Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Monthly Archives: September 2014

I am no “Patriot” but I do “Hail to the Chiefs”

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I am no “Patriot” but I do “Hail to the Chiefs”

Like most males based in America, I love me a little MNF (Or Monday Night Football for those who do not speak NFL) but I try to restrict myself to when my team are playing and I have it as more of a treat than a Monday night ritual. As you may have guessed by the title and picture that I have placed on the top of this article, I am a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.

I must have some sort of NFL style Stockholm syndrome by choosing a team that I have never seen live in the Superbowl (I was born in 1977) and who quite often lose in the playoffs, but I am a loyal guy and once I saw an aging Joe Montana throw snaps in the Red, white and yellow uniform, I was hooked and instantly loved the game.

A few years later in the country where I lived in Scotland we got the NFL Europe and we got a team called the “Scottish Claymores” and I continued to like this “foreign sport” along with about 10,000 other die hards until the team ceased operations in 2004.

When I moved to the US I continued to like the game and although I live no-where near KC, I have kept up with what is going on with a team that I have formed an association with and a team that has given me a great deal of joy, a great deal of frustration and a great cause of my mood swings.

Last night was a good night to be a Chiefs fan and it is hard because there is a tradition that we do at Arrowhead that I am not too fond of, this may sound hypocritical as I was not born in the US or am I a US citizen, however I am not a fan of the tradition of concluding the American national anthem with “The land of the free, in the home of the CHIEFS!” I am a really big fan of my team but I do think there are some things that you shouldn’t mess with. The US is a wonderful country and one of the greatest things about this place is that they are proud to be American.

Play by play, the Chiefs played better than the Patriots, won 41-14, they set a new Guinness record for noise and despite the fact I started the game about an hour after the rest of the country. (I had errands to run and I had the game DVR’d) I still finished it about the time the rest of the US and I was getting more and more excited as the game was drawing to a close.

This made me think, imagine getting into a state about a game that I have no control over and that for half of it I was cheering after the play had occurred, (even if I was in the stadium I would have little to do with the outcome on the field) when I don’t get in a state about the things that matter, things like I wonder how many of the 76,000 seats last night were occupied by people who were assured of going to heaven by having Jesus as their Saviour.

Please do not think I am against sports and enjoying yourself, that is not the case. I love watching football and love to see my team win, however I do realize and recognize that “tribal worship” like that is not exactly a good thing. Since I have been in California, I have seen folks check their smart phones to check scores whilst in church, rush out of church to get home to see their game or in some cases (and I have done this) when the church service collides with a game, not went to church.

That’s when you have to do some examining our natural face in the glass (as James would say in his epistle) and pray about what the LORD wants you to do. This maybe an emotive subject as I know many Christians who love the NFL and I know the teams they follow but precious little else about them, that is tragic and we do tend to wear our sports teams jerseys like some sort of cultish pride.

I am not against watching football on a Sunday, Monday or whatever day you choose to, but I do have some advice, last night when I DVR’d the game, I got through it in just over an hour as opposed to the nearly 4 hours I usually set aside. This is not a guilt trip and I am as much talking to me as anyone but when was the last time you spent nearly 4 hours in prayer and worship to the one true king? (Jesus Christ)

I do not wish to get all legalistic and we are all free to make our own choices. I can no easier see your heart as I can your motives in what you do, I have no idea what your daily walk with Jesus is like, however I do like to throw up warning flares and hope that the Holy Spirit uses these writings to fulfill the will of God. There is no anti sport agenda here as I love Rugby, Soccer, Football and Baseball. In fact if my “religion” was sports results then I would have been a happy worshipper with Dundee United, Glasgow Warriors and the LA Dodgers all winning recently.

It is like most things I guess in the Christian faith, all down to your heart. If it becomes a consuming passion in your life then it is clear that you need to take a step back and a step closer to Jesus.

From this member of the Red Tribe I pray that this blog is edifying, challenging and thought provoking, please feel free to comment, like or share below, God bless you one and all
TGBTG
TTE

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What is your stench?

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What is your stench?

2 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV) 14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

This verse has been on my heart for the last week (verse 15) but in order for the verses to be understood appropriately then I added verses 14-17 to get Paul’s full thought as he wrote to the church in Corinth. As you may or may not be aware the Corinthian church was a very carnal church, it was very worldly and much of both of the letters written by Paul to the Corinthian believers were correction in practices that should not have been in the church in the first place. This is as relevant today as it was to the first generation of Christians.

