Category Archives: Me & Jesus

Faith: Seasonal Direction, Seasonal Decisions


I came across this in folder that I store random scribblings in; it seems worth sharing.

“As I review the years of my life, I see many seasons.
In each season, I felt ignorant and unaware of the purpose of that specific season. I would wonder, “How could God get any glory out of this situation?” Looking back, I see His Divine intervention.
He taught me so much.
Your Heavenly Father knows what He is doing with your life. “But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold,” (Job 23:10).
It takes a great deal of Strength to be a person of who walks by Faith. Much energy is expended in the advancing of the purposes of God. Some believers, after expending much strength in previous moves, would rather rest and enjoy the benefits of what they have already achieved. They have a hard time pressing into new battles in order to conquer new territory.
I believe anyone who does anything significant must first overcome the fear of criticism. We simply cannot follow God and keep all the people happy all the time.
To do great things, we must accept that a certain percentage of people won’t agree with us— and we can’t let that stop us.
So fully embrace and have expectation of the present season God has scheduled in your life. Extract every possible benefit.
“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,” (Heb. 12:12). You are being perfected for your Assignment. “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me,” (Psm. 138:8).”

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Me & Jesus, Thinking aloud

Who said it would be easy?


People so often seem to look at me as a strong person, a man of faith, of little doubt or a leader to be trusted.

It seems that I am a man of a certain charisma, possessing a persona that seems to offer confidence to others around me.

Right now though, I find myself plagued with doubt and I need to speak belief.

I need to speak belief over my life and over my mind.

I am only subject to an attack, just like any other believer.

An attack of the mind that tells me I am not good enough, that God doesn’t love me, that He is not a promise-keeper. All of these, I know are lies, but somehow the truth that I know in my knower seems to be trapped and not exuding through my heart, mind, soul and body.

Now this may be due to me having a bad night’s sleep followed by an injection of toxic stuff to control rheumatoid arthritis this morning, both combining to mess me up somewhat today. Maybe that is why I feel “out of step” with the Spirit.

I seem to remember hearing Jeff Lucas speak about times when he suffers the impact of a bad cold or jet lag and has just about learned to accept that there are days-many days- when one can just feel out of step and have to accept it as a physical thing, not a demonic attack and hold onto the truth which is unchanging.

It is NOT about feelings!!!

I do take a rather extreme cocktail of toxic and/or exotic prescription drugs to control or at least slow the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.

I have things stuck on my mind that I try to rest with Jesus but cannot quite let go of…hence the bad night.

Someone who is very dear to me (let’s call them A) is still very unhappy with a person we are close(ish) to (let’s ball them B) and who seems to demonstrate worryingly untrustworthy traits whilst acting in a senior position of trust. I have set myself in a place of deciding to set such things to one side as I am far from perfect and God is our judge. I know that He brings all things into the light that are committed in darkness and so, you may say naively, I have decided by will to set such things to one side and look for the good, for the common ground and to stand alongside B to love and encourage them.

Is this a selfish decision?

Is it foolish?

I have decided that if they are just manipulating me for their own agenda, then it is they that will be standing before God to account for this, just as I will be for my own actions. I also know that some of us will be judged more severely than others.

I had said to A that this person is changing and that we must love him and support him, but she is hurt and hurting and I am not sure where to go from here apart from pray.

Over the last two years, we have seen a lot of people hurt and still in the healing process as a result of mistakes and manipulation. We found ourselves in the unsought position of being sought out by the hurt and wounded and just want a break from it. We know someone else (lets call them C) who seems almost crushed by the burden of the wounded and do not want to get to the same place.

I think that A struggles to lay all this down and trust (as is my choice).

We can only be responsible for our own emotional response, can’t we?

Surely we must forgive and release or we wound ourselves, we don’t have to forget necessarily but we must forgive.

I have been given so many chances by my Father through the blood of Christ, how can I not make a decision to forgive?

Surely, if that means I get trampled on or beaten up by walking this path, then so be it…that’s my daily cross isn’t it?

The thing is, that this is my choice and I cannot impose my decision on A.

Also, maybe it is me that is the fool and that A is right…

I just hate the pain they are in, the anger which A manifests is driven by seeing recent and current examples of continued lies and acts of mistrust by B…

I think old habits can die hard.

What to do, what to do?

I think that I hear the scripture ringing around in my head from Matthew 18:15, which is a no brainer given the authority that person B has and how as a rule things never seem to go well (at least in the short term) for anyone who goes this route. In fact, having already done this once before we are in an interesting place even now…

What to do, what to do?

