Green fingers

I’m no gardener and my knowledge of anything to do with the garden is limited to say the least, but what I do know is, the ground in which one plants, is very important.

One of the stories that Jesus told his listeners was about seeds and ground. If you want to read it in the Bible, you will find it in Matthew (New Testament) chapter 13 verses 1-9. Picture this, Jesus came out of his house and sat beside the sea, beautiful. He didn’t need a pulpit, a whiteboard, a powerpoint, a mic – he simply sat beside the sea to talk to the people.

The story goes, a sower went out to sow seed, some of the seed fell along the path and the birds came and devoured the seed; some fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, so the seed sprang up very quickly, but because there wasn’t much soil, when the sun rose, it withered the plants because they had no root; other seed fell amongst thorns but the thorns grew and strangled the plants; finally, some seed fell on good soil and produced grain, a 100, 60 and 30 fold.

What was Jesus on about? Thankfully, he gives the explanation a little further on in the chapter – verses 18-23.

The seed is the Word of the Kingdom, i.e. what God is saying to people. The path represents people who don’t understand that word and the birds represent the evil one who steals the word from the hearts of said path! Rocky ground is people who receive the Kingdom words straight away with joy, yet they have no root so when life gets tough, they walk away from the very words that gave them life. The thorns are those who get overwhelmed by the cares of the world and their life is un-fruitful and the good soil are those who hear the word, understand it and bear fruit.

The question for all of us this week then is, how’s your ground? How would you describe yourself today? Pathy, rocky, thorny or goody?Are you confused? Do you have no roots? Are you overwhelmed by the cares of the world? Or is your ground, watered and ready to receive Kingdom words?

If you need a shift of ground and that could be something like listening to different voices or forgiving someone that’s hurt you or letting go of bitterness and anxiety or getting back into community with your church family. A whole host of things could be stopping you from leading a fruitful life, but I’m confident that if we’re prepared to get the gardening gloves on, get the rake and the hoe and go to work on our ground, things will turn around.

In a world where lies are being exposed almost hourly, let’s celebrate, that as followers of Christ, we have access to the one and ONLY truth and it behoves us to make our garden good and ready to receive the Words of the Kingdom and to make sure that those words go deep down and form roots that cannot be shaken.

Happy gardening!

D x

Move closer to move away

Let me start with another change! When you start something new, it usually takes some time to get into a rhythm. I decided that Monday wasn’t a great blog day so I’m shifting to Saturday!

I don’t always have a ‘word for the year’ but as I’ve been praying and listening at the start of 2022, I’ve been hearing the word, ‘closer’. I’m reading a really good book at the moment called ‘Ten Words to live by’ Jen Wilkin It’s a book about the ten commandments, which I admit doesn’t sell it well, but let me encourage you to get it. I’m only on commandment one which is, ‘you shall have no other gods before me’ believe me, this is giving me enough to think about. To think about ‘my God and……’ are there things in my life that I depend on or feel I need that knock God of first spot?

Then I began to think, rather than giving up everything I enjoy, giving everything away that I own and going to live in rags in a cave (didn’t really get that far – just for dramatic effect!) I decided that if I just get closer to Jesus, the things that perhaps need to drop off, will do so automatically. If you know me, you will know that I am a huge believer in John 10:10 which says, ‘the devil comes only to kill, steal and destroy, (not God, the devil – in case anyone needs a reminder), but I have come that you may have life and life to the full.’ God is not out to make us have a miserable life. We are His children and He loves to see us thriving – don’t you with your kids?

What we need to watch is that we’re not doing life instead of Him, but rather, as well as. What a winning combination that is. Let me repeat the stat that I mentioned last week. According to a recent poll only around 55% of people have returned to church. That makes me sad. I wonder if they’ve created new habits? I wonder if they think they don’t need church? I wonder if they’ve turned away from God completely? I wonder if they’re scared? There could be so many reasons, but I can’t help thinking that if we all just move closer to Jesus, we would be automatically moving away from the negatives.

I was picturing Jesus like a fire, and the closer I got to the fire, the more, the rubbish burned away. You see the closer you stand to Jesus, the better your reactions and responses will be, you will bite your tongue just a little longer, you’ll speak kinder, you’ll love better and so on. The opposite is true, if you stay away from a fire long enough, you will grow cold.

