Saturday, 26 July 2014

Fitness of my soul

I was reading my daily devotional this morning on the Bible app (YouVersion) & the reading plan is called '30 Devotions for Youth Leaders'. 

Today's jumped out at me by reminding me of all my comrades who are either on thinking of taking stress leave, taking it already or have resigned. 

Leaders of the church all have a target on them by the world & of course the enemy so they (we) need to be in a place where we stay close to Jesus, hour by hour or we all will fall!

Let me share the devotional from today, I trust it will be helpful to you as it was for me;

"The Fitness Of My Soul
In many medical circles, the pace at which your heart rate returns to normal after intense exercise is a key measure of your fitness. The faster your heart rate recovers, the fitter and healthier your heart.

The ability to recover is as telling as the ability to explode into activity. How fast we can slow down is as important as how fast we can go.

I’ve grown increasingly aware that this same phenomenon exists in my spiritual journey. Frankly, I’ve been guilty of saying that when I get away it can take up to a week to wind down. I extoll the virtues of a two-week vacation because the first week is spent sifting through the clutter of my preoccupied mind.

I don’t find much in the biblical account of the life of Jesus that talks about two-week vacations. In fact, Jesus had incredibly short recovery times.

“Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” ~ Matthew 14:1314 (ESV)

Jesus, on hearing of the cruel death of John the Baptist stole away for some quiet time. He needed a desolate place to be by Himself. With His Father. He had just a short time before the demands of ministry burst on the scene, but for Jesus, a few hours with His Father were enough to return His soul’s pulse rate to normal.

The fitness of Jesus’ soul forces me to wonder – have I made too much room for the clutter and chaos of my life? Do I expect too little of my personal Sabbath? Can I find rest in a matter of moments with Jesus, or have I excused the mess in my life, even though it strangles my spiritual breathing?

I’m not condemning vacations, but I realize that I need to become better at finding short times of recovery. Times of Sabbath and Selah.

Often, the health of my soul can be measured by how quickly I recover – to forgive, to feel regret, to extend grace, to show love, to exhibit courage.

What could God do, with just a few minutes?"

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Most powerful man in the world?

I received an email the other day which got me thinking and I wanted to repost it.  

This is a speech the leader of Russia gave, have a read!

Vladimir Putin's speech - SHORTEST SPEECH EVER.

On August 04, 2013, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, addressed the Duma,
(Russian Parliament), and gave a speech about the tensions with minorities in Russia:

In Russia, live like Russians. Any minority, from anywhere, if it wants to live in Russia, to work and eat in Russia, it should speak Russian, and should respect the Russian laws. If they prefer Sharia Law, and live the life of Muslim's then we advise them to go to those places where that's the state law.

Russia does not need Muslim minorities. Minorities need Russia, and we will not grant them special privileges, or try to change our laws to fit their desires, no matter how loud they yell 'discrimination'. We will not tolerate disrespect of our Russian culture. We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation. The Muslims are taking over those countries and they will not take over Russia. The Russian customs and traditions are not compatible with the lack of culture or the primitive ways of Sharia Law and Muslims.

When this honorable legislative body thinks of creating new laws, it should have in mind the Russian national interest first, observing that the Muslims Minorities Are Not Russians.

The politicians in the Duma gave Putin a five minute standing ovation.

Interesting read!

Friday, 4 January 2013

How well do you know the Word of God?

How well do you know the Word of God? Does it mean much to you anyway I wonder?

If you are a Christian and know the Word of God, see if you knew a few of these;

Why were Adam and Eve expelled from Eden?

Contrary to popular belief, Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden not because they ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but in order to prevent them from eating from the tree of life (both forbidden trees are in Genesis 2:9) which would have made them eternal. God doesn’t like competition! Here is the verse (Genesis 3:22-23): “And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. [23] And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken.”

Or maybe since it's just been Christmas and we know that story so well, a few of you might have realised this about the Wise Men;

There weren’t three and they didn’t visit Jesus in a manger. The Bible gives neither the number of men (but does the number of gifts as three, which is probably where this misconception stems from). Additionally, Herod demanded the death of all boys under two, making it probable that Christ had been born up to two years prior. Also, the wise men visited Jesus when he lived in a house according to the Biblical account in Matthew 2:11.

How about the 'end times', do you believe in the Rapture?

The “Rapture” is not in the Bible! Despite being believed by a large number of protestants (many of whom also believe that only that which is in the Bible can be true) it was actually invented in the 1600s by one Cotton Mather – otherwise famous for murdering women by strangling them to death (by hanging) in the Salem witch trials. The term in the Bible commonly mistranslated to the word “rapture” actually comes from the Greek ἁρπάζω (harpazo) which actually means “caught up” or “taken away” and it refers to one person only (Philip).

Interesting misconceptions that we can have about the Bible, even sometimes over the things we've read often, but then there's always those parts of the Bible that we often don't read, how about some of the Old Testament that maybe we think isn't so relevant anymore since Jesus has now been..

