Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Juicy Goodness

I have always found it interesting that the Bible compares itself to food.
To things like Milk, Meat, Bread, Honey…

That is because God has designed His Word to get inside of us like food does.
It is meant to be ingested. Digested.
To provide us with something on the inside.
To nourish us spiritually and grow us the same...

If you watch a very young child eat...or should I say try to eat...you can see it is not that sophisticated. Their ‘palette’ is not yet developed to enjoy more adult things like Hollandaise Sauce and Trifle soaked in sherry.

I have learnt over time that the more I ‘eat’ God’s Word, the more my palette has developed. It develops it beyond my basic expectations of it being simply toast to my soul.
God's Word becomes rich and classy. It shows its texture and body.

It all simply starts for each of us by just starting.
Trying a piece here and there.
Naturally developing your palette through just reading each day.

If you keep eating it, your palette will develop and grow.
It will nourish you more and more. Speak to you more and more.
If you dig around all areas and aspects of scripture, not shying away from what challenges or even confuses you for a time, you will develop a taste that is even supernatural.

So have you been eating your Bible?
Like really biting down hard into its juicy goodness!
Today is your day...enjoy a great meal with me...

Something to think about…

Fun Fact - you can eat as much as you like and it will never make you fat!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

If everything seems strange?

Let's face it, there are times when life can seems really strange, crazy or even random. And in those times you may wonder what on earth is going on?
Did you do something wrong?
Maybe you wonder if God has even forgotten about you?

I am talking about those times where many strange/bad things seem to happen all around the same time.
Like an unexpected bill, then the car breaks down, then someone gets sick...
Or when your job looks shaky, then you fall out with a family member, and someone accuses you of something you didn't do...
Some people say that bad things happen in 3's. I think that is just a silly superstitious generalisation to explain things away. I also believe there is sometimes a reason for things happening like they do.

Maybe you are actually doing really well and the enemy of your soul gets nervous about you...so he throws whatever he can at you to shake you and rob you of your peace.
Sometimes God let's some things happen to teach us and grow us or even reveal something about us.

Whatever the reason, you need to respond to the challenges of life as best as possible. Otherwise you get thrown by them. Maybe even do something silly that damages you even more?

I love how the Bible reminds you and I the best strategies for navigating this life! Check this out - simple - direct - makes sense to me!

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray James 5:13

I have learnt that when strange stuff happens that praying seems to change it.
Sometimes I even walk around my house, anointing it with oil and praying God's blessing and protection over it. And as strange as it may seem to some, I have found God does something.

If you don't think praying about it on your own is enough that is ok I think. James encourages us as you read further to get help from others when we need it, who have more experience or whatever if needed.
Go to someone who is over in Christ and ask them to pray for you. To seek God for you on your behalf and maybe even anoint you and your property.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The hardest things to do... #5

Bookend Scripture
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
2 Corinthians 12:9 nkjv

Love

I actually loved being in love, especially when I was young.
It is probably to my shame, why I was a serial dater in high school.
I loved the feeling and the excitement of it running through my veins.

You learn as you get older or as a particular 'love affair' gets longer in the tooth, that for some strange reason the original gooeyness isn't quite the same.
Many people at this point say things like "I feel like I have fallen out of love"...
Like love is some boat that by chance they fell into and then somehow correspondingly fell out of again at a later date. You can hopefully agree that it does seem a little strange when you think about it?

So why do I think love is one of the hardest things to do?
Here are a few reasons...

Love was never meant to be simply a feeling. And yet I see us simplifying it to that level again and again.

Love is many faceted in its true appearance and when we limit it to one facet it leaves us disappointed and cold.

Love is more than an idea or a fantasy. It is both a response and a premeditated choice.

Love is required sometimes when we least want to show it or experience it, yet seems life is less otherwise.

Love is used too many times as an excuse or a license for silliness, when it is meant to bring about the greatest good. Avoiding it even limits life!

God doesn't say too many different things about himself.
But when He does say something I think it is worth taking note of.
One time he said that 'God is Love'. A pretty big call to make. Especially in a statement like that.
And yet He lives up to this boost in his action, and more than in His feelings alone.

