Simple thoughts on the best book ever written! The bible is our refer to manual for life. This is a place to share your Christian thoughts and ideas with others.
A blog of personal experiences and thoughts through my own Christian growth and daily struggles that we face!
I haven't written anything in awhile. Many reasons
actually,but the biggest I think is one
that I am very embarrassed to say. I have been too busy for God!
It's the end of the year, work commitments, have been
very demanding and deadlines and projects have been on the go. Problem being
that God hasn't been apart of that. He has been a far distant memory and
someone who comes into my mind when I need Him.
Anyway, while I am now on leave and looking back at what
I have missed during my work commitments, I now see where God would have been
important in my life.
Everywhere! In fact, everything I did, was without Him. Every thought
I had didn't include Him. Every meeting I had,he wasn't there.
Isn't this against everything that a Christian is?
Isn't this completely against our core beliefs? I didn't partake and grow my relationship with Jesus.
But as I write this, I think to myself how many times I
have actually done this. Excluded God from my life. Thinking that everything I
do, is something I can do myself. I didn't need God. Why bother?
Is this something that's Christian's struggle with? Where
we try and do everything ourselves and completely ignore God in our lives.
Where He is calling us, we are too busy!
Where He is walking beside us, we are going in the other
direction, Where He is prompting us, we are are looking at ourselves for the
answer and not trusting Him for anything!
The thing is now....what do I do? I have ignored God and
not even thought about Him and now I feel bad and want to do something about
it? Who am I to decide when to be in a relationship with God and when!
I can't decide that, but that's why God is God!
God is so merciful, so loving, so gracious and so
forgiving that He doesn't look at the past, but He looks at the future. God
takes as as we are because He knows that we are sinners and He knows that, as
humans, we cock up many times and we are still going to cock up some more :)
The decision that is ours though, is that we need to
decide which path to follow. When we fall off the small and narrow path, do we
continue along the beaten track which leads away from God and towards
ourselves, or do we make the decisions to get back on the small track leading
to the King of love. If we choose the small track, we need to tell God where we
have been, what we have done and where we want to go. We need to ask for
forgiveness from where we have been and we need to commit to God where we were
heading and where we want to head now.
I think the next few blogs will probably follow this
topic as it fresh on my mind from where I have been and where I need to get
I would love to hear your stories as well and your
I have been so excited to write about this since yesterday
when it all came to a conclusion. It is a personal story about 2 great people
that I have known for the last few weeks. It’s a story of love and healing and
how the Holy Spirit wrapped it all up. It was also a story of hope and I was
personally there to witness this whole thing unfold and due to the love of Jesus,
it worked out just perfect.
I am in awe at the work of Jesus Christ, our Lord who does
Two people whom I had met a few weeks ago at the alpha course
that we run at our church, Lets name them Jared and Sally for confidentiality
sake , seemed very apprehensive and quiet from the beginning. Whilst Sally has often
said a word or two to the rest of the small group, Jared would be very shy and
quiet. Jared said at the beginning that he is looking for something more. He
believed that God has somehow let go and that He was alone. Why would God want
a relationship and Jared was looking for more and a way to get back into the
Jared and Sally or both divorced, each with their own
children, and they are now together and seem very happy and good for each other.
But for me, there was just something not right. It seemed that Jared was
anxious or had a lot of hurt from previous situations in his life, as a lot of
us do. It seemed that Jared was carrying these hurts with him, but we didn’t know.
As weeks went by, we all got to know each other much better
and everyone started opening up a little about their lives.
We all went on the alpha camp this past weekend. The camp is
in a beautiful part of the countryside.
We learn a lot about the Holy Spirit on this weekend, Who He
is, What He does and How the Holy Spirit can fill us. When a group of people go
away together, you tend to find out a lot more about them.
Jared and Sally came on the weekend and brought there kids
as well. Jared was still very quiet on the weekend. We came to a time of
ministry on Saturday where people can be ministered to, prayed for and spend
time with God in a peaceful and relaxed environment. In this time, often people
break down, cry, are slain in the Spirit or just sit in the peace of the Holy
Spirit. Jared started with tears but very quiet. When asked if He wanted
prayer, He opted for it and it came out that He blames himself for a lot of
past hurts and how they have effected the relationship between him and his
daughter. He blamed himself for what he has possibly done to his daughter
emotionally. He came to a time where he wanted to take his life because the
past hurts were eating at him. They were stuck inside his heart, blocked in and
being used by satan as a tool to keep on blaming himself. He couldn’t release
the hurt. There was sever pain there and He didn’t how to deal with it. In this
session, He sat and cried a little, closed his eyes and prayed.
We don’t know what happened. Jared didn’t tell anyone. It
was personal stuff after all and it was between him and God.
We prayed for Jared and Sally. We prayed for their blockages
and hurts to be pulled down and that God would remove them.
Ministry time over, Saturday night came…We all had a bunch
of fun together, Jared was laughing and enjoying himself with the others and
all seemed well.
Sunday morning we got together in groups again, asking how
everything was going, what anyone thought and how they managed in the ministry
session the previous day. Some of the people said it was great, some said
nothing, Jared and Sally said they enjoyed it but nothing changed for them. It
was then that I saw the pain in Jared’s face. It was a look that I have never
seen before in a anyone. It was like you could see so much pain in his eyes and
that it was getting the better of him. Pain was winning!
A few of us went aside and prayed again for our group, but
specifically for Jared and Sally. We prayed that Jared could somehow release
all the pain and hurt he was experiencing and that God would remove the
blockages and walls that satan was building up in his heart.
