So this is a blog!

Hello to anyone reading this! This is my blog which I'm writing to look at things that take my fancy with a Christian twist, I am nowhere near the last authority on any of this, that's the Bible, God's word, but I thought I'd share my thoughts so that you might have something to think about or share with friends.

God Bless

Friday, August 17, 2012

Helter Skelter and the rest of chaos

I went on a youth camp, week long, and to be honest wasn't expecting anything special rather I was expecting to be answering your usual atheist questions and the type of questions teenagers might ask. I was wrong. I was blessed by people who knew the Lord well, who taught me things and those who asked the questions I expected but you could also tell were searching in their hearts not just having an intellectual conversation. I can't begin to say what great experience it was for me, nor what God has done for me during that time, but it has left me questioning my views on youth in the church and where I am with God. I came back off a spiritual high and it's slowly dropping off. I am going to be trying to restore it but I know it's going to require prayer if I am going to keep it, also I given myself this week to recover and will set in place discipline next week so hopefully it will pick up then, on espere. I find this funny because recently I was given the verse Romans 7:21, and to be honest it worries how true that strikes for me. I hope that you lot reading this don't have that same problem and are blessed, like I am, by those around you who want to see you prosper and cherish your life. If you don't have those people then remember God whose love is abounding for each and every one of you.

God Bless

Friday, July 27, 2012


I know I said I was on a break but I was just watching Adventure land on BBC Iplayer and whilst I think Kristen Stewart shows a bit more emotion than she's given credit for, I also noticed a message given late on in the film. Joel, the main characters best friend, tells the main character (I've forgotten his name already, let's call him Max) that Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, was so poor and uncared about by the end of his life that he was called Henry in his obituary. Max then says he doesn't see some sad writer but rather someone who had the passion to write 700 pages about the whaling industry. This is what hit me, do I care about how people perceive me when I die or do put my all into something despite not being respect or honoured for it.
I believe every Christian should be someone who picks the second option. We should be constantly applying our all despite the possibility of no reward and be looking towards our reward in Heaven. I'm not completely that person, I'm happy to do work but I don't apply my all to it which I should do. I just thought I'd share this snippit from a film mainly about a weedy guy finding love in an adventure park, which to be honest isn't the most interesting film but the time does pass without you noticing which means something was done right but yeah, maybe you can use Henry Melville to help remind you about putting your passion into what you do.

God Bless

Monday, July 16, 2012

Small break

Sorry about the break, I'm taking a short one and will be back when I've finished the bible. I'm Jeremiah now and hope to read about 10 chapters a day and when I'm back I hope to study a chapter every other day here on my blog so if you keep checking then hopefully in under a  month I'll be back on it and you'll be able to read my discussion of the chapters starting in the New Testament in the book of Matthew and finishing with Malachi I believe. Maybe it will give you some ideas for discussion with friends and maybe help you discuss points in the bible with friends

God Bless

Friday, June 15, 2012


So I'm not quite sure what to write now, after my last post being so big and honest and hopefully touching people to look at what's in their life. Well I'll start by saying what's happened recently with what is most notable to me. I'd say God is getting me out of my sexual immorality.  I haven't masturbated since Sunday and my view of girls is definitely moving more towards who they are rather than what they are, with the fact that when I start to look at what they are it feels more wrong than it has done ever before. So yeah I thought I'd share that with you.
Nextly I can't think of something grandiose to talk about but I am thinking of making apologetics my next string of things to talk about. It's a passion and I believe every Christian should be equipped with it but I hope to discuss apologetics and then look at the 10 questions Christians hope no one will ask according to a book of the same title.

So hope you'll be reading along for that, if not just trundle through the stuff in the rest of this blog. I'd like to think there are some crackers in there.

