Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Signature Walk

Hello everyone! Im back on line! And although i had no computer for a while, there were many life lessons to be had, so stay tuned as Ill be visiting my blog quite a bit over the next week or so.

Even though i had no computer, I was not at a loss for things to do (apart from unpacking boxes, cleaning, pruning and trying to keep my kids under control) because thanks to some wonderful friends, we have a coffee machine and digital set top box to expand our horizons here in Bundy. I did make a few coffees and I had the opportunity just a couple of times to turn the tele on and one show got a few minutes of my attention.

I flicked on to Americas Next Top Model, which would normally not have held my interest except that the judges were commenting on the 'walks' of the prospective models. Apparently, the judges are supposed to be able to tell by a models walk who they are, without even seeing their face and so these up and coming models were told that they cant just have a 'good' walk, they need to have a 'signature' walk.

I quickly flicked to another show but that concept kept coming back to me. As followers of Jesus, we are meant to be distinguished by our walk - by how we live. It isnt enough to have a 'good' life, nor is it enough to look or sound like a Christian, we have to live so radically different that people cant help but notice, and know whose we are.

Col 3:7-8 says "You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips."

1 John 2:6 says "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did."

How do you think Jesus walked that was so different? What did he do that changed peoples lives? What would he do in our community today? What was Jesus 'signature walk'?

I think it is summed up in a verse from the Old Testament, Micah 6:8 "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

We cant create our own signature walk as Christians, it is only by spending time and walking with Jesus that we fall in step with him. And it is then that people see and know instinctively that we are walking with someone they want to get to know.

Walk On!

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Wiped Out

7 more sleeps till the moving van arrives and this will be our 7th move in 7 years of being married. I have cleaned handprints and footprints off more walls than I care to imagine (yes, my walls do have footprints on them, no, I am not sure how they got there). At least I have less walls to clean and less boxes to pack since we decided to downsize :)

Because I have spent much time on my knees with Jiff and a cloth, I thought I would try and find a better way of cleaning walls. So I went to Woolworths, stood in the cleaning isle and picked up every cleaning item with the word "magic" in the title, and a few others just to be sure. Now the 'magic' eraser didn't work for me but I did find the awesome wall cleaning companion I was after - Pine O Cleen Wipes. Just one wipe and those dirty marks are gone! Now with my Pine O Cleen Wipes and my Windex Wipes for the windows and mirrors, I have a great start on the cleaning, and a little start on a Life Lesson!

Using one wipe per wall, I was powering through the grime, and the marks were coming off with ease, until a particularly tricky spot. I scrubbed and rubbed at some nasty looking fingerprints and was surprised that they were not disappearing like the rest of the marks until I realised that I hadn't changed my cloth. I was using a dried up wipe and as soon as I got a new wipe out of the packet, those marks came straight off and I was able to finish the wall with ease. I was using a tired, dried up cloth instead of using a fresh, moist wipe from the packet.

Do you feel like your spiritual life is dried up sometimes? Do you feel tired doing the same old thing, dealing with the same issues and not getting anywhere? Do you keep going through the motions that used to work and find that you are right back where you started?

The Spiritual refreshment available to us is much more life changing than my packet of Pine O Cleen Wipes, but in the same way, you cant keep using the same old formula, it wont work. You have to go back to the source and be refreshed, renewed. God is at work right now, and wants to work on those parts of you that could do with a freshen up. But you cant rely on the Bible Study you did last year, or the small group you are a part of, or the occasional prayer for others, you need to drink again from the well of living water.

One version of Colossians 2:6-7 says "Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done."

The NIV translates it this way "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."

Jesus said "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

I could encourage you to make a new years resolution here but I'm not going to. Ill do something a bit more scary. I'm going to share with you my resolution. And you can ask me whenever you like how I'm going.

I don't want to rely on tired prayers or old Bible Studies or great small groups any more. I don't want to be ineffective in my life and in sharing with others because I've dried up. I am going to Bundaberg so that I can join God where He is working there and maybe He'll use me to make a difference in someones life - or - how much more exciting - to introduce Him to someone who has never heard! But I cant be effective in anything unless I remain in Him, spend time daily worshiping Him, praying to Him, learning from His word, listening to Him and letting Him scrub those grimy spots off. Then when it is Him working in me, it will be refreshing and effective. And do you know what, I'm not going to be doing it cause I should or because I am a pastors wife, I remember what it is like to be in the vine, to drink from the well of living water. I want to be a Pine O Cleen Wipe :)

Jimmy Needham's song Dearly Loved has some awesome Lyrics that remind me what it is like to know God and have forgiveness and it inspires me to remind people who already know and be ready to tell those who have never heard.

Its worth it brothers
Its worth it friends
To know your maker
To lose you sin
Did you know that you are dearly loved...

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