Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Seasonal vs Sustainable

I have been thinking for a while now about the difference between seasonal and sustainable?

Every year we have fashion style changes.
And every decade seems to have a dramatic stylistic change.
Every year I see different heath related trends come and go.
And every few decades what was once considered right appears to be wrong.
I have seen fads, trend, fashions in all areas of life come and go like the wind.

It has been revealed that an author of a Lifestyle/Health/Cooking style book was no longer living like they promoted. They reportedly were loving the fact that people were shocked to see them in public behaving the opposite of how they promoted.
The revelation they had after writing a very successful book was the lifestyle was not practically sustainable. They know that personally and yet still sell their book...
To the negative it seems hypocritical.
To the thinkers out there it proves my point I believe.

Dramatic lifestyle change my be helpful but is it always sustainable?
And for it to be sustainable can it be merely be based on an idea, apparent logic and human effort?

Some years ago I finally thought I had breakthrough on the weight issue in my life. It all seemed to have finally come together.
I was exercising a lot and I mean a lot.
I was enjoying having sport related goals and achieving them.
I looked pretty ok for my age and stage in life.
And then it happened. Injuries. Life stuff. A few personal challenges.
The upshot is that my season came to an end.
It was not sustainable. It bothered me a lot!

What I have learned is to keep coming back to God and looking to see whether what I am doing is seasonal or sustainable.
It helps me process my station in life depending on what it is.

In God we see seasons and the sustainable.
God has set seasons in place but undergirded them with some absolutes.
We have winter, spring, summer and fall (autumn).
We have Gods Word that never changes.
We have 24 hours a day with sunrise and sunset.
We have Gods love that never changes.
Hopefully you see a pattern here?

I would love for you to take some time this week to prayerfully consider what is seasonal and/or sustainable for you...

It something is a season for you, embrace it, but hold it loosely.
It something is sustainable for you, embrace it, and never let it go.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

How did David do it?

I was reminded recently about a story during a particularly difficult time in David's life (that famous Israelite king from the Bible) where things had seemingly gone pretty bad, everyone was against him, and all seemed lost.
What did David do in response?
How did he recover from this life defining moment?
I believe there is something in his story that maybe could be applied to your story, if not today, maybe sometime in the future...

The account goes something like this...
David has a bunch of men including their families moving from place to place, doing what they need to do to survive.
Up until this moment it was like a very adventurous camping trip.
There were strange encounters. There were battles to fight.
And in it all God seemed with them and blessing them.
One day they come home from another of their 'adventures' to find an enemy has raided their temp camping home. This enemy has taken all they own including their wives and children. Then to rub salt in their wounds, they have burned to the ground what that couldn't carry away with them.
It seems that the enemy of David and his men wanted to inflict as much pain as possible. And it worked!

Imagine being David for a moment...
He has lost everything.
The people he is doing his best to lead have lost everything.
The promise of God he has carried for decades now is seemingly even further off than ever.

And then you read what might happen next...
David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters.
1 Samuel 30:6 NIV

Not a great moment in his leadership journey!
Everything seems lost. The people are upset.
A leadership challenge is being seriously considered.

But David does something truly pivotal to seeing this situation improve!
...But David found strength in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:6 NIV

Others translations help explain this a little clearer:
...David strengthened himself with trust in his God MSG
...But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. ESV

So how did David do it?
How did he encourage himself in God when in the natural all seemed completely lost and hopeless?
How can you get through whatever it is you are facing, especially if you are like David and like in this particular circumstance, have no human help left to turn to?

Here is what I think David might have done:
1. Reminded himself about God personal promise to him
The day Samuel anointed him as king in front of his family and made declarations of his future kingship. God had promised him he would be a great leader.
2. Reminded himself about how God has rescued him before
David had killed lions and bears as a very young boy to protect the sheep under his care.
Another time he killed at impossible opponent called Goliath.
3. Reminded himself of the relationship he has with God
I am sure he spent time just as he had many times in the past talking with God, being honest with God, being in His presence, resting in the special relationship.

If you read the rest of the story it is truly miraculous!
From this point God sends a prophet, a special encounter and a full restoration.
So today maybe the best thing you and I could do is to encourage ourselves in the Lord.
It is what David did. It is certainly what we should copy to...

Something to think about...

Thursday, September 12, 2019

We need the prophetic!

Someone I know not that closely at all recently sent me a private message via facebook.
What they sent was what many would call a 'prophetic word'. 
Something that they had an 'impression' of, that could be God speaking through them to me...

I won't share all the detail about what they shared but I want you to know it was 100% correct.
They said they woke in the night with a picture of me, a situation, a place. They picture they had was correct.
They went on to say what they thought God would like me hear from Him. The words they shared both challenged and encouraged me at the same time.

