Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Records Do Fly


My mum had a record album we used to listen to every Christmas.
And it was special for a number of reasons...
Firstly it was a clever little tune that had a story about WW1 and Christmas.
Secondly, I understand it was a gift my Mum was given many years before when she was young.

Sadly this great memory, tradition and entertainment piece came to a messy end!
During a stupid argument between two very silly kids one day, this said record was used by one of them as a weapon.
I don't know why it came down to such a level? Maybe they thought if thrown properly it would decapitate the other?
I can still see in my memory the virtual video of the event.
The record seemed to twist and swirl in the air as it flew awkwardly.
It quickly sailed past one kids ducking head. And it came to rest against the wall behind them.
Needless to say, but that record didn't come out too well.
It exploded like the bombs the christmas tune it held talked about so well.

You might be wondering what happened next...
Well, you can only imagine how hard is was to tell our Mum how stupid we had been.
I have never forgotten the look on her face...

Christmas presents are not just presents!
They are in theory reflections of love and care towards another person.
They indicate someone was willing to sacrifice something financially to be a blessing to another.
We can talk about our favourite or our least favourite for hours. Most of us have those stories. But I think the fact there was a gift at all is important.
There is meaning and in time memory, because of the gift.

My Grandma gave me a Bible one year. And I was pretty slacked off about it at the time.
I wanted a toy of some kind, and preferably with a gun in the title. 
But I got a Bible.
I wondered for years why she got me one. It is not like it was ever on my Christmas wish list.
Now, exactly 33 years later, I have it sitting on my desk beside as I type these thoughts.
I have often wondered if she ever dreamed about how much an impact it would have on my life?
I mean, it was just a present...

When Jesus was born...there were presents. To some they were strange items to give.
They had meaning and purpose.
When Jesus was born...He was also the gift. To some it seemed the most strange thing for God to give.
This special gift had meaning and purpose.
And here you are a long time after you were born...and you also are gift!

I kind of feel not to wrap this up with some tidy little conclusion for you...
My heart is that something in what I have said stirs something inside you a little.
That you let God lead your heart and thoughts. Then you would act on what he might show you.
And in that way, you will probably have a better chance of making this a very special Christmas indeed.

Something to think about...this Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Room


"A long time a go there was no room for Jesus...
So his mum gave birth in a cow shed!
Jesus is still looking for room.
Will it be the left over space in our lives or the best space in our lives?"

I had that thought on Monday this week.
Fired it onto my facebook page because I thought it had a profound meaning.
In fact, I still feel the same way...

The question this Christmas remains...
How much room do we have for Jesus?
How much room do we have for God in our lives?

It is fundamentally an extremely important question to ask yourself especially at this time of the year.
So much is happening. Life is busy and life is fast.
And if you are not careful, the most important of reasons for the season can be missed in 'the busy'.

God asks us for all our life. That is no simple request.
He asks us to love and follow Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
An issue for us is that many people do this for a season and then let other things crowd that passion into a corner or a spare space in their life.
When I look at the times I felt the most close to Him, it was when I was the most passionate and dedicated to that relationship.
The more room I gave Him, that better things got.

So as the days to Christmas countdown ever so quickly...
Can I ask you to take a few moments to check your insides.
See what room you have for Jesus.
If you are honest it works best!
And if you notice only a proverbial cowshed corner is left...shift out what needs moving and make room for this Jesus.
Give Him the very best space. He is worth it and He is worthy!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

What Odds?


There is a popular Book and Movie at the moment which uses the line...
"May the odds be ever in your favour"
Sounds good doesn't it? Having the 'odds', whatever they are, on your side...
But just as the line was a sham in that story, 'odds' are a sham for us as well.
Well they are supposed to be I think.

This is why I say this...

Whenever I look at how God came through in some way for a person, a group, a Church or a nation...it had nothing to do with the odds being in their favour!
In fact the opposite is always true.
In our culture now we see people only do things when the perception is that they have everything going for them.
Choices are made based on the odds of a so called good outcome.
Eliminate risk and you are wise is a mantra of our time.

