Wednesday, October 27, 2010

hide

Everyday I used to pray the same thing.
In fact I am safe in saying without being a normal exaggerating Pastor (being evangelastic), that I did it everyday for years.

So what was this prayer I hear you say across the cyberspace gap between us?

Simply this...

“Help me to hide Your Word in my heart
So that I might not sin against You”

Now this isn’t something I came up with on my own.
Someone wrote it in a very long song to God that you can find in the Bible under Psalm 119:11

Everyday when I sat down to read the Bible I prayed that prayer. I recognized then and I still recognize now, that I am more than capable of sinning.
If it was good enough for that Psalm writer to say that, then it is definitely a good idea for me.

That writer recognized I think that whatever is on the inside of you is probably who you really are.
That what rests inside us, our thoughts, desires, attitudes will take us somewhere. That they will come out somehow even if we don’t want them to.
The writer recognized that a major key to trying to stay on track was to replace the junk inside with God’s Word.
It is this idea that we have a better chance of doing the right things if what is on the inside of us is right.

Like the Bible also says about itself...that it can get into even the marrow of our bones. That is pretty deep!
That those words we read in the Bible can change our thoughts and motivations.

The key is getting it in there in the first place.
It is not just a band-aid for sin but a vaccination from sin.

So what is on the inside of you?
Do you want it to be different from what it is now?
How about taking some time this week to just read a Bible?
But before you do...how about praying that prayer?

“Help me to hide Your Word in my heart
So that I might not sin against You”

Something to think about…and to do...

Friday, October 22, 2010

door

I opened a door for someone last night...
Actually I open doors for people all the time. This was something my mum taught me when I was really young.
It is the polite thing to do. The ‘right’ thing to do for others.

Christians are funny people I think...
We talk all the time about God opening doors.
We say things like...
“I won’t do it unless God opens the door”
“I am just waiting for the right door to open”
And that idea or theology is ok.
But I also wonder whether we take it too far?

Last night I opened a door for a guy as we left the gym.
I had no idea who he was. We had never said a word to each other before.
My opening the door created a response from him...a “thank you”.
Next thing we are walking down the stairs to the carpark engaged in some small talk.
We get to the carpark and now we are talking, really talking.
In the space of a few minutes we know each other’s name.
How many kids we have.
Where we moved from to come to Taupo to live.
What we love about our town.
All because I opened a door...

The thought I went away from that supposedly chance meeting was that I opened a door.
By simply opening a door, God opened a door.
That by my small effort...was God now doing even more with it?

Christians spend a lot of time waiting it seems to me!
Hoping that some opportunity in life or to reach out to someone else will just fall into their lap.
Maybe we need to open some more doors?
Open doors for someone else?
You just never know where it might lead?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

stories

Just been reflecting on the last few days and thinking about what to share…
I guess that what we have done would be a good place to start.

Now if you are a cynical kind of person, maybe you shouldn’t read any further...for danger of assuming I have some self promoting agenda...because I don’t!
If I lose some reward for sharing my stories, I can live with that in the knowledge that it might help you. That can be my reward.
Maybe why I sharing this is to encourage you to try and be something similar. It will change your world and change the world of someone else around you.

First story…
Some people we hadn’t seen in many years were travelling down the country with their kids and a car full of possessions. When they got as far as Waioru their engine blew!
We got a call asking for help.
We said yes straight away and had the honour of helping them out with somewhere to stay, food to eat...whatever comfort we could provide.

Second story...
I went to the gym yesterday. In the space of one hour I had helped someone use a weight machine they hadn’t used before. I set another guy up with a RPM bike and then helped setup the RPM Class (even thought I wasn’t going to be doing it).

This is so simple!
It is “salt and light” stuff.
It is reflecting God to our world.
It is “doing good when we have the opportunity”.

Do I feel tired from doing right? No way!
In fact it energizes me…

I have no idea what opportunities to help someone else are coming around the corner. I don’t have a prophetic word about each day to prepare myself.
What I do do...is try and have an attitude of being ready to help.

Ready to respond.
Ready to say yes to someone else.

Why don’t you try and change someone else’s world today, tomorrow...and the next. Get ready...
Go on...I dare you!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

meek

I love this statement!
“…we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”
Hebrews 10:39

Many people take a single passage from the Bible and build a doctrine around it that over rides everything else the Bible has to say sometimes.
Take for example Jesus saying this...
“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.”
Matthew 5:5

Some take it that this is how to live life.
And even think that means you should just chill...
Just see what happens…
That everything is all about being ‘meek’.

Jesus said other things too…
What about this one?

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.
Matthew 11:12

Not very ‘meek’ sounding!

Jesus one day grabs some cords and makes a whip. Then proceeds to drive out people from the Temple area who were there to just make a profit.

Not very ‘meek’ sounding!

Now back to where I started…
You should have some passion for what you believe.
You should want to take it with both hands.
You should live out your faith with some grunt…
Otherwise we can shrink and fall back.

As for me, and my encouragement to you…
Let’s go after God with passion this week!
Be humble and gentle to others with love yes...
But let’s also persevere and win the prize for which we were created for in the first place.
I am running with you!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

disappointed

Have you been disappointed recently?
I know I have been.

Just because you have a relationship with God, doesn’t make you immune to being disappointed at some time or many times during your life.

Sometimes things don’t go the way we plan.
Sometimes people do things that hurt us.
Whatever caused it is not ultimately what will define the disappointment. It is what happens next…

It is about ‘response’ verses ‘reaction’.
Anyone can react to disappointment. No real skill there!
But choosing how your will respond is harder, and harder is normally the right way to go (check out last weeks thought for more on that one).

For most of my life, when I have faced the “d” word...I have reacted. Sometimes I have sulked. Sometimes I have cried...other times just got angry.
But I have been trying to do it a little different recently.

Most of you will have heard of a man called Jesus!
Well one day he gets some news that disappoints him.
He hears that a person he has known since his childhood has been wrongly executed. Beheaded in fact!
His mother knew the friends mother.
They were part of the same extended family.
At one stage their lives crossed very publicly where this friend honoured him very highly. Even baptizing him.

Now he is dead and Jesus has to choose.
Respond verses React.

So what does he do?
Well you read that he withdraw from everybody for a short time and prayed. That is his response.

As disciples, the encouragement you can take from his story, his example...is what to do when you are facing a disappointment.
Don’t run around telling everybody why someone is a jerk for hurting you. Because that will still leave you hurting.
Get away with God for even just a short while. Pray.
Give it over to the one who understands completely.

If you read the next part of the story...he fed 5000 people with a small amount of food.
Maybe if we handle things right when we face disappointment a greater miracle is actually just around the corner?

Something to think about…
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