After our group session, we had another time of ministry. We
again went to Jared and asked him if he wanted to pray or talk. We prayed
together, Jared started crying a lot. Him and Sally were hugging, crying
together and just really praying to God for help….. But nothing!
We were asking questions in our minds….Why God? What are we
doing wrong?We have been praying for
Jared so much in the last few days and nothing had changed. Jared was not
feeling different, he still felt pain, he still felt the pain of a broken
relationship with his daughter. We told him that God will work in his life, but
I wanted to know why nothing had changed yet??? Why God, Why?
We just couldn’t get a breakthough….
As the weekend drew to a closure, we had a time of feedback
where people that experienced the love of God through His Spirit, poured into
their hearts and felt a renewing of their minds. A few people came up, spoke
about their experiences and it brought many to tears.
Right at the end, a young girl walked up to the stage, just
as some people were started to get up and leave…it was Jared's daughter. We were
all so shocked because we had hardly seen her that weekend. Her and her dad hadn’t
got on too well on the weekend and this also difficult for Jared to handle.
She started off saying how angry she was, how she didn’t want
to come on the weekend and she was forced by her dad and we were getting a
little scared how this was going to end up because everyone was in good spirits
from hearing all the good stories from others.
And then the bomb dropped. She just started crying. She
sobbed ad while she was sobbing she was trying to talk on the microphone. She apologized
to her dad for everything, she told how she loved him so much and how she
regretted all the ugly things that she had said. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I
just lost my emotions and cried and half the hall was in tears. No-one out of
the 186 people in the hall knew Jared and his hurt except for a few in our
group. At that stage I just turned around and grabbed Jared's hand, He was
beside himself. He and Sally were crying so much. He had never heard those
words from his daughter, He couldn’t believe it…..It couldn’t have come at a
We all jumped out of our seats and got into a group hug with
Jared, Sally, His daughter and the rest of our group. What an ending! Praise
God! Praise God! Praise God! Everyone was crying tears of happiness!
As I write this, I feel a tear fall from my eye because its
one of those stories that just brings so much thought into my mind. Tears of
pain, sadness and hurt were changed into tears of ecstatic happiness, tears of
love and tears of a beautiful re-beginning of a relationship between a father
Who are we to expect God to act in our time. Here we were questioning God about why He was doing
anything, and it was all planned already. It happens in Gods time.
God loves us, He wants everything good for us. He made us.
All we need to do is love and trust Him as our dad and nothing will be impossible.
Praise God for His love, Praise God for what He did
yesterday and Praise God for being a faithful God and a Dad to look up to.
I have just had the privilege of chatting to 2 of my beautiful family members in Christ, Avril and Shane tonight. This after having the privilege of being apart of the alpha course and sitting in a group of 9 other people who are so eager to have a closer relationship with our Lord and Saviour. This was all after hearing a one hour message in my car today from Andrew Wommack, a man whom I admire and have great respect for, in a message of his called "Its up to you!"
Now we are also going away for the weekend to a beautiful part of our country South Africa, where God is going to meet people where they are in life and His spirit will flood the camp.
I must say, the last 2 days and the days to come this week are so exciting. Exciting because the Spirit of God is everywhere around us. We don't know what to expect on the weekend because every weekend we go on is different and The Spirit of God manifests in a different way, We just know that He will be there!
Anyway, back to my chat I had right at the beginning with Avril and Shane. It was nice to catch up but what they told me turned a 5 minutes catch up conversation to a 40 minute in-depth, exciting, adrenalin pumping session :) These guys, with a group of about 20 other people, go every Saturday and some nights of the week and pray for healing in some of our most poorest and unsafe communities. Now, if any of you understand when I say poor and unsafe, these are people who live in poverty, filth, sewerage and sickness. Going to a place like this would strike fear in me because of the situation. But you know what, where God is, Peace is! The stories that they can tell about healing that they have seen with their own eyes, with their own hands, physical healing, mental healing and emotional healing. They pray for drug Lords, child traffickers, rapists, murderers etc. They have seen many really terrible sights of blood and pain, but this has not turned them away. When you have God on your side, you can do anything. God works through us. I could listen to stories like this all night. Stories that inspire, Good news stories - instead of listening to the bad, mundane stories about corruption, crime and stuff in the newspaper.
When even one person comes to Christ - This is something to celebrate. The Angels in heaven scream and shout in happiness. Healing is real, it happens. I have also personally seen it on many occasions. We don't have to be special people to pray healing over others. We need God! We don't need some special relationship and power in order to heal others, We need God! God does the work through us. What we need to do is believe 100% that it will indeed happen - and it does. Through God we can do anything!
When I was chatting to them, they grew so excited about what they were saying. They truly believed in what they were doing. I think "passionate" is the best word here. When we are passionate about God, he uses us more and more. Its all up to us to decide where we put God in our lives!
I am feeling on top of the world right now spiritually. I know God loves me, I know He is with me, He accepts my many faults, but He still loves me. To hear stories like these from close friends in Christ whom I love dearly, To see people coming to an alpha course and wanting to know more about who God is and to hear a man preach on How we can make a difference has just made it all come together and I think one conclusion is drawn here, and that is that through God, nothing is impossible. He brings excitement in your life that nothing else can offer eternally. He brings a hope. He brings togetherness, friendship and love. And he heals.
I thank God for how He has spoken to me in the last few days, I thank God for my family in Christ and I thank God for what He has done and is going to do for me.
