Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last Time

The last one….yes that’s right…
It is the last Simple Thought for 2011!
I guess it needs to be a good one then?

When I think of the ‘last time’ it kind of adds some emphasis to it without even trying.
It creates something special out of something that may have happened many times before now.

While this is the last Simple Thought, it is also the last week of another year.
It is the last Wednesday of 2011.
In fact it is a day I will never get to have again...ever!
I am reminded that all I have right now is what I have, and that to waste that seems pretty silly!

You only get to live each year once...and then it is gone.
As you get older, time does seem to go by so much quicker. I sometimes wish that wasn’t the case!

When Jesus shared a final meal with his disciples he made a big deal about the last time part.
It was the last time he would eat and drink with them.
It was the last time things would be as they were.
It reminds me how important each little moment of our lives are. How to never take them for granted.
I bet those disciples remembered that night all the days of their lives.
The ‘last time’ made it a hugely important time.

As you finish this year, may you find yourself making the most of the moment.
Celebrate the best of the year.
Reconcile the rest of it...
Love, forgive, sort out, leave behind...whatever you need to do to make the most of this ‘last time’
To make it your very special time!

Something to think about…

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sophisticated

If you want proof that we are not as sophisticated as we think we are...check out some guys public toilets.

I mentions guys only, not because I am picking on the guys but because I have no experience of the feminine version for obvious reasons.

And a wee note to readers, I am not asking the ladies to go hunting through the men’s loos.

I went to one the other day while Christmas shopping.
It is in a brand new building with all the latest in toilet technology. But that hasn’t helped people with their aim in regards to anything unfortunately…

I better leave the toilet thing behind before you freak out and stop reading!

In the 21st Century we generally think of ourselves as more sophisticated than in ages past.
We have mobile phones, computers, cars, running water from a tap and toilets that flush...and therefore that makes us better in some way.

Those things are awesome to be sure.
But as human beings we are the same I think to many years a go...even 2000 years a go when a baby was born in a manger in a very unsophisticated manner.

An obvious question to ask is why a manger?
Why a feed trough for a bed?
Why a place which is arguably the least hygienic in all of Israel to be born?
Was God not thinking straight and neglecting the birthing hygiene rules?
No. God had a bigger idea at play for this special occasion.

Because we are not that sophisticated He wanted to make sure this baby, this Jesus, was accessible to anyone and everyone. That no matter a persons background, this Jesus could be related to by all. Whether you were a smelly farmer or a clean cut wiseman...this Jesus was for them.

And nothing has changed...
When you strip back all the stuff we have in life, we are all the same as those people living back then.
We all have this Jesus, this Christ Child who was unsophisticated, to make sure the ‘God with us’ thing that God wanted to introduce, would really work.
No barriers.
No class system.
Just Jesus, here for you…

Nothing too sophisticated about that then, is there?

Something to think about…

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Really Know

A couple of days a go I stood in a queue waiting to board a flight. To my right as we shuffled slowing forward was the leader of our country, John Key, our Prime Minister.


I found myself wondering what he is really like?
I wondered what he is like to talk to?
Is he interesting in real life?
Would we get along or would we clash?

For the majority of us we will never really know.
All we will get to see is our Prime Minister on the TV with little sound bites.
We will never get to sit with him and his family.
It is pretty much impossible to know him really well and be able to say “this is what John Key is like…”

How many of us can say we know God?
Is it even truly possible?
The difference is that God has set things up so that you can know Him and what He is like.
He doesn’t have a security detail protecting Him from the world. He isn’t too busy to fit you into His day.

I think it is actually pretty simple to get to know God.
And it seems to be very similar to how you get to know other people…
Spend some time checking out what He is like.
Reading the Bible, listening to great teaching, hang out with others who know something of Him.
Spend some time talking with him.
Checking in with Him in prayer, hanging in His presence.

He is actually very approachable I have found.
You never need an appointment or to wait in line.

How Jesus came into the world paints this picture so powerfully for us.
He arrives as a baby.
Babies are approachable and unpretentious.
God wants you to see Him that way as well because that is who He is.

This Christmas time my heart and prayer for you is that you get to know some of Him and not just about Him.
That you would see Him as someone you can approach and get to know.
When you think of that baby called Jesus...think about how that is kind of how God would like you to approach Him. Come and look. Come and adore.
And eventually come and worship our King...

I think this is an opportunity too good to miss out on!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Gift

So the Christmas countdown is officially on...

Advertisers will soon start to try and stir panic inside us that we have only x number of days left to buys gifts for people.
Numerous friends on facebook are posting comments about this countdown and how ready or not they feel.
Jack even came up to me this morning with some random countdown based around that 12 Days of Christmas song.

If you are really looking forward to Christmas, no doubt you are counting down the days also.
The excitement will be building…
You are probably making plans for that one special day?
Maybe you have got a tree and decorations up as an ever present reminder of what you are looking forward to?

Expectant parents, especially first timers, act very similar.
They have an idea when the big day is coming.
There is excitement and trepidation.
And most like we were...run around preparing for the new arrival.

This all makes me wonder how God felt leading up to that very first Christmas?
Was He excited? Or even nervous?
Was He planning on it being a very special day?
Well I think He was excited...and probably not nervous.
He knew very well what this monumental day would mean to the Kingdom of Heaven. He knew what was going to unfold over the ensuing years.
If it was just some random day like any other He would have never organized a huge choir of angels to perform.
If it was just another day He would have never told some wise men about it weeks before it would come to pass.

I think Christmas is special to God!
It should also be so special to us as well, not because of our gifts or maybe even lack of them...but because it was the day of days when God gave ‘The gift’ to mankind.
That gift? God with Us...
You can’t top that one no matter how hard you try!

Something to think about…
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