Giving up your Son. Showing mercy when none was deserved. Pouring out blessing on the good and the bad. All powerful expressions of love.

I remind myself of this amazing dynamic many times to make sure I get it.
Love can start as how you 'feel' while you learn how to 'do'.
And
Love is what you 'do' so that it changes how you 'feel'.

Something to think about...

Bookend Scripture
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
2 Corinthians 12:9 nkjv

_____________________________________________

Note on this little 'simple thought' series
I have been thinking recently about sharing honestly, transparently about some of the hardest aspects of our faith, of following Jesus. Not wanting to do this in a negative way at all, but in a way that helps us all I hope on our journey.

I am a fan of what scripture encourages us to do - to cheer each other on!
So with that in mind I am going to bookend each 'simple thought' of this series with one scripture.

A scripture that reminds us that when we are weak, God has room to do something. That when you are struggling with some aspect of following Jesus, God is ready to jump in and do His thing!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The hardest things to do... #4

Bookend Scripture
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
2 Corinthians 12:9 nkjv

Forgive

I think it is funny how we think that doing the right things should always be the easiest thing to do...

The reality of life I have found is that there is no real pattern to easy or hard.
I have discovered that doing the right things for the rights reasons, tends to give you the best results ultimately - it is just that the right thing is sometimes the hardest thing...

As disciples of Jesus, our best and most dramatic example of this in action is actually at the worst moment of Jesus life! While he hung on that cross the words, "Father, forgive them" were uttered. 

To be honest I am not sure if Jesus was 'feeling it'? 
In the middle of His pain, He was offering something profound and far reaching!
What He did do was very hardcore, an example that is definitely not easy to follow, but maybe the right one to follow for each of us?

Where I am most definitely just like you is that I have lived enough life to have discovered pain.
There is long list of people who have caused me hurt that I could justify myself in sharing with you.
But that isn't the right thing to do is it.
The right thing to do, is in the middle of what is uncomfortable or even downright painful, is to give out forgiveness.
It doesn't have to be pretty, be poetic or professional...it just has to be presented.
Jesus didn't look pretty, sound poetic or come across professional on a bloody cross. He just choose to love above the pain, with everything He could muster. And ultimately He was trusting His father with the outcome. It didn't have to feel right to be right...

Some people say they will forgive when they feel ready to forgive.
I do agree that timing is important. But it is not the most important!
The danger is that the more we look for excuses, the longer we hold onto something that is actually doing us harm. The quicker is it dealt with, the quicker the resolution.

Scripture backs this up...
We forgive because he first forgave us!

So again, let us pick up our cross and follow Him, and see what He does in our lives through our obedience?

Bookend Scripture
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 
2 Corinthians 12:9 nkjv

Something to think about...

_____________________________________________

Note on this little 'simple thought' series
I have been thinking recently about sharing honestly, transparently about some of the hardest aspects of our faith, of following Jesus. Not wanting to do this in a negative way at all, but in a way that helps us all I hope on our journey.

I am a fan of what scripture encourages us to do - to cheer each other on!
So with that in mind I am going to bookend each 'simple thought' of this series with one scripture.

A scripture that reminds us that when we are weak, God has room to do something. That when you are struggling with some aspect of following Jesus, God is ready to jump in and do His thing!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Looking for a Reset

Going to keep this brief and to the point because too many words will ruin it for me and possibly even for you...

This weekend of all weekends I am going for some sort of a reset.
I want Easter to mean more than ritual and rights.
I want it to hit me in the guts and really get me where it truly needs to get me.

As a Pastor I am doing what I am doing for the both of us.
It is too simple to say it is my job or my mission or my calling.
It is our profound opportunity to reset our lives in some way.

I am seeing this Easter as my opportunity to sit at a table again with Jesus, to break bread with Him and my Church Family.
To remember.
To be thankful.
To ponder.
And to look forward.

I would love for you to join us at this time.
To make the most of the opportunity.
I am going for a reset - maybe you need one to?

Something to think about...


Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, 
and he will flee from you.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. 
James 4:7-8 niv


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