God Bless

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shames and Honesty

Hello faithful readers!
This weekend I went on a weekend away with my college's CU and one of our members gave another of his amazing preaches which I know I can't match but he talked about shame in people's lives and how it holds a grip over us. I'm not going to delve into his problems because I feel that's just spreading them around without his consent and I don't wish to do that. However I want to talk about my life, this week I have been pushed to bring to light things which I hide from the public eye, this mainly lies in the domain of sexual immorality as it does with men but there are a few other things as well I feel I want to talk about.
As I said this week I've been tackled by God on the things I hide away, this happened at both church last Sunday and the weekend away the Sunday just gone. So last Sunday I was at church and at the end we pray about things and just let the Holy Spirit (HS) minister to people, and I wobble when I pray standing up but I was really being pushed forwards this time, it was odd and to be honest I resisted it, so good old HS decided to push me sideways and I let it do that, no chairs to fall into and didn't move me to the front of church. He, I think the HS is a he, then decided to push me forwards once more and I resisted again. I then sat there and listening to the words the leaders were getting realised what was going on. There was a word about addictions that we have and how God wanted to release us from them I believe and with HS continually pushing me because he wanted me to go up and get prayed for. So with the least courage ever I walked up and stood at the very edge of the area where you can go and get prayed for and told my church leader about my addiction to masturbating and well since then it's abated but it still needs to go, that's for sure.
By the way I'm talking about this here because I don't feel as many people will read this as if I posted it on facebook but I felt if I could tell the unknown masses then maybe I could be more open to the known masses.
But anyway this now speeds forwards to this weekend just gone. I've already mentioned the talk and God had put what I've mentioned on heart. I then proceeded to leave the room when we started singing "Our God Saves" and tried to sing it in my own little corner of the hallway but found myself nearly breaking out crying. I've not cried in a long time so I knew something was really hitting me here and I've since realised that God was going "Yeah I've saved from all the stuff you are ashamed of. Stop being scared of others because I've saved you and that's what matters!" Furthermore, the guy who spoke when he prayed, prayed looking right at me, well almost his eyes were closed and there was an image which hit me right out of the park. You see this wasn't all a coincidence and the main reason I know that is because I know when the HS is on me because I feel this odd pulsation throughout my body which is just permeating and amazing and that's what I felt then so I chose to, with the courage I could muster mention  my sexual immorality and my cynicism in life. You know something, I looked around the room as I said it and all I saw were knowing looks, nods and encouraging smiles, it was something I never thought I would see when I told people about these  things but it was also the thing I wanted to see and now know more than ever that God will give me when ever He sees me and when I offer them all up to Him. I don't know who will read this and be encouraged by it, I don't know how many of you will think "How does that apply to me?" and I don't know if some of you will wonder if you could do the same to your friends, Christian friends. Well I didn't know but I'll tell you anyone who calls themselves Christian and rejects you when you tell them how you are inside, they don't have the HS in them and need to be rebuked. We should be confident that the one place we can be ourselves is the place where God's love is most present on Earth.
So I've talked about my experiences but I feel it would be best to also tell you more about those "shames" that I have. So firstly is the rather wide topic of sexual immorality. I'll begin with my fantasies, I have probably fantasised about sleeping with ever girl I've met. I have viewed girls with a very objective view and  not as the people that they are, all the while maintaining in my mind that I would love a girl who looks nice, is intelligent, has a sense of humour and a good personality. Now that I look at that list, I was looking for Ms. Perfect and probably lied to myself easily about the fact that I didn't have a bad outlook on girls. That list has changed to good looking and God centered but I also know that I will allow God to decide who I end up with in the end. This said I do occasionally get impure thoughts which shame me and I know they are bad and some day soon I shall probably need to take a good hard look at why those thoughts still pop and why I let them. I'm not saying I won't go round without any feeling or impulses but I want them to be good and pure and from God not from my flesh. Second sexual immorality is my masturbation, it used to be a thing which would help me get to sleep but since admitting it to people it's starting to ebb away. Hopefully this time for good. But I must admit it pretty much goes hand in hand with my problem with pornography. I've had phases with pornography, I've been through looking at the barely legals, incest was one at one point and most recent it's been hentai (for those who don't know what that is it is Japanese cartoon sex). See I think I find this easier to write here either because I've admitted a few of these before or at the moment I don't expect many people to see it. But no, masturbation and porn have been a problem since I was about 14. I've been asked to omit this one but I am going to leave what it caused behind, I'm sure from now on I'll be less shameful about it though.(if you caught it before it went then you know what's happened) I'm not proud of the final one, at the time I was really happy I could manipulate someone like that but have since realised this was just some attempt at not being merely me but trying to put myself above somebody which is completely wrong. What saddens me more is whilst I've pushed this to the recesses of my mind, I've become immune to  feeling anything towards but that no one should know. I had actually planned to not tell even my wife, if I ever got one, about it but here I am writing it down for anyone to see.
That's merely my sexual immorality, if you had asked me to write that before last week I probably would have just stuck some normal Christian overused text about sexual immorality and moved on. I can easily say it's by the grace of God I can write all that down.
I suffer from realism and cynicism. They are not shames but they cause me to get easily annoyed with people which does upset me and to be honest I think my shame comes from the fact that I can't see myself in the light that others do and so I've told myself they are lies, Satan still has a hold there but I'm hoping I can beat him out of there too. Actually I've just realised the slight change in me as I've moved on to this topic as I'm now thinking that I shouldn't write because no one really cares and it's not that bad really, but Satan ain't stopping  me here (assuming he doesn't drain my battery life first). So yeah, my inside thoughts make me a completely different person who I project onto others from what I can tell, or I just seriously put myself down. I've been told I'm serving hearted, I tell myself there was nothing else for me to do, I've been told I'm a legend, well I would prefer to think that I could only get near to being a legend if I were surrounded and built up by legends, aka my friends are legends themselves. I don't think I've taken a compliment in the last few years and let it be just that, but I have always found a way to deny it in my mind. That's just me though, on to how the realism and cynicism affect others. I don't immediately see God in everything, in fact my first thoughts are of natural causes and I tend to leave it at that, I've realised earlier tonight that I should be then seeing how those go on the show God because I think that will ground my faith a lot more, looking at where God is with rationality. Yet this has meant when people talk about some amazing things my mind goes "No, wait this it how it can be explained..." and so I get annoyed with how easily God is credited with things sometimes and start to feel like some peoples faith are a bit flimsy. This really has gotten me down a few times because it makes me feel like I just don't have a strong enough faith but I think my realisation this evening really helped me on that one. I think I've solved a shame, or inner qualm, in this blog. Praise the Lord!
Right I'm going to bed, I'll continue with this when I wake because there is a number more stuff I want to bring forth before I'm done. So when I return stealing, lies, tempers and well, not caring.
2:06 am 12/06/2012
So back at 12:17 12/06/2012, I don't know why I'm noting the time I just felt like it.
Moving on to the rest of me then, I used to steal, never from shops but from my household, which seems a bit worse really. It was mainly chocolate, food and soda. It was  something I did whenever I had the chance and something which I was really happy about, I prided myself in being able to do with minimal noise. However I did worse when I got obsessed with those sticker football pictures. I started to steal petty change from my dad's bowl full of change he discarded, I think I probably stole near 20 CHF, or £10-£15, of money from there. To be honest apart from the fact I really wanted to complete that set I don't know of any reason why I did it. Maybe it was because I felt good being able to do something with out anybody knowing or it was the joy I found in the thing I got out of stealing. All I can say is that I did it too much, I think it got to a point where I was desensitized from so I actually started feeling no guilt about it anymore, I think it did somehow shame me though because I haven't told anybody about before oddly despite the non-effect it played on me otherwise.
Lies are an odd one, because I think I used to be a white lier or a truth bender every now and again rather than constantly a straight out liar, or maybe that is what I want to believe. I think lies went hand in hand with stealing because you get caught and you lie to get out of it. I lie every now and again now but it has changed, I now lie when I just don't want to discuss something or really do feel that it would be best if the person I am lying to didn't hear the truth from me. I think lying has become such a great part of society now that even as I write this I don't think I truly feel anything about it since it's just lying, and that apathy is worrying. That I can be that uncaring towards it whilst it is kind of one of the ten commandments, same with stealing but I feel that one is behind me. So yep, that is my lying story, or some of it. I can't think of what else to say.
Next is my temper, I don't think it has come out as much since I've been at university but I'm a cauldron sort of temper person. To explain, I can control myself and suppress my annoyance, frustration and anger but then I hit the lip of the cauldron and it all starts spilling over, so I've snapped at people who I really shouldn't have and when I went, I could really bring almost anything against them. It really was destructive. I think this is something God has really changed me in though because I feel almost like I've got a large cauldron or a leaky one so I haven't hit that lip in a good few years. I do get days when I can just fume silently in a corner because something has managed to tick me off, and to be honest I don't know how but my housemate this year, the boozooki player, has the amazing ability to push my buttons. I have no clue how and I certainly know how to push his back but it has caused some tension every now and again and I do feel bad about it afterwards but again somehow my temper hasn't blown yet which is odd really considering my past record here and there.
Lastly from my list is just not caring. I am the best non carer in the world, an apathy professional if you will. I don't think it shows in my general day to day life but I can quite literally turn from a conversation and just completely turn off from whatever it was that was happening really. It's a skill in itself to some respects. I think it comes from my upbringing, not my parents, but my schooling especially in Geneva because people came and went within two years maximum. So I learnt that people come and go and since facebook wasn't really available until 11th grade, wow that feels odd to say, it meant once they went, they went. From this I think I slowly created a glass wall, a double glazed, bullet proof glass wall.  The reason I make it glass is because I think sometimes my heart does shine through and sometimes people really do speak into it, so it's not completely sealed in. It's not something that shames but it's something that I fight with because I feel like it stops me being completely true and open to people despite the fact I'm told I'm very approachable and welcoming. Either I'm wrong or they are, most probably me but well I prefer to trust me. What I find most horrible about this though is that it means I can leave places without looking back, I sometimes wonder whether my time in Vanbrugh CU which has changed me the most will be forgotten, or whether I can truly walk away from it as easily as I say I can. One thing I know is that I don't want to.
So yeah that's my list of things really, I currently can't think of much more I have to write about. I suppose some pet peeves may be in order. I am a pedant when it comes to words, they hold such strong meanings that I really get annoyed if people don't use them right, I think it's sometimes been seen but bad language usage really can wind me up the wall sometimes. However I also use it to make some of the worst puns imaginable. Secondly prayer. No I don't mean I don't like praying, what I find hilarious is what happens when people pray. Next time you are in a prayer session, look around at how many solemn faces, and bowed heads they are and then listen. When people pray, I find they try and use the most beautiful and honorable words they can find. Maybe it's because I perceive prayer as a chat with God and God is my mate, as well as everything else, but I just can't understand why we try and use such fancy words. God knows what we mean without them and I'm pretty sure the other people in the room would prefer to be able to easily understand you so that they can agree with you rather than trying to understand each word. Pet peeves out of the way I really just want to say that not everything I've written has been a shame, or at least I don't perceive them as one. Yet everything I've written about is definitely something I've not told people since they've happened, or started to happen. So I think through this and the constant work God is doing in me I'll be able to change and not be held by Satan's lies.
On that point, I've felt oddly calm writing all this down, I don't know whether it is because I've just been writing it and so I've not got anyone's face in front of me or because God is really dealing with my shame in an unimaginable way. I am hoping it's the second.
So yeah I really encourage anyone wrapped up by something shaming them to really just stand strong and not let it chain you down anymore, walk out of the prison cell. I don't know how my CU will receive me when I walk into it later today (I plan on posting this there) but if it is anything like Sunday then I know think I'll have so much a greater understanding of God's love, you see admitting all this and knowing that people accept me for it just leaves you thinking how much more readily God does. So yeah, I was drawn to write this, I knew this was going to have to be my next topic, I didn't think I would ever be this honest on a published bit of writing but here it is. I just want to pray to end really:
Lord, I thank you for all you've done in me over the past week, the shame you are dealing with and the honest that you are building up. It's been difficult to draw me out of my shell but you've done it and I thank you all the more  for. I pray that you can keep building me up in this area and really use this and my life for your good. I pray for anyone else caught up in shame, I pray that they would just walk away from their chains Lord because you've already freed them so help them walk out of them. Lord, Satan has lies permeating throughout this broken world and some have seeped deeply into our hearts, use the sword of the spirit to cut us free from them and just push them out of our lives. I just pray for your protection and spirit of calm over anyone who feels condemned by shame and that you will help us to not fall back on these matters but to make a stand for them and move forwards against them. Amen
God Bless

