Wednesday, 4 February 2015

What can you believe?

It used to be that you could watch a documentary and know it was on the nail, it was factual, it said something and you learnt something. Over the years this has changed, we now have documentary makers who stretch the truth for ratings and i think it's a shame. Over the last month the Discovery channel has been taken to task over some of its promotion of documentaries which when shown bore little resemblance to the actual adverts or promotion of them, causing problems overall.

It's getting that way with Christianity, people are stretching the truths to meet their own aims, to support their own views with little or no looking at history. Many Christians in a desire to appeal to all people love the loveliness in Jesus words, but don't want to deal with the hard parts of Jesus words, and we can't have one without the other. We have a propensity now to concentrate on love, to major on the nice but ignore or deride the hard parts, mainly because they are unpopular. Now love is important, it's the most important thing Jesus spoke of, but we also need to deal with those things Jesus said which are unpopular but they are there for people to read and see. You see once we concentrate on one aspect of Jesus and ignore the other parts we get a skewed picture of who Jesus was and what he taught. Obviously its nice to concentrate on the easy parts, to concentrate on love, but we do need to look at the whole and not just those parts which fit our ideas and ethos.

This is getting more to the fore now and we have people jumping onto the latest bandwagon of acceptance, what ever the latest buzz idea is many people will jump onto it. Depending on your viewpoint and it is open to debate, most people go back to the traditions of our faith, they stick to the doctrines and theology which has by and large shaped Christianity over the years and this is no bad thing in truth. There is no problem with new ideas but we need to weigh them against the Bible, tradition and what we know of God. You see as much as its an inconvenient truth people are sinners and they do need to be saved from that separation from God, how you define that is up to you. But occasionally we may actually have to pull someone up about something which is wrong and causes destruction. If we let someone carry on in sin and ignorance are we acting in love by not saying to them " hey stop it" sometimes we have to call people sinners, its what we are in our unregenerative state, its what we are outside of Christ.

Yes we need to show love, we can show it in all manner of ways, what we can't to is nothing, what we can't do is sit by and let it carry on unchallenged. We need a balance in our lives generally and we need that same balance with God, all one side does not help, all the other side is as equally foolhardy. Just like the discovery channel we need to stop promoting a fallacy for the sake of figures and revenue, and actually say "hey here it is, we have the answer" sometimes it's going to be hard, sometimes we will get hurt, that is an unfortunate side effect of life, sometimes you will get upset, people will disagree with you. None of us get a free ride, none of us are immune, the Discovery channel upset me with one of their promotions for a documentary but i still watch the discovery channel, sometimes i don't get what i want from God and i get upset, but i still follow and listen to him.

Pax peeps


Monday, 12 January 2015

A trivial pursuit

Anything worth having requires an effort, nothing comes for free and somebody has to do to get. When  you enter into a relationship you tend to make an effort, you court, say nice things, see each other regularly. Then for some reason over time we get lazy, i know i do and its not great, i can be a real heel at times and I'm working on it. But how do we have a fulfilling relationship with God, how do we get to that place where we know it's "spot on" can it ever be spot on? i will posit that yes it can, but its going to take work and effort.

There are certain principles laid down in the scriptures about how our relationship with God develops, how it grows, what God does in it and what we do in it. God for his part says " I will never leave you or forsake you. Come to me and i will give you rest. Ask and it will be given to you, Seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened". Now you can see in these that God does his part, we need to do our part, so why don't we? For some of us its down to laziness, we just can be bothered with the doing, we wait and wait and wait and wait and when God does not do, we get a hissy fit on, throw our toys from the pram and sit in the corner sulking. There are spiritual principles at work in our lives, principles laid down by God to help us, to enable us, so why are we playing at trivial pursuit?

Is it a sad fact that in our post modern world we expect much for little? we expect something for nothing, we are in danger of growing a generation of stunted and ineffective Christians, because they are fed week in week out, they are blessed and then many do very little with it. They are taught great Biblical principles and they then forget, in many cases even before the last hymn has finished. To be an effective follower/disciple of Jesus takes an effort it takes a work on our part. We just can't sit and wait, we have to do something or else we are in danger of nothing happening.