When I think about these verses it brings me back to the early nineties and the bracelets that were popular back then such as W.W.J.D? (Which stood for What Would Jesus Do?) and was usually worn as an item of clothing such as a T-shirt or a bracelet, I liked seeing this as the wearer was reminded that his/her actions may or may not have been worthy of what they were called to as a Christian.

Mr. Short Fuse

I admit it, I am Mr. Short Fuse, I pray on a daily basis that I don’t lose it, if I am Mr. Calm to you that is due to the grace of God and a work of God in my life. Prior to becoming a Christian I was always in conflict, silly things ticked me off and often times had it not been for good friends I may have been involved in brawling situations that may have done me damage. I am fiercely loyal and if you came to hurt my friends or family, I would come out swinging. I might not always win but I would get my point across.

A time I remember was when my dad and I went to a charity football (soccer for the Americans) game between two Glasgow teams called Celtic and Rangers at the stadium that was the home stadium of Rangers. (Called Ibrox) It would take to long to do the background behind this but traditionally Rangers are known as the “Protestant club” and wear blue, Celtic are known as “the Catholic club” and wear green and white. Dad (a Rangers fan) wore a jacket that was predominantly green heading for the Rangers home end.

As we were crossing the road at a traffic light a snowball flew between me and my dad, due to the highly charged nature of the fixture, even although it was an over 35’s game or retired professionals, there were still 50,000 people in Ibrox for this fixture. Tickets were only 5 pounds and it was meant to be a family atmosphere, however traditional rivalry and tribalism took over and the thrower mistook my dad as a Celtic fan in the wrong end of the ground. I snapped and wanted to take the guy on, the red mist enveloped and I was at Defcon 1 (Highest alert status prior to a strike) in one fell swoop. Dad pulled me back and calmed me down but I was still annoyed going into the game.

What is the point of this? I wasn’t a Christian at that point of my life so I was acting based on what my flesh judged as the right thing to do. Something that is worth noting from a Christian point of view if we are talking to one who is living in sin, if they have not accepted Jesus as their saviour and being ministered to by the Holy Spirit, they will not have the same convictions as you.

However, if we are a Christian we should be looking to imitate Christ and that is really what I am trying to say. I want to act like him, I want to love like he did, I want to tell the world of his life changing power and lastly I want to stench like he does. We have to be sincere, want to immerse our whole lives in our Christian walk. This is the hard part, I have learned recently. A recent vote in my homeland did not go the way I wanted it to, but it made me realize that even although I was many thousand miles away, I was still spending too much time on things that were temporary and really had no eternal value. In heaven I doubt I will care if Scotland went independent or not.

Mr. Non-Perfect

I am also Mr. Non-Perfect, I am kind of glad that I am not, as I know me better than most folks and I would be the first to state that should I ever attain what I regard as perfection then I fear that piety and pride would sneak in. So i am quite happy to be “Mr. Non-Perfect” it keeps me humble. There are times in my life that I don’t handle things well, I don’t read situations the way one would expect and I am very prone to “brain farts”, lastly I know that I talk too much and quite often steamroller people in conversations, usually adding very little to the original points, I pray daily about things like this and we all have our inner wars.

What is a Christ like stench?

You have to have a heart transplant, you have to sort out your “kardia” (Greek word that is used in New Testament for “heart”) I was blessed to be given the opportunity to share and teach at an elderly home a week last Sunday and I shared from Romans 10 and shared about the heart of a Christian. We will not grow the way God wants us to if we are “tick the box Christians” and go through the motions in order to get things done and checked in order to get a “holy gold star”.

That is not real and genuine Christianity, real Christianity is hard, it is for me at least. It is a daily prayer life to make me more like Jesus, to love people both when it is easy and when they tick me off. To love people when I get hurt, to prefer others before myself, I am selfish and self-focused in nature and this stuff does not come easily.

Straight from the heart

It is not enough to just have the appearance of holy and to not let it escape your mouth, the greatest teacher of all time, Jesus Christ tells us in the gospel of Matthew 15:10-20 (ESV version)

“10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

If we have a “potty heart” as I wrote earlier then eventually that will corrupt our whole walk with Jesus. We need to have daily “kardia” work. We have to be as Christ said “salt and light”. We are operating a guerrilla warfare in which we are the spiritual terrorists, (this world is no longer our home) and we have to infiltrate and show the love of Christ. We have to be different in order to show a living example of Christ. Some of the strongest and most powerful sermons that are preached are not from a pulpit.

