This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.

Matthew 10 19-20

And don't you worry about what you'll say or how you'll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words. - Matthew 10 19-20

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Read the Corps mission statement or newsletter

Ok on a normal week this would have been very easy. This week not so. The reason for this is that the mission statement is written just inside the front door at my corps and my Dad is the person who writes the newsletter, in a regular week anyway. But this week I have not been to my corps (I have been elsewhere) and my Dad is on holiday. Therefore this challenge has required a little more effort than it would have done any other week.

But just because this challenge required effort did not mean I wasn't prepared to do it, and to be honest it was the easiest challenge so far. All it required was a quick visit to my corps website to read both the mission statement and the current newsletter.

So here is the mission stament;

This Salvation Army corps is a part of the universal Christian Church.
Our Message is based on the Bible.
Our Motivation is the love of God, as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Our Mission is to proclaim His gospel to persuade people of all ages to become
his disciples, and to engage in a programme of practical concern for the need
of the community. 
Our Ministry is offered to all regardless of race, creed, colour or sex.

So there we go, another week of the Soldiers Challenge down, click on the link to view the othr tasks completed and the upcoming tasks.

This weeks task is to read a book from the New Testament, check back next Sunday to see how I do in this weeks challenge.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Moving forward

At least I'm moving forward.
At least I'm moving forward.
At least I'm moving forward.
At least I'm moving forward...

I stand before, a road that will lead,
Into the unknown. At least unknown to me.
I want to go, but I'm paralysed with fear.
Fear of a choise, where the outcome isn't clear.

Nooo, but still I gooo.

And I take, the first step of a million more.
And I'll make mistakes I've never made before.
But at least I'm moving forward, at least I'm moving forward.
At least I'm moving forward...

I wonder if, the journey will be,
Short as I hope, or much longer than it seems.
But either way, I've made up my mind.
I'm through feeling scared, I'm leaving that behind.

Sooo, Now it's time to gooo.

And I take, the first step of a million more.
And I'll make mistakes I've never made before.
But at least I'm moving forward, at least I'm moving forward.
At least I'm moving forward...

And in while I''l be singing,

Na, nana nana

And I take, the first step of a million more.
And I'll make mistakes I've never made before.
But at least I'm moving forward, at least I'm moving forward.
At least I'm moving forward, at least I'm moving forward.

And I take, the first step of a million more!
And I'll make mistakes I've never made before!
But at least I'm moving forward, at least I'm moving forward.
At least I'm moving forward, at least I'm moving forward!

Moving, forward.
Moving, forward.
Moving, forward.
Moving, forward...

Na, nana nana
          (Daniel Estrin, Chris Hesse and Douglas Robb)

Have you ever listened to a song so many times that you don't really listen to it anymore? I must have so many tracks that are like this, as someone who loves music as much as me and listens to it so much it becomes inevitable. I live my whole life to a soundtrack, I am never without musics in anything I do, it says something about me that the biggest problem I have this weekend is that the fuse on my car radio has blown and I currently have to drive in silence.

Anyway I was listening to my ipod in my car driving between work and this track came on and while sat at some traffic lights I actually listened to the lyrics of the song. I know the lyrics to almost every single one of the many thousands of tracks I have on my ipod and PC but while singing along I actually paid attention to what the lyrics actually said. I don't know if it is intentional on the part of the songwriters for it to be so easily applied to a Christian view but reading through these lyrics it could easily be about someone about to start a Christian journey.

For me this song pretty much sums up where i am in my life right now. About to step out onto a new path that will take me into the unknown, a path that I do not know how long I will travel on. And although I fear making the choice to walk this path because I do not know what it will hold for me. Although I am scared by God's help I am leaving all that behind me and at least I'm moving forward.


It is amazing what you can hear if you are listening. It is even more amazing what you sometimes hear when you are not. This beautiful photo is in my opinion one of the best I have ever taken, and it has a great story behind it. 2 years ago while in Hong Kong with my then girlfriend we were visiting Victoria Peak. It is beautiful up there and is a place that is now tinged with sadness for me, however that is another story.

Anyway while up there looking over the amazing city panorama and soaking in the atmosphere we went for a little wander. All of a sudden I heard a beautiful piece of bird song, in the bustle and noise of the city to me it sounded crystal clear. I mentioned this to the people I was with and they told me I was mad, there was no way I could hear a bird singing above the noise. Undeterred and trusting my ears I wandered towards the sound and after walking only a short distance I came upon a quiet area clear of people. It was then that I saw this beautiful bird just sitting singing away. I took several photos and even managed to film it for sometime before I was found and the bird disturbed. The people I was with were amazed that I had heard the bird from over 100m away and pinpointed its location. I explained to them that being a country boy I was used to hearing birds regularly and the absence of bird song for me was unusual. That because my ears were tuned to listening to bird song I could detect it amongst all the drones of the city.

This does not just work for birds, we can tune ourselves to listen for many things, don't believe me just drop a coin in the middle of a busy city street and count those that turn around. As Christians we should be tuning ourselves to God, tuning ourselves to listening for Him amongst the noise of the world. When we can do this we will be able to hear God calling to us even when the world is screaming as loud as it can. The way to do this is the same way I leaned to hear bird song, by spending time surrounded by it. If we emerge ourselves in God's presence as often as we can, on a regular basis we will become more tuned to hearing His voice.

This photo brings back such memories for me, possibly one of the most enjoyable holidays I ever had. And yet when I look at this photo I now feel only sadness of a life and a love lost. But God works through all things and I love the fact that God can teach us lessons when we least expect them and using things we would never think of. Like I said I love this photo for the amazing memory it holds for me and the lesson that it taught me, but it also reminds me of another lesson I had to learn too, and that hurts. Even so I know God can bring joy from sadness and I look forward to seeing how that works out for me in the future.

Friday, October 29, 2010


I just could not think of a name to give this post. No matter what I thought of it just didn't seem right. To be honest I am not quite sure how to start this blog either.

Today I was at a funeral. I never met the man and I know almost nothing about him at all. It was exceptionally sad and I am not ashamed to admit I was almost brought to tears at a number of points. There were very few people at the funeral and for me that made the sadness of the ceremony more poignant. During the whole service I could not take my eyes of the man's son, he looked to be only about 10. This young boy at such a young age has been through so much, a broken home and losing his dad to drugs. I was amazed by this young boy as he led the funeral precession walking in front of the hearse and then leading the coffin in to the chapel.

While sitting through the funeral I thought about all the evil in this world, all the senseless and needless hurt and destruction. I thought of how many people are hurting in this world with no knowledge of the Saviour who came to die for them. How many people die without ever knowing how much Jesus could do for them. Not only that but how many people out there have lost someone close and have no consolation from our Heavenly Father.

As I sat in the chapel this afternoon I prayed through almost the whole service for the young boy and the father he has lost. I prayed that God would comfort and guide this young boy as he heads into a life without his dad a life which must seem very dark for him right now. But not only that I prayed for the soul of the dead man and the friends of his I accompanied to the service that they may learn from his mistake and try to make positive changes in their lives. Since starting my job working with these people in such need today was easily the hardest so far. And yet am am so glad God has put me in a position where there is so much good to be done, it has not been easy and will not be in the future. But then who said being a Christian would be easy.