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


So I want to write something here, but I don't know what to. I mainly have nothing else to do which leads to a dull life. Well not really, I have fun with my life because there is so little I prioritize to "have to do" and that leaves me to doing what I want to do, which is always good fun and hopefully sooner rather than later will also be what God wants me to do and would do. You see sometimes we rush around sorting out our own lives because there's a small part of us that thinks we should approach God when we are in a state of calm. Well, no. God doesn't care how you come to Him so long as your heart is in the right place. See whilst we run around, sorting out our lives as much as we can we tend to limit the amount of time we come before our God and we forget He has our lives planned out for us. I don't intend to say "Stop rushing", keep the lifestyle that suits but just remember to keep giving it up to God and live on the strength He gives you.
On that note I'm not saying I'm perfect since despite the fact I don't do much, I also forget to come before God a lot. So yep, that's my post of the day.

God Bless

Friday, June 1, 2012

Difficult questions

Oh my word did I not expect this today. I went along to my college's Alpha course and came up against some  of the hardest questions I have faced in a long time. I was completely out of my depths for most of it but luckily God had my back so I could answer some of them and attempt to bring about an understanding on others but I just want to encourage people now to really trust God with those difficult questions and not be afraid to say "I don't know." I said it a good four or five times tonight and  am planning on coming back with answers next week, which will probably lead to more and more questions but I'm praying on the matter and will be asking questions of those more experienced than me. So really finding where I struggle will help me be refined  and get better at bringing people to search for Jesus.

Are we too God centered?

admission: not really been following my challenge but bible reading and prayer are up compared to usual.
Right on to my main bit.
I went along to a "late" night worship earlier tonight, and I regularly do but I got royally annoyed with it tonight. I couldn't get into the music because I felt the whole thing just wasn't right. I actually left 30 minutes into the hour to sit outside and pray, got sidetracked by chatting to someone about and came into better songs but the annoyance just returned so I left again and sat outside until the end.
To clear a few things up, I love worship, I love song worship but I also pay attention to words. I'm not an English student but I hate it when a message isn't passed on well because the wording isn't quite there. That's why I prefer being Jesus-centered to Cross-centered and the such. There was a song I felt wasn't scripturally right tonight which set me off, in my understanding it was saying that my last hopes are in Christ ("counting on your name") and that I don't fully know He will save me ("i have faith in you"). That lyrics may not be exact, I am attempting to forget the song but those are both repeated in the chorus. I felt they were wrong and I'll explain why. My last hopes are in Jesus, sure, but you know what else is? All my other hopes. Jesus isn't somebody I go to in the end and say "I'm counting on you." He's someone you go up to and say "I put my everything in you, because I know you have already done what needs to be done." Screw counting on Him, He doesn't need us to believe He can save us so that He can save us on the last day. He needs us to believe He HAS saved us.
*excuse the french*
Secondly I don't have faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1) I'm not confident in hoping Jesus saved me, I'm confident in knowing Jesus saved me. Rant about song over.
The other part that put me off, I realized on my way home chatting to my housemate. There was too much of a "God has saved me. How great is that?" vibe. I'm not saying that's wrong but there wasn't any "because of this, I shall work for Him" if you  get me. There's a balance between faith and works, tonight didn't have it right, too much on the faith side really. This got me thinking, are we sometimes too God focused/centered?
I want to point out it's great if you are really focused on God, it means your life is pointing the right way but don't lose yourself. However don't get to caught up on you that God doesn't permeate through your life. See God demands it all, He deserves it all but He doesn't want all of you to be Him. This is a  bit risky and strong language but NEVER try and be God, ALWAYS be yourself. That's who God wants. So whilst we can center our lives around God, we shouldn't get too caught up in all that He's doing, has done and will do and miss what He is doing in our lives. I don't want to push the focus back on the I, but rather want it to be on God with a "what's He doing in my life" twist. He may be doing nothing at the moment, perhaps you are exactly where He wants you to be in life but there will probably always be a prompting in your life, a challenge in your life and something that God is doing around you.
I think I'm jumbling up my words, essentially don't be concentrating on God so much that you forget about what He commissioned you to do here on Earth. Always remember that whilst we should be daily offering up our lives to God, this means more than just giving the God the glory in everything you do, but means you should also be doing the things God would do (WWJD?).
I think my message comes through, if you are confused by it or think I'm wrong then comment. I believe you can.

God Bless

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

my day/challenge 4

Right I really didn't do what I intended to, I also really had no conversations with non-christians so, woops! To be honest though, I think something better happened today. I prayed on my way home for the first time in a  long time. I like praying on the way home because it really does reveal to me things on my heart as what I'm  praying is thought about it's just the first thing that I think of. I really do hope God's will comes to life through some of prayers and that I see Him moving more  in my life assuming I can pick  this habit back up. I just pray that you guys reading this can find encouragement to better your own prayer lives, mine's not great but let's be honest we can all keep doing better and hopefully we will always be trying to.
Well that's my quick post, I've got to sleep now since I have an exam tomorrow/today, so:

God Bless

Monday, May 28, 2012

challenge 3

So I didn't get God into all my conversations today, that said I didn't talk much today either. I am however starting to use the bible a lot more in my status and hopefully that will work some magic in itself. I have however noted that I feel a bit on the God ball as it were, I read my bible for a considerable amount of time and prayed more than I usually do during the day so perhaps my attitudes are in fact turning towards God more than I expect with just the notion of doing this. All I can say is that I kind of expect it to increase more if I actually succeed but we'll see. How are any of you doing, if you are trying this? Comment if you want, but hopefully my results already are encouraging you to do it yourself.

God Bless

challenge 2

So I thought it  would be wise to update you as I went along, for those who don't know or are too lazy to read the last blog I'm trying to get God into my conversations more and I invite others to do the same. Any how my days been pretty slow as I spent most of it in the presence of Christians and being the first conversation I've had with them it's pretty easy for me to talk about God as I can only assume it's Him who prompted me to do this. I sadly did not mention Him in a Facebook message conversation with my younger sister  but it was a concise chat about her visiting me so what can I say.
There is meaning behind me doing this, which I discovered in my thoughts today. I feel the more I turn my words and thereby my thoughts  to God the more I shall instinctively follow Him and so set my full sights on God and hopefully my flesh will follow as well. That's the plan at least.
Again pray that I can keep this up and don't shy away from it when talking to friends who don't know Jesus.

