For the most part I am guilty of writing with a theological mindset of teaching. This is certainly not to say that it doesn’t come from a place of my own struggles. That is evident for anybody who knows me and has read any of my previous posts. I have been through a lot and the only constant in any of it is my faith. I have therefore tried to write about topics close to me and encourage anyone reading them from my own experience.
What I really mean by the above is I get carried away writing, it become well constructed metaphors and thoroughly researched scriptures and topics. Not deeply personal.
Today I want to share something different. Today I want to openly share me. My heart, my inner most thoughts, my doubts and what I deal with daily. It starts by me telling you a bit about me. Who I am, where I come from and where I plan on going.
My name is Timothy Benjamin Cohen, yes sounds quite proper and very biblical. I guess my name gives clues to my upbringing. Both my parents are strong believers and I was brought up in church. My father was even a pastor for a number of years and it is true, that for some reason pastors kids tend to become quite naughty and stretch the limits. I was no different. Insolent, rebellious and completely self centered as if the world was created exclusively for my happiness. I had a form of faith and never ever doubted that any of the stories I heard growing up were true but that’s as far as it went. I didn’t live like I truly believed any of it. That all changed whilst backpacking for a few years. I came to know God personally. Far away from home and my upbringing. In the process I met Sarah who is now my wife of 6 years.
Our marriage, although dedicated wholeheartedly to God was much like our lives. Full of potential and sparks of purpose and love for Him. But I, like so many others, fell into the trap of complacency and was clinging on to tightly to the reins of our lives. It was if I was saying to God I was cool, thanks for being my saviour and my Father but in day to day life I got this. Before you know it the only time I was giving God was on Sunday mornings. That was until a tempting opportunity developed for us to have a stand for our new business at a market on Sundays. Justifications were a plenty and we even did art pieces professing and sharing our faith. Whilst the stand had evidence of our faith, my life in particular, started showing less and less. My wife had to return to England unexpectedly and the door was left open for my life to spiral further out of control and Gods comfort. We were apart for almost a year and the darkness of that year is for another post but I drifted further and further away from Him. When it’s only a little bit everyday you don’t notice and not a lot of people around you notice very quickly either, until it is too late.
Good news and fast forward a few months and it is NEVER to late for God. On a beach in Mallorca with more nude German tourists around than Christians I found myself again in close covenant and communion with my God. Listening to songs, reading scripture, and anything I could get my hands on. Hunger for him returned. It took me far too long, loosing so much, almost loosing everything before I finally accepted and humbly conceded that His plan for my life must certainly be better than my own.
Fast forward to today, a few months later and I can assure you that it is not a magical switch! On that beach I wish I could say that with my confession and re submitting my life to God everything just clicked back to normal. Not even close.
As I sit now writing this, I am in one of the most uncomfortable positions of my life. Literally my back is buggered. I have been sleeping on friends couches for several months now and it’s taking it’s toll. The latest of these couches is the smallest and least comfortable. Maybe payback for my sins Worse than the couch is the location. Without being disrespectful or ungrateful I am probably staying in the worst place I have ever spent longer than a week in my life! Winter is encroaching with alarming speed. I had work and it just got taken way from under me. Although I am technically still employed I am on a zero hours contract. Typically I received standard sort of 35 hours a week and really never thought I would get what was promised in the contract, however that is what I have had for the past few weeks. Zero hours.
There is light ahead and I by no means am writing any of this to evoke any sympathy from anybody, rather to paint an honest picture of my circumstances and whereabouts. We have secured a lovely 2 bedroom apartment in one of the nicest suburbs in the Midlands of England. A far cry from my current neighborhood. Only 17 days left until we move in on date of writing this. A base, a home, a place I can finally put my weary feet up will make me extremely grateful.
It’s just the beginning though.
This time has given me plenty of opportunity for reflection and equally time planning our future.
This is where it gets interesting. I catapulted myself into making plans and addressing my weaknesses and making contingency plans of contingency plans. Budgets, business plans, research projects. I prayed and reflected on our past plans, our commitments and desires from when we got married and I came up with a list of what we needed to do and a My plan was born. Spoiler alert, I got carried away.
But here it is, make sure to read to the end.