So with the idea of doing something i'm going to put 3 things out there for consideration.

1. Pray not because you want but because you can, instead of always take take take, just sit and commune with God for the sake of friendship, the sake of relationship.

2. Make an effort to put our faith into practise, mow someones lawn, help out a neighbour, do something for someone else, and I'm aware that many many Christians do many good things, this his not to down play that in anyway. But from experience for every 1 believer who does there are usually 4-6 who don't.

3. Make an effort to bless someone on a daily basis, not for reward or gain, but because you can. You see giving is a great way to grow especially in a spiritual sense, we give because it helps, we give because we can.

For many of us our faith and the pursuit of God is a trivial thing, we trivialise it by our attitudes to one another, by our actions, by our words and by our lack of effort. Nothing comes for free, we need to pursue God if we are to see God move its that simple. It does not need to be complicated by a mass of complicated theology, it does not need a mass debate about its rights and wrongs, it requires us to do and do we must.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Setting the Sail

I was not going to post another entry for a while but i have received a few emails today asking about what i mean by setting the sail, as the idea of pursuit is going to be an ongoing idea for the year (tho not all the time) i will clarify what i mean by it.

Setting the sail is a nautical term used to catch wind to enable the ship to go forward or in the desired direction, it was a requirement of a sailor to be able to catch the wind, to move the ship. A really good sailor could take a westerly wind and move the ship in an easterly direction and vis versa, it was down to experience, watching waiting looking at the clouds, the swell of the sea, all these things enabled him to catch the wind and move.

So it is with setting the sail for the things of God, a sloppy sail will flap in the breeze make a lot of noise but ultimately not move the ship forward a great deal. We need to catch the wind of the Spirit to enable us to move forward, we are called to be filled with the Spirit of God, filled so we can move forward, filled so we can fulfil what God wants. So when we are filled do we sit flapping in the breeze, making a lot of noise and not moving forward or do we tighten down the sails and move with the Spirit of God? Setting the sails to move is not an overnight quick fix, it requires work, it will require us to watch, to listen, to see the swell of the sea, to see the direction the wind is blowing, to set the sails of our lives in God in the direction he is leading us. We can decide to keep flapping in the breeze if we want to, or we can move forward with God, just don't blame God for not moving if you are flapping in the breeze. God wants and desires to move us forward, is our desire to move with him or to stay static? We have a choice just like the sailor on the ship, he has to set the sail to catch the breeze and wind, he makes the decision to drift aimlessly or to move with the wind, we have those same choices.

Jesus, our great pursuit

The book that has influenced my faith more than any other (the Bible being the exception) is The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer, i have read it about 13 times over the years and it never fails to move me, focus me, and pull me back on track. Its time to read it again, but that will not be happening until we move as the books are packed away in boxes. But its got me to thinking about pursuit and in this instance pursuing Jesus, we often talk of being like Jesus, or following Jesus, thinking like Jesus and I'm not sure that we do. You see many of us are so self absorbed with our own opinions, our own attitudes that the pursuit of Jesus gets lost in the pursuit of being correct for a short time. We pursue popularity like it's the air we breath, we pursue wealth like its going to sort all our problems out, we pursue love and we hit and hope that we are loved back. But how do we pursue Jesus, well I'm going to outline a few things, some you may agree with and i can already tell you who will disagree with whats written, but hey ho here we go. To pursue Jesus in this context is to be more like him in the everyday activity of our lives, to be more like him in what we say and do. So with that in mind here are a few pointers to try and get us pursing the greatness of Jesus and his righteousness.

1. We need to submit our will to his will and leading, we need to stop thinking we are more important than him, we need to actually say yes " Jesus you are my Lord" and actually submit to his leading and will. It will mean we have to knuckle down, we will need to let him have his way and it will mean even if we don't get our own way still declare "Jesus is Lord".

