Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Costumes

Throughout every calendar year there are reoccurring themes and events.
For me some of the highlights are Easter and Christmas. I particularly love summer time as well, getting to spend extra time outside with my kids, swimming and enjoying some rays.
Tack onto that my families birthdays and the monthly events we do as a Church family, and I have plenty to look forward to!

Others get excited about other annual events.
In particular some are buzzing over this week because halloween has rolled around again.

Now I am not about to get into some debate with you over its merits or not. I was just thinking about it in light of what we do as people with it. The whole idea of wanting to be someone else for a night or a time.
For some they would say it is simply fun.
For others they would possibly say it is a form of escapism.
While for others it is an excuse to be someone they secretly or not so secretly wish they were.
In the end, people apply costumes to be part of this fantasy.

In all my dealings with people and their inner most challenges and turmoil at times...I have never found the applying of costumes or fantasy to be much use!
They can cover over, or seemingly shield and protect for a while.
And they can give a period of escapism from the life they are living.
But they never ultimately help us to achieve any true sense of identity and peace in my opinion.

God wants to bless you, the real you. The you that He has also dreamed and planned you can be.
I firmly believe that God finds it more effective to bless you, not the pretend or fantasy you.
Jacob was always destined to be a great man. But until He was real with God he never could get past his past. Could never truly enter into this thing we call our godly destiny.

Can I encourage you this week to be real with God and others who love you for who you are and can be?
For you maybe this is a season of not applying a costume, but actually getting rid of the costume?
A season to be healed, made whole and walking into your blessing...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Deconstructed

It seems to be fashionable at the moment to deconstruct yummy foods.
If you go somewhere to eat and order something like an apple crumble, they may bring it to you separated out into all the parts they would normally make up the whole.
It gives you an opportunity to see all the components that normally make it work as a whole.

When I read different passages in the Bible I try and deconstruct them in some way. Why?
Because I want to understand how, why, where and all that jazz.
When I treat it like a novel, I can potentially miss what God is trying to say to me.
But when I break it down into its parts, studying how it has been put together and why...then I regularly learn and have revelation.

Don't be afraid to pull a passage apart from scripture and study it!
Dissect it.
Deconstruct it.
Check out all the parts that make it what it appears to be.

If you are not sure how to do this, then just ask me or someone you trust.
Maybe get with a group of disciples and hash it out together.
Use resources like Bible dictionaries, books, commentaries etc to help you along.

I don't think that God is scared of you scrutinising His Word.
He has confidence in what it can do to you when you do!

Something to think about...


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Prayer that changes everything...'in faith'

I think it is right for people to pray.
To pray for their everyday needs and to be thankful when God continues to provide.
A lot of translations talk about it in terms of 'your daily bread'. Those things you just need to get by and continue to move forward in life.

I also see God asking me, even challenging me, to do something else with prayer...
The phrases 'Prayer of Faith' or 'in Faith' also appear in God's instruction to us.
For me I see this as a maybe as crudely as it sounds, to be prayer at a level beyond existence/sustaining prayer, to prayer that speaks to the impossible to become possible.

The Gospels tell us that God has given us the keys.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and God in heaven will allow whatever you allow on earth. But he will not allow anything that you don’t allow. Matthew 16:19 cev

As His ambassadors on this planet we have been given an amazing opportunity to stand in the gap for many people and for their many needs.
When things seem impossible, that is the time for us to rise and shine. For us to pray 'in Faith' for things to change, or a disease to be gone, or a need to be met.
Never forget that God specialises in doing what in the natural seems completely impossible and makes it possible. Prayer like what I am hinting at, is the gateway for that miraculous outworking to be released into peoples lives.

Can I encourage you this week to never feel guilty about asking God for what you need?
Can I also encourage you to look for God's leading to what 'in Faith' prayers you could pray?
You hold the keys. Your prayer could be the catalyst for a major change?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Prayer that changes everything...how long?

Suze and I have been reading a great book on prayer recently called Push by Jurgen Matthesius! It is called Push because that is an acronym for Prayer Until Something Happens.

In his introduction he reminds me of our tendency to put a 'human' time limit on the answers we are looking for when we attempt to pray. He likens it to going through the drive through at McD's and getting upset because we don't have our food in 3 minutes.
I think sometimes we might just treat prayer like this.
Where we throw up a few lines to God. Then if there is no answer in the way we had hoped for within a short space of time, we attempt to come up with answers ourselves.
I have even heard people use this line of thinking to justify all sorts of decisions.

Let's be honest though...
This trying to pray and follow God's will is not as easy as we might hope!
Even Jesus wrestled with it at one stage (Garden of Gethsemane).
I totally understand if you are facing frustration at this time. You need to trust me that I can relate. Maybe not with the same circumstance you are wrestling with, but I have had my own...

An account that has always fascinated me in the Book of Daniel may be an encouragement I hope to you today...
In Chapter 10 it talks about Daniel receiving a visitor from heaven with a message specifically for him. The problem was that it had been delayed 21 days due a huge battle in the heavenly realm (please don't give up on me now if you are finding this weird).
This visitor said this to him “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them."
He is telling him that from the moment he prayed he was heard. God put into action a response.

Please be encouraged by this:
- When we pray God hears us straight away.
- When we pray God set things into action.
- When we pray it can take time as the Kingdom of God shifts things in our favour.
- When we pray it is so powerful that it can cause wars to break out!
- When we pray we need to be careful not to give up before the answer comes...because the answer is coming!

Something to think about...

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Prayer - how to pray to impress God?

While that maybe sounds a little silly, many people struggle with praying to impress God on some level.
It is that thinking that maybe if you 'nail it' with all the right words and phraseology, that God might give it special attention? That God could be more likely to answer in your favour?

Jesus 'nailed it' when it shared a parable about two dudes going to the temple to pray...

10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ Luke 18:10-13 niv

Jesus goes on to say that the dude who humbled himself, was honest, who gave into God and His sovereignty was heard more.
There is something we can all learn from this simple example.
Let's keep it simple, honest, full of heart.
Let's pray like He is listening and that He sits on the throne of Heaven.
I think that is the type of prayer Gods likes best...

Something to think about...


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