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!

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!

A fool for Christ!

March 5, 2007

What fool would be out walking his dogs at 5.30am?

This morning i saw a guy whom i often spot with two large dogs giving them some early morning exercise.  The man walking his dogs could’ve been tucked up in bed or at home checking emails.  Instead he opts for the walk.

Whatever the reason for this craziness i see dedication written all over him.  Yes, the dogs may bring him joy, but they also come with vets bills, mess, and are time takers.

Self sacrifice is a funny thing and is at the centre of what it is to love.  We do seemingly strange things out of love e.g. walk a dog at a ridiculous hour in the morning.

God became human and that was a rather unusual thing to do, an act of self sacrifice when He could’ve stayed safely in heaven but Love drove Him to come and live among us. 

If we haven’t done something sacrificial of later maybe that signals that we’re not being driven by love, but by selfishness – doing that which prospers ‘me’.

Today try do something for someone else which you wouldn’t necessarily WANT to do.  Make a cup of tea for a colleague when you’d rather stay sitting at your desk, or pray with a friend when you’d rather pray on your own for yourself.

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!

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….).

I’ve been on an epic journey of late, battling spiritual blizzards, shooting arrows of faith at mountains which block my path…

It’s been a hard trek, and would’ve been easy to give up during the course of the adventure.  However when you have treasure you’re fighting to get to, it keeps you going, even when things seem impossible – the treasure acts as an incentive to continue, giving you a boost of energy.

Maybe your treasure is your children, your spouse, your friends, your family, or some promises God has made to you personally, or the promise of eternal life itself?

We all have dragons to slay along the way, and they may be around for sometime in the form of challenges at work, or difficulties with a family member or with someone’s health.  Whatever the dragon you have to slay, you need the hope of a treasure, something keeping you going.  Obviously you first need to identify the dragon you’re trying to slay.

Whatever dragon there is in your life, know that in Christ you have the victory over it.

People without vision perish, those without hope give up!

Messy World

February 12, 2007

Sitting on the train this morning i was surrounded by my junk – a hat, coat, bag, and other stuff strewn across the seat next to me.

It was a home from home with the mess about me, but i felt convicted!  If we live in clutter we cannot truly be free, free to be who God created us to be.  Clutter brings stress, it uses up time and acts as a distraction.

I am too busy to order things, and would need a few days off work, but if that means i can live in a peaceful surrounding maybe i should…

If a day is as a thousand years, then taking a day off to tidy might be a wise move.  I need to use each day wisely.

Give us the faith and trust to go against what society expects of us so we may be fully free to be ourselves.