Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New

I got a new PS3 game for Christmas.

That information may illicit different responses for you
1. You might think I am to old for games (that could be true).
2. Who cares? (it will make more sense shortly).
3. What did I get? (doesn't matter for this story).

But what is important to this story is that I traded in 3 older versions of the same game to get the new one.
Why is that important?
Because I wanted something 'new', and before I could get the 'new' I had to choose to let go of the 'old'.
Part of what was tricky for me was that I am used to the 'old'. You could even say I am comfortable with it. The new version means I have a new learning curve to go through before I can be good at the game again.

I think to embrace the 'new' that God wants to do in each of our lives in 2015, we need to embrace different responses...

1. Choice to make room in our lives by getting rid of some of the old.
Whether it is habits, patterns, thoughts, hobbies...whatever it is for you...make room for the new or you simply will not have room for the new.

2. Don't be too scared to try what is new.
I think that comfort is nice but is also a crippler.
If you are comfortable with what is not the new that God wants to do, then you will miss it. And I don't want you to miss it! Be strong and very courageous and embrace God's 'new' for your life, even if it means a learning curve.

3. What is new for you may not be new for someone else.
Guess what? It doesn't matter! Be proud to be who God made you and grab the 'new' that is applicable to you and where you are at in life.
Each of us are on our own faith journey. Moving forward on the journey is what is important. Not where you have camped...

May you enter this year to all the 'new' that God wants to bring your way!
May you have the courage to let it happen in your life.
Let go of the old. Embrace the new...

God Bless!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Today I have decided to not publish a Simple Thought because I simply want to focus on Christmas...

Sometimes in life you need to do things like that.
Make a choice about what is important.
Prioritise what is of most value or what you are realistically able to achieve.

May you find your sweet spot these holidays...
May you rest in Him and not wear a yoke you were never designed for...
May you all have a fantastic Christmas Season!
And may God bless you and keep you!

Locky :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Shake It Off - 'the dust'

I was reading recently about some people when the Gospel was 'new', doing something I can't say I have seen that much at the moment.
The Apostle Paul went to some people to tell them about what God was doing, what God was offering etc. They didn't like the sound of what he was saying so he said things like "well may your blood be on your own heads".
Kind of strong don't you think?

It got me thinking especially in line with a series I have been teaching called Shake It Off.
Didn't Jesus tell the disciples to shake something as well?

One day Jesus decides to send his disciples out on a ministry trip.
And as part of the preparation He gives them a peep talk.
Gives them some advice and instruction. All before they hit the road and the adventure that lay before them.

Here is part of that talk...

Matthew 10:13-15 niv
13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Again it seems pretty strong...but if it is a reoccurring theme in scripture, and if Jesus says it, then maybe I should be taking some more notice?
Is this something I should be practicing?
And if it is, when do I do it?
And how do I reconcile it with this 'love' quotant that we are told to have?

I am really challenged by this concept to be honest!
Partly because I want to share God's goodness with as many people as possible.
Sometimes when it is hard I see it as a challenge, so I try even more.

Maybe I need to just be a little more careful or sensitive to the situation?
Maybe I need to learn when I should just shake the dust off my feet?
Maybe it would be better for me and all concerned if I acted as wisely as possible with people? That if they are rejecting my message, or sound teaching, or correction...that I be happy with that and move on...
I am reminding myself that God is ultimately in control anyway. It is Him who saves, Him who moves hearts, Him who blesses, Him who heals ultimately anyway...

My prayer as we come to a close of this Shake It Off series is that we truly learn from God what each of us need to shake off.
Whether it be the cloaks, or the grave clothes, or the yokes, or the pressure...may we each find some freedom again as we close this year?

Let's be free. Let's shake some dust from our feet!

Something to think about... 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Replace

I am unfortunately for my wife one of 'those guys'...
A guy who will wear his socks, undies etc until they have either fallen apart or are no longer recognisable as such. Yip - too much information!

Sometimes things just need replaced.
Even if you are used to them or can cope with them, a replacement is better.
I have to admit again to my shame that Suze is always right (please don't tell her), I should have replaced them way before I eventually chose to!

I shared this passage on Sunday with our Church...
Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear. 
Then you won’t try to satisfy your selfish desires. Romans 13:14 cev

I think it is such a cool picture of what should be valued in our lives!
It is a cool way of helping to explain a principle. That the closest thing to us can and should be Christ. It leaves no room for baggage, history or sin.
It covers us with something better. Jesus is the best replacement!

Is there something you need to replace in your life this week?
I am not talking about socks and undies, but things of greater influence and or importance.
Maybe fear has been covering you? That unhealthy fear, where you fear for your future. Fear that cripples or even paralyses you. That takes away from the enjoyment of life and what you have around you right now.
Check out what John wrote "...perfect love drives out fear" 1 John 4:18 niv
It is a replace type thing.

In John's Gospel he tells us this important statement that is pivotal to our faith!
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; 
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  John 10:10 niv

Jesus is the ultimate replacement for whatever you are facing that is not right, or is worn out, or is out of shape in your life right now!
Look to Him and what He can do.
Put Him on your life and see what He can do for you...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Poles Apart...

I have noticed in the last few days that people can be poles apart...
Especially when it comes to their feelings towards the Christmas season.

On one hand some are truly excited. Sharing on Facebook and other mediums their joy.
Posting pictures of their tree and maybe decorations they just purchased for the year. One friend of mine recently took a time lapse video of the tree event and shared it around.

On the other hand some are truly agitated. Sharing on Facebook and other mediums their displeasure.
Posting anti Christmas thoughts and desires.
Expressing how they are having to endure not enjoy.

Now before you may stop reading if you are offended by this, can I please say this to you?
My heart is for those who don't like the season!
You probably have a reason for not liking it. A very powerful reason.
The season may remind you of a loss or something you don't have.
There maybe memories of past Christmas times you would rather forget and not relive every year!

I want to encourage all of us to make some memories this year.
Can I encourage you to not let past memories dictate your feelings into the future?
I am not asking you to dive into the commercial aspects of this at all...but to find a way to embrace the true meaning behind Christmas?

This story may help?

For our 2nd Christmas as a couple, Suze and I found ourselves not having family or anywhere particular to go.
Because we didn't have a lot we decided to keep things simple and even invite some others who were in a similar position to us. Unfortunately this plan failed. Not only did no one show up. We found ourselves lamenting a very quiet and lonely Christmas.

The next year we were determined to never let it happen again!
Suze cooked a Turkey the day before. We drove up to a beach north of Auckland with a Christmas themed picnic and looked for a blooming pohutakawa to rest under.
It was an amazing Christmas even though it was quiet.
We created new memories to help counter the old.
For the next few years that is what we looked forward to and planned for. That pohutakawa resting spot with a Christmas picnic. It was bliss!

I think that is the key...
Tradition if working for you is nice. But something truly meaningful is thought out and planned.
For the last few years, in part because we don't have family where we live, we invite others to join us for lunch. We are creating new memories for ourselves and others to help build something good into our lives.

And maybe, just maybe, that is a little of what this Jesus would like us to do and participate in, this Christmas season?

Something to think about...






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