Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I travel 30mins to my Bible Study group on a Tuesday morning. To most of you that isn't too bad, however if you talk to a local, that is a very long way. But I go by the old saying, "The road to a friends house is never long"!

We are studying Hebrews at the moment and have just come to chapter 11. The question was asked, "What is your definition of Faith? What is its meaning in your spiritual life?"

We came up with simple definitions but lets check out these heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews 11 and see what was recorded about them. This is my little summary:

Abel gave the 'firstfruits'.
Enoch walked with God.
Noah was obedient.
Abraham obeyed and went and he lived as a stranger.
Abraham trusted God and was willing to sacrifice all for God.
Isaac passed on a blessing.
Jacob worshipped.
Joseph passed on the faith.
Moses' parents risked their lives to save his.
The Israelite people relied on God to keep the water up and bring the walls down.
Rahab believed and acted.

What a great liturgy of faith we have there! Doesn't it make you want to go read those stories and be inspired anew? There are so many areas I haven't been faithful or faith-ful in! But I'm going to read one of these stories each day this week and see what God has to say.

You can start by going to Hebrews chapter 11 and finding the references to those stories in your footnotes, or you can go to http://www.biblegateway.com/ and search for who you want to read about.

Go do some hero training!

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Healing Waters

Imagine a lovely stream freely flowing with green grass and lovely willows along the bank. Other strong tall trees are dotted along the edges providing nests for wildlife and shade for passers by. Parents bring their children to play at the waters edge and they relax on blankets and enjoy the cool breeze and the soft grass. As you take in the surroundings you notice a change in the water downstream. Something has blocked up the river, creating a dam and the water is murky and is hardly flowing at all. Jagged rocks pierce the surface and the trees look dry and wilting. There are no native animals, few birds and no families having picnics on the riverside. Just upstream from the blockage the water has become turbulent. Logs are hidden just under the surface making the water unsafe for swimmers.

Sometimes circumstances in our lives cause us to hold things in, bottle things up or block things out which builds a barrier in our hearts. Because these barriers usually build up over time, it is very difficult to break them down. You find that even though you try to look happy, appear successful, love your family, please your friends or be a good Christian, the water is starting to turn murky, and you start hurting people or yourself by what lies just under the surface. Pretty soon there is hardly any water flowing at all and people dont want to come by your river any more. Its not healthy, and its certainly not nourishing to anyone else.

You dont want that big stoppage in the way, but just when God starts to break through that defence, that mask, that coping strategy, you find yourself plugging up the hole, almost as if without thinking. You try with all your might to move the boulders but you always seem to fail. You are right, it is impossible to break down that wall. But the mightiest of dams have been brought down by a single crack. If you allow that water to trickle through, if you are honest about who you are and what you are really feeling, if you allow God to that innermost part of you that was so hurt or you are scared to let anyone really see, a little crack forms in those huge boulders, and bit by bit it expands until that life giving water flows freely again. And you know what, soon the boulders start to crumble. The water starts to wash away that murkiness, and smooths the sharp stones, and removes the hurtful debri just under the surface.

The plants of peace, love, joy, of emotion and strength, of your maleness or femaleness blossom and grow. People start hanging around and even stop to take in the beautiful surroundings. Friends and family are refreshed and bring others along too. That work that you allowed God to do in you becomes a blessing for others, for them to quence their thirst and be refreshed and renewed.

Jesus said "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14

You cant make it on your own. You cant fake it for long either. You can only be truly fulfilled by being connected to the Source, and you can experience the ultimate and eternal fulfilment in heaven by choosing to follow Him - Jesus.

Your job is just to be connected to the source (and stop rebuilding those walls!).

And wait till you go on a fishing expedition from THAT river!

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Enter At Your Own Risk

I overheard a pre-school teacher this week say that if she had things her way, she would erect a 6 foot high barbed wire fence around the kindergarten. I know she was concerned about some troublesome teenagers getting in and damaging the property, but I'm thinking thats a bit of an overkill. It certainly doesn't give a very reassuring first impression.

I want to give a better first impression, both in my church and in my life. I want people to say, 'This is a nice place to be, I think I'll come again'. And, for the record, once you get inside our church that is exactly what you experience. They are warmest and friendliest bunch of people I have ever met. We just need to turn our focus out to the community, 'cause as Geoff pointed out, people arent coming to church to get saved anymore. As the saying goes "We are to be fishers of men, rather than keepers of the aquarium."

So often the ministries of our churches and the commitments of our life take our focus away from the real reason we are here, to share the reason for our faith and our life. But Jesus told us to go, to make discples, and to teach about everything that He commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20)

So Go! And make a great first impression!

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On Bears and Bees

Do you think if I stop blogging, wierd stuff will stop happening to me?

You know, like the
kamakazi parrot, the exploding possum and the historic vapour rub?

Well, today, for your entertainment and edification, I'll share about someone else's weird happenings!

I've been talking to a few bloggy friends about being drenched with joy and what it is that keeps us from experiencing the joy we have in Christ. Sometimes we miss the connection because of time constraints and busyness of life, sometimes there are cracks in our life like worry, discontentment, and selfishness where the joy seeps out. And sometimes we just arent thirsty enough to want to get to the source.

It is my prayer that through these random ravings God might whet your thirst for Him again. And, true to form, He has provided some thirsty critters to illustrate the point.

An extremely lovely lady I met recently shared this story with me today. The family had been out all day Sunday and upon returning were informed by their daughter that there was a bee in the bathroom. On closer investigation, they found a swarm of around 200 bees had somehow made their way into the bathroom through the small space in the window track. Fortunately for this family, most of the swarm was contained in the bath and had, alas, perished.

(It does seem like there is a dead animal theme going on here but I assure you I had nothing to do with it!)

On another more 'lively' note, we have been having crazy weather lately: cyclones in the North and heat-waves in the South. This little Koala was so thirsty it ventured onto someones porch looking for some water. Apparently the people put out the water for the Koala to drink and he hopped right in! Although I'm not sure who actually took the photo, Nine MSN published this as a news story.


The bees and the Koala realised their need for water so desperately that they put everything else aside in order to get that life giving refreshment. They left their usual habitat and safe surroundings to pursue a higher calling. The bees didnt make it, but our Koala friend is indeed drenched, and loving it!

Maybe our lives are so busy and full of other things that we dont realise how dry we really are, and how much we really do need the life giving water God provides. I dont want to wait for a heat wave to realise this, I'm diving in.

How 'bout you? Thirsty?

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