But I see a greater Kingdom principle at play when it comes to God.
He doesn't appear remotely interested in the odds being manipulated towards our side or agenda or plans.
If they always are...then who gets the glory? And who gets the glory...is actually really important to the odds equation.

When you read about Jonathan and his armour bearer (1 Samuel 14) going up against their enemy, the odds were not on their side at all!
Not only were they 2 against hundreds. Not only did they have limited weaponry. Not only did they not have the element of surprise.
They also faced an enemy with the higher ground (a recognised military advantage).
To even get to the battle they had to climb on their hands and feet to get there.
Not the best way to being ready to fling your sword around, when your hands are busy clambering yourself up some steep hill.
With all that was against them, the result was that they routed their enemies!
Why? Because God got the glory from the odds being ever so much against them.

So this week...please don't pray for better odds!
Don't wait for the wind to blow in the right direction or all the signs to point in your favour!
Instead put your hope and trust in the One who gets the glory from you beating the odds.
Be a person of faith not a person of chance or of even comfort.
And see what our awesome God could do for you???

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

3 things that could change your world now!


I was reading my Bible yesterday going over the account where a lady gets accused of being drunk at Church.
Cool aye? I love how the Bible isn't just filled with lists and rules, but interesting stories that God can use to speak life into us at any time!

Anyway, Eli the priest spots a lady called Hannah in his service acting different to everyone else present.
To him she looks like she is in some drunk rambling mode. Highly emotional and not making anything coherent happen.
To her she is actually extremely upset and is pouring her heart out to God.
She is laying her soul bear before God and praying this key thing..."if you will look upon your servants misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life..."
Not long after this she conceives and gives birth to a boy they name Samuel.
He is so pivotal in the story of everything the Bible covers that 2 books are written specifically about and around him, 1 and 2 Samuel.

I said I would give you 3 things or ideas that could change your world right now didn't I?
Well if you look at this example of Hannah, Eli and a baby called Samuel, I think you get some hints that could help you.

1. Burden to Honesty
As they say "honesty is the best policy".
Now I don't know if she cried out to God like this before. But this time was obviously the pivotal time and in hindsight was the best thing she could have done.
She was depressed because she felt she lacked something important in her life.
Her choice was to take that burden and make it a burden to be honest with God.
...and God honours her with what she was looking for!

2. Willing to Act
She showed by her actions she was not only willing to lay down her burden to God, but she was willing to fulfill her vow.
She gave this precious child of hers to God just as she promised.
...and God honours her with more than she was looking for!

3. Patient to Wait 
It is one thing to lay your burden down, it is another to be patient while things take time from God to transpire.
She didn't have a baby the next day. It took her husband and her to make out. It took 9 months to give birth. It took time. And time takes patience.
But is was worth it in the end and Hannah getting to see what God could do through her life.
...and God honours her so much that he puts her story in His word!

So what are you facing today?
Maybe you need to do the same as Hannah?
Have a burden to be honest with God...
Be willing to act...
Be patiend to wait...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Quote with a Meaning


Yesterday I read a simple phrase that someone said to another human being.
Having read it many times before, and maybe skimming over it a little because of who said it, I think I realise now what truth it holds...

"As is the man, so is his strength...."   Judges 8:21 niv

What the speaker of this phrase understood was profoundly simple.
Who you are on the inside determines how strong you really are!

You see you can go to a gym and bulk up.
Maybe you already have a physical body that is naturally disposed to being strong.
But that doesn't make you a strong person...

Strong people are recognised by their ability to respond better in challenging situations.
Strong people have an ability to weather storms others run away from.
Strong people amaze weaker people with their acts of strength.
Strong people are even recoginsed by others to be able to offer shelter because they are seen as a safe haven.

