Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The T Word

I read this the other day...
He answered their prayers,
because they trusted in Him. 1 Chronicles 5:20b

Pretty powerful and cool stuff. And it got me thinking again.
Wondering how much I really do trust God?
Do I trust God completely or just with certain things?
Am I missing out on things He could do, blessing I could receive, all because of a lack of trust.

Trust is the T word.
Easy to say you have.
Harder to prove you do have.

It is easy to say you trust God when really you don't need too.
Maybe you have plenty of money...then it is easy to say you trust God with your provision.
But take that money away for a moment...and then you find out how much you trust Him.

What about that silly game people do at team building exercises?
Where you fall back trusting someone or some people will actually catch you.
It sounds easy and looks easy when you watch others do it.
It is another story when it comes your turn to put your trust into action.

Trust is a choice and it is an action.
It is a faith deal.
So whatever you are facing right now, it is an opportunity to put your trust into gear.
It is an opportunity to see how much faith you really do have.
And it is an opportunity for God to prove how amazing and cool He truly is.
The key, the trick, the clue...using the T word.


If you trust Him you will overcome. You will experience the blessing of God.
If you don't, it seems you might just miss out on something amazing.

So this week...
May you truly put your trust and hope in God.
And in doing so, may you experience something of His goodness and provision in your life.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

lies, lying, liar

Plenty has been said already about a certain sports star and his massive fall in public opinion.
Newspapers, blogs, sports shows on TV...everyone has an opinion!
Plenty of people are sinking the proverbial boot into Lance Armstrong.

While he is seen as a man full of lies, with a life of lying about what he did and didn't do, and ultimately tarnished and labelled as a liar...few have actually looked at themselves.
I mean, isn't it so much easier to point the finger at someone else?
And even better when the fault or sin they have apparently overshadows your own issues...

So what did he do?

He lied!

Now my question for you...

Have you lied?

When was the last time you told a lie?
Or maybe you see it as a half truth (at least 50% is true so that makes it ok apparently)?
Or maybe you exaggerated just to get a point across?

We all hate being lied to. It is deceit and no one likes being deceived.
At the same time, I see plenty of people doing it.
Have experienced it a lot myself.
And to my shame have probably done more than a fair share of it myself.
Even more disturbing to me is the number of "Christians" who seem to be happy to do it as well.
I have lost track of the number of lies people have told me over the years as a pastor. And when they tell you the lie it is so shocking sometimes that I don't even have a response. Sure I can think of one later, but at the time I am so taken back by it, words escape me.

When I look at how God wants you and I to live and His kids, it is pretty obvious what is not cool and what is cool, beyond what people say nowadays.

Check out these scriptures for a moment:

Colossians 3:9
Do not lie to each other...

Proverbs 6:16-19
16There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
17haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

You hate lying, but I think God hates it even more.
So before we sink the boot more into Lance, maybe we need to check we aren't doing something similar.
Let's have our yes be yes and our no be no.
Let's have honestly and love.
Let's lift the bar as people who are called by His name.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

injured & alone

We started out the evening run all fine. Except this time I joined a fast group, partly because after many weeks of being encouraged to, I gave in and thought it was worth a crack. Unfortunately a few k's into the run, my right calf muscle reacted negatively. It packed a sad. It spat the dummy.
And because of previous negative experiences with the said calf muscle, I knew I had to back off.
That led to some interesting moments. Partly because they got me thinking beyond my injury, to Kingdom of God things.
Here are a few for you to think on. Maybe you can relate to them right now?
Others maybe prompt you to some action? I leave that between you and God, as you read...

[being injured makes you feel isolated]
That moment I felt something go wrong in my leg, it slowed me down. And in doing so it separated me from the group.
You feel not just sore from the injury but also isolated due to being left behind. You realize you now have a problem you are potentially facing on your own.

Sometimes when something goes wrong in life we can't go at the same speed or direction as everyone else for a time. It is just not possible.
You can suddenly feel left behind by the people you thought were traveling along with you.
Some people panic at this point. Others push hard trying to ignore the problem and hoping on hope that it will go away.

[someone slowing down for you helps you feel accepted]
After a small amount of walking and stretching and praying it would be ok it wasn't.
At the same time I came across someone from the group. They had stopped and waited for me realising I wasn't there anymore.
My first reaction?
Not thanks or gratitude.
But a questioning of why they had stopped...
It was a false humility thing driven partly by embarrassment and pride.
It was at that moment that I suddenly felt connected to the group again even though I wasn't part of it. One person made all the difference for me.
Their stopping and concern removed the isolation feelings. It didn't rid me of the injury...but it did help me.

So often when stuff happens to people I see the same thing happen.
God sends someone to help, and they in turn send them away.
Sometimes it is because of pride.
Most of the time it is a false humility thing.
I know this, because it has been me too many times.

[finding your way home reminds you that people won't always be there]
When my helper left to go catch up on the group I was in a better place to get home, as slow as it was going to be, than before when we had met up.
But I still needed to get home.
I was alone again for a period of time, but it was better than we I first got hurt.

On the journey to getting home or getting better, you need to realise that people won't always be holding your hand.
To expect otherwise is not fair on others and ultimately unhealthy for you.
Sometimes we need to walk alone for a period so we can wrestle privately and get through.
The 'thing' that will get you through at this point is not just determination or stubbornness.
But a new found reliance of God.
Struggle, injury, loss...all those things are hard. Very hard!
And at that moment that is when God wants to show who He really is to you.
He wants to come along side of you personally and walk you home.

The wrap up to this is simple.
If you are injured you will feel different. You will feel isolated. But never panic!
God will also send someone to help you. Don't send them away when He does. They are there to help you!
Don't be afraid of time on your own as you try to get better. God will be there with you no matter what!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

do more of what you should do... ...than avoiding what you shouldn't do!

do more of what you should do...
...than avoiding what you shouldn't do!

Why do I say that?
It is simple really...

Most people have some area of their lives they are not happy with.
Some have a list of areas.
And when a new year starts most people think it is time to re-evaluate life. Even to make some changes.
Sometimes they label these plans with the word 'resolution'.
That seems to make it more official somehow?

Now I am not going to bore you with stats on the success and failure rates of these plans.
You know from your own experience that most don't succeed.
And I think the reason is simple.
If you focus on what you don't think you shouldn't do all the time you seem to end up doing it.
If you focus on what you should do, then I think you have a better chance of success.

Jesus said to do 2 things before anything else...
Love God & Love Others.

If you think you need to loose a few kilos...
Focus on God first and others second.
If you need to feel better about yourself...
Focus on God first and others second.
If you want to get closer to God instead of being distracted...
Focus on God first and others second.
If you would like someone special in your life that you don't have right now...
Well you should get the idea by now!

I think that it is about squeezing out what you don't want or like with something far better...
God promises to help us with everything, if we would just do the 2 best things.

Something to think about...