Monthly archive for February 2016

Distress

The Psalms are passionate and expressive, gritty and real. They are an instruction book for prayer and worship and fuel your vocabulary in talking with God. I find them a comfort, and a relief to my soul. In a recent time of feeling distress over a situation I started to read through the psalms, I saw again and again how the writers were also frequently in distress, but in all of the passages I read, God heard their cries, for example: “In my distress I cried to the LORD, And He heard me.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭120:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ This is one of

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Crucified with Christ

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭NASB‬‬ A weighty sentence from Paul, and maybe too much to chew in a thought for the day, but this passage has been going around my head for a while. We are co-crucified with Christ. I have to somehow reconcile being dead and that my new life is by faith in

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determination

Paul determined when among the Corinthians to only know Christ and Him crucified. “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:2‬ ‭NASB This passage has often come to mind and I seasonally try the same as Paul but I’m not sure I have the same success as him! The more I think about it the more I see the weight that Paul placed on Christ and Him crucified. He didn’t want to be distracted by other things, he knew that knowing Jesus and the death and resurrection were what would keep

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The troubles of the day

Where I live you can’t help but have to run up hills, and they are not little hills! Everyone has their own technique for getting up them but the only way I can get up them is to put my head down and look at the road in front of me. I keep saying to myself, one more step , every step is a step nearer and before you know it you are at the top of the hill. Jesus said, “each day has enough troubles of its own. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about

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Unity of heart

A few months ago a friend posted on Facebook a notice that the church he was running was going to finish. He said that there was no longer a unity of heart that attracted the presence of the Holy Spirit. The last phrase resonated with me and I have been thinking about it ever since. It is something I long for among Gods people. I hate separateness, I hate disunity, I hate hiddeness and agendas. Something rises up in my heart when I see things like that. There is a unity of heart that is coming to the people of

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Our words

When I was young my mum would say to my brother and I ‘sticks and stone will hurt your bones but names will never hurt you’. It’s a nice saying, but such a load of rubbish, it doesn’t work and it’s not true. Words are very powerful. They can pierce your heart and if not dealt with can become septic. Yet we seem to underestimate their power. When I look back to creation I see God speaking the world and the cosmos into being, his very words had creative power. We are made in his image, so I think there

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Cast your burdens

There are so many challenges around us, challenges in family life, in work, in the world around us. If you are not careful the challenges can become burdens and can weigh you down. If we don’t process these thigns and let them go they can move from burdens to becoming stress and from there to physical sickness. In Matthew 11 Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest

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Loving well

As history wraps up each of us will get to stand before the Lord, some will face judgement, but for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour there will be no judgement. What will happen to those who have accepted Jesus? I have wondered what He will say in those moments as we stand before him. I know we have to give an answer for the deeds done in the body but what will He ask us? I think there could be a few things but one of them will be ‘how well did you love?’ He

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Trust

I wrote yesterday abouts faithfulness and how it is something we can each rely on. I am aware that the corresponding grace to trust seems to be a theme at this time through out the body of Christ. There is great song from Hillsongs called Oceans. It captures the heart of what God is doing in so many people. The words in the Bridge of the song are: Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters Wherever You would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith

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Faithfulness

Each one of us has a different story of how God broke into our lives. Some were saved dramatically, others over a period of time. The common thread however would be the same, faithfulness. We would all testify that the Lord has been faithful, because that is who He is, it is part of His character and nature. When you read the writings of Paul you see it again and again, he sums it up well here. “He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Timing

When you catch a bus you have to be at this bus stop at the right time, too early and you can be frustrated at waiting around and the too late…well you know what that means. There is a timing involved in our lives, I don’t understand it, though I certainly try. In Ecclessiates 3 it says that ther is timing for every activity under heaven an in Chronocles it talks about the Sons of Isachaar who knew the season they were in and knew what to do. We need to be more discerning to the times we are in

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Take up your cross

Jesus said, ‘if anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross’. In our consumer age I feel like we don’t apprciate the impact of such a statement. The cross was a horrific death, but more on that as we approach Easter. It would have brought pictures to their minds of the crucifixions on display outside of Jerusalem, little did they know that their Lord would be himself hung on one in the not to distant future. There are many things that could be said about the cross, but needless to say it was one

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A heart like David

David is known as a man after God own heart. Have you ever thought why that is? In Acts13:22 David is described as a man after God own heart and as a man who would do everything that he was asked to do. It seems that the latter part of the verse is often over looked. David’s worshipful heart is usually sited as the reason he was a man after God heart but this verse in Acts seems to imply that it was his obedience that led him to be known in this way. Similarly Evan Roberts in the Welsh

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A simple equation

I like maths. So much so that I went to university to study it for three years. One of the basic rules of maths is that equations need to balance. Now there are a few equations in the bible, but there is one in particular that feels unbalanced, you can find it in 2 Corinthians 3v17. It says, as we contemplate the Lords glory we are transformed into his image with ever increasing glory. The equation is simple, we gaze on his glory = being transformed into His image. My problem is that it seems too easy. Maybe I have

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Who has the son?

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said,

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Fixing your eyes

I recently went to a top-end art gallery. It had the feeling of being very impressive and I was looking forward to walking round. As I stepped into the first part of the gallery there were various 3D objects on the wall. They looked like Blue Peter craft rejects, certainly if my boys had brought them home from school I would have said, why don’t you cut straight lines, or glue it a bit more accurately? Now maybe thats because I am complete heathen when it comes to art, or maybe this ‘art’ was an acquired taste. Thinking about that

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fasting

And so we begin the 40 days of lent. However, if you are anything like me you will have checked the date and realised that lent isn’t 40 days long! It was decided that Sundays were not to be days of fasting because a they were to celebrate the risen Christ, and so lent is 46 days…no fasting on Sundays! Fasting is not a subject we like to talk about, but it is talked about in the bible, and it is talked about by Jesus. He is very clear that there will come a time when we should fast. ““Jesus

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A simple equation

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Lenten devotions

Today is Shrove Tuesday, traditionally a day of feasting and penitence before the 40 day fast of lent that leads up to Easter. Historically people would go to church to confess their sins and be ‘shriven’, forgiven of their sins, before lent. It is also known as “Pancake Day” as pancakes were a great way to use up eggs and fat before the fasting began. Lent is still observed by the Anglican and the Catholic Church but not so much by charismatic congregations. I think there is a fear among the charismatics that if they start observing certain days outside

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