We want to host people. All who are weary to come and stay with us. After years of us both traveling we believe we would make fantastic hosts of a Guest Lodge. On top of that we are both also passionate about sharing our interests. For Sarah that means surfing, and she would like to complete her surf instructor course so we can offer surf lessons and maybe SUP tours. For me I am passionate about my country. I love South Africa and anybody who has met me abroad knows I just don’t shut up about all the amazing things they just have to come and see. So I would like to set up a scenario in which I can both host and show them around SA and sarah can spend time in the Ocean and share her passion for surfing.
We were deeply moved by a song called Oceans Rise and thus the lodge is intended to be named – Oceans Rise Adventure Lodge.
To get there though, I needed a plan and yes you guessed it I I I I I I started to take over. So enthused but also dangerously close to taking over the reigns again.
Get solid work in UK Earn lots in pounds Save lots – Goal £2000/month (20-1 exchange rate) Learn to manage and grow finances Scout property in SA – buy beach front land – Garden Route Do research on running a lodge / B&B Plan plan plan the lodge – Build it from the ground up – design everything Sarah and I get qualified in activities – surf instructors, safari tours, diving instructors etc Plan every detail before buying a thing Set up a fail safe, contngency plan – property in uk? Backup extra revenue stream for out of season Diversify asserts so they not all linked or in lodge Make oceans Rise happen!!! 5 years goal External hobbies for Sarah and I – artistic creative outlets. Art studio and writing Thank God everyday no every second for a life I didn’t deserve
Seems obtainable, even righteously so, but at 4am last night I was challenged by God to say that I need to submit to His will not mine and was definitely exposed for getting slightly ahead of myself, besides if this comes to be, His plan will be better than mine. God’s plan
Trust in Him.
Father your will be done in our lives.
Dreaming of our future can rob me of my present. The world is not enough for me, only God can satisfy and quench our souls. Just give me you. Dissatisfied perhaps in my current circumstance, I imagined a comforting scenario, a life that would make me happy and it does give me peace as long as I’m working towards it. I need peace in my present not peace in the Hope of my future.
But what if I get it? Will I be happy, will I still look ahead to something else? We need to be content before we even set out on this plan. In Him. He is enough.
I said to God just give me my wife back – He did Just get me out of debt and a job – He is Just get me back to SA – In His time Please God may we live by the sea where we can be happy, it really does feed our souls – If that is what you have planned for us Lord All I know is your plan is better than mine Lord. You know me, better than I know myself. You know Sarah and my hearts desires and what makes us come alive. It was, after all, you who placed this purpose over our lives.
If we do this, we do it bodly within your will and under your blessing. With complete faith in you to see it come to be. I trust in you father, that you know what is right for our lives.
I love you Lord, you rescued me. You are all that I want and you are all that I need.
Thank you Lord
I hope this encourages you to seek His will for your life and whilst it’s impotant to understand your passions and purpose its about trusting in Him for them to come to be.
Oceans Rise……2020? Dunno watch this space. I am doing something everyday towards it.
Anybody interested in finding out more about it, check back on www.oceansrise.co.za – coming soon.
Today I want to share a video with you. It gives me great hope for my future back home, that God can call someone and they can heed His call and I pray and trust he will be effective for Him and my beautiful country South Africa.
Mission – I read something once that said that God in His infinite wisdom placed in you a purpose. This purpose can be revealed through the deepest desires of your heart. What makes you come alive, what is your passion, what are you willing to work on everyday for the rest of your life even if it only comes to be in your childrens lifetime? What breaks your heart and you can’t just look the other way?, what motivates you to get so excited you can’t get your words out? Therein lies your purpose and mission.
Pray and seek Him, listen for that quiet tug inside your heart. Deep down you know what it is.
I believe this man is on a mission from God, I didn’t know much about him but must have watched every YouTube video with him in today. South Africa is crying out for a leader who deeply cares for her people, not one who looks to exploit them for their own selfish gain. This is an inspiring interview and then he share’s on mission and passion in a preach afterwards.
If you really want your life to be different, if you really want comfort. If you have tried to find peace but it hasn’t lasted. If you have been let down by someone who you loved. If you have failed and messed up and now loath yourself.
