Monday, 14 May 2018

Focusing

The very first time I had ever seen REAL snow was when I was a young father and we holidayed  way over in the Australia's snowy mountain region in lower NSW.

It was there, and I might add at the beginning of a blizzard, that we took the chair lift to the top of the mountain with the two kids.

The chair lift only held two at a time, so we decided that our eldest child - Mr two year old, Danny,  went with Mum and I was left holding our one year old, Rachael.  As the chair lift came and whisked them both away. they seemed to be having a wonderful time with Danny squealing in delight.

Then suddenly it was our turn. The guy handling the lift said "Don't look down" and quickly grabbed Rachael while I scrambled on.

All I remember of that journey up that very steep mountainside was a screaming baby and I mean SCREAMING - she was so frightened of that guy grabbing her she became hysterical.

I tried valiantly to put the seat belt around us both as she tried with all her might to get off that thing and get to her mother - I had no option but to look down as I used every ounce of muscle to hold that wriggling child in that chair.

Never was a father more glad to be at the top of a mountain in a blizzard - thankfully there was a restaurant there and as we sat there looking at that white out with the wind blowing and snow I was just so grateful to have my family - it was such a touch and go situation.

All I could think of during that time was WHOA!!! such a long way down with the snow so deep and wind blowing -  if we fell there would be no way we would ever survive let alone be found!

As I sat in that tea house for a few hours and waited till the worst of the storm had passed with the little ones warm and playing I was just so grateful.

The words of the guy on the chair lift kept coming back to me - DON'T LOOK DOWN  - I have often wondered about those words and just what he meant.

I guess it was the sheer drop and all that snow and wind I suppose it could  really overwhelm you as it did me - all I could think of was to keep my little girl safe and get to the top as soon as possible.

It was during that time that the Word of God came to me in a clear and special way.

I hadn't been walking with God - I had just been way too busy - I was paying off a mortgage and working my butt off trying to get a hold of our finances, while Sue was busy being a full time Mum.

I guess in lots of ways I was looking down - I used to go to church but as far as making a commitment to God and giving my life over to Him - no way! - I was far too busy!

As the years went on I have never forgotten that special day - I ended up making a total commitment to God but I must admit it still took me a quite a few years.

Focusing on Jesus is the only way to counteract all the things that happen to you through this crazy life we all seem to live - Sue was diagnosed with cancer and again the only way we seemed to be able to cope was to focus on Jesus.

Just recently we were the victims of a fraud which amounted to quite a bit of money.
It was a trying time yet we got through it - it took quite a while and the only way we coped was to focus on Jesus.

Our youngest Grandblessing is undergoing tests as I write this blog to determine just why she has these absence seizures, which only last seconds, but still a great concern. How do we cope with that - to keep focusing on Jesus

There a few things we can do to help us keep focusing on Jesus - Prayer and getting into God's word is essential to keep our attention drawn again and again to Jesus the very one who gave His life for us.

The other thing we need to do is to trust God - I know it is often easier said than done but I have proven through our blackest times that trusting in God and keeping our eyes fixed on Him, who alone has the ability to see us through whatever it is we are facing. We still may have to go through it BUT God will see us there on the other side.

A full commitment and the beginning of a relationship with Jesus manifests itself in a deep down peace which I can't possibly explain except to say that concern for what you are going through is still there but somehow the foundation of your relationship sort of keeps you going and strengthens you to face the troubles ahead.

One of my dear friends and one of my supporters Felicia Galey from Lubbock Texas, suggested I include a music link in this blog to assist in the message that I have been given by God - well here is one from one of my very favourite groups - SELAH

Turn your Eyes Upon Jesus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLoH6wixFlk


God is waiting to welcome you - Just like He welcomed me even though I had strayed away for almost fourteen years. Turn your eyes on Him and focus on Him alone - you can be changed for good for ever.