God Bless.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Step out and challenge 1

I should really be going to bed now, got church in the morning and I'm not a morning person usually. I'm not sure what I want to write about but I've been thinking about my testimony recently, mainly because I'm telling it to my CU on Tuesday. I am pretty sure I'm a testament  to what my campus's CU does since it's through them I am who I am today, obviously my  life beforehand has a lot to do with it as well but I owe some of it to the CU and the people I've met there as well. I'd just like to take this chance to encourage each and every one of you who read this to really be adamant in your mission in your life, God isn't small at all in fact He's probably bigger than this universe and we haven't finished discovering that yet, so  don't be afraid by people challenging what you do or questions you don't know the answer to. Be yourself! Be like Jesus! People will turn away from you, people will mock you and others will care and love you, Jesus is the prime example of that and we are to follow Him and  will suffer, to a lesser extent, like He did. Do not be afraid in this world because it is God's, the cross was reconciling the whole of creation. You are part of something so much greater than one man with intellect beyond yours, you are part of a kingdom that endures forever, take confidence in it and stand for what you believe in.
I'm going to set a challenge for myself over the next two weeks, that's until my exams are over. The challenge is thus; in ever conversation I have, I'll  try and get Jesus and/or the Gospel in it, with Christians talking about the blessing He has given me, with non-Christians the same but also introducing them to God's love as well. I know I can't expect any of you on the other side of the computer screen to keep directly accountable but I'll try and post each night about conversations I've had and how God has been moving.
I invite anyone else to join me in this, perhaps set your own time limit and do it with other friends who you might want to work with, build up in faith and encourage so that you can all know the goodness of Christ even more in your lives. I've just realised I will probably be leaving over the till small talk out of this for now since it doesn't quite seem the place but otherwise I shall try to put it in.
Best  of luck to those who embark on this with me and any prayers would be cool!

God Bless.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


How did you affect someone's life today? Not much to your knowledge, maybe you've done nothing evangelical today or you've just kept clammed shut about Jesus. Well done, because I think you've just done something amazing. No honestly, I do. I don't believe in actively announcing Jesus's arrival everyday, I think it's silly. I know it's important and that it's something we are called to; evangelism, but you know what taking a day to spend on yourself is also important, me time is probably more important than everyone else time. I don't mean that you should prioritise yourself over others, but we all need to take time out to make sure that we are in the right place with Jesus. Our day should simply be split into three parts, Jesus time, everyone else time and sleep. Sometimes though we put too much of an importance of making relationships with everyone that we forget about the most important one. I'm a prime example, I know a lot of people, I like getting to know people but if I'm honest I have a tendency to forget Jesus and it's not right, I should be able to put people down for Jesus not Jesus down for people.
Now I'm not going to make this one long but I want to emphasize that you should be leading lives for Jesus, that means He should be the most important thing in your live, in fact whilst you have Jesus time and everyone else time, Jesus should be in your everyone else time! He should be in every aspect of your life, that's how much He deserves from us, note that He doesn't require it, He DESERVES it! But I just wanted to draw away from the constant emphasis that our whole lives should be evangelising but in fact we can spend it sorting out our relationship with Jesus and God because being right with that relationship and working properly in it will be a thousand times more effective than any spoken word evangelism. However do not be afraid to speak up for what is right or neglect sharing your faith because if no word is spoken then how can we be messengers?
In summation work towards a good, working relationship with God and because of it evangelise, do not leave Jesus out of any part of your lives and don't be afraid to speak the Good News of Jesus Christ or stand up for His message. I am not saying this from the point of view of someone who's got it all down but from the view point of someone who knows where he is lacking and sees where the ideal might be. I don't want you to leave this blog thinking evangelism isn't important, it is but being right with God and your relationship with Him is more so.

God Bless

Thursday, May 10, 2012


This isn't my testimony nor anyone else's, I thought I should mention this straight away.
Testimonies are a powerful thing and are our strongest weapon when we profess the good news of Christ. This is mainly because Jesus, God and the world of the Bible all seem far away from our lives now but the reality is they aren't and that's what we can show people through our testimonies. That the power of Christ is living today and can affect anyone no matter what situation they are in. Yesterday I heard one of the more powerful testimonies I have heard during my past year in the company of Christians. It was someone who had truly been into dark places, wrestled with God and come out with a much stronger faith than before. I couldn't ever understand that, I've led a blessed life without such trials and tribulations but no matter how far apart our stories are we both have a tale which somebody can relate to. If it's somebody looking to find why God let them suffer and how He could love them then my friends testimony is more relevant but if you are somebody who has lead an average life then mine could be better, either way your testimony is something unique to your relationship with God. It's how you came to know Him, and nobody can ever take that away from you.
I was intending to write a lot more about your testimony being a powerful weapon when evangelising but I think if we live with our testimonies and let the world see that God can act through any situation that will be all the greatness we need to have by our side.

God Bless

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Digging Deeper

I apologize for the delays, important coursework and exams are underway in my university career. I've just taken up the book "Dig Deeper" again and thought as I went through it I could share my readings with you.
I was feeling quite out of it as I read the introduction again on if the Bible is a divinely inspired book what it means to me and the message was hitting home. What it was essentially saying was this, if the Bible is divinely inspired, and it is, then it doesn't have any mistakes, is alive and is our source of listening to God. Out of this though what struck me was the fact that it is how we hear from God. I like many others I'm sure find it hard to hear God saying anything to me, and I do believe we can hear from God through people, through our minds and thoughts and through everyday life, but I always make the mistake of making sure it's all biblically sound  afterwards rather than checking the Bible first. If you are trying to hear from God, check the Bible, it's always correct. You may not agree that it is but God doesn't make mistakes and so it's all correct, it's simply question of whether or not you accept it.
I hope this has helped whoever reads this, I thought I'd have more to write on but obviously that didn't happen.

God Bless

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reflecting God

So this is the second in the two part bit on the weekend away I went on which is essentially on how we should be reflecting the trinity. I'll be running through the 6 six points we were given and voila it's done. So how can we reflect God in our lives?
Firstly, by being certain in what we believe in. (Hebrews 11) As in the last blog we need to certain, confident and assured of what we believe in and through that we can start to live a life suited for it which is point two.
To be focused solely on the purpose to which we are called. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
It's our duty to fear God and keep his commandments, now I don't mean fear as in "AAAAAAHHH!!" horror movie sort of fear but rather an awe or reverence fear, a fear of his almighty-ness which expresses in a form of awe. It's through focusing on our God like this and keeping the commandments He gave us that we can grow to know Him better and so be able to reflect His nature to this world better.
The next three points are quite tied in with one another but here's point three. Our thoughts match what we believe. (Proverbs 15:26)
The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
    but gracious words are pure in his sight.
(Philippians 4:8)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.
The first is self explanatory and combines well with the second one to tells us to keep our thoughts on things that are pure, true, noble, right, admirable and lovely and not to think like the wicked do. Our thoughts aren't ever really thought about oddly, what I mean to say is we never really advise people to keep their thoughts pure but only their words and deeds, which I'll come to later. It's a challenge though to be more aware of what we are thinking and to set that thinking, that focus of our thoughts on God.
So on to point four, our words should match what we believe. Well this is more talked about and a bit more obvious as we want to portray God's love but here's the verses. (Colossians 3:17)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Titus 2:7-8)
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
So yep again I think the Bible talks for itself and really teaches us more than I could explain, but here's food for thought. Reflecting God is to be consistent with God, just as the Trinity is consistent with one another. Again to reiterate a point near to flogging a dead horse over and over again we need to reflect God and the only way we can do this is by focusing on Him more and more until we align our world view with His. On to point five though: Our deeds should match what we believe in (1 Corinthians 10:13)
No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
(Colossians 3:17)
 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
 Looking at the Corinthians verse we can see that God will not allow us to fall into temptation because of Him but rather by our own choice, we act badly because we choose to. We cannot be excused but through the blood of Christ for the sinful choices we make. If you really can't stop making those wrong choices, and some choices you just repeatedly make wrongly, then bring them all before God and ask Him to help you seek out the right choice, ask Him to help you reflect Him here on Earth. To tie them all together though point six, everything we do, think of and say is consistent with who we are in Christ. (2 Corinthians 13:11)
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
(1 Thessalonians 4:7)
 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
Boom! I think it's a great verse to end on. We are called to live  a pure and holy life, to be consistent with one another in Christ. It's in the unity of Christ we stand. We spend a lot of time bickering and discussing the differences in denominations and I respect that but there is something much greater at the center of our faith that means those don't actually matter. Obviously going off scripture is wrong and unholy but when people squabble over styles of worship it's not love compelling them to my mind, it's comfort in what we are used to. We aren't called to complacency butt we are called to reflect Christ in all we do and to encourage one another in our mission on Earth. I hope I've given a small insight into how we can reflect the Trinity, I realize there aren't any practical explanations written by me here but I think reading the Bible and getting to know God is the only way forward.