Our Spirit, something that we spend little time concentrating on and trying to grow. Its the part of us that the Lord desires the most and that Satan wants mostly to control. Its the battle of our Spirit....and we spend the least time on it.
Our Spirit is like our control room. The way we act towards each other, they way we think about ourselves, others and situations. How we relate to anything and everything is all governed by our inner Spirit. Our Spirit also then becomes a place where we throw our emotions if we cant deal with them. If you are an angry person and anger seems to get the better of you in many instances - its because anger has taken control of your Spirit and is manifesting there and growing stronger and stronger and you are trying to deal with the results instead of dealing with the problem. The Spirit can be a repository of good and bad emotions/feelings and if it is not concentrated on and fixed at "Spirit" level, anything else you try to do to walk away from issues in your life are NOT going to work. We have to concentrate on our Spirits, fix what is in there, throw away the bad effects in our Spirit so that our outer actions towards others are completely changed.
The only way we can "fix" our Spirits, is to let the Holy Spirit come into our Spirits and let Him take control. The Holy Spirit is a "Him" because it is 'God...in us'. We have things in our Spirit which attract bas spirits to come into our Spirit and reign there, hence our actions are effected and our thoughts patterns our changed to reflect these bad spirits controlling our Spirit. We are all desperate and needing Christ's Spirit in us, in our Spirit and this is why Paul, in Ephesians, prayed for the Holy Spirit to control our Spirits "at all times".
What we do, especially as children as well, when bad things are said to us, we don't how to deal with them and get on with life, so we push these bad things into our spirit so that it doesn't effect us and it feels like we have pushed it away. When in fact, we have just push the bad feeling/emotion deeper into us and it will grow within us, show its ugly head and get stronger and start moulding your thoughts, feelings, relationships and overall attitude. Rejection is another things which gets dumped into the human Spirit. We don't want feel rejected sin the short term so we push rejection away into our Spirits....Problem is that it comes back much stronger at a later stage and effects us even worse than before. Hatred and anger are exactly the same. And this is the part that I am seeming to catch a wake up. I have a lot of anger in my spirit which had been pushed there from years and years ago as a child and growing up and this anger now shows its head, not every now and then, but everyday! Its because I am trying to ignore my Spirit and run away from it and not trying to tackle my Spirit head-on. Resentment and insecurity also love sitting in your Spirit. they grow there. Things that may have happened at any stage of your life, instead of dealing with the situation, we ignore it and that's the start of an ugly growth in our Spirits.
But Yes, there is a solution to this. The Holy Spirit! Its very common to see physically disabled people who seem peaceful with their situation. people like this, one could say that they have an excuse to be angry/resentful, but instead they are peaceful and have accepted their situation. This is because they have been healed internally. Although externally they still are disabled, internally they are at peace and this is because the Spirit of the Lord has healed them! Often there is so much hurt that has been caused in a marriage from fighting and arguing an that hurt is stored in your Spirit. We get over fights but the hurt remains and this causes a breeding ground for ugliness and resentment towards each other. Outwardly we seem fine but inwardly we are crying. The Spirit of God comes when we pray for one another. Asking God's Spirit to come into ourselves and our partners and openly laying out our lives to God (Laying our spirit bare) will allow Gods Spirit to heal us, break those old bad emotion strongholds in our Spirits and allow us to be free!
Isn't this awesome. Some of us have so much to confess to the Lord. Do it today! Some of us are "crying inside", Ask God into your life...TODAY! Do it now!
I pray that this bit of writing will bless you as you read it, as much as it blessed me while writing it. I pray that this finds your Spirit and kicks off a renewed call for Gods Spirit in your life!
I went to church on Sunday. I don't go as much as I used to for some reason. I write about this particular Sunday because it just right at a time in my life when there is so much going on around me so quickly and I am thinking that I am alone in everything. But then the stubborn part of me says "Oh boohoo, get over yourself!" So its round and round in a big circle and I get more saddened at it all.
Anyway, I sat in my normal seat in the service, greeted the normal people that normally sit around me and then the service started. I feel lonely! I wish I had my family around me! I prayed to God to help me get out of this ridiculous thought pattern. It was a communion service and the way that the communion runs in my church is the that the first rows go down to the front 'pulpit' to receive the Body and blood of Christ (bread and wine) and then filter back to their chairs and then the next rows go and so on until they reach the back of the church and every person has been to the front. Now I sit on the center isle, always, and so all the people coming down to the pulpit to participate in communion walk right past me. After I had been down to the front, I came back to me chair and sat and started praying, for general stuff. I cant tell you what it was but I felt probably about 20 hands on my shoulders all the different times from different people, just saying 'Hi'. When I stopped praying, I must have shaken hands and hugged with another 10 people.
There is a point to this! It was like this is Gods way of saying "You're not alone, I am with you". When I say alone, I mean alone in my Christian thoughts and ideas and that there is no-one to share them with. Not physically alone. Is this what it is going to be like in heaven? Everyone is happy, peaceful, enjoying the sacrament of Christ, greeting eachother, hugging eachother because they really mean it? YES! Why? Because the Bible tells us so. To see love between people, all sharing in the blood shed by Jesus and all sharing in His body is something that every Christian should know, God reminded me that day that we are not alone in our thoughts about Him, but rather we all share a common theme.......that God is Love! People that I haven't seen for years came up to me to say Hi, People from when I was at school and people that I cant even remember their names (I just smiled at those :)) I only realized today the whole situation. On Sunday I thought it was really strange, but today it hit home!