The story behind this phrase says a lot as well.
Gideon is defeating his enemies systematically. One victory after another.
And he asks one of his kids to do 'the deed', to kill one of them after he is captured.
But the Bible says he is afraid and Gideon is told this little phrase I have quoted.

Gideons son was not strong.
All he had done so far it seems is follow along for the ride.
Gideon on the other hand was strong because he didn't just follow. He led!
He had taken God at His word. Had grown in faith. Had put his hand to the plough as they say...
And now he is far stronger than when you first see him mentioned in the scriptures.

To wrap this up, think of it all this way maybe?
God calls us His people, mighty men and women of God. It is a prophetic statement over your life about who He sees you can be.
God wants you to be strong and take the land.
If you don't feel strong, do what will make you stronger...
Follow the example of others of faith who have become strong in God.
It is simple. It is right there in front of you.

Like the song goes... "Let the weak say I am strong...let the poor say I am rich"

Rise up mighty man or women of God.
Rise up and find your strength...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

To Hug or to Cuddle?


I felt stirred enough to say something on this after reading this little snippet from sideswipe | nzherald.co.nz
Officials at Adam Road Primary School in Bunbury, Western Australia, gave Amber Rome, 12, detention for hugging a classmate after the bell rang. The school adopted a "no hugging" policy last year after some parents claimed their children were being bruised and others said their children were being left out.

Then it got worse with this article...
Hugging Fad Earns Ban At School link

There is something happening here...
Maybe just maybe, these kids are acting out a need that is not being met properly these days. Appropriate physical human contact?
In a world where sex rules and with its distorted ideas on what is 'right'. ..people still crave human connection in a safe and affirming way.
I think these kids could be just acting out what is partly missing in their world...normal human interaction.
Being late to class is wrong.
Banning appropriate human behaviour is more wrong!

Please let me add something from what I read in the scriptures that relates to this I think.

There is story where Jesus has a bunch of kids around him and some people get upset.
Yes see, Jesus was placing his hands on them and blessing them. But others who think everything is sexual and some things 'just shouldn't be done' got weirded out by this display of appropirate caring and affection. Jesus simply tells them that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to these kids. That if you want to 'get it' you need to get over it. That you need to follow their example.

Paul the apostle said the same thing 4 times as recorded in the New Testament.
Romans 16:16 | 1 Corinthains 16:20 | 2 Corinthians 13:12 | 1 Thessalonians 5:26
"Greet one another with a holy kiss"

Now most of us react and say yuck. I am not kissing every believer I meet.
And this is the problem again.
Our culture screams it is wrong. And it tells us that a kiss is only a sexual thing...
I have travelled to other parts of the world where a kiss is normal on each cheek. In fact you are rude not to do it!

My point is this...
You are I are created for appropriate physical contact with other human beings.
There is 'contact' reserved for marriage and there is contact designed for every other time and occassion.
To deny people physical contact drives things underground that should be in the light.
It denies people the contact with humans that they were designed to have and they ultimately crave.
I think it ultimately polutes something that is supposed to be pure and holy.

So let's be grown up and responsible.
Let's have grace and understanding over this issue.
As believers we are here in part to show the world a better way...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Faith & Finking


As I was flicking through facebook just before Hurricane Sandy hit those poor people on the US east coast, there were a number of posts.
People were putting images of the approaching hurricane. Some were plainly silly.
Images of flying prehistoric animals and cartoon characters swirling in the hurricane breeze were plainly fake.
But what disturbed me was an image of the Statue of Liberty looking like it was going under water.
The waves were crashing to near the middle of the famous lady.
A news station banner adorned the bottom of the image as though it was taking directly from a news feed.

I thought the picture looked a little strange so I did some research.
What I found disturbed me. So much so I have thought a lot about it since then.
You see, lots of people were posting it to their facebook profiles.
And what they were posting was an image from the movie The Day After Tomorrow.
A global warming movie where the main action centres around the flooding and eventual freezing of New York City.

