Friday, 14 December 2018

Attitude Makes the Difference

Getting into shape is easy!!

YEAH RIGHT!!! - What planet was that bloke on when he said that?  How are you going at getting into shape? - Me? Failing miserably.

No Pain no gain. Or so the saying goes. Athletes remind themselves of this to get their best possible performance.

Sometimes they have to go through grueling training. Without it, there is no improvement.

Reading James in the New testament he suggests it's the same for Christians. I believe perseverance is essential in our Christian walk especially when we are facing trials and temptations.

In my opinion there are many and varied situations in which we as Christians need to persevere. James tells us in chapter 1 verses 2 and 3 that we should consider it PURE JOY that trials and temptations come our way because it's like a test of our faith and these trials and temptations help us to persevere.

Easy to rattle off here in a blog but often so very hard to do BUT when we do succeed in giving rotten old satan the "heave ho" during these trials and temptations then the victory of course goes to God and then to us!! YAY!

In verse 12 of  the same chapter - James tells us that we are blessed when we do persevere under all sorts of trials because we have won the test and end up with the crown of life God has promised to all His believers who love Him. - AWESOME EH!

So what are some these tests and trials and temptations we endure on a day to day basis?

Well, from my own experience some of the BIG ones are doubting, lust, envy, jealousy, pride etc etc - you name it - I have been there and done that! UNFORTUNATELY!

So  we can see that this first chapter of James is all about our attitude, our dependence on God (ie. We really can't do this on our own), help of other Christians, believing that God is always trustworthy etc etc.

Then we hit Verses 19 to the end of chapter 1

LISTENING AND DOING

This is the BIG one for me because it says be slow to speak and quick to listen - I am so much the other way round but I AM learning - Praise be to God!

My siblings and I are so quick to put our 2 cents worth in when someone is telling us something that is obviously on their heart. Must be a genetic thing. We listen then before they are finished out comes all of our experiences along the same line.

We all do it to an extent. It's as common as flies around a horse. While someone else is talking, we're thinking about what we're going to say next, so be it inadvertently or deliberately we bring the conversation around to us - after all aren't we the most important? (NOT).

BE SLOW TO SPEAK is a great learning tool for me and one where I am still coming to terms. Not only does James tells us to be slow to speak and quick to listen,  BUT not just listen - CONCENTRATE on what the person is saying. Keep your eyes on them, don't let them wander around the room.

A tip I am learning to conquer is, when a person asks you how you are, be honest and tell them - GOOD is not an appropriate answer! But then gently bring the conversation around to that person and off yourself as soon as possible. In lots of ways you will end up being the one blessed - it's really quite amazing.

Also be SLOW TO GET ANGRY - this can be so hard for a lot of us. Anger often dictates to us how we behave.

If we react when our feelings are hurt it can have devastating reactions to whoever is involved. Anger can be contagious so we have to keep a good reign on our tongues when dealing with people of all ages. Our words can cause a lifetime of hurt to so many people including us.

So you can see attitude and perseverance is what we need to pray for and words, words, words can give us a lifetime of heartaches - don't be fooled it's not all about us. We basically know others are worth more care and attention than them listening to us bang on, rather than us listening attentively to what is on their hearts.

God wants us to slow down and listen too. So what else can we get out of James?

FAVOURITISM FORBIDDEN

Labels are found in more places that on suitcases and soup cans. Not sure about you but I tend to put them on people all the time.

People are funny or odd, friendly or cold, smart or dumb, greedy or needy etc etc. and all these so-called LABELS can have a vast and profound influence on the way we treat people.

Not long ago a bloke came into our church, Now I haven't got anything against tattoos, but this guys was literally covered in them and I mean covered - everywhere - you could hardly see his face. He was obviously drunk and he had a distinct limp. He was smelly and dirty and swearing and really mad at the world - what do you do?

James tells us distinctly what we are to do. DON'T DISCRIMINATE!!! It's hard isn't it?

Chapter 2 and verse 5 of James tells us that God has actually chosen the poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith. I reckon they are a message to us in a BIG way that we can't judge at all - God loves us all!!! Who are we to judge - we should NEVER dishonour anyone not in any way under any circumstances.

God tells us we should love our neighbours (and that doesn't mean the guys next door but everyone)  as ourselves. James goes on to say that if we show favouritism in any way we sin!! How about that!!

We can be as righteous as we like BUT if we break the judging law then we also break God's heart and actually we will be judged by God in the same way that we have judged someone else,

Please don't feel I am preaching to you - this has been a HUGE lesson for me too.

I'm left with these questions as I close - maybe you have the same questions buzzing around in your head too?

Who are some people who you avoid or look down on?

In what special ways could you reach out to one such person?

What can you do specifically to show someone like this genuine kindness?

This blog has certainly been on my mind a lot lately - I pray and trust it can be just a little in yours this week.

God bless you as think along these lines:-

  • Your own personal PERSEVERANCE AND ATTITUDE in your walk with God

  • Where you are in the LISTENING - V- DOING stakes?
  • How are you personally going in the area of JUDGING?





Sunday, 2 December 2018

Facing your BIG Cats

Being a HUGE softie at heart, I will never forget having to walk my only daughter down the aisle of our local church.

As much as I thought I had prepared for that big day when we arrived at the door and I saw all those people I suddenly wanted to hold her close, slam the door and take off down the nearest street hauling her, the bouquet of flowers, veil and wedding dress flying in the breeze and me yelling at the top of my voice I'VE CHANGED MY MIND - I'VE CHANGED MY MIND!

I really didn't want to 'give her away' to some young lad with long hair and hardly able to even shave- she was mine and I didn't want to let her go.

Our son got married in the next few weeks after his sister, so we lost both of our kids in the same year. It's tough being a parent and having to say goodbye to your children and handing them over to someone else and then having to take a backseat, Parenthood isn't for sissies!

Daniel of the Old Testament was torn from his home never to return when he was only 12 or 13 years old - shuffled off to Babylon THE worst place in the whole ancient world. I can just imagine what his parents went through - must have been horrendous! No wonder Jonah chickened out!

The ancient History encyclopedia tells me that Babylon, whose ruins still lie in modern day Iraq  is 94k's southwest of of Baghdad.

Babylon is thought to mean GATE OF THE GODS and it was probably just that, worshiping anything and everything except the REAL God, the Babylonians believed in child sacrifice, prostitution of both male and female slaves and regular public executions of prisoners unable to work as slaves.