This is a challenge as much for me as it is for you dear reader, let us go out and be the stench of Jesus.

God bless and I hope this was a challenge, please feel free to share, comment or like below
TGBTG
TTE 

Coming together in love

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Coming together in love

Ephesians 5:22 (ESV) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.fn 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

This weekend past (13th September) I went to a wedding, it was quite unlike any other wedding I have been at. The wedding was at a local Calvary Chapel in Central California and was thrown by the church family of the bride. It truly was a labor of love for all concerned from ourselves who bought some sparkling apple cider, to the worship team who provided the music, to the ladies who served and prepared meals and to the many volunteers who made the church look wonderful for a wedding.

The bride (who I won’t name, but she is free to comment and let folks know who she is) had been going to that church for a wee while now, had professed a faith in Jesus Christ and had recently been baptized, but there was still something that she wanted to remedy. The man whom she had been living with before she became a Christian as her husband wasn’t legally her husband.

Like many in our area, they have been having a tough time of things and life has been a struggle, a lavish ceremony and the wedding was probably out of their price range, however God had a plan that was better than anyone could have predicted.

My wife suggested that we as the church, her spiritual family should throw her a wedding. After multiple discussions and a lot of love by many hands, it came together in the most wonderful way, the church came together and gave her what she wanted, a place and a wedding to marry the man she loved. It was a wonderful ceremony and reception. It was truly neat to see how God’s church and the church family as a whole just fitted in together and did what needed to be done.

We are all God’s children, we need to look after each other, rather than judge when a situation doesn’t “tick our boxes” we have to do what we can to help. The bride (and her husband now also) are our brothers and sisters, if they have a need we should be standing in the gap. We have to love as Christ loved.

The wedding reminded me of the above verse and I wanted to share this neat story about how a church loved so much that they wanted to help their new sister in the LORD.

We need to look for ways to help our brothers and sisters; we have to love them as Christ loved the church, which is the first stage to building a community. That wedding meant a lot and probably more to me than many other weddings that I have been to because of the amount of love that was in that room.

We have to be intentional and be on mission at all times, a lot of people who wouldn’t normally attend church got to see a whole bunch of “church folks” or as I call them Christians in a much different light. They saw a whole lot of love and a desire to serve and love on someone and make that persons day as memorable as possible.

Weddings don’t normally get me but this one did!

God bless and as usual please comment, share or like below
TGBTG
TTE

Praying for Scotland on “Independence Day”

Praying for Scotland on “Independence Day”

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The timing of this article is deliberate as to publish as the polls open on “Independence Day”. Please feel free to comment below this article regardless of your political leanings.

This is a hard article for me to write and remain somewhat impartial so unlike the British mainstream media I am going to declare my allegiances up front and will advise that had I been in Scotland and registered to vote I would have been voting for the partition of the United Kingdom. Those of you who know me know that I am in favour of the pro-Independence stance of the Scottish National Party and have also campaigned for this party in elections past when I lived in Scotland.

The reason it is hard is to remainobjective whilst giving a commentary and an appeal to the people of Scotland. My appeal is not, as one would expect for you all to vote “yes” but simply to vote. The bible states that your yes should be yes and your no should be no and I tend to agree.

Whether you choose to stay with the Union or whether you choose that Scotland would be better as an independent nation is truly a decision for you, your conscience and the arguments that have been presented to you, in many cases in a biased format by those we expected better of. Should the Yes side prevail it would be in the face of the most blatant propaganda machine that has ever been Government endorsed since the days of Goering and German National Socialism. The people of Scotland have been denied the facts, had unbalanced coverage, had programs edited to remove keynote Yes speakers, had applause muted by yes supporters in debates and manipulated coverage of the referendum to tell a story that was not balanced.

If you were to look at the evidence at the author of this article I am a prime candidate to vote no. I am a former serviceman of the Royal Engineers; my maternal grandfather figure was a staunch Labour supporter, Union spokesperson for the National Union of Railwaymen and political activist in the days of Neil Kinnock. My own father was a Union rep and I lived in a staunch Labour area for most of my life. So why am I supporting Yes?

I began to look into Scottish independence after helping Labour (I know, I know) get elected in 1997, under the Tony Blair “things can only get better campaign” as I was attracted by the promise of Scottish Devolution and the possibility of a Parliament in Edinburgh for the first time since 1707. Soon I realized how “London-centric” New Labour were and I decided not to renew my party membership in 1999.