2. We will need to apply our minds and bodies to prayer, we will need to become a people of prayer, a people who believe in the power of those words we utter making a difference to the situation and to the God who answers those prayers. We need in some respects to rediscover that great communication of the spoken word to God and what it can do, to offer comfort in times of trouble, to offer hope in times of hopelessness, to offer ourselves to him in a fresh and dynamic way.

3. Seeking his holiness, this one is the crippler, this is the one most of us will struggle with. Just how do we become holy like Jesus was holy, well it requires numbers 1 &2 above to be put into action, it also requires us to change in certain ways. We will need to tame our tongues, we will need to be humble, we will need to know when its the correct time to speak and the correct time to shut up, we will need to start thinking like Jesus would have thought, and that is actually fairly easy to do, stop take a breath before you speak and ask yourself would Jesus say this in that way, would he react like I'm about to react?

Pursuing Jesus or God is never going to be a breeze, its not going to fall into your lap from above and its all going to be sorted out. It requires work, it requires commitment, it requires an effort, and unfortunately with todays instant society many of us will not attempt to pursue him, we will be happy doing the same old same old and wondering why it is that when we refuse to do things differently, God just stays the same and nothing different happens. To pursue something requires effort, it requires work. I'm going to pursue Jesus this year, I'm going to make an effort, I'm going to try and become more like him, and see how that change in me affect the people i interact with. There is to much hurt and pain in our world and its time for the followers of Jesus to stand up, be counted and lead by the example of Grace, love, humility and righteousness, if we don't do it nobody else is likely to do it. Its a new year a new start lets pursue Jesus, he is the great pursuit of our lives, he is the great pursuit of my life and I'm glad he is. Set your sail into the wind of the Holy Spirit and pursue for all you are worth, because it will be worth it and the rewards are immense.

Peace people


Thursday, 18 December 2014

It Mattters

It's been an interesting few weeks, death of a good friend, death of a great friends brother so there was lots of heart ache and soul searching going on. Then this week we had the slaughter of children and adults in Pakistan by those subhuman members of the Taliban, an act so barbaric, most people i know are still speechless about it. It never ceases to amaze me how we can claim to be civilised and carry out acts of barbarism on this sort of scale.

So here we go, i have done a lot of soul searching over the last few weeks, and there are things i need to take care of with people and rectify, to sort the issues out, to actually bring some grace and humanity back into life. What the last few weeks has taught me is that life is but a vapour, we make plans for tomorrow, plans for the future and actually the future is never promised, we can be snuffed out in a heartbeat. It sounds depressing and some will view it like that, but come at it from a different angle, come at it from the idea that, you can make a difference in a positive manner, in someones life, you can show humanity, you can show grace, you can be the change. Life is far to short to hold a grudge, its far to short to hold hatred in our hearts when actually our hearts are made for love, and our souls are made to shine light.

We are in a time of Advent, we are in a time of Christmas and goodwill to all people, so lets try and live like it everyday not just a few days of the year, not just when we gain something from it, but live it as though it was our lives breath, live it like it matters. Because you and i can be the difference for somebody, you and i can and do matter to people, friends, family and to God.

