Monday, 4 September 2017

And.....The cow tripped over the moon

Whatever would we do without our Grandblessings? That's  the question I asked my wife SueAnn as we both commented on Amelia excitedly telling us about this amazing book that was her reading material for the BOOK WEEK special.

Amelia is in Grade 2 at the local school and was so excited as she relayed all of the book and it's moral to us in graphic and a very amusing way.

THE COW TRIPPED OVER THE MOON was written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood and tells the story behind the famous nursery rhyme The Cow Jumped Over the Moon.

If you get a chance it is a MUST to read and is jammed full of great things to learn not just for the younger generation but for all of us.

The Cow tripped Over the Moon, is a story of perseverance, endurance, training and triumph.

Tony Wilson is a great author and on his website he has a video clip of him reading to his son Jack, who has cerebral Palsy. Indeed the book is dedicated to his boy with these amazing words "To my beautiful Jack - you will jump moons."

It's a very moving clip and I must admit that it made me fill up a bit.

The book explains how the cow tried and tried to actually jump over the moon and it took her eight attempts but hey! She did it in the end. She contended with meteorites, sunburn, tripping, and all sorts of hurdles in "moon attempts - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 "until at last on moon attempt 8 she made a successful jump just as dawn broke.

It's a very funny yet moving story especially when you know about Jack and his Dad and the special bond they have going.

So I thank our Amelia for bringing it to our attention and I am so glad that she did.

Perseverance, endurance, training and triumph - what great words and what great accomplishments - so what can we learn form all of this and through this amazing and thought provoking children's book?

I personally loved it - I loved reading it through the second and third time as well,  and the illustrations by Laura were magnificent and sort of said it all and enhanced the story greatly.

I would just like to share with you the very inspiration I personally took from the children's book - Those words of perseverance, endurance, training and triumph are all so important in our Christian walk with God. We certainly need perseverance and endurance to face the world out there, especially in today's world where Christianity is scorned, mocked and ridiculed as old-fashioned and useless.

In Romans 8 Paul talks about the feelings of perseverance and endurance when he describes the world as a pre-season workout.

We will have, and continue to endure, all kinds of pain, suffering, exhaustion and yes! even misery. But it's not for nothing.

Not only does God use our pain as a tool to make us stronger in our faith and character, but he also promises that our endurance will pay off.

Just like our Cow heroine, we will need perseverance and endurance to fight the good fight and to be victorious in the end.

God will use all of these trials for our good and we will, one day, reap the benefits of our patience, endurance and faithfulness.

The cow in our story trained hard to become an expert JUMPER over the moon - she failed many times but hey! she kept on training.

You know, as a Christian we have to train hard to counteract satan as he tries so hard to pin us down, make us fail and then spit us out broken and believing that we are just too bad for God, that "He couldn't possibly love us because look what we did here and or look what we said there."

We can't just keep on 'training'ourselves. We just can't do it by ourselves - many have tried to pull themselves up by their boot laces, and failed miserably - It is only when we become increasingly aware of the areas in our own personal struggles and start relying on God's strength and His alone that we can overcome.

In the end we will be triumphant IF we decide "enough is enough" and stop thinking that "we can do it." Unfortunately many of us Christians still think we can do it on our own and it's in those times when satan will target us because it's obvious he has had success there so why wouldn't he keep on keeping on?

It's a never ending cycle of trying so hard not to fall into the ditch of failure when all we really need to do is to believe that our God, our Saviour, who died for us, is way bigger than all of these 'ditches' that we keep falling into.

To break the cycle of continuing sin, we need to realise that we just can't do it by ourselves - what we have done in the past isn't working. Satan knows we will fail so he keeps on flaunting it at us.

I was told a story once of a guy, when he was off to work in the morning, fell down a ditch. He dusted himself off, climbed out and went on his way.

The next day, he went past the ditch, looked at it and would you believe it, he fell in again. Once more he clambered out, dusted himself off and went to work.

The next day, he walked around the ditch, and thought to himself  AHA I did it, patted himself on the back and promptly fell into the ditch.

The next day he went past the ditch, looked back over his shoulder, chuckled to himself, fell into a hole and ended up in the ditch.

Finally, the next day he walked on the other side of the street. What did he learn? That He couldn't do it.