God Bless.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I went on a weekend away recently which is where this and the following post draw their inspiration from.
So what is faith? Well amazingly the Bible answers that for us in Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
This isn't saying if your really, really believe in something it is true, which I think is what some people take a faith in God as but rather it's a confidence and assurance about immaterial things. It's quite simply something stronger than a simple belief. In a Christian context it is God we hope for and who we don't see and through or faith we are confident and certain that He is there. We were given this analogy of our certainty in Christ through faith
You know how when you meet a rickety bridge on a walk and because of the uncertainties you choose to walk on to a safer crossing point. Now imagine being chased by a pack of wolves and coming across the same bridge, you'll take your chances won't you. Well that's not what we do when we walk with Christ, when we walk with Christ we can step on that bridge no matter the circumstance or dangers because of certainty in Him.
Now I think our faith is amazing because it allows us to be certain in Christ and His protection over us. You see we normally won't upset the status quo because we fear the repercussions but our certainty in Christ allows us to overcome those fears. In fact if you continue looking through Hebrews 11 then you find that we are called to be faithful and match our view on life with Gods, rather by matching our views with Gods we can grow further in faith.
So let's begin with Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 
God made this world and is perfect so it logically succeeds that God's view of the world is perfect. As His creation then we should try and make our world view the same as God's, quite probably impossible but sure a task we should attempt to obtain. Our thinking should always be influenced by God, I don't think it's a simple case of "What Would Jesus Do?" but rather it's also "How Would God Act?" and "What Are God's Thoughts On This?" We have God's thoughts and ideas written out for us, The Bible, and yet we spend most of our time trying to fit it in to our modern world, we dilute it sometimes in this attempt. We should stop this, read the Bible for what it is, God's word, and try and fit our world into the Bible, if it doesn't work then we've got to sacrifice something on our part. So really to understands God's view we need to understand the Bible. We need to wrestle with the Bible, search out people's alternate understanding and find the full truth of it all. It's a daunting task to understand the Bible and no one will ever understand it all but start where you are comfortable and move on from there, as with moving down God's river we start paddling and move to deeper waters as go on.
So from there we  move onward in chapter 11 where there are many examples of people having faith in God and reaping the reward because of it. So then 11:7:
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
Noah's a great example of acting on our faith, God came to Noah and said essentially said this "I'm going to do something that I have never done before, here's what I want you to do." Noah had no reason to believe that it was really going to happen but by faith he made the ark. What happened was this, Noah had faith in God thereby he trusted God with his life and believed with all his heart that God would keep to His word. It's because of this that Noah moved in faith and built the ark despite the consequences, this comes from a deep knowledge of  God  and having  his world view in line with God's, causing obedience to God.
Hebrews 11:11 is another case of trusting God to deliver on His promises.
 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[a] considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Sarah, Abraham's wife, really wanted a child and knew she would get one because God promised her one. When she started to realize she was past childbearing age she offered her servant to Abraham so that he could have a child. Yet despite the fact she wasn't fully trusting in God, He kept His promise to her and gave her a child of her own. He keeps His promises so perhaps we should be more trusting and faithful in waiting on the Lord to act. Hebrews 11:26 next.
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 
So this is all about Moses just to give you some context. Moses had it right, he saw doing anything for the sake of Christ greater in value than the best the Earth could offer. We've lost that slightly today in my eyes, it's probably the reason we can fall into sin with the most ease because we forget the value, the worth of what Jesus Christ is in our lives. I want to be able to do what Moses did, leave a position of power, authority and wealth to follow Christ. I don't mean I want to get it all and make a point of following Christ, but rather I'd like to have the courage and strength of faith to give up everything and do what God has asked of me. As in getting our world view to match God's world view, we also need to be at the point where God say something and we act on it. We can only reach that point as we grow in faith and grapple with who God is more and more. Finally Hebrews 11:17
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
If you don't know who this one and only son is, well it's the one Sarah had just a couple paragraphs ago. You know the one that God had promised Abraham and delivered after Sarah had past child bearing age. Well God asked Abraham to sacrifice that same son, and you know what Abraham trusted that God had a good plan for him since God had also promised that Abraham's descendants be as numerous as the grains of sand. It's a testament to Abraham's faith in God, and an example to us all. We all suffer hard times of testing, and yes we complain and moan but I don't think that's the way about it at all. Sure it may tear at our heart to sacrifice, or lose, something dear to us but we have to firm in our faith knowing that God has promised us something even better. So whilst we may get depressed due to hard times, remain strong in the knowledge God has promised good to you. Trust that God is easily enough to fulfill His promises even though you may be tested in this life!
So I encourage you all to grow in faith and strive to understand the word of God more.

God Bless!  

Monday, April 23, 2012


It's been mentioned to me that prayer can be included in the armour of God which is why I am doing this now. I was trying to figure out how to go about this and thought about; why we pray? How we pray? The power of prayer? And so decided I would go through them all.
So I thought it would be prudent to talk about why we pray first. Prayer is us talking to God to discern His will in our life, we don't pray for an easier life, for great fortune. We pray to know what God's will is. It's as simple as really, we don't pray for any other reason if we pray properly. Sometimes we stick our selfishness in and ask for something good to happen to us but God will give you what is good, and if it's God giving you know you're in for something amazing. I've never done it myself but some people say prayer helps organize your thoughts which is a novel idea in my mind because we describe prayer as talking to God and I know I'd prefer to talk to someone who has their thoughts in check rather than  all over the place, especially if I'm going to try and make them work in my will. I don't claim to know God's mind but I'd want someone who has their thoughts in line and so I doubt we pray to get our thoughts organized but rather perhaps instead to get God to tell us which thought is more important to follow or which thought should be dropped.
Anyhow I think the main thing is that we pray to know God's will in matters and to see it manifest in our lives, but then how do we pray? Well we kneel down, clasp our hands together and recite memorized verses and prayers, pretty simple really isn't it. Well it would be if that was all there was to it but it's actually easier, just talk. Not the mindless babbling type of talking but from your heart and to God, I like to imagine Him as a mate who has a day like any other person and I'm just chatting away to them. Sometimes you present arguments, other times see what His view on a favour might be. Prayers not something that's taught, it's just you being yourself to the one who created you and it's a free-ness to speak your heart.
However the power of  prayer is all together different, it's power is amazing. When we pray, God acts. He doesn't always give us what we want or what we think is best but He gives us what He knows is best for us in any given situation, sometimes it is what you prayed for, sometimes the opposite and even sometimes it's something all together unimaginable. I've seen this written somewhere before:
When we pray God answers in three ways:
1. He gives it to you straight away and it's what you expect
2. He says "No" and gives you something better
3. He says "Wait" and gives you the best.

 I think it is always a good lesson to be patient in our prayers, all to much in this modern society we want things done quickly but why? So we can move on to the next thing? God's not moving, nor are His promises and we've got our lives and eternity to collect on them so why should we want all our prayers answered now?
I hope I've left some readers with a new insight into prayer, for others who read nothing new then I can only ask that you pray for those of us who need to tackle our attitudes towards prayer and that we can pray diligently in our God's presence.

