Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Filter

With all the is happening around me, you and the rest of the world, I wonder if we need a filter?

I saw a picture someone posted online saying that if all that is in the news scares you, simply switch off. That got me thinking...
Someone else has been sharing lots of 'end of the world' type messages. That got me thinking more...
I look around me at my world and current circumstances. And that got me thinking some more...

Filters are helpful.
Take making coffee for example? When I use a plunger I simply want the coffee, not all the gritty coffee grounds in my cup. My plunger filters out what I don't need so I can enjoy all that caffeine goodness.
What about my cars oil filter? It helps remove the pollutants that occur over time in my cars oil as it circulates around my engine. Without filtering, this oil that is supposed to protect, would eventually damage my engine.

With life, I think we need the right filters in place to better navigate life.
Without filters we get what we didn't need.
Without filters we get polluted.

Not everything is helpful to us...especially unfiltered in some way.
I also think that hiding in a hole doesn't really help either...

So what filters do I use?

Other people
I value communicating with other people with similar or better values, knowledge and skills.
I use those relationships to filter my own life, my values, knowledge and skills.
The drawback of age is not that your body can let you down, it is the arrogance of time. With age wisdom is supposed accrue. I think wisdom only grows with the right people filter in our lives.
They should help us remove what we don't need and other wisdom pollutants.

Other viewpoints
I am not a fan of 'collective opinionism'. Where decisions on life, the universe and everything comes from a collective approach.
The 'other viewpoints' I am meaning are probably more likely from an eternal source.
I filter most of my views as I best I can through Jesus. Talking with Him and meditating on His responses. I filter my views through as much of scripture as I can find. I filter my views through a selected bunch of teachers in my life (not everyone who teaches knows what they are talking about!).

Can I encourage to apply godly filters to your life?
Let God help you grow in discernment.
Let Him increase your wisdom as you humbly work with Him.
I think it will help.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Most Important?

If I asked you what the 3 most important things were to you in this exact moment, what would they be?
Without thinking too hard...seriously what would you say?

In light of all that is happening in the world, it seems to me that we live in a time when we need to focus on what is truly important to us.
It is time to make the most of today and what we truly think is important (Ephesians 5:16). We are like a vapour - one minute we are here - the next we are gone... (James 4:14)
No one knows how much time they actually have.
All we know is we are blessed with 'now'.

Now all this talk is not about being negative or simply staring at my belly button! No, it is the opposite. I feel more alive when I am doing, saying, acting out my highest values, what I value the most. That is life and all it's fullness to me (John 10:10).

So take a moment and make a list with me...
1.
2.
3.

Now look at your list and make sure that is your priority going forward...
If something else is coming before anything on your list maybe consider what you next move should be? Sometimes bravery is disguised as an opportunity to make changes?

Let us throw off anything that hinders us and run our race (Hebrews 12:1) with purpose, passion and a plan.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Was Jesus a food critic?

Kind of a weird question I know, but I wanted to share something I have been thinking about...

I was in town the other day and wanted to order myself a coffee to enjoy while I worked on a project.
The staff talked me into buying a slice as well, a vary particular slice they knew I liked.
The only issue was that it wasn't quite ready, apparently still in the oven. I was promised it would be ready in 20 minutes. I figured I could wait to get it as fresh as any slice could ever be.

The problem was that after 50 minutes I still had no slice and had to leave to get to my next appointment...
By the time I left I was dying to have that slice. I had built up expectation that was left wanting...

At my next appointment I meet with some friends and it come up in conversation.
I told them about what had happened and they of course wanted to know where it was.
But here is my point...I had made a decision beforehand that I would never tell them where exactly I had been. I wanted to give the place I had been a chance to get it right.

Why?

1. 'Relationship' is more important than being 'Right'.
My relationship with that place comes before many other things. We have been loyal to each over many many years without many issues at all.
While I may have seen some justice in having a whinge to my friends, it still wouldn't have been right to me. Based on the relationship I have I just knew that it would work out eventually...

2. Being 'Right' doesn't give you the right to have a 'Rant'.
So many people are raring to go it seems these days. Looking for the smallest slight to give it all barrels. I still remember a while a go watching a guy having a go at staff over his fish n chips meal and that it was disgusting and demanded a refund. What made it a farce was his plate was empty!!!

I actually have never read that Jesus criticised places he ate or the sinners he hung around.
He also seemed to have a different agenda from the so called 'norm'.
His agenda was based on wanting the best for others, beyond his own needs and wants.
He valued relationship!

We criticise the people whose relationship 
we do not value!

If someone is criticising you, I would hazard a guess that they don't really care that much about you.
If you are doing the same to someone else, the same thing applies.

Maybe the challenge this week is to look at our world as a place to make better, not simply critique?
A world where we fight to keep relationship over being right anytime?

What happened next?
The next day I was back in town and they gave me 2 slices! BOOM!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Trophy

I got a trophy on Saturday night, actually I got a few...but my favourite is this one...

Why?
Because it was from my peers recognising that I am progressing in my running.
While I may not be the fastest, I know that I am certainly getting better.
It is not just based on how fast I am improving, but that I am improving.
They have noticed all the work I have put into this hobby of mine.

17Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 new king james version

We are called to go from glory to glory. We are designed with transformation in God's mind.
He wants to see us grow. His dream is to see us growing in faith and action. He takes pleasure is seeing His kids grow and develop, seeing them go through many milestones.
While that journey can certainly experience it's ups and downs, it should always show signs of moving forward.

With my running, I make sure I am moving forward by being purposeful and disciplined about it. I make the most of opportunities to improve. I hang out with others better than me. I push myself just enough as to stretch my abilities from where they are at the time.

With our faith we need to be the same, purposeful and disciplined about it. We make the most of opportunities to grow by meeting together, worshipping together, serving together, learning together. We hang around others of faith that maybe have faith stronger than ours. I stretch myself by reading God stuff (the Bible & books), praying, ministering to others.

It is unwise to simply compare today with yesterday...that can lead to disappointment.
I measure myself only by where I have come from in the last year. What I have learnt? How I have changed? How I can improve?

Have you heard the phrase "we are trophies of grace?"
When we let God lead us and grow us, we actually become a trophy.
Something that signifies God's greatness.
You are a trophy to God - keep on going my friend!

Something to think about...
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