God go with you this week as you focus on Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Drawing back the curtain

Drawing back the curtain was the title of the sermon last Sunday morning as we studied Revelation chapter 9.

We have been going though Revelation and it has been an eye opening experience for me one could even say eye-popping as well.

And I must admit when I read this chapter I wondered in my heart where on earth was our minister going to go with this one?

It was all about locusts like scorpions that came out of an abyss that roamed the earth torturing people. All pretty ghastly really.

But the things that came out of all of this is really drawing back the curtain to reveal what our world is like - we certainly live in a crumbling and darkened world where satan seems to have the upper hand.

Revelation reveals to us what is going to happen in the last days and believe me it is not going to be pretty for those who do not heed the word of God and who haven't repented of their sins and turned to God who sent Jesus to pay the price of those sins.

Revelation 9 is  really a revelation of what will happen if we do not turn from our sins and trust Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

But if we have given our lives to Him, then the most amazing things will happen - we will be washed clean even if we have committed the most dastardly deeds known to man.

Hans Frank (1900 - 1946) was a lawyer in Germany and before he took his final exams was an ardent supporter of the  Nazi party. He finally worked his way up the Nazi ladder to become the personal legal advisor to Hitler.

At the outbreak of World War II he was appointed Governor General of Poland - occupied by the Germans. Frank became known as "The Butcher of Poland" and was responsible for the exploitation and murder of hundreds of thousands of Polish citizens.

He oversaw the distribution of grains and food stuffs from Poland transported back to Germany and mercilessly watched as the Polish people men, woman and little children literally starved to death because of food shortage. Every piece of food was transported back to Germany at the expense of the Polish people.

He was also responsible for putting down the Warsaw Uprising and running concentration camps, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. In Poland alone, at least 3 million Holocaust victims perished under Hans Frank

The amazing part of Hans Frank's story is that at the end of the war while he was waiting in the cells after being convicted as a war criminal during the trails of Nuremberg, and due to a visiting priest, Frank became a Christian and through an amazing conversion process realised that what he had done was so so wrong and that even though God has absolved him of his sins, he still had to be held accountable here on earth.

After the war ended, Frank was put on trial, found guilty and hanged on 16th October, 1946. He willingly went to the gallows knowing that he had to pay the price for his past. His last words were "Jesus have mercy".

God hasn't any degrees of sin - what I mean by that is that God who is perfect cannot look on sin of any kind - and what he sees in us is sin - we ALL have sinned - each one of us - not one of us is perfect. And as it says quite plainly in Romans 3:23 is that "we all have sinned and fallen so short of the glory of God" - not one of us is exempt from that.

Once we have accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, then we can expect that suffering here on earth will stop here on earth. Once we have given our lives to God and followed and focused on Him then, whatever happens to us on earth cannot go any further and God will see us righteous and holy only through the very blood of Jesus.

God is a righteous and holy God he is also a judging God - in fact the very holiness of God requires Him to pronounce judgement - that's justice. If he didn't judge and punish sin he would not be a holy God.

Before Jesus took the punishment for sin by dying on the cross, judgement fell upon all of us sinners. No matter what people did, no matter how many sacrifices they offered nothing completely and permanently satisfied the washing away of sin in their lives.

Only through the cross of Jesus did mercy triumph over God's judgement - from that day on every single person coming to God and asking forgiveness of their sins, their past, present and those sins in the future, God's mercy and grace washed them away completely, gone and forgotten, through the blood of Jesus.

So let's make sure we come to Jesus as we are right now, asking Him, to forgive us our sins, and fill us with His Spirit. That way we will never have to face the judgement that is surely coming to this wayward, self-centred and foolish world of ours.

Whatever Revelation chapter 9 stands for, I really feel, that great suffering tends to intensify whatever is in a persons character.  If someone is already God-fearing and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives, then suffering may make him or her more so.