God has asked His people to be specific in who they actually are.
One thing he asks is that His people be people of faith and not just sight.
Faith for me is really important. It is not just my religion as many have watered the meaning down to.
Faith for me is trust and action. All under the banner of my devotion to Jesus Christ.
But faith is also using my brain to work out what God is calling me to trust Him with. How He specifically wants me to minister to my world.

Why did I start with that example about a fake image?
Simply because many Christians were the ones reposting the fake image.
It scared me to see people blindly and unthinkingly posting something as truth when it wasn't.

I would encourage anyone to who wants to follow Jesus to strive to get the balance right.
Be wise and think about what you are seeing and doing because of what you see.
You can not just trust what you see. Our world has become masterful at the fake of everything. In fact it prides itself in its ability to mimick the real.
We need to be wise about what we take on board as truth. Remembering that truth first foremost comes from God Himself.

The only time to not think too much is when God is asking you to take a step of faith.
Think too much and analyse too much...and you inevitably paralyse yourself.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ghost Hunting


There are people who like to hunt for 'ghosts'.
They buy special equipment like night vision goggles and heat signature readers. Then they camp out for the evening in so called 'spooky' places ready to discover the apparent lost soul of a departed person.

Now I must say I believe in a spiritual realm.
I believe there are plenty of things out there that are kind of different and unexpected.
I have experienced many amazing things especially in night time situations.
But I don't believe in ghosts.

On the deepest level ghost hunters are not weirdos!
They are people hungry for some meaning and undertanding.
In their spirit they recognise there is something else out there to be discovered and understood.
They are responding I believe, to a God given desire to seek Him out and His presence. They have simply not discovered the truth and the God of this world is trying to distract them with a counterfeit  presence.

Hebrews 11:6 says this...
...without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

God would really like all of us to make that choice. To seek Him out.
And that when we do, he promises to reward us.
That means you don't just find Him, there is more to be discovered because you have found Him.
It will feel kind of like a reward.
Sounds pretty good doesn't it?

So as you carry on through the week let's seek God and not seek ghosts.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Best advice I got...


One of the first bits of advice I ever got when I started in ministry was this...

To be ready to say you are sorry. To be quick to apologise.

Now this initally seemed strange to me. Maybe because I had never heard a leader apologise for anything.
If they made a call on something and it was deemed a mistake, most people just seemed to move on.
I noticed most leaders envariably tried to justify mistakes or errors in judgement.
There was this perception that because of the 'position', that you got a different set of standards to work under.

I am grateful for that advice from that pastor many years ago.
While it is hard to live by, I have found it to be very effective and a huge weight release for me.

As much as it might shock you...I do make mistakes sometimes.
Sometimes I read a situation wrong.
Sometimes what I say doesn't sound right or get processed in the way I thought it would, and the listener gets offended.
Sometines I have been a grumpy jerk.
In all these cases and many others, I want to apologise as fast as possible.
While someone else may have got it wrong, I do not see myself as completely innocent on all counts.

Pride tells us to protect ourselves.
It can convince us ever so slowly that we are better in some way than others.
But pride always robs someone! Either the other person, you, or both!
It blinds us to the reality of who we are and what we are really like.

The Bible tells us that God gives grace to the humble and opposes the proud.
It kind of makes sense therefore to humble yourself sometimes and just say sorry!
Better that than the converse being the result.

Check out this passage as well. There are plenty like it!
Romans 12:18 niv
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

To have a Suck Proof Life you need to make sure you follow little bits of advice like this.
Suck it up when you get it wrong or you have hurt someone else and apologise.
Again it is written...love covers over a multitude of sins...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I am not ashamed!


That's right I am not ashamed! I am not ashamed or embarrassed about what I believe or why I believe it.

And you are wondering possibly why I am saying this today?
Actually inspired by events during the course of my morning...