Look for God in the small things. They are probably under your nose. Something we do is look at why God is not changing us lie we want Him to or why isn't He listening..... But maybe....just maybe....we are looking in the wrong place!
Let me leave you with a verse from Gods Word. Romans 10:17 - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
We all have a door in us.... Its is the entrance to our heart.... It is the guard we use to stop anything hurting us, bringing us down or letting evil take control.... With most of us, our door stays shut. Its never been opened, In fact it has weeds growing over it, thistles growing between the cracks and hinges that have never worked.... This door is usually stays shut because we don't people to know us too well or to know what we think and the way we work. We are so used to having our door shut, that we don't allow any influence into us because we are scared and proud and we try to protect the little that we have....
What's inside your door? What are you keeping hidden away?
But there's someone who is always knocking on your door, always standing waiting for you to open it, wanting to come inside, wanting to know you. You can chase Him away.....But He'll come back, every time! He is known as the light of the world! He is known as the King of Kings! He is Jesus Christ!
Our doors do not have handles on the outside which means that no-one can enter without our permission. We have to open the door from our side. Jesus will always knock on our door, but the handle is on the inside and only we can decide whether to open for Him. He will never force Himself into our lives.
He invites us to sit with Him. He invites to eat with Him and be His friend. Revelation 3:20 - Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Jesus offers a personal invitation to each of us, because salvation is for each of us individually. In The days when Jesus was on this earth in flesh, it was customary to sit and eat together. this was a form of friendship and love. This is why 'eating' is referred to in the above verse. We are often hesitant to let Jesus in or anyone else for that matter because we are scared to show others how "dirty" our inside is. But remember, Jesus is the only one that clean up the inside. We are not strong enough to do it ourselves. We need Him, We need His redemptive Spirit and His blood shed for us will be poured into our hearts and clean all the "dirt" out. BUT.....The decision is yours! Do you hear Jesus knocking on your door? I think the picture below is a perfect illustration of this story. Painted by Holman Hunt.
Someone mentioned this psalm to me tonight, so I went and read it thoroughly and I just love the words that David uses here. He wrote this after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and organized for her husband to be killed. This psalm is so true of my life and possibly for many others.
It is so easy to ask God for forgiveness and then carry on with life - but that leads us nowhere. In fact it leads into destructive guilt that we cannot override, Remember, sin can only be removed by God. We cannot do it ourselves, we are weak and we need God here. Asking for forgiveness is useless without confessing our sin and genuinely trying to repent from it. We can't just carry on doing what we have always been doing. Eventually it catches up on you. You become burdened with guilt, you develop a hard shell around your heart and your soul and then you doubt yourself with everything that comes your way. You tell yourself that evil is taking over and start asking God why you are in such awkward/difficult/ugly situations. He graciously grants us forgiveness when we confess and repent. God requires true heartfelt repentance rather than rituals or words. He wants us to take responsibility for our sins. There is so much hope for us if we want to help ourselves. If we cant be true to ourselves, how can we be true to our creator. There is always hope for us, no matter how our pasts look.....we just need to be genuine with ourselves and God.
Read the psalm 51 below and tell me what you think. To me, it's a beautiful representation of asking for Gods forgiveness. Bless you
Psalm 51- New living translation
1 Have mercy on me, O God, because
of your unfailing love. Because of your great
out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify
me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion; it
haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I
have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in
what you say, and
your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner— yes,
from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching
me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins,and I will be clean; wash
me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again; you
have broken me— now
let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove
the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew
a loyal spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence, and
don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and
make me willing to obey you.
Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and
they will return to you.
Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then
I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.
Unseal my lips, O Lord, that
my mouth may praise you.
You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You
do not want a burnt offering.
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You
will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Look with favor on Zion and help her; rebuild
the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right
burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings. Then
bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.
Last week, by daughter got a bee in her bonnet to go and sleep at Granny's house for the night.
Now for my daughter, who doesn't even sleep at friends houses or go to anyone else, this was quite surprising. Since her brother was born, I think she could be a little insecure and would not go anywhere.
Nevertheless, we took her on Monday to Granny's house for the sleep over. She was so excited to be there. We left and went shopping and got home - nothing much different. In fact I was glad that she has finally got the courage to venture out again.
Let me tell you, I was beside myself. I walked around my garden thinking about her, I went to bed thinking about her and what she was doing.
Now when she is at home, she is normally screaming outside, making a bunch of noise, running around, watching television or whatever, but it normally involved noise.
How I missed this when she was gone!
My heart was crying out for her to be back home, but I didn't say anything. I didn't want her to go in the first place and now it felt like she was gone for ages.
Now when she is at home, we go about our lives in an everyday routine. I get home from work, tired and she wants to do stuff with me and I often push her off.
But when she is gone, my heart falls into a ball of putty. Its like crying inside!
Isn't this like some of our Christian lives as well? We call ourselves "Christian", We try act "Christian", inside we are "Christian"....but we just don't get it right. We act like we are the worst people around, we sin, we don't help others, we swear, we do lots of "un-Christian" things.
But when it hits home, for example when we go to church or have a profound Christian event, we realize what we have done and try change it. But does it ever happen.
Its all a big circle.
Its like we have this hard "unchristian" shell around us but inside, we actually are these awesome people, loving, caring, giving etc.
I am generalizing here because I would like to think that all people are like this deep down. I know there are people who aren't, but surely every single person on this earth has a part of them somewhere that is good and "like Christ".
Its the hard shell around us that blocks this good part of our hearts.