There is hope, there is life. it can all be different.
Watch these videos, with an open mind and open heart. Forget everything you think you know about Christianity and church. I’ll be the first to say the church has many problems and guess what so does every single Christian. Don’t let their failings stop you seeing what Jesus is about.
Less than 10 minutes, 2 videos, whats the risk? You might find something you never knew you were looking for or existed. I love this dude, he speaks the truth so eloquently, he challenges popular Christian methods and more importantly he will challenge you!
After the videos, here is a link to look through, y-jesus.com
Awesome website which will answer loads of your questions. Also please browse through my blog and read my real struggles and thoughts with trying to make sense of this life we living.
Love you all
More about Jesus – y-jesus.com
Yet again I find myself writing when I feel like i am more messed up than most people. Almost embarrassed by my confession to be a Christian. How can I say anything to anyone? I am not an example of how to live.
I am broken, I am so flawed, I am still falling and failing everyday. In the last year I have screwed up my life so badly. I have hurt people, lied to many, let down friends, failed to deliver in work, totally betrayed trust of those closest to me. More mistakes in the last year than the first 32!
I often feel too ashamed to even lift my eyes to the heavens. The world accepts me, it is so quick to comfort me, to understand, not to condemn. I sometimes mistake it for sincere and grasp onto it as a more appeal-able option but I know it is only because by accepting me as I am it allows them to live on as they are. It is with no real concern or acceptance of me, rather a selfish condolence of their own actions and lives.
Truth is I have learnt so much more about God and about myself through all the mistakes I have made. And there is hope for me Let me say that again. I have learnt more about God in the past year wandering around lost and a mess than I did sitting like a good boy in church all those years. Guess what I learnt:
1 – He is real. 2. He really does love us 3. There is hope – even after you screw up
I hold on tight to his hope. Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor, firm and secure.
This verse is exactly what it says to be, an anchor, no matter the storm, I know I can trust in His love. No matter what I have done, how low I am, there is Hope in Jesus. Something to live for, something to wake up for, a great love that even in my darkest and lowest moments I somehow reflect. It is certainly not me, I thought I was a great example before I messed up. I self righteously thought I had it together so much better than the world, heck so much better than most of my mates in church. Yet I was never the light I was called to be?! In the midst of the darkest months of my life. All alone far away from the fellowship of my church, amongst no christian friends and very messed up and confused people have noticed something in me, a cheerfulness despite my circumstances, a kindness that can not come from me, a smile in complete turbulence. always an encouraging word, discipline in my work. Im not trying to be any of these things. I am too self absorbed in the woefulness of my life and am truly humbled by the unintentional influence I have had over new friends and colleagues. It is Christ in me. It is because although I have screwed up i still belong to Him and have his light inside of me.
John 13: 34-36 34 A new commandment I give to you,that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I thought commandments were something that once we became a christian we would do our best to keep and uphold. I didn’t realise that in fact whene I gave my life to Christ, confessed my sin, that he is the Lord of my life and was filled with the Holy Spirit that even when I felt like I was far away from Him, not at church, not broadcasting my faith, not evangelizing that there was still the quiet spirit evident in me, again not me, I do not wish any recognition of it having anything to do with me, He lives in me. And even through the wreck of my life His light shines through. I have daily encounters, daily opportunities to Love people, to show them kindness, to listen, to offer myself to them, to help, with nothing expected in return, people have thought I am such a nice guy despite being so messed up, truth is I am just as much of a mess as everyone else and His light is the only good thing in me. He is my everything, I surrendered my life to him, I tried driving my life and look where it got me. God will use you in whatever situation you stubbornly put yourself.
Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
Even if you still fall, and still find yourself tangled up in sin do not despair and again rest in him trusting that your salvation is secure. He says we become a new creation in him: 2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
I have met some amazing people and have had opportunities to be a light to them, a flawed example of what God can do, that He loves even me and I have a smile and a Hope only because of Him. Everyday from now is a gift and I want to be His disciple wherever I am called, and if I again wander off my own way, I know He is still there with me and will still use me! My life plan now is just to Love people as much as I can, be kind to everyone, make them smile, treat them well, encourage and build up not tear people down and show that life doesn’t have to boring along the way, we can still have fun and one massive adventure! I am travelling at he mo and just enjoying the beauty of this world, the amazing people I get to meet and stories I get to hear is all such a blessing.