Many of us, lose our triumph because we really do believe we can overcome the wiles and temptations of satan on our own - believe me we can't! Change your strategy, God is so much bigger than your stumbles.

God will give us the victory and the triumph, if we choose to believe that he can. But, if we choose to believe that we can rely on our own strength, then we will like that guy in our story keep falling into the ditch.

John 15:5 says:- "We can do nothing apart from God"

So when you have your own moon the jump over, you will only achieve success, when we truly believe that God is our strength and he is our mainstay. Through Him and Him alone will we have success. We can't rely on our own strength - there are far too many ditches out there.

God bless you this week as you hand your 'ditch falling' and 'moon jumping' over to your Creator God - the only one who is far far bigger than any addiction and continuing sin in our lives.

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Letter

The letter arrived quite unexpectedly and Alex wished with all of his being that he hadn't opened it at all because then he wouldn't have known exactly what had caused it.

Could he have lived with himself then? A question he often asked himself over the years and even today he still balks at.

Cindy was all he ever wanted - Cindy was his world - then Why?

It took only a split second on her part to decide exactly what to do and the reasoning behind her decision was in her mind quite plain, yet I suppose, if she had had time to think about it and maybe just put it off for another couple of days, then maybe just maybe the decision would have taken another and different path altogether.

They started out as normal as any other young couple - just enjoying each others company ~ a harmless and enjoyable time for both of them - Cindy enjoyed Alex's company and relished each moment spent in his care and indulgences. Alex on the other hand enjoyed having this pretty young thing paying him so much attention. He wasn't sure of these mixed up feelings and messages he was getting, but just loved the attention.

And so it went on ~ their relationship grew more and more serious as the weeks went by - well it did for Cindy. In her mind there appeared to be problems and to her this meant that this amazing relationship she had with Alex wasn't going anywhere and she craved and wanted it to so much.

They seemingly adored each other and they got along great but it seemed to Cindy that Alex wanted a little more freedom, not necessarily to see anyone else, but just to be able to 'do his own thing' and not to be accountable to her alone.

She honestly believed that if he loved her deeply and truly then he would be content just to be with her, giving himself only and fully to her choosing to be with her over any other option. After all isn't that what other people do when they care deeply for each other.

That little doubt grew in her mind and became a stumbling block in their relationship no matter how hard she tried to just put it off her mind. Alex, on the other hand, wondered what had happened to their idyllic times because previously they were seemingly so happy.

Then the letter!

Cindy had dropped the letter off late one evening and then gone home and taken her own life.

The letter explained to Alex that she felt she couldn't leave but then she couldn't stay. She realised that he needed his own freedom, that she felt alone in the world and that no-one really understood her at all. She felt that Alex would be so much better off if she were dead because she loved him so much she didn't want to be a burden to him at all.

Of course the news of her death by suicide spread quickly. Alex was devastated and to add to his devastation all eyes seemed to be fixed on him as the culprit/reason for this tragedy.

This story is so so sad yet indicative to just some of the guilt many many people carry around with them on a daily basis often moment by moment. Perhaps you know of similar stories and incidences in your own life and can relate to this one so well.

Guilt is THE ONE emotion that, almost all of the survivors of suicide will tell you, becomes THE greatest obstacle to overcome. WHY? Because often there is nowhere to turn. You can FEEL the guilt, you can, like Alex, often be BLAMED for the events that happened even though these accusations are completely false.

Like Alex, you are NOT to blame, regardless of the individual circumstances that lead to the tragedy in the first place.  You are human after all, and cannot be blamed for anyone else's actions, regardless of how much you may love them and want to protect them.

The real truth of the matter is that no one is to blame except the victims themselves. This in itself is tough to acknowledge, so we do the reverse and blame ourselves which in the long run is often easier to cope with.

No one really copes with the suicide of a loved one well. Obviously we are faced with anger, guilt and myriad of other emotions all battling with each other in our own minds.

Even being able to move forward in your life after a loved one has committed suicide is fraught with guilt. It often feels like we are letting that person down if we dare have the audacity to laugh or feel comfortable in other people's company. So we are stuck in the middle of nowhere unable to re-do the past and yet unable to move to the future.

Living here on earth is a fabulous and often amazing if sometimes mysterious gift from God. A real gift is what it is, bestowed upon us by a loving and giving God and we should savour every second of it regardless of what happens in our life and what tragedies thrust themselves onto us.

