Sunny side up

March 14, 2007

It’s been beautifully sunny in London these past few days, and somehow the light and brightness has lifted the edges of my mouth to leave a permenant smile.

We talk of people having ‘a sunny disposition’, or looking on ‘the bright side’ of life.  Jesus is known as the ‘light of the world’, precisely because He brings joy, He brings hope and dispels the darkness.

Being positive and filled with hope is something we were created for, which is why we crave it.  We know that only God can satisfy, but don’t be satisfied with where you’re at thinking it’s the end and fullness of alll God has to offer… believe He has more for you!

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Grumble Weed!

March 12, 2007

How many times have you heard yourself complain about something, whether it’s a household appliance that keeps going wrong, or about a situationat church, in the home, with your family or at work?

If you were challenged to a ‘grumble-free’ day, how would you cope? 

Moses was travelling with a large number of people to the promised land, but on the way they hit disaster!  When they were in the desert the people were annoyed that they didn’t have what God had promised yet, and they began to moan. 

When we moan we have to ask ourselves whether we’re actually complaining about God’s will, not being patient as we wait for it’s fulfilment.  We can be cross and say ‘the desert doesn’t look much like the promised land’, so we get annoyed and sometimes distracted from fixing our eyes on the goal.

God, help us when your purposes are yet to unfold, and give us wisdom to know  when to step out of a situation because it’s not Your will. 

TRY BEING GRUMBLE FREE TODAY & SEE IF YOUR DAY GOES BETTER!

Too Big for Your Boots!

March 9, 2007

Unlike the common phrase of being ‘too big for your boots’, Joshua felt too small for his!!

Having travelling around with the great prophet Moses, being by his side and learning from him, Joshua was terribly daunted upon Moses’ death when he was appointed as the new leader.

In a seemingly humourous debate with God suggesting that maybe the wrong guy had been chosen to replace his master, Joshua shared how he was convinced he was the wrong guy.  Moses’ shoes were too big for him to fill and he felt overwhelmed.

When buying shoes you know what size you are, and spiritually we can think the same.  We can feel thatwe know what our gifts our and where our capability level reaches a maximum… but i believe this is to limit God.

Joshua didn’t think he would fill bigger shoes, and he was right, he couldn’t; but through the power of the Holy Spirit he was able to do more than he thought he could.  God put words into Joshua’s mouth to speak to the nations.

God can do more in you than perhaps you realise.  In the words of Isaiah – ‘widen the tent pegs!’

Stubborn 4 Christ!

March 8, 2007

Prayer goes differently when we’re desperate for an answer. 

The Canaanite woman wanted healing for her daughter so badly that she stopped at nothing to get what she wanted – Jesus to pray for her.

What have you really been wanting lately?  What area are you wanting breakthrough in?

Often we can think of prayer being a place to go to ‘get blessed’, to receive from God, but it is actually as much about us blessing God’s heart.  It is about coming in obedience even when we don’t feel like praying.

A monk asked to be allowed out during the time allocated for personal prayer in his room – he claimed to be very distracted.  The answer given by his superior was: “Allow your thoughts to wander where they will but don’t leave your room!”

It’s the same for us when it’s a struggle to pray.  As an act of faith we’re called to not permit our bodies to leaving the room in which we’ve chosen to pray until a period of time has elapsed.  It’s about being present to God and willing to try.

If interceding for something has become painful then know it’s a period you need to pass through to increase your faith before the answer comes.  God has given you the grace to endure thus far for a reason!  Don’t give up.  Perservere like the Canaanite woman!

Not much of a fun game?

February 28, 2007

Are you feeling like God’s gone for a walk in the park and left you waiting and hanging around? Have you been looking around to see where He’s gone, searching in shop windows, asking around if anyone’s spotted Him? God plays hide and seek with us sometimes to build our faith. If He seems to take a step away and hide, it is to encourage us to take another step towards him, so it’s all about building our faith muscles and believing the truth we know rather than believing what the circumstances tell us.

Keep going if you feel you’ve lost sight of God because He hasn’t left you… He may well just be carrying you at the moment because you need supporting, meaning you’re unable to see him!

Is Jesus alive?

February 26, 2007

This weekend i was at a training conference during which there was an outreach service on Saturday night. 

If anyone present at the event had doubts about the existence of a force greater than us, then they would’ve found their mind doing somersaults over all that happened.  Person after person came forward to tell how after being prayed for that night they had been freed of physical illness.