But if a person mocks God and is rebellious, scorning His name and all that He has done for us in sending Jesus to pay the penalty for their sins, then, I feel suffering may increase these characteristics in their lives.

So what can we learn from Revelation chapter nine? I now know that the end times are definitely coming and we as God's people need to be so prepared for them. They aren't going to be easy times for anyone let alone those who proclaim the name of Jesus.

So let us turn to Christ now while there is still time - Let Him heal our lives and change us into His likeness.

God bless you this week as you consider your life with Jesus - may he have your full attention as you step out with Him.



Saturday, 14 April 2018

A quick jaunt in the woods

Don't you love going to the woods (or the bush as we call it in Australia) - I love the woods/bush - the smell, the silence, the things to do - the getting away from it all.

Tramping, trekking, rambling and hiking are what you do in other parts of the world but here in Oz we call it bush walking and it is extremely even supremely popular in Australia where we have vast tracts of untouched scrub and bush which gives us ample opportunity to indulge in what many Aussies call their favourite pastime.

Let's see? what are some of the things we can do in the bush?  I checked out the website for the national trust and I gleaned some fabulous clues for my Grandblessings next time we head off bush walking.

TREE CLIMBING:

Lots of fun in tree climbing - I remember it well - Ahh the memories!

Tree climbing is mentioned in the Bible - Zacchaeus is the renowned tree climber chronicled so well for us in Luke 19:1-10.

Zacchaeus, the Tax collector - hated by everyone - a Jew - one of the people yet turned against his own, to work for the Roman elite - swindling his fellows. He was pretty small - He was despised and looked upon as THE worst of sinners by most people but became completely changed after spending time with Jesus.

Zacchaeus the tree climbing tax collector, sees the crowd - wants to be part of it - realises he has no hope - no one was going to let him see what was going on (remember he was hated by the crowd), so he hitches up his robes and runs ahead and climbs a sycamore tree. Pretty funny really. This little guy climbing a tree.

A sycamore tree is pretty leafy so I suppose he thought no one would see him tucked up there in the branches but as we know the story so well, Jesus knew him before he even thought of climbing that tree. Jesus got him down even went to his house (you can imagine what the crowd thought) and changed Zacchaeus life forever.

His life was changed from one who people hates to a person who is willing to help others.

Zacchaes trusted Jesus so dramatically that he was changed in such a dramatic way.

I personally can vouch for how Jesus can change lives - he changed mine in a most remarkable way. I was so lost in sin, so self-centred and so full of myself it astounds me that my sweet wife has managed to stay married to me for so long. Even she can see such a huge difference in my life to the guy she married all those years ago and all she can do is to praise God for it.

Like Zacchaeus of long ago neither of us didn't have to attend some amazing course to make us aware of where we were failing as a person - he and I probably wouldn't have gone anyway! - But what we both did do was to meet Jesus - Him up a tree and me by reading a book (Driven by Eternity by John Bevere) the ONE amazing experience delivered completely in differing ways changed both of our lives for good.

We both trusted Christ and were both bowled over by His forgiveness, mercy, grace and love. Both of us repented of our sins and let Jesus change us from the inside out.

How about you? Are you ready to be changed? You can't change by yourself - Believe me I tried for donkey's years - only one person can change you and that person is Jesus.

Another amazing thing to do as kids in the bush is....

CUBBY BUILDING:

It's a great past time in the bush - When Ben, my Grandson came to visit -we used to love to build cubby houses (as we call them in Australia) in the bush not far from our home. You guys call then DENS but we still love our CUBBIES.

We'd choose a spot - maybe even in a tree, use what ever was around - leaves, branches, twigs - you name it we used it and we would build THE most amazing creations.

God wants to build amazing creations out of the mess we made in our own lives - He looks at our lives and, where all we can see so often is just rubble, twigs, branches and dried up left overs, he sees what could be there - he sees His creation and what/who Jesus died for.

