Saturday, 26 February 2011

The worlds most important gap is the gap between what I say I believe in and how I actually live. I heard someone say that recently. It's very true; painfully so in actual fact. How often do you say something to someone, maybe critisising them in some way? While at the same time knowing full well that you should be working on the same issue yourself!? Jesus uses a parable involving a plank in someone's eye - so He was obviously hot on the topic too. 

I find it so easy to be a critic. My speciality is noting people's flaws; even if I keep them to myself. It's a bad habit and I need to kick it, fast. 

That's all. Just a quick thought-provoker for you today. What needs cleaning up before you're in a better position to start finger pointing?

Friday, 18 February 2011

Sin is a tricky one. We all have different positions on what it means. Most people probably assume they're ok; they dont cheat, murder, steal, commit adultry...the list could be pretty long. Others, like me, are proper little sinners. It's my default. It's not something I just do, its a condition or state that I'm perpetually in. A lot of people I speak with would see Christians as self-righteous. I think some can be, for sure. But surely if you hold your hands up and confess how sinful you are, that's not particularly self righteous is it!? Its the opposite actually. Someone who does that and responds to Jesus is basically saying, i'm so flawed..only His righteousness will save me. Not 'self'. We all stand on level ground in front of the cross, but it depends on our response to it. Are you holding your hands up and saying I need help? Or is your righteousness already secure in your own 'self made' cleanliness?

If you want to know how much God hates sin, just take a look at the cross! He hates our sin so much that He would send His son to torture and to death. This isn't a topic anyone can be neutral on and we definitely all have sin that needs to be pinned to those planks of wood.

Give it a moment or two of your time this weekend. If you can be bothered.
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me Lord'. - misc quote

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked with a mere is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. 

I didn't pen this originally. I wish I had because it's amazing. CS Lewis did. And he knew a thing or two about captivating an audience. Please let those few sentences impact you today. You would be a complete fool if they didn't. If you're struggling to work out what he meant, The Psalmist, David, might help. It's one of my favourites:

'The Lord delights in those who fear Him. Who put there hope in His unfailing love.'

Much love.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Just been thinking. God holds us in the palm of His hand. Don't you think it's amazing that that same palm weighed the waters of the Pacific ocean? It measured the grains of sand in the Sahara. He flung countless billion-odd stars into the Heavens with that hand too. And then designed Ants, Oak trees, Blue whales and Bonsai trees, amongst others.

And with as much thought and attention, He weighs our words when we pray for our family, job situation, health, happiness etc etc.

An ocean that covers a third of the Earth's surface or a prayer that took me a third of a minute to pray. It's all one and the same to Him.
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great High Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of my guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of Glory and of Grace,
One with Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Some cool quotes...

'The cross we are called to bear may be heavy, but we have not to carry it far.' - David MacIntyre

'Earthly riches are full of poverty.' - Augustine

'I'm glad at the way it came out, but at the conversion moment I heard God saying - 'Put down your gun and we'll talk!' - CS Lewis

'If you do all the talking when you pray, how will you ever hear God's answers!?' - AW Tozer

Thursday, 10 February 2011

'Then I said to them, "If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them." And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the Lord said to me, "Throw it to the potter" - the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.' Zechariah 11 v12-13

'For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet - I can count all my bones - they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.' Psalm 22 v16-18

'Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.' Isaiah 9 v7

I've just been exploring some of the many many Old Testament prophecies Jesus fulfilled through his birth, life, teaching, betrayal, flogging, execution and raising from the tomb.

If you have the time or indeed, inclination, read some yourself - they're staggering.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

- from Isaiah 40

Been lovin these verses in the last few days. 'Cos I'm already absolutely knackered from this week's it's good to know that if I wait on Him for a little while, i'll be renewed, restrengthened and with recharged batteries.

Off to work I go.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said, "This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee." - Matthew21 verse 6-11.

I am gripped by this. Utterly captivated by it. Just imagine for a moment, the kingdom Jesus left in order that he might come down here. To be born so that one day he would be sacrificed for us. A throne room in a perfect kingdom. Heavenly realms for a dusty main road in Jerusalem. 

I daydream regularly about the scenes described on Matthew 21. Humility and honour all wrapped up in a few moments. 

I get lost amongst the crowds and the palm leaves. Clamouring for a glimpse too.

Friday, 4 February 2011

'Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering. Else they have a defective heart or a flameless hell.' - John Piper

A flameless hell!? Absolutely amazing phraseology. And a totally terrifying misunderstanding by the majority as well.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


There I was, just minding my own, when I was introduced to this guy yesterday. I had seen him earlier that day, but had no clue who he was. Short, bespectacled, unassuming. I shook his hand and meandered through the formalities. Towards the end of my encounter with him, a piece of information was shared with me that would hit me for six.

This normal looking fella had probably made as big an impact on my life as any other. And I hadn't even realised it. To begin with, he was yet another guy I'd shaken hands with that day; without a second thought. By the end of the day, I was completely astounded.

'Why!!?' I hear you all shouting.

30-odd years ago this man had been influential in introducing my mother-in-law to Jesus. His fire and zeal for the Lord back in his student days was such that that young lady would also become gripped by Jesus too. And when it hit me, I realised I was totally and utterly indebted to this bloke. Had he not lived for Jesus in the way he did, I almost certainly wouldn't have a very God-fearing mother-in-law, which means I probably wouldn't have met and married the kind of wife I have today! This guy pretty much changed my life...and I didn't even realise he existed until yesterday afternoon.

As I walked away in a little bit of a daze, I learnt a valuable lesson: Exist to impact those around you for Jesus. Anyone and everyone. The knock-on effects of those actions will start a ripple through eternity.

I hope in 30 years time I meet the young son-in-law of someone I had an impact on in 2011.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

"And so I saw full surely that before ever God made us, he loved us. And this love was never quenched nor ever shall be. And in this love he has done all his works, and in this love he has made all things profitable for us, and in this love our life is everlasting. In our making we had beginning, but the love in which he made us was in him from without beginning. In this love we have our beginning."

- Julian of Norwich, 1373.