Posts Tagged love

10 Possible Reasons Why Christians Look Young for Their Age

One thing I noticed when I first became a Christian is that, in general, Christians look younger than average at almost every age.

Some may have had a little nip or tuck but surely not all. So of course I prayed about it. The scripture says:

“…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” Psalm 103:5

And it seems to be so.

So these are my possible ten reasons Christians tend to look jolly well for their age:

  1. Peace – Deep peace stills the brow. Less worry, fewer worry lines- stands to reason.
  2. Deliverance -From addictions. Since June 2010 the Lord has delivered me of a taste for alcohol and a full-blown addiction to nicotine. And testimony after testimony tells a similar story.
  3. Sleep – There is just something about being right with God that means you get a deep and refreshing sleep
  4. Restoration – The Lord promises restoration, this appears to apply to cells as much as anything
  5. Healing -Clearly illness takes its toll on the countenance, and Jesus came to relieve us of physical suffering
  6. Support -Belonging to a church means there is always someone to turn to for a helping hand, reducing the strain on the individual
  7. Abundance -Good food and plenty of it
  8. Victory -We have victory over Satan and it is the enemy that comes to kill steal and destroy, but we have the authority and victory to prevail under the blood of Jesus
  9. Love- Living in love ramps up the happiness factor, which in turn increase endorphins and so improves our immune system, helping to keep healthy and looking well
  10. Faith = rest, God has our back, we do everything through Him, all glory to Him

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Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be?

Borrowing and Lending

“LORD POLONIUS:
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” Hamlet Wm Shakespeare, 1602

Shakespeare makes the point in this famous Polonius quote that lending money can be too big a strain on a relationship. The biblical view on lending is more straightforward – if you can afford to lend you can almost certainly afford to give away instead.

Shakespeare’s other point is also important “..borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry”. In other words you shouldn’t try to borrow out of a tight financial situation but rather trade, or work, your way out.

The Bible says:

who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
Psalm 15:4-5

They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.
Psalm 37:25-27

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
Luke 6:33-35

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
Luke 6:34-36

The Godly Approach to Lending

How much time and money would we save without borrowing and lending? We would not have an international financial crisis without borrowing and lending. Would most people still build their own homes without mortgages? I think we would have evolved other, better, ways of affording houses and land. Would we have to live longer with our parents? Maybe. Would that be a bad thing? Probably not, especially while our children were young. How much better to have extended family?

How many lives would have been lived longer and with better quality without debt worries causing stress related illnesses and suicides?

We falsely believe we need loads of materials goods, bigger homes and newer, more impressive cars, so we borrow to finance them. Just who are we trying to impress? Strangers on the highway? Our colleagues? People who won’t even remember our names 5 years after our retirement. Surely our family don’t need us to buy their affections. If they do, there is a whole other issue that needs looking at.

How much of our hard-earned money do we give away in interest every month to irresponsible bankers who make bad decisions but still have enormous bonuses and actually produce what?

How much better to live within our means, even if it means not having the newest, shiniest temptation gadget on the market this season. How much better to sleep soundly every night? How much better to feel able to answer the phone knowing it won’t be anyone chasing repayment of some debt for some “treasure” long forgotten about.

At one time the Western nations managed their money biblically – saving and then consuming. In the meantime we actually cooked our food instead of defrosting and microwaving it. Home made jam to use up the produce in the garden and greenhouse. Fishing to actually catch fish to eat. White washing a fence, mending. Making soup.

We miss out on so many of these simple joys because we work so many hours to pay our interest bearing debts that we sell our quality time, our family time very cheaply.

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Lending with Care.Org

This is brilliant!

And simple!

You want to make a real difference in peoples lives? So what’s £15 to you? A couple of bottles of wine? Half of a computing game? a DVD? A single night at the cinema? A cheap handbag?

How about instead going to http://www.lendwithcare.org/ and lending from just £15.00 to an aspiring entrepreneur in developing countries?

This UK website is facilitated by the Co-operative and managed by Care International. The idea is so simple and wonderful. You lend from £15 to an entrepreneur supported by Care and associated organisations. You should get your money back so you can lend it all over again to someone else in need of help.

This is such a great feeling, helping people to help themselves and then you can help some more.

What does the bible say?

They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessingPsalm 37:26

who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shakenPsalm 15:5

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
Luke 6:34

So how about putting the Word into practice and changing lives for the sake of a just a few quid?

 

 

 

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Hey, Rioter!