But there are so many really good people around that seem to have this "Christian" thing down to a tee?
We can all be like that. We can all give, love, care and do......its how to break away from the bondage's of this world and break into the mercy of Christ.
Its when that hard shell is compromised, is when we get our backs up and start to protect our fragile heart inside.
Inside of being reactive, maybe be proactive.
These last few lines are so like me. I sin, I swear, I don't love as much as I should, I often don't care about the things and people that I should an I get angry at things that I shouldn't.
Do you find yourself in the same boat?
Its when something you take for granted is away from your heart, its like that's when God talks to you and says "Now see, look at what you have taken for granted, Look at the beauty I have given you and what you have done with it".
But you know what, God does not condemn us, He never tells us that we are failures, He always believes in us and supplies us with endless grace and mercy. We don't have to do something to win Gods love - its already in abundance.
Here's the Gift from God - take it - and spread it!
So again I write this because its a daily challenge for me. I hope this makes sense, because it is a little involved. I struggle with anger all the time and also struggle to find the best way to stop it. The problem is, that I have a split second in which to allow hundreds of signals going through my brain to stop and take another path - and this is the challenge.
For me, Anger had become more of a nasty habit than anything else and I think most of it is based on a quick temper. After serious thinking and thought and worrying and wondering, I think I have found a good flow of what happens in that 'anger' moment. We need a trigger, first of all. Something triggers our anger. Yes, there are many things that could do this and this is not the problem, its what happens afterwards which causes the problem. Once the trigger happens, your brain directs a signal down a specific path to pick up your belief on what has just happened. The path that your brain picks is the same and is so ingrained because of the way you acted in previous situations and every time you get angry about something, you brain knows exactly where to send the signal to get a reaction. Your belief on the situation is most probably a thought that you had previously on the same situation. Once your brain has sent that signal to the "thought", then a consequence happens. A consequence could be anything from an angry outburst, bitterness towards someone, harsh words or slander against someone or rage.
So here it is: TRIGGER ----- BELIEF ----- CONSEQUENCE
But it doesn't stop here, because this whole thing works in a circle because the consequence and the belief work hand in hand. They both feed each other for the next time you get an anger moment. It grows stronger and stronger, making your belief more 'stubborn' and your consequences more 'outrageous'. This is the trap I am in and I believe it is the trap that many of us get into. We have to get out!
Now what I am leading to is Ephesians 4:31: Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
This circle of rage that I mention above is completely against Ephesians 4:31, word by word (well I made it that way :)) But the point is here that anger turns to bitterness, bitterness turns to people not wanting to be around you and thus you get more upset, your beliefs strengthen against someone or yourself and then the consequences become worse. In fact, you end up looking for anything to be angry about! Your brain is too aware of the triggers and cant wait to start signaling your beliefs.
How do we stop this? We need to create a new path for our brain to start signaling through. We need to stop feeding the old aggressive bitter path and start creating a path which leads to Ephesians 4:32: Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
How do we create a new path? Well I believe that we need to change our beliefs on certain things. To me, the whole core of this bitter circle is the belief part and it ends up like "What we belief is what we are!" And changing our beliefs on certain things, we need to look at Jesus. Look at how Jesus acted, what He said, what triggered his emotions and anger and what the consequences were. Ephesians 4:23: Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Yes, its difficult. Yes you are going to fail 90% of the time. But that 90% will come down to 40% on so on, and soon you will look back and notice that things that you used to get angry about and things that flared your temper, just wouldn't excite you that much anymore. But remember, Anger is still a God given emotion and there are still times that we should get angry.
Does this make sense. I don't know if I have relayed my thoughts properly here as it is one of those "write as you think" things... Let .me know
This is a topic very close to my heart as it is something that I struggle with everyday of my life and it eats away at me continually. First lets get this misconception out in the air....ANGER is not a evil thing. Christians do get angry, Jesus got angry, God got angry, we get angry! By getting angry does give anyone else the right to question your belief and your Christian ethics, in fact it just shows how little the other person understand about Christianity. There is a BUT here. There is Good anger and bad anger. Good anger you ask?
Anger is an emotion that we were given by God. It is not a satan thing. But it is one of the easiest emotions for satan to turn around and use as an evil thing. Satan turns anger to control us instead of us controlling it and when ager controls us it becomes out of control and spirals into hurt, more anger and sin. Anger is not sin when used in the correct manner.
I often get angry about ridiculous things and then after my little episode has passed I think to myself, "Was that really necessary?" We should be getting angry at sin, not sin from anger! For example: I get angry at someone cutting me off in the traffic and almost causes me to swerve out the way because they think they are more important. But then when I hear on the news that 4 year old girl gets raped and is hung in a tree to die, then its just news. I have got this anger thing totally wrong!!! We should be getting angry at sin, at things that we have control over and things that we can change. By me getting angry at someone swerving in front of me in traffic, is not going to change anything. That person is not going to sit and re-think that they did. They probably don't even care and possibly don't even know what they did. By me getting myself into and absolute fit about it is not going to change what they do next. In fact, it often leads to fingers being pointed at each other, a few prize words shouted and high blood pressure.
When we express anger in the wrong way and shout at someone and let them have it, we tend to think its a sign of power and strength. Big 'ol me, the powerful! but in fact its a sign of weakness because you cannot control your emotions. Satan has taken that situation and has quickly made you think that screaming at someone will make you a better person. (Note to self!)
We may also suppress anger, but this also leads the wrong way. If we bottle up anger, we tend to become depressed and bitter. People see this and then don't want to be around you anymore. Then you become more angry at being alone and it goes around and around....
