thinking

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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Forgiveness

I love the message on forgiveness because it brings so much freedom. I’m aware of the release that it produced in my own life and I can see the freedom in others too. However, I noticed recently a disparity between our confession and our actions. We confess, we release, we forgive, we move on. The counsel often given in our moving on is words to the effect of ‘now you have released these people you don’t have to be friends with them, you don’t have to give them space in your life again’ – there are examples where this can

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Redeeming Christmas

The commercialism and the need to redeem the season to it’s origins is a fight for many a Christian, but I feel many of our fights are compromised by the spirit of the age. We allow ourselves  to go so far in our protest, but then the brakes are subtley pressed and a little compromise is mixed with a little turning of the eye and before we know it we have a greyed out version of the Christmas celebrations around us.  It’s a bit harsh, sorry,  but I was trying to provoke a reaction as there is an element of

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Healed heart

I wholeheartedly (no pun intended ) agree with the healed heart message. I have seen the fruit and I have tasted of the release that it brings. However in the last year I have become increasingly uncomfortable with some conversations I have around the subject. My troubles have been to do with the emphasis that is placed on an individual. I know we are responsible for our sin, that our words can form vows that can bind us, that others people’s words form curses and where there is fruit in our lives there is a root. But the overwhelming emphasis

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Life is short

It is the day after the terror attack in Paris, November 14th 2015. As I write there are 120 people dead from bombings and shootings. None of them knew their life was going to end that day. They had not put their affairs in order, they had not said goodbye to their children, they had not said goodbye to their wives and husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends. They didn’t know. Some maybe left the house that morning after having had an argument, some were stealing time in a secret affair, some were enjoying it with their family or rocking it out

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The militant peace of God

Militant peace is in one sense an oxymoron, yet when understanding the nature of peace you see that it is something that is active and not passive. In Philippians 4v6-7 Pauls encourages us with words that many have committed to heart. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬ He recognised that we all get anxious, but he knew that wasn’t to be the place

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Your face is lovely and your voice is sweet…

My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Song of Solomon 2:14 How many times have I read this and thought of it as a prayer to the Lord and an expression of my desire for Him? When the truth is, this is what the Lord thinks of us. These are His thoughts towards His children. It is in the clefts of the rock, the mountainside, the secret place of prayer where the secrets

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A Syrian refugee..

Sometime I am numb to the news. Bombarded with story after story, atrocity after atrocity, image upon image. What will it take to cut through flack that my heart would be moved? I know this isn’t the case with all of us, and there are many initiatives that have been birthed from a heart that has been moved. Nehemiah is one who was moved, not by what he saw, but by what he heard. The news came to him that the walls of Jerusalem were in disrepair. He was so troubled by the news that he begun a period of

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You did it to me

‘You did it to me’ You may have heard these words, they are the words from the Gospel of Matthew and they were used frequently by Mother Teresa during her life, the full passage is at the bottom of this post. When I first heard the words I was troubled, good troubled, and a troubling that I welcomed. The words arrested my heart and fueled my daily ‘living’. My eyes were opened in revelation to see that ministry was far wider than I had imagined and that our planned meetings were just the tip of the iceberg, almost a formality.

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Your kingdom come

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭33‬ NASB) Seek first his kingdom….I honestly try to, but the truth is I don’t see a whole lot going on. This however leads me to another question, is my seeking a biblical seeking or is it a just an idea I hold in my head? I truly desire the sick to be healed and prophetic words to be released but outside of the church context I don’t see much happening. I am not as intentional because of fear……and there it is,

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Alone

It is not a lack of company that makes you alone, but it is a lack of those with who you can share your life. It is a lack of those who will listen and to who you can listen to. It is a a product of shame and as such we do not want to admit it. And so we busy ourselves with committees and meetings and works that will hide the gnawing feeling that echoes through the chambers of our heart. The wandering voice that that can never rest, only drowned out by the life with which we

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Come to me

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭1‬ NIV) It’s a free lunch. But haven’t you heard that there’s no such thing as a free lunch? It’s true to some extent. Someone has to pay. And someone has paid for this, at the cross the price was paid completely with blood, pain, beatings and bruising so that we could come, and come without cost to eat and drink of life. The only requirement is that you

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Streams of living water

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (‭John‬ ‭7‬:‭38‬ ESV) I was recently reading this passage and thinking around what it meant to have rivers of living water flowing out of your heart and the thought came to me that it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. I have often wondered what the rivers flowing out of the heart looks like and is there some tangible expression of it. I know we can be so full of the Spirit that people near us

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Coming before the cross

I come before the cross in my imagination. I bring my bags, my files of accusations, my memories of wrongs and I leave them their, at the foot of the cross. For though this wooden cross beam is empty, there is power still here. For this is the place of sacrifice, of death, but also life. For it is only in dieing that you truly live. As I leave my bags the whispers come. You haven’t fully let go. You still remember what happened, you need justice, what they did was wrong. The scenario builds in my head as the

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Conscience

The conscience is a strange thing, the dictionary definition is: A person’s moral sense of right and wrong, viewed as acting as a guide to one’s behaviour: Throughout history man has tried to clean his conscience, absolve himself from guilt and shame. But with little effect. In the book of Hebrews it talks about the Old Testament sacrifices saying that they were offered year after year, and they still felt guilt and shame. They didn’t do the job, yet there was a yearning among the people to have their conscience cleansed, their moral compass was telling them that something was

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Throwing stones

For whatever reason, this memory came back to me today. I must have been 9 years old at the time. It was a beautiful summers evening, the kind of evening you dream about. My elder brother and I were friends with our neighbours, three boys of similar ages. This particular evening they also had their cousins over. We used to play in the fields together and ride our motorbikes. This particular evening we couldn’t decide what to do, maybe it was because there cousins were over too. We eventually decided to have a stone fight. It’s the kind of thing

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Go

“Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. (‭John‬ ‭4‬:‭50‬ NIV) Jesus has just me the woman at the well and has now travelled to Cana in Galilee. As gets there a royal official hears about him and goes to visit him because his son is very sick. He begs Jesus to heal him, Jesus ‘seems’ a bit fed up with the people, saying unless you see signs or wonders you will never believe. The official carries on asking despite what Jesus has said. His desperation has made him press in, he

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Live in Harmony with one another – Romans 12:6

Harmony in the musical sense is the simultaneous playing or singing of notes chords that produces something that is pleasant and pleasing to the ear. When musicians and singers aren’t playing together you can hear it straight away, the discordant voice or instrument rises above and can cause you to physically grimace. Playing in a band situation is often a case of ‘less is more’, but some from there insecurity, or sometimes pride, want to keep on playing as they feel the ‘must’ be heard. This is not harmony. It is all very similar to what Paul is saying here

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Jesus and Legion

Do you ever stop to think about the sights and the sounds of the stories in the bible? I have recently been thinking about legion (you can find the story in Mark 5:1-18 and Luke 8:27:33). Think about what this would have looked like (maybe not too hard as the man didn’t have any clothes on) but think about how this would have felt for jesus and the disciples as they came into contact with the man. The boat had just landed and they got out, the air would was filled with the acrid smell of pig manure and the

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Walking in power

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” (‭Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭46‬ NIV) If you have been around a while you will be familiar with the story of the lady with tthe issue of blood. She has spent all her money and seen many doctors. She is in a lot of discomfort and suffered terribly. Hearing of Jesus and seeing the miracles she reaches out to touch him. Jesus would traditionally thought to have worn a garment that is known as the “Tallit”. The dictionary defines it as: “a shawllike garment of wool, silk, or

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