Babylon was also a huge place of learning and when Daniel was wrenched from his family on arriving in that despot of a city after 800 miles or 1300 km's, to whatever their fate was going to be, he was enrolled in an intensive three year training program designed to transform young men of his age into loyal Babylonians bureaucrats.

It worked to a degree I guess - Daniel and his mates received a remarkable education and looking back Daniel was used mightily by God.

Old King Nebuchadnezzar was an anxious type of person prone to sudden rages and spur of the moment decisions that had huge ramifications across the ancient world - he is renowned even today of making often frightening decisions that changed the face of the ancients and of history.

He was a cruel king and had a malicious and frightening persona that had the whole empire trembling so when he said it was law and recorded as such there was absolutely no turning back from that ruling and not even he could alter it - it was like it was written in stone - no erasing and no altering.

So into this incredible situation comes Daniel and his three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Three young blokes from Israel - captured and marched off to be trained in the ways of Babylon and to become sort of Palace Dog bodies for all and sundry around the place.

Through all of his long time in Babylon, and I imagine it would have been his entire life, Daniel never once forsook his God - he knew that God had placed him in a special place for a special reason.

We all know the stories so well, the bow or burn incident, the writing on wall, the mocking then the SHOCKING. Then Daniel - on the menu of the lions club.  - it makes such interesting reading, but what blows me away was the sheer force of Daniel and his friends faith in God.

Daniel and his friends believed in five amazing words and they were EVEN IF GOD DOES NOT!!

These five words spoke to me so much because they represented a faith SO BIG and SO EXTREME with these four young blokes in Babylon all those years ago.

Obeying God because you know he's powerful enough to rescue you from any situation is one thing, but obeying Him when you know there is a real chance you will be horribly burned to death or torn apart by ferocious lions is quite another.

How EXTREME is your faithfulness? How EXTREME is mine? Just how much are we willing to sacrifice and be obedient to God?  Would we give up our job, money, security or even be prepared to lay down our lives if God asked? God is able to save us but even if He does not, does your faith, does my faith extend that far?

Daniel's scheming colleagues in that scary/terrifying palace so long ago kept a close lookout on his personal life and all they found was consistent faith. They were so determined to get rid of him so they used they only thing they could use to undermine him to the king and that was his faith.

We all know the story of Daniel chapters 3-6 so well - the scheming of the baddies - the buttering up of the priggish, vain and braggadocio King, the accusations leveled at Daniel and his three mates, The blazing furnace, the intimidating and petrifying den of lions, the facing of horrendous deaths and the sheer bravery of those four young men as they came face to face with their last mortal breaths on earth.

What a shock for those vain and egotistic palace floor scrapers to the king and his image and what a shock to the king himself -  the furnace heated up seven times hotter than usual, the very soldiers who threw the young guys in were themselves overpowered by the sheer force of the heat coming from furnace, then to top it all off four people in the blazing furnace instead of three and they weren't even singed or smelt of fire.

Then Daniel served up to the lions, poor bloke what an end awaited for him. He was chucked in, the roaring of the lions suddenly stopped, the beasts couldn't open their mouths, lockjaw was rampant in the den all through the night, Daniel saved and his accusers and their whole families thrown into the den in Daniel's place, Lockjaw suddenly cured and the lions feasted!

Grisly story indeed, but hey, how amazing is our God, How faithful to those of us who stand firm in our faith!

A few questions remain for me:-

What do people see in our lives that tells them we're serious about our walk with God?
Are we showing Christlike compassion and concern when we interact with others?
Can others spot in us our main priorities which are way out of step with the rest of society?
Can others see acts of service that come from our hearts and not necessarily from our pockets or from some desire to gain "brownie points".
Can others see in us people who do not flinch when names like "Jesus Freaks" and "Bible Bashers" are directed at us?

All these questions are just a smidgen of what Daniel and his three mates went through yet they didn't flinch or deny their faith - they went all the way with God regardless of what the outcome was going to be. Jesus of course did the same and we as His followers should have the same outlook and desire to be more and more like Him in every way possible.

Daniel and the lions is a story we never grow weary of hearing. I've always been impressed by it because Daniel was not thrown into that putrid cave/den for some wicked crime but for being Godly. We expect to be punished for our wrongdoings and when we do right we expect to be praised or promoted. That is certainly the ideal, but it doesn't always work out like that. Sometimes those who do wrong are rewarded and those who do right are persecuted.

Especially in today's world where it seems right is wrong and wrong is right in fact there seems no right or wrong instead I feel it's a pain and pleasure world.

After thinking about Daniel the main question remains for me and that is HOW AM I AT FACING MY BIG CATS?  Would I capitulate, give in to pressure and join the rest of those willing to throw the faithful into the blazing furnace or into a pride of lions?

Where does my hope lie? Where does yours? Something really serious to think about this week and may God bless you as you do.
























Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Honesty, uprightness and INTEGRITY

Not sure about you but I have this annoying habit of shooting off my mouth and in so doing putting a lot of people off-side.

I really don't mean to,  it just sort of slips out and once you have said it you can't take it back - I feel I should have a DELETE button inserted into my tongue which makes me backtrack and either say something nice and comforting or say nothing at all.

When I was thinking along these lines just after my latest outburst I thought of the word INTEGRITY and so I looked it up - so here it is:-
My dictionary tells me it is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles - it means honesty and uprightness - ethics and morals. Virtue and decency are in there somewhere as well.

Oh dear so that leaves me standing out in the field somewhere completely isolated.

God gave us the miraculous and incredible gift of speech - my heart aches for those who have no speech or who have lost their hearing and/or born without either speech or hearing.

Speech is miraculous in itself - James tells us that our speech can upset or encourage - it can drive others away from God or it can bring others into the marvelous saving grace and mercy of God.

Sitting in a group discussion I can so easily offend  and yet coming to know Christ as I have, God can also use my wayward tongue to help and encourage others,

I have been astounded lately apart from a few mess-ups just how God is changing my speech and bringing the "I" word into my very personality.

Integrity was  something I never thought of and in the rare occasions my mind may have wondered to the likeness of that word - I never stopped for even a second to consider the impact of what I was saying was having on the people around me.

Amazingly God is working a miracle in my life hence I want to share my miracle with you my readers.

I had never really developed  a listening manner - have you?

