Wednesday, December 29, 2010

two words

Hi there...
With the end of 2010 upon us, it always makes for an ‘interesting time’ for many.
Many of us are excited about a new year, with many new opportunities?
While others have maybe not enjoyed what 2010 brought to them, and have some apprehension about yet another year?
Whatever place you find yourself, can I please encourage you with a couple of words?

eyes
What I read about how God wants me to live seems to revolve around using my eyes. The scriptures say to turn your eyes to Jesus...indicating that maybe they have been somewhere else?
Peter could do amazing things when he saw Jesus.
His life sank when he didn’t see him!
He sunk in the water and sunk when he denied him.
I have learnt that if I keep looking to him, and can keep on going...then that going seems to exceed my expectations! Which leads nicely to my next word…

expectation
If you are like me, your nature is to think a bit negatively sometimes...and guess what I get when I do?
That’s right, nothing much good!
I tell you that I am determined to expect great things for yours and my new year!
To expect that God hasn’t changed at all from the days when he provided miraculously for people in a desert.
Hey, they saw Him! He did stuff. They were left without any doubt that He was their God!

That is my heart for yours and my 2011.
That we are left with no doubt!

But here is the kicker…
You can’t be passive.
Using your eyes and expectation are not passive things at all!
Grab 2011 by the throat and make the most of it and your relationship with God!

Locky :-]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

song title

“All I want for Christmas is you”
...well that is how the song goes…

One year as a kid, people taught me a song called “All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth”. Obviously that was something I probably needed at the time.

I bet that first Christmas, before it was even called Christmas, Mary would have had an interesting title for what she wanted. Probably related to the fact she was about pop out a baby!

Kids in our western culture get an opportunity to say what they want for Christmas too.
You can send a letter to someone called Santa Claus who apparently lives at the north pole. And no matter how little or inaccurate the address you place on the envelope...it seems to always get there???
Plus you can add to your ‘chances’ of getting what you want for Christmas by visiting him at a Santa’s Grotto, get your picture taken, and tell him again what you really really want.
(note to readers : a spice girls song just popped into my head….aaagghhh!)

So what do you really want for Christmas?
If you could have anything, what would it be?
And if there was someone who was really listening and that someone had the power to grant the request...what would it be?

Check this passage out from the Bible...

Philippians 4:5-7
5...The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Santa can be fun...but he really lacks the power to change your life. To meet the needs you really have.
I am so thankful I have my God to talk to, to ask stuff of.
I am so grateful he is listening.
I am so grateful he can answer my requests…
I pick him over a red suit guy any day!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

frisbee

When I was a kid, one of the favourite Christmas songs we would listen to was Snoopy’s Christmas by the Royal Guardsmen.
That song came out all the way back in 1967 and was a huge hit then. My mum had a 45 Single (at which some of you reading this are saying...what?). Before the days of iTunes single downloads, CD’s or even cassette tapes...singles came out on these small vinyl albums called 45’s.
I remember the day that sentimental song and item came to a very sad end!
My sister, wound up by me I have to admit, out of
frustration decided to try and decapitate me with the closest object she could find.
Unfortunately that object ended up being this little 45.
She quickly took aim and fired it at me like a frisbee.
I also remember ducking with my superhero reaction skills and watched as it sailed over my head into the lounge wall...shattering into many pieces!

While that song is fun to many and way too corny to others...it does illustrate something very powerful about Christmas time.

The story is fictional about the Red Baron and a guy called Snoopy in a dogfight during World War 1. They decided not to kill each other that day because it was Christmas!
There is some fact about that time in history.
During that same war, at many places along the front, Germans and English soldiers stopped fighting. They cleared the no mans land of bodies, shared gifts of beer, cigarettes and tinned meat. Even some played soccer!

I guess the point for me is that Christmas is a time to do what no one expects!
God did what many didn’t expect and sent His son to earth in the form of a baby.

Maybe this Christmas time you can be like the Red Baron?

Maybe be like a solider during the ‘great war’?
Maybe be like Jesus?
Just maybe you can use this season to not be what
everyone expects you to be?
Maybe you can bless someone who has tried to destroy you at some time this year.
Go on, shock the world with your love and forgiveness…
Find someone to bless whether they deserve it or not.
I dare ya!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

gob

I was reminded again this week what power each of us has to influence someone’s life.
Either to do good...or completely the opposite.

Now I am not talking about your abilities or gifts.
It is not just restricted to people in high places!
Everyone can influence by that soft fleshy muscle thingy flapping around in their face...their tongue!

According to the Bible your tongue even though it is moist, can set a forest on fire.
Maybe not literally, but definitely figuratively.
With it you can destroy someone pretty quickly.
For me, I can think of several moments in my life where what someone has said to me or about me has caused damage. They sad thing is, most of those people don’t seem to care.

The Bible also says there is the power of life and death in the tongue.
Whether you believe it or not...it is a weapon of mass destruction and only you have the launch codes.

I have seen what sharing kinds words over someone and towards someone can do. How change happens in their life.
I have seen someone get a word of encouragement in a Church and it totally change their day for the better.

Please think about this and not pass on it…
This is not someone else’s word for today.
It is your word for right this second.

Please, please, please think about what you say.
Choose to be a person who speaks ‘life’.
That you will be non-negotiable about it.

If you are struggling to do this simple thing, get help!
Other peoples lives are at stake.
If you have hurt others ask for their forgiveness.

Let’s be mature not immature…
Let’s be a huge blessing this Christmas not just with gifts but because of what comes out our gob...

Something to think about…

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

tradition

I have never kept my love of this time of year secret.
Many people who don’t believe what I believe about it get into it in some way. Either by exchanging gifts or cards, singing some carols somewhere, listening to music inspired by the season..or even going to a church of some kind.

Since the original Christmas was over 2,000 years a go, you can imagine that a lot has changed since then. And with all that time and change there have been a lot of weird and wonderful ideas come up about it.

Here are a few...

In Greek legend, malicious creatures called Kallikantzaroi sometimes play troublesome pranks at Christmas time. In order to get rid of them, salt or an old shoe is burnt. The pungent burning stench drives off, or at least helps discourage, the Kallikantzaroi.
Other techniques include hanging a pig’s jawbone by the door and keeping a large fire so they can’t sneak down the chimney.

In the Ukraine, if you find a spider web in the house on Christmas morning, it is believed to be a harbinger of good luck! There once lived a woman so poor, says a Ukrainian folk tale, that she could not afford Christmas decorations for her family. One Christmas morning, she awoke to find that spiders had trimmed her children’s tree with their webs. When the morning sun shone on them, the webs turned to silver and gold.
An artificial spider and web are now often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees.

While that is interesting, I am more interested in now.
What makes Christmas special to you?
Do you have any traditions that have special meaning?
Are they so special as to really influence how you feel about this time?

One of mine is simple but not so cheap.
We love turkey. That is our tradition.
We have it every Christmas and without it I wouldn’t think it really was a normal Christmas.
One year we had Christmas with Suze’s parents and the turkey got overcooked. So to make sure Christmas felt right, we got another one and cooked it a few days later.
Another one we have is to do something different to show people what Christmas really means. Things like making something edible as gift for all our neighbours.

My hope and prayer for you is that this season is great!
If you don’t have a tradition to help add to the special-ness of this time...I hope that you can find one.
Share what you love about this time with someone else.
I think that is in part what Christmas is all about.

Something to think about…
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