Ripples in Time

instaquote-31-10-2015-21-40-24Albert Einstein, in 1916, discovered a theory that talked about the ripples in the very fabric of time and space.
We have the access to make ripples in time and space too, however many of us will never see the impact that we make because we are insular and too afraid to step outside of our boxes.

Is the reason more people aren’t changing the world because they think it’s too hard?
Or maybe it’s just not happening fast enough for us?

We live in a world of ‘instant.’ We live in a world of ‘just add water’.
Either way you  want to  look at it you have been able to get what you wanted in a fraction of the time you  could have. Would you have made soup or coffee from scratch instead of ‘just adding water’?
There’s a Joke by Steven Wright that goes “I put instant coffee in the microwave and I went back in time.”
We have things at our finger tips in an instant, and it starts to flow in to all areas of our lives

May of us want to change the world and want to make a huge positive impact on the communities and nations around us. However how many of us actually do it?
Why is that?

I believe it’s because we see a HUGE problem in front of us, and think that it’s just too big. We don’t have the huge platforms to talk from to the masses like big ‘A list’ celebrities who are able to speak out on things that they think are important. People hang on their every word. However I  believe that what we say and do has a far greater ripple affect than we even hope, dream or imagine.

Did you think that Rosa Park was thinking about the breakdown of segregation that would result as people rallied around her not getting up on the bus in 1955?
In her own words:

People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

Do you think John Otis was only considering the revolution that was about to be stirred as Americans sought independence as he stood up and spoke against ‘taxation without representation’, or do you think that the former Advocate General for the Royal Colony was thinking, “Oh well, there goes my career?”

The colonists are by the law of nature free born, as indeed all men are, white or black.
James Otis, Rights of the British Colonies, 1764

In both situations they were acting on their convictions. Rosa Park and James Otis were just plainly standing up for something they believed in. They had to step up and be brave in THEIR context. It may have been a small step but it caused a huge ripple! I’m sure they had no idea the intense movements they were adding to, or even sparking.

No matter how small, you can make a difference. Be brave, step outside your comfort zone and stand strong in what you believe. Take that step.

Love each other, listen to each other, give to each other, celebrate each other.
Be honest, be kind. The more you look into it the more you discover it’s less about me and more about how I respond to the people and the needs around me. As pastor Andy Stanley would say “What does love require of you right now??”

None of these things are revolutionary, are they? They are just small things that could potentially make a huge impact in someones life. Everything is becoming so insular, and self promoting and ‘me’ focused that the way we make the most ripples is to push against this flow.
Simple but not easy.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

You can’t change the world if you’re just like it.

Start the ripple effect today.

 

 

 

 

 

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Faith isn’t passive …

Now That's What I Call Faith

Now That’s What I Call Faith

It’s been starting to frustrate me how people talk about faith as something that ‘just happens’ but the more I read the Bible the more I discover that God often requires us to step out first… and at THAT point God comes and takes over.
Faith is a VERB… a DOING word.

I’ve heard it said “If God wants it to happen it will” and while that is true, it seems that we still have to do something to prepare.
It seems to me that God has placed dreams in our hearts for a reason… and it may be days, weeks, months, years before we see the fruit of that dream… but it must be in our heart for a reason.
Right?
So what are you doing to prepare?

I read through the Bible and I see miracle after miracle where the person had to ‘step out’ first before the miracle happen…
A few examples are:

  • The Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land and God commanded the priest to step into the river (Joshua 3:8) – it wasn’t until they had stepped into the river did the river part.
  • Jesus asked the staff to fill the jugs with water and take them to the head manager of the house before the water turned into wine… not only did the staff know they were taking water to the head of the house but they knew it was from the place where the people got water used to clean their feet.
  • Mark 16:20 says people went forth and preached everywhere… with signs following
  • God told Joshua that he had given the City of Jericho to Joshua… however they still had to walk around the walls 7 times in faith before they saw the miracle happen.

It seems that the Bible is FULL of stories where God asks us to step out in faith first, and then the miracles happen.

We shouldn’t just pray about our dreams… we should act on it.
Act as if God is going to deliver on his promise.

Now let me give FULL disclosure!

  • We don’t want to put God in a box and say “This is the only way that God works miracles” because our God is certainly bigger than anything we could ever believe or imagine.
  • This is NOT some “name it and claim it” scheme. You see it HAS to be in the will of God.
  • It’s not about getting God to give us what WE want.
  • It’s not about working hard to prove anything to God, in exchange for a miracle

So don’t just pray… because if our prayer isn’t accompanied by acting then there is a good chance we won’t go anywhere. It’s about putting feet to our faith or put another way:

“After kneeling down, we need to stand up and step out in faith” – Mark Batterson

I like that…
I once heard Pastor Francis Chan use the analogy of cleaning your room. He says:

“When  my daughter comes to me and I say to her “Go clean your room” she knows better than to come back and say
“Hey Dad I went away and memorized everything you said… you said to me ‘Go clean your room’ ” …
She’s also not going to come back and say “I remembered what you said and I can tell you now that I can say ‘Go clean your room… in GREEK’
Or “We’re going to get our friends together every week and we’re going to study what it might look like if I was to clean my room.”