God Bless

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sword of the Spirit

Which is the word of God.
12 For (B)the word of God is living and (C)active, (D)sharper than any (E)two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and (F)discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12
(A)Beat your plowshares into swords,    and (B)your pruning hooks into spears;    let the weak say, “I am a warrior.” -Joel 3:10
I thought I'd splash out some verses at the beginning this time. The sword of the Spirit does both of those, it cuts like nothing else and causes the weak to say "I am a warrior."
Now if we take a look at the first passage, what we can see from it is that the word of God can cut anything and pierce anything even the smallest joints and your thoughts as well. I think it's a statement saying the word of God can pierce through anything but knowing God it is also saying no matter how small you think your sin is, no matter how little you turn away from Him there will always be a rebuking from the bible, there will always be something correcting you, because if you aren't perfect then you aren't worthy of being with God. Yet that is the amazing thing about Jesus, He gives us His righteousness, His perfectness which means that the word of God doesn't deem us unworthy but rather causes us to maintain our righteousness and see where we are failing. It also means that if we constantly read the Bible we can keep Satan away and stop Him entering our minds.
The second passage I wanted to share because of the last line and I think that really sums up the whole armour of  God, I think this really encompasses what the armour does, by wearing this we can stand in the army of God and cause the evil on to run.

God Bless

Helmet of Salvation

Well this is going to be a short one, I'm not sure why but this one seems to stump people a bit more than most of the other ones do and I agree with that. I don't whether it's because we have a hard time imagining a helmet as doing more than protecting our head or not, but I would like to think that's the main issue. What's interesting is Paul isn't the first to use this imagery linking a helmet and salvation in fact Isaiah 59:17 contains the same imagery which means that this salvation was put to the helmet for the sake of completing the armour although I can tell you why it really is. My assumption is that it is because salvation through Christ is a choice and one which whilst made with the heart begins very much as a mental decision to follow the truth that you know.
Well I've not entirely made my mind up on the whole matter, I think it will need some more mulling over and discussion with others but if I do ever find a decent answer which holds scripturally true then I will share it here and update this post as well, so keep your eyes peeled on the future.

God Bless

Shield of Faith

So then what is the shield of faith? Well according to Paul it extinguishes the flaming arrows of the evil one, it's certainly a part of equipment that we shall, or should, always have on us. It's our first defence against the attacks, it's in our faith in God and the truth of the Gospel that defends us most against the attacks of the enemy. In fact by extinguishing the arrows it stops the fire burning us and spreading, in a way our faith in Christ Jesus mitigates, if not stops, the attacks on us.
If we were to take the armour of the time, Roman armour, then we should take a gander at the Roman shield which is a big old thing. Well anyway, my point is along the lines that our faith doesn't just defend one part of our body but all of it and that we are so much stronger in fellowship. As in the box formation of Roman armies so can our faith be as we grow, and have fellowship, with other Christians.
It can only be assumed then that our faith and our righteousness are our defence against attacks and it brings forth a challenge in some ways to always be strong in our faith, to grow in our faith, to keep our righteousness at its best and to maintain fellowship with other Christians as much as we can.
Well that's it for a short look at the shield of faith, I feel it should have been longer, I don't know why but there's a nagging feeling of "something is missing" but I can't see what so if you read this and know me and know what's missing then please tell me.

God Bless

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Shoes on your Feet

Put on your feet shoes that are the readiness of the Gospel of Peace, or thereabouts is the third piece of equipment Paul tells us about. In many ways what we are being told to do through this is to constantly walk with the gospel of peace ready and always be ready due to the gospel of peace.
I thought about what the readiness of the gospel of peace might be and decided this is two fold, being ready in it and being ready with it. Being ready in the gospel of peace would entail being set with the gospel, knowing it and the fact that it is true and finally working in that knowledge, whilst being read with the gospel of peace is more about being prepared to evangelise and being prepared to go out with the gospel. I suppose it sums up in the fact we should be ready to move for the gospel of peace and that's a challenging aspect of the armour of God. In many ways we are prepared to confess our sins daily because we know we need to, we know the Truth of Christ, we have faith and salvation. Yet being ready to move for the Gospel, for God. That can be really daunting because you're stepping out with only God to catch you and He's not immediately tangible so we can get scared then. Despite this we have the armour of God to remind us daily that He is there, the armour is what defends from attacks, stops falls from hurting, gives us confidence to move forward in God. The shoes merely gives us the capacity to do so in Christ, in the gospel of peace.
Our shoes now a days aren't always on our feet but I'd expect when the letter to the churches in Ephesus was first written they were so really don't just have the readiness every now and again when we step outside or, in the spiritual sense, out into the battlefield but rather we should be constantly ready. I think the same applies for all the different parts of the armour of God, so be constantly equipped.

God Bless

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Breastplate of righteousness

The breastplate is a needed part of any armour set, it's the major defence of the body and is second in defensive capabilities next to the shield, in fact I'd call it the second line of defense also the colours of your tabard which can accompany a breastplate can identify which army you are fighting for.
I would say all this relates to righteousness, which is to be right with God. Firstly we are defended through our righteousness from the attacks of Satan. We are told in the same passage as the breastplate of righteousness that the shield of faith will extinguish the flaming arrows of the enemy, well I believe that's true and whilst the shield of faith can do this, our righteousness can stop those extinguished arrows completely removing the pain they will bring us from coming to us. Yet as like a breastplate our righteousness should be tended to after each battle in so far as to keep ourselves right with God we should confess our sins to Him after every battle we have in this life. 
Also we are identified as a member of the army of Christ through our righteousness and salvation in Jesus Christ. As members of an army we don't fight alone, which is good since a breastplate doesn't have a back and so is, in some ways, designed for fighting as an army facing the opponent down. We should not fear Satan and his attacks but rather face him and challenge him so that he shall flee.

Belt of Truth

The Belt of Truth is in someways interesting because it comes first. Belts are rarely ever cared about when we put things on, unless you're really fashion conscious. I think it might come first because the belt is a support and completing part of an outfit, also the Truth is very important. The Truth that we hold as Christians is that of the Gospel and I'd agree that that is important enough to come first. The imagery of a belt is also quite interesting, not only does it bring to mind something which holds your trousers in place but also a belt can hold many things, sort of like a utility belt. I'd like to think the analogy holds true to an extent as well, since it is through the Gospel of Truth that we are equipped to face this world. This imagery is found elsewhere in the Bible and that is in Isaiah 11:5
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and (A)faithfulness the belt of his loins.
 I found it quite interesting that righteousness and faithfulness were the elements attached to the belt as they easily attach to the Truth as well. In such a way that we are made righteous by the Truth, and Jesus, and our faith in the Truth. Some translations use swash of his loins instead but either way it is something that completes an outfit, connecting it all together and I think that is another bit of the imagery as the Truth really does complete our armour and is the connecting feature of all the other parts of the armour; salvation, righteousness, faith, the readiness of the gospel of faith and the sword of the Spirit. It's the Truth of the gospel that connects and lies under currennt through all the different aspects of the armour of God.
Bringing it back to Christ, Jesus tells that He is the way, the Truth and the life. He is the one that connects it all and is the one through whom we find Truth, whether it be Biblical truth or experiential truth, He is that Truth.

God Bless

The Armour of God Series

Ephesians 6:10-20

The armour of God is in my mind one of the more interesting bits of the Bible and probably worth a bit more study than most others because armour constantly changes, if you look at what the Romans wore compared to what we use as armour now a days and even compare them to the Ottomans who were around not long after. There is so much variation in armour as it changes to best defend the wearer, but then so do the weapons the enemy uses, so it has to change in durability and strength to be stronger than the weapons used against it. God's armour which I will discuss in the following blogs is the strongest armour we will ever receive and doesn't need to change, that's why we aren't wearing a bulletproof vest of righteousness or using a riotshield of faith. It single handedly will defend you from the dangers of this world and keep you safe, even if you sometimes don't feel it.

I'm going to try and delve into the armour of God during these next 6 posts, commenting on each one as I go. I hope you like it!