On the negative side I never considered asking people how they were or even offering encouragement in any way so when I finally brought my problem to God he opened miraculously a brand new ME whom I still having difficulty in believing I am the same person who has upset others.

God has changed me - I certainly couldn't have done it on my own - there is no way I could have changed so dramatically.

Gone (well almost) are the days when my conversation were centred on me - gone are those days when I was using my gift of speech in any way other than glorifying God.

So how are you shaping up on the INTEGRITY scale?

Are you withholding words that could encourage someone like I was?
Do you speak so often, so fast and so loudly that others do not have the opportunity to express themselves?
Have you perfected the art of verbal barbs or sarcasm that people could be injured by your words? (I'm a tiger for that one)

Maybe like me you should ask God to reveal to you your verbal strengths and weaknesses - believe me I have changed and as mentioned I couldn't do that on my own - not in a million years.

Our speech is very important to God - read James 3: 1-12 and you will see what I mean.

Anyway speech and guarding our tongues isn't the only personal reflection we have to take into consideration when we look at INTEGRITY

Integrity also means caring for your body! in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 Paul sets out very explicitly just how important it is to look after the body God gave you. I go jogging each morning and yes I have fallen over and realised just how much I have misused my body.

God has given us instructions that your body is actually His temple - so we should care for our bodies not misuse or neglect it.

Jogging and exercise is good and needful and keeps us in shape - Our bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Even so these 'shells' that house our inner being are a gift from God. We are to respect our bodies and use them for His glory.

Paul has a lot to say about sexual immorality as well. Immorality on that side of things can wreck your body and even your mind - Verse 19 says "that we are not our own" that simply means that Jesus' death on the cross bought us with a price unfathomable - His very life. We belong to Him and in that case we should honour Him with our bodies - not tear it apart  - for eg. overeating, lack of exercise and sexual immorality!

Integrity also means keeping our commitments - maybe commitments we have pledged to each other say in our wedding vows or commitments we made even before we came to Christ (as long as they didn't include immoral or illegal doings) and of course commitments to our work places etc. All of these commitments add up to INTEGRITY - a real gift from God. Believe me God can change you in ALL aspects of your life and that includes integrity.

Another aspect of INTEGRITY is self-control - let's not be like Samson in Judges 16 who let his self control fly out of Delilah's window. Self control is mentioned in the gifts of the spirit in Colossians as a real gift from God.

Self-control and Integrity go hand in hand as far as I can see - Self control is one of the main  pointers to INTEGRITY and one we should all aim for.

A great idea is keep a journal just for a short time to record just how many times your self-control has flown out of your window as it did for Samson out of Delilah's window. Note any lapses and any patterns that triggered them and also the victories, then prayerfully consider how you might reduce temptation and strengthen your inner resolve through the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Truth telling is another off-shoot of INTEGRITY - so often lying is far easier than telling the truth.
This is something that I have had to consider and where I don't like to admit that fact unfortunately it is true.

When situations tempt us to say what is less than true, before you open your mouth, grab hold of Jesus - speak to Him even if it has to be very quickly - ask HIm for courage and boldness to say the truth no matter what it may cost.  Jesus is our rock and fortress even if your world may turn upside down because of truth.

I could go on but I will finish with just one more important aspect of INTEGRITY and that is forgiveness.

Probably forgiveness is one the hardest parts of INTEGRITY. Especially in situations that are beyond your control. When you have been accused wrongly or abused either physically or sexually or both. Forgiveness in situations like that does not come easily.

BUT forgiveness can set you free. It's amazing that when you hold grudges, which is quite normal if you have been through extraordinary experiences, the longer we hold grudges the tighter the chains that bind us.

Forgiveness from the heart is often the key to loosen those chains that bind us and we end up being the very one set free and not so much the actual aggressor of the situation.

Not sure about you but forgiveness didn't come at all easily to me but when I finally gave it all over to God things in my life changed dramatically and He will definitely do the same for you. Forgiveness can take an age and it can be a long hard road until you finally are free but please persevere. I know I did and the release is amazing. It's like you become a different person.

Thinking of forgiveness I have included this song from Melissa Green called LONG ROAD TO FORGIVENESS.  It sort of sums up what I was saying about forgiveness and how often it takes courage and willingness on our part. It also may take a long and harrowing road to travel before you can honestly say in your heart of hearts I FORGIVE. The thing is God knows where we are and your willingness to forgive. Please keep working at it - don't give up because God is with you in this - He has been all along and He always will be.

Here is the link:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPmrFwZkTA0

As I said there are so many facets to true INTEGRITY and this blog only just scratches the surface. Please take the time to look into your own INTEGRITY and see where you may be failing. It won't be easy, but often the Christian walk isn't - it wasn't easy for Jesus and it won't be for you but the rewards are gargantuan not only at the promise of heaven but as you walk through the life God has gifted you here on earth.

God bless you this week as you walk in His footsteps, taking up you own personal cross whatever it may be and courageously take the steps to INTEGRITY and huge blessings as you do.










Friday, 2 November 2018

Cash flow

Not sure about you but I tend to have a love hate relationship with all things associated with money!

As a Christian I struggle with the materialism and falling into the trap of greed when it comes to accumulating wealth, but then on the other hand I tend to think of the future and the security money gives you as you think of the future.

So you can see money can give you all sorts of headaches!

In today's world where we hear all sorts of amazing things preached from pulpits, it can be a head-spinning sort of a maze of differing thoughts and attitudes concerning the love and accumulation of money.

On one hand we have the prosperity gospel loud-hailing the message that money and lot's of it is some sort of barometer that defines our spirituality. They argue that God wants us to not only be spiritually rich but materially rich also. These people also argue that it is our lack of faith and even sin that stands in the way of amazing riches.

Then we have those who have taken a vow of poverty, giving away every cent they earn to give to the poor. ridding themselves of as much money as they can. Money to them is a contamination that comes between God and themselves which stifles any growth spiritually and the only way to grow in Jesus is to rid themselves of any wealth.

These are the extremes of where I see the world anyway but where does the truth lie? Somewhere in the middle maybe?

Both of these extremities may have some semblance of truth in them somewhere and that the dilemma that not only myself but a lot of Christians in the world face today.

I am sure my great God could shower His people with huge blessings of money and other material blessings if that was His will but often it is through struggles that we come to depend on Him to walk the miles with us, holding us close and showing us what indeed is his path for us in this crazy but beautiful world in which we all share.