Unfortunately as Christians we are not exempt when it comes to loved ones committing suicide, but what we can do is to hang onto the truths in the Bible which promises that NOTHING can separate true Christians from the love of God in Christ our Lord (Romans 8: 38-39). That being said we also have to realise that the victim must have been in a terrible and distressing place to even contemplate such a disastrous move.

It is certainly not our right to take life. It is God alone who makes such decisions and only His prerogative.

NOTHING is more powerful that the saving grace of Jesus and that includes suicide. In my opinion God will not reject anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ.

Grieving for a victim will take it's own due course - many will come to terms with it far quicker than others.

Giving ourselves completely over to a loving and caring God, in my view, is the ONLY answer to coming to real terms with guilt and grief attached to the gaping hole of tragedy brought on by the suicide of a loved one.

You know, having faith in God does not require an amazing amount of self-control or exemplary intelligence and, in my opinion, faith in God is THE only answer to the burden of guilt you may be carrying around with you because of the suicide of a loved one.

Faith and the grace of God is a free gift and all we have to do is to accept that gift and rest on the promises of God alone to do the rest.

Sure, we will still often be on an emotional roller coaster and have extraordinarily bad days BUT we can rest assured on the saving grace and mercy of God to eradicate the guilt and burden of sin that we find so very hard to cope with.

I love how the Message puts it in Psalm 55:22
"Pile your troubles on God's shoulders - He'll carry your load. He'll help you out. He'll never let good people topple into ruin"

Yes, we can throw our burdens, whatever they may be, on the shoulders of God and he will carry them for us - he can rid our lives of the crippling emotional burdens of grief and guilt.

Let's just own up to and name our guilt or grief, recognise it for what it is, hand it over not worrying too much as to how the world will label it and just rest in the God who saves. After all it is he and he alone who can remove our guilt to enable us to press on with Him.

If you know of anyone suffering from such a family tragedy or even someone contemplating suicide I would suggest you may get some help through TweetingGodsLove.com This is a ministry through social media/Twitter.

On the 1st Monday of each month there is a prayer hour for victims and families dealing with depression and Suicide. The USA times are 4.00 pm PST and 7.00 pm EST and in Australia 9.00am AEST Tuesdays. Use the hashtag #GodsPrayerRoom




Any resemblance to persons alive or dead in this blog is purely coincidental and unintentional. The names of the above have been altered to protect identification.


Saturday, 5 August 2017

Going in reverse

How is your Christian life progressing? A question that has been asked a few times through my life and each time I have replied "OK I guess".

Although to be perfectly honest, often I feel far away from God and I know that I am so open to temptation and, if I can put it another way, I sometimes feel I am in reverse as my progression in my spiritual life in concerned.

So what do we do when our life and walk with Jesus seems to be going in the wrong direction than what we expected when we first committed our lives to Christ?

I feel the late Keith Green put it in a most memorable way in his song "Grace by which I'm Saved".
The link to which is here just copy and paste to your browser.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF2xD2bNkts

The key lines for me and the ones which I can relate to so much in my own life is that "Nothing lasts except the grace of God by which I stand in Jesus - and by which I am saved". Keith goes on to say that as Christians, without the very grace of God we would most definitely fall away.

So where does that leave us if we feel our faith in Christ is in reverse and not progressing the way we thought it would? Are we or have we already fallen away from the one who came to save us? Are we doomed because we keep falling into the same old temptation time and time again? When is enough enough and when does God 'pull the plug' on our lives and simply give up on us?

There are a couple of ways we can go in reverse when following Jesus. We can DELIBERATELY follow our hearts desire and let go of the hand that has been guiding us. We get to the stage where we ignore the holy spirit's leading in our lives and jump in anyway ignoring completely the prompting of God's voice in our lives.

Going in reverse in this way can have huge disastrous effects and even consequences that can ruin our own life plagued and burdened with guilt and despair.

Going in reverse can also be brought on by neglect of following Jesus as passionately as we did when we first came to Him in the first place. As Keith Green stated so plainly, feelings may come and go but the grace of God is never-changing it is the only real constant in our lives. We can start neglecting to draw close to God, becoming less trusting, letting doubt grow where dependence once existed.

We may get so busy doing 'things' that we just stop seeking God's will in our lives and just haven't the time to read the Bible and start depending on our own strength to see us through the hard times and forget about our need to focus on God and what Jesus has done for us to bring us to salvation in the first place.

