December 30, 2013
I am so greatfull for the people I have met along life’s journey who have big hearts, they think big and act big towards others. At this time of year there is speculation as to who will be in the queens new year honours list. More often than not, it is not the famous who impresss and inspire me, but those who are only know locally. As you listen to why they are being honoured, many times its down to their Largeheartedness. They give of themselves in the community.
2014 could use many more largehearted people who show acts of extravagant kindness to others, especially to the poor, widowed, marginalised. Question to self…… how will I do this? When will I do this? Can it become a lifestyle not an act?
December 29, 2013
The title says it all! The quest for many is “where is home?”. The old gospel song says “this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through, my treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue”.
The lie that many of us embrace is that we believe we have fullness now and this is home. Father God offers so much more, this is all temporal and we need to live today with tomorrow in mind. Easy to loose sight and slip into “old ways”.
December 20, 2013
What we deserve and what we get. Its so amazing to see grace in action. We rarely see it if we are honest on a human level. We see retaliation and a quest for vengeance. We see justice. My own heart thinks of justice, especially when there is no remorse. Our newspapers recently have covered several stories where there is absolute evil actions by individuals and zero remorse or shame in what they have done. I see in the scriptures both a God of judgement and a God of grace. To those who say sorry, there is grace, to those who turn their nose up, judgement. For those of us that say sorry, the word “instead” is a beautiful word. I experience it daily on a spiritual level but I also say during my mourning for Mike, instead of….
1. a garland instead of ashes
2. oil of gladness instead of mourning
3. the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting
December 19, 2013
We have introduced into our English language the term 24/7. That is often used in conjunction with “convenience”. I work in an organisation where working 9-5 is not known. Life on-board our ship, Logos Hope, starts around 7am and finishes around 10pm. We operate across huge time zones, from Australia to America and several in between. So whilst people work an 8 hour day, it may be very different to my 8 hours. Subsequently you may find people wanting to get their work completed and need your input, when your work day has finished. You may or not be available.
I like that phrase in Isaiah 60:11 “Your gates will be open continually” This phrase is used to show both security is assured and availability is certain Rev. 21:25 25 In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; We have 24/7 access to the throne of God!
December 18, 2013
As a father, I have experienced over the years several emotions in relationship to my children; anger, love, frustration, compassion, joy. The emotions of anger and frustration are short term, the emotions of love, compassion, joy are long term.
The Holy Scriptures say I am made in the image of God. That being the case then what is stated in Isaiah 60v10 “For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you.” I understand.
Psm 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
How cool is that! The bottom line, He wants us to be in relationship with Him. Lifestyle Obedience I call it. So yes I screw up and there may be anger, disappointment , frustration, but the whole wrath of God was satisfied when Christ died for me on the Cross. When I take that on-board and say “thank you Jesus” then I experience the love and compassion of Father God. I’m just bowled over afresh at the compassion of Father.
December 12, 2013
There are times when our emotion says to do the opposite or different from wisdom of others built upon experience. Its in these times that we need the discipline to go with the conventional wisdom, use our heads and not our hearts. So much of the military training is to teach best practice so when a soldier finds themselves in a certain situation they fall back on their training not to be lead by the immediate emotion.
There is much I do not understand when it comes to the faith journey of being a follower of Jesus. After spending much time reading the scriptures I come to a simple summary phrase for myself “lifestyle obedience”. Now I don’t always practice that but I strive for it!
There is much confusion these days with regard to healing and whether God will heal, should heal, how to pray for healing, how not to pray, whether there was sufficient faith and on and on. I am left perplexed by God in this area. So I fall back on the scriptures, not on emotion or experience. In obedience to what the teachings tell me, we pray for healing for someone. We are told to pray without ceasing, to call upon the name of the LORD, to bring all our requests to Him. We know He can, we know His loving nature and His desire for relationship with us. We also know that He is in control of the meta-narrative and we have to trust Him with the sub-plots of individuals.