I still classified myself as a “Labour voter” even although I was not pounding the streets in support of the campaign. It was not until 2002 that I properly looked into the SNP and their policies. I found their policies regarding Scottish self-determination were in line with where I wanted to see my country headed and I joined the SNP. I canvassed/leafleted and campaigned for the Lloyd Quinlan campaign in Motherwell when he stood against Lord Jack McConnell for the MSP seat.

I fell out of love with politics and held no party affiliation and I didn’t actually vote again until 2007 when I lived in the Glasgow Hillhead constituency. I did not campaign but voted SNP. Beyond my wildest dreams the SNP won power in the Hollyrood parliament.

Follow this up with an overall majority in 2011 and we were firmly on the journey we are on now, with probably the most astute First Minister that Scotland has ever seen, holding court against the most inept leader of Scottish Labour I have ever seen and an astute smart Tory leader with no back up in Scotland due to the way her party is remembered in the eighties and current policies by David Cameron leaves her and the Liberal Democrats with very little friends up here. He (Salmond) really has very little opposition.

Now I am a Yes voter as a guy who supported devolution, supported the new parliament, supported the Scottish Government in both Red and yellow formats and know that the Scots ARE genetically programmed to make political decisions. (Unlike what Mrs. Lamont says)

Personally and from my point of view, independence makes sense, both financially and from a decision making standpoint. I believe that decisions made in Edinburgh will have a greater opportunity to directly benefit Scottish voters than a remote parliament who is only concerned with the South West of England.

I also believe that it would help the “No true Scotsman” image that my countrymen have, where Scotland invented all the finer things in life and England is blamed for all of Scotland’s ills. The “Anti-English” chip on the shoulder that is perceived to be the case would slowly but surely cease to exist as Scotland would come of age in its own right. (For a fuller explanation of what I am meaning please see my blog “The Jacobite experiment“)

Should separation happen, I have no problem in wishing our neighbours to the south a “fare ye well” and a “fond farewell” as a joint entity. I have many cross border friends that would suddenly be in a “different country” but I doubt that it would change as far as citizenship goes. I have no “Anti-English chip on the shoulder” I just believe that we as a country can run our own affairs more beneficial to the people within our borders.

Should separation not happen, my countrymen would have the distinction of being the first country to turn down independence when it was able to be selected of one’s free will. (With no shots fired) Imagine if our cousins in Ireland in 1922 and America in 1776 could say likewise? Look at how these two countries have grown since separation from the UK. In the words of the Bard “Rabbie” Burns in the case of a No vote going through “Forward tho I canna see, I guess and fear”.

I am also praying for a resurgence in Christianity in Scotland regardless of the vote. My country has a fine tradition of following Christ and I pray for fervent revival in my land and have my land healed of its troubles. As much as I would love an independent Scotland free to run its own affairs, I would love it more to have a Scotland that was on fire for Jesus Christ living in a society where the love of Christ came down, where we love and serve one another, preferring the other before ourselves. Imagine that land? Rich in oil and God’s blessings.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing, as usual please share, comment or like below
TGBTG
TTE

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Solemn 9/11 thoughts

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Solemn 9/11 thoughts – Pray for our enemies

1 Peter 2:13 (ESV) Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,fn whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

That dark day

It is that date again, the dark date that has appeared when I stare at my calendar this morning. 9/11, September 11th.

Not since that date in 2001 has that day been “just another date in late summer/autumn”. The date that struck so many, not just in the cities that were affected, but the whole world wide. People in New York went to work as normal that day not realizing that as the clock went closer to 9am they were that step closer to imminent attack.

Those of us who are old enough to remember that horror that happened that day, personally I was working at an American company called “Morgan Stanley” at the time, it happened around 2pm our time in Glasgow Scotland and I had just came out of a meeting to see Sky news on the big TV at the boardroom, it was replaying what had happened in New York.

By the time I was on my first break two planes were down and we were hearing unconfirmed reports (at that point) that the Pentagon had been attacked by a passenger plane. We all know how that day played out and how devastating that day was for the American people and the west as a whole.

The British Prime minister at that time, Labour leader Tony Blair judged the mood of the British people well by stating that “we were all Americans” specifying that in adversity the “special relationship” between London and Washington D.C. was very much intact. It also told the world that if you attack our friends, be prepared that we “have their back”.