The story is told of a guy who fell into a muddy ditch. The poor guy tried as hard as he could to dig himself out but the more he tried the deeper he got.

Along came a friend of his and said "Mate, how did you get in there? I would help you, I promise, but I've got a lot to do today my diary is choc-a-bloc - if you are still there when I get back I promise I will haul you out - good luck bro"

Next along came the Pastor from the church down the road, saw the man, and said "Brother my poor brother how did you come to be in there?" The poor guy explained and asked for help - "Of course I'll help" said the Pastor - "I'll go to the church and pray for you straight away - God bless you my friend".

Then the guy met Jesus, without so much as a word, Jesus threw His strong arms around him and lifted him out of the ditch, washed Him off, bandaged up his cuts and abrasions, re-clothed him and virtually made him a new creation.

The guy couldn't help himself, His mate couldn't help him, even the pastor couldn't help - only one person can help you out of the messy cubby that you have built for yourself and that person is Jesus.

You can try all you like - you can go to whom ever you choose - you can pay extraordinary amounts of money and time visiting all sorts of gurus and healers but when it all boils down, Jesus has the answer.

Jesus can not only clean you but also your cubby - He can make you into a real warrior for Him. He can do what seems like the impossible and make you a completely different person.

There is heaps to do in the Aussie bush - I remember again when young Ben and I used to go bush bashing as we called it back then we just loved....

FLOATING BOATS IN THE BUSH CREEKS

We had so much fun building boats sometimes out of all sorts of stuff we found and floating them down the creek that runs not far from our home and right in the middle of a typical Aussie bush, especially straight after a heavy downpour - so much fun and we got so so filthy - all fun when you are a grandfather of a ten your old.

God has a mighty plan for you and me - Ben and I didn't have a plan for our boats at all we just had huge fun watching them floundering on the rocks and quickly sinking.

God's plan for us may seem strange at times and completely coming from left field but be sure that God always knows what he is doing, not like Ben's boats who were rudderless, captainless and completely out of control and at the mercy of whichever way the tide took it.

Often we make so many mess-ups and even when we don't know what we are doing we can rely on God that he indeed does now what He is doing and he doesn't "mess up".

Let's not be like Ben's boats in the muddle of raging water. Let's not be at the mercy of whatever tide is running at the moment. Let's put our hands in the hand of God and let Him lead, I know I did and I have never regretted it.

Sure, things haven't been all that plain sailing but this one thing I know for sure is that God will never let us go. If he brings us to it, in His mighty plan for us, He will certainly see us though it.

God bless you this week - Keep focused on Jesus - He will keep His hand in yours

Monday, 2 April 2018

Anytime you think about making a questionable decision - think twice (Steve Smith Australian Ex Cricket Captain)

Well what can one say? The Australian Cricket team has brought disaster on themselves and probably to a lot of other Aussies - all I can say as a cricket enthusiast that we here in Australia are disappointed to say the least and devastated that some now think of Aussies as cheats and con artists.

Cricket, the gentleman's game has been dragged though the South African mud and three of our bigger players have been sent home in disgrace and suspended for indefinite times from playing the game they love.

If you hadn't heard yet, which is unlikely, but the Aussies were caught 'red handed' ball tampering and using sand paper, of all things, to 'rough up' the ball so it would either have to be replaced or would cause the South African Team to miss hit.

Steve Smith the Captain, David Warner Vice Captain and the bowler Cameron Bancroft apparently all knew what was due to happen when Bancroft went out to bowl - the sandpaper given to him by Warner with the OK from Smith.

It was all very sad for the whole game of cricket with all three sent home separately with Smith being jostled and abused as he left Cape Town - everything fell apart for them and the team and actually for Australia.

At the press conference held upon landing in Australia, Smith was distraught in tears as he apologised to the nation for his action and he asked for forgiveness.

So how should we react to this?

