Saturday, June 28, 2008

Broken Heart

Hi Everyone

This past Monday (23 June) our men’s fellowship, Maximen, from the church met at the home of one of the guys in the group.

We where scheduled to watch the last Louie Giglio DVD in the series which was the teaching on hope and how Jesus is our anchor of hope in times of gut wrenching despair and loss. In my email reminder to the group I apologized for getting behind in the program and that we should have already been finished with this series of DVDs. One of the reasons was that the previous week the DVD player at our other venue broke down and we could not show the ‘scheduled’ DVD. One of the young guys (Arnie) in the group emailed me right back and said, “By now God is saying what program?” I chewed on that comment right up till we gathered for the meeting; it just kinda stayed in my mind rambling around there.

Anyways Monday comes and Johan joins the group for the first time in about three months. I was so pleased to see him. We were chatting and he wanted to tell me something about tithing and give me his current testimony regarding this. I heard him incorrectly and thought he said timing like in God’s timing. Well I eventually sorted out my hearing/listening deficiency and we had a good chat before we started the evening.

Then we all sat down and we started the DVD. I’d watched the DVD about two months before but had forgotten (some would say not surprising) the details of the message. As we were watching the penny suddenly dropped (GERCHUNK!!). Louie was talking about a young girl of 22 who five months after becoming a Christian died in a motor accident. Johan had just lost his dearly beloved niece of 21 in a motor accident in January. I felt like running to the DVD player and switching it off (couldn’t find the remote) but the Holy Spirit just calmed me and told me this is it, God’s program. I was sitting behind Johan and I put my hand on his shoulder, he grabbed it with his hand and held onto my hand almost to the end of the DVD. He was crying. I felt like I could feel his pain.

When the DVD finished I pondered briefly on how to continue. I was going to show the group a live recording of the song My Hope Is You by Third Day (based on Psalm 25). I thought it might be a bit on the loud side for what had just transpired. The Holy Spirit gave me peace and I played it. When it was finished I spoke to the group and I told Johan that if we had been running as planned (my plan!) we would not have shown this DVD tonight. I also told him about the email comment I’d received from Arnie.

Johan then just broke……. His whole body shook in pain, grief and loss as he just cried and cried. He knew this evening was for him. We gathered around him and just put a hand on his shoulder, a hand on his arm and just prayed for him and for God to heal him and for strength. This maybe went on for around 10 minutes and Johan also prayed and cried out to God, sometimes in tongues.

Eventually at the right time it was finished. Then Johan just quietly told us about his niece and the beautiful relationship that he had with her. Her dad had died and Johan was like a father to her, even their birthdays were just a few days apart.

The evening then drew to a close and Johan ended up giving me a lift home and we just chatted to each other and Johan encouraged me greatly with loving words.

Phew! What a program, what a teaching, what a lesson from God.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them and be their God. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3 & 4)

My Hope is You - Third Day

To You, O Lord, I lift my soul
In You, O God, I place my trust
Do not let me be put to shame
Nor let my enemies triumph over me

My hope is You
Show me Your ways
Guide me in truth
In all my days
My hope is You

I am, O Lord, filled with Your love
You are, O God, my salvation
Guard my life and rescue me
My broken spirit shouts
My mended heart cries out

My hope is You.......
(Third Day 1997 taken from Psalm 25)


NB. I’ve used this song before on another posting. Thought about putting up another song here, just for the sake of variety, but this is the one that I was played on the evening. Sometimes I play songs because the Holy Spirit previously has blessed me by giving me a song and then I go out and share and/or use it in a teaching/writing.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A quote for the day (1)

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.

Aldous Huxley

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Inside Out

Hey There

Have you stood in front of a mirror lately? Did you like what you saw? Probably not! Too many wrinkles, creases, ouch look at my stomach, and all those pieces that just kinda stick out in all the wrong places. HELP I’m a complete mess! What to do? Apply make up, exercise program, plastic surgery, improve posture, accessorise……. go shopping….go drinking. (By the way this is a unisex thing just pick out the pieces that apply to you.)

Sadly we live in a world where we idolize the body beautiful. Sooo much hangs on just the way we look and we feel that pressure on a daily basis. This makes many of us feel so insecure. Many people get rewarded in this life just by the way they look. And to think that they had little or nothing to do with it, it is just God’s gift to them.

We would rather deal with how people look on the outside then really get to know them and what makes them tick. We tend to avoid people who are ‘odd’ looking and don’t meet our criteria as far as looks go.