How close or how far away are you from the fire? One quick test – do you attend your church’s prayer meeting? It’s always the ‘cinderella’ meeting, but we know that without it, we can’t do very much. If you feel far away, maybe this is a place to start? If your church doesn’t have a prayer meeting (sigh) why not start one? Prayer should be the engine room of every church.

I hope no-one is planning on moving to a cave, but whatever you decide to do in response to this, if anything, at least take a step closer. If you don’t know Jesus at all, take the first step. Contact me, nothing would thrill me more!

Move closer to move away. D x

If you move closer to Jesus, you will move further away from negative stuff

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Build 2022 on THE ROCK

One of my favourite parables (stories that Jesus told) is the one about two builders of houses. It’s believed by scholars that the two houses were next to each other and were affected by the same storm. If this is correct, then it makes the illustration even more powerful when you transfer it to the days in which we are living in right now.

It’s fair to say that leading a church through the last 2 years has been very challenging.

March 2020 brought the first lock down – the good one as I heard it once described and totally understood that description. Everyone went with it, no one really knew what was happening. Peoples’ lives changed practically overnight. Everything and everyone went on line. Schools, churches, keep fit classes and so on. We were told to stay at home. Wow. Hard to believe we lived through that – but we did.

Fear was launched at our nation and, indeed the world. The media, scientists, politicians bombarded us with graphs, facts, figures and predictions that were enough to send us all into retreat and ‘stop the world, we want to get off’ mode. Whatever your thoughts on what’s been going on, there is no doubt now that so much of it has been false data, even today I read of a doctor in America who has admitted he himself falsified data. The Why is yet unknown, but I’m sure it will be uncovered either in a movie (haha) or when we get to heaven! Either way, the truth will come out. I have much compassion for those who have lost their lives because of Covid and I include in those, people who have lost jobs, businesses, the mental health issues, the children who weren’t in school and so were missed by social services and were brutally killed, those who have died because of missed cancer diagnosis and the list goes on. There have and will continue to be many lives affected negatively because of Covid 19 and not just the disease.

There’s a lot of work to do and the church has a good chance of helping, but the church can only help from a position of strength. If the church is in retreat how can it advance the gospel? As soon as we were allowed, we were back in our church, gathering together, worshipping and hearing the Word of God together. Nothing can compare with that. Sadly, according to a Twitter poll by Andrew Wilson at the end of August 2021 asking Christians to guess how many of their congregations had returned to church was answered by 902 churches in the UK giving an overall average of about 55%. That’s tragic. Let’s hope it goes up in 2022. I don’t believe the devil was the instigator of the pandemic, but he’s not asleep and can only be rubbing his hands together at such stats! Come on church – we’re supposed to be the light of the world.

For those of us who are Christians, we have incredible access to the mind of Christ. From the start of the Covid crisis, John and I were determined to stand on the word of God as the ultimate truth, the only unchanging truth. I have no desire to leave this earth yet, but I said many times, for me personally, what’s the ‘worst’ that can happen, I die and wake up in paradise. That’s the believer’s reality. This earth is temporal. Don’t know if you ever meditate on heaven, but you should try it some time. If you know Jesus, one day you will live there for eternity. Wow.

So, what about now? What are you building on? Back to the story! There were two men, two houses , two foundations, one storm and two outcomes! The one built his house on sand – what could that look like for us today? Maybe building on unhealthy choices, guilt, un-forgiveness, bitterness, lack of prayer, Bible and church attendance or too much chocolate! 🙂 If you build your life on such things, when the storm comes you are going to struggle to keep your house up!

Build on THE ROCK – Prayer, Bible, Church attendance (this is vital for me – happy to talk further about it if you’d like to know why) good choices, forgiveness etc. When your storms come, your house will stand firm.

In the house building trade, of which I know nothing except to say, foundation building isn’t seen, it takes work, time and much digging down, but when the foundation is set, the houses go up quickly . It’s the same in our lives, build what can’t been seen in order to grow into what can be seen and that should be lights shining brightly in a world that has lost its way.

Love D x

What you gonna do in 2022?

It’s New Years Eve 2021 and it’s been 8 months since I last wrote a blog! I can hardly believe that! As my teachers, in days gone by, would have said ‘could do better!’ I would agree!

I love to write, but the business of life gets in the way, and I’m making a commitment to do more writing this year. You can hold me to account if you like!

The New Year usually sees us setting goals, planning things like holidays and maybe making a decision that this new year is going to be better than the one just gone. I don’t know who will read this so I don’t know what 2021 was like for you. At a guess, I can say, it was full of ups and downs, disappointments, joys, struggles and successes.