By grace alone

There is absolutely nothing that you could ever do in order to be saved. Nothing at all. It just doesn't work like that.God is not watching and waiting for you to fill the world with good deeds. Not that you should not be living a good life and doing good deeds, Jesus commanded us to do that. It is just that our salvation is not based on it.

Acts 4:12
    Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one."

It is only through Christ that we can reach salvation, only through His love can we be made right with God. Jesus was sent into the world to bring the grace that makes us right with God, He was the solution to the problem of sin. By accepting Jesus into our lives and loving Him we can be saved. He knows our limitations and our natures, He knows we will sin again and again. Through the love of Jesus for us though we can be relieved from the guilt of this sin, we can be made right and brought before God by Him.

Those who love Jesus and have accepted Him totally into their lives have been given the Holy Spirit to help and lead us in our daily lives. If we have the Holy Spirit in our lives then we will be fruitful Christians, we will follow the teachings of Christ and do what He commands. That does not mean we will never sin again, but it does mean that when we do, if we repent, ask for forgiveness from Jesus it will be granted and we will be washed clean. Accept God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit into your life, follow the way Christ lay down for us and have eternal life in Him.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wealth of wisdom

I was reading my daily bible verse as supplied by my phone today and decided to take a closer look. The verse today was;

Proverbs 20:9 (KJV)  
    Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin? 

Now it is not so much the verse that I want to talk about today, rather the whole book of Proverbs and the Bible. This book is such a fantastic collection of wisdom that has been  handed down to us, but how many of us are actually aware of much that is in there? It is one of those books that I know about, I know what it is, but in reality I know next to nothing about it. I know it is a collection of sayings from Old Testament times, I know that many are thought to be written by Solomon but my knowledge ends there. 

As those who have followed this blog for a while know I am reading my way through the Street Bible and have at times mentioned it in passing. Well Proverbs was one of those books that while reading through caught my attention. I have never really paid it much attention and have never really heard anyone talk about it much. And for me that covers some big sections of the Bible, I know a little about it but just surface facts. When reading the Street Bible I realised there was much in the Bible I needed to reread in its entirety. 

I have currently a significant collection of books that I am trying to read through and this has meant I have squeezed in extra reading time into my schedule to try and get through these books quicker. There is so much that I want to know, reading and learning it is becoming a mammoth task. Even so I am going to make myself a new commitment, I will read the whole Bible, cover to cover. I know that I will not be able to start this until at least next week due to my busy weekend but it is something I feel is essential. I know parts of the Bible very well and have studied sections in detail but I have never read it as I would any other book. In the past I have dipped in and out of the Bible but never just read it as I would any other book.

So from a simple daily verse I am committing myself to yet another project that will take up a considerable part of my life for some time to come. However as with my other commitments like this blog and the Soldiers Challenge there is so much I am learning and gaining from them that they have ceased to be a burden and are now thoroughly incorporated into my life. If this is what it takes to make me find space in my life to do regular and consistent Bible study then it can only be a good thing.

It's my life

How many times have we heard this phrase or even uttered it ourselves when asked or told to do something. It is my life, I will make the choices, I will choose what to do. As humans it almost always boils down to what do I want to do with my life?

I was reading something last night that triggered off these thoughts and it came to me that this is the wrong way to think about it. If I am going to call myself a Christian then it goes that I have given my life to Jesus. And if I have given my life to Jesus how much control do I want in my life. I feel that the answer should be none, however I am a long way away from giving Christ my all as I should. But this is the point I am aiming for, to live the life He has given me.

The thing is that our lives really are not our own to begin with. Our lives were granted to us by God and we should honour Him by offering them back. At the end of the day He knows everything about us, He knows all the things that are going to happen in our lives and the best way to deal with it. If we really do love and trust God then we should allow Him to have the whole of our lives.

To do this is exceptionally hard, the human reaction is to fight back, to try and hold on to our lives for ourselves. We do not want to lose control, we do not want to live not knowing what the future holds. The fact that we can never know the future anyway does not stop us from trying to plan though. We always try to plan and are always amazed that our plans never seem to work out right. It is only when we hand our lives over to God and allow Him total control that we will find the greatest happiness in our lives.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Exodus 5:17 
    But Pharaoh said, "Lazy! That's what you are! Lazy! That's why you whine, 'Let us go so we can worship God.' 

I was looking on the websites I check on a regular basis when I can across this site and this verse. Please visit the second link and read the cometary there as it is part of the inspiration for this post.

God leaves nothing to chance, He has His plans and He works His miracles in our lives to show His power and to guide us to Him. His signs are often easy to miss when we are far from Him and do not want to look, but as soon as we start craving to know His plans He can reveal them to us. 

But what happens when we have seen the path He wants us to walk and then we momentarily take our eyes off the goal. God sends us a wake up call, He gently points us back in the right direction. This is the place where I am right now, I am certain I know the path God wants me to walk and because of that I have allowed myself to go off the boil. I have become comfortable with the idea and I have kind of sat back. It is as if now that I know where I should be going it's ok, I can sit here for a while and start when I am ready. Except I am not doing what I need to do to make myself ready. I have become lazy and have started to enjoy the place where I am.

And then God sends me this verse, specifically; "Lazy! That's what you are! Lazy!". I know that I am doing good things in my life right now, but they are just temporary measures so that I can survive in the world. I know what I should be doing, what preparations I should be making and as yet I am not. I am sure the work I am doing is part of God's larger plan, but it is not God's plan for my life, there is more I must do and I need to begin the process of getting there. 

I am enjoying the life I am leading at the moment, enjoying being at my home Church, working in a Christian environment and life is going well for the first time in years. But I am becoming comfortable with life as it is, becoming comfortable as a Christian. If there is one thing I have learned in my short life as a Christian it is that we work best when pushed out of our comfort zones, when we are pushing against the boundaries to do God's work. Being a Christian should not be easy, it should not be pleasant and we should expect to receive the worst from the world. But from this God will bring joy and peace to our lives and we will be rewarded when we finally meet our Lord in Heaven.

Who do you say I am?

Matthew 16:15
    He pressed them, "And how about you? Who do you say I am?"

I recently discovered a new app on my phone and I was using it this morning before I wrote this. The app is DailyBible and it is a complete devotions application for my phone. On it I have everything from daily reading plans to the complete Bible. Over the last few days I have been reading the daily Bible verse on it before I start work as I am waiting to be let in and it has been a great way to start the day. Today when I am starting work late I have had some time and I was listening to the audio daily thought.

The daily though was presented by someone I have never heard of and to be honest was not the most inspiring thing I have ever heard. However the one verse above stuck in my mind and I began thinking about my post the other day. It is a vitally important question, who do we say Christ is?

It is not just a case of what we say to people either. On Sunday the service I attended the preacher said something quite significant. For most people the only Bible they will ever read is you. Now when you think about it this is true, and also very frightening. If we go out into the world and declare ourselves for Christ then people are going to be watching us. For most of them the only thing they may see of Christ will be us. They may know about Christianity and see it in the media. But it is possible you may be the only Christian someone sees in their daily lives. This places quite a burden on us. Are we everything we should be? Are we everything Christ wants us to be?

