Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Who is in your corner and...

...whose corner are you in?

When a boxer steps towards their opponent in the ring, they go with some confidence in their preparation and the comfort of knowing someone is in their corner cheering them on, believing in them no matter what.
Even if the crowd is fickle or the fight not easy, your corner person or team is what you lean on as you face your field of battle.

This last week I felt the Holy Spirit ask me to stop and talk to a couple I knew were in a battle.
As is drove down their street on the way to something else, I just knew I had see them, to be their person in their corner again.
It was amazing! We had a great talk, prayed together and I went away pumped for what God might do even more of in their lives.

As I drove off I really felt the Holy Spirit ask me encourage you to do something similar.
To challenge you to look for the opportunity to be in someones corner this week.

I truly believe that this is a two way thing.
We should endeavour to be ring side for others. Cheering them on.
We should have someone or a group of someones behind us. Doing the same for us.
That's right, you can do both and be both.
Ask the Holy Spirit to led you and help you...and He will...
Be around other followers of Christ so they can be in your corner.

So who is in your corner...and whose corner are you in?

Something to think about...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Paul - blessed are those who are persecuted

I am not about to promote something because I think it was perfect...
What it did do was portray what following Christ can mean, and challenge the core of what you might believe at the moment?

My Church hosted a screening of the Paul, Apostle of Christ Movie last night.
Yes it came out some months ago now, but in our corner of the world it is not something everyone has experienced yet. So I organised to get it on the big screen one more time.

I love and don't love the challenge of these stories.
My heart wants to believe that following Christ is all about everything getting more better and more blessed, with less challenges and problems as I journey towards heaven.
Then my heart is reminded what Paul and others experienced. They suffered for their faith in a way many of us can not comprehend or desire. Yet in the middle of it all they chose Christ!

My heart is challenged.
I need it challenged.
I want to live for Christ and die as gain (one day, not yet).
I want the power of God and the truth of it all reigning in my life.

Didn't Jesus say something like this???
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Matthew 5:10-12 niv

I firmly believe God wants to bless us and care for us.
He wants to provide for me and He does.
And I also believe I am called something even higher, to live for Christ, no matter what that might mean.
If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favour and watch it.
Let God challenge you again.

Something to think about...

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Open Eyes

You could be forgiven for feeling a little hopeless based on what you see around you sometimes...
- The world and local news coming through your social media feeds.
- The commentary in regards to the issues many face.
- In fact the high levels of anger that seem to be prevalent.

I watched something that was suggested to me even this week.
It showed a group of people in a privileged position expounding on the woes of the world from their special and elevated position. Their only advice when asked by their audience on what to do about the world was to drop multiple f-words, then encourage the murder of people who don't agree, to which the audience cheered and went nuts with excitement.
Quite frankly I find that pretty disturbing.

While pondering this later and wondering what you might think and how could we both could process event this issue, I was reminded of an account in scripture.

2 Kings 6:15-17 niv
15When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

We need potentially today a reminder today that God is bigger.
Remind ourselves that Gods armies surround the smaller armies (or battles) confronting of us.

Can I encourage you to pray and ask God to open your eyes to see what is true, what is happening around you, to see spiritually and not just naturally?
I believe it will help you better navigate the potentially strange times you see yourself living through?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Listen | Watch | Wait

There are some similarities and also a lot of differences between my teenage years and that I see of my own kids now.
Take the example of the phone.
Every person in our home has their own phone in the form a mobile.
But when I was a teenager there was only one phone and it wasn't mobile, it was tethered to the wall via a cable that was never considered long enough!

When the phone rang we got excited.
It meant someone wanted to talk to you and you knew they had to be keen.
The simple act of calling you spoke volumes of their desire to want to connect with you. Taking the time to stand tethered via a wire simply to have connection with you.
Going through the girlfriend and young dating phase, listening, watching and waiting were very much part of the equation.
We hung out for those times when the phone would ring. Fights between family members were common as we tried to keep the line free for us and young love.

Check out with me what Proverbs 8:34 says...
Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
 waiting at my doorway.

That version is from the NIV, but if you check out other translations in paints a picture of joy coming from this agenda. If you listen, watch and wait on God, you will more than likely find joy.

Can I encourage you week to make time to simply listen, watch daily, to wait expectantly for God in some way?
You will in no doubt find blessing and joy if you do.
I am confident of His desire to want to connect with you!

Something to think about... 

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

God has planned something better for us

I was struck by this statement near the very end of the famous 'faith chapter' in Hebrews!

Since God had planned something better for us 
so that only together with us would they be made perfect. 
Hebrews 11:40 niv

In the lines and verses proceeding Paul works his way through a whose who of faith.
Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and more.
While their stories had different turns and moments, the basis for all was exactly the same.
They actually lived out their faith with passion, purpose and power.

You can be forgiven I think for your nerves rising up as you then discover others in this speech where shipwrecked, sawn in two, and other less than comfortable expressions of faith.
They too were doing what they could to live by faith, and yet came to sometimes to sticky end.

And Paul brings us back with some relief...
"God had planned something better for us"

Please know today that while you may face challenges, they probably won't for the majority of us include a wreck ship or a nasty saw...
God has something better planned for you.
They never got to see the power of God like we can.
They never got the benefit of Gods Word in the form of the scriptures.
They never got to live out their faith with over 2 Billion others across the globe.
God had something better planned for you.

Whatever you are facing this week, please remind yourself of this truth.
Add faith to your current.
Declare to yourself that you will stand.
As you do you are honouring those who came before you.
And you are saying "YES" to the better that God has planned for you.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Please don’t #EvolveTheDefinition

This hashtag phrase is being promoted by a clothing brand currently.
Their perported goal is to redefine what being a man means, what masculinity means, presumably based on the premise that current masculinity needs drastic changes.
I will never argue that men are perfect and not needing of change, but I am very concerned about a world where being a man should be something to be challenged or even be ashamed of.

The broader issue for me as a follower of Christ is this...
Modern culture is hellbent of redefining everything that has come before.
It is protesting traditions. Shaking up the norms from previous generations. All with a publicised goal of making the world better for everyone.
Unfortunately I think it is an ill advised experiment at best and socially suicidle at worst.
Destroying something to build something better without a clear goal and well thought out strategy is extremely foolhardy.

Jesus never taught ever in all his hours of teaching that men or women were generically bad, superior, needing to changed from one unto another.
What He did teach appears to be a completely different approach to helping us be the better version of our current selves.

He said to love others, serves others, prefer others.
He said to take up your own cross and carry that, not nail others to a cross we are unwilling to bear.

I firmly believe that when we focus on our relationship with God, then the world will be better because we are better.
A clothing label is not the way to see change. Christ is the way to see change.

Something to think about...