We all fall down, with Him we can get back up God will never leave you nor forsake you. y-jesus.com
Cool song by a South African singer – Matthew Mole
Have you ever heard those words when trying to speak to someone about God? I know I have. Maybe not exactly like that but Iv’e heard a few varieties. I have my own relationship with God, t’s not like yours, or I’m doing just fine thanks on my own, or I believe there are lot of ‘gods’, or whatever gets you through the night or the most common in todays wishy washy culture, I’m spiritual but not religious I have my own thing going on with ‘god’
Now the problem is this, 21st century culture is constantly urging us to live and let live to be accepting of all and non judgmental and so on.
Firstly I agree with part of that sentiment. We can’t force others to believe what we believe. We cant be so indignant with our own opinions that we are not even open to conversations. We can’t judge them-forgetting how much we were forgiven and are still daily being forgiven, because its not over once you’re saved, trust me. We can’t be fundamentalists who picket funerals and spread a message of condemnation. God never supported self righteousness, not then and not now.
But why I can’t just agree with ‘live and let live’ is this:
I am filled with a love and compassion that is not of me. I don’t think following a bunch of rules is a good idea and made me a better person and therefore think you should do it to…
Again, I am filled with love and compassion, I am filled with a joy that is boundless, I am filled with an indescribable peace, I am filled with a certainty of eternity, I am filled with a hope for any and all situations.
Lets put it this way; if you found a cure for pain, for heartache, for worry, for anxiety, for depression, for addiction, for emotional issues, for bad habits, for sickness and even for death. Would you keep it to yourself? Would you tell no one?
You would be so excited to share what you had found.
This gets mistaken sometimes for being ‘preachy’ and trying to get everyone to ‘believe what you believe’.
There are crazies out there, there are mad fundamentalist ‘Christians’ there are self righteous judgmental ‘Christians out there who think you are so evil and forget God loved you and came to die for you ‘whilst ‘ you were still a sinner like them, and not when you got it all together.
Please don’t group us with them. We love you, we care so deeply for you, we want you to experience the love, the peace and comfort that we have, we want you to share in this amazing amazing gift that is Jesus and his salvation.
I will never be ashamed to speak of Him and all He has done and is doing in my life.
My hope is that you will hear, He is knocking, let him in, give your life over to Him and let Him take all your troubles, all your tears, all your worries, all your sickness and all your life.
and then you will be ok….
I’m not ready to write But here I find myself on the page…
Already two lines in , this is how life started, I was not ready for that either. Sometimes I still feel like I’m not ready, who said go, I’m 32 and I’m looking around and I think where do I go, what am I meant to be doing?
I’m not alone all though I feel it at the moment, but more aptly I’m not alone in feeling this way. We all go through times when we question why and what or who for? Purpose some call it, just something to keep me temporary entertained is what most of us end up trying to do. The distraction is fleeting and in a time much sooner than we expected we find ourselves back at the crossroads of life where we again get to choose, purpose or distraction.
I have kept myself distracted with many things in my life. Traveling was certainly the most effective and most enjoyable for me personally. TV is the saddest distraction in my opinion as I feel it gives back the least. Whilst my chosen distractions also only results in a temporary fulfillment, travel at least leaves you with memories and in some cases shapes you into a better you. The greatest discovery through travel is that of yourself.
After the trip and the adventure is over you again find yourself at the crossroads, seeking purpose and peace.
We are unique as a species in that we seek things beyond the physical needs we have here on earth. Every single one of us. Some scientists put it down to genetics and sociology however I think if we all really examine our hearts we will agree we are searching for a meaning beyond this earth.
So what then?
Twice I have looked and twice I have found.
The first time I travelled, I ran away in truth, and I got lost but I did find myself. I found my inner heart and what makes it come alive. I also found God or He found me. The indescribable peace I had from this discovery is exactly that indescribable, but I will try:
I had always feared death, in a sense this stops you living, scared of everything. First part of the peace was an absolute surety in eternity. That my life did not end when I died but instead I would be with God in heaven, eternal peace no more worries no more pain. The peace from that alone allows you to live with peace.