My bible tells me though, that I am right, my Matthew 18: 15 consideration is a blessed thought as any desire or drive to bring peace is surely blessed according to Jesus when He spoke that day long ago on a mount (Matthew 5:9).

It has been a hard day facing down a strange attack of the mind, working through old emotion that had been dealt with (or so I thought).

I am grateful for David’s honest Psalms that I can sing or speak out His own poetic prayers and personalise these charismatic confessions. I find myself asking my soul why it is downcast within me and begin to remember His great kindness.

And above all, we have the voice of Jesus calling us, “Come unto me all you who labour and heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11: 28).
Trusting Him and loving others.
Who said it would be easy?

2 Comments

Filed under Kingdom Come, Me & Jesus, Thinking aloud

Treasures in the Storm


Jesus never said that we would be shielded from storms. If anyone who says they follow Jesus says otherwise, I recommend that you lovingly buy them a bible and then sit down and read it with them.

Storms will come.

It’s where you have built your lighthouse, a metaphor for your living faith.

Build it on the Rock- a metaphor for God -as although you may get battered, you won’t get washed away.

Don’t build it on the sand as the foundations will shift and move and slide from beneath you.

Shalom.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.

You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. James 1:2-8 …I would rather be the lighthouse planted into The Rock than the wave smashed on The Rock. I may shudder as the waves crash in but, “God is strong, and he wants me strong. So I will take everything the Master has set out for me, well-made weapons of the best materials. And I will put them to use so I will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws my way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that I’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. ” Eph 6:10-12 I am not there yet, I may never be this side of heaven (and no- I am not speaking failure over myself…), but I will seek to be as Jesus, by the Spirit in me, so that I too will sleep through the storm knowing that when I awake (or am awakened), I will get to my feet (for I have the power of Christ in me), tell the wind, “Silence!” and the waves, “Quiet down!” and they will do it. Then, when I see Jesus face to face He will say, “You trusted me.” (Luke 8:22-26)

Leave a comment

Filed under Kingdom Come, Me & Jesus

Simply put, He loves you.


(4) Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

I continue to feel impressed to send you this note regarding Isaiah 54 as I believe that God is moving and although He doesn’t need us to fulfil His great plan, after all He is the mighty God of all Creation, the First and the Last, He wants us to be a part of it.
Why you?
That’s simple, He delights in you and He knows that in your weakness you are strong.
He is giving you and opportunity to be part of His big rescue plan because He believes in you.
Simply put, He loves you.
So that’s why I believe that I am writing this.
So that’s why I believe that you are reading this.
Our Father wants to work with you as well as on you…
It may very well be that you are reading this with a heart full of self-doubt, burdened by your mistakes and a history of being told you will never amount to much. That there is someone more equipped, better trained, less sinful than you to answer this call?
Well no, He is calling you, just as He has called so many under-qualified sinners in the past.
Remember Gideon? What about Moses?
They were both fearful men with low personal esteem issues.
One of them because he was raised being told that he was the least of the least. The other was a speech impaired hot-tempered murderer who couldn’t trust himself although God sent him off for a 40 stint looking after sheep to cut off some of that impulsiveness.
For that matter though, I am not sure Moses was particularly trustful of the people that God called him to save as they had all ready threatened to grass on him when he had only intervened out of misguided compassion to help.
I believe that God is saying to you “Fear not, for your not going to be ashamed or confounded, don’t live trapped in fear an doubt as He calls you to this adventurous rescue plan because if you follow Him you will not be disgraced.
I kind of think “So what anyway if a few people think I am a fool? I have an eternity of being with He who says otherwise…”
I believe that He is saying it is time to stop living in the sorrowful mistakes of the past, lay it all at the foot of the Cross and trust Him!
Forget that shame; forget all the harsh judgemental words spoken against you.
He sees you washed clean, new and ready to be who He made you to be.
Be ready.
Are you ready for this?
All you have to do is show a little faith and trust Him.
You know it makes sense!

Leave a comment

Filed under Kingdom Come, Me & Jesus, Thinking aloud

I rejoice in You


Compare the promise of the world

Know the truth of the lie

The succulent morsel that promises so much

That sucks you in to it’s vacuous lurid disillusionment

Leaving you stunned with incredulity

Gasping and struggling for breath as the realisation of folly

Descends upon you like a blanket that at first

Feels warm but

Cools and

Chills and

Begins to suffocate

As disbelief at your stupidity

Sets in

Freezes in

Frozen

Unable to believe

The gullible stupidity

Driven by immediate need seemingly unmet

Urgent need cried out for yet unmet.