What should be our attitude towards money? Should we despise it? Should we be thankful for it? Or should we have some sort of middle of the road experience in dealing with our finances?

So what is money anyway? In the old days bartering was the way to go and still is today in some cultures, so money is like bartering without the barter if you catch my drift. Money is our form of power in our world - we can do a whole host of things with money, from building a fence to an overseas trip to building a mansion - you name it money is tucked away in there somewhere.

One of the main problems in chatting about money is there is no definite answers as to how much is 'allowable' to be Christian. So really, if we are looking for a bottom line to tell us exactly how much we need to safely go through life in regards to money, we won't find it!

So in other words what can 'get away with' and still be righteous in the eyes of God?

The Pharisees loved to set down rules and obligations as to what people did and how they did it - what they spent and how much they themselves got in return. I reckon it doesn't work like that at all.

Love this verse in Matthew 5:20- Jesus Speaking -
"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven"

We can make ourselves slaves to money where we begin and act and think of nothing else - we can get up every morning turn on the computer just to check how the stock market is going or how much we have saved on interest - or even what 'specials' are on the supermarket. We can even get to the stage where we are mindful of every dollar we spend. It's extraordinary really!

Some see money as the ONLY way to go - they argue that money and the accumulation of wealth will bring them happiness and well being - "If only I had some money - life would be so much happier - I would be able to do this or that etc etc"

I am reminded of ABBA's song MONEY MONEY MONEY - I must admit I found it a tad funny but unfortunately that is exactly how people see money as some sort of goal to aim for and "then I will be satisfied" sort of like a happy ending to life.
Here is the youtube link - it may bring you a laugh
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETxmCCsMoD0

It was ironic as I downloaded the youtube clip there was an add for Sports Bet - Another classic way some will look for loads of money to supposedly 'buy' them some sort of happiness - from what I can see the only way to be fully happy is in Christ and He alone.

Unfortunately so many people are looking for happiness in all the wrong places - money and heaps of it will never buy happiness.

So money IS NOT GOD - Following Jesus requires a heart change - it's about handing your life over to Him and allowing God's spirit to change you dramatically not only on your inside wanting to serve God and please him, but also seeing clearly just where you are as an individual in regards to your wealth.

So under no circumstance is there going to be some sort of sign-post in the Bible saying 'so far and no further' in respect to wealth, however we may need to change our attitudes in respect of how we deal with our wealth.

What I'm trying to say is that wealth and the accumulation of same is and can be entirely different to an individual depending on where that individual is with God and how God is working in that person's life.

The main thing I have gleaned from this is we must and never should put God over our wealth in fact we must never put God over anything! Wealth is Ok as long as we realise that God is the be all and end all of our life - our wealth should be like everything else that God has blessed us with a means to an end.

Greed like all sins in our lives that Jesus came to clean up, has no place once we have given it entirely to God.

Please don't let money and the love thereof dictate how you live your life and let's all of us decide right now to look at money as a blessing from God not as a steering wheel taking us from the main and real reason we have life and that is to worship, honour and love our Lord with all of our hearts and minds.

God bless you this week as you consider, like I have, where your priorities lie. Please take time this week to really consider others and yourself and just take your thoughts to God - Let Him lead you as He wills and what he would have you do.




Sunday, 14 October 2018

Keep going no matter what...

What an amazing book is Hebrews - it was set when the Jewish Christians were being persecuted probably by both Jews and Romans, and they were growing weary. I guess you know the feeling only too well.

Not 100% sure who wrote The book of Hebrews - I doubt anyone knows for sure but it is jammed full of great advice mainly about persevering in the faith and keep on going no matter what.

August 5th 1984 - the Los Angeles Olympics - the unforgettable Marathon finish of Gabriela Andersen-Schiess was a prime example of perseverance - here is the link to watch her and her memories on that unforgettable day

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBasZWjd92k

She copped a lot of criticism after she finished but to her it was THE most important time of her life - she was at the olympics and she finished the marathon - she missed the last water stop which she blames for her dehydration but she kept on going no matter the consequences - she was determined - she was tenacious - she was resolute and single minded in her purpose and she finished the race.

Hebrew 12: 1-2 "Let us run with perseverance the race marked out before us, fixing our eyes in Jesus; the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand at the throne of God".

Right through Hebrews, the author's chief concern is that we finish the faith race with Jesus triumphantly and we are all so equipped to do so by the power of the Holy Spirit given to each of us once we have committed our life to Jesus.

According to legend, John Chrysostom, the Bishop of Constantinople (now Istanbul) was threatened by the rulers to be banished if he did not renounce Jesus Christ.

He replied "you can't banish me - my Father's kingdom is the whole world. You can't take away my family - because I am with my father and he is with me - you can't kill me because my life is eternally promised to God the Father - so do with me what you will".

Chrysostom was prepared to finish the race - why? Because he knew where he was going - it didn't really matter what they did to him even if it meant death. He knew for certain that God was with him and who he would be with eventually regardless.

Sure it's going to hurt, and sure we will, maybe, get distressed and confused as we persevere with Christ - especially in the crazy world we are in at the moment - but God promises us far more than we can ever know.

Right through this amazing book are warnings about the risks and dangers we face in our faith race. Let's not resist these warnings thinking they will inhibit our freedoms in the world - The freedoms the world gives are great and we can have a fabulous time but they are so very transient.

God's warnings here are for a very special reason to keep us focused on Christ and what he has done for us. We can grow more and more sensitive to God's voice if we only take the time to heed His warnings and directions for our lives.

In chapter 3 of Hebrews - the writer emphasises the tragic fate of the Israelites who perished in the desert and even today serves as a warning to us in 2018 that we persevere in our faith and take seriously into consideration these warnings that can give us spiritual success or failure.

In other words we can give up or persevere - we can haul ourselves with God's amazing help into the keep-going stream or we can simply turn up our toes and give up - being all-too-hard. Which one are you going to be?

We can't just question God's way - else we run the real risk of ending up like the Israelites - lost and wandering in a wilderness of self-doubt and unbelief.

Last month in my blog I talked about trust-v-belief so it is interesting to note here that the Israelites unbelief was not a lack of belief in God, but questioning God's way and lacking trust in Him which in the long-term was their undoing.

We should keep our eyes on Jesus in the way Gabriela Andersen-Schiess focused on that finish line way back in the Olympics in 1984. Our faith has both its beginning and completion in him. Jesus is also the supreme example as one who has already completed the race.