This is hard because we are all human, we all sin, we all fall short of our Saviour. But we are Christ's servants, His followers and we should be living according to His way. Take a look at your life, how do you live, how do you tell of Christ in your life. And in all your words and actions, who do you say Christ is?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Perfect peace

Psalm 55:7  
            I want some peace and quiet.
        I want a walk in the country,

Well this week I get some well earned peace, pure simple unadulterated peace and quiet. For the next 4 days I am all alone, living on my own. And it is bliss. After living alone for a number of years moving back in to my parents home has been a slight culture shock. It is great that they have provided a roof over my head while I am waiting to move on to the next period in my life and I am eternally grateful for it. But to be able to come home to an empty, quiet house was wonderful, I have been able to relax and rest in a way that I have not in a long time. I am looking forward to being able to do some serious prayer and Bible study without worrying about being disturbed. I am hoping that this week will enable me to get back into a good routine for my Bible study that I have lacked since I moved home.

It is a wonderful thing to have the peace and tranquillity to spend time with God. I plan not to waste it this week and use the time to the benefit of my relationship with God. Time with God is often at a premium in my life due to the many demands on my time from many quarters. I think that from this week a new commitment to finding and spending time with God is what is called for. It is not enough to just say we want more time with God, if it is something we truly desire then we need to make the effort to do so.

Responding no matter what

Isaiah 66:5  
        But listen to what God has to say
            to you who reverently respond to his Word:
        "Your own families hate you
            and turn you out because of me.
        They taunt you, 'Let us see God's glory!
            If God's so great, why aren't you happy?'
        But they're the ones
            who are going to end up shamed."

If God is calling then there is nothing else that you can do and be happy and fulfilled. God made each one of us and He made us for a plan, if we don't follow it we will be going against what we were made to be. Because we are human though there is often doubt in our minds and many things tempt us away from the path. The enemy puts many obstacles in our paths. If we are truly for God then we will follow His commands no matter what, even if your own family ends up hating you. As Christians we will be subject to taunting and attacks prompted by the enemy who is desperate to get us to turn away from God.

No matter what happens in life following God is the best and greatest thing any of us can do. It may not always be nice, it may not always be easy. In the end however you will be rewarded for your loyalty and service when our Saviour welcomes you in to His Father's house.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Personal Growth

I have realised over the last few weeks that I am becoming much more comfortable and keen to talk about Jesus. It is not something I have found easy in the past and not something I have actually tried to do anything about yet. But I have realised that in my daily life as I come into contact with a wide range of people I am discussing my faith in a very open manner. In the past I have been nervous and unsure about sharing my faith with others. The reasons for this included a lack of knowledge about my faith and a fear of ridicule from people I knew before I became a Christian.

This has changed recently and I have found myself having a number of conversations about my faith recently without trying or feeling uneasy. Every single one of these conversations just happened and despite the fact that most of the people I have discussed this with are non-Christians they have all been pleasant and constructive. Through everyone of these conversations not only have I been able to discuss and enlighten people about my Saviour, but I have also learned a lot and certain things have started to fall into place.

I think sometimes we fall in to trying too hard to do certain things and be a certain way. Sometimes we just have to let God and Jesus in, let Them work in our lives without us interfering in Their plans. When we do this we become shining lights, beacons for those who want to know God, even if they don't realise it consciously. And it is then when we can do some amazing work for the Lord.

1000 hits!

Well this milestone has come around a lot sooner than I expected it too. I can not believe the number of time that this website has been visited or the number of people who seem to follow my ramblings on a regular basis. After just over two months of blogging I have already surpassed my wildest dreams of what this would become. It amazes me that anyone is actually interested in what I may say never mind wanting to come back and read more.

All I plan to do in future is continue to write about my feelings, thoughts and issues within my life as a young Christian. I hope that people have enjoyed reading what I have written so far and will continue to enjoy my posts in the future.

If anyone has any thoughts about this blog or ideas on ways to make it better as always please comment or email me at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pray for the nearest Salvation Army social program

So this week was an interesting challenge for me. Mostly because I work for the Salvation Army in the nearest social program. And so this week I felt incredibly close to the challenge set before me. In addition to this I decided that instead of just praying for the social program I would pray for it every day this week.

So I began the week praying that the situation at work would improve and that I would have a productive week. My colleagues are a great bunch of people and certain things at work have been bringing the feeling at work down and I really wanted to pray that this would change. In addition a couple of things at the end of last week went wrong causing problems to some of the clients I work with.

So knowing the problems of this social program well I prayed for it in general but also for some very specific things too. Initially though things did not get better, at the beginning of the week we had two really bad pieces of news which made the atmosphere darker and gloomier. Despite this I was determined to continue and had faith that things would eventually start to improve if I continued to pray.

As the week continued things did start to pick up and there were a couple of very good pieces of news that I was particularly happy about. Although the situations that worked out well did have their roots before I began this weeks challenge I have no doubt that the challenge has helped in a number of ways.

I wish I was able to say more about this challenge but due to the nature of my work I am unable to say too much about things that have happened. Rest assured however that this challenge has gone very well this week and again it has made me think about my life and the things I do every day. Like the prayer walk and the 3 hour prayer session I intend to try and work this challenge in to my daily life and continue it in some way.

The Challenge that I have pulled from the hat this week is to read the Corps mission statement or newsletter. Check back next week to see how well I do in this task.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Ok, I apologise in advance about this post as I am slightly wound up as I write it. I know my attitude right now is not what it should be as a Christian as I know that I am far from perfect myself. But I need to get this off my chest and hope that I can make a useful point at the same time.

So tomorrow I will not be going to my normal Church. The reason for this is that we have guest preachers at our Church tomorrow. Obviously this is not the reason for my non attendance, but who the guest speakers are is. These ministers have connections to both my Church and my family, specifically connected to a distant cousin of mine. This cousin of mine has recently had a baby and has expressed the desire to have him dedicated back to the Church. The visiting preachers are her paternal aunt and uncle and she had thought it may be nice for them to conduct this service of dedication. When they were asked if they would be able to do this they decided that due to the child being born out of wedlock they could not conduct the service due to the rules and regulations in our Church.

Now for me this seems wrong, surely this has nothing to do about the parents. Surely the child has done nothing wrong, why should he be prevented from being dedicated in to God's family.

Matthew 19:14
    But Jesus intervened: "Let the children alone, don't prevent them from coming to me. God's kingdom is made up of people like these."

Surely preventing a child from being accepted into a Church for any reason is wrong. How can any organisation claiming to be for Christ prevent a child from being brought back to Him. Fair enough the child was not born in to a marriage, but he was born to two Christians who due to circumstances have not be able to marry yet but who intend to do so when it is possible. This does not excuse them the fact that child was born out of wedlock, but how can it be right to prevent this innocent child from being dedicated to God.