I replied after processing quickly what I was reading to let them know they were spot on.
This was not a generated scenario. 
In fact I am not sure how it could have been.
It was prophetic. And I needed the prophetic.

Now take this Simple Thought a whole step further...
We need the prophetic.
You need the prophetic.
Either you receiving or you sharing, we need this valuable ministry in the body of Christ.
I am not talking about being weirdo's, charging around saying whatever nice things comes to mind.
I am talking about the real deal prophetic, all filtered through the heart of God for His people.

Something that struck me along with the accuracy was the humility with which it was shared.
There was not an ounce of 'I know more than you spiritual arrogance' that many are put off by in this valuable ministry. Paul reminds us in 1st Corinthians that love is an important prophetic filter.

My hope in writing this today is simple... 
I would love for you to embrace the real prophetic, to explore it if it is new to you.
If you have the prophetic gift use it for the glory of God and furtherment of the Kingdom.
If you receive a word, prayerfully consider it. Don't miss out on God speaking just because it comes in a form or mode you are not accustomed to.

We need the prophetic!

19Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20Do not scoff at prophecies, 
21but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 
1 Thessalonians 5:15 NLT

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The devil is in the detail?

A phrase from my early years growing up that was thrown around many times was this...
"The devil is in the detail"...
To be honest I couldn't understand the thought being conveyed maybe based on my thinking style and personality type. I couldn't see how the detail to anything could be bad, wrong or even attributed to the worst known creation of all time.
Details to me were facts. Facts are what we base truth on.
Truth is what I needed to base my life on.

Now today I look at that phrase differently...

Right now in the world we live, I personally believe the devil is in the details.
What I mean by that is that he is trying to confuse, manipulate, shift truth, values, morals and more.
It is like he has invaded the details of what we used to hold dear.
His goal has been to invade the details, muddy them up, twist them about, and by all accounts he has been somewhat successful at it.
Scripture tells us that the devil is able to masquerade as an angel of light. And because of that 'skill', he seems to me able to slot into the fine points of life if we are not careful.

From my recent observations he is using Marketing 101 against us.
What is that you might well ask?...
It is a technique marketers use where you market your weakness as your strength and then everything else appears also to then be a strength.
An example of this is if you are a chain of coffee shops and the general public think your coffee is less than average, promote yourself as having fully trained barista's with ethically sourced beans.
The rest becomes strengths.

I believe he is using this marketing technique to confuse even 'the elect' sometimes. Convincing many with facts based on fiction.
If you don't check the 'facts', the facts even if untrue become truth too many.

I truly hope you are getting where I am coming from?

So where to from here?
What can you and I possibly do to navigate this strange new world of truth?

My encouragement to you is three-fold:
Ask God for wisdom.
Wisdom is something God truly loves to give. With wisdom you can navigate and discern better the details put in front of you. James 1:5
Ask God for revelation.
Through the Holy Spirit I believe God will reveal to you the real truth. It is not something you will have to work hard at. Let the Holy Spirit reveal to you the truth because He is the Spirit of Truth. John 16:13
Ask God for protection.
God takes great pleasure in looking after the pinnacle of His creation. Pray for protection over your mind and let God hedge you about. Ephesians 6, Job 1:10

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 04, 2019


Have you ever seen one of this TV programmes where the bride is a complete nightmare?
Where she is never happy, hugely demanding, unappreciative, and having a meltdown over seemingly everything.
I call this stuff 'train wreck tv'.
These ladies are commonly referred to as Bridezilla's.

If you start watching it sucks you in, like a train wreck you know what is about to happen and you just can't stop watching.
The producers of this material have to keep finding worse and worse examples to keep all the train wreck watchers interested. It really is a shambles where no one wins and the beauty of what is supposed to be divinely special moment in life is invariably tarnished.

My most popular ever Blog post is all about the Bride of Christ.
That is us. The people who make up the Church.
Jesus is coming back for a bride.
He isn't coming back for Bridezilla!

Paul had a major passion for the Bride of Christ.
He took special care to instruct her, lead her and protect her.
His instructions on how to avoid you and me being part of a potential Bridezilla Church are super important. I really felt I should remind us of some of them today to help us from becoming a train wreck others sit back and watch.

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-11 NIV

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10 NIV

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV

Jesus even said this...
"...everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 NIV

The time between your salvation response decision and your promotion to heaven is all about ministry and preparation for eternity. God is working on us as individuals and corporately as the Church body for both ends.

I want to invite you to join me treasuring this preparation time before we are all called up to that big wedding feast. Let's treasure each other, our bond and relationship. Let's treasure the moments together and look for ways to bless one another.
We are called to be His bride not a bridezilla.

Something to think about...