Let's not lack trust in God - we can believe all about him but if we don't trust him our belief is like the Israelites of long ago trudging in the wilderness of self-despair. Trusting in God and what Jesus did for us that day on Calvary is really the only way we can fully persevere with whatever is going to be dished up to us in the future.

God bless you as you persevere and hang onto Jesus this week. Chin up - chest out - deep breath and move ahead with God.
















Saturday, 29 September 2018

Angels among us

Had a knock on the door recently and two men and one lady wanted to talk to me about ANGELS - I was gobsmacked to say the least because Angels were far and away from my thoughts at that moment.

They chatted about this amazing new world that was coming and the mighty part that Angels will have on that day - I was taken aback a tad and struggled a lot in what they were saying.

Right at the outset of this blog I must admit that I don't know a lot about angels - all I do know is that they are heavenly beings created by God and worship Him constantly - also they are there for specific reasons such as announcing very special events such as the birth of Jesus and many more events recorded in the Word of God.

Getting back to my visitors that Saturday morning, and I must add here that they did sweep me away with their knowledge of angels and their purpose.

I had nowhere to go really except to say that I did indeed believe in Angels and their purpose specifically granted to them by God almighty.

I did say however, and I suppose this was the reason they left my home shaking their heads, convinced I was way out of line and utterly wrong, was that I truly believed that Jesus was higher than the Angels and in fact he was equal with God and part of the triune Godhead being the Father, Son and Spirit. I quoted John 10:30 when Jesus spoke to His disciples saying "I and the Father are one".

Before they left, they told me that "Jesus is like God - He's close to God BUT he is not God". It was at this point that I said to them "Jesus is Jehovah to me" - and that's when they left me.

In Isaiah 6:1-7 we find angels in the vision of Isaiah touching his lips with burning coals in an act of consecration. In this vision we see the primary acts of these amazing creations of God standing or flying around and above God's very throne continually declaring God's holiness. They exist simply to attribute worth to God. announcing the perfection of His character. These powerful, majestic beings are perfectly fulfilled doing nothing other than worshiping God.

It's amazing, when we think of it, that the very act of worship and praise that we offer to God is resoundingly upheld by the angels in God's presence doing exactly the same thing. We are not alone in our worship, Angels are continually before God's throne.

Throughout the scriptures, as already mentioned there have been a lot of recorded instances when we see angels visiting. Sodom and Gomorrah is a prime example - appearing in human form these heavenly creatures rescued Lot and his family from the destruction that befell those cities.

Another example is when an Angel appeared to Elijah suffering from an acute bout of depression and hunger when Jezebel was out to execute him. Angels appeared to Abram and Sarai announcing the impending birth of Isaac in their old age. And so it goes on many times recorded for us.

There doesn't appear to be in the Bible a mention of personal or guardian angels mentioned in the Bible but there have been recorded plenty of instances when people have actually seen angels guiding them and in all sorts of situations.

In her book Tramp for the Lord, Corrie Ten Boom that amazing woman arrested by the Nazi's for protecting and hiding Jewish people during the holocaust was convinced that angels protected her when she was openly on a bus smuggling bibles. Apparently guards boarded the bus she was on and searched everyone looking for contraband of any description.

If she had been caught she would have been arrested, imprisoned and even death was a possibility. As the soldiers approached searching everyone seated there, she closed her eyes and literally felt a presence guarding and protecting her - the searching soldiers went straight past her and continued the search.

Hard to explain but surely if our powerful God sent angels to protect and guide people thousands of years ago the same can be said of today.

Esther Mass, well known to dozens of missionary kids around the world, was on her way to church on April 13, 1988. A short distance from home she was involved in a car accident. Almost immediately a man approached at her van door. He took Esther's hand and at his touch a comforting peace spread over her. The man was in his thirties, he wore tan work clothes and needed a shave. He asked one bystander to call 911.

When Esther asked his name, he said he couldn't tell her his name but that she would be fine. He stayed until the emergencies crew arrived and then was gone. He may not have been an angel but his ministry fits with what we know from the Bible about what angelic care is like.

Then of course we see hundreds of times when no matter how hard we may pray we are not spared the trials and tribulations we may be going through.

All I know is that our God is awesome, holy and so mighty - How can we puny humans put our mind into the mind of God - of course we can't.

We just have to have faith knowing that our mighty God is the mighty God who saved us and that there are tens of thousands of angels surrounding his throne glorifying His holy name and that one day we will know for certain just why and how these amazing events take place.

As Christians we live in a world of crisis and security alerts - every day we seem to face some new threat. Even spiritual enemies are out to deceive us. We should take heart because our strength is in the protection of the Lord no matter in what form it takes.







Friday, 14 September 2018

OK... Time to Jump in the Wheelbarrow

According to Wikipedia, Jean Francois Gravelet AKA Charles Blondin was born on 28th February, 1824 and was renowned as a tightrope walker and an acrobat.

He toured the USA and was known for crossing the 340m Niagara  Gorge on a tightrope often wheeling a barrow.

Apparently he crossed the raging divide from the Canadian side quite a few times with differing theatrical variations to his feat. Once blindfolded, and as mentioned trundling a wheelbarrow, on stilts and carrying his manager on his back.

He even sat down half way while he cooked and ate an omelette and believe it or not stood on a balanced chair with only one leg on the rope.

A story is told (not sure how true it is) of how he trundled his barrow across the divide from the Canadian side of the falls full of bricks approximately weighing the average weight of an adult male.

When he got to the US side he was met by a crowd of well-wishers all applauding his great accomplishment. Among the crowd, so the story goes, was the Lord Mayor who promptly congratulated him.

Blondin asked the mayor did he believe that He could carry him safely over to the Canadian side. The Lord Mayor said that he truly believed than Blondin could do just that. "Well hop into the wheelbarrow" said Blondin. I really feel it would have made headlines if the Lord Mayor had indeed climbed in but I'm guessing if that story is true he wouldn't have (and I can't blame him).

When I heard this story I thought of what is the difference between TRUSTING God and BELIEVING in God? In other words I really feel we all have to TRUST enough in God to JUMP IN THE WHEELBARROW.

Believing about or believing in something is fine and good and just - like I believe when I am climbing a mountain that my safety harness will hold - I also TRUST in my safety harness that it will hold me if I fall.

When I go swimming I believe that my swimming ability will keep me afloat - that I am safe with what I believe that my swimming instructors have told me that is true and will keep my from drowning - I not only have faith in what I have learned but I trust in my ability to carry it through.