Well, when is enough enough as far as God is concerned? Here is some amazing news for us who have found ourselves in reverse, sometimes even hurtling in reverse! GOD DOES NOT CONDEMN US! He will keep on bringing us back to Him through the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

If you are anything like me, I certainly know when I am not walking with Christ, when I have stepped away and done my own thing. My conscious tell me exactly what my condition is. I am so riddled with guilt and such a feeling of wandering away that I have to end up getting right with God again.

I am reminded of the parable that Jesus told us in Matthew 18: 12-14 the Shepherd (Jesus) leaves the ninety-nine sheep (those of His secure in His love) safely in the fold and searches diligently and constantly until he finds the lost one (those of us in reverse) and brings them back to the safety of His fold.

Amazing truths and one of which I can identify so readily. Way back in May 2012 I wrote a blog titled Roaring Lions and Bungee Jumping. During that time in my life, I had huge struggles with temptation and being so easily tempted by satan. Have things changed? Of course they have but I am still tempted and I still fall and God is still hanging onto me as if by a bungee line but best of all the line has never broken. He has never let me fall and he has never failed me.

God constantly seeks those of us who have wandered away. His loving concern for us master drivers of going in reverse, is sure and steadfast. He calls us back to Himself time and time again.

Once we have committed our life to God then we are changed. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that once we are in Christ we are NEW creatures - the old has gone the new has come. This simply means the old life has been changed forever the new life in Jesus has begun. Even though we may often wander away, God's Holy Spirit which he gave to us when we came to Him originally will keep on prodding us back. That is THE calling of God in your life - Please don't ever ignore it.

What about the person who keeps on denying Christ? Christians should live daily for Christ, regardless of where we are or who we have been with. We should be growing progressively in Christ. We should be growing more and more Christlike every day. More and more Holy - more and more like Jesus. Sure we may often fail but we can be restored just like the lost sheep.We are forgiven time and time again.

But the person denying Christ is unfortunately a completely different story. We should have our doubts about a person who claims to be a Christian yet lives their lives completely and utterly without a hint of change in their life. They can sin and feel nothing. If they disown Jesus as Lord then Jesus unfortunately will disown them. (2 Timothy 2: 13).

So how about you? Are you going in reverse at this very moment? Are you the one lost sheep that has wandered away from the fold? Are you feeling the weight of sin on your life? Are you concealing it from others and yourself? The message is plain and simple. Come back!

God will never leave you ~ he never has. It's you who have walked away. Turn around, get out of reverse gear and let God put it back into first. Drive forward with God, let Him take the wheel and get your life moving forward again. I know I did and I haven't regretted it for even one second. Of course we all still fail and fall BUT he will be there to keep hauling us back to Him. Just ask His forgiveness and re-start.

Does reading the Bible feel like a chore? Then maybe just start in the New Testament and read one chapter every day, no more no less BUT make sure you pray first then start. It's a great way to revitalise your time with God and I'm sure it will bless your life abundantly.

Circumstances change in our life constantly and we change too as circumstances direct but as Keith Green reminded us the grace of God, that saves us, never changes.

God bless you this week as you let the Master driver get you out of reverse and put you back into drive.


Monday, 24 July 2017

Tilting at Windmills

Over the years I have heard the saying "Your tilting at windmills again" but I never really understood what the saying meant - so when I read it again just this week and in the context in which it was written I decided to check it out further.

Of course when I'm in a quandary as to what things mean and when confusion or questions appear in my life of course I do what most people do and 'google' it.

Must admit I was a tad surprised by the answer I got - "tilting at windmills" could mean you are interpreting situations wrongly or exaggerating the real truth of the matter and it can even mean that you are attacking imaginary enemies.

All of these are great examples apparently of what tilting at windmills infers. Wikipedia tells me that the "phrase derives from an episode in the novel DON QUIXOTE by Miguel de Cervantes, wherein protagonist Don Quixote fights windmills that he imagines are giants".

Well armed with that knowledge I somehow couldn't get the phrase our of my mind and God somehow amazingly used it to speak to me so now I am sharing it with you - God is awesome don't you think?

Whatever tilting at windmills means to you, the thing is that we have to KNOW THE TRUTH and LOVE THE TRUTH  - we have to be so careful to know what is true and love/cling to that truth no matter what.

