
And it also says that He planned to save us when He knew we would need saved in the future.

Amos 3:7 actually says this...
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without
revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.


The ‘prophet’ part of the scripture is really interesting.
It reinforces for me the idea that what the plan is, should be spoken of.
Shared about. Brought out into the open.

Because God is so good at planning he is the best to talk to about your our planning.

And as you can see, he loves to reveal his plans to us.

Proverbs 29:18 (kjv) says this:
Where there is no vision, the people perish

As a Church we are determined to not go into our future aimlessly and eventually lost.
We have a plan. A plan we believe God has for us.
And we are speaking it out…

God wants you to have a plan too.
To not just go about life without any clue or direction.
You may not be able to plan for the next 25 years...but what about one year.
Start with that and see where it might take you?
Ask the ultimate ‘planner’ to help you plan.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

why stay here until we die?

I was looking at some of the twitter feeds I get each day and one stood out.
I thought it was cool and retweeted it to the people who follow my twitters.
Note : Some of you now think I am on drugs and are wondering what I am talking about? Don’t panic. Just using a social networking app called twitter...on the web.

The problem was what they were quoting was right and cool and encouraging...but the Bible reference was wrong.
That forced me to check it out for myself.
Good thing too, as it made me think about it a little more.

Here is what I am referring to….

2 Kings 7:3
Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, "Why stay here until we die? "

The basic story behind this is that a bunch of guys who were outcastes from society realized one day that sitting around waiting to die wasn’t cool.
In fact it seemed kind of pointless to them.
They decided that ‘living’ for a few moments was better the ‘dying’ over a lifetime.

The city they were from had been under siege for so long by a powerful enemy. They decided to go look at what was happening, fall on the enemies mercy, because that seemed better than doing nothing.
They enter their camp to find the enemy has gone.
They find gold, silver, clothes...all left behind for them to discover and enjoy.

The point I think for us looking at this story today is this…
God doesn’t see our circumstances like we do.
What we see as bad or not cool, isn’t there to restrict us.
What actually restricts us more is our attitude towards life.
Being inflexible.
Being conservative.
Being safe…ultimately can rob of us of what might exist around the corner if we just took a chance. Where we show we have faith in God and not just talk about it.

So what are you waiting for?
Get up and go find what God has for you!

Something to think about…
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