Believing in and about something is certainly not the same as trusting and having faith in that something - In James chapter 2 it says in the New Living Translation:-

"You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and tremble in terror".

A long time ago I met the girl of my dreams - I reckon it definitely was  love at first sight - I was struck by her piercing blue eyes and her strawberry blond hair. Did I want to marry her? YOU BET I DID!! As I said it was love at first sight - Did I know her? NO I DIDN'T (not at that stage anyway), but I trusted her and I had faith in her that she felt the same about me as I did about her

It was the same when I became a follower of Jesus - I believed about Him and I believe that when I made a decision to follow Him I believed IN Him and I reckon it was a faith, small as it may have been at that time, that allowed me to put my trust in Him.

Over the years I have come to a pretty awesome conclusion and that is the Great God that I first put my trust in through the faith that he gave me originally, wants us all to know Him better and better and the more we get to know Him the bigger and better our trust through faith in Him will grow in us.

When SueAnn and I were first dating and newly engaged I tried all ways to make her think and feel that I was way and above anyone else she'd ever met - bracelets and flowers, perfume and all things pretty - I went above and beyond to prove myself to this amazing girl of my dreams that I loved her and she was the world to me.
We now don't need 'things' to show each other our love although it is nice to celebrate it when the time comes around

God loves us with an everlasting love and He wants us to love Him that way too - He doesn't want all of our "pretties" he doesn't want our good works to make us love Him - he doesn't need the incense and the candles nor even our money. What he does want is our trust fuelled by our faith and surprisingly when that is in our lives we do want to show His love by the works we do - so in lots of ways one stirs the other and we can live our lives to show his love.

So how are you in trusting Jesus? Are you still in the believing about Him stage, but haven't come to the realisation that you don't really KNOW Him at all? God wants us all to know, trust and love Him more and more and all it takes is a simple prayer - simple but from the heart - similar to this one:-

God, Creator of the universe, You made me - You love and you want me to know you better. Thank you for sending Jesus to take my sins away - Forgive me for my brokenness which has been brought about by my own sin. I don't just want to believe ABOUT you, I really want you to transform my life so that I can trust you by the faith you have planted inside of my soul.

If you have prayed that prayer from your very heart, why not contact me through this blog or through www.InspirationalChristanBlogs.com and we can chat about our commitments in more depth.

So like the Lord Mayor - it's no use just 'saying' you believe he can get us to the other side - it really is time to trust through faith and jump in the wheelbarrow. Make a stand today - God can change your life for the better and even better.

God bless you this week as you consider the difference between believing ABOUT God to trusting IN God through faith.








Sunday, 2 September 2018

The Art of Doing Nothing

The art of doing nothing has been perfected so well by a lot of us here in the Western world of our so-called civilisation

It's just so easy to turn our backs and do nothing when all we have to do is to turn on our television sets to see what is happening to the world as it spirales seemingly out of control.

I personally seem to have perfected the art of doing nothing to the nth degree - so to that end I have decided to stand up and be counted and help us much as I can to supply not only material things to those in need but also to cease taking a back seat and keeping my faith to myself.

Where we live in New South Wales Australia we are undergoing one of the worst droughts ever recorded and I can never remember such a winter that has been as bad. Our farmers and our food bowl which we all rely upon is in desperate need of rain which hasn't fallen in certain areas for well over eight years. This web link will let you know exactly what is happening here https://edis.dpi.nsw.gov.au/

We are all pulling together to help each other with donations of food and water being trucked from other Australian states. Through this time it has been a wake up call to me of just how bad it can be. Yet, we are blessed that we have a government with the resources to assist and rally us all around to support each other during the crisis.

While I was challenged to help our farmers and so many others affected far more than we, I was also reminded of just how bad it is in other parts of the world who have no clean water at all, children and adults dying through starvation and thirst - we are so blessed.

Once more the art of doing nothing came home to me big time - the scenes of war are devastating - children and adults alike being persecuted and killed horribly for their faith on God - we really have no idea.

I was gobsmacked here in Australia for example when I see that Indonesia is hosting the Asian Games costing tens of millions of dollars yet other countries support poverty stricken children and families there through World Vision, Compassion and other aid organisations. YES The art of doing nothing is alive and well.

At our Growth group meeting this morning we talked about the REAL love of God and what it means. In 1 John 4 there is a lot to be said about loving your brothers and sisters in Christ - to make sure they are coping with life and all that it throws up to us often on a daily basis.

John doesn't pull any punches when he writes that those who don't show love to their brothers and sisters, then the love of God isn't in them at all.

To be persecuted and hated by another is really tough - to forgive that person is tougher still but that is what we are commanded to do - we are also commanded to "turn the other cheek" (Matthew 5: 38-40). Does it mean that we have to go out time and time again turning the other cheek and being hated continually by the person or bully doing the hating?

I feel God doesn't mean that - to forgive is great and actually releases you from the stranglehold of the chains of self-pity and even depression but I also feel that going back to try to regain a toxic relationship is not what God meant at all. Of course it all very much depends on the circumstances for each effected individual.

We certainly don't want to engage in physical violence and we definitely don't want to get caught up in the blame game and seek revenge.

With all those things in mind what can we do as Christians to stop ourselves from sitting back and perfecting the art of doing nothing? So easy to do if you have been on the receiving end of unfairness, hurtfulness and even violence.

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is prayer - Prayer for those in real need and also prayer for those who hate, bully and persecute. Some of the VERY bravest, courageous and bold warriors of Jesus are often those who have been hurt both physically and emotionally. They have realised that prayer is the answer for every problem.

So armed with heaps of prayer and knowing that God has forgiven us even considering all of the heartbreaks we have had and all the mistakes we have made what can we take away to help others going through similar experiences?

Love! Love when you are scared to love!

Give - Give when we are scared to give even if giving seems unfair to us - like in the case of Indonesia, lavishly dishing out millions of dollars when their own children are dying in poverty. Does it mean just because we feel it is unfair that we shouldn't assist these children - of course not! That is definitely not what it is about.

Fight - Fight for the weak and helpless - take time and effort with a brother or sister who are struggling , emotionally or financially. Keep an eye out for the sickly and the needy - think of creative ways we can help them while constantly praying eanestly for all.

Speak - Speak out for those who can't speak - those in slavery or those in mental anguish - let's not be satisfied with sitting on the sidelines and perfecting the art of doing nothing.