That’s life, right?

I imagine that almost every person is making a decision to eat better and move more, (why do we do it to ourselves??) We tell ourselves, ‘On Monday’ ‘After Christmas’ ‘after the holiday’ and so it goes on! To those of you who have this mastered, I salute you!

This year’s a nightmare though isn’t it? No-one wants to start anything on New Years day, so we’ll start on the 2nd, but hang on, there’s a bank holiday on the 3rd (whoever started anything on a bank holiday?) the 4th it is then! Hahahaha! We’re mad aren’t we!

In all seriousness though, whatever you choose to do for your health goals this year , if you need to, just remember to make small changes. Don’t start something that will overwhelm you by January 11th!

The more I go on and the more I hear about peoples’ lives, the more I come to realise that most, if not all, things are down to the choices that we make. If you want a better 2022, look in the mirror and start there. If you’re a Christian reading this, remember that you have the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead living in you!! We are powerful in Him. Don’t let anything negative hang around your life. It has no place there. We have the power to overcome every obstacle. I fully believe it.

Two new things for me this year are that I have just joined an orchestra! I played the oboe in secondary school, picked it up again last year and found a local orchestra. I’m really excited about this – disclaimer though, I haven’t been yet, but I’m hoping it’s going to be a great addition to my life and get me to meet people who don’t know what I know about Jesus yet!

I am also a minster in training!! (If you know me, you probably can’t believe that sentence!) it’s true and there is a story – of course there’s a story – I’ll write about it soon. I’m excited about 2022 and all that is in store. Above all, I want to get closer to Jesus, He is the only fully reliable truth out there. I will continue to build on the rock that is HIM and on THAT rock, I will be safe and secure in whatever comes in 2022!

Happy New year to you and yours!

D xx

Let’s talk about communication!

“Don’t react – act” I try to live by this, but in this day of email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Telegram, Messenger, tic tok (not a clue about this, but I do know it’s a big thing!) it’s so easy, when something grinds, to get your fingers working on the keyboard to make your point with exclamation marks!!!

I almost did this today, so close, but I decided to blog instead because only those who want to read it, will.

It seems to me that communication is regarded as unimportant (to some) today. Here are some things that I think should be cancelled!

Thumbs up emoji

Now, before you get a bit twitchy if you use the thumbs up emoji, let me explain. If you’ve had a long conversation with someone that’s come to an end, one of you may do the sign off and thumbs up is more than appropriate. What isn’t, in my opinion, is when you pour your heart out and take 5 minutes to write a message and the reply is the thumbs up emoji! Has it ever happened to you? It’s not nice is it?

Not answering emails or messages

I ALWAYS reply to messages, usually quickly too. If you’re reading this and I didn’t reply to you, it is honestly because I either never got it or it slipped past me, if you know me well, you’ll know that I do reply. It seems, even when you get to the top of the ladder, that it’s OK not to reply. When you don’t get a reply from someone, it makes you feel unimportant. I feel like writing some times and saying ‘hey, I have a gift of some money for you’ just to see if that would get a response. How do you get to the top of your game and still have that trait? Someone needs to coach you if you’re in that place. You should never think you’re too important to reply to someone who has taken the time the time write to you.

Salutation

I try and start all my messages with at least ‘hi’ and, most times, I use the person’s name and I’ll sign off with either my name or an emoji (not the thumbs up one! Hahaha).  If you chat to someone a lot then this isn’t as important, but when you haven’t talked to someone for ages and you’re discussing something that’s a big deal to you, at least consider the other person. Do you remember learning how to write letters at school? There were correct salutations depending on who you were writing to. Using a pen or an old typewriter meant you took much more time to write and your thinking went into it. You didn’t want to have to start again with either ink or a typewriter. Tipex looked terrible and didn’t really do a good job especially for me as I didn’t have the patience to wait for it to dry! I’m not suggesting we go back to those days, although I still use a pen and paper in certain situations, I’m just saying maybe we need to think more about what the person receiving our message will feel after they’ve read it. Read before you click send.

Maybe because communication is so easy now, we’ve lost the skill.  I pray that I will never get too busy to reply properly to every communication that comes my way. As my teacher would write often, ‘could do better’ If necessary, let’s do better at communication.

The Lion of Judah vs. The lion of Covid

“Excuses excuses…..”

Have you ever said those words either to yourself or to someone else? I’m sure you have.