The next part of the saga is one that upsets me most. Despite the fact that these ministers are the mothers aunt and uncle they did not refuse her directly. Instead they contacted her father, who then phoned her mother to ask her to inform her that they would not do the service. For me this says one thing and one thing only, they can not defend their decision. Surely if they knew the decision was the right one they would have been honest enough to refuse directly. This is a case where someone has followed a rule or regulation despite knowing it is wrong. How did we get to this point where as a Church we can do things we know to be wrong, that scripture tells us is wrong but carry on doing so because our rules say so. This mornings post by God's inspiration has already mentioned the rules Jesus told us to follow, the two He told us were the most important. I don't think this decision is in line with those rules Jesus commanded us to follow.

Further to this I attended a meeting by these ministers today, and bearing in mind the story so far I will tell you the core of the sermon preached.

Matthew 18:5
    What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me.

Now as I already said bearing in mind the story so far is this really a suitable verse to preach on. Have they read this verse themselves. Because surely if this is true then refusing a child is like refusing Christ, and these people are supposed to be ministers for Christ. Not only this but surely preaching on this verse is unnecessarily inflammatory. I don't know whether this is a series of bad judgement calls, lack of thought or if it has been done intentionally. But whatever it is I struggle to understand how this can happen in a Church, the supposed body of Christ.

So tomorrow I am choosing not to attend my usual Church. One of my friends did ask me would it not be better for me to go and confront them about this situation. In an idea world yes this would probably be the best course of action. I however have a notoriously bad temper at times, it is something I am aware of and working on. However knowing I am already angered by this situation I feel it is better for me to remove myself from it to prevent me saying or doing anything unchristian or to make it worse. So instead I will be going to visit my friend in a nearby city and attend Church with them. This will not only get me out of this situation but also allow me to enjoy Church tomorrow. In addition to this I always enjoy attending different Churches to see how other people worship.

Again I apologise for the tone and content of this blog especially if it has upset anyone, that was not the intention of this post. This post is mainly just a way for me to blow off some steam and express my feelings on this subject. However legalism in the Church is something I will hopefully be able to post on soon so watch this space. Check back tomorrow for the update on the Soldier's Challenge.

Love the Lord your God

Luke 10:25-37
    Just then a religion scholar stood up with a question to test Jesus. "Teacher, what do I need to do to get eternal life?"
    He answered, "What's written in God's Law? How do you interpret it?"
    He said, "That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence-and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself."
    "Good answer!" said Jesus. "Do it and you'll live."
    Looking for a loophole, he asked, "And just how would you define 'neighbor'?"
    Jesus answered by telling a story. "There was once a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him up, and went off leaving him half-dead. Luckily, a priest was on his way down the same road, but when he saw him he angled across to the other side. Then a Levite religious man showed up; he also avoided the injured man.
    "A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man's condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill-I'll pay you on my way back.'
    "What do you think? Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?"
    "The one who treated him kindly," the religion scholar responded.
    Jesus said, "Go and do the same."

I can almost hear one of my friends singing a particular song in my mind as I write this, and can guarantee they will sing it when they read this post. Hopefully they will comment with the lyrics as right now I can not remember them all.

This passage is one of those very powerful passages we find in the Bible. Mostly because it is a direct lesson from Jesus. Instead of looking to Church leaders or Paul's letters we are being instructed by the Lord Himself. It is a very simple message that we are being given here. Love God with everything you have, all the time. And to treat others in the same way you treat yourself and want to be treat. A very simple message but one that is often very difficult to put into practice. However if we try daily to follow these simple instructions we will be on the right path to becoming what Jesus wants us to be.

Friday, October 22, 2010

More from Gramma

Praise God for what He's done for me!
     Once was blind, but now I see;
     I on the brink of ruin fell;
     Glory to God, I'm out of hell!

For what the Lord has done for me,
I'll praise Him through eternity

I spurned His grace,  broke His laws,
     But Jesus undertook my cause;
     Bad as  was He cleansed me soul,
     Healed my disease and made me whole.

For what the Lord has done for me,
I'll praise Him through eternity

The Lord has pardoned all my sin,
     And now to praise Him I'll begin;
     I never praised the Lord before,
     But now 'll praise Him more and more

For what the Lord has done for me,
I'll praise Him through eternity.

I was given some of my Gramma's old books today by my Mum and was looking through one in particular. There was a page marked in the book and so  decided to look at what it was. When  did my eyes fell straight to this song. Those who read my blog often will know that  believe God guides us in all things, and that there are no such things as coincidences.  believe that God is speaking to us always and it is only us who need to learn to listen in order to have a conversation with Him. Because of that  decided to share this song which  feel sums my life up quite well. I have no idea if it was this song that was marked or if even my Gramma marked the page as it appears to have belonged to my Great Grandmother from the inscription. But I do know that there was a reason for me to find this song today, now I just need to pray about it until God tells me what it is.

God First

Proverbs 1:7
        Start with God-the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
            only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

Yesterday I ended my post with the phrase "In all things first look to God" and have been thinking about it since. When I came to write this post I wasn't going to write about this, I only intended to write using a verse from Proverbs. It's amazing how things come together even when we don't intend them too.

As Christians there is one thing we should always do, look to God. If we focus on Him and live in constant prayer then we are at least on the right track. As the verse above says the first step in learning is bowing down to God. We need to understand that God is awesome and worthy of praise. He is so fantastically beyond anything we can imagine that the only right thing to do is bow down before Him. Through Jesus we are able to come before God and enter into a relationship with Him. It is all too easy to misunderstand just how awesome God is and because of that let our relationship with Him falter.

In God is an amazing opportunity for us all, we can not let ignorance or misunderstanding to prevent us from being all we should be. We need to learn all we can about God and what He wants us to do, and the first step in this is to bow down to Him. If we follow this instruction and learn to serve humanity as Jesus instructed us to then we will be heading in the right direction.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's not just God who is calling

I have been thinking about the things I want in life. This is mostly because I have been thinking heavily about my past and my prospective future. I know there are two routes I could take, two very clear and very different routes. I know on the one hand God is calling me to do something very different from what I have been doing in my life so far. And on the other has been the life I thought I wanted, the one I have spent years preparing for. There is the saying that if you are not for God you are against God. And therefore it follows that if you are not working for God then you are working against Him. So I can follow God's calling and do the work He wants me to do or I can go the other way and do what I want.

The thought that triggered this line of logic was one about my past. I was feeling nostalgic again for my past life, wanting what I had and was taken away from me.

Then the thought hit me, the last thing that the enemy wants is for us to follow God's calling in our lives. And so the enemy is calling us, calling us to do anything but what God wants us to do. He knows he can never win the war and so he is doing everything he can to win each battle. He is using everything at his disposal to stop us following God's plan. There is nothing he will not do, nothing he will not try in order to steal us away from God. I wrote a post awhile ago called Why does the enemies side seem so good? and the thing is often it does seem very good. Jesus never promised us an easy life, He never once told us it would be plain sailing. In fact He specifically told us the opposite, that we would be hated and persecuted because we love Him. The enemy plays on this and offers us things in this life that seem good, fun and fulfilling. The truth is though that these things are empty, even good works are empty if they are not done for God and His glory.