I am so reminded of what Jesus said when confronted with the crowd wanting to stone a woman supposedly for being taken in adultery - As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on that one - I can imagine what it was like in those days - poor girl probably was being abused - but that is just my opinion.

Anyway the crowd was so intent on stoning the lass, all they could see was revenge and the fact that they could judge her. Also they desperately wanted to try to 'trip' Jesus and goad Him into making a decision which they knew didn't include killing the girl.

It's a bit like what is happening here in Australia at the moment - so many people wanting to pass judgement on our three wayward boys of cricket and so so ready to 'stone' them or at least string them up.

I really feel the apology came from the heart of the three guys involved - but it still makes me wonder would they have owned up had they not been caught.

Again, this brings me to my life, so may times I have messed up, so many times I have seemingly 'got away with it' - But have I really?

God gives us an amazing thing called a conscience, and when that conscience is ruled by the Holy Spirit, then that is when you are in a situation where you HAVE to do something about the mess you have made.

The amazing part about all of this is that Jesus through His Spirit will guide you through the dark times and give you courage and boldness that you never thought you even possessed.

I have personally been in that situation many times and can vouch to the fact that indeed Jesus through His Spirit can and will guide you - You still have to pass through the hard times but He will definitely see you through it - Praise God for this.

So where does that leave us with our three delinquent cricketers?

Going back to our story of Jesus and the mocking crowd and the woman taken in adultery. Jesus' answer floored the crowd - "he who is without sin, cast the first stone" - not one was game enough to pick up a single stone not one!

So how can we not forgive after that? Are any one of us ready to pick up a stone? How can we in all conscience not give these guys our forgiveness?

Of course they will all have to carry the fact of what they did and cop the whole consequences of the incident on the chin. They may never live it down not ever.

So it is, when we mess up our lives - some of the decisions we make could have dire effects on us for our entire lives, but the amazing part of being a Christian is that we have the mighty forgiveness of God if we come to Him and truly repent and begin to walk with Him wherever He leads us in the future.

We can start again with Jesus our King and Saviour, who paid the price for our sin way back on calvary all those years ago.

Putting the past behind us and accepting that Jesus has paid the price for all of our mess-ups is just so encouraging and helps us to move forward in our lives regardless of what we have done or where we have been.

I really trust that you will try to put the past behind you this week, especially if you are carrying around a burden on your own shoulders that is becoming increasingly hard to bear.

Jesus wants to be your burden-bearer. After all that is why he died so cruelly for us all - to take our burdens and help us to re-start our lives with Him.

Promise me you will at least think about what is happening in your life and if you are really troubled and burdened, please give it Jesus - you may still have to live with the consequences but your actual burden will be released as you accept the forgiveness of God and the mighty restoring power of the crucified Jesus, who paid your penalty for you.

God bless.















Wednesday, 14 March 2018

It is no secret what God can do

Just been listening to my friends from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands singing a song my sister and I used to sing when we were little guys growing up here in Australia - IT IS NO SECRET WHAT GOD CAN DO.  The link follows if you would like to hear it - the lyrics say a lot to me - hope it blesses you too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHWUmJSM63w

So often we mess up in our walk with Jesus - the thing is He doesn't want us to be discouraged - God is just so ready to forgive us and welcome us back into fellowship with Him.

That very fact alone should encourage us to keep coming back to Him and starting again.

When you first become a Christian you start on a journey that has so many twists and turns it will make your head spin.

One minute you are praising God sailing along on a beautiful lake, next you are fighting some spiritual monster in a dark cave or battling along on a big treacherous mountain called doubt or anxiety or worry. There as just so many unexpected turns it can be quite natural to lose our way and suddenly find ourselves going backwards - a situation where none of us want to be!

When we go backwards with Jesus it means we can't possibly keep walking with Him - we let go of His hand and we find ourselves floundering along on our own - the dark times seem to get darker and the trials and temptations seem to multiply and we have no real way of overcoming them and they just mount up in our lives one after the other until we feel like we are drowning - which in a dramatic and tragic way we actually are.

