Tuesday, 30 June 2009

When all is said & done...

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
The last and final word is this:
Fear God.
Do what he tells you.

And that's it. Eventually God will bring everything that we do out into the open and judge it according to its hidden intent, whether it's good or evil.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Remember who you are & who God is

Exodus 33:14
God said, "My presence will go with you. I'll see the journey to the end."

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.

Proverbs 3:4-7
Don't lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God's eyes and the eyes of the people.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

HOPE floats...

Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing; God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.
St. Therese

Saturday, 27 June 2009

A Barren Environment

Philippians 4:8-14
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Is there a crack in your façade of, ‘my life is perfect’?

Choose to live a powerfully authentic life rather than projecting the typical “my-life-is-perfect” Christian façade.

Sometimes our our past invades our present. We get 'stuck and unrelational'.

This is how Fil Anderson described his own journey,

"To the casual onlooker, my life appeared quite good. But something was wrong inside me. My life had become a ghostly journey, as I maintained a deadly course with an incapacitated soul. I was obsessed with helping others have the kind of relationship with God that I had never known… My life was filled with doing things for God rather than pursuing intimacy with God...

I have been ripped apart by the relentlessly competing demands of my job and home, wife and children, friends and family who persistently ask for more than I’ve ever felt capable of giving. My hopes for the future have been haunted by the blunders in my past. My desperate longing to get my life right has been dogged by the nagging fear that it will never, ever happen, given the obvious fact that I am hopelessly flawed."

Mike Yaconelli addressed how the church can help us deal with our own failed realities,

"The church ought to be the one place where I'm so anxious to get there because I can stop the pretending. When you ask, "Mike, how are you?" I don't go "Praise the Lord," I say, "I'm in bad shape." And you go, "Okay, great. Tell me about it."

Pretending is the grease of non-relationships. Pretending is how you and I get through the day without ever having to know each other. When I walk in the room, you say to me, "How are you?" Well, you don't want to know. And, frankly, I don't want to tell you. So I just say "fine," and you go "fine." And off we go."

Ask God for courage to face your own failings and shortcomings. Give God permission to lead you to a group of people who will be there for you as you walk the journey out.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

I will always have HOPE...

Psalm 71:14
As for me, I will always have HOPE...
I will praise you more and more.

Jesus has provided for us so that you & I can face the harsh realities of life in this broken world with hope and courage. It is not enough to believe in life after death, we believe & can know real hope of life before death. I believe in real hope of personal growth and change.

Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be truly free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to cling onto old pain. When we hang onto the past it holds you back from a new and abundant life.

Is there anything in your life that you need to let go of?

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

God has given you a new identity - Whitestone.

"It is absolutely essential to our growth into the 'mind' of Jesus that we accept the 'trials' of ordinary existence as the place where we are to experience and find the reign of God-with-us as actual reality. We are not to try to get in a position to avoid trials. And we are not to 'catastrophize' and declare the 'end of the world' when things happen.

The 'trials of ordinary existence' are the divine curricula for spiritual maturity. These are the laser beams God uses to put our old self with its misappropriated desires to death, and then resurrect a new self with new desires focused on a more lasting joy. When assailed by trials, little or great, we are invited to respond with the mind of Jesus in the garden. We may confess to God the impulses of our immediate desire, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.' But we should not forget that the Spirit of Christ also lives within us, the one who prays, 'nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.'"
Dallas Willard

Revelation 2:17
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

System anxiety...

... spreads like wildfire through nervous conduits like you & me if we'll let it. The only solution is God's presence to overcome it, His peace to quell it & His love to banish it.

It's like growing a 'thick skin & having a tender heart' rather than being 'thin-skinned with a heart of stone'.

In the midst of trials Peter writes,

1 Peter 1:2, 4:8
Grace and peace be yours in abundance. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Monday, 22 June 2009

What's holding you back...

...from saying, 'YES' to God?

Life in the kingdom of God is not a balancing act between working hard and waiting on God to do His part. Life in the Kingdom of God is simply about abiding with Jesus. If we’re abiding with Jesus and staying close to His heart, we never have to worry about getting ‘out of balance’. Jamal Jivanjee

Romans 14:17-18
God's kingdom isn't a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness' sake. It's what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you'll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Father really is good...

Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity. He came to change the mind of humanity about God. Richard Rohr

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
With each of you we were like a father with his child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well before God, who called us into his own kingdom, into this delightful life.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

A Wildly Different Approach to Living Life!

Let go of the past. Face your fears. Live an others-centered life.

Matthew 10:38-39
If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Grab a hold of life & give it away!

Life-grabbing people guard and protect themselves.
Life-giving people risk and seize opportunity.

Life-grabbing people do the bare minimum.
Life-giving people go the second mile.

For life-grabbing people, life is scarce.
For living-giving people, life is abundant.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Please take the old one away...

Ezekiel 36:25-28
I'll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I'll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I'll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that's God-willed, not self-willed. I'll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You'll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You'll be my people! I'll be your God!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

seriously ridiculous... I'm serious

God’s call is absurd
In his world, virgins birth saviors
studderers become speech sayers
Back side of the mountain shepherds become kings
Old men past their prime birth generations

He calls a people who have never had it all together
To come together and reach a generation
Hooked on text message and playstation
With hearts longing for an invitation
To point their eyes to the God of all nations
This kind of call involves trust
This kind of call is seriously ridiculous

This job is many times crazy
Sometimes thankless
But greatly amazing
How God never ceases to shape imperfection
And mold it to his perfect purpose
How he can use your broken life to show a generation their lives have purpose

You who used to have a life
Who sacrificed paycheck for football game Friday nights
Who has suffered through middle school band concerts
And seemingly neverending lock-ins
Who traded vacation for summer camp
Who now must answer to church janitor for many a mess that needs to be cleaned
Who would never admit OMG BTW IDK how 2 txt
Who learned to facebook, twitter, chat, poke, link, post, and tag
And well…LOL

In your world
There is laughter, breakups, break outs
Tears, tattoos, and piercings
Braces and embraces
In your world, pizza is it’s own food group
McDonald’s is a five-star restaurant
The term ‘what not to wear’ doesn’t exist
No matter how crazy it gets
Your love for them is Seriously Ridiculous

And you’re not alone
Take a look next to you
You are surrounded by the faithful few
Who have triumphed and been bruised
Who know that it hurts just the same even if it’s only one you lose
Who bend weak knees and pray heartfelt prayers
Calling out the names of sons and daughters to a loving Father
For parents’ marriages to mend before divorce
That teenage wombs will not give birth too soon
For the healing of wounds
For families without daddy
For encouragement, for purity, for faith, for hope, for grace
For words to say, For his direction, For his way

We signed up to be Jesus reflections
But didn’t know this was in the job description
There comes a time for counting the cost
Giving up your life for the sake of the cross
This is your real world
And you may think you know but you have no idea
How God’s plans extend from before the beginning to way past eternity

The one who put the G in OMG
The biggest G in history
Who enclosed his holiness in the frailty of human skin
To bring conviction to a world full of walking contradictions
To redeem time
To bring an end to the neverending consequences of sin passed through the bloodline

We ask for a glimpse of what he sees
Into the lens of eternity
That’s how he keeps us on our knees
Seeking direction
Praying protection
That he would show himself to a generation that needs him desperately
As he reminds us that we need him desperately
May the words we say match the lives we lead
He teaches us to follow so he can lead

The maker of all creation walks with you
Every student’s life belongs to him
And your life too
He is calling you to something he knows you can’t do without him
Watch him love his kids through you
Play your part and watch him do what only he can do

He gives us grace we don’t deserve
Plus forgiveness we couldn’t afford
Matched by an eternal word that will outlast and outlive
Any sacrifice we can hope to give
Shows us how to put our trust in a God who is more than enough for us

His love is seriously ridiculous Amena Brown (via YS Marko)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Monday, 15 June 2009

God loves you too much for you to become necessary

I am a deeply superficial person. Andy Warhol

I am, above all, what excites me.

The bigger your head gets, the easier your shoes are to fill. Phil Jackson

Spiritual formation is the journey from self-importance to God-importance. John the Baptizer said, 'Jesus must increase & I must decrease.' Our own journey usually diverts from following Christ when either life is good or times get tough.

Are you going to hang in the battle?

2 Chronicles 7
If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I'll be there ready for you: I'll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. From now on I'm alert day and night to the prayers offered ... Believe me ... my eyes are on you and my heart too. As for you, if you live in my presence as your father David lived, pure in heart and action, living the life I've set out for you, attentively obedient to my guidance and judgments, then I'll back you.