It doesn’t work does it?We have to at some point we have to step out…
Do you believe that God has planted that dream in your heart… do you know in your knower, that this dream is from God?
Then after you pray… Stand up… and step out in faith.

 

One Day …

One Day (created by Chris Geldard)

One Day (created by Chris Geldard)

One Day …
T
wo simple words but they seem to be so packed with meaning.

You may have heard them used in every day conversation:
Used to describe a sense of laziness “I’ll get round to it one day…” or “He’ll get round to it one day!”
Used to describe excitement for the future “One day we’ll be married…” or “One day we’ll have kids of our own”
Or of hope “One day I’ll get to Paris”

You see they’re just two words, but they’re packed full of so much meaning.

However when you say something like “One Day …” to a Christian and it seems to change EVERYTHING for them.
I posted a picture I made simply saying “One Day …” on it and posted it to my Facebook page.
Almost immediately someone replied underneath it “We will all be in heaven, praise The Lord!”
You see it seems to me it’s more than just a pipe dream “Oh well, one day…” it’s knowing that what God has placed on your heart he has placed it there for a reason. We need to hold on to those dreams that God has placed on our hearts… and pray over them… keep them in our thoughts… why?
Because by doing that it keeps us on our knees… it keeps us depending on God… because we know that without God we can’t make them happen.
Remember Joseph? You know the guy with the  coat of many colours?
God gave him dreams that seems far fetched… dreams of his brothers bowing down in reverence to him.
I understand why his brothers were a bit jealous of him (especially as his father Jacob already made it clear that he was the favourite!)

The point is… God placed the dream in Josephs heart, there wasn’t anything that Joseph could do about it but have faith that God has given him that dream for that reason.
What you have to remember also is it wasn’t easy for Joseph… he was sold by his own brothers, he was made a slave, he was thrown in prison and waiting to die, before God started to unravel his plans. In the story of Joseph it talks about him having God’s favor upon him it’s even retold in Acts 7.
It sometimes seems that we’re going through a whole lot of pain and anguish for nothing… but Gods favor is upon us when he has placed a dream in our hearts that only he can fulfill.

That brings us back to “One Day …” it brings us back to having faith in God who has a plan far greater and grander than we could ever think of, and because of that it means that we have to stay humble and focused on God because we can’t do anything to make it come to pass apart from being obedient to him (the Author of Life).

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see – Hebrews 11:1

One Day …

One Day …

One Day …

 

How much do you love your kids?

Kids playing in a lake at a church camp

Kids playing in a lake

According to research from the Barna group in the U.S.

60-90% of Church going School kids will not carry their faith with them into young adulthood – they just let it go.
When asked “why?”, by far the largest reason was “hypocrisy”.

You see what they heard at church and what they saw at home wasn’t the same thing.
There was never the God conversations, between their parents… they never saw how the parents faith impacted their lives.

We talk about how important it is for our kids to grow up in a Christian environment yet we’re treating church like a drop of zone for them to get their weekly ‘Jesus dose’ – but we wouldn’t not feed our kids Monday to Saturday and only feed them on Sunday would we?

So why do we do that to ourselves and our relationship with Christ?

Just as importantly why would we do it to our kids and jeopardize them having a lasting relationship with God?

Why would you, a parent do that to your child?

Why wouldn’t you give them the opportunity to discover the amazing adventure Christ has in store for them?

Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it
Proverbs 22:6

Our kids need and long to hear from us as parents…
OUR testimonies… this is what God has done for me

 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15

Are you ready to talk to your kids about your Christian hope?

OUR experiences…  This is the adventure God took me on

OUR personal encounters with the living God
… God changed me, I once was this and now I’m this.

The bottom line is this… if we want our kids to have the faith that influences the way they live their lives then in our homes we need to be modelling faith through a personal relationship with Christ…

I’m not talking about just putting on some Christian music in your house every now and then

I’m not talking about saying grace before you eat your dinner

I’m not talking about saying prayers before bed.

What I’m talking about is this: how does your faith… and your relationship with Christ impact your life and those around you?

You see it has to do with not just teaching faith… but journeying with your children.

FAITH starts at home… is faith at your home?

back handed compliment??