Dear Rioter,

I expect that not a week after the riots are finished you were surprised that you weren’t any happier for owning your new shoes or watching your new telly.

I expect you are every bit as bored and uninspired with life as you were before the riots.

Guess what? You really aren’t any different to those celebs you follow in the rag press in a desperate attempt to find something, anything, interesting to inspire you to get out of bed every day. Know what? No matter how rich they get even rich celebs still do stupid things and still look miserable and ill.

So you wanted to show the police and “the rich people” you can do what you want? Shocking, NOT. Everyone always knew you can do what you want. You have free will. So not a biggie. Charlie Sheen can do what he wants. Drink till his liver explodes, take drugs till his nose falls off, sleep with hookers til his body rots with STDs. He’s rich. You sure showed him! LOL.

For all the stuff that was knicked, for all the cheap wine that was drunk, for all the property that was destroyed, here we are and your life is still every bit as empty as it was a week or two ago, isn’t it?

You were the victim of a BIG CON. Sadly you were played by the devil and now you nurse a riot hangover and peer into an emptiness that can’t be filled with toxic inebriation and material goods, and never has. It just wasn’t as much fun as you expected it to be was it, the rioting.

You let the enemy convince you that once you had all the trappings of richness you would be happy. What an empty promise. How sad. What a waste.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…John 10:10

Steal, kill and destroy. Sound familiar rioter? You were used. That doesn’t feel great does it, being used?

How would you like a life where you could have your own business, raise a happy family – full of love. Have plenty of joy. Every single day. Never be bored. Never again need to numb yourself with drink, drugs, TV, ipod touches, stealing, wrecking, gaming?

Impossible?

Er no….

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Jesus wants you to have it all. Why not try Him? You’ve tried everything else! Why not click the link and read a bit more of John?

If you really want to shock society, following Jesus will do it! It has for over 2,000 years. Try it, if you’re brave enough.

 

 

 

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God’s Favourtism

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11

As a parent I know that some days its just easier to lavish affection on one or some of my offspring than others. The one who says “yes Mom, I’ll take out the trash” or “Mom, can I get you a coffee?” or “Mom, shall we spend the morning together today? We haven’t had a lot of time together lately”. Conversely, the one who says “Why should I empty the dishwasher, its not my job”, or “I’ll tidy my room later, I’m busy now” or “I don’t want to help my little brother get dressed” is a little harder to heap praise and rewards upon. Do I love them any less? No. But what I don’t want to do is reward disobedience. What I don’t want is to have to explain myself in detail every time I ask them to the smallest thing for the good of the family.

I deeply feel our Father is the same. He doesn’t love us any less in disobedience, but our obedience means we can live in His favour. We obey and we win His trust. We obey and we win His favour. We obey and He knows He can trust us in ever greater things.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. John 1:6

How much more straightforward is life when the people under your authority, be they parishioners,  employees or family members, have the level of love for you, and hence trust in you, to just say “Sure” when you ask them to carry out a simple task without having to have a debate about it?

Today, if anyone in authority asks you do carry out a task just say “yes” and walk in favour. And more, if the Holy Spirit prompts you to undertake a task for Lord, why not skip the analysis and do it in prompt obedience and make it easy for Him to favour you.

 

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To Tithe or not to Tithe: Part II

When I wrote my last blog about  tithing I purely conceived it as a little example simply of my own experiences of tithing and the outcome of my own heavenly guidance from the Lord regarding tithing. I did not expect it to be so controversial a topic as I view it as a personal decision for each Christian, based on their understanding of the Word and their own conviction on the subject.

I was grateful to receive lots of very interesting feedback from the blog and was very happy to leave it there. Then the Holy Spirit began convicting me to write a follow up to make a few more points, two to be exact. Of all the feedback I had there was one issue that I thought was important and it was this from a comment on my last blog:

“Jesus did not tell us to tithe. Jesus told the Scribes and Pharisees they ought to tithe because they were under the Old Covenant law. Jesus was born, lived, and died under the Old Covenant. The New Covenant didn’t begin until after Jesus died on the cross.”

This was an interesting point but then a couple of things started to niggle at me.

Firstly, you could say the same thing about virtually everything Jesus is quoted as saying in the Gospels, ie. that it was said before the New Covenant began and so doesn’t apply to us under grace today.

But, Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law but to fulfil it, so I view his statement about tithing as His taking an opportunity to confirm the principle.