OK now heres the difficult part! We need to confess our anger to God! My question here is "But how does that help me when I am just about to blow up at someone? How do I stop the anger before it happens?" The answer??? I don't know truthfully! Because I struggle with this emotion and my anger gets offset extremely quickly, I would think that the offsetting of my anger is my temper (discussed in next blog), what I am going to try faithfully everytime now before I feel anger is arising, is think to myself the old but true statement "WWJD" (What would Jesus do?)
Would Jesus get angry at what I am just about to lose my temper about? Is me getting angry going to change the world and the current situation? Am I acting like Jesus did when He was on earth?
God is our Father, Jesus is His Son and our Savior and the Holy Spirit is our guide.
The Spirit of our God is in us, advising, guiding and convicting.
Do you know Him?
A letter from Jesus... To my beloved child At church or when we are with your fellow church friends and my children, don't you see that you are different? Don't you see that your actions and thoughts and beliefs about me are different? You come to hear about me, what my Father has done and where you fit in. You come to be apart of my body. You come to learn about my life so you can do the same. You come to know me. When you fellowship, you are happy, you raise your arms in the air to me, you pray to me with meaning, you speak on different languages and you have a deep love for me. You see me, you believe me, you trust in me and you ask me for help. I am so happy to see this. But what happens when you walk out the door. Everything changes. You fall back into your old ways of sin, unfriendliness, unloving, always in a hurry not to notice me around you, too busy to hear for my voice. You cant take your friends and the church pastor with you when you leave. When you leave those doors, its just you, me and my Father! But, my child, understand this. Know that I have your back. I know exactly what your are doing, where you are going and your next move. Why do you not trust me when its just you and me? You talk to me in church and through worship and praise, you ask me to come into your life, but when you leave, you put me aside and then run off on your own without hearing what I have to say. My child, I love you. I loved you even before you were born. You will never be able to comprehend the extent of what I feel about you. I want to be your friend. I want to be your guide and your advisor. I want you to know me! I gave my life for you and I know that some of you think I am a distant ghost that pops up every now and then when I want to. I want you to know that I am not distant, I am everywhere! I am where you want me to be, I am around you and more importantly.....I am in you! But its your decision. If you don't want me around, that's fine. I will never force myself into your life. I love you to allow you to make every decision in your life (even though I made you) - But I would just love to see you make the most important decision of your life, and that is to believe who I am and what I did for you and for you to trust me, know who I am and know what I am like. I will never walk away from you, even if you walk away from me. I will always be there. "There" is not far away, "There" is right next to you. but I just want a personal invitation from you to allow me into your heart. I want to go to wake up with you, I want to go to work with you, I want to talk to others with you, I want to love your family with you and I want to go to bed with you. We can talk to each other whenever you like...because I love you. I can teach you so many things. I can show you the grace that my Father His blessed you with. I can tell you about my life as a human. I can show you how to give of your time to help others (but only if you want). Don't you want to know me? You are my child and you were made so perfectly. I want to spend time with you and get close to you so that our time together so that when we meet at the throne, we can crown you with all the riches that my Father has to give and guess what..... We can spend all our life together, forever in heaven. I can show you all the animals, birds and insects that you have never seen. We can even go and feed all the forest animals and hug them. We can run together in the green grass and laugh together and tell stories about how you were saved! So, My special child, don't let satan get in between me and you. Whatever ha slipped in between you and me, bring it to my feet and lay it before me. Satan cant handle that, he lost the battle and he is forever lost. Don't let Him take you with him. I am your Blessed Redeemer! I love you! Jesus.
This is something that I believe God writes to us everyday of our lives. I find it so easy to be "Christian" at church and with my friends at church, but what happens when I leave church grounds - everything changes. Lets take up our cross now and live like Jesus all the time. Lets lay our sin at His feet!
I hope you enjoy reading this as much I loved writing it. Bless you
Had a bit of a laugh in my car this morning thinking about ipods and then funny enough how it could relate to God. I found quite a tie up between the two, well at least I think so :)
Often we treat God like our ipod. Lets take a 16Gb iPod and what do we do......fill it with music right? The first time we get our iPods, we fill them with all our favourite music and videos and etc... But after awhile, we remove the songs that we don't like anymore or those that we have not played in a long time or are relatively boring. This is how it goes for the lifetime of the ipod until a new type of ipod comes out, a bigger and better one, with more Gb's and a better looking screen and new enhancements. But it does pretty much the same as the old ipod you had, but some things are made easier.
Now lets imagine God being the full 16Gb on your ipod. When we "convert" to Christianity or accept Jesus as our Saviour, God is the best thing. I mean, He is great, you feel on a high (just like when you bought your new ipod) and all is good. But during the our time as a Christian, we mould God into what we want him to be. Just like we delete some songs from our ipods and replace them with other newer ones, we delete thoughts and ideas about God and replace them with other ones, often ones that have been put into our minds from our surrounding environment. We try to make God fit into our plans or we try make ourselves believe that God is something that He is not! And as we go about deleting, moulding and replacing our ipods with 'new stuff', we go about removing the goodness of God and replacing it with ideas that we have come up with and try mould Him into those ideas. Here's an example, one that I have thought and applied to God, but is a total lie and biblically incorrect.
When I accepted Jesus as my Saviour, I knew I was saved from eternal evil. Why, Because the Bible says so. I thought that now, my life would get better, I would start doing lots of good stuff, giving alot more, helping more poor people etc etc. This didn't happen. I knew God would somehow fix the bad things I did previously and He would build on the bad and turn them into good things.