This morning an email came through from a certian christian group and in it it had a link to a video posting.
Here was this guy from a reasonably sized church being interviewed about his beliefs.
The very biased interviewer made plenty of silly statements that could have wound him up...but it didn't.
He stayed focused on sharing what was true to his heart and didn't seem ashamed in anyway to stand on his christian values.

Then I was reading an article from twitter about people from another religion, another way of living, believing some pretty radical ideas.
Now I am not wanting to get critical over someone else beliefs, but I had never heard something as weird as a basis for a way of living.
It reminded me that what I beleive, while strange to some other people, is actually not that strange...and certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

I love the fact that my life is built on Jesus!

Paul wrote a letter to the Roman people of his time and as part of his introduction made his bold statement.
You can read in Romans 1:16 that there was no way he could be ashamed of something so powerful, that it can save a life...especially his own.

So as you carry on through your week...my prayer is that Jesus becomes bigger in your vision.
That what He has done and will do flavours your thinking.
And that you can come to a place where in your heart you decide to never be ashamed!

Something to think about..

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Soul Compass


There is a verse I didn’t use in my message on Sunday, and I certainly could have if I had the time…
It helps sum up what I was sharing in some way.
It should really sum up our attitude to our life.
And it is there as a soul compass, to help you decide how much this really applies to you.

For to me, to live is Christ
And to die is gain.
Philippians 1:21

You and I have to decide if our life is all about Jesus or not. We decide if He is truly Lord or not.
No one else can make it happen for us.
It is a choice you face when you get up, when go about your daily stuff and as you lie down each evening.

Here and plenty of other times in the new testament, you see the writers beg even for us to make ourselves this way. They encouragement us to find our identity first and foremost in Christ.
You are a Christian foremost, that is the goal.
Everything else comes second!
Jobs, sports, hobbies, relationships...everything!
That way it is simple and easy to understand even though not easy to do. But who said easy was the best way?

When you find yourself there, the picture is different just like it was for Paul. He could honestly say his life was not his own and that he recognised that he had been bought at a price.
When you are in that space, death is not your biggest concern. You know where you are going and you know it is not something to concern yourself with.
You just live for Christ and that is all that matters to you!
You have given your life away and in fact actually found a life worth living for!

So after all that challenge in a few short lines, how about wrapping this all up for yourself today?
Can I encourage you to take a few moments and pray this through? Talk to God about this verse and this ‘idea’ and see which way your soul compass is pointing.
If you need to make some changes, take some decisions, go for it!
For yourself in Christ alone...

Something to think about…

Friday, October 05, 2012

conference


After spending an amazing week at the elim national conference I am still processing all that God spoke to me during this week.
It has been awesome and just what I needed.
God spoke to me, encouraged me and ministered to me.

Instead of just sharing one idea I thought I would quickly list some of what God said to me.
Maybe one or all might be something you can grab a hold of for the rest of the week?

God wants me to not give up, especially the dream He has for my life and the people I influence with it.

God has made me promises and He will fulfill them!
I need to make sure I stay in agreement with them.

My identity is not in my country, my tastes or my friends. My identity is in Christ alone...first and foremost!

There I things I need to indentify and caste off!

I need to make sure I am focusing on my assignment not whatever confinement I might feel.

I probably have a boat in my life that is too much of a lifeboat. I need to get out of that boat. 
Walk on some water. Go after the supernatural.

I need to make sure the presence of God is a high priority. Because in the presence there is power.
And my life should be defined by His presence and His power.

20 seconds of bravery is all I need to change my world.

Hear God’s voice over everything else.
God is bigger than what I have learned so far and he always will be!

Don’t be afraid to be forceful for God’s Kingdom.
They are the people He wants and needs.

Well there you go….
Kind of bullet points of my week. There is a lot more I could say and wish I could share. Maybe another day?

Something to think about…

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mist


So here we are again.
Nearly at the end of yet another school term.
It seems as a parent your life and the indicator of what stage of the year your life is in...are predicated by the school holidays.
And if that wasn’t enough, some retailers are starting their Christmas Season displays…

Don’t panic!
I am not upset. I am just surprised once again about how fast another year has gone.

