Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Rejoice 

 

And so, when God comes through for you; when he relieves you of your suffering and anguish, when he delivers you to safety, when his promises and prophesies are fulfilled, when he blesses you; make sure to rejoice.
Shout with joy, and with grateful hearts sing praises to his name.
Let everyone know the joy in the hope that you have. Your family will see the work of God and surely even your neighbor will know the faithfulness of your God. Your struggle will become a testimony and encouragement for those around you.
But speak his name for your own benefit also; this way you no longer will hold back from God; but your heart will understand and carry memory of the goodness of God and you will become confident in trusting God again.
When you speak aloud your triumphs of faith you renew your vigour for remaining faithful to God.
No longer do you have any stories about how you struggled and waited, but instead you have glad testimonies of the work of God in your life.
Give credit to God when your season of suffering ends; be thankful when he blesses you. Shout with joy and sing praise.
So that your neighbour will know, and your heart will understand that God has done a work for you, and will continue to work and come through for you. That He can be trusted.

Thursday, 26 January 2017



 One For The Haters


(and the rest of us)



There had always been a numbing down of truth, to make things palatable, easier to understand, leaving us with a simplification of the act and the truth of all it really means. It was not just an act, it was a hundred things, individually, simultaneously and unified by the one act.
Until after so many different retellings it was mere news, of moderate significance to an ever changing border of who acceptable people were, and who we might exclude to make ourselves feel better.
I will never forget the sternness of the man who spoke earnestly, leaning over the dinner table as he lectured, my mind adding to his rich words as I sort to understand the fullness and passion of what he was speaking about, an idea I never knew I had not fully grasped, and now understand fully that I never will.
There is no love, to exist or ever have existed, that would have a loving father sacrifice the son he loves most dearly and is most pleased with, in a way that calls into question his rightful title as king as he is treated likewise among criminals, to save generations of every person who has or will ever walk the earth. People, who hate, despise, blame or will never even know his name.
There is no love, matching or equal, to one who sacrifices such for people who hate him.
None of this, to a well-seasoned person of faith is really new information; we are told it was news for all people. But how often do we simply sit to try and grasp that a man died for those who hated him and spat on him, and how great a sacrifice was that? Those who ridicule those of us of faith, who assume to know us and what we believe don’t know what a call to arms we have been served, the example set before us. That this was good news of great joy for all people.
This knowledge is not a measuring stick of how well we stack up against the example set before us, because to understand anything of this is to understand that we will never match up. To understand this is to put the most devout, hardworking Christians on the same level as the haters.
It is sin that separates us from God. Sin is not necessarily an act from a list of bad things, but rather any time that we fall short of the glory of God. If my aim is to jump a puddle and I miss I have not done a wrong thing in jumping, but that does not mean I haven’t fallen short of the edge of the puddle, and no matter how much I claim to love the rain I become as wet as someone who hates the rain, we are equal in the misery of falling short, but equally able to accept help and try again, and sometimes follow the wise advice to not jump puddles too big for us.
No matter how many times we fall short, no matter our previous stance on the act of Jesus there is no condemnation or shame or anger that truly separates any of us, there are no rungs on a ladder of who is a more adequate recipient, and I, even now, find myself at a complete loss of words that I am forgiven every time, that I am freely loved over and over. And I am no better than anyone else; I sit right beside the haters as an equal benefactor of this freewill gift. He was the one for those who loved him, one for those who needed him, and one for those who will hate him.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016



Joyful. 



I was trying to understand joy for you, trying to put my finger on what it means.
There were very few things that became clear, the first and most obvious, as it is often established is that joy is vastly different from happiness.
Happiness is a general term for an emotional response to things going well, it is equal parts excitement and satisfaction.
But joy, it is far more broad, and yet somehow more particular. Joy extends to times of hardship, it is a thing of abundance in the good times and yet it is a sturdy comfort when the soul is heavy.
Perhaps it is the clear-minded stillness found in the presence of God, a heart that is full with an understanding of the place and position of God in every situation.
Joy does not mean finding pleasure in the pain I don’t think, it is a swelling of the heart at the knowledge that in your current situation you have no control over what happens, however good or however bad the situation, you have a peace that no well-intentioned person could ever teach. A peace that is patient, a stillness of the soul, because the less control you have, the more God has. And it should fill us all with abundant joy that God is in control.
Joy is not concerned with something as fleeting and temporary as happiness, joy is concerned with knowing where God is in your situation and drawing strength from there.

Thursday, 29 September 2016



When You Can't See The Whole Plan 


You, my darling, are not a failure. When God made you failure isn’t the word he chose and when he called you it was not the name he used. 

You just weren’t called like the others. God had something special for you and it just wasn’t ready when you were. So God gives you your next best step to prepare you for something you can only be prepared for by experience.
And it feels wrong, like you’re wasting time, sitting in a waiting room for God to call your number. But there is something in your waiting room, an experience you need, something you need to see first, something you need to know.
And sometimes you feel forgotten because it looks like others are skipping the line. But life is not prescribed into set paths.
And waiting is painful; not being able to see the future when others can is often painful.
But darling, there is a plan for you, and knowing it all is just too much. I have no doubts God is excited about your plans, I can imagine it takes restraint not to tell you. But you learn things like this. A plan like yours requires a different sort of faith, a daily bread sort of faith that requires foresight enough to start asking God now because you only see provision for today. And so it goes forth, your next best step. One step, the next step, and before you know it he’s teaching you to walk.

So darling, you are not a failure because you can’t see the whole plan or because your path doesn’t look like it’s supposed to, you have more realistic things to worry about than ‘supposed to’. You have a God with great plans and they’ve already begun, in the things you will learn every day until then.  

Sunday, 11 September 2016



 Dear Friend...


I lift you up, beside me and above me. Not so I can be trampled, but because you can be better and I know I can get there, but you need help.
I don’t ever do it because of anything either of us have done, or even not done.
I do it because of love. I am called to love. So I love. I do not love because, nor do I love despite. I simply love.
There is nothing I wish to gain from you; I have no expectations or misconceptions. There is nothing you can do to earn my help, it is offered freely.
I was created by a God who wired me to be love in this world, who wired and programed me so deeply that anything else I chose to do is learned. And I have no reason to ever be anything other than what I was created for; I have no account I can give that would explain why I would think myself exempt from love. No amount of my own hurt allows me to be anything other than love; it simply means I should know the importance and value of love.
I have no right to be hateful of others, no reason to think myself better. No excuse exempts me from the calling we are all given. To be love and light in a world that needs it.
And you my friend, you are deserving of love, of my love and the love of others. You are not entitled to it; it is a gift, freely given, a fondness of the person you were created to be and have become.
We all go around loving others who love us and think that we are being generous, we wish the best on our enemies and call ourselves strong. Anybody can love because, but then it’s not really love, its thankfulness, a general fondness. Anybody can love despite, but that’s not love, that’s ignorance, and taking into account things that don’t really matter. But to love for the sake of love; recognizes that God first loved you, and so will I.
If God can love even me, it is certain he loves you.