But here we have God who loves us from the inside out and not from the outside in. Sadly again many of us so absolutely don’t believe that. But it’s true, absolutely and irrevocably true.

When God was looking for a new King of Israel he said this to His prophet Samuel.
“Do not consider his appearance or his height……The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”(1 Samuel 16:7)

From Psalm 139 again it tells us that God knitted us together in our mother’s womb and created our inmost being. We were made in a secret place and we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Now that sounds a whole lot more creative, beautiful and artistic then you kinda just got here by a series of accidents.Yippee for evolution the ultimate theory of discouragement in this life!!

Then there is love. Nope evolution has no answer to that one, how we want to be loved and how we want to love others. The ultimate definition of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

And you know what? This is the way that God loves you and He is just waiting for you when you dunno who you are. When you are cut up inside aching and bleeding and not even worrying what you look like on the outside ‘cause the pain is just too much. When you doubt that He exists at all, when you feel you have been led astray. All you have to do is take hold of Jesus’ hand and He will meet you in your deepest darkest place and shine His love (as in 1 Corinthians 13) into your heart. Mebbe this will be your first time, mebbe you already know you can do this but think you can’t …… can. The psalmist says in the Old Testament “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love……as far as the east is from the west, that’s how far He has removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:8-13)

So how is your heart today? How are you deep down inside of you? Just open up your heart to Jesus because He made your heart in the first place and He knows how to heal it ‘cause His love is from the inside out.

From The Inside Out - Hillsong United

A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Chorus 2x
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Have A Little Faith In Me


So this Saturday morning just got back from a men’s group at Salem Full Gospel church which is held fortnightly from 7am to roughly 8.30am.

We just chatted about faith. The guys just shared the battles in their lives and how their faith is being tested and also things that they have been through in the past.

One man’s current battle with cancer, another praying and waiting on God for seven years for his wife to fall pregnant. Another who just this past week was threatened of being charged with fraud relating to his job and this was in relation to a mistake a colleague had made. A man who was a missionary at the time in Europe shared how his life fell apart when funds for the mission were mismanaged and his wife miscarried. And there were others in that group who I know have tough battles in their lives. Sometimes in the group it comes out in different ways, anger, fear, tears. This is the real gritty ‘stuff’ no one liners here or high fives or perfunctory slaps on the back. We listen, we share our experiences, we draw alongside each other, we encourage each other with the hope we have in Jesus Christ, we ask for strength and wisdom from His Holy Spirit and we look to the truth in the word of God.

So there are no easy answers. God doesn’t give them. Instead He asks questions of us and we need to work out answers to His questions.

Jesus said in this life we will have trouble BUT(A BIG BUT) take heart I (Jesus) have overcome the world (John 16.33). So Jesus is saying through Him we have a hope not just for what is happening in our lives now but way and far beyond that. The promises in the word of God are breathtaking,basically a summation of all our desires, wants, needs and longings.

I share some scriptures that were read in the meeting.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5)

Job says, ‘I am innocent, but God denies me justice. Although I am right, I am considered a liar, although I am guiltless, his arrow inflicts an incurable wound. What man is like Job, who drinks scorn like water? (Book of Job 34: 5-7, Job asks God why bad things are happening to him)

This is part of God’s answer.

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone — while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

Of course God’s full answer is in the person Jesus Christ.

Then I just want to add this one;

Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

(Daniel 3: 15-18, when the three young Hebrews were threatened with death by the king of Babylon)

So my friends just have a little faith in Him. I know easier said/written/sung then done………

Here is a song that has just kinda been hanging around in my head lately. I know it is a person to person song but sometimes I can imagine Jesus singing/talking to me something like the words in this song, but only deeper more profoundly. A few artists have done this but this version is by Jewel. I could not get a full length version by John Hiatt. Anyways just click on the play button and enjoy the song.

Have A Little Faith In Me - Jewel

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark, baby
Have a little faith in me

When the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try, baby
Have a little faith in me

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

When your secret heart
Cannot speak so easily
Come here darlin
From a whisper start
To have a little faith in me

When your backs against the wall
Just turn around, you will see
I will catch ya, I will catch your fall
Just have a little faith in me

Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me
Have a little faith in me

Well, Ive been loving you for such a long, long time baby
Expecting nothing in return
Just for you to have a little faith in me
You see time, time is our friend for you and me
Cause for us there is no end
All you gotta do is have a little faith in me
I said I will hold you up, I will hold you up
Your strength gives me enough
So have a little faith in me
Hey baby, oh, baby
All ya gotta do is have a little faith in me
All ya gotta do is have a little faith in me
A little faith in me



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