Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Got Listed

Something I just discovered recently are blog carnivals, where people put together lists of recent blog articles on a particular topic or theme. Which is a great idea to find new articles to read, and great for bloggers to get their articles promoted.

One of my articles is listed on one! (Which maybe is not a huge deal, since I submitted it to be listed myself, so it's shameless self-promtion, but still, all part of the blogging fun :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

God is for us

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31b

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

God is for us, not against us.

He never asks us to do anything that will harm us - just sometimes our definition of harm is different from His.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Imagine you are facing a difficult situation - you may not have to think too hard. You might ask God to take that situation away from you, but again, you probably don't have to think too hard to remember a time when he hasn't.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No-one Knows...but the time is near.

I'm not quite sure what prompted me to start praying, but I often do when I am driving to or from work. It's a half an hour drive on straight highway, and so a perfect time to talk to God uninterrupted. Without closing my eyes, obviously.

So yesterday driving home from work I began praying. I was close to home when I started, and so when I turned into my driveway I wasn't ready to stop. Sitting in my car in the carport, I was overwhelmed by the presence of God. I hope my neighbours didn't choose that time to look over their fences, or they may have wondered why I was apparently sitting in my car with my eyes closed, talking to myself.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sharing a Link

Read a great analogy of the way we try and do things ourselves. Sometimes when something ends up in a mess, we blame God instead of recognising that he was right there willing to help us all along, but we keep telling Him we're fine on our own.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fear Not, He Has Called You By Name

Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
   I have called you by name; you are mine.
 When you pass through the waters,
   I will be with you;...

When you walk through the fire,
   you will not be burned;

Isaiah 43:1-2

(Or if you like the singing version,

You will not (NO WAY!) be drowned
You will not (NO WAY!) be burned!)

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. Matthew 8:24-26

Why are you afraid?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Church is like a Staff Meeting, God's the Chairperson

Many Christian's have been guilty, myself included, of treating church like it's just another thing on the to-do list for the week. A place where you put on your best clothes, your best face, your best self, then get back to your real life.

I realised today that Church is more like a staff meeting. That may have dry connotations for some people, but it depends on what kind of staff meetings you've been to.

For me, as a teacher, staff meetings are the time of every week where you actually get to see everyone in one room together. It's the time when everyone is brought back to the same page, and finds out what is going on in the rest of the school, what is coming up, and where the school is heading. It can be a time of sharing issues and frustrations, or hopefully, successes and lessons learned. It's where teachers remind each other that they are all working under the same banner, towards the same goal, and that they are a team. (At least that's what I think everyone aspires for a staff meeting to be, even if it's not always achieved.)

That's what Church is for Christians. We are team, one body, but during the week we often just pass each other by going about our own lives. And that's ok - we've each got our own roles to play. But church is when we get everyone in the same room together, and remind each other what it is we're working towards. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14. We share successes, struggles and lessons learned. Find out about issues and problems that we can pray for, people we can serve, others we can uplift and encourage, and be challenged, uplifted and encouraged by them in turn. We remind each other of the banner we are living under, and the God we are serving.

And if we let God be the chairperson, we know he's going to run a good meeting! An amazing, supernatural staff meeting, unlike anything on earth.

We have it easy - it's our choice. In some parts of the world Christians meet together any way they can, despite the risk of persecution. I almost envy their understanding of the value of fellowship. Rather than thinking of church as a chore or another tick on the to-do list, think of it as a valuable chance to get everyone on the same page. To worship the God we serve.

And church doesn't necessarily have to take the traditional form, or be segregated by denomination. We are all the body of Christ. Whether your church is 9am every Sunday, or whenever you can meet in a borrowed hall, or three people gathered around a kitchen table, invite God to chair your meeting and He will make sure your needs and His plans are on the agenda.

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

Friday, May 20, 2011

Beauty is Created by God

If God was a purely practical, technical God, then he could have created the world to be a much more streamlined place - it could have been all black and white and square and plain.

But he didn't. He created a complex and intricate world, with wonder at every turn. And he created us with a mind that appreciates what is around us.

When I drive home from work, coming around one particular bend on the highway is a tree. It has no leaves on it, and never has in the three years I've been driving past it. It's dead. But where it stands, its bare, grey branches stretched out, silhouetted against an ever changing background with the shifting seasons and changing light - it is a symbol of the perfection and beauty of God's creation. He even created trees to grow into a shape that we find pleasing and beautiful. Even a dead tree.

It's no accident that our hearts are filled with peace and joy at the sight of a sunset, the majesty of snow on the mountains, a wide, open African plain.

And it's no accident that God placed that tree there - he knew how often I would be driving home and need a lift after a day at work. I'm sure it's there as a gift just for me! :)

I stopped to take a photo - but a photo doesn't quite capture it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wear it Wednesday: I Dare You

I Dare You

Fun with All things I'll probably never buy, and couldn't ever wear - but it's like paper dolls for grown ups.

My username there is missmaxie