October 29, 2014
We read in the news about those being held hostages; school girls in Nigeria, individuals by ISIS, crews by pirates……Then we hope to read at a later date how they have been saved or released. Well it struck me recently how we are born as hostages of Sin. We are held captive by sin reigning in our bodies. Out bodies are a battle ground for temptation to all the world has to offer. Through the mercy mission of Jesus coming to earth and dieing on the cross, He was able to pay a price and see us released into freedom. How exhilarating it must be for a hostage to be freed. The great hymn writer penned the words, “my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed thee”. He understood this truth.
Have you ever heard of a freed hostage voluntarily returning to become a hostage again? So why do those of us who have been freed from the power of Sin in our lives, allow our bodies, or parts of our bodies to be weapons for sin, and allow sin to reign and be master over us again! How dumb is that. (Romans 5 & 6)
Unfortunately, death (Sin) is dressed up in a way that looks like life and fun to me. All I know is I want to stay free from the things that look so good but the capture me and enslave me which lead to death. The secret……..well for me…..walking with Jesus daily and that is in brokenness most of the time!
October 15, 2014
As I have been cycling to work the last couple of days, a song keeps playing over in my mind and the words “Only by grace can we enter, only by grace can we stand, not by human en devour but by the blood of the lamb”. I am studying the book of Romans at the moment and its one of the most brilliant literary pieces of writing ever written!
Romans 5 says “we stand in grace”. We are powerless against sin! Do you like me think at times I will put effort into an area of your life that you want to change? If I am powerless why do I try! Versse 6 says “whilst we were helpless, Christ died for us”, HELPLESS. Its Christ death and blood that reconcile us to God. It’s His Holy Spirit that empowers us to live a righteous life. My flesh is powerless, His Spirit in me gives power to be able to live as He wants me to. How good is that truth today!
So today, I stand in His grace. My position of being right with God is not based on anything I have or will do, but simply on His grace, love and mercy. Join me!
September 28, 2014
God is true, man is a liar! (Romans 3) Are you like me and get depressed at your human failings? I see my heart is not in sync with my mouth. It’s easy for me to pontificate about my relationship with God but then my behaviour is at odds with that. I confront myself and look again at my values. Do I really value my relationship with God? If I do, then why do I allow other priorities to push that relationship lower on the “to do” list?
Thank God for His grace, love and mercy. Thank God that He knows the character of us humans and has un-comprehensible capacity to love us as He finds us. Thank you Jesus for restoring what was broken. Thank you Father that you never give up on us. Thank you that one day, we who believe and persevere walking, stumbling, running and lets be honest, at times crawling with you, are one day going to be with you in full.
August 21, 2014
It is good to step out of the traffic of life and just sit, walk and ponder. The last 3 months have been insanely busy; not in a way that many people every day don’t work, but in a way that from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm there are activities demanding my mind is occupied with issues that I am confronted with. It’s so good to be home and not have external influences penetrating my mind space 24 x 7.
I so enjoy the space and quiet of home here in Carlisle. We are so privileged to live in this part of the world where there is so much countryside, amazing vistas. How good it is to read the Psalms and have no “noise” in my mind to be able to ponder on what I read.
Psm 3 v 5 5I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
For those of us who know our heavenly Father, we enjoy His Provision, His Protection, His Peace, His Promises, His Presence when we sleep. In fact more than that, we can lay our heads on the pillow and leave all the cares of the world with Him to sort out during the night.
June 20, 2014
Kathy and I are on Logos Hope for a couple of months, along with 400 other people living in community. Having been here now two weeks I see the dangers of community living once again! After living with me for 28 years, Kathy knows the good, bad and ugly of Mark Knight. She can choose to focus on the good in me or the bad. Both are present.
We like to tell each other of all the bad that is happening and what is not happening within community. I see so much good here. After being involved in the people business for almost 4 decades I have seen it all. Nothing shocks me, just saddens me.
So what do we focus on in each other? You will find what you focus. Can I suggest we live a far happier life is we focus on the good and deal with the other stuff as needed. We need to be realistic that we will fail each other, we will fall below the ideal expectation we place on each other.
Choose to have a good day until there is a good reason to have a bad one!!!!
June 12, 2014
There are times in our lives when intense circumstances turn up the speed of learning or a fresh perspective. As I was reading Mathew 14 it reminded me of the times surrounding Mike’s death.
Jesus took His disciples with Him to the garden, a place He liked to go. He told them to wait there whilst He went on ahead, but He took His 3 close friends with Him. After going a little further He told those 3 to wait whilst He went by Himself and spend time with His father. On this occasion He referred to His father as “abba”, dad, pop, daddy etc.
Think of three concentric circles. We all have friends in the outer circle. We know them, spend time most often in groups with them and meet them on occasions either in groups of individually. The middle circle our friends who are close to us, they have known the good, bad and ugly of our lives. We relate to them on the emotional level and being vulnerable with them is an attribute of our relationship.
Then there is our relationship with God! Can I honestly say I have such an awesome friendship that I call Him abba, not because its a name but it reflects the type of relationship I have with Him?
Friends will come and go.Jesus asked His 3 friends to keep a lookout. He knew Judas was going to betray Him and he did not want him turning up with others to take Him at that point. But they fell asleep. Jesus needed help at that moment, but they failed Him. We as a family did not experience any failure from our friends during a difficult time, but we had to journey alone with our abba father into the inner circle.
One day, the friends that surround us will be gone. Do I daily spend time with abba father, cultivating a relationship and asking for help in the assignment He has given me? Jesus was tempted to give up and avoid the path He had to take. The inner strengh He needed came as He poured out His emotion to His father and His father counseled and encouraged Him.
So which circle gets most of my energy and focus!
May 3, 2014
As I sit in my chair this morning, my mind is active and remembering the days soon after Mike’s funeral. Roy died a few days ago after battling with cancer, leaving his wife Mel. I could not get to the funeral on Wednesday but understand there were around 500.
When the music fades, the flowers die, people return to their homes and you are left with a quiet empty house with your thoughts and pain. I feel for Mel today and I am happy that her son and daughter live close by. They will be able to talk about dad & husband to each other and help process the huge loss.
Through conversations this week with others and recent events we have been involved, I cannot stress enough the importance to work hard on good relationships. Life in reality is a fleeting moment. Consumerism advocates that we build material wealth and enhance our life with all kinds of temporary things. In truth, none of these things bring the depth of reward as strong relationships where love and mutual commitment is central. And yes that will lead to pain at some point as the relationship comes to an end, but we are richer for it.
If there was one thought I could offer to those around Mel, don’t feel awkward about talking to her about Roy. It’s a joy to talk about our loved ones and we live with both pain and happiness.