Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What's your temperature?

If someone asked you what your temperature was, you won't be able to answer accurately on your own...
You can guess based on how you feel or based on the law of averages, but you will not be able to give an accurate reply no matter how clever you are.

When my kids have been unwell that is a common question...
"Do you have a temperature?"
Not meaning "do you have a temperature?" but "what is your temperature?"
NB if you don't have one you are probably dead...
Personally I have lost count of the number of times we have used an infrared device with our kids when they have been unwell. As a parent you learn pretty quickly that you can't really trust your childs assessment of their health on their own.
What you need to answer the question accurately is some sort of measuring device. Some sort of outside piece of kit that can 'take your temperature' and give you an true answer.

So what's your temperature?

Kind of challenging question if you take it seriously...but I think a valid one for anyone wanting to be a disciple of Jesus.
In the natural, so the spiritual, we need some outside device to measure it accurately. Here are some options for you to use to work things out for yourself...

[ Spiritual Thermometers ]

Personal devotion time
Do you spend more or less time reading some scripture and praying?
Has it changed over time?
Please note it is not a competition or you have to increase it to be spiritual...just ask yourself if it has changed?

What do your prayers sound like?
What type of prayers are you praying? 
Prayers of faith or maybe a quick wishlist?

Can you take Communion without feeling weird about it?
If someone offered to share the communion emblems with you and pray, would you be comfortable with that? 

Who are your closest friends?
Who do you count as the closest and spend the most valuable of your time with?
Who do you give your best to?
Who do you seek counsel from and are most likely to follow their advice?

What are the most important things to you?
"Where your treasure is, so is your heart"...so what is most valuable to you?
What you do with your financial, time etc resources?
Have it changed recently in any way for better or worse?

The "if Jesus came back today" question
If Jesus appeared in the clouds like He has promised, do you feel comfortable about what would happen next?

I am personally challenged by what I have expressed here!

This is not a condemnation thing at all but a healthy measurement thing, a reminder thing. An opportunity 'today' to make sure your relationship with God is as healthy as it can be.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Twinkie

I can remember it clearly...the day my gran gave me my first Twinkie.
I remember walking between the back door of her house and the coal shed eating it.
I remember the sensation. The texture. The taste.
I also remember that it had something to do with a Buck Rogers TV Series thing...yes I am that old!

This last Christmas a friend gave me a very thought out gift. 6 Twinkies!
He knew that I liked them. That I would appreciate the gesture.
But as I ate them one by one over the following week, I was struck by something...
Did they really match my recollection of experiencing them some 30 years before?
Were they the same sensation, texture and taste?

If I was totally honest things have changed for me...
While they are still Twinkies, they are subtilely different from my memory.
Partaking in them again gave me a more current experience. I realised that my memory while still pretty good, was not as reliable as I thought. I still enjoyed them and I also learnt something along the way...

You don't eat something once and remember what it is exactly like forever.
Returning to eat it again and again truly keeps the sensation, texture and taste alive, the knowledge of it uncorrupted.
The same applies to the Scriptures in the Bible...
Scripture isn't just something to memorise, even though that is a good thing.
It is to be eaten as food, daily, as food, as a meal. Seen as something nutritional to your spiritual growth and maturity.

Just because you read something in 2005 doesn't mean you still know what it truly means for you in 2015...
You can not live solely on the memory of something!
Memories can fade, be corrupted or even embellished over time...
That is why I encourage you to do what I strive to do, make myself eat scripture again and again. Whether it be a reading plan or listening to others teaching from it, I keep coming back to the table for more.
That way I know I am being fed today and not just trying to remember back to what I think it tasted like...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Viral

A friend of mine talks a lot about a certain type of shorts that he is a fan of. Even though they went out of fashion last century, they have lived on in pop culture, even taking on some mythical status as shorts go...

I remembered recently about a funny clip featuring these said shorts that I had collected 10 years ago and tracked it down on a hard drive. I then quickly posted it on Facebook, adding his name to the comments. Simply hoping he would see it and and enjoy along with a few friends.

What happened next surprised me...
In just 7 days the video had been viewed 41,000 times and shared to other Facebook pages by 1,200 people!
It has powerfully reminded me the impact something seemingly small, simple, even inconsequential, can have. How big something can become from the smallest of starts.

You and I can not truly comprehend the impact of each of our lives!
We have no idea the impact of our choices, comments, actions...
What we do echoes beyond a moment to reach far places.

It is a powerful and scary concept to consider I believe. A challenge if you like? What can I do to change my world and the world of others for good? What negative impact will a bad choice have on our world?

As you head full on into this year, may you consider what sort of impact you would like to have? On your family, your friends, your town, your country and so on...
May you see this as an amazing opportunity and say "I am in!" Let's be 'viral' in a good way...

Could you be part of some 'do good' campaign - like a 'pay it forward'?
What about sharing something of Jesus with someone else - and encouraging others to do the same?
Let's sow some seeds and watch a harvest come.
I think that is something exciting to live for!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

New #2

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, 
the new creation has come: 
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 niv

Think about it for a moment, what this is saying and let's break it down together.

if anyone
This means anyone!
I have met plenty of believers who don't think they are worthy of God's grace. They think you need to pay a penance to gain standing in Christ. You simply just need to be 'in Christ', not earn Christ!
He is for you!

if anyone is in Christ
Essentially it is asking you and me a question...
Are we "in Christ"?
Scriptures tells us we can be 'in' all sort of things:
In trouble
In sin
In the world
And finally we can be 'in Christ'....
So are you? 
And I mean today and not yesterday.
If you want to at least feel new, new clothes, jobs, partner etc won't truly cut it!

the new creation has come
Speaks to me of the opportunity that is presenting itself to each and everyone of us.
Opportunity to have something new happen for us, to us and in us.

old has gone/the new us here
Can I have the old along with the new?
Is that how it works?
If you are truly in Christ the old is replaced with the new!
You want Christ and the 'new' that only He can bring to help you to be truly 'new'.
It is about setting aside your old life for the new life that He offers each and everyone of us.
The more you press into Him, the move it is easier to let it go. To let go of the past and the pain and hurt and the frustration. Move forward in Him and leave the past behind you...

Wrapping it all up....
So do you want to be 'new' this year?
Want to have 'new' in your life?
Come to Jesus, even if you have before, and pick Him over everything else.
Leave your past passed and accept your present renewed 'in Christ'.
Declare over your life who you are now in Him, in faith.

Something to encourage you and to think about...


Looking for more?
Read Ephesians for all the 'in Christ' statements...
Meditate on them. Speak them out. Let Him change you...
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