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. 



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!’

You are what you eat!

January 31, 2007

As i sat munching on a dried fig yesterday i found myself transported back to the time of Jesus in my mind, the times when fig trees were used in His illustrations.  I began wondering what Jesus ate besides fish and figs?

I love chocolate and pastries but for two weeks now i’ve been eating healthy.  At first i was a nightmare to be around… irritable Maria Syndrome was the diagnosis i gave myself.  In fact, it was my body reacting to withdrawing from addictive foods… all the ‘e’ colourings and preservatives and gunk.

People often say a mediterranean diet is the best, but for those of us living in the west it’s really not all that practical.  We know that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, yet we continue to abuse them in so many ways: we fill our minds with that which does not build up our souls, we fill our stomachs with addictive unhealthy foods, we fail to exercise to keep our bodies in tip top shape for the Lord.

It’s so easy to say, ‘i must be fit and healthy’, but quite another thing to bring it into reality.  Food has a hold over us – it affects our mood, and so many areas of life. 

God wants a marvellous life for you, one full of joy and energy but believe it or not, the food you eat could be getting you down.  I’m not suggesting that you suddenly try to transform your diet altogether (that’s not easy at all) but start small and reap the harvest – both white flour and white sugar are addictive… start by cutting those out and see your energy levels grow.

I want you to be the best you can be for God because food could be holding you back from claiming the life on earth God intended for you.  God give you strength and courage.

Write the vision down!

January 27, 2007

I woke up this morning with the verse from Habbakuk in mind, it’s the one about writing the vision down on stone tablets.

As i live in the 21st century i’m not going to go out and find some stone slabs, and a suitable implement to carve out a vision, however realising that it takes effort to erase something after you ‘carve it in stone’ was a useful thing to reflect on.

Can i ask you to do something today?  Would you do me the favour of getting some paper and a pen (not a pencil!!), and writing down the things you’re passionate about and would like from life. 

It might seem odd that some stranger from the UK should be asking you to do this, but i think it’s a really important thing to do.  So often when we make decisions in life we can ‘um’ and ‘er’, not knowing what God calls us too.  Equally we can sell ourselves short, allowing human limitations to restrict what God can do in us.

You might write something like this to begin with: ‘I would like to preach with signs and wonders following’.  Even if it seems an impossible dream, not least because you may have a fear of preaching, write it down anyway.  Or you might write ‘I want to bring relief to the emotional pain orphans in a home experience’, or ‘I want to live somewhere where i can have an outdoor life’.

Next you may say: ‘but these are just my dreams, they’re not what God wants for me’.  I would say: ‘write them down anyway regardless of whether they seem realistic!’.  God will hone the dream over the years – we’re imperfect human beings so will receive His vision for us imperfectly, but if we don’t write it down in the first place then He has nothing to work with.

Our God is a God of the impossible and is not limited by our weaknesses and inabilities – He works in spite of them.  Please write the vision down, then give it to God.  He has planted desires in your heart to act as a signpost to His will.  Ask Him to lessen your desire for anything that is not of Him, and to strengthen passion for the aspects of the vision which are of Him.

p.s. Thank you for the many birthday blessings yesterday.

Doomed to fail!!

January 18, 2007

This is the time of year when anyone who’s made a New Year’s resolution starts to wonder how long it will last (if it hasn’t already been broken!).

In life we often have great plans to be amazing people.  After a sermon that hits us right where we are sinning we might vow to be ‘better’, to be less impatient, to be more honest.  A matter of hours after that resolution or vow to try harder, we can break it, flying off the handle at a slow car on the road and breaking our attempt at patience.

The Old Testament is basically a tale of human failure: we see prophets, kings & ordinary humans crumbling as they try to keep the law.  God must’ve looked down as he saw the weakness and failure and sighed in despair.

The truth is that we can’t do it on our own.  In our own strength we are doomed to failure!  If we want to be more forgiving, more loving or more patient we actually can’t.  When i forgive someone it is not me doing it but Jesus living in me.  All these things we aspire to we cannot do, but Jesus in us can.

Jesus came to abolish the law in one sense because we in our flesh couldn’t stick to it.  Through the cross a helper was sent to us, one who can enable us to stick to the path of right living – the Holy Spirit.

Let’s through out muscular faith and trying to be good in our own strength because it will end in failure; let’s ask the Holy Spirit to enter in afresh this day and do in us what we cannot ourselves.