Have a great Christmas people, be blessed, be happy, be loving, be awesome


Friday, 5 December 2014

Its become apparent that we have a great ideal to bitch and moan about anything and nothing. Over the last few weeks, people have been posting on social media things that make them happy. The things that are a blessing. It maybe pictures, or things that are important to them, but it is important to people and thats good. So we need to look at how blessings come to us, it maybe because of individuals, it maybe circumstance, but blessings come. So what do we do with it, I'm going to do my usual stuff and nail my colours to the mast and say, if you do not possess these things you cannot give them, and heres what i mean. Over the last few weeks i have heard Christians make various statements about what is and what is not, and I'm actually easier dealing with those people outside of the Kingdom. So lets look at what we can profess to. If we deny certain things about the kingdom we cannot actually profess them, because denial requires denial its really that simple. So lets look at some things, if we are to give HOPE we need to be a people of HOPE, we cannot be anything other than a people of hope. If we are to be a people of the resurrection, we cannot deny the resurrection, because to deny that we deny our faith. If we are to be a people of the incarnation, the birth of Christ we need to live in that understanding, we need to live in that process, you see we spend so much time deciding what is and is not reality, that we miss the point. We have the book in front of us, many will disagree with it, but funnily enough most of those who disagree are the Christians who think they know better. You see most (unbelievers) are not worried about the ins and outs, they celebrate because they do, they celebrate because actually they get it..
Christians are called to be a people of hope, they are called to be people of faith, they do not need to publicly question every jot and tittle about faith. You see we are what we are a people of faith, and this Christmas we stand by what we believe, we believe in that incarnation, we believe because thats what we are, people of the incarnation, people of faith. Im sick and tired of Christians denying the reality of our faith because, it does not fit with societies ideas, you see, I'm more than happy to say I'm a person of hope, I'm happy to give hope because i live in hope, I'm happy to live in the incarnation, because i live in that proces daily. I'm happy to live in the resurrection (though) it's the wrong time of year, because without it everything is pointless. You see without hope, without faith, without the resurrection, without that blessed incarnation, i have no faith, i actually have nothing, I'm empty, I'm just a dead cell. We need as Christians, especially at this time of year to grab the incarnation, we grab that birth, the birth of Christ and scream " IT'S REAL, WE GET IT, WE UNDERSTAND IT (even if we don't) because without that incarnation we are dead, dead in sin, dead in life and dead to renewal. Im a drunk, I'm a junkie, I'm a pain in the ass, I'm not a great idea of what a Believer should be, but guess what, it does not matter what you think, its down to that Manger, that stable, and that incarnation. We all fail, we all screw up and it does not matter to God because, that baby, his son in a stable sorted it all out, he did the work so that we could just go "YEP" i don't care, because he cared. This Christmas spend some time remembering what happened, because you know what, it changed the world, it changed my world. Im not perfect, but i know what i believe, and i know why i celebrate what i do.

Love you all people, you mean the world to me


Monday, 24 November 2014

Little minds breed big problems!!!

One day a man was walking down the road, he saw a guy in trouble whom he knew and did not like, the guys shopping bags had ripped and his shopping was all over the road. The man though about laughing and shouting out "hey stupid, what ya done" but decided against it, as the other guy was considerably larger than him. Anyways when the smaller guy got home, he went online and laid into this person, whom he actually knew little about or cared for in reality, unless it was getting his own opinion across, and he knew his opinion was correct and right. He spent 3 hours berating the guy for his stupidity, he went all out, name calling (but I'm only joking) he was just darn right mean, even questioning the guys morals and beliefs (even though he did not know them at all). As it happens in life the small guy needed help one day when his car had broken down( lack of fuel) it was raining heavily, he was in pain due to trying to push the car with a heart condition and nobody was stopping to help. He spied the big guy coming across the road towards him, feeling for his life he jumped in the car and locked it down. The guy knocked on the window, and asked what was up? he explained" the car aint running" "pop the bonnet bud and i will have a look" he knew there was little point in popping the bonnet "look i ran out of petrol and i feel like an idiot for doing so" the big guy shrugged his shoulders and said " we have all done it at some stage" and started pushing him to the garage down the road, when they got there he just left and never waited for thanks or reward. The small guy (in both mind and stature) had no idea what to do, "maybe just maybe i need to stop being so judgemental, maybe i need to stop having the last word, just maybe i need to become more human".

We all judge on a whim, we say things which hurt and don't actually mean to hurt anyone, but we do. We think we are right each and every time, and the simple truth is we are not always right, we do not hold all truth and knowledge in our brains. Sometimes we need to do one thing and one thing only and that my friends is SHUT THE HELL UP, and give someone else a chance to have their say, who knows we/you/i may actually learn something, and it might actually help us move on in life!!!