Going backwards and leaving Jesus and what he has done for us can have disastrous consequences not only spiritually but physically also - we can become so despondent that we actually become ill with depression and anxiety - it can effect not only ourselves but our families and friends - our relationship with people can be changed for ever.

Going in reverse in our Christian walk can be a deliberate decision unfortunately, and can bring overpowering feelings of guilt like a tsunami exploding in our lives, sometimes on a daily basis, which can be devastating and can debilitate us for eternity.

But there is also some great news here! GOD LOVES YOU AND ME! Even though you may be going to reverse He wants to re-call you - just like Volkswagen have done recently to some of their models. We are precious to God and he doesn't want any of us to go in reverse.

Please know this, that our Heavenly Father wants you to return to Him. He is open to your prayers and if you are truly sincere in turning from your sin and genuinely wish to come back to Him, then He will respond with love, mercy and above all forgiveness.

Is there anything holding you back right now from asking God to forgive you and coming back into His open arms? God's promises are true and certain - He has said in His word that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (which include deliberately turning our back on Him) and to wash us clean from all of our past sins. - Pretty awesome if you ask me!

Please don't let your overwhelming sense of guilt and shame hold you back from re-uniting with God.

Another thing we can do is to try to put right anything that you know which could hold you back from having a really close relationship with God. Maybe you are having a hard time trying to forgive and vice versa. Ask God for wisdom in knowing how to handle situations from your past that can often affect your walk with God in the future.

Unfortunately Christians do sin and we will continue to do so until we are eventually taken to be with God and then our life will never be influenced by this world, temptations and trials ever again. On saying that please, let's not be defined or identified with sin especially those sins that have been washed away by the blood of Jesus.

I touched on this subject in one of my blogs way back - the link follows - It's called the EVIL TWIN and talks about how we as Christians still have the remnants of our old life within us - That's why it is SO IMPORTANT  to keep focused on Jesus as we live in this crazy world of ours:-

https://itsbygracealone.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/the-evil-twin.html

When we first came to Christ we became new creations in Him - meaning that the very Spirit of God - the Holy Spirit came and lived in our lives, producing in us a changed life - we are no longer "controlled by sin".  So if you have found yourself going in reverse, and you feel the Holy Spirit prompting you and urging you to come back, you can always!

That said, on the other hand, a so-called christian who feels no remorse, who can sin without thought, even deny Christ who brought them to the cross in the first place, then that person never truly knew Christ to begin with.

I truly believe that those who belong to Christ will remain with Him regardless because God will NEVER let them out of His hand. True! we may start going in reverse, but like me, God will not let you properly rest until you have come back to Him and been washed anew by the blood of Jesus. Sins forgiven and forgotten.

On the other side of the coin to that, a person who rejects the saving grace of Jesus, turning their backs on faith, trust and the very mercy of God, then I believe that these people never belonged to Christ in the first place.

In 2 Timothy 12 it says quite plainly "If we disown Him (Jesus) then He will disown us". Pretty damning words and brutally honest. BUT if your conscience is seared and you feel you need to get right with God then please don't delay - get it right - come back and start afresh with Jesus.

God bless you this week as you start afresh with Jesus - let me know how you feel and Sue and I will pray for you and encourage you through your walk with Him.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Sometimes ya gotta wing it when you don't know how to fly

Just back from a mighty week away at the Tamworth Country Music Festival watching our 14 year old Grandblessing,  Elyssa Faith perform.


For those who have never heard of the Tamworth Country Music Festival just suffice to say that Tamworth here in Australia is the tiniest, youngest sibling of  Nashville USA. Enough said?

Elyssa Faith is an up and coming young star so keep an eye on her career - she is just hanging out to go to Nashville one day and I'm sure she may - she certainly has that Country feel about her voice, that's for sure.

