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 |
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...