Monday, September 24, 2018

You probably won't like this one?

This will be one of my least read blog posts, simply because it is not what people want to hear.
After over a decade of blogging every single week pretty much, the stats show that the posts that encourage and build up, that are funny of light and tasty are my most popular. Nothing wrong with that on some level. 
It is just that I have noticed that the posts which share a challenging truth from scripture are by far the least popular.

But maybe the best thing for me is to hear what I want to hear the least?

You have probably had moments like me?
Where we have had a parent, a boss or a mentor tell us about an area of our lives that needs attention.
And we are all the same, it is hard to hear, we sometimes bite back in self defence, but ultimately they were right and we needed to change and grow.

Jesus always taught what people needed to hear.
Needed to learn.
Needed to understand...
Never just what they wanted to hear, learn and understand.

He taught to change a life and not simply to make people happy and grow a crowd.
To those trying to live their faith by their own measure He shared God's measure.
To those trying to justify themselves and He called out their self sufficient insular faith.
To those trying to manufacture a result He pointed them back to God, his timing and his provision.

I could be more specific but I am afraid I would offend you, so will leave to the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about your specifics.

Every single day God points out areas of my heart He would like to continue His work on.
Every single day I apologise to God. 
Every single day I try and lets His word challenge me and change the core of me for the better.

So if you as awesome a follower of Jesus as you think you about putting on your big boy pants and check out the teaching of Jesus that challenges you the most.
To be honest it is probably what God wants you hear, learn from and understand.

Something to think about...

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Great Quotes : Rich Mullins

“Save me from trendy religion that makes cheap clich├ęs 
out of timeless truths.” – 

“I am a Christian, not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity, but because there were people willing to be nuts and bolts.” 

“When you stop being so afraid of failing 
you become much more free to succeed.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

And now it is time for the news...

When I was growing up the 6 o'clock news on our TV was a massive deal in my house.
If it was on, as a child you were expected to stay quiet until at least the next ad break. It was a big deal. It was generally seen as a key time to gather news on local and international events.
The same went for the newspaper. Dutifully delivered each day even though we lived in the country side, on a farm. If Dad was reading the paper he really wanted to read the paper.

My point is you go two shots per day at getting information on what is happening in the world, so they better be good...

Today I get news 24/7.
Newspapers have an online presence and present news all day long.
Social media users pass on bits of news all day long.
Radio stations give me news every 30 minutes.
Commentators post and share their views on the same news just as quickly.
Headlines, thoughts, analysis, opinions...on and on it goes...

What I am noticing is that the 'news' has changed.
While having it more often and generously presented may seem like we are better informed, I think the opposite is now true.
When a 'story breaks', there is no time to investigate it, be subjective, ask more questions, dig a little deeper. When a 'story' appears, it is only a headline or a snippet. In fact by definition there is no actual story many times simply a statement or merely an opinion.
I say to people all the time when a new story comes forward, "just wait a few more days" and you will probably have a more truthful story (well hopefully?).

The Good News about Jesus is nothing like the news of today.
It was researched and presented by people who were there and weren't there.
It has been critiqued for several thousand of years including by those who didn't think it was true. And yet this news has impacted me and many around me like no other headline could.

The Good News about Jesus is not merely an attention searching headline. It is not just another hashtag away from creating another short term trendy movement.
The Good News about Jesus will change your life and your world.
Take a moment to check it out for yourself today.

Something to think about...

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

God wants you to...

I wonder what you might finish that sentence off without thinking too much about your answer?
What is the first thing that comes to mind?
Maybe one of these is your first answer?
God wants you to work harder at your faith...
God wants you to just stop doing dumb stuff...
God wants you to be a better believer (whatever that might mean)...

Can I suggest to you today that that is maybe not what God wants for you?
Here is my simple thought for you...
God wants you to grow.
That's it. Just simply grow and keep growing...

2 Peter 3:13 encourages us to grow in grace.
1 Peter 2:2-3 encourages us to crave spiritual milk so you can grow.
Colossians 2:7 talks about being like a plant growing with spiritual roots in Him.
In John 15 Jesus said we are to grow bearing amazing fruit.

Check out this cool bit of encouragement from one of the Psalms...

Psalm 92:12-14 niv
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green

Maybe today you could think of yourself as a plant?
Plants can't make themselves grow just by thinking about growing.
They know instinctively they need the right environment, the right stimuli, the right nutrients, the right protection and direction.
They simply focus on growing and let God sort out a lot of the details.

Maybe you should just be like a tree and grow?
Just put yourself in the right place and let God continue to grow you in the faith.
God wants you to grow!

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Not supposed to be that complicated

At the core of our following Jesus, having faith in God, I believe it is not supposed to be that complicated. Yes I might not be always be that easy, but it was never meant to be complicated.

Jesus famously said things like "Love God and Love Others", that those two things summed up the law, God's expectations and more. Do that and you are on the right track...
Jesus did something for us we would never be able to do for ourselves, by giving His life as a sacrifice to sort out of the "salvation issues" for us. His work one the cross and conquering death removed the complicated from the equation.

Here are some key components for my faith...

  • Worship God
  • Serve Him and Others
  • Pray
  • Read the Bible
  • Share Faith and Resources
  • LOVE
  • Just Keep Going

The moment it seems to me that we avoid, stop or remove any of those components, that's when the complicated comes in.
Probably because we are replacing them with something else.
And the something else fills a gap in us but never satisfies, so our frustration grows and grows...

Whenever I am feeling a bit flat or wondering why, it is normally because I have neglected one or a few of these components.
Whenever I am asked to counsel someone over their faith struggles, generally it is the same for them.

So my challenge to myself and to you today is to take a quick inventory and see what might be missing. Next don't beat yourself up but pick yourself up and get back on it...

The Spirit of God will help you.
You will continue to grow in Him.
And it will make so much more sense...

Something to think about...