As Christians we have an enemy, an enemy who is out to get us and will virtually stop at nothing to confuse us and send us tail spinning into doubt and uncertainty.

In the book of Revelation God sent messages to the churches warning them of the wrath to come if they didn't heed the truths and turn from their ways and follow Him. The people were listening to lies, ignoring God's truth - and today in our topsy turvy world we are so much worse.

The Christian Church is being attacked more than ever before and lots of people I have talked to take the approach - "it will be OK - you are tilting at windmills - it's not nearly as bad as you are making out". I'm so sorry but I disagree.

As Followers of Jesus we MUST believe and love the truth that is found in the Bible. The truth about who Jesus is, what he has done for us and how we are to live.

God has given us a blue print if you like - a perfect example of how we are to live - yet we have, like those churches of long ago, become 'lukewarm' in our love for Jesus and 'lukewarm' will not cut it with God - what does He say in Revelation 3:16 if we are lukewarm? That He will 'spit us out of His mouth'. Can't get much plainer than that!

My message to us all is to watch out for anyone who does not teach us the truths found in the Word of God - there are many out there who dearly love to label us a weirdo's or cultists all because we dare to follow the teaching of Jesus and have given our lives to Him - we are born again in Jesus and the world out there does not like that one little bit. As far as they are concerned we are indeed 'tilting at windmills'.

God has indeed given us a very special map, if you like, of how to plainly get to the very special place he has promised to His followers. The world at large will be screaming at us that it is completely futile and what we are believing is false and wrong.

Just this week here in Australia the 7.30 Report (a  current affairs program) reported false and misleading information about evangelical men who are supposedly the worst sort of domestic violence perpetrators in the world, when in actual facts the opposite is true according to the latest New Zealand statistics.

There is a virtual war on Christians even as we speak and as I write this blog - a war to discourage, humiliate, belittle and condemn any who claim the name of Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

When we turn our lives over to God we begin immediately to live with a completely different set of values to the world. Values that come directly from God. the world on the other hand bellows loud and long what their values are and demands our utmost attention and anyone who declines to bow before that is set of values is slandered and labelled.

The world as we know it is full of lies and we are called to fight against them - and that my friends can be extremely difficult!

Once saved we need to put on the whole armour of God to protect us from the fiery darts of Satan - the ruler of this world of ours. Like salmon migrating to their breeding spots we are fighting an up-stream battle with wild waters and our own set of hungry and pernicious bears just waiting to snatch us, chew us up and spit us out.

So the world looks at us and labels us as foolish daydreamers, living a futile and silly life content to live in fairy land, where in fact the opposite is true.

We so need to follow the truth that God has set down for us with all of our might and with all of the fight we have in us regardless of the consequences of what the world can do to us.

So no matter what will happen to us - our families may question what we do and our associations, friends may forsake and even abandon us or at the best no longer understand us. But the power of Jesus Christ now lives within us and we can be overcomers, even warriors for Him - unafraid, brave and courageous.

Not sure about you but I'm personally going to hang onto the promise in 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9
"we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

Yes, being a Christian in today's world is getting to be a pretty hard thing. But you know, Jesus overcame so much more and if we are His then there is really nothing the world can throw at us that can take that away.

So are we "tilting at windmills" as the world will charge? Certainly not! We are the living proof as to what Christ has done in our lives - we are changed for the good and for eternity. Let's show our candles to the world and charge into the darkness with confidence knowing we are His and His alone.

God bless you all this week as we step out with Christ armed with the helmet of salvation and His breastplate of righteousness.








Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Feeling Disqualified, Ruled out, Suspended?

Following Jesus was never meant to be an easy road!

We are told that God wants 100% of our lives not just lip service - not just some ordinary howdy doody kind of faith that saps your energy in TRYING to do 'things' that will get you in the back door . NO! God means it when He says that he wants 100%.

God is so so serious when He says that we must "count the cost" of following Him before we make a commitment to Him - If we aren't willing to sacrifice everything that we have then it's absolutely no use in following Him at all.

Strong words indeed  - but in Luke 14:27 Jesus Himself says 'and whoever does not carry their cross and follow me CANNOT be my disciple'. If we commit to Jesus - we must give Him ALL of our allegiance.