It takes a soldier to walk the walk of faith - it's so easy to just talk the talk - anyone can do that while at the same time doing nothing. So let's live life for others always aware of their needs making sure we are prepared to stand tall for Jesus and them.







Monday, 13 August 2018

Breaking down walls

Been reading lately about Nehemiah the guy behind the wall - what a mighty man of God - He went way out of his way to do God's will - to re-build the wall around the Holy City after the great desolation of city by the Babylonians and most of the Israelites had been taken captive.

He was indeed a real warrior of God and he was used mightily knowing that this was God's calling on his life to re-build the City of God.

Well this blog is not about re-building walls but knocking a few down!.

When I look back on my past (which is something I often don't do because God has moved me on greatly) I am astounded just how much things have changed and how God has worked in not only my life but those of my wife's also.

I, like Nehemiah had built walls around me. Walls to me were pretty essential,they were what I thought were walls of safety and secrecy. Walls I could hide behind and not show the world. Walls where I could hide my true feelings and what I was deep inside.

I liked my walls because they didn't let the world in - I reckon I could keep all my idiosyncrasies and foibles that the rest of humanity didn't need to know about. I was and still am to a degree a private person and during the time before God called me, my secrecy and hiding the REAL me was oh so important!

When I came to Christ and really surrendered all to Him, I slowly began to realise just how many walls I had built over the years - not only that, but I was overwhelmed by just how thick and reclusive my walls had become.

It seemed that over the years I had re-enforced my walls over and over again and I was staggered to realise that my walls had made me so inward thinking and really very selfish - nothing like what God had called us to be.

I had to start breaking down my walls and even now I am still working at doing just that -even after all these years.

Please take heart, if you are like me and built heaps of walls - you really need to pick up that hammer and get to work. SPOILER ALERT!!!! You won't be even able to contemplate starting without your foreman helping you and advising you how to go about it - YOU CAN'T DO IT ON YOUR OWN!

The great part about it is that after God came into my life, His Spirit opened my eyes to my magnificent and so well built walls - they were so well made but I suddenly realised they really had to come down.

So with God's amazing help I grabbed the hammer and between God (who did most of the work) and myself we started on the first wall. I would like to share just some of the many walls that I had constructed over the years and we, that is God and myself, are still working hard to knock over.

The wall of jealousy

this one was the 1st one the HS directed me to - what an awesome wall it was - we both laid into it with vigour but it seemed as soon as we started to knock it down that it was so old and so well built it started to grow again!!! It had to take us both several years before we finally started to make some headway - even know there are remains of that stubborn wall still remaining.

No sooner had I started to make some progress with this huge wall - God brought to attention just how many walls  there were for us to work on - it seemed that as soon as we started on one wall there seemed to be more and more and more - I felt like giving up but God encouraged me and reassured me that his love for me was true.

The wall of worry

Was the next one. Worrying should not be part of the believers life - on saying that how do we overcome worry?

God clearly teaches us in 1 Peter 5:7 to "cast all anxiety on him because he cares for you". It's not in God's plan for us to cart around our worries and anxiety. He is so prepared to take them from us.

Now if you are anything like me and that wall has been around for so many years - please don't think you can't ask for help with this one - it takes a fair bit of effort! - Try as I might this one was pretty stubborn. There is medication available and if your worries are causing your anxiety, please don't think you are letting God down to go and ask for extra help - I did and I feel so much better.

The wall of self-pity

This one was a doozy! Not sure about you but I reckon we are all born with a wall of self-pity just waiting for us to grow it bigger and bigger - we love to protect our egos and our rights and the "what about me" syndrome. The wall of ME is a toughie!

When we keep on indulging our SELF we start living for SELF and take our minds off God completely. In Philippians 2:3 God says to us "do nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others ahead of yourself

The wall of doubt or non belief

Doubt can be so disabling!  James 1 tells us that when we pray we should pray without doubt using our faith - so doubt can be a destroyer and satan loves to use our doubts to destroy not only our minds but our bodies also.

I was a tiger for doubting - and may I say that doubting can be a normal set of circumstances, at some stage or other we have all doubted, and our enemy knows that and tries to use it against us time and time again.

Of course the remedy for doubting is faith and Romans tells us that faith comes from hearing the Word of God and acting upon it - cool advice!

I have learnt over the years to trust God and DOUBT MY DOUBTS - that has helped me no end - Doubting my doubts instead of doubting God is a sure way of being able to see your way clearly to where God has become a faithful and trustworthy friend even when things take a really bad turn your faith and trust in God will definitely see you through.

The wall of pride

WOW!! this was a toughie for me as well and still is!

Pride can be such a downward slippery slope, if you lose your footing it can be so so hard to regain your balance - Pride in lots of ways is OK - we can be proud of a job well done or in our case of our Grandblessing's achievements - then there is the other sort pride - the pride that God hates!

That's the sort of pride that conceives sin such as conceit or trying to woo the pat on the back - wanting to get the limelight and giving ourselves the credit for something that someone else has achieved or more importantly what God has achieved!

It can be such a stumbling block for a lot of prideful people - narcissism and self-adoration are two main pointers to pride in oneself and totally abhorrent to God.

These are just a few of the walls that God and I are still working on - I can't help but to look over my life and I am awed by how God has worked in my life and what He has done so far - but on saying that we both have a long way to go.

My clear advice is to get right with God (that is essential) pick up that sledge hammer, and get to work - you may be like me and realise just how many walls you have built around your life - Ask God to clearly show you where to start.

It's a very powerful prayer and one you should not undertake lightly! It can have amazing and huge changefull effects on yours and your family's lives.

So God bless you as you drag on your Hi Viz safety overalls, your trusting sledge and even your wrecking ball - Get going but be prepared for a real lot of work - just like the PANTENE add - "it won't happen over night BUT it will happen".





Friday, 3 August 2018

Turning Failures into Victories

I shared a few months ago about the kids book called THE COW TRIPPED OVER THE MOON - based on old nursery rhyme. Here is the link if you are interested.

https://itsbygracealone.blogspot.com/2017/09/andthe-cow-tripped-over-moon.html

Written by Tony Wilson for his son Jack, it tells the story of how the cow tried so many times to jump over the moon and failed miserably every time - but the thing is she kept trying until amazingly she succeeded.