Since 9/11 – A new patriotism

There is nothing like adversity to bring a people group together, whether that is based on ethnicity, skin pigmentation, religion or in this case nationality. When the back is against the wall you find a joint identity to band together and use the strength in numbers psyche.

There became a new surge in American pride, flags were raised, people backed their leaders, and people came together and wanted to recover together. People questioned themselves in matters of faith and many people sought out answers from God.

This morning when I drove out of my small town where I live in Central California I saw that all up the main street is American flags hanging from every lamppost. As a non-American, I am happy to see this. I believe that a strong America is the one who has worth in who they are.

I am good with a new patriotism as long as it does not take us further away from God.

New America – Forgive and rebuild

The strong America that I speak of is the one that forgives their enemies, as we learn to rebuild, New York has already done so and buildings will rise again, we will remember the fallen on many nations who have fallen defending that right called freedom.

Many folks remember those in the services in the NY/NJ Port authority area and rightly so, but 9/11 was the beginning of a military campaign where many young men of many nations gave so much, in many cases gave their lives to protect the way we live.

This may shock people but I do forgive the folks who planned, executed and carried out these terrible attacks in both September 2001 and beyond, in places like Washington DC, London, Paris, New York, Benghazi, and Jerusalem and many other places.

Pray for your adversaries

This part will not be popular and frankly I don’t really mind. My savior Jesus Christ taught many messages that were uncomfortable for the people to hear but does not make them any less correct. Despite your feelings on your enemies you have to be willing to humble yourself and pray for them.

We are commanded by Jesus to “love your enemies” don’t get me wrong, this is all temporary, beyond what we do for the kingdom of God, everything whether it be wealth, health or whatever is top of mind for you today, it is all temporary.

I cannot do anything about the terrorist who wishes to terminate me because of who I believe in as my savior, I can however love him and pray for him. If we genuinely believe in Jesus Christ, regardless of whom the enemy is, we have to be prepared to humble ourselves and pray for the salvation of that enemy.

If we get them saved and following the true Jesus, then we can eliminate that foreign threat. How is that for foreign policy?

Go to Hell terrorists!

I will be frank and say that I don’t think I have never hated anyone enough to actually want them to be thrown in the lake of fire. I don’t write these words because I want the terror threat to go away. I do, but I also want people to be saved.

Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world, for everyone, of every nation, every tribe, every ethnicity and every religion that has been embraced, Jesus came to save them all. Remember the words in John chapter 3 “God so loved the _____” (the word is world)

There is a place in heaven for people who were born into the Muslim culture, if they seek out the way (John 14:6) the truth and the life and accept Jesus as their savior, they will be saved.

Jesus loves you

This message is for you ISIS, This message is for you Al-Queda, This is for you rebels in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Eastern Europe, Israel, Jordan, Syria, India, Kuwait, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Turkey, Sudan and anywhere else that breathes hate to the west.

To our enemies both domestic and foreign, I want to pray for you! I want you to find the love I have in the Jesus of the Bible!

The message is simple; the Jesus in the Qu’ran is not the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus is the Son of God, equal with God and is the only way to heaven (or paradise) it is not through Jihad or holy war.

Imagine if 9/11 was the gateway to getting our enemies saved and into heaven? Would you pay that price? That is probably the toughest question to answer and I mean it with all reverence and with no disrespect to those who have lost so much due to this conflict

God bless and I pray this was a blessing, challenge and please share to whom you wish to see this, comment and like below
TGBTG
TTE

I wanna live with abandon

I wanna live with abandon

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Who do you respect? Is it the man with qualifications coming out of his ears? Is it the man who has been through seminary? Is it the man who has been in ministry for xx years? Is it the man who has the winning smile and the easy to listen to ministry? Is it the man who is that sold out for Jesus that he is changing people’s lives in an infectious basis that his life raises questions on what he has.

Personally, the latter is what I admire most, yes credentials, qualifications and experience in ministry will open doors within the Christian world, but in my humble opinion, a heart that is changed, sold out and on fire for Jesus will change many more lives than all of the things that we look for in a “life changed”.

It is not because I am closer to being one of the latter that I relate more to that person, I don’t have the credentials, I don’t have the college degree, letters after my name or have I ever really sought after them. No seminary experience and also very little ministry experience also. But living where I live, in an area where I see criminals at all hours of the day, that I see parties that explode into violence, having to have dealt with real life such as suicides, divorce, people going to jail that you have tried to witness to for Christ. That is front line ministry.