She also sings in a duo called the Amity Angels and they have just released their very first EP - all very exciting stuff for us here in Rankin Park.

Here she is courtesy of her brother Sam's photography. Check him out on instagram:-  deodorant_can_productions

Anyway while we were there we heard this amazing young man sing his own original song which included the lyrics "Sometimes ya gotta wing it when you don't know how to fly - sometimes ya gotta sing it when you don't know all the lines."

While we were listening I couldn't help thinking just how often we as Christians have to 'wing it' when it comes to following Jesus.

How many times have we been put on the spot feeling that God really wants us to do something here - I know I have and I must admit to my failing which is to immediately say "No way Lord! I can't do that!" I've lost count!  But it is at those times when we eventually do give in and submit to His will a feeling of immense closeness to the very Creator of the universe  sort of creeps over us and we end up being the very ones blessed.

I remember feeling the need to volunteer at a palliative care hospice - completely out of left field came this desire and a feeling of necessity and urgency that I really had no option than to obey the call which I eventually decided must have come from God.

It's times like these that not only leave you feeling super-blessed but also amazingly close to God especially if you have been fortunate enough to share just a smidgen of Christ's love and strength to someone along the way.

Something that we all have to learn which is so often so hard especially when it means you having to step out of your comfort zone and like good old Moses when confronted by God to go get the people out of Egypt said "No way - I'm too old - I have a family - I can't speak I have a speech impediment etc. " We can all come up with THE most amazing excuses - I know first hand because I have said so to God so many times.

What we need to do when we sense God is calling us is to step out with confidence taking time to pray, asking for wisdom and if you don't get a sincere change of plans then set off in the direction in which He is pointing you and do it with confidence.

Jesus Himself is a prime example for us here - He didn't  really WANT to go to the cross and basically He didn't have to but He did it because He knew God, His father, willed it and wanted Him to do it to save you and me - a mind blowing thought of huge proportions.

So when we do step out with God into this fallen world of ours where even the innocent seem to suffer, and suffer intolerably, it has raised for me the question of how I, or we in this case, should act toward God in such a world?

So if our fear of maybe 'suffering' for Jesus is stalling our motivation to 'wing it when we don't know how to fly" I personally feel that we have to come to a point in our lives where we trust the very one who has the wisdom to have called us in the first place.

I have learned and would like to pass onto you one of my biggest lessons and that is not to know why we are suffering but to know and fear God who is the very source of all wisdom.

When we are standing on the very edge of change and that fearful feeling comes over us like a big black wet blanket we MUST reach out for God - the very author of wisdom. If he called us to do what seems to us to be THE most terrifying thing we have ever done, then He will see us through it. We just HAVE to depend on that.

A definite peace will come to us once we have trusted in his complete sovereignty. Once we firmly know that God has the ultimate control in the situation in which we find ourselves, we can then step out with boldness and even courage, trusting in the God who placed us here.

The last few blogs I have written touches on doubt and fear and these can make us so hesitant to do what we plainly know is God's will for us. It is when we are feeling like this that we need to trust Him more and submit to His will and His direction for us.

I know it may seem harsh and ever so frightening but I will guarantee that you will end up being the very one blessed by the change that God has placed on your heart.

So in conclusion I would just reiterate that we may have to 'wing it' for Jesus sometimes - especially if you feel you 'just can't fly'. Those times when you feel God is calling you to move on or move out, take up the calling with confidence and trust in the one who calls you.

God will never let you down - on the other side of the coin if you feel you are in the wrong place and the wrong time, again, don't be afraid to move out regardless of the pressure that can come to bear.

God will certainly let us know where we should be and what we should be doing. The thing is are we trusting Him enough to listen to His call with confidence and surety?









Sunday, 11 February 2018

Wanna settle that score?

Oh Man! - How many times throughout my life and I'm guessing yours as well have we sought or longed for revenge - we need to desperately settle that score that's been hanging over our heads for so long.