God Bless

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Weekend

Well it just was Easter Weekend, although this was meant to be written on Saturday so catching up is in process!
So this would have been written on what I consider being the most dulldrum day of Easter weekend. Some don't since they believe Jesus was down in Hell beating up Satan and death, in my head He's down with the dead hanging about playing dungeons and dragons and sharing the good news with all those who died before Him. Either way the Saturday doesn't compare to the victory of Friday on the cross or the glory of Sunday of the resurrection, but nether the less it doesn't take away from the greatness of this weekend. So erm... I think my mind and enthusiasm is slowly dredging away from me so I can only fathom as to how much more thrilling this would be if I had more of it but sadly I can only leave you with a bit of fun about the Saturday of Easter weekend.

God Bless

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Muddy Boots 5: The Beatitudes

Hey, I know this is late and I shall be working to catch up in the next few days but this is the end of the Muddy Boots series with my own view on the beatitudes.

So we've delved through this week with each beatitude taking it's own center stage and now having looked through them all, let us look at them all together.
The beatitudes are the start of Jesus's first teachings on how to live our lives. In many ways He is setting us up already with some hard challenges on how to live our lives already but all is not lost since Jesus spends the rest of His life living out the same beatitudes so that we may know how to. This hopefully comes across with all the Holy Week bits that have been with each beatitude.
Just to recap on the beatitudes:
-Poor in Spirit
-Hunger and thirst for righteousness
-Pure in heart

This is what makes you great in God's eyes. Now I don't know about you but to me, in this world, that wouldn't make a great person. We don't see being pure in heart, persecuted and meek as great, just to combine a few. These qualities are something we tend to see in a few people here and there but what's amazing is that Jesus was not preaching each beatitude to specific people in the crowd following Him. He was preaching this to everyone, these are qualities we all hold and need to nurture for the future. I'm not going to ramble on but it certainly would cause more of a stir for Jesus if we still search for these beatitudes and pray that we can grow in them.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Muddy Boots 4: Peacemakers and Persecuted

Great are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God -Matthew 5:9
So we have made it to the 7th beatitude all about the peacemakers! So what is it really that makes a peacemaker who they are, despite the obvious. Well a peacemaker would be bold, brave and they would confront aggression and aggressors to find a better way of resolving conflict. It is already a tall order for someone but it starts to sound near impossible to think someone could make full peace when during the past 6,000 years of civilization we've only had 292 years of global peace. The odd thing is we see so much war on the news and war is expensive, destructive and devastating one wonders why it continues to prosper. Well Jesus offers us a new way of life, not one of peace but one of the peacemaker.
As with all the beatitudes though Jesus shows us an example of this in Holy Week, leading up to His death Jesus rebuked Peter for using the sword, didn't resist being arrested and in Isaiah it is written that the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him. So the question really is, are we being the peacemaker in our lives?

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
   for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
   11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. -Matthew 5:10-12
So the persecuted! We constantly pray for the persecuted church, in the hope that the light of God will not be put out but we never pray that people might meet persecution. In many ways we all want to live a life were we are liked by everyone but we are not, and were never, promised that we would be liked by everyone. In fact when Jesus sent His twelve disciples out He warned them that there would be places where we aren't accepted. We are called to be counter cultural sometimes and our reactions to persecution are definitely one. What is interesting is that this beatitude comes straight after the beatitude about peacemakers, it certainly brings to point that we shouldn't be seeking persecution but rather we are likely to receive persecution in seeking peace.
The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the persecuted so really when we get abused for seeking and sharing the kingdom of God part of us should rejoice because the reward is great. So are we being asked to stand up for anything by God? Are we being called to be brave and courageous in our lives?

God Bless

P.S: I'm sorry for being two days late with this, I'm attempting to catch up.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Muddy Boots 3: Kind, caring and pure

So if you've bee following my last few posts you'll know my church is doing a series about the beatitudes! It's taken the title Muddy Boots because a metaphor of following Jesus is a walk, and one where you really do get stuck in, or metaphorically get your boots muddy. So today we went through the 4th to 6th beatitudes.
So are we all sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin with beatitude number 4
Great are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled -Matthew 5:6
 I think it is fair to say that in the developed world we never have gone needlessly hungry nor have we ever truly experienced what hunger is. Yes, we've felt empty because we haven't eaten in a while but truly hungry, I doubt it. Yet one third of the world's population go hungry everyday, these people are so desperate for food that they will walk for half a day just to find something to eat. It's that desperation that we should have for righteousness. This isn't just righteousness in doing things right and things in the world being right either, no Jesus is telling us to by right with our relationships as well. That's not saying you should be right all the time but rather that you have the right relationship with people and we should work to make those relationship where we aren't right with people into ones where we are. Now as always with our Christian lives we can't just apply what we learn about relationship to just other humans, and this whole beatitudes also holds true for our relationship with God. We've got to have the right relationship with Him too. This would mean we need to confess our sins daily, that we don't deliberately sin and that between Him and us our mess is out in the open and we don't hide it. Yep it's going to be hard to keep our relationship right with God but it is worth it. Worry not though, God hasn't left us without help. Jesus went to the cross and took on the suffering He did so that we could have that relationship with Him.

Great are those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy - Matthew 5:7
We leave righteousness for the fifth beatitude all about mercy. So what is being merciful? Well quite simply it is letting somebody off for something that they did despite the fact they should be punished for it. Also we could depict mercy as being kind to those who don't like us, as such we bless our enemies and pray for them. Now we certainly aren't alone when it comes to trying to be merciful, in fact we have one of the greatest helpers around to help us, God. Being merciful is difficult but at the same time very good, and I'm pretty sure Ghandi and Martin Luther King would say the same. I recognize Ghandi was not Christian but I'm not using him as a Christian example but as someone who was merciful and would also say it is good to be merciful. How good mercy is, or that God gave it to us, is not what is amazing about it though. What's amazing is the being merciful will create more mercy, so what we, as Christians, should be doing is being merciful to others. This is not so that we can receive mercy in return but rather because we have received mercy from God, we know how to partition it on to others. Again Jesus Himself demonstrates this on the cross itself when He asks the Father to "forgive them for they know not what they do."

Great are those pure in heart, for they will see God - Matthew 5:8
To end, today's Muddy Boots section, the quality of being pure of heart will be looked at. Our hearts are all cleansed when we become Christians and so are pure once more, but that's not what Jesus probably had in mind when He said this line, in fact it's more likely He was talking about an innocent, unadulterated core of being, someone who doesn't actually have a sin to confess to almost every minute of the day. In all honest it's pure hearted people who truly glow with something beautiful, but whats amazing is that we are likely to be drawn more to these people since they just want to bless you and have such a close relationship with God. Jesus lived out a pure heart for us, Hebrews tell us that "we have one who has been tempted in everyway, just as we are - but did not sin."  (Hebrews 4:15) So how's your heart? I know mine's not always in the right place, if that's you let's go to God to get it cleansed once more then.

Again I remind you that all this is great in writing but what we need to start trying to do is living it out, we can't just be super spiritual. In fact, you may look at some of those and say "I can't do that" or "that isn't me" but Jesus wasn't saying each beatitude to just a specific group each time but rather they are all qualities we can possess.
So together, let's get the shoes gave us to wear muddy with the muck of life and come out stronger on the other side!

God Bless

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Muddy Boots 2: Mourn and Meek

So today the 2nd and the 3rd beatitudes were spoken about. So we'll go through them in order.
The 2nd beatitudes is "Great are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" - Matthew 5:4.
Now here is where it gets interesting, the word mourn is used in the sense of grieving over the dead, or rather being sorrowful for the way things are. So the question is what makes us sad? Obvious answers to sound like real people are injustice, abuse, immorality and violence but the first thing that crossed my mind was the sin still inside me and that's where the challenge lies in this beatitude, not to just be sorrowful for the sins that are global but to also mourn for the sins we commit, whether in thought, speech or deed. Since when we reach that point of utter, deep sorrow for our sins God comforts us. It is when we are in that desolate place that we are driven into the arms of our Creator and He is there for us. See I am constantly hearing that we should not be afraid of our sin and let it control us because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross but we take that too far sometimes and so start to feel less towards the fact we are sinning. Yet we shouldn't be in fact every sin we commit should shake our world and we should really be sorrowful for each one we commit. Now I'll be the first to put my hand up and say "That's really difficult" and it is but since when was following Jesus going to be easy? Jesus himself gave us an example of this sorrow during Holy Week, He was filled with sorrow in Gethsemane as He came to recognize the sins of the world resting on His shoulder and He was in mourning for each and every one of them. Jesus has been throw the same sorrow we should be going through and He knows what it means, but what we need to ask ourselves and challenge ourselves with is whether or not we'll allow the Holy Spirit to show us our sin again.