When I was a young lad on the farm I remember wishing my days away. I couldn’t wait to be this age or that age. In fact being 15 seemed a big goal.
It would mean I could finally get my drivers license and start being a big person.
My Gran would say that at her age time seemed to go by fast. I just couldn’t understand what she was talking about. For me time seemed so slow!
Now I think I understand a little more…

James 4:14 simply says this about us…
…What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

It is a great question that most of us face.
We need to understand in some way what is our life!
But the writer adds this whole mist vibe into the mix.
Mist being something that is here for a while and then gone.

It is not supposed to be discouraging but the opposite.
The challenge for all of us is to be intentional with the life gifted to us. To not wish it away, even for a moment. Because in a ‘moment’ it can be gone.

For me it encourages me to make the most of today while it is called today. To milk life for all its worth.
I want to live it well and enjoy as much of the journey as I can. That is why I seek God and make plans for it under His guidance.
I want my ‘mist’ to be a blessing...

Something to think about…

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Prawn


The very first time I went to hunt for shawn the prawn at Huka Prawn Park I was pretty disappointed.
No matter what did. No matter how much I copied the others who were being successful around me…
I didn’t catch a thing!

Over a year later I went back again.
This time with a whole bunch of guys from our Church.
I got some nibbles which got me excited.
I thought I was going to get some breakthrough and break my draught.
I could even picture myself telling the story of my fishing exploits even before I had that first nibble.
But all the dreaming achieved nothing.
No prawns!

Roll on to January this year and I went again.
This time with a good friend from out of town.
My confidence my not have been high but I was willing to give it another try. And that try was worth it.
I caught a decent bunch of prawns.
Enough so that they were gratefully consumed, BBQed with lashings of butter and garlic that same day!

My point is this...
If you are going to do something for God, there is no guarantee it will ‘work’ the first time.
If will work when it will work.
God just wants us to try. And by trying we give Him opportunity to work and to glorify Himself.
Not doing something achieves that result...nothing.

When you see Peter not sure what to do with his life, what do you see him doing?
He is fishing.
He does what he can do until Jesus turns up and changes things again. Jesus fills his net. Jesus blesses his labour. Jesus changes his life!

It is not in the sitting around and hoping that things will change that a harvest comes.
It is in the faithful working away, being faithful to the task even when it appears in the natural nothing much has happened.
Because just when you are not expecting it...Jesus seems to do something amazing and change all the
circumstance around.

Don’t give up!
Keep on reaching and sowing and fishing.
Because in doing so we will be ready to reap a harvest when the full harvest time comes.

Something to think about…

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crowd


I have been thinking in the last few days about things that Jesus did and how people responded.
There is one thing in particular that stands out, especially in light of what we are doing as a Church this weekend.

It seems Jesus didn’t have trouble having a crowd!
It seems that Jesus had more trouble getting away from the crowd than attracting one...more on that another day!

Regularly Jesus would have a meal at someone’s house.
As part of the preparation for this occasion, it wasn’t just food and atmosphere that was worked on or even the most important. In fact you don’t read much about what they ate at all. But what you do see is Jesus having plenty of people around him.

Why?

Real simple…
The people who knew of him or about him, no matter how little or much, were extremely keen to invite as many other people to learn about him.
They were more interested in sharing him with others than keeping him for themselves alone.
They wanted those closest to them to have the same opportunity.
They wanted their friends and neighbours to experience him.
In one account you even see people ripping apart a roof just to give a sick friend this same opportunity.
That is dedication to both Jesus and their friend!

So in your world right now, how does this relate?
Real simple I guess...
It would seem ‘normal’ to me that we do whatever we can to always invite people to find out more about Jesus.
Inviting them to Church is one great way to do this.

How far would you go to get someone else closer to
Jesus?