Desolation.

Anger.

Who’s to blame?

Not me, I prayed

Cried out

Sought His face

Yet needs unmet

MY needs

Unmet

Betrayed

Forsaken

“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”

But Truth presses in

His Truth

The One I tried from whom I tried to run

My Lover

My Lord

The One who sought me through the wilderness

Walked alongside me

Through the Darkness

For darkness is as light to you

Whilst I was charmed,

Then beguiled,

Then stunned,

Then numb

You walked along side

Waiting to catch me again

As I fell

Into Your arms

Into Your Love

Like no other

Your Truth is True

Real and

Deep and

Endless.

As I realised my imprisonment in the trap of beguiling sin

I came before you

Shameful and foolish

Yet You ran to me as You saw me approach in my shame

By Your Grace

By the strength of your arm

You preserved me

Although by my sin I was condemned to die.

My salvation is my strength

You O Lord are my redeemer

I rejoice in You

You alone.

Leave a comment

Filed under Me & Jesus, Poetry

Black Dogs and Blessings


I sometimes find myself struggling with depression, thankfully it has been in increasingly rare occurrence in my life but when it comes to rest on me and try to tightly wrap me in it’s cold, wet blanket of despond it can always be a bit of a surprise as I always hope that I have beaten it once and for all.

Right now I find myself facing down the “black dog” once more…

If you don;t know what I mean, for reference, a certain Mr W. Churchill was sometimes attacked by the same animal.

I suspect that I must firstly regulate my sleeping pattern, getting to bed earlier and getting more good rest as I know that fatigue can be a trigger. I can get fatigued quite easily as a result of a chronic illness (Rheumatoid Arthritis) that still wears away at my physical frame but I am rarely prepared to give in to such things and consider myself blessed to have got to about 30 years with the condition and still be relatively mobile.

I actually went onto remission once but then it came back “BAM” and I ended up hospitalised for a week. That was a week I (rather oddly) remember quite fondly as the combination of steroids pumping through my body and a stream of visitors come to pray for me and rest massively increased my sense of well-being and worth.

I am a gifted encourager and generally a person who sees and comes alongside people in trouble so that they can be helped back onto their feet or at least to the door of appropriate help if necessary.

But who encourages the encourager when a black-dog is gnawing at his ankle? As a rule I find that it is rare to be “come alongside” with an offer of help…which is probably my fault as I talk the talk with a happy tied on smile as I try to quietly face into the background where I then seem to disappear for a while.

This annoys my wife as when I have seen off the black-dog I am as I was before the attack, fully encouraging, praying and loving people, often the people who seem content for me to disappear like the “Alisonian” Cheshire Cat without a care unless they have a problem requiring ministry support. But it is not about keeping score or seeking plaudits in this world, it is just about loving as Jesus does without strings, meeting people at their point of need and I think the thing that annoys me the most when the black-dog comes a barking is that it tries to stop me being the man God who I believe God called me to be. I can even find myself holding a resentful thought or two about folk while I swan around in my pity party, which only tries to make me feel worse as I think about beating myself up for such thoughts.

Stupid, stupid, stupid…

The point of writing this though, is not to elicit pity or helpful suggestions for diets or deliverance or other helpful and kind suggestions to get me healed.

I am writing to express my thankfulness and wonder at the kindness of God, who really has never ceased to surprise me by His loving grace.

At the office where I work as my main location (I travel between offices from time to time), I have supported a small Christian fellowship group which means that there are times when I am giving spiritual support to one person or another and that is a blessing to me most of the time.

One of the group is a lovely person but is, for whatever reason, emotionally stunted. I don’t mean that they lack emotion but that they are more like a self-absorbed teenager trapped in the body of a sixty-year old. I have been blessed and called to walk alongside them during an intensely difficult phase of their life, seeing them decide against self-harm and suicide, seeing this person return to Jesus and fall love with the church again.

This person can (and does) alternate from being a huge blessing to a huge pain for as much as I try, a nominal form of co-dependence on me seems to have formed (not full blown thankfully as I took steps to head this off at the pass) which result in me sometimes crying out (on the inside) for a lunch-break without having to listen to the current basket of troubles/gadgets/wacky ideas that have been stored up to make my “Grande Americano without milk but with an extra shot” sometimes taste stale.