Lack of allegiance, lack of commitment, occupied with other things and other lives and not handing them over to God are things of which we MUST count the cost before giving our allegiance to God.

Of course we love our families, our spouses, our Grandblessings and many other loves - Jesus Himself loved in many and extraordinary ways and we are indeed commanded to love BUT when the rubber hits the road our ultimate allegiance MUST go to God.

Once we have decided that we are indeed His and accept Him as our personal, and I mean PERSONAL, Saviour and Lord - once we have come to the cross of Calvary and left our burden of sin there - once we have asked God's forgiveness of our sins no matter how obtuse, disgusting, scandalous or obnoxious they may be - once we have decided that to follow the Lord is to gain freedom the likes of which we have never known, then God won't let us go.

I know I walked away from God for 14 long years- I thought I knew better than anyone else and I knew deep down that how I was living was wrong but I wanted to 'do it my way' - Praise God He brought me back to Him! - In lots of ways we can walk away from God - it is a dangerous and stupid thing to do but many have, and alas, many have just 'gone through the motions' of being a Christian with no real 'heart change' at all.

If you have truly become of Christ's followers then you WILL change - your life will be completely different - you WILL have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. Sure we have the old life living there as well but you will find that when you are tempted or fall into a sin trap then the Holy Spirit will immediately convict you and you really can't continue until you have confessed your sin and repented (turned away from) that sin and asked God's forgiveness.

So let's re-hash what we have chatted about here:- If you have truly turned to God and given to Him 100% of your life - If you have given to Him your total allegiance. then He won't let you go, even if you think your finished, even if you have felt that you have 'hit your limit' and that it's all over - you WON'T  be disqualified - you just won't.

If you keep on falling into sin and keep on being convicted of it over and over again - if you reckon deep inside your heart that you  'just can't get past this one' - if you feel like you are fighting a constant war - then please take heart - that is exactly what it is all about - we are in constant warfare.

Satan walks around trying to persuade us to 'give it up - throw in the towel - you are just TOO bad' - that's exactly why we keep on fighting - and if we do that's exactly why we won't get disqualified!

God is saying over and over again to us that HE is manifestly GREATER than our sins - Romans chapter 5 says that 'where sin abounds, God's grace abounds much more'. God's amazing grace and forgiveness is HUGELY greater than our sins not matter how gross those sins may be. God can QUALIFY us even if the world out there DISQUALIFIES us. P
pretty cool eh?

Please don't get discouraged in your walk with God - keep trusting Him - don't let your stumbles tell you that you are somehow disqualified from a life walking and trusting in God.

Take heart this week as you walk with God - Let His Holy Spirit guide and direct you as you go - Take heed to listen,  ready to act on the promptings that He gives - He only wants to best for you - Let Him encourage, inspire and restore you to Himself - no matter what you are going through.


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Assumptions

I heard once that "assume makes an ass out of U and me".

It has been brought home to me recently just how easily we can assume something and so easily be so wrong in our assumption.

We can assume someone is guilty and then so quickly we can judge - we may not mean to but there it is ~ we can assume almost anything and sometimes assumptions can take us down some really scary paths indeed.

Because sin is offensive, intolerable and unacceptable, God opposes it. He punishes and judges.

Just as fire consumes all that is combustible, so God destroys all that is contemptible. BUT we must let God be the judge of others NOT US!!  It is not right for us to ASSUME we are so right and others are so wrong - even when we know that God has led us through His Holy Spirit to come to a place where we know that he is living in our hearts and souls.

We just can't ASSUME and we certainly can't JUDGE.

In proverbs 18:2 King Solomon writes "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing their own opinion" ~ in other words it is so foolish to ASSUME you understand other people and then turn around and find huge delight in airing your opinion to all and sundry around the place.

Judging and assuming can lead us into sin quicker than we even know.

We have NOT been called to judge others, much less punish those who oppose our God, however, we should develop a strong and vigorous aversion to sin.

Matthew 7:1 tells us NEVER to JUDGE because if we do then we will be judged accordingly ~ pretty sobering thoughts.

In our daily lives, as we more and more rely on God's wisdom and might, we can love ALL people - un-judging and un-assuming ~ without ever approving of their sin.

As a BIBLE based Christian I believe what it says - and try to live my life according to God's principles set down in the Bible - God is emphatic when he says that we DO NOT JUDGE - and assumption can be virtually judging!

