Monday, 31 January 2011

'I shall no longer ask myself if this is expedient, but only if it is right. I shall do this not because I am noble or unselfish, but because I need for the rest of my journey, a star that will not play false to me, a compass that will not lie. I am no longer able to aspire to the highest with one part of myself and to deny it with another.'

- Alan Paton, from 'Cry The Beloved Country'
'Riding the chair up Whistler seeing the sun break over the mountains. When nature wows, you really get a glimpse of how up ourselves we are.'

Tweeted by Simon Pegg a few hours ago...
'From hysterics to tears rolling onto the floor. All because I saw a King riding a donkey through the throneroom door. Through lashings and nails His love would endure and now I want so much more and more.'

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Isaiah 50

Who Out There Fears God?

The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue, so I know how to encourage tired people. He wakes me up in the morning, wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders.
The Master, God, opened my ears, and I didn't go back to sleep, didn't pull the covers back over my head. I followed orders, stood there and took it while they beat me, held steady while they pulled out my beard, didn't dodge their insults, faced them as they spit in my face.
And the Master, God, stays right there and helps me, so I'm not disgraced. Therefore I set my face like flint, confident that I'll never regret this. My champion is right here. Let's take our stand together! Who dares bring suit against me? Let him try!

Look! the Master, God, is right here. Who would dare call me guilty? Look! My accusers are a clothes bin of threadbare socks and shirts, fodder for moths!

Who out there fears God, actually listens to the voice of his servant? For anyone out there who doesn't know where you're going, anyone groping in the dark, here's what: Trust in God. Lean on your God! But if all you're after is making trouble, playing with fire, go ahead and see where it gets you. Set your fires, stir people up, blow on the flames, but don't expect me to just stand there and watch. I'll hold your feet to those flames.

'I'd be happier if...'

Ask yourself that. I'd be happier if...what!? If you had a faster car? A better paid job? A slimmer husband/wife? Perhaps a new and improved boyfriend? Bigger muscles? A smaller butt? A wide-screen, 3D home cinema with surround sound? A holiday to the Maldives? If you watched a little more porn? Had a more vibrant social life? More adventure? A dirty weekend away in some Travel Lodge? Greater popularity, plaudit or pay checks? An affair with someone? Or perhaps just a nice bar of chocolate?

Maybe you'd find a glimmer of happiness in some of these things. I dunno? But they'd be flawed and/or limited; I absolutely guarantee that much. They'd maybe all fill the void momentarily, but all come with an expiration date. Earthly highs always do and always will.

The majority of Christians probably portray Jesus in quite a poor light. I'm sure I do too, and I'm incredibly sorry if/when I do. But if you're reading this and wondering how you could be happier, please ignore the bad press and give the hype a chance. He's worth it and may just help you answer that tricky opening question.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Proverbs 4 verses 5-13

'Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom. Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.'

Monday, 24 January 2011

Some Do's & Don'ts....

Pray. Don't cease.
Be faithful in all you do. Don't covet the position of others.
Read the Bible. Don't sleep until you have.
Earn as much as you can. Be as generous as you can be with it.
Go to church every week. Serve there, don't just spectate.
Eat wisely, exercise regularly and watch what you feed your mind.
Build up the people around you. Don't bitch.
Let your hair down and have fun. But don't get drunk or high.
Show hospitality. Do it assuming that you won't get anything in return.
If you're single, wait patiently for your future spouse. If you're married, serve them as if your life depends on it.
Be all you can be. But don't suck up to get ahead.
Find joy in your freedom. But don't go near porn.
Work hard. But honour the sabbath.
Include others in your life. You can't manage on your own.
Learn about the gospel. Don't leave it to someone else to share it.
When you've done all this, pray some more - time in prayer is never time wasted.

Love Jesus. Live as if you are in His presence every moment of the day. Because you can be!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

It's all in the name

It's not just a name you know. Jesus is not just a name. It's not just the name of a baby born to this virgin girl in a cow shed. It's not just the name of some prophetic do-gooder. It's not just the name of a guy who tried to start a revolution in people's hearts. It's not just the name of someone who healed the crippled, broken hearted, marginilised and lost. It's not just the name of the person who was flogged to within an inch of life before being publicly nailed, dripping and gasping to a cross. It's not just the name of a bloke who defeated death and rose again to full life to stand before His grieving followers again. It's not just the name of a Son who was restored to the throne beside His father. It's not just the name of my sin-absorbing best friend and Father.

Its the name of a victorious King too.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

'The custom of sinning takes away the sense of it.'
- John Owen

Could your final letter look like this?!