One testimony which stood out for me was the lady who turned up, and in her own words, said she told the friends she came with that she had ‘no faith’ that anything would happen.  She had arrived with a partially blind eye, two hearing aids which had been needed for 15-20yrs due to perforated ear drums, and also problems with a pain in her hip.

Half way through the evening this lady went to the front of the church holding her hearing aids high in the air, proclaiming that she could now here.  When someone stood behind her and whispered she could hear every word!!  Her eye was improved and the pain from her hip gone!

Prayer is powerful.  Prayer is mysterious.  Jesus is alive and His power is available to you today!

Let down gently?

February 23, 2007

How many times have you been hurt or felt let down?

I’ve put my trust in human beings but obviously when i do, i take a risk.  Many times i’ve shared aspects of my life, made myself vulnerable and opened up.  Opening oneself to another is essentially taking the risk to open a door to getting hurt. 

People often say it’s better to have loved and lost than not loved at all.  I think of the friendships i’ve had over the years where i’ve felt damaged or mistreated, but i’m glad i took the risk to get close to those friends even if in some cases i was knocked along the way.

Life is a learning curve and i believe we can receive God’s love in a special and different way when in a place of vulnerability and hurt – when we’ve felt in despair we can let Him minister to our pain rather than being bitter, and in so doing be drawn deeper into His heart.

Friendships are amazing, even when hurt occurs, because there’s something beautiful about two beings, two of God’s creation taking a risk, and trying to imitate the bond of love between the ‘persons’ of the Trinity.

God doesn’t give up on us and is always there for us no matter what we feel about Him.  He won’t let us down, He doesn’t want to hurt us, but Love us to the fullness of Love that we are capable of receiving. 

We need a balance in life between the VIP’s (Very Inspiring People) and the VDPs (Very Draining People) so that we may both give and receive from others, and in doing so draw each other closer to Christ.

Are you in the right seat?

February 21, 2007

How many times have you looked down on someone or thought of yourself as better than another?  No?  Perhaps it’s just me!

If i completed a marathon run for charity or led worship at a service then i might pat myself on the back and say ‘well done!’.  Yes, those things may be good, but in the church community the preaher is no better than the worship leader, the worship leader no better than those in charge of the sound system, and they no better than those who clean the church or those who welcome people into the building.

All have two things in common: 1) they are children of God, 2) Have a unique purpose in the Body of Christ. 

If everyone wanted to be a preacher and was gifted at that then there’d be no one to listen to the sermons.  If everyone said welcoming was  a lesser role, then people might never enter the church to hear the song lyrics they needed to hear, because they didn’t feel at ease and welcomed enough to come in. 

How do you view yourself?  We are called to seee ourselves as God does: beautiful, called, and gifted.  But we are equal, no one better than the other, for God loves us equally… we just need to be faithful to the call He has placed on our life.

Goal!

February 20, 2007

Yesterday i spoke to a teenager who has done more than many adults: met the Queen of England, presidents, prime ministers, sung with the musical greats, been ambassador for a global charity, and more besides.

Without a faith such early success could lead to a sense ‘what next?’ about life.  I got to the point where i’d done most of what i’d wanted to and stuff i’d not even dreamed of; i reached the end of the rainbow without greater ambition, but to be in that place so early in years smelt of selfishness.

When i got bored of doing that which God had ordained for my life i got a metaphorically slap on the cheek – my motivation had become ‘what can i get out of life for me?’.

If you lack vision or lack a goal or challenge this day then make LOVE your goal -it’s something which can always be improved on (patience, kindness, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs….).

Sleeping for God

February 19, 2007

Sleep deprivation: a medical term which many could attribute to themselves.

I’ve been challenged lately to consider that getting a good night’s sleep is part of the package of being holy.  When we sleep well we are more alert, more able to pray, more ready to serve God. 

I’m reminded of that age old thing that when a believer says they’re struggling with prayer, the response should be: ‘Have you slept well, eaten well and played well?’.

So many components are needed to make us whole, and sleep is one of them.  If sleep wasn’t important to us, then why do many of us covet a lie-in?

Try to arrange your life so you can get more sleep on some days so you can be more able to serve God – it’s all to build His Kingdom.

p.s. If you already get ample sleep then try the option of ‘playing’ well i.e. doing that which gives you life and joy!