Wednesday, March 30, 2011

advice

I sat in a cafĂ© recently working away on some ideas for our Church...and as much as I tried to ignore it, I couldn’t help but overhear another conversation. I was trying to pretend I couldn’t hear them. I don’t think I was pretending that well… It was between what looked like 3 generations of ladies from one family. A grandmother, a mother and a daughter. It seemed to be all about the daughters relationship issues. The older two were trying to help the younger with advice. To which the younger one answered everything with “but”. We are all like that though aren’t we? We all want to give advice and not so easily and readily do we accept. Moses father in law came to visit him one day and saw from an outsiders point of view how Moses could actually do some things better. So he gave some advice. Why, not because he was a know it all, but because he cared. Moses took the advice and things went better. Hence proving it was indeed some good advice. In fact good advice is only good advice if you do something with it. Someone else I know went to give another cyclist some good advice...and the other person got a little agitated back at them. Sometimes good advice and good intentions are not always accepted. My encouragement to you is to accept good advice when it comes your way. Yes check it out...but do so from a heart that wants to grow, not some arrogance that everyone else is wrong. The Bible even tells us that to be wise you need advisors. People who want the best for you and are willing to tell you straight seasoned with some love of course. Take a chance and let others into your world to grow and expand your world... Something to think about…

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jealous

I have lost count of the times in my life when I have been jealous…

Jealous of the kid at school whose parents had a video player when we didn’t.
Jealous of the kid whose parents bought them a Rubik's cube while they were overseas.
Jealous of the kid who could play a sport better than me or get a higher score on calculator spacies.
Jealous of the guy who was going out with the girl I liked.
Jealous of someone else’s guitar.
Jealous of the opportunities someone seemed to be getting over me.
Jealous of the friend who was leading a bigger church than me...

It doesn’t matter who you are or how long you have wondered this earth, we all have the ability to get jealous.

So what is the cure to this thing?
What should we do when the ‘green eyed monster’ is coming up from inside of us?

It is not just a matter of telling yourself to stop it or even pretending to not be jealous and lie to yourself.
I believe we have 2 cool options.
I try to use them whenever I can.

Opposite.
I have found reacting in the opposite way to how my jealousy wants to take me has an amazing effect.
For example, if someone is doing apparently better than me...I pray and thank God that He has blessed them, even asking Him to do so even more.
It changes my heart and it will change your heart!

Motivate.
I have found other jealousy can motivate me in some way. My example here is really simple…
If someone is able to do something you can’t do, don’t get bitter about it. Let it motivate you to work harder or do something so you can grow and improve.
Maybe you are jealous of someone having a great
relationship with God? Or maybe you are jealous of what they can do in God?

Well let it help motivate you to press into Him yourself.
Do someone with it.
Don’t let the jealousy do something to you...

Something to think about…

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

wow

WOW...is one word you could use, but it still doesn’t convey what we feel.
Once a upon a time each generation would be able to point to half a dozen natural disasters over a lifetime as something they heard of. This generation seems to be able to surpass that now with ease.
When the boxing day tsunami hit and over 100,000 died, that was a huge deal.
Then there was Haiti.
Recently there was Christchurch.
And now we have Japan!

People are asking questions.
I overheard staff at a cafe I was visiting asking if it was the end of the world?
To which the logical question would be “is it the end of the world?”
And if it is really the end of the world “what can I do?” “What should I do?”

It seems the option of burying you head in the ground hoping it will stop will not work.
The ground keeps on moving anyway.
Am I scared? Of course I am a little.
I wonder what is going to happen to me, my little family, and all the people I care a lot about.
That is why a question to ask is “what happens next?”

So here is the deal.
It is my opinion so you don’t have to agree.
I share it in the hope that it might give you an option and give you some hope.
The Bible talks about this earth not lasting forever.
It was never designed to anyway.
It also says that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth. A place where there will be no more weeping, no more pain. I like the sound of that!
So I have placed my hope ultimately in the one who promised us that.
Would you like to do the same?

Something to think about…

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

pain

If you have been at one of our Sunday services recently you would have heard us talking for a few weeks on how to grow.
Growing is the most natural thing to do. But many forget that growth is only by intent, not by accident…

There is an aspect of growth that many don’t want.
Realising you have grown through something, or learnt something pivotal to your life is a fantastic feeling.
But I guarantee that on the way to that moment of satisfaction there may have been another feeling…

Pain.

Unfortunately pain seems to accompany growth.
No shortcuts from Pastor Locky for you here today!
Keep reading though...I will make it worth your while...

When I was young I used to get what my mum called ‘growing pains’. It was this dull ache in my legs on many nights. She encouraged me and said it is a sign that I am growing, that something inside of me is changing. That I am further along in my journey to become the man I will one day be.

Sports people have even used a mantra for many years…‘No Pain—No Gain’
That one is true as well unfortunately.
I wish I could get fitter without any discomfort.
The reality is that fitness comes from effort not just a good idea. The pain is a good sign you might be doing something right to achieve your goal.

In fact, without any pain or discomfort you should be nervous. It might indicate you have stopped growing?
Now I am not being all fatalistic or masochistic.
It is just that as a disciple, pain is not something to run away from. I am not telling you to enjoy it, but pain is an indicator on your journey of growth.
I have watched too many run from the challenges of life, which were the very things that they would grow through. All because they wanted to avoid pain.

The Bible says we are people who do not shrink back.
That we should endure hardship.
That we should be known for our perseverance.

Why, so you grow into the person God dreams you can be…
Come on. Lets get some pain...and achieve the goal!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

family

I was thinking this week about ‘Church people’...and in particular those of that group who are really happy to attend every Church they possible can.
In the last couple of weeks we have had many tell us they attend this Church and that Church, and now ask “can we come and join your Church” kind of thing.

To be honest I have changed.

I used to say things like…
“that is great”
“happy you can be part of the body like that”
“great to get some variety I guess”

Now I certainly don’t think like that.
And before you stone for me being biased or having an agenda let me share a simple thought on this…

The Bible refers to us as a family. Jesus family that will one get to spend eternity with God doing whatever he has planned for us to do in eternity.
Until then we have Churches all around the world.
Small ones, big ones...every different combination and style you could ever dream up.
Some are loud, others quiet...and some even cuddle snakes (don’t get me started on that one!).

I belong to a family as well.
The McNeill family.
My immediate family is myself, Suze, Jack & Alex.
That’s the family that God has blessed me with.

I also have an extended family.
My Mum, Dad, Sister, Aunts, Uncles...you get the idea…
I don’t see them as much as my immediate family but they are still part of the ‘family’.

If I spent all my time with the extended family, going from place to place, event to event...I would still have an immediate family, but the relationship I could have had would be less than it could be.

I have learnt that the immediate family that God has given me is the one that takes priority.
They are there to be my biggest support.
They are there for me to give my best to as well.

Church is the same my friend.
Yes, hang out with other Churches, with the extended family sometimes. It is good.
But I think we all need an immediate family to commit to called your local Church.
If you haven’t done it yet...pick one.
Commit to the family God has for you.
You won’t regret it!

Something to think about…
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