The 3rd beatitude is this "Great are the meek, for they will inherit the earth" -Matthew 5:5
Meek does not mean weak or not brave, in fact it is more along the lines of not arrogant but the word meek in the original text has a close meaning to the "broken" as in "broken in." This means it is more in line with us channeling our strength for someone other than ourselves, parallels with a broken in horse. For us as Christians that person is Jesus. Our strength should be channeled solely for Jesus Christ's agenda. In fact one could say that to be meek we must be strong, we are strong because to determinedly seek out and act on somebody else's agenda means disregarding our own desires and following theirs. Yet if we can truly submit to God and follow His agenda, if we can be meek and follow Christ then we have such a high place in the Kingdom. This doesn't mean that we should be meek in order to achieve that high place, because that would be adhering to our own agenda but in fact we should be meek in order to align ourselves with God's will more. If you want an example of someone who is truly meek then look no further than Mother Teresa, she gave up her own life to minister God's will to the poor and because of the fact she followed what God wanted she had an amazing life!
If you want to look further then look at Jesus, He prayed that God's will be done not his. In fact He taught us to pray that God's will be done on earth, check the Lord's prayer if you don't believe me, but a lot of us have started to lose that meaning in our own personal relationship with Him. We want to see God come to earth and have a relationship with everyone but we sometimes don't want to be the person who'll share Him with others and so let other's do it instead. We don't submit to that will within our personal lives. So I encourage and challenge you to pray the Lord's prayer with new meaning, with fresh intention and with your heart.

So be mournful and meek, but don't just feel mournful and meek but do something about it. To use a common place phrase "walk the walk, don't just talk the talk." Wear the shoes God has given you and stride out in them, don't stand still afraid of that first step.

God Bless

Monday, April 2, 2012

Muddy Boots 1: Poor in Spirit

My church is doing a short series this week on the beatitudes. They are calling it Muddy Boots and the reasons behind the picture are good. It's denoting a journey that we take, we are trying to follow Jesus as best we can. We usually describe it as a marathon for how long it is, but what about a long trek up a muddy slope? Well that's the point of the picture, we are always gunning for how long and constantly we must battle that we fail really to recognize how hard we must battle as well, and the fact is a good pair of muddy boots has always seen us through those long, hard treks and will there for the next. The same with our souls that Jesus resides in, He will always be there through our hard situations and prepared to stand in for us during the next one. In many ways it reminds me of the story of the footprints in the sand.

So yes we are all on a journey, any journey s not easy but the destination is great when we get there, whether we run the whole time, jog or walk it's a destination we seek. Jesus undertook His own journey here on earth during which He was misunderstood, persecuted and suffered, but because of all this He received life, power and authority over the world. What about us? Aren't we heading towards something similar? Well it's likely since we are co-heirs with Christ but I'll get into that another time.
So this first bit is all about the beatitudes, Jesus major sermon really in His lie and one which really does teach people what it is to follow Christ. The beatitudes themselves all start with the phrase "Blessed are.." which can be translated to "Happy are..", "Contented are..." or "Great are..." So really the beatitudes are all about how these people are great in God's eyes. 
Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven -Matthew 5:3
So great are those who are poor in Spirit in God's eyes. Well that sounds easy, reject the Spirit. No wait before you leave thinking that's the message keep reading. It's not wanting to not have a small amount of Spirit that makes us great in God's eyes, it's recognizing we don't have enough Spirit and constantly wanting more that does. Now this clashes with the idea that we are constantly filled, so why would we need more and thereby want more? Well here is how I see it, like a glass full of water you are filled up but there's a waterfall over that cup keeping it topped up, now you can be happy with your cup or you can constantly seek larger containers so that you can hold more Spirit. We have to realize that the cup of the Spirit isn't enough and constantly seek a  larger container. That's what is so great about the poor of the Spirit, it's not the fact they are poor of it since we all are compared to God but it is that they know they are and because of that fact they desperately want more. The aren't all together with their life, they aren't satisfied with their spiritual growth and they know they are in spiritual poverty and so want to grow more and receive the Spirit more.
See it doesn't make sense for Jesus to open the beatitudes with this line if it weren't for the fact it's where we have to start. We can't grow without the Spirit, so we need to realize we need the Spirit so we can search more. Jesus certainly isn't sitting there going "Follow me and be depressed" because He wouldn't reach anyone with a message like that, what He is proclaiming to the people of Isreal, and throughout time, is "Desire more of God!" That is the message He is giving us and in fact apart from "Repent of your sins" is the first thing we find out Jesus tells people in Matthew's gospel. Isn't that kind of representative of our calling as Christians, first we repent of our sins and ask God's forgiveness and thank Him for it through Jesus Christ and then we want to know God more! I'm writing this and I know in my mind I believe I've failed at this and I don't want to read the Bible as much as I used to nor do I try and learn about God, Jesus, having them in my life and sharing them with others as much as I could or should and after today I want to.
So the challenge really is to our lives of content, that we should be happy with our identity in Christ but not be happy with where we are in getting to know Christ and God. We should have a "holy discontent" for how  contented we are with our lives and crave to know God more that we do. In the words of David in psalm 63:
1 You, God, are my God, 

   earnestly I seek you; 
I thirst for you, 
   my whole being longs for you, 
in a dry and parched land 
   where there is no water. 

That's where are attitude to God should lie, that's where my attitude to God should lie. We should be feeling desperate for God. God went so far as to set the example Himself in Jesus Christ during the time leading up to His death, Jesus was desperately seeking for God to get close to Him once more, to be closer than He was already. He was distraught at the idea of being even slightly separated from Him that He was shouting for God asking Him why He had let Him go, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" He cried trying to find God once more. So why does my heart not always do the same, possibly because I've never sat at the Father's right hand but that's probably not the main reason why because I've experience God's glory on the day I chose to follow Him and whenever I truly connect with it all. It's mostly likely because of the content life we live in the western world. I've never gone hungry for more than an hour, worried about what's in the water, had to support my family from a young age. My life is blessed and so I currently don't understand what it means to desperately seek something, and I doubt many of us do understand it properly as well. Yet there are people who do, in fact in places where they really do depend on God for their day to day lives revival is being seen. Heidi Baker, an author, works with the poor in Mozambique and she is quoted as saying this:
Why is God pouring the Spirit of revival in to Mozambique? Because they are poor in Spirit, dependent on God for everything due to their situation.
We need to remember how impoverished we are spiritually and really search to become rich in the Spirit in the west. Nicky Gumbel says "Precisely when we feel this desperate, we come under the reign of God." I would like to challenge the people reading this to not want revival in your cities but to crave it. I think because we only want to see God in this city is exactly why we haven't. We need to start craving revival, desperately seeking God and desperately introducing Him to people. I hear a lot of people say they can't wait for the second coming, and, yeah, neither can I but I also don't want it to happen because at the moment there are a lot of people I want to see saved who aren't. So I should be searching to introduce God to these people more often and just crave to see God work in places. God will meet us in our most desperate places so why not be constantly desperate to know about God more and be filled  with the Spirit more?

Being poor in Spirit is the beginning of the road to greatness.

God Bless.

P.S: sorry for the length, it's my own thoughts mixed in with a talk.