You see, we are called to a battle, a somewhat heavenly war. We have an enemy that will attempt to steal and seed that we have planted for the LORD. He will attempt to nobble either the teacher or the student, dependent on which one is weaker at a particular time. The enemy will try to find our Achilles heel and topple us.

Audacious faith

I read a book a while back called “Sun Stands Still” and it was about the battle in which Joshua faced and he had faith enough to ask God to make the Sun to stand still and God heard his petition and essentially pressed the pause button to allow Joshua to win the battle.

In that book, they used the term a lot called “audacious faith” and I believe that is what we are missing in our lives my friends. I know sometimes I don’t like to step outside my comfort zone and do things that I would rather not for the LORD. Sometimes I think we have to let go of what is holding us back and let the LORD do what he will in us. When I think of this I am always reminded of the wrestling match in Genesis where Jacob wrestled with the LORD all night.

I am with the writer that we have to have “audacious faith” but what does that mean? I believe that we have to evaluate and sometimes re-evaluate what we are doing and what we spend our time on. Fathers are not exempt, yes your task in fatherhood may limit your time, may pull you in other directions, but there is still work to be done by you.

That is not to say you neglect your primary mission field which is of course the home, but we can get too involved and preclude ourselves from blessings that the LORD wants to do in our lives by not recognizing the open doors that the LORD is putting n front of you. Being honest here, I am speaking with myself in mind first. My mission field is my workplace, my neighbours and whomever God puts in front of me. It is hard because I do not live, work or go to church in the same city. So anyone I do reach for Christ I am relying on others to follow up for me.

Like most of my blogs, I am speaking to myself first and foremost, I put it into a blog not because I think that people should listen to me or that I have something unique or profound to bring that will be life changing. I write because it is my prayer that whatever I am going through or the words that God has given me will minister to someone at some point.

Why the title?

I chose the title of the blog because that this morning this was a song that was on the radio on my way to work. God truly gave that song because i have been evaluating/re-evaluating where I am doing things well and where I am messing up! (My mess up list is too high for my liking) If you want to know where a man messes up, ask his wife or kids!

I want to be more missional, I want my life to be simpler, I want to always be on mission, always on point. The best father and leader of my home I can be and be able to be used in whether God has in store for me, I am a frustrated teacher, I want to teach the word of God but I have no one to listen to me yet. Who knows what the LORD will bring but my desire is to be ready.

Missional/Simple Christianity

I come from a missions church, our sound system was a laptop with the “Audacity” program, a lapel mic and a proper mic for the worship sets. The equipment was not as important as the culture that was cultivated. It was a real family that could be real with one another. We held each other up in our struggles and were always there for one another.

It was simpler because it was more focused on cultivating relationships through love, once the sinner is repentant then comes the discipleship. It’s a growth relationship where both parties are growing together as well as growing in God. I have seen many lives changed this way.

Encouragement

This is meant to be encouraging, it really is! I want to look at areas where I need to “pull out the weeds” and areas where I need to “plant for the harvest”. Everyone’s life is different and we will all have unique challenges and trials, some of us will have multiple kids, some will have money trials and have to work 2 jobs to keep afloat, whatever your situation I am just asking you to do as it states in Colossians 3:23, that we do everything unto the LORD and do it heartily, with the right heart and do it unto the LORD and not unto men!

Do you weep?

I went to church on Sunday and the Pastor asked a real poignant question “When was the last time you wept for the lost?”, cared so much that there are people going to hell on a daily basis and not having Jesus as their messiah. We can’t save everyone but we have to be open to be used by the LORD.

Self application

My problem is that I am too self-focused and too insular. Do you recognize what is standing in your way? Maybe you are perfect and are a one man movement of Pentecost, I wish I was, not for me but because I want to see people’s lives changed, starting with mine!

Thank you for reading, I pray this was a challenge, a blessing and please if you have any questions, comments or feedback then please do so below as the LORD leads.
TGBTG
TTE

Happy Labor Day (no I didn’t mis-spell it)

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Just a quick blog to wish you one and all a “Happy Labor Day”  As a foreigner to the US it has always been a source of mirth to me that on “labor day” many people do not actually work. (At least on the careers that provide income)

I added that last part in because I saw it as a day to get some stuff done around the house and spend it with some extended family.

Whatever you do and however you spend it, please praise the LORD and do all things unto the LORD (Colossians 3:23)

God bless you one and all, and I pray that you have a blessed day. Please consider liking, sharing or commenting on the article.
TGBTG
TTE