I was reading yesterday in Luke 21 where Jesus talks about the end of the age and says "All men will hate you because of Me." v17

I see many Christians these days doing the right thing and 'selling' Christianity as something people need, but at the same time trying to be 'nice' people so much so that sometimes discount or even get some of the things of God wrong just so they can paint their religion in a light to be accepted.  

How well do you know the Word of God?  Do you love God with all of your strength, mind and soul? Are you afraid of being persecuted though?  Living a life that is acceptable to God won't always be loved by the world - we read that throughout the Bible - we can't compromise God's Word just so we can be accepted by the world - we will lose everything!

I know many people of many faiths that are dedicated to their religion, but often don't actually read the primary souce themselves - this is dangerous!!  How do you really know what you believe if you only hear parts of it told second hand, or even third hand.

How well do you know the Word of God?  If you're a Christian and don't read the Bible on a very regular basis, you could find that you're in for a shock when Jesus says "I don't know you" [Luke 13:27] because you didn't know the parameters for the narrow door. (Read Luke 13:22-30)

Read the Word of God - it brings life - don't try to put your own spin on the Word either, but let the Holy Spirit give you the meaning to each word and you will find life!

God bless you and may the Spirit of God guide you

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Reflections of Brengle - holiness

"I saw the humility of Jesus, and my prode; the meekness of Jesus, and my temper; the lowliness of Jesus , and my ambition; the purity of Jesus , and my unclean heart; the faithfulness of Jesus, and the deceitfulness of my heart; the unselfishness of Jesus, and my selfishness; the trust and faith of Jesus, and my doubts and unbelief; the holiness of Jesus, and my unholiness.  I got my eyes off everybody but Jesus and myself, and I came to loathe myself." 
Samuel Logan Brengle p47-48 of 'Samuel Logan Brengle' by Hall

Great words of Samuel Logan Brengle - my experience tonight, but I thank God that as I can't sleep even though I'm exhausted, Jesus came to save me tonight from my inadequacies and all the feelings of unholiness, just like Isaiah felt in chapter 6, the live coal has touched my lips, and maybe even my heart. I thank Jesus that right now, I no longer loathe myself though as Brengle says, but in Jesus changing my heart, I am now starting to see myself as He is re-shaping me - it's a work in progress though!

Jesus can and will do the same for you, that is my testimony.  I pray that Jesus will be all you need today and as I was reminded while standing collecting in a shopping centre today and saw a guy missing an arm - Jesus wants to make you whole today - not necessarily physically, but spiritually, the essence of yourself.

Why don't you just take a moment and soak up His presence.

May Jesus, who died to give you life, give you rest and wholeness that you need today.

Be blessed

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

What are you controlled by?

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit"

Ephesians 5:18

What a contrast between riotous living and righteous living

But if a man or woman can be controlled by alcohol, how much more can the Holy Spirit control a man or woman?

Benny Hinn - 'Good Morning Holy Spirit' p92

It's always good to stop and re-evaluate and look at where we are in life. We can't really intentionally go forward unless we look at where we are. Of course life does go on whether we do or don't, but to intentionally shape the direction of our life we need to.

To direct my life for tomorrow, I need the Holy Spirit to direct where that is actually going, otherwise I'm just directing it on my own wisdom, which I admit, can sometimes be not so great!
I'd much rather depend upon the all wise, all knowing God who has a perfect plan for my life - will I choose to follow it or not, is up to me.

What are you going to choose to be controlled by today - the choice is completely up to you.

May God bless your journey today, and tomorrow!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


It's so easy to get caught up in routine and become insensitive to what you are actually doing and the way it can effect those around you.

We run a breakfast program at our local Primary School 5 days a week, and it can be very annoying, especially during the winter, getting up a couple of hours earlier than you would if it was just a 'office' hours day and it can be very stressful with dozens of youngsters demanding different cereals or toast, or spaghetti on toast, or a milo, or tinned fruit etc.

All we ask from the kids in return is to wash their dishes, but for most of them, that's too much and they creatively hide the bowls or cups and we have to hunt them down and stay behind to do their dishes.

Some days I just grumble but 'suck it up' and wonder why I am actually doing what I am doing - is it really worth it?!

Today we had a couple of new girls come to our kids club that we know from the breakfast program and at the end, their mother was telling us that her daughter has never eaten breakfast at home, but has been excited every morning and getting up early to come to breakfast at the school. Apparently it's her highlight of the day!

What a slap to my far from enthusiastic approach to breakfast!

You never really know what God is doing around you, nor how He is even using you in your day to day 'routines'

I thank God for His gentle reminder to me to never undervalue anything that He uses us for. It can be so easy to forget the impact that even the simplest of things can do to others and who knows what they might be going through.

"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
Colossians 4:6

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.

We know Your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good”, but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free.