Friday, March 28, 2014

God's Lemonade

 “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. 
He will not let your foot be moved” Psalm 121:2, 3

Have you heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”?  Sounds good but I think a better saying would be “When life throws lemons at you, trust God to make lemonade for you”.

Life can be tough.  People who you thought were trustworthy may end up betraying you.  Those who you thought you could count on in the hard times, may desert you.   And the things you used to take comfort in can change without warning, and you end up feeling like you have lost your footing and you might fall flat on your face at any moment.

 Instead of getting angry or planning on how to get revenge, why not trust God to be God and allow him to stand up in your defence.   

When you defend yourself, you might end up hurting others or being more hurt than you were before the situation turned sour.   But God has strength, wisdom and the whole of Army of Heaven at His finger tips ready to come to your rescue.

In my experience, when people are the least deserving of love and forgiveness, that is the precise time when they need love and forgiveness the most.  After all, that is what God did for us.   When we least deserved His love, He sent Jesus into our lives to show us His heart for us. 

And that my friend, is what Grace is all about.

Do you agree?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Jesus in a Six Word Story

According to legend, Ernest Hemingway was lunching with some friends when he bets that he can craft an entire story in six words. After the pot is assembled, Hemingway writes "For sale: baby shoes, never worn" on a napkin, passes this around the table, and collects his winnings. 

Recently, I was in a group discussion where the question was, “Who is Jesus to you?” and we had to answer in as few words as possible. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it so I went with the first thing that came to mind.

My answer was “Jesus is my peace”.  I went on to explain, how, when I was in a really bad life storm, I did my best to keep my focus on Jesus.  While the storm didn’t calm, I felt the presence of Jesus calm me and I was able to get through it. 

Upon writing this week’s reflection, I decided to take on Hemmingway’s challenge but change it slightly because I wanted to write a six word story about who Jesus is to me. 

Here is my attempt at a six word story, ‘Jesus: my calm within my storm’.

If someone were ask you that same question, ‘Who Jesus is to you?’ and you had to answer in as few words as possible, what would you say?  Could you say who Jesus is to you in six, ten or maybe twenty words?  Why not try?  I would love to hear what you think about this.

Friday, March 14, 2014

God's Favourite Selfie

 ‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands’ Isaiah 49:16

Recently, the Bishop visited my church and was having such a fun time with us; he pulled out his mobile phone and took a photograph of himself standing in front of the congregation. 

This type of photograph is called a ‘selfie’ or a ‘group selfie’.  Selfies are usually taken with a smartphone before being quickly shared on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  

According to the BBC News Magazine, the selfie has arguably become the greatest photographic trend of our time. 

People take selfies for any number of reasons such as updating their Facebook profile picture, capturing a moment in time with friends or simply they may want to share a fun event with others.

This got me thinking.  I reckon God took His favourite ‘selfie’ when he tattooed your name on the palm of His hand.  And then He went on to perfect it when He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in you. 

‘Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you’
1 Corinthians 6:19

YOU are before God ALL the time.  God will never ever ever forget you, but He made a double insurance just in case, and He wouldn't need to look at Facebook or his phone to see you – He only has to look at His hand!

How cool is God?!  He started taking ‘selfies’ before the word was even invented!  

What do you think?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Happy Little Vegemite

 “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching”. Hebrews 10:25 TM

I freely admit that I’m a happy little Vegemite. I often enjoy this salty black spread on toast or on fresh bread.   

However, there is something I don’t like about Vegemite. The other day I walked into the kitchen and there was an awful smell but it didn’t take me long to find out where it was coming from.   A couple of days before hand, I had filled an empty Vegemite jar with water, letting it soak in preparation to be washed and placed in the recycling bin but then I became distracted and had totally forgotten about it. 

This got me thinking.   Most of us can agree that we have a desire to have a close relationship with God, and I believe that is His desire too, but how do we attain or retain it?  It’s easy to get distracted with everyday life and God can sometimes get pushed into an hour or so on Sundays.

I reckon we need to put effort into connecting with God every day in prayer, Bible reading and worship.   And equally important, we also need to support and meet together regularly, as we do our best to encourage each other in reaching out to Jesus.  No one ever said the Christian life was an easy one, but we will never do it alone as long as we connect with Jesus and with each other.

What do you think?