I’m reading an excellent book at the moment called, ‘Chase the Lion’ author – Mark Batterson. I highly recommend it. I highlight and write stuff down every time I pick it up.

He bases it on a fabulous Bible verse that I remember from a  book I had as a child! It wasn’t one of the ‘favourite’ Sunday school bible stories, but I wish it had have been!

It’s found in 2 Samuel 23:20

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two Ariel of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen.”

It’s one of those verses that you could easily read past without much thought, but as you read Mark’s book, every time he mentions Benaiah, you have to shake your head at amazement of that one thing he did!

Picture a 500lb (35 stone) lion…. I’ve seen many in the flesh, not behind bars in a zoo, but out in the savannah of Africa! They are formidable creatures, they are the king of the jungle. What would you do if you were face to face? Lions can run 35mph, their roar can be heard 5 miles away.

What would I do, what would you do? I can say with 100% certainty that I wouldn’t have chased it, it would have chased me and had me for lunch! Not Benaiah! It was snowing, he could follow the lions paw prints, he went into the pit with the lion! He didn’t chuck a spear at it from a distance – he chased it down into a pit! When I get to heaven, I think I’ll ask to see the video recording of this! It doesn’t say how the lion was killed, just that Benaiah won the fight!

That’s not all Benaiah achieved, he also struck down an Egyptian with the Egyptian’s own spear. He ran to him, snatched his spear and killed him with it. (2 Samuel 23:21)

Benaiah was one of King David’s 3 mighty men and he went on to become the commander in chief of Israel’s army when the crown passed from David to Solomon. (1 Kings 2:35)

What does Benaiah have to do with us? I think, for me, he makes me look at my life and wonder where I may have allowed fear of the lions in? We’ve all faced the lion of Covid for over a year now. How have you responded? We know it’s a serious disease and it has taken lives although, by the governments own admission, not as many as we were first told, but that’s another story. It has caused chaos in the world for sure.

From day one, I was never scared of Covid. I know the enemy tried to plant fear in me, especially when we were re-opening as a church, but, for my own life, I was secure. Why? Because if I had died (no desire to die I hasten to add!), but if I had, the incredible, awesome (in its fullest sense) amazing, eternal truth is, I would have woken up in a paradise that I can’t even begin to imagine! (John 3:16) So, I’m confused as to why, at the time of writing, (April 2021) some churches are still not open and so many Christians are not back in church. So many, it seems, are in retreat of the lion and not enough are chasing the lion into the pit.

In Damascus, there is a church lead by Brother Edwards. His congregants walk down sniper alley just to worship together!

Will we have to change the lyrics to some of our victory songs? E.g. you have delivered me from all fear (except for Covid) Tongue in cheek, but you get my point.

Some people may never go back to church simply because the online version has become the new normal and so much easier than getting out of the house on a Sunday morning. However good that has been, especially in the early days of Covid, it cannot in any way compare to all being together in one place and having the shared experience of worship, the word and the Holy Spirit within each one of us. The gathered church should be a place of equipping, encouraging, worshipping, learning, developing kids, youth and adults in preparation to go into the world making disciples, teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded. You can’t achieve this on line, in my opinion.

In Damascus, there is a church lead by Brother Edwards. His congregants walk down sniper alley just to worship together!

I’ve purposely written that sentence again…. Because there goes any excuses we have.

I think it’s time that churches open the doors again and created to be the safest places for anyone to go. Our God is the Lion of Judah and is more than capable of protecting His children.

In Damascus, there is a church lead by Brother Edwards. His congregants walk down sniper alley just to worship together!

D x

Devote yourself……

Saturday 25th April – day 33 of first lock down

Acts 2:42 is a great verse and one that I talk about a lot. It says this:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer”

Key words being, ‘they devoted themselves’ it was all on the believers to devote themselves to what was on offer. In other words, it takes effort to grow a life in God. If you are a professional athlete, the work that has to go into winning medals is staggering. I had a look at a typical training schedule for someone training for the 100 metres (around 10 seconds of a race)

An easy training day: – 8am – 6 mile run;

3pm – 2 hour spin class;

9am – 5 mile run

A hard training day: – 5.30am -80 minute swim

10am – 1 hour swim

3pm – Bike intervals – 90 mins

Wow! That makes me sweat just reading it! Athletes know about devotion to a task.

Another great scripture is in 1 Timothy 4:6-10

“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe.”