God is the Judge and he alone - we cannot even ASSUME to put ourselves in the seat of judgement over anyone! There is certainly a HUGE amount of evil in this world of ours ~ there is absolutely no denying this but we can overcome evil ~ not with our fiery judgments, but with good (read Romans 12: 17-21)

Another dangerous path in ASSUMPTION is ASSUMING that God will lead us down amazing and wonderful paths of fulfillment - we are NOT and never have been guaranteed health, wealth and success!

We often ASSUME that if we obey God then all will be well for us in this life  ~ that our marriages will be perfect, that new jobs will come easy or that our family will grow in love and harmony.

God has never promised us a life of happy-ever-afters here in fact quite the opposite - we will suffer here and we can't ASSUME otherwise.

Another HUGE ASSUMPTION we make when we come to Christ is that we will live perfect lives for Him constantly - we all fall and sometimes we fall a looooong way - I know I did for fourteen long years  I walked away from the Lord who saved me.

In fact we mess up all the time - in this life we will never be perfect for God not ever - BUT the thing is we can come back to Him each and every time we do mess up and return, repent and be restored by the very grace and mercy of God.

OK so where does all this leave us? - Assumption can be dangerous - assumption can lead to judging - assumption can lead us to misunderstand God and His plans for us - Assumption can often, through misunderstanding, lead us away from God and assumption can quickly lead us down wrong, dangerous and very scary streets.

God alone is our strength and our understanding - Give to God what he wants most of all - our lives and our very souls - he wants 100% nothing less.

Let's not assume anything as we go this week - Let's not judge anything either - at the same time let's not bury our heads in the sand. Let's trust God openly and honestly, being very aware that His plans for us give us hope not rejection regardless of what happens around us.










Saturday, 17 June 2017

We are all so unique

We are all individuals and all unique - something that has come home to roost with my brain this week.

How can God in this vast universe with our planet just the tiniest speck in the hemisphere know or even care about one unique individual with all our faults and foibles?

Well He does! How about this is Psalm 147?

"He counts the number of the stars and calls them all by name - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds - He lifts up the humble and takes pleasure in those whose hope is in His mercy!"

WOW!! all that in one Psalm - God knows when we fall and when we are really struggling - He knows when we feel we just can't go on and we feel like giving up.

Everyone is unique in their own way - some, like me, have tried to blend in with the majority but here we are - we are all still unique! Some people actually 'wallow'in their uniqueness - they accept who they are and are unconcerned with any 'labels' the world might try to stick on them.

How many times have we tried to 'fit the mold' of the world and then get depressed because we just can't - speaking personally I have tried countless times to try to fit in - I've tried to change myself and my lifestyle all to no avail whatsoever - I am just different - I feel it and I know it. Are you the same?

What makes us unique? Well, we can be anything - we can be introspective, or an idealist or caring & hospitable - maybe driven by success or spontaneous in our life and thinking. Maybe  an extrovert or an OCD specialist.

Whatever is in our genes can make us individual and unique we can be funny, intense, boring even threatening. We can be pacifists or violent - we can be a daydreamer or a go-getter. Our entire makeup can be in-built or learnt from an early age.

God says that He knows all about us in Luke 12: 7 God says that the very hairs on our head are numbered - that means that he is intimately aware of every aspect of our life - our uniqueness and our individuality.

In families most of us are unique and we love our children for their uniqueness - so just imagine how God loves us even the more. After all He created us with our uniqueness and all of our differences.

God even says in the Scriptures that we are indeed one body of believers but that one body is made up of many vital parts or individuals. God is saying here that we are indeed all different.

God has wired us all differently to that there is no question! but He also says that each of us are wonderfully yet fearfully made. Made in the likeness of God Himself - so if you see yourself just as as ordinary or even above average - then take a closer look.

Look at your individuality through the eyes of God - you are the result of a divine creation and that truth is overwhelming - You are God's UNIQUE design.

God's design goes way beyond physical appearance - it even transcends the dimensional, setting us all apart as the most amazing and unique of God's Creation. Even in the face of the evolution theory that we have all grown up with, we as humans are vastly unique.

So even if you feel you are in a minority group in this topsy turvy world of ours - take heart - you are indeed unique probably in more ways than you will ever know.

God bless you this week as you look again at your uniqueness and then praise God for those very special things that go to make you the person you are.