Secondly, many times in the Gospels Jesus takes the opportunity to correct religious legalism, for example:

What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. (Matthew 15:11)

So we see Jesus challenges aspects of the law at some times, but on this issue it is confirmed (my emphasis):

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. (Matthew 23:23)

What I find so striking is that while many, many times Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for legalism, however in this verse (given to me in response to specific prayer asking for guidance on tithing),  He takes the opportunity to reinforce a practice.

 

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Q: How Many “F”‘s in ‘Life’? A: 5

I’ve ordered my five fundamental F’s in my daily order that I attend to them, and noticed that it makes them alphabetical and easy to remember. Score!

Faith

The first thing I do every (weekday) morning is get into the Word. Sometimes this is not easy, especially in winter in the dark, and of course the enemy will try anything to stop you so that you find yourself tempted to just press that “snooze” button a few times. It takes just a little push to get past that, but the rewards are immense. I get up early so that I can concentrate and meditate before the children get up looking for breakfast, P E kit, lunch money. This two hour session sets me on my path for the day. I read the Word, pray, confess the Word and sip coffee watching Godly TV.

Family

After a couple of hours in the Word, I am Much more able to greet my 3 boys in a positive, encouraging, patient and loving way.  They tend to wake in a good mood and we have a happy breakfast before they all get off to school. I walk my little one to school, and I thank God  for everyday I have that I can give him a loving little kiss on the forehead before he gets to the “Mom, get off,not in front of my friends” stage. Back home I get straight onto the washing, cleaning, tidying the garden… Looking after my nest.

Finances

I check my finances daily. I went through a horrible stage of thinking I was entitled to my every whim and I paid the price in a mass of consumer debt for stuff that didn’t bring me the happiness or satisfaction the advertising man had promised! What astonishes me now is that I would make the same mistake over and over and over and still not learn my lesson. It took years to fight my way back out of the pit of debt. It is a hard slog paying off debt, but it is truly amazing what you can achieve with very little cash as you do it. I might not be completely debt free now, but my head is well above water and I have learned to handle my cash responsibly. And now if I run out of cash I just make do until I get some more!

I am fanatical about business and I truly believe that a business founded soundly on Christian biblical principles can not fail to succeed. This is because any business based on helping others to solve their problems and which is grown organically (i.e. without borrowing to finance growth), has no seeds of failure in it.

Fitness

Once the chores are done I head most days for the gym. If I get there early it is quieter, I am still fresh and awake and I make the most of it. If I have time I can also follow a workout with a relaxing hot tub session.

If I can I also work a walk into the day. This is a good time to meditate, pray and or pray in the spirit. Filling your lungs with oxygen inevitably increases the oxygen to your brain and aids clear thinking and de-stressing. This is a great time to literally walk with the Lord.

Fun

The rest of the day is filled with blogging, writing, speaking, working with others, growing things, people, organisations and businesses.

After school is break-time for me and the kids. A session in the family hot tub is a great time for family communication. Cooking the daily family meal together is another chance to bond. Plus I want to know my boys will all be equipped to feed themselves and their own families when the time comes.

The evening is wind-down time. Light reading. Godly TV. A family film….

Thank you prayers and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Happy Father’s Day

To my Father in Heaven…

To my father on earth…

To my brother who is an amazing father…

To my little boy’s father…

To every Dad who makes time to father…

Bless you

More Jorge and Alex here

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You’ve Changed!

“You’ve changed!”  Spewed out with venom on a popular TV soap or daytime talk show.

When did changing become so despised by the world?

It’s a problem for Christians, if we allow it to be a problem. Its a popular tool of the enemy at the moment, getting your family and / or your friends to shout this in your face.  How dare we change? We aren’t people pleasers anyway are we? No its okay, we’re pleasing God.

“Thanks” I say.

Last week my son told me I’d changed over the past year. “You’re nicer now Mom” I nearly cried. Thank you Lord, its your work, not mine.

It made me take stock. Over the past year or so I’ve stopped smoking, I hardly drink any more, I shop much less and have got my finances under control. I have new patience and so now I have my temper under control. But its the peace, oh the peace of the Lord that’s the biggest change. Thank you Lord, thank you for the peace.

When you think about it, the world has an awful lot invested in us not changing. Advertisers encourage us to carry on like out of control teenagers well into our adult lives, drinking, smoking,being selfish, worrying about the latest fashions, being irresponsible with family finances. That’s madness at any stage of life but as a grown up? We set ourselves sane goals of having a nice home, a loving family and then we set about doing everything we can think of that will stop us achieving those goals. Wasting money, wasting time, putting our focus on an ex who treated us like rubbish in our teens instead of lavishing our attention on our spouse. Watching Two and Half Men on tv, then wondering why our sons have no respect for women. How things have changed since The Waltons.