Train yourself for godliness – train yourself – but not just for this life, but for the one to come! When I first read that, it got my attention. Won’t we all be the same once we get to heaven? This suggests not, this suggests that I need to train myself on earth as it will hold promise for the life to come. You see, it’s me that’s going to heaven – I won’t turn into someone else when I get there. There are rewards in heaven for the lives we live on earth.

Devote yourself, train yourself. It goes back to building your life on the rock doesn’t it. When you build on rock, you’re giving yourself THE best chance of winning when a storm hits!

So, during this lock down, we all have a great chance to become wiser. We train our bodies so that we don’t get wider! Haha! Plus we can devote ourselves to prayer, teaching, breaking of bread – I know we can’t do the fellowship part right now!

Think about your kitchen. Some times, I have a mad clean out. I get to the back of the cupboards and inevitably find a jar of pickles that went out of date last century! Everything gets pulled out, shelves get cleaned, the in date stuff gets put back. When it’s done, it feels great! Let me suggest doing that with your life. Search and see if there is anything lurking in the ‘back of a cupboard’ that you need to ditch. Set time aside every day to sit with God. Devote yourself, train yourself and you’ll be ready for any storm!

After thought – 28th November 2020

Here we are coming to the end of yet another lock down, although if you’re in tier 3, it doesn’t really feel like we’re coming out! At least we can begin to do our Christmas shopping, if you haven’t already! Could we ever have imagined on the 25th April when we talked about the above, that we would still be here 7 months later! The above message hasn’t changed. And I trust you are still training and devoting yourself. I hope you are reading your Bible, I hope you are going to church, I hope you’re getting wiser and not wider.

Since the 25th April, John and I have been busy working on a website. You will find all kinds of things there but I wanted to bring your attention to last weeks podcast because we spoke about storing up treasures in heaven which fits nicely into what is written in this blog. The link is below and the link for our website is below that.

Don’t let anything get on top of you, get on top of it!

See you next time, D x

Podcast link

 https://anchor.fm/deb-bullock/episodes/Store-up-your-treasure-in-heaven-emsj6q)

Website link

https://www.this-is-us.org/

David – run towards your giant!

Last week we talked about building on rock and that the consequences of not doing that are great. ‘The fall of that house (the one built on sand) was great!’

This week we’re looking at the life of David. Another fantastic story of winning in the face of great defeat.

Did you know that an ant can carry 20 times its body weight? That’s incredible isn’t it? Whenever I read a fact like that, it makes me think about what I am capable of now that I have the creator of the universe living inside of me! Let me pose this question that was asked of us once, many years ago, by God, through John: “What would you attempt for God if you knew you couldn’t fail?” Pause, think, dream, then do it!

David was a shepherd boy, he looked after sheep. This gave him hours of time to prepare with his sling shot for what was to happen one day in his future. Hours! He had also killed bears and lions – note plural because it was more than one (1Samuel 17:36) I’d be very impressed if he’d killed just one of each, but here it’s plural! Go David! I’d like to suggest that David was building his life on a firm foundation so that when the biggest battle of his life came along, he was more than ready!

Goliath

Goliath was 9ft. His coat weighed 8 and a half stone (55 kilos), his spearhead was 1 stone (6.6 kilos) he was carrying a lot of weight and weaponry. Goliath had been taunting the Israelites for 6 weeks, (1 Samuel 17: 16) no-one would take him on, Saul and all of Israel were dismayed and greatly afraid. (11) David arrives with his brothers’ packed lunches and says, ‘I’ll do it!’ (31) You’ll know that Saul gave David his armour which was far too heavy and big for him, David took his sling, picked up 5 stones and took his place to bring down Goliath. Verse 48 tells us that he ran to the battle line! Great picture of confidence.

What giant, if any, are you facing today? We are all living with the Covid giant. How are you reacting to that? Are you retreating? Are you dismayed and greatly afraid? Or have you girded up your loins, prepared your sling shot and ready to run at it? I hope it’s the last option. We can’t declare Psalm 91 and then retreat can we? Truth is, if we’ve killed lions and bears, we should be ready for anything!

When you build on rock, you have much more confidence in the face of battles, you have much more confidence in prayer when the storms of life hit.