Thing is when we take revenge it is 99.9% with impure motives - God has told us countless times in the Bible that it is His job to take revenge not ours!

We know deep in our hearts that awful feeling when we feel so defeated - we are bruised we are beaten and honestly it's like a constant battle - we are up against this never-ending feeling of anger mixed with self-pity and a desperate need to get back at whatever or whoever have hurt us so badly.

When we are feeling like this it is so so tempting to to try to take the role of God and heap vengeance on the heads of the hurtful ones - I guess that's why God gave us this command in Leviticus somewhere that we should not seek revenge against those who hurt us and we shouldn't even bear a grudge - instead we should love our enemies and pray for those who treat us badly PHEW!!

Non-retaliation even non-violence is discussed in the Bible- I found Matthew 5: 38-42 where Jesus points out as plainly as the nose on your face that vengeance is wrong and as far as seeking to 'settle that score" well enough said - in fact Jesus says that if we are the victims of malicious or violent attacks we should go to the opposite extreme.

Of course that doesn't mean that we should stand idly by and let someone beat-up on our family or not try to protect or property or our country but what Jesus is saying here, is that there is no place for wrath in our dealing with everyday people even those who we feel need to have our vengeance extracted upon them.

I have struggled so hard with this over the years and as I have got older, more and more have I come to realise that even in our thoughts we can play the vengeance game - you know, thinking of all the things we could say or do to 'that' person. In lots of ways I call this self-vengeance where I get a sort of satisfaction for a few seconds from reliving and thinking about what I would say or do. Believe me it doesn't work!

Being and thinking like this only re-enforces and implants those negative and damaging thoughts firmer in our brains where we get to the stage where we can think of little else.

Self-vengeance like this really has no place in a Christian's life at all. If we are truly committed to God then we need to trust Him that He will deal with any retaliation that needs to take place - and we have to rest assured that that retaliation will be done fairly and justly not at all like we would have carried it out had we had our way.

We need to knock those feeling of retaliation of the head firmly when they appear in our lives. Saying that I realise that that is not such an easy thing to think about let alone do.

When someone has really hurt us our very inner being cries out for justice. This is brought home to us time and time again when we see that person seemingly 'getting away with it'.  It hurts us it really does. So what do we have to do - how do we overcome these wretched feelings that can override our thoughts day and night?

We HAVE to rely on God - we just can't become vengeful people - it says in Ephesians 4:32 that we have to forgive in the very same manner that Christ forgives us - I know and realise that it is such a hard thing to do and the only real way of dojng it is to give it over to God.

Truly evil people will pay in the end that's for sure. BUT the thing is, we should be trying desperately not to condone our consciences with that fact - NO! not at all. Actually the opposite is what we should we doing.

The people who have hurt us may feel like they have skirted around God and have won a battle BUT the war isn't over yet not by a long chalk. They may be feeling very satisfied with what they have "achieved" and feeling like they are some sort of champion but we are the ones who are still in the war - we are the ones who are still not giving up - we are the ones who are still not giving in.

We should be trying so hard to win these people over to God. In that way, they will see how their actions and their words have hurt or even maimed. We need to pin our hopes on the only one who can save them - Our Lord and Saviour. We need to pray that they will turn to Christ, repent and be saved. Only He can change them - we certainly can't.

We are in a battle here on earth. Satan and his hoards are out to get us at every turn - and yes! we mess up time and time again BUT we are over-comers not by what we have done or achieved but by what Jesus did  all those years ago.

So lets not waste our time and our lives banging our heads up against a brick wall here and certainly not let our hearts get so heavy that we lose the fight and give in to these feelings of vengeance and retaliation.

Jesus has won the battle - let's concentrate on changing these people so that they can see their mistakes and come over to the winning side. At the same time let's make sure that we are right with God as well - confess to Him our feelings of revenge and retaliation and turn over a new page and restart winning this battle.













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