So what are we to make of all of this? Are we working against God every time we do something we want, or something that makes us happy now? I think that this is not the case, God does want us to be happy in this life, he does want the best for us. But He also wants us to want to do His will, and that sometimes requires sacrifice. As Christians we are called to be like Jesus. Look at His life, look at the way He lived and acted. It is certainly not an easy life, it is anything but a life chasing worldly joys. Even so we do not need to deny ourselves of every pleasure in life, as long as we know them for what they are. If it is not sinful and done in a God honouring way, and we thank God for it the pleasurable things in life are perfectly acceptable. If this is not the case though it plays right into the enemies hands, and as I said earlier, he will use any advantage he can find.

We often talk about God calling us to service or God's plans, but as Christians these days we often shy away from talk of the enemy. Why is this? Surely the best way to fight an enemy is to know him and be prepared for his attacks. We should be aware of the enemy, be aware of his plans for us. He does not want our salvation or for us to enter Heaven. Every day he will be calling to us, tempting us away from the things we should be doing. Using our desires and worldly dreams to distract us from the path we have been set upon by God.

I am sure there is much doctrine and scripture that I could quote in this post, but to be honest I don not see a need. We know the enemy is evil, we know he hates God. With this hatred comes a desire for him to destroy as much of Gods creation as he can. We can easily read of his ways in the Bible and see his actions in the world. But the greatest weapons we have against him are firstly God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, if we love God, follow Jesus and have the Holy Spirit within us the enemy can not win us. Secondly if we are aware of his desire to steal us from God then we will be aware of his attacks in our lives. When this happens we can then turn to God and ask for help. In all things first look to God.

How come so calm?

Psalm 62:1-8 (TSB)
MY soul's serene when I rest in your arms,
Like no other time.
Peacetime arrives when I switch off my drives
And float in your ocean sublime.
You're where I run to when there's war at my door,
You're where I come to when I just need more -
My security force, my passport to peace.
How come so calm? You're why.

When all the world is falling apart and everything seems to be going crazy how should we act? Most of the time people get swamped under the worlds pressures and get worn down by the world's pressures. But what we should really be doing is calling on God's strength to help us. We should be sheltering in God's awesome presence.

Psalm 71:1-3
        I run for dear life to God,
            I'll never live to regret it. 
        Do what you do so well:
            get me out of this mess and up on my feet.
        Put your ear to the ground and listen,
            give me space for salvation. 
        Be a guest room where I can retreat;
            you said your door was always open!
        You're my salvation-my vast, granite fortress.

We know that God is our protector and our stronghold, that he is powerful enough to save us from anything. Yet when the going gets tough so often we forget to go to Him for help. We forget to call on His name for our protection. It should be the case that when everything seems to be falling round our ears and the world asks of us "why so calm?"  we are able to respond "He is why".

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Letting go of the past

Recently things have been hard and I have been struggling with a couple of things. Then the other night something brought a few things home for me and showed me what the biggest part of the problem is. It will be impossible for me to move on and to start the next part of my life if I am still hanging on to the past.

Although I know that I am happier now than I have been in the past there are still aspects of my past that I pine for. I know that they can never return, that I don't really want them back and that in reality they were not good for me in the long run anyway. Yet there is a part of me that would give anything to be back there. Although I know that my relationship with my ex was destroying my soul and was detrimental to my mental health in a number of ways. Even though I was mentally assaulted and my self esteem was torn down on a regular basis there were many good times and it is those than I miss.

I was reminded while watching TV of the way I was made to feel during this relationship and why I am best out of it. It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I am yet there are still things that bring the old days flooding back. When this happens I can feel quite depressed about the things I have lost and how things are not how I planed them to be.

On top of this there is my dream of being a scientist, in the past this seemed to be the best option for me. However increasingly over the last few months I have realised that God wants me for other things. The problem is that my whole adult life has been geared towards the science world and breaking out of this mould is turning out to be incredibly difficult. Despite appearances I really don't like being negative and depressive, I'd much rather be talking about the great things that God is doing in my life but this blog is a fantastic way to unload the problems in my life. I prefer having fun and bringing laughter to those around me but doing this has been incredibly hard recently.

So I know that my past has to be lain to rest, not forgotten but not allowed to overshadow my future either. I know that my past had some great points, but that on the whole it was not a good period of my life. I have much to look forward to and much to offer in the future but I need to make a clean brake from my past. In the coming days and weeks I hope to make this brake by progressing on to a new direction in life. Until then I will spend time in prayer asking for help on making this big step in my life. Trusting in God to lead me the right way and help me in all that I do.

Christian fasting

When it was first suggested to me to blog on this topic I didn't really know much about fasting as a Christian. I was under the impression that it was a case of not eating for a period of time. On further study however it is so much more than that. Fasting is not Biblically required in any way. Although there are cases in the Bible of Christ and His followers fasting there is no commandment for us to fast. Even so fasting can be useful for Christians in drawing closer to God.

Fasting is not all about giving up food and starving yourself. It is possible to fast by giving up any worldly thing that distracts you from God. Choosing to give up television or the internet for a period of time in order to spend more time praying is as much fasting as not eating for a period of time. The aim is not to punish yourself or suffer because of the fast, but to grow closer to God. It is about showing that we are serious about our relationship with God in that we will give up something of the world for a period of time in order to spend that time with God.

I did look into some of the rules for fasting that are used in various Christian denominations and to be honest I was surprised by what I found. There are many ways of fasting that even though you are "giving up" food you are still able to eat. For example in the Catholic tradition a partial fast allows you to have one meat meal per day and two small meals not containing meat providing the two smaller meals are not greater than the large meal. Other rules include just giving up dairy, not eating meat or only eating during the hours between sun set and sun rise. There are many different methods of fasting and this leads to a huge amount of flexibility. This flexibility come mostly from the fact that fasting is not something we have been told we must do, we have not been given guidelines to follow in this. Therefore we are able to fast in what ever way works best for us in order to commit to God and spend time in fellowship and communion with Him.

So fasting, there are no hard and fast rules. We are all aware of the time of Lent and giving something up as Jesus fasted in the wilderness. This is a kind of fasting, and some people do go to the level of giving up food and fasting for lent with caveats such as only eating plain foods or only one meal before sunrise. Whatever the method of fasting there should only be one reason to do so, in praise and honour of God, as a method of exalting Him and growing close to Him. It should not be done as a show of faith or a way of proving how good a Christian you are. Fasting is a private choice made by someone in their walk with God in order to concentrate more fully on Him.

Acts 14:23   
    Paul and Barnabas handpicked leaders in each church. After praying-their prayers intensified by fasting-they presented these new leaders to the Master to whom they had entrusted their lives. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So small

And Yet God Loves us and cares for us all.

This image is from a great Christian blog that I read regularly, I would recommend you check it out at ASBOJesus.

His will

Ecclesiastes 3:14-15
    I've also concluded that whatever God does, that's the way it's going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God's done it and that's it. That's so we'll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

            Whatever was, is.
            Whatever will be, is.
            That's how it always is with God.

This verse sums up where I am in life. I was originally planning on writing something about Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 but my attention was drawn to verses 14 and 15. I will likely post on verses 1-8 at some point but it seemed more important to focus on these later two verses.