The message I was trying to get over in that particular blog was perseverance - the cow never gave up - this month however I have gleaned yet another message from the same book and that is how we can turn our failures into victories.

The moral behind this funny but poignant children's book is to keep going and keep starting over no matter how many times you seemingly never seem to hit the mark that you wanted to in the first place.

Have you ever had to start over and felt you can't possible do this?

Keeping that in mine I was thinking as I write this blog how few things are more traumatic than saying goodbye to close family and old friends that you have known for years and a place you have called home.

Even the most adventurous among us get's knots in our stomachs at the thought of starting over.

Making new friends, learning a new job, finding a new church and getting familiar with a new area - can cause stress and trigger all sorts of nervous conditions.

The 'UP' side of course is being able to make a fresh start - a clean slate - a brand new beginning that can offer us all sorts of delights - we can even ditch a bad reputation if it comes to that!

Jesus' amazing sacrifice on Calvary that dark but beautiful day made a way for us puny humans to find the miraculous gift of God's on-going forgiveness as long as we have accepted that forgiveness and traded in our old life with all of it's foibles, frailties, revenge-seeking and anger.

Believing and trusting in God teaches all of us that a new start is constantly available and possible with Jesus by our sides.

Unfortunately forgiveness is not perfection and making a new start as a follower of Jesus can be an on-going struggle and there will be many times when we have to come back to the cross asking for forgiveness and repenting and 'starting over' with God.

With God we have a constant supply of "new starts" provided to us with all love, mercy and grace from an all-giving, all-consuming God - provided of course by our own personal encounter with the living and ever-saving Jesus Christ.

One of the satan's greatest weapons against us is tempting us to believe the lie that we are too sinful for God. Everybody makes mistakes, and some mistakes are bigger than others. But no sin is too great that God can't or won't forgive it.

It's truly magnificent that a 'new start' with God can liberate you and me from the powerful hold that guilt and fear and yes! even memories of failure or how you 'used' to be can have over our frail humanity!

The Bible is full of stories about people who were antagonistic, even openly rebellious toward God, but humbled themselves, repented and were forgiven.

Whatever sin you may have committed, true repentance that comes directly from the heart can bring you back into a relationship with God - no matter how bad or serious that sin may be.

Of course we all are governed by the laws and we may have to pay the price humanly speaking for actually breaking the law of the land, but in God's eyes a true repentant sinner, saved by His amazing grace is forgiven if we come to Him in true humility and earnestness.

The promises of God as described in His Word as "new every morning" (Lamentations 3: 22-23) sort of says it all as far as I am concerned.

The very nature of God through His grace and never-ending mercy, gives us all the perfect way to make our failures into victories - awesome and amazing is our God!

So instead of giving up or thinking that the situation is hopeless, turn your life back to God and earnestly seek His forgiveness. Jesus' sacrifice has covered your sin and mine and He is waiting to accept us back with loving arms.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

GOD is contagious

2018 hasn't been the best year for us personally down here in Australia - We  have had a tough year - it seems we have lurched from one crisis to another.

Recently, after recovering from a scam that would have been devastating financially we were then hot with the news that our youngest grandblessing is suffering from a mild form of epilepsy called Absence Seizures.

It means she has to undergo a battery of tests just to make sure that everything is OK and that there is no underlying serious condition that needs addressing. A worrying time for all. 

Then we had the phone call that sort of tested out faith and our well being. 

A friend of mine whom had I thought was pretty close and who had contacted me six months prior and confided that he was suffering from a mental illness, phoned me again and wanted to meet up for a coffee.

It was during this meeting that he told me that my sense of humour and my personality traits were the two main reasons triggering his mental problems and it would be best if I changed to suit his condition or else we would have to terminate our friendship.

As you can imaging I was pretty shocked and disappointed - he also told me that he was terminating the friendship of a member of his family for something that happened 20 years prior and for very similar reasons.

He was pretty stark and REALLY harsh in his condemnation of me and through the conversation (if you could call it that - it was pretty one-sided) I could feel my heart beating faster and my anger rising in my throat as he accused me over and over of the things that happened in our friendship that had triggered his illness. He also attacked my faith in God.

But alas that wasn't all - I was then faced with fall-out from a family incident that has driven doubt and a would-be wedge between my siblings that could see us all floundering around trying to take sides!!

What do we do when our world is suddenly shattered and people try hard to bring you down - How do we react when MEANNESS rules and keeps getting fueled by more and more anger which seemingly knows no end.

Well something inside of me wanted REVENGE with a capital "R." I wanted so much to defend myself and to tell the aggressors just where to get off! I wanted so badly to be mean back to them in  a BIG way.

The thing is Jesus in His amazing wisdom can override our human instincts to attack and keep on attacking! God is SO much bigger than our desire for revenge - He is actually CONTAGIOUS in His love.

In return for His contagious love - he makes our attitudes also contagious!

This is something that I am still coming to terms with even though I am getting older and older - Contagious attitudes can quickly spread to others around you - I could have so easily had two GIGANTIC arguments just in the last two weeks alone - I am certainly praising God that His contagious love stopped me from doing just that.

On saying all that - does this mean that we become 'doormats' for everyone to walk over at their will? Not at all!!

BUT we definitely don't have to take their attitudes onto us. We don't have to use their way of 'fighting' and adopt it as ours. Our GOD is so much bigger than man's attitudes.

Without God our attitudes can be so contagious. Meanness breeds meanness - hostility breeds hostility - revenge breeds revenge. Oh what a sorry world we live in! BUT.....

With God our very attitude can be ruled by Him. God's graciousness and Mercy can overrule our desire for revenge and retribution.

Let's be grace-filled by the very mercy of God - and if really nasty and vindictive people don't want to and are so very negative and mean towards you to accept that then there MUST come a point in time when you HAVE to walk away.

There are so many positive people who love Jesus like you do and there are also so many needful projects in this flawed world that really do require our love, kindness and compassion that we should be focusing our efforts there to the very glory of God.

So not only are bad faults contagious and if we spend long enough with mean and distrustful people there is a real possibility we will catch their negativeness BUT on saying that the opposite is more than true!

God Himself is contagious!

If we let His grace, mercy, truth and love into our lives then can be spread about to all we meet - it's in our faces and in our lives just who we belong to.

So let's choose God - HE'S CONTAGIOUS!


Attitude Makes the Difference

Getting into shape is easy!! YEAH RIGHT!!! - What planet was that bloke on when he said that?  How are you going at getting into shape?...