Walk on the water

Image via Wikipedia

One thing that I have always thought about when Peter walked on Water… is when he started sinking Jesus said to him “You don’t have much faith”…

Now there are people who say that it was Jesus telling Peter off, although I wonder if there was a part of Jesus saying “you have little faith and you walked on water, you did the impossible, imagine what you could have done with more faith!!!”

Jesus himself said “With faith even as small as a mustard seed you can tell the mountain to get up and move from here to there and it will”…

When Peters eyes were fixed on Jesus he was able to walk on water… he was able to do the impossible. It didn’t take that much faith… sure it wasn’t easy either… I mean have you ever tried to walk on water?

Do you get that sinking feeling?

I’m think Peter is pretty cool… the guy walked on water with no surf board.

If faith as small as a mustard seed can help move mountains… how much faith did walking on water take?

And how much faith would it take for us as Christians to do amazing things in our world with the power of Jesus Christ “that is already within us”

Are you spreading skepticism?

Recently it dawned on me to the fact we don’t trust God, and more to the point by our actions we encourage people tyo do the same while acting the complete opposite.

We have started to look at every situation that God is moving in and instead of looking at the amazing stuff that God is doing we are starting to see the people part of the equation, and we make sure people know about it…

The problem is that God uses people to be his hands and feet in this world, in fact more than once in the Bible it tells us that we will be able to do more than Christ did while he was here (Eph 3:20, John 14:12-14 are two good examples) – yet we seem to be skeptical of anything that has any of ‘us’ involved.

You see the things that God accomplishes isn’t because of us, it’s in spite of us, and it’s a very delicate balance, that we seem to be so intent on corrupting, but it’s why he chose us to do his work… because we are broken, meaning that he gets the glory.

To me it seems to be a matter of faith.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” : – John 14:12

In Mark 6 it said that Jesus couldn’t do “no mighty work” in his own home town, except for a few healings when he laid hands on people.

Why? Because every one there had seen him grow up… they had seen him grow to be Mary and Joseph’s son, they didn’t believe that the Spirit of God could be in this normal looking person.

And I wonder in this new global community are we doing the same?

These days you can look up and see the history of almost anyone… there is no mystery anymore – and I wonder if we have lost the sense of wonder… and therefore lost faith and trust that God is God, and can do anything through ANYONE.

Sometimes we ask for healing or help in a situation and nothing seems to happen so we start to take offense at God, and then we start to look at the things that don’t seem right everywhere else… and make sure everyone knows about it.

I recently heard this great quote.

“Taking offense at God leads to skepticism; skepticism leads to unbelief; unbelief to hopelessness – and hope is the seed bed of faith.”

– Pastor Murray Talbot Hornby Presbyterian Church, Christchurch, NZ

I think lack of faith can start at anyplace down the chain… sometimes we may have heard stories about a particular healer or church that may have heard ‘rumors’ about, and the first thing we do is start is share our skepticism… and that in turn leads to unbelief in us and others, and it becomes like a cancer that seeps into the very fabric of the church.

You just can’t second guess faith… other wise it’s just not true faith.

Instead of being onlookers, or critics, lets really focus on praying for those who need healing, lets pray for those with the gift of healing… and while we are at it… lets stop spreading the ‘helpful observations’ that are only putting a wedge between what God is doing, what people are experiencing and their faith.

Because at the end of the day God is still God.

Back Bone not Wish Bone

We often find our selves wondering why God isn’t doing anything in our lives… the reality is, it’s because your sitting on your butt treating God like your own personal Genie…

If you look at the amazing things that happened in the Bible you’ll see that it took faith for someone to step out in faith first. Noah had to build and ark… now if you’re building a huge boat no where near the sea you’d better be making sure that you’re sure that you’re listening to God… imagine the amount of ridicule Noah would have got. The walls of Jericho… Joshua had the Israelites walking around this place blowing trumpets… for 7 days….. and the list goes on. Do you get the picture?

They looked foolish… until God added his part of the deal

God works THROUGH us… it’s this amazing plan that baffles us? And I really don’t think we get it!!!

We need to be asking ourselves do we trust what God is telling us?

Has God place this conviction in our hearts?

Then let me ask you… what are you waiting for???

Now please hear me… I’m not saying be reckless… but I’m saying trust God enough to stop worrying about what others will think, because after all isn’t that God’s problem, hasn’t he got the winning game plan?

We can come up with all the game plans and contingency plans but often God has his own unique way of doing things. I mean I never would have thought my car breaking down out side my house and getting the window smashed in would be the way to meet my neighbor or get a new alternator for free, but God’s plans are perfect… you can’t plan for that stuff…

So as the Nike add says “Just do it” but I would like to add “because God has it all under control”.