But this is wrong. It has been something I have always thought and something I have moulded God into, but its completely wrong. God DOES NOT build on our past! He wipes away our past! We are a new creation. Once we have accepted His Son, our lives are renewed. Everything is wiped clean we get the chance of starting again - from scratch! Also, this thought that there is many ways to God or that all roads lead to heaven? This is a world view and complete nonsense. The Bible says that there is only one way to God and that is through His son Jesus Christ!
So we cannot delete and replace ideas and thoughts about God and think we have this up-to-date relationship with Him. What God is....is in the Bible!
Another thing, The battery on an ipod, after using it, starts giving you less and less usage as the ipad gets older. This seems to be the same as our christian lives. As we live our lives in this world, we start "Going flat" and our spiritually charge gets less and less until we die (Spiritually that is).
Don't put God into a box. I know I do! But its wrong. God is not a thing or an "it", He is a person, and He deserves our undying attention and love.
I hope this put something into perspective for you because it certainly did for me while writing it.
Continuing from the previous blog about our lives being so rushed and hurried, we tend to forget or not have time to do the important stuff. Like spending time with our kids or wives, intimately..... or reading Gods Word - to learn more on how to live a good life.
In my life, I really need to ignite a passion to get back into reading the Bible again. I used to read but that has come to a halt. How can I possibly learn about God or have a relationship with Him if I don't even know the kind of person He is or know Him intimately?
Often I will say "I don't have time to read the Bible". Really? There are so many books in the Bible that take literally 10 minutes to read. Books like James and some of the letters of Paul in the New testament. They are so short and yet are packed with important knowledge about God. There is no excuse. There are thousands of pod casts on iTunes and on websites that you can download for free and listen to in the car while driving to work.
Where do I begin? I have always found the old testament extremely tiresome and possibly boring to read. That leaves me with the new testament. Which book do I start with, what verse/chapter/sentence? These are just excuses. I got a free bible reading plan from the net, it guides us in what to read daily.
The Bible is boring or dull. Well yes, possibly. If you read a verse here and there in between books and don't know the real back round of what you are reading, it could be dull. Why not try reading a few chapters which could give you a proper back round and context of what you are reading. Also, getting a study bible also helps.
You know, I could go on and on about all sorts of excuses about time and that I hear the Bible read to me at church on Sunday but there is a reason why we should read the Bible, and that is to get to know Jesus and the kind of character God is.
What we read, we should do! I don't, and that's what makes me a prime candidate to read the Bible because I am clearly not acting as a Christian should be. I love reading other Christian books, those written from authors about subjects in the Bible. This is also fine, but the problem here if I look back is that these books are also an opinion of those authors. They are writing what they believe or take from the Word of God. We need to read the Word ourselves and get from it what we need. To understand the Word of God and also read other Christian books at the same time, to me, will greatly help in becoming the kind of people God wants us to be, and that is people who take and interest in who God is, what He has done for us and what He is going to do for us in heaven.
Lets rekindle our passion for Gods Word!! This is short and sweet....Now let me get reading :)
Its so easy to give up. As per my previous blog last week..
When you look around at the world we live in, its so easy 'not' to see God....But....
on the other hand, it is also easy to see God as well.
Instead of looking at the mundane things everyday, God is in the small things. For example, Look at a flower, look at the beauty of it, its colour and perfection.
But we get so stuck into our daily routine that we forget that these small things even exist. We don't take the time to really know people well, know their real personality. Instead we 'touch base' with them and see a person, maybe in a stressful situation at work and our experience of that person is one of shortness, irritability and possible anger (it depends).
What I am saying is that we experience people, things and life situations in our rush and we don't actually get to slow down and really know the back round of something.
Its like we get to know 10% of everything and we never get to know what is going on.
With this thought in mind, we tend to give up because we don't see what people are really like and we don't get to see God in anything, because it is easier to carry on.
Here is a video that really started the tears running, but if we can treat everything with the same 'passion' that this young boy has and the faith that this little guy has, it would completely change the way we think about the little things in life.
God is in the small things:
When my daughter comes running up to me and says "Daddy, you are the best and I love you so much"... that's a small thing that makes a big difference. God is in just that sentence. Because she really means that.
When I look at a bud of a rose start to form on the very thorny, spiky and ugly looking stem of a rose bush and then one morning looking at the absolute beauty of what that rose has when open and displaying its beauty to the world, its a small things that just oozes God. I Attach another video from Angus Buchan. He was talking to a whole crowd of people in the En-Gedi desert in the Holy land, a place that never gets rain and wind is a scarcity. While he is preaching about the exact time when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, A mighty rushing wind and rain pouring from heaven. Take a look here and notice that where there are small things - God is.
I take inspiration for this write-up from a very special man, Trevor Hudson, who's message on a sunday always manages to fit directly into my life.
Again, Its so easy to walk in our daily lives and ignore the small things.
We know 2 things:
God loves us
God will never stop loving us
OK, so what does that mean? Well to me, apparently not very much.....until I sat for 30 minutes and thought about what it really means.
I always thought, "Oh well, someone loves me....that's great....so what! Doesn't really change my life does it?"
What changes it for me though, is how much God loves us and that His love will never stop. As humans, we choose to love, and sadly, our love for others varies on many things. If someone hurts us, our love quota for that person may drop. We still love them but often we choose to change towards them.
God is not like this. His love for us is always constant, ALWAYS! It doesn't change from day to day. God is love. So no matter what we do, Gods love for us is constant!