Its taken me a fair while and an interesting journey to get to the point where I realises these verses to be true. If God has something planned you can bet it will happen. It is not that He forces us to do something or that He leaves us no options. It is just that His plans are the best, and eventually we realise this and end up following them. For some people like me this is not easy, I am used to doing my own thing in my own time. Admittedly this does mostly consist of letting the world just ride on by and me jumping on and off as I wish with little or no planning. Even so it is difficult for me to allow someone else to take control.

It happens though that every time I say ok God do your thing in my life wondrous things happen, a peace descends and things fall into place. Whereas when I try to plan or strike my own path while things go well to begin with they eventually fall apart.

God's plans are awesome, while He has planned for the whole universe, He has also planned for me in such intricate detail. even though there are infinitely more important things to think about He took time to care about me. He loves me enough to include me in His plan and He trusts me enough to be His servant. For someone who has struggled with family and relationships in the past this is an awesome experience. To know that God will always be there for me and will always care, even when I let Him down. No matter what, through it all, He will be there.

I heard an interesting story told at the weekend from a well respected member of my Church. He said that in the past he had doubts about the direction our Church was headed, that he thought God was leading us down the wrong path and the Church was heading for disaster. At the end of the story he said he was pleasantly surprised that everything had worked out well and the Church was now in a much better position.

While listening to this story I was concerned that this senior member of my local Church had so underestimated God, that he had failed to trust in Him. It is one thing to say that you have concerns about the direction of the Church, but another to say you have worries about His plans. Has this man got such a flawed understanding of God? or was it merely a slip of the tongue?

Whatever the case, as Christians we need to have full faith in Him and His plans. He is the creator of all things, perfect and unchangeable. If we trust in Him amazing things can be done in His name. The best way I can think to end this post is with the Bible verse again, please read it and consider how it affects your life as a Christian.

Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 
    I've also concluded that whatever God does, that's the way it's going to be, always. No addition, no subtraction. God's done it and that's it. That's so we'll quit asking questions and simply worship in holy fear.

            Whatever was, is.
            Whatever will be, is.
            That's how it always is with God.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Job - How would you handle it (Part 9) The finale

Or at least the finish anyway.

If you want to read the previous Job posts please follow these links 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.

I was discussing the case of Job with a minister recently and we had quite a long conversation about it. One of the points of discussion we had was about why God would allow all of this to happen to one of His faithful followers and why He would be for want of a better phrase at a party with the enemy. The minister I was talking with then told me about a theory there is about the book of Job. There is a school of thought that the book of Job is not a historical story about an actual man, but rather that it is a parable. Now for me personally this would make more sense. The dealings with the enemy, the willingness of God to allow the enemy to destroy His faithful servant.

Parables are a common feature in the Bible and for me take nothing away from the message contained within. There are parts of the Bible where the only way God could have passed on His knowledge is in the form of stories and parables. There is no way we can know the mind of God, there is no way to know the plans of God. Yet through these stories He can pass on a message to us, give us a small piece of understanding so that we may be everything He wants us to be. Jesus Himself often taught in parables because the only way people would understand His message would be if they could picture it with an example. But for me, parable or not really does not make too much difference. What matters is the message God is trying to send to us.

So what is the message that can be taken from Job. Well there really is no simple answer, there are many lessons to be taken from this book, it all depends on the depth to which you read it and meditate on it. However there is one message that stands out and can be read no matter how deep you go. God is an awesome God, there is nothing that the enemy can do that God can not undo. It tells us that no matter how much the enemy attacks you or how far the enemy pulls you down, belief in God can protect us in the long run. If we always remember to glorify God at all times, if we remember that God is always worth of praise then He will provide for us. No matter what the enemy throws at you in life if we give our lives and hearts to God then He will always come through for us. Anything the enemy tries to take away from us the Lord will return many times over.

This series has been a little bit of a labour of love, but I have enjoyed writing it, I hope you have enjoyed reading it. I hope to attempt another series at some point in the future, if anyone has any ideas for books to look at please let me know on or by leaving a comment.

Lord Jesus

Lord Jesus I am pleased to be,
     Always in your care.
To always know and do your will,
     Shall forever be my prayer.

When shadows come,
When darkness falls,
Your love will shine a light.
Should I stumble,
Or lose my way,
You'll always set me right.

Lord Jesus I would like to say,
     I want to follow you.
And when I reach my natural end,
     That wish will still be true.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pray for three full hours

So week 2 of the challenge has come and gone. The task for this week was to Pray for three full hours. This task was always going to be a challenge this week due to the demands on my time and my difficulties with prayer. Although my prayer life is improving slowly to pray for 3 whole hours in one go was a mammoth effort.

So to tell you about the 3 hour prayer session. Well as I knew fitting it in was a real task and in the end it was late Saturday night by the time I managed to finally sit down and complete the task. Knowing that the end of the week was coming and that it failing in week 2 would be embarrassing I finally completed the task. In the end I had to stay up well beyond my usual bed time knowing that it would leave me very tired for Church this morning. When I sat down I decided that I would begin by reading a passage in the Bible that has spoken to me recently, the book of Jude. During this time of focus there were two verses that spoke to me;

Jude 1:1-2
    I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ.

The reason that this verse speaks to me is two fold. On the one hand I know that God is calling me to work for Him and I am more than happy to offer my life to Him. The reason for this is the second part of the verse that speaks to me. I have been kept safe by Jesus Christ. In my life in all things I know Jesus has been watching over me and protecting me from evil. Now I have returned to the Church and have accepted Jesus and God into my life I know that there is nothing that can stop Good from loving and protecting me.

Jude 1:23
    Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

This second verse is again linked to my past. I once took a wrong route and lived a life of sin, but there were people who lived this verse in my life. There were many people who were always there for me when I needed it, they were always kind to me and helped nurse my growing faith. Even though there was never a time when anyone let me have an easy time about my past. I was prevented from slipping back into my old ways by those around me who reminded me of not only the sinful nature but also of the pain I had experienced through living in that way.

After reading this passage in a number of different translations and reflecting on the message of the book I then moved on to a period of quite prayer. I spent a long time praying in a way that I have not ever done before, I prayed about the issues in my life that I have right now and asked for help but also the abilities to deal with them. In spending this long amount of time alone with God in a way I have never done before brought me in to a sense of God's presence that I don't think I have ever experienced.

After I had told God all of my worries and needs and finished asking for what I needed I spent the rest of the time listening. For me this was possibly the hardest period of the prayer session and to be honest don't think it was as valuable to me as the other two periods. It is certainly a part of my prayer life that I need to work on, but then as in life in general listening is sometimes a problem it is no surprise listening to God is also an issue. However I do feel that it is something that if I work on and continue to ask God's help over I will be able to develop this in to valuable time with my God.

So altogether I think that although this was a difficult task for me to do it was a very valuable exercise. Although I doubt I will be able to find such long periods of time regularly it has prompted me to try and find more time to spend in prayer. I want to commit to regular consistent prayer sessions because not only is it something I need to do, after this task it is something I want to do.

So what is the task for next week? Well the task that came out of the hat this morning is to pray for the nearest Salvation Army Social Program. Check in next Sunday to find out how I do.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Proverbs 5:3-6

Proverbs 5:3-6
        The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
            her soft words are oh so smooth.
        But it won't be long before she's gravel in your mouth,
            a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
        She's dancing down the primrose path to Death;
            she's headed straight for Hell and taking you with her.
        She hasn't a clue about Real Life,
            about who she is or where she's going.