This was written by a family friend. She passed away after a long, long battle with cancer on Christmas day.

"If That Was the Last Time You Saw Me......

Know that I'm dancing! Know that I'm happy! Know that you will always be in my heart.
Know that I love you- this is easy for me to say, as I am at odds with no one.
Know that I have enjoyed my life - it has been filled with amazing joy and delight.
I've found life to be astonishingly beautiful.
Know that the challenges didn't destroy me and the discouragement never lasted.
Know that gratitude has been my key - gratitude and hope and wonder. I hope you won't miss any of it - any of the wonders that surround you.
Know that the end, here, is saturated with peace - I've been close enough to know that.

I'm alive - I'm in life - you'll see me again. We'll talk again. We'll laugh again.

I have complete assurance about where I'm going - it's a trip I've looked forward to, while enjoying life here. I have come to really enjoy living in the tension of how wonder-filled life here has been- yet, knowing that someday, one day, we'll be making the ultimate transition from here to there! From wonder to wonder.

I've talked with God - I know Him - He is not an idea - the reality of Him is staggering, breath-taking, life-changing. We took a chance - got outside the box of "normal" and never regretted a second of it.

Know that I'm free-range now! Tethered to nothing but love, dancing with Jesus.'

Saturday, 15 January 2011

'What a beggerly thing it is for a man only to do his work well when he is being watched.
Such oversight is for boys at school and mere hirelings.'

C.H Spurgeon

Friday, 14 January 2011

'Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe even if told.' Habakkuk 1 v5

This is directly juxtaposed with various different remarks...

'OMG! Cant believe im nearly at the end of my holiday!'

'This coursework if f****** loooong. Cant wait to go out!'

'It's my bday in three days!!!'

'How do u get rid of constant tiredness&headaches?!?!?'

...I could go on and on. But whats this got to do with a random quote from a minor prophet hundreds of decades ago, I hear you exclaim!?

These are the kind of things that I can find if I take stroll through my facebook news wall. Most of the comments look like the collection above. But every now and then someone will have posted a verse like the one at the start. And it will stop me in my tracks and all I can do is pause. The majority of the time, it's surrounded by inane drivvle. And it stands like a beacon on a dark night.

I'm not writing this to challenge what you post on facebook (although it might be wise to reconsider!). I'm commenting on it simply because it was awesome and challenging to me. To read some of the crap on there and then to get hit by this verse was amazing!

Please re-read it and get stopped in your tracks while you weigh up the potential behind those words too. It's phenominal. And it makes other statuses and remarks look pretty lightweight to me!

Please feel free to fire any questions this way if you want to know what it's referring to...

Monday, 10 January 2011

Monday night. It's date night!!

 If you're reading this and you're single then let me start by saying...hope for and get excited about getting married. It's bloody brilliant. I got married two and half years back and aside from following Jesus, it was the best decision I ever made. Don't listen to the ball-and-chain stigma attached to getting hitched. Take my word for it.

If you're married, I hope you agree with the above statements. If not, then why on earth not? What's been happening to have stifled that post-nuptual thumbs up? Whatever it is, it needs to be dealt with asap.

When was the last time you had a date? Did something romantic, over-the-top and fun with the other half? Monday night is our date night. Every monday night too! And it's awesome. 

Now excuse me while I let my meal from the japanese restaurant go down. We also have a movie to get comfy infront doesnt need to be super flashy every week, but do something!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Ok boys and girls. I haven't asked this before, but seeing as the number of page views on this is climbing up at a very steady rate, there's obviously a decent number of you reading this stuff every week (which is pretty cool!). I'd be very keen to write some more stuff on requested subjects, so please either comment on this post (anonymously if you'd prefer) or email with your topics/suggestions.

Over and out.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Don't refresh your Facebook wall for the umpteenth time. Don't watch that re-run of Friends for the tenth occasion. Put the washing-up off for a while longer. The chores, the nap, the fourth cup of tea, the quick phone call, the snack...they can all wait for an hour. Watch this instead. It's very good.

Machu Picchu, Peru. Indian Head, Fraser Island. Pentire Point, Polzeath. Thongtakian Beach, Koh Samui. Valle de La Luna, San Pedro de Atacama. The Tongariro Crossing, North Island. Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. Paradise Beach, Dominican Republic. The Floating Islands, Lake Titicaca. Wailailai, Fiji. Mount Cook National Park, South Island. A list of some of my favourite could go on and on.

But King David said to the Lord in Psalm 84 v 10: 'Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere'.

I'd be inclined to agree with him.