But how does this effect me? Well for the first time in my live, it has actually made me believe that I have a purpose here on earth. A purpose that was decided before I was born. Now when I say this, I know I have a purpose to lead my family (Another topic which I would like to write on at a later stage) and I know I have a purpose to be someone to look up to for my kids -- But I am talking about here is in the spiritual realm.
What is my purpose here on earth spiritually?
Trevor mentioned it so beautifully yesterday. Basically , it is to spreads Gods love to others as well. God loves us so much and we should be displaying that love to others. Not some people that we may know, but everyone that we come across.
We cannot give love if we haven't received it!
This is something I am very bad at.
So how do we receive love from God. We know that Gods love is always there for us to receive, but we need to actually do something and receive it.
Because we are so busy in our daily lives, we tend to not give time to God or spend time actually receiving His love and we end up missing what is so readily available for us to have and ultimately, give to others.
What happens then is that tend to be quite cold to others (I am generalizing) and seem that we don't care what they say or do, when in fact we actually do.
Point 1 - Hurry. We need to slow down. Have the time to spend with God in His Word and listen to Him through quiet and prayer. In a hurry, we see people as a blur and we don't get to actually know them as we should. If we don't know people, it is very difficult to love them!
Point 2 - Prayer and Imagination. This can be done anywhere. imagination is something that we all have, so why not use it effectively. Imagine yourself laying down your prayer to God or spending time with God on a beautiful summers day walking by a stream or whatever. What this does is allow us to take our eyes off our daily rushed routine and listen to what God has to say.
Point 3 - Being defensive, meaning that its never us! As soon as someone says something to us and we don't believe them or don't like what they are saying because its a direct attack at us, we become defensive. Often we don't actually listen to others in what they have to say and as they open their mouth, we attack back in defensiveness. Its all about standing back and listening. I feel like a hypocrite here because I am very bad at this...but this is the reason I write here is because I think as I write and hopefully this will become set in my mind to actually do this more often (Actually shutting up and listening!)
Often by listening to God, we can receive His love for us. It also allows us to slow down, get away from the rush of life and actually spread the love of God as we receive it.
You know, its so easy to live your life in a manner that is not conducive to a Christian lifestyle. I am currently in one of those time of my life that I have widened that gap between Jesus and myself. This is something I have done and not even knowing it, its happened! I get into the mundane pace of life, work, home, sleep that I have made no time for God in my life. A few months ago, I would do so much and now.......I do nothing!
I was spending time in the word. Not as much as I should, but I was. I was learning what Jesus said and what God wants us to do and how to live. I am not repenting anymore. I sin, like we all do, but I am not asking God for forgiveness and making a decision in my mind to change turn around. I am most definitely not doing what the Bible says. I cant say I ever did, but sometimes I tried. Now...I am not doing anything. I don't make time to pray. I don't speak to Jesus like I used to. I don't involved God in my life anymore. I have never been a patient person, but my impatience has just peaked in the last few weeks. I used to speak to people at work about God....now....nothing!
OK, so I wonder now why I am writing this....Well, because this cant go on any longer. Also, I think that many people go through the same periods where they don't even want to know God. We are called into a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus. This means, involving Him in your daily living, decisions, doings, sayings and interactions. How do we know what to do and say? We refer to Gods Word for ideas! The devil has won in the last few weeks, he has beaten me in decisions and now he is quite happy that I have walked away from Gods Way. Satan is rejoicing because he thinks he has won. Well, He hasn't! Today is the day that it all gets turned around.
If you feel that you are in the same period as what I have written above, please can I ask you to seriously think about your direction. I really needed a wake up about where I was heading. Although I don't wish to share what my wake up call was, I would like to share that it was something that is very close to my heart and I have to change the way I deal with things. The way I was acting is NOT of God. It is not what the Bible teaches us and it is not how God wants us to live. The last while has been a time of serious thought and I invite any of who are reading this to look at which direction you are travelling in. Are you pointing up towards Jesus? Or are you looking down towards satan? Just remember, being a Christian is not easy at all! It is much easier to slide downhill (satan) than to run uphill (God)!
This doesn't just involve changing the relationship I have with Jesus but it involves the way I look after myself, the responsibility I have as a Father and husband to my family and the responsibility I have to my fellow human race and neighbours.
Closing the gap between God and myself should be of primary importance now. I don't want to be far from God anymore. I don't want to have to reach and find nothing. God is always there, He always knocks at the door and it is up to us to open for Him. God doesn't walk away from us, we are the ones that walk away from Him. We make the choices....and the choices we make effects the way we live and our relationship with Christ.
In the last while, I have found that living without Christ has been very easy. In fact, certain actions just come so naturally, but if I look back at those actions, they are a disgrace to anything good or anything of Jesus!
Right, so what do we do to change? Here are a few things I can think of:
Praying continuously to God. This may be quiet time or in the car or wherever.
Asking for forgiveness and repenting of my actions.
Getting back to sharing with other Christ followers.
Following Jesus Example. This is probably the most difficult one.
Selective Love. This is something true to my heart. Loving enemies and "Being patient with other people".
Treat others as kindly as I would like to be treated.
Living a quiet life. This means minding your own business, working with your head and hands, being slow to talk and being quick to listen!
Practicing what you preach
Now is the time to look at your gap. If there is no gap, Bless you! If there is a gap, Bless you even more!
Thanks and praise to our merciful God who is always there, never runs from us, never condones our acts and loves us so much! The choice is yours. Make the right choice!