I have talked before about how the Bible is an incredibly personal book and that at times when reading it there can be passages that seem to be written just for you. Sometimes it is a passage that is relevant to your life right now, other times it is as if god is highlighting features of your past in order to teach you something.

Recently there have been a number of instances where my past has been highlighted to me. These include the posts Why does the Enemies side seem so good? Self reflection - Where are you at and The Reason. The 5 years I ran away from the Church can be almost perfectly summed up by Proverbs 5:3-6.

In the beginning I was amazingly happy with her, everything was going great, I didn't need anyone or anything else, especially not God. He had done nothing for me in my life except waste every Sunday. I was much better off doing my own thing and being happy doing so. But as Proverbs 5:3-6 says, it was not long until it all went sour and became a source of huge pain. I was plunging headlong into disaster and Hell. Together we were heading for destruction and neither of us knew how, why or how to prevent it.

In the end I was rescued from this inevitable fate because of God. Although I had forgotten Him, He never forgot or gave up on me. Despite the fact that there was almost no way to place myself further from Him, He continually watched over me until the time was right. And at that time He moved in and began rebuilding my life. He placed me in an amazing Church with fantastic friends and provided for me daily. Even though the trials I faced after returning to the Church were greater they seemed smaller and not so dark as I had help through it all. In all things God has been there and provided for me both materially and spiritually when there was no way to survive on my own. Because of this I am now in the position where I am happy to offer everything I have materially and spiritually to Him. These things came from God and in thanks to Him I am now offering them back to Him to use as He will. God still has a lot to teach me and has many tasks for me to fulfil, I know that with Him I have a very interesting life ahead of me.

I do have some blog news to share, the Job series is finally complete. I finished writing the last post today which will be posted on Monday at 6pm GMT, I hope you enjoy it.

Job - How would you handle it (Part 8)

Job 42:7-17
    After God had finished addressing Job, he turned to Eliphaz the Temanite and said, "I've had it with you and your two friends. I'm fed up! You haven't been honest either with me or about me—not the way my friend Job has. So here's what you must do. Take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my friend Job. Sacrifice a burnt offering on your own behalf. My friend Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer. He will ask me not to treat you as you deserve for talking nonsense about me, and for not being honest with me, as he has."
    They did it. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did what God commanded. And God accepted Job's prayer.
    After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. They told him how sorry they were, and consoled him for all the trouble God had brought him. Each of them brought generous housewarming gifts.
    God blessed Job's later life even more than his earlier life. He ended up with fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand teams of oxen, and one thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first daughter Dove, the second, Cinnamon, and the third, Darkeyes. There was not a woman in that country as beautiful as Job's daughters. Their father treated them as equals with their brothers, providing the same inheritance.
    Job lived on another hundred and forty years, living to see his children and grandchildren—four generations of them! Then he died—an old man, a full life.

So here we finally come to the last part of the book of Job. Apologies for the length of time it has taken for anyone who has been waiting for it. If you have not read the previous 7 posts please follow these links.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 and 9.

So after His chat with Job God turns to speak to those people who gave Job all that advice. Those people who had been quick to comment on both the actions of God and Job and their advice on how to deal with the situation. They were also quick to lay blame for the terrible things that had happened too. God then lays out the route of forgiveness to them, and being an Old Testament story this requires that they make a sacrifice to God. In addition to this however God has them ask Job to pray for them and that God will accept the sacrifice, God says that He will, but only if they have Job pray for them.

After this had happened, the sacrifice and intercession, God restored Job to his former glory, He brought back his wealth, and doubled it, He brought back his family too each of them with apologies and gifts.  God then went on to bless Job further by giving him children again, and as the passage says Job's daughters were the most beautiful in the country, without parallel. On top of this God granted Job long life, long enough for him to see his family to 4 generations eventually dying as an old man who had had a full life.

I am going to sum the whole story up in one final post which should be up shortly. I hope you have found my humble take on Job at least interesting so far.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Jude 1:2
    Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!

After the trying couple of days I have had I have felt on the verge of boiling over into fury a number of times. Almost everything has been causing my blood to boil and once it has settled again I just feel drained. When trying to decide what to post about I looked at a couple of Bible verses but non of them seemed to fit my mood or feelings today. Then the book of Jude caught my eye, it is not a book I know well or have looked at very often. However I decided to look at what it had to say, and immediately God's message to me was clear. Relax, rest, its all going to be ok. There is no need to feel hassled, no need to be angry, everything will be all right.

Reading this verse I wish someone had pointed me in the direction of it a number of months ago. Because although I am sure that in the context it was written originally the love that is being referenced is Jesus in my life recently it could be taken more literally. My heart has been closed to love for some time, no matter what I try I just can not feel close to anyone, my family included. But maybe God has a double edged message for me right now. "Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together" speaks to the fact that I have been feeling very stressed of late and I need to take a step back and just spend time focusing on releasing this tension. And then the end of the verse "open your hearts, love is on the way!" speaks to me to say that it has been long enough. I can not keep those close to me at arms length, I need to allow myself to love people again and use the support I can gain from that.

In other news, I will hopefully be posting the remaining sections of the Job series tomorrow. The reason for their delay has been due to time constraints caused by a hectic social and work schedule of late. However as I finally have some time off for myself this weekend I will hopefully get all I want done and still have time to relax. In addition to this I have almost finished the Old Testament of the Street Bible and will post the review of that soon also.

My musical life

Music is one of the most important things in my life. I almost live my life to a soundtrack, when I am alone I always have my music on be that through a sound system or via my ipod music is always there. If I cannot listen to music for any reason you can guarantee I have a song in my head, and if I am alone I may even sing to myself. When I am driving I always have some music playing and 9 times out of 10 I will be singing at the top of my voice enjoying myself hugely.

Recently the types of music I have been listening to in the car has changed. I have spent a huge amount of time driving recently and I find myself listening to the same recordings again and again. It is a CD my Mum bought a number of years ago and is of a Christian singing group from New Zealand. I have always loved this CD but have only recently managed to get a copy of it on my ipod. There are so many inspiring tracks on there that talk of everything from being thankful to God for His love to haunting melodies that speak of God's presence even in the rough times.

It is amazing the ways God can bless us, we can listen to the same music time and time again. Yet one day a track you have heard thousands of times can suddenly speak a clear message to you. While having a tough week at work there have been a couple of tracks which have lifted me as soon as I have heard the introduction notes. There are many things in this world that can get us down and cause us to feel terrible. But we have an amazing God and a huge amount to be thankful for. As i quoted last night;

Philippians 4:4 (KJV)
     Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Psalm 32:10

Psalm 32:10
        God-defiers are always in trouble;
            God-affirmers find themselves loved
            every time they turn around.

I am glad that I have my God. I rejoice that He loves me. I am amazed that He died for me. I am thankful that I have everything I need through Him.

