Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Birds

The other day I hear a swoosh sound right behind my head as I am powering up a steep hill on my trusty two wheeled steed.
I swing my head quickly around to see one of those angry little magpies circling around me, but clever enough to stay behind me. Twice more this same varmint went for the back of my head. And twice more I swing around, a little more wildly each time, determined to not let this beast get the better of me.

You will be pleased to know that eventually it gave up this game of intimidation.
But as I rode off into my virtual sunset it did got me thinking about life a little.

There are plenty of times when we are travelling in a planned direction when something decides to try and intimidate us. And that intimidation is designed to do one thing only. To stop us or restrict us.
That magpie was determined to get its point across that day.
It wanted to make sure I didn't go that way again.
Well guess what little magpie? I am not giving in to you!
And when intimidation comes at you in life (more likely in a human form), why don't you scream at it the same thing? I am not giving in to you!

The Apostle Paul has a lot recorded in scripture about what he did and some who wanted to intimidate him, even mentioning a specific person. Some dude called Demetrius. Who actually was a guy who didn't like what Paul was doing for Christ and stirred up trouble for him. He didn't like his style, his tone, his anything and made it his goal to try and intimidate him into stopping.
Does Paul give up?
No way!
Does Demetrius fail?
Yes way!
All because Paul didn't stop. He kept on going with the call of God that was resonating in his being.

There is a silly old proverb, and no it is not from the Bible!
It goes something like this...You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair. 

The truth is in the pudding here. When the birds (whatever that bird is for you) come to attack and intimidate...simply don't give up! Keep on cycling or moving or preaching or sharing or loving or leading, whatever it is for you.
There will always be some magpie or a Demetrius. But let's not let them stop us from fulfilling the call God has for our lives.
Paul made it all the way to his destination of Rome.
Demetrius just becomes some bit player in the course of a life.

Scream it out with now..."I am not giving in to you!"

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pace

I think I have learnt a few things along my life's journey so far.
And one of them is that I need to pace myself.
And I'll take it further, I have found I need help to pace myself.

When I first got into sports I thought it wouldn't be too hard if I just kept working at it.
I soon learnt that I struggled to know what effort to put into what areas, and for how long.
I used to run or cycle on my own, and it left me struggling and confused many times.

So I had a cunning plan and joined a running club.
That opened up to me a world of opportunities. Most of which was the new found ability to learn the art of pacing. Others helped. Some coached. Some yelled. It all went into the mix to help develop pace in my sports life.

I then bought a watch that tells me every 1km or 10km how my pace is going.
I found I needed it because there are times I can't be around the group, and yet I still need help with it. My watch helps me. I know I can trust it. It is a far more reliable judge of my pace than I can be.

In our walk or journey with Jesus I firmly believe you need to develop pace.
Notice I didn't say speed.
You need to find a divine pace that works best for you at each and every season of your life.
And just as in my sport life I can't trust myself alone to get it right.
The same I think applies to my spiritual life.
So I have influences and influencers to help me find the right pace.

I have several mentors who are not my 'friends' but who are my mentors. That way I know I will be mentored and not just told what I want to hear in regards to pace.
I read the Bible as much as I can to let it judge my thoughts, motivations and attitudes. I have found to really helps me pace right.
Finally I have my relationship with Christ.
If I am going to compare my pace expectations with anyone it is with Him. I want with all my heart to move along at the pace Jesus expects of me and knows I can operate under in His strength.
Having Jesus as my 'pace man' means I can never be complacent or lazy. He sets the tone of my life, and I am more than happy to live up to His expectations.

Can I encourage you to find your pace?
But make sure it is based in Christ and not in yourself...
Then I think you will run a race that will definitely gain you 'the prize'.

Something to think about....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Having a wee laugh to myself today...
Last night my neighbour was swearing at another neighbours dogs for their incesant barking.
Now that same neighbour has been blasting the same hip-hop based track for the last hour, as loud as they can, just the same as they have done for the last few days!

We are funny creatures aren't we?
We notice what offends us so well, and yet we don't always notice what we offend others with.
We want to deal with someone else issues, and yet don't always acknowledge or want to deal with our own.

When it comes to food we use seasoning to make something taste the best it can.
I add salt to some things. I add pepper to others. Sometimes I just go crazy and add both!
I use sauces, herbs, extra butter (hmmmm butter) and everything is better it seems.

Can I encourage you to add some seasoning to your life?
Seasonings like...
Grace
Love
Forgiveness
Acceptance
Mercy
And the ultimate seasoning of Jesus.

Maybe our lives will taste a little different if we do?

Something to think about... 


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Snare

So many times I have found myself in this position...
That moment you think about giving up on something because it scares you.
That time when you may have just not shown up, because you thought it would be uncomfortable.
Have you been like that recently? Or sometimes during your life?
When the fear of something has put you off...

Fear is 'the snare' that robs many of us of what life in Christ can truly be like!

One of the Proverbs in the Bible says this...
That the "Fear of man will prove to be a snare".
What is a snare anyway and how does it work?

Snares are actually a tool used by hunters.
They were these little (hidden) traps set to catch their desired prey.
And when the prey got too close or stood on the snare. it would catch them and hold them in place.
Sometimes the snare would imprison them until the hunter came to finish them off, and other times it would slowly kill them as they lay helpless and stuck.

For weeks I had planned to do a sports event that was happening on the monday night.
In fact it had been many years in the making after being part of a team version of the same thing some decades ago. I really wanted to try this event!
But as the time for the race approached, and I don't know why, I got progressively more nervous, and let fear well up inside. It got to the point where I even started to fish around in my mind for some excuse not to do it.

I am now very thankful I didn't give in to it.
Because that fear was a snare.
It would have robbed me of a sense of accomplishment.
It would have sown in me possible failure and disappointment.
And it could have created a precedent in my life that stops from doing things like it again.

Let's check out the rest of the Bible verse I mentioned before...
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25

The key is putting your trust in something other than the wrong thoughts we have to wrestle with.
Trusting God has always worked better than fear for disciples of Jesus!

Psalm 25:15 says "My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare."

Can I encourage you to not give into what snare is lying in wait for you?
And if you have been ensnared, look in the right place for your release?
Please don't let fear be 'the snare' for you any longer...

Something to think about...
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