Something to think about…

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Force


I am the sort of person who gets frustrated with ideas and dreams of things to come.
Not because of the idea or dream directly.
But because many times people talk and talk and talk and then hope and hope and hope...without much do, do, do.

Some years a go I heard lots of teaching at Church about the idea that generations should work together.
After what seemed like an eternity of talking and no one doing...out of frustration, I approached someone from another generation and we made something happen.
It had a huge impact on my life!

More recently I decided I couldn’t handle any more discussion about Churches working on something for the Kingdom of God. Not because it was a bad idea.
It was just that we didn’t seem to have any idea how.
So I grabbed a hold of something called Back To Church Sunday, and now 10 different Churches around Taupo are working together. I think that is awesome!

The Bible says this about God’s Kingdom...
...the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12 nkjv

There is this idea expressed in scripture that while we are humble, loving, compassionate and all those good
attributes...we should also go after God’s Kingdom with some passion and drive.
To make and to see things happen.

I guess this goes with what the Bible also says about being doers of the Word and not just readers.
Be challenged my friend.
Let God stir you into action and let’s change where we are in this world all and only for the glory of God!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Combination


I like guitar things...and in particular the pedals we connect into that help to make the cool sounds we play with.
It isn’t just about having the right pedals, but also the right combination of pedals, in the right order...and then something sweet can come from them.

Imagine if you went to McDonalds this week and ordered the new Lamb Burger (please note, they are not
sponsoring this example...maybe they should?) and the burger maker decided to change things up a little?
Instead of the pictured burger on display you get one with different ingredients.
Instead of the lamb you get a steak.
Instead of the egg you get avocado.
Or instead of the aioli you get melted cheese.
Now each of those things might float your boat, and they are valid on their own in some way...but if the
combination is not right...you don’t get a lamb burger.
You don’t get what you expected or wanted.
You are left with ‘something else’...

I have learnt in life and especially in my trying to live my life for Jesus that it is important to get the combinations right.
I don’t want ‘something else’…
I want the best my life can be!

This journey to get the right combination of things in life that makes you sound and taste sweet, actually takes a bit of work, a little bit of consideration.
You need to look carefully at what you are working with.
You need to review your inputs and outputs.
Review your influences, which act as seasonings.

Take a little time this week to just sit down and review where you are at.
Pray and meditate on what God will tell you.

I have found that God is really keen to get the best out of me. To that end, if you are open, He will help you to get the best combination going in your life.

Something to think about…

Thursday, August 23, 2012

ZX81


This simple thought is going to expose my age…

The very first computer I was able to use was a Sinclair ZX81

I was excited about the opportunity when it came up, because I had been reading about the idea of a personal computing device for some time.

As I sat at this thing I wondered what to do with it?
The only thing that came to mind as a kid was to ask it questions and see if it knew the answers.
I guess I wanted to see how smart computers really were?
I stupidly and clumsily typed “do elephants have trunks?” thinking it would be good to start with something simple.
And to my horror, after I hit the enter key...nothing happened! It didn’t have a response because it was missing something that comes before...and that thing was input.

Without input you have nothing to give.
Just like an old ZX81, if you haven’t had it entered into you, you generally can’t pass it on. You can’t repeat
something, you can’t respond even in a way you might like to.

For the last couple of days I have been giving myself plenty of input.
I drove to Auckland listening to podcasts and worship all the way.
I attended a conference with great speakers sharing on all sorts of things relating to the Kingdom of God.
We even had really cools times of worship where we really spent time in the presence of God.
Then to cap it all off I drove home last night repeating what I did on the way...listening to more podcasts.

What did all this do?
Well among many things, it made me feel like I had something to give. I didn’t feel empty, in fact I felt full!