Afterthought – November 14th 2020

Listen to this quote from Myles Munro

“The kingdom of darkness gets its power from that which we do not know. The truth we are ignorant of cannot protect us against satan’s deception”

What an incredible sentence. In other words, if we don’t know the word of God, if we don’t spend time building on the rock, if we don’t know what God says about who we are in him, satan can and does throw us around like rag dolls! “My people are destroyed through lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

It’s not enough to know Jesus (it is for eternity, that’s all you need for that, praise Him) but, if you want a victorious life on earth before you live in paradise forever, you must get to know about Him and His word.

You’re not protected because you’re born again. You’re protected because you’ve practised with your sling shot and killed a few lions and bears! You’ve put the ground work in. You’ve built on the rock.

Go sling a few stones!

See you next week! D x

What are you building on?

CHAPTER FOUR

Saturday 11th April

One of my favourite parables is found in Matthew 7:24-27. It’s the story of the wise and foolish builders.

I’m sure most of you reading this, will know it, but just in case, here’s the story!

2 men, 2 houses, 1 storm (commentators say that the houses were next to each other which makes this even more poignant in my thinking)

1 man built his house on rock, he dug down deep for his foundations. The other man built his on sand. He didn’t dig down deep for his foundations.

A storm came and the house that was built on rock stood firm, and the other? You guessed it, it collapsed and was ‘utterly destroyed’ some versions say this.

The message behind the story, if you want to survive a storm, you have to build a solid foundation. Jesus explained it this way: if you hear the word of God and apply it to your life, you are like the wise man. If you hear the word of God and don’t apply it to your life, you are like the foolish man and your ‘house’ will not stand firm.

How many times have you seen Christians shipwreck their lives? More often than not, if you were to ask how their building progress has been going, it’s likely that it hasn’t or if it has, it’s been mainly on sand.

Jesus never promised a life without storms, storms and challenges are  what test us and helps us grow, but he also never said we would be on our own to deal with the storms. We have access to the master builder who helps us build wisely, if you listen to Him.

I have to say at this point, that there are some, many storms that we absolutely bring on ourselves because of the silly choices we make at times. We have to submit to God and to ‘acknowledge Him in all our ways’, only by acknowledging Him, talking to Him, asking Him for His thoughts do we receive the promise that comes in the second half of that verse which is, ‘and He will make your paths straight’ (Proverbs 3:6) So often, we don’t acknowledge Him, we don’t take His advice, we do our own thing and wonder why our paths aren’t straight….

Another great potion of scripture showing us the responsibility that we have to grow in Jesus…. 1 Timothy 1:18-19

“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith.”

 By rejecting building a solid foundation – some have made a shipwreck of their faith. Strong words, yet words that we rarely hear from pulpits today.

Look at what is a available to those of us who believe..

John 15:5

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you”.

Wow! Jesus has made known to us, ALL that he has heard from the Father! Our job is to study it and to build on a firm foundation. And if we do that, when storms come, our houses will stand!

After thought – 7th November 2020

This week, the story broke of the New York Hillsong’s pastor, Carl Lentz. He was fired from his role due to a moral failure, an affair. A cool, trendy, relevant pastor (he baptised Justin Bieber) taken out because, as far as I am concerned, was building his house on sand. He wasn’t doing what was right (Genesis 4: 7) and he wasn’t adding to his faith – 2 Peter 1:10.

“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”

The consequences of a shipwreck and a house collapse are massive. What now for Carl, his family and the church? Huge repercussions. No doubt, that with God’s mercy and grace, they will all recover, but there will be a huge price to pay.

This Kingdom that we are a part of isn’t a game, it’s serious. Carl wasn’t the only one who fell this week. We were speaking to good friends of ours just this week and they told us of a highly respected Tanzanian pastor who has been doing the same thing, to the point of getting a girl pregnant.

I wonder how many other pastors/church leaders are having sex with people they shouldn’t be? I wonder if this is a major reason why we are not seeing what we should be seeing?

“The kingdom of heaven is advancing and forceful men take hold of it!” Matthew 11:12

If you’ve lost your grip, if you’re on a slippery slope, if you’re building on sand, if you’re sleeping with someone you shouldn’t be – stop it. If you’re texting someone you shouldn’t be – stop it, or it will spiral out of control. You think texting is innocent? How do you think Carl started on this path? I think I am safe in saying, he didn’t wake up one day and commit adultery. He began by making small, wrong choices and ended up in bed with someone who is not his wife. If you continue on a path of wrong choices, the enemy is waiting to pounce, if we give him a sniff of a chance, he will take anyone down.

Don’t down tools, build on the rock.

See you next week! D x