Yesterday, I was not on top of my game, I was fed-up and tired and down but agreed to go for a coffee at lunchtime (I seem to have trouble with the word “no”) and sure enough he had “things” that he wanted to go through with me for advice – sigh

As we walked into the coffee shop we saw women with whom we had shared a table a few weeks before Christmas. I found out that she had been training as Reiki healer but had to give it up due to health issues and this fully opened a door to talk spiritual things, which led us to Jesus. We shared the gospel, ended up pointing her to a good church in the town where she lived and I left my friend with her as I had to get back to the office.

Anyway, she smiled widely at us and said that she wanted to talk to us about some things, so we all sat down and she shared more about her life. We ended up praying for her for various issues and I pray that the three of us shall meet again when I will hear about her decision for Jesus.

So even though I was struggling to lift my nose of a full blown grumpy old man crash-dive, my Father still used me for his purpose even as I was coming to believe that I was unusable.

Today, I knew my troubled colleague would want another go at lunch to talk about him but I had an appointment with a couple who had heard me speak at a Christian business event in November just gone and it had taken that long to get a date we could agree upon.

As I was preparing to leave for my lunch another member of our fellowship group dropped by for some advice and prayer about an important decision. No problem, it was a blessing and I am still surprised at how the Holy Spirit turned up to bless as we prayed, given that inside I was still struggling with the joy-stick to get out of this emotional nose-dive that seems to threaten. This person has also been such a blessing to me as I have seen him move from nominal in his walk with Jesus to testing the call of God on this life to become a minister.

God is so good.

Anyway, we headed our separate directions (I admit to being anxious to not bump into my troubled friend) and I headed out.

I found myself in the suburbs of Birmingham, having lunch with the most Spirit filled octogenarian husband & wife who have celebrated their 60th year of marriage, both shining for Jesus after both encountering the Holy Spirit many years ago whilst they were Christadelphians, which resulted in them being kicked out and leading to many wonderful adventures which I am yet to learn at future lunches.

I really don’t know where this is going or really why I even went. But they felt a connection to me in God and wanted to explore it – that was good enough for me and I think that they are right. It seems that our Father still weaves His tapestry of life and every so often two or three strands of the golden cord intersects golden chord that He uses intersects and it shines with added brilliance.

Today was such a moment and I look forward to more.

As we prayed just before I headed back to the office, they prayed out something for me that I really needed to hear that broke tore back the tightness of the cold, wet, blanket, warming my grateful heart and bringing tears to my eyes.

So is there a point to all this?

All these words strung together?

You and me trying to make sense out of the thing I am trying to say?

Amongst the rambling, wondering if I am ever going to get to the point?

Well yes, I think so.

I think I have a point to make.

I find myself thinking that I had missed a point and been wrong in this idea that I disappeared and no-one cared enough to encourage the encourager or come alongside the “alongsider” [new word I just created, good, eh?].

God cares though.

Even though it is obvious and I should always know and live in this truth…

I sort of mislaid it…

Forgot about it…

Somehow I must have awoken a couple of days ago and decided to believe the liar of the ages who only wants to tear and destroy.

What a dope, huh?

Even as I tried to seek Him in His word and prayer those mornings, sensing the warmth of His closeness, it’s as if the black-dog barked and I forgot the truth of who I am and who He is.

He is God.

He is not a man that He should lie.

He cares enough to put people in front of me who are stood at the door of heaven because He cares to use me. Who am I to think that I am useless if the creator of all things proves I am not?

He cares enough to tell me through the mouth of folk who do not know me things that I need to hear.

God is my encourager and so what or who more do I need?

I can be such a dope sometimes…

But do you know what?

He loves me anyway and won’t let me fall.

Shalom.

Leave a comment

Filed under Kingdom Come, Me & Jesus, Thinking aloud

Shade


O Lord, do I know You?

Not as You know me, that’s for sure.

 

Have I sought you as much as I might?

Not as much as You searched for me, that’s for sure.

 

O Jesus, I have met with You

Seen my sin die with You

Only for me to breathe in it’s stench of death again.

 

But you walk with me still

On this journey

Of light and shade

But never darkness

Never again

For you are with me

You told me so

Never to leave me

Never letting me go.

 

So here I am,

wrapped in White,

drenched in red,

beside You walking

even in the shade.

 

Walking with You

As You journey with me

where I sometimes lose sight of You,

but You are with me still.

 

You keep your promises…

 

…Father…

…I am glad You are not a man.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Me & Jesus, Poetry, Thinking aloud