We scratch our heads when our finances are a mess. We cry out “what went wrong?” when our relationships fail. Maybe we should have changed when a spouse or a child tried to talk to us about our faults. Maybe we should have changed when the boss mentioned our late starts. Maybe we should have changed when the bank sent that first letter.

I’ve changed, and I’m changing, and I’m going to keep changing too and I thank God for it!

If you’ve changed too, congratulations, good on you. Let’s pray we keep on changing too, under God’s direction.

But if someone’s trying to talk to you about change, in a positive way, maybe you should stop ask yourself whether the Lord is maybe using this person to truly help you onto a better, happier path?

You can change, Woo Hoo!

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The Mega Ministry Mega Preacher Debate

I’ve been a Christian for quite a while now and I must confess to being very confused by the mega minister issue.

What have some Christians’ got against living well in this world?

Well if there is one thing I have learned it’s to check it out with the Book.

Matthew 7 has a lot to teach us about how to regard these worldwide preachers and teachers.

Firstly:

Judge not, that ye be not judged Matthew 7:1

That’s pretty clear. So why are some Christians attacking these teachers and preachers? Why are they the focus of investigations by the media and even government?

ABC, in 2007, in a piece of seriously biased reporting called ‘Fleecing the Flock‘  went on a rampage against some mega preachers purely on the basis that they have nice homes and planes. And all the networks seem to love to attack mega preachers for having nice lives. But why on earth shouldn’t they? Their job is to go to many nations and preach the gospel and be an example to people, so that people will actually want to get saved! If Joyce Meyer preached in old rags and lived in a shack I can fairly confidently say I wouldn’t have thought she had anything much to teach me that would do me any good, and I wouldnt have been saved.

I believe the Lord values the saving of even a single soul well above the $100,000,000 or so annual turnover of Joyce Meyer’s ministry.

So, if people choose to freely support ministries, and in turn become less sinful and turn their broken lives into healed ones, surely the government should be celebrating the tax-savings they accrue in not having to support social services, health care etc. for millions of deadbeat, smoking, drinking, drug-taking tax-wasters who instead have been convicted by the Lord of their wasted lives, and transformed into model citizens?

How is freely giving a few dollars to a mega minister more concerning than giving a few dollars to a mega corporation that sells you carbonated water, colour and sugar in a tin can for a truly unholy mark-up? How is it worse than giving a major corporation hundreds of dollars for the right to use some infinitely replicable computer code called software? Or a giant corporation some dollars for some other digital code called music or game, delivered electronically? We can happily waste billions upon billions of dollars on rubbish that rots our bodies and our minds, but not financially support a gifted minister in their teaching?

That is warped.

Is it maybe because if everyone were saved, and living the good life, investors would lose a lot of money? Hmmmmmmm. Well the holy spirit has certainly done a job on my personal spending habits in the last year or so. I no longer smoke, don’t drink much, have lost my shopping habit (doh, it was just a habit!).

Back to Matthew 7 and our Lord:

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11

So these preachers, having learned this scripture, applied it to their lives, transformed their lives and freely share the fundamental truth with others, um, how could that be bad?

15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Matthew 15-18

So I would think that there are two ways of testing mega preachers against this scripture. What fruits do they gather for the kingdom? Well millions come to Christ through them via personal appearances and television/radio/new media, and they touch lives in the developed and underdeveloped world. And if they can do that more quickly and efficiently by private jet, if that helps them to get enough rest and spend time with their family, I am not in the least surprised the Lord would furnish them with such a tool. And if you are surprised, I would be concerned for you that you are faith deficient beloved.

What fruits do they bring in their own lives? Decent homes, cars, families. Good examples of what is possible with Christ.

And what does the bible tell us to do with regard to travelling missionaries and teachers?

For these [traveling missionaries] have gone out for the Name’s sake (for His sake) and are accepting nothing from the Gentiles (the heathen, the non-Israelites).

8So we ourselves ought to support such people [to welcome and provide for them], in order that we may be fellow workers in the Truth (the whole Gospel) and cooperate with its teachers. 3 John 1:7-8

I cannot account in any way for the outrageously hard time these people get from the media, both within and without the church, without reference to the work of the enemy: Envy.

Oh ye of little faith. What does it matter, so long as souls are saved?

Paul said:”... The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”  Philippians 1:18

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