Philippians 4:4 (KJV)
    Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Complacent Christianity

This is on of the big traps that many Christians fall in to. I am as guilty of it as the next person. We have a life changing experience with God, we meet Jesus for the first time or in a new way and we start doing things differently. We pray more ardently, we read our Bibles frequently and generally live our lives in the way that we have been shown. However as time goes on we become comfortable with the way we are doing things, then slowly over time life erodes our resolve. One day we pray a little less due to time constraints, or we skip reading the bible because we have a headache or another similar excuse. Whatever it is we become complacent over time to the point where we think that because we are doing some things well its ok if we skip one day, we can have a day off because we are a good Christian and we deserve it.

Complacency does not make us a bad Christian, but it does lead us away from the path we should be walking. We are all going to struggle to do everything we should all the time, that is because we are human. Jesus died so that we could be forgiven for our sins and short comings. Even so we still need to work hard to do all that we should do. We should be aware that complacency is going to be something we will come across many times in life. We should be aware that many times due to it we are going to come up short, fail and act in unchristian ways. By being aware of this we can combat its effects in our lives. We are never going to be able to erase it from our lives but we can work hard to minimise its effects.

The reason I decided to post on this is because I have been so busy recently that many things I should have been doing have fallen by the wayside. I have reasoned to myself that due to the reason for my business is my working hard to follow God's plans in my life I am being a good Christian. When the truth is that I am missing out some of the things that should be core to my life, my Bible study has dwindled and my time alone with God has been reduced significantly. The times I have "spent" with God have been shoehorned in while doing other things like driving to work. As a result of this I am again feeling stressed and angry in a way I have not for months. The peace God had brought to my life is beginning to evaporate. I know what the problems are and I know how to fix them. Having realised where my problems lie I can tackle them head on.

Complacent Christianity is something we are all going to suffer from at times, but knowing this gives us a much better chance of spotting it and fixing it quickly. I would never accuse anyone of suffering from it, but I would like to say I believe it is worth us all checking ourself for the signs regularly.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Such faith of Mario Gomez

I know many people will have been watching the same pictures as me over the last day. The rescue of the Chilean miners. It has been an amazing to watch the pictures of the rescue and seeing these men being reunited with the families they have been separated from for so long.

However it is not the rescue staff, the amazing team effort or even the miracle of their rescue that I want to talk about. The thing that caught my mind was the images of the oldest miner as he finally reached the surface. Mario Gomez showed such faith and such dedication to his faith as soon as he could get out of the Phoenix. Before celebrating, before anything else he fell to his knees and prayed. After the ordeal he has been through, despite the burning desire he must have had to embrace his family Mario Gomez's first thought on the surface was to thank his God. Would you have done the same?

The tales of faith and strength of belief from these miners that has emerged already are amazing testaments to God and belief in God. In all of this it is amazing that these miners continually thank God. I have not heard any of them dismiss the work of the rescuers or ignore the effort they have made in performing the rescue. Yet thier thanks, praise and rejoicing is being heaped on the one who truly deserves it, the God who was their constant companion through it all.

Thank God for their safe rescue, but equally thank God for the amazing men and women who have made this rescue possible.

He giveth more grace

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
     He giveth more strength as our labours increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
     To multiplied trials he multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
     When our strength has failed ere the day is half-done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
     Our father's full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
     His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
     He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
                                    (Annie Johnson Flint - 1932)

Last night we sang this in devotions at a practice in Church. It is a song I have heard and sung many times throughout my life. The message this song has is very significant for me right now as I am struggling with a few things in my life. Over the last few days I have felt that God is supporting me, that God is giving me the strength and courage to go and do what is necessary. We have to be receptive to God and His messages to us in order to have all He offers. We have to be wholly God's and completely in His hands. It is not easy to be in the world but not of it, but this is what Jesus wants us to be. With His help all things are possible and we can do anything He wants if we trust in Him and accept His help.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finally a positive

I don't always have the best relationship with my oldest brother, but I think tonight may have gone some way to repairing damage from the past. As I have already said I am having some problems talking to my Dad about things and the future. So I decided to go ask my older brother for some advice. So after work I headed over to talk to him and tell him about the plans for the future. Afterwards I talked with him about the best way to tell my Dad. My brother and his wife were incredibly supportive and encouraging in a way that I didn't expect. They asked some very pertinent questions and gave some very good advice. I am glad I talked to him tonight and received the advice I did from him as well as the prayers they have offered for me. I feel much happier about things and more confident in talking to my Dad, I'm still not sure when that will be but I'm hoping to find the right time soon. In almost all things in the last 18 months or so there has been a phrase in my mind that I have forgotten of late, it is "Jehovah Jireh" which means God will provide. I must trust that God will provide the time and opportunity when it is right.


There seems to be a trend in modern day Christians to want to water down Christianity to make it more palatable for non-believers. A desire to include "the best" of other religions so that it will attract more people to the fold. I don't know about anyone else but this to me seems to defeat the point. Didn't Jesus say;

John 14:6 (KJV)
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

But not only that God commanded us to live His way too;

Leviticus 20:8
    Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God who makes you holy.

This was all triggered last night when I was watching a documentary about "The Hidden Story of Jesus". The presenter who claimed to be a Christian was ready to jump on anything from other religions that was even remotely close to something in Christianity and declare that they are all part of the same pan-religious theology. One of the biggest points that I thought was a misuse of the words of Jesus was;

John 10:16
    You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They'll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.

It was claimed that this was Jesus saying that there was a truth to other religions, that these "sheep" were part of his flock too. But didn't we just see Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me." Surely anyone who is in His flock is following His way and would therefore be Christian. I am sure that Jesus was expanding on His mission to the disciples to go out into the world and gather all His sheep to His Church. Not saying that it is ok, anyone living a moral life is following a different set of my teachings.

Unfortunately I have not got the time to expand on this further now as I have to get ready and go to work, but I hope to post further on this soon. If any of you have time to watch the clip and spot similar issues with the content please let me know either by commenting or at

Monday, October 11, 2010


Well after last night I decided I needed to get back on top of things straight away. After working Saturday I was able to have today off which actually ends up working really well. Did God know I needed a day off this week? Or was last night just a result of working too hard last week and crashing last night? Whichever interpretation you take I know that today gives me an amazing opportunity to spend it with God, catching up on what we have missed and starting to do some of the things again that I have been neglecting recently.

I am hoping at some point today to get a chance to organise things to do my challenge this week. It would be ideal to do it today as I have an empty house and a real need for it. I know that I am a person who struggles to pray and to commit to a prayer session so long will be very hard. Please check back on Sunday to see how I do.

In addition to this I hope that today will give me a chance to finally catch up with my blog research for the posts that require a little more thinking about them than just me pouring out my thoughts and feelings. With that I hope to post the concluding posts on Job in the next few days also, check here for the latest Job post and follow the links for the rest.

Apologies for the depressive nature of this mornings blog post. I know that once I take this major step a huge weight will lift from me. The problem is that I have heaped so much pressure on this step that I am struggling to take it. However I am currently feeling much better about it and ready to attempt to take it again today, I may fail but I will take it eventually, I don't have much choice if I want to follow Christ.

I hope you all have a fantastic day, filled with God and the Holy Spirit. Thank you for comments I have been receiving recently, I love to hear form you guys. Please feel free to leave any comments on the posts or contact me on