Maybe if you are feeling a little empty, all you need is a bit more input.
There are plenty of places to get it, you just need to go get it. Make the effort. Be intentional.
Can I encourage you to live your life with an eye on your spiritual fuel tank?
Yes it will go up and down...that is ok.
But don’t let it get to empty.
Get some great input!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Job


So I have been reading this book called Job in the Bible lately...and it is certainly a little different to most you can read in the “good book”.
It is actually considered one of the oldest books in the Bible. Maybe even predating Exodus?
It is about this guy called Job who essentially suffers incredible loss. Then some people came around who are supposed to be his friends and there is lots of talking!
I mean lots and lots and lots of talking.
There are plenty of ideas shared. Opinions.
It seems to last a long time.

So here we are some possible 5000 years later, and what I have noticed is that some things never change.

When someone goes through tragedy.
Or when someone is wrestling with something very personal to them...
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has an answer.
Everyone feels they should share something no matter what it is.

As in Job’s story and in our time, the key event for me is this...God Turns Up!

It is right to have people around us in tough times...but it is even more important to have God around.
Opinions and thoughts can sound good on some level,
but a word from the main man will actually make all the difference!

Sometimes I think we should just shut up.
There is a time for talking and a time for no talking and just listening.
In fact there is apparently a Jewish tradition of just sitting with someone who has faced loss.
There was no expectation of huge discourse.
Just the divine knowledge of having someone there.

So my thought ultimately is this I guess…
Let’s focus on what God wants to say to someone in need more than our opinions.
Let’s be friends without too many words.
Let’s let God do most of the talking…
As challenging as that might be!

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

can I fit more in?


This may be more of a ramble than coherent...but let's see how it goes?

I was wondering today how to fit things in.
How do I do everything I need to, just have to do, what others want me to do and maybe even what I would like to do?...
And you know what? It is hard sometimes...

Then a thought struck me.
How much of my day am I trying to fit Jesus into?
Could I add more of Him to the day I am living?

I think we all have some room for Him, or more of Him.
It is just that it always comes down to a choice.

Yesterday I meet someone new.
That is what can make human interaction fun...a little bit of new and unfamiliarity. And I found myself wanting to bring Jesus into the conversation.
I didn't want to freak them out or sound weird to them.
So I just was myself and talked about Him like how I know him personally.
I wasn't ashamed to mention him as a motivator for what I choose to do with my life.
And that felt just right...

So where else can I add more of Jesus?
When I train?
When I shop?
When I cook a meal?
When the phone rings?
When a text appears?
I bet you are like me and have to make the choice to add or not God's Son onto the mix of our lives.

Have a quick think now and make plan where you can bring Him more into the mix.
It could just change your life...or even someone else's?

Something to think about…

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

City


I have been hearing the same phrase quoted from the Bible recently, and it has really pricked my imagination.

You may have heard this before?
How in Matthew 5 verse 14 Jesus said that His ultimate plan for you and me is that we be the light of the world.
That sounds pretty interesting doesn’t it?
But listen to what he continues says in the same breath essentially…

“A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Some versions use the word “city” instead of town.

It struck me when I was meditating on what that means for me right now, that we are not supposed to be small. That you are not a house or a suburb...but God would like to turn who you are and your potential
influence into a something city sized!
That you become soooo big that nothing could hide you even if you tried or something else tried.

Now that is a staggering thought!

Ok, so you now know you need to be bigger...so how do you get bigger?

In the natural it is real simple. You eat more.
But if you want it to be a healthy bigger, then you don’t just eat more, you exercise and you train your muscles.

To turn yourself into a city…
You need to ingest more of God.
Take in His Word and His Presence.
But to not just blow up in God, you then take it a step further and Worship Him.
Worship in the literal sense of having a worship lifestyle.
That lifestyle is simply serving, being God honouring.
Getting involved where ever you can, being light.
Turing up to Church and loving others and loving God through the times we worship together.

It is not complicated.
It is just choice.

If you want a city you build it one brick at a time based on a carefully considered plan.
If you want to be a city, you do the very same...

Something to think about…
There was an error in this gadget