Secondly knowing that I found and serve a God who has done it all. That’s right, I didn’t have to qualify to become a Christ follower. There was no 3 months probation. He knows us, he understands our fallibility and this is why he sent his Son to die for us. Jesus took our place and what we deserved, nothing we can do can earn our salvation! He has done it all, this is what they call the scandal of the gospel. Freely given to all who will accept him. The peace in knowing that my salvation was not in my completely incapable hands but that it rests in. Jesus is overwhelming.
Travel was now not the answer to my searching heart but it was as it should be, a blessing to be enjoyed and embraced and appreciated. He created every beautiful thing on the planet and I would like to see it all Our pastor always says don’t take a good thing from God and turn it into an ‘ultimate thing’ I believe in enjoying our lives but do not look for permenant comfort form the things of this world as they will leave you unsatisfied.
The Second time
6 years down the line, I had walked with God, I had been a dutiful christian, part of a local church, fallen like so many, into the trap of religion. An appearance of God following but very much trying to do it all on my own. Some say backsliding however I think of it more as complacency, ‘Not remembering The God of our youth’ the radical realization of Him. That He is real and that he is the only true peace and joy on this earth. Now if it wasn’t bad enough, I didn’t merely start to live on my own strength I made some mistakes that separated me from God. Not him leaving me, He said I will never leave you nor forsake you, but rather the shame and condemnation resulted in me hiding from him.
I was out in the wilderness, speaking less and less, getting through entire days without Him. At first the old nature suggests the very same distractions, I found solace in music, even learning to play, I read, I watched movies, I dreamed of traveling again, I tried everything and this time they were even less distracting and less fulfilling. Probably because I had experienced real joy and peace. I love the simile of Jesus and water, water from your tap does quench your thirst but only temporary. Whilst your thirst is quenched you are certain you have no need for water, but you will need another drink at some point. Jesus on the other hand is a a permanent solution and available all the time by just merely remembering what he has already done for you.
I became anxious, something I’ve never really experienced, I might have even had some anxiety attacks. It’s funny how God as a solution was so far from my mind, I found myself googling anxiety coping solutions and tried breathing and positive affirmation and all sorts, all temporarily effective but I’d wake up the next day and yet again it was waiting for me. Friends even suggested spending time with Him but it was as if I didn’t even hear them.
One night the anxiety was so bad I’d even taken some pills to help with it but just found myself actually trembling and pacing up and down and completely incapable of a rational thought. I don’t even know how I ended up on the bed listening to music or how it ended up on my ‘church’ playlist I had actually been avoiding those songs out of shame and guilt. But the first song that played was ‘You’re not guilty anymore’ I broke down completely crying like a baby, something I hardly ever do. I had an intellectual and theological understanding of the difference between guilt/condemnation and conviction. I understood Gods love and forgiveness but was by no means living like I believed any of it.
I had an absolute peace, and surety of the words of the song being true. The next song that played was Take Heart by Hillsong united. I completely broke down, sang it and played it maybe 5 times. I was completely aware of His presence and felt His love and peace. This was not just an emotional cheer up, instead an indescribable peace.
I will put the words from the song below, they are powerful, more than any pill or therapy. There is a hope, there is a peace, I swear to you there is no greater comfort than God and his love. No matter what you going through he can and will comfort you.
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Philippians 4:7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Take Heart – Hillsong United – listen here – http://youtu.be/8MfBQ30Ta9w
[Verse 1:] There is a light It burns brighter than the sun He steals the night And casts no shadow There is hope Should oceans rise and mountains fall He never fails
[Chorus:] So take heart Let His love lead us through the night Hold on to hope And take courage again
[Verse 1:] In death by love The fallen world was overcome He wears the scars of our freedom In His Name All our fears are swept away He never fails
[Bridge:] All our troubles And all our tears God our hope He has overcome
All our failure And all our fear God our love He has overcome All our heartache And all our pain God our healer He has overcome
All our burdens And all our shame God our freedom He has overcome
All our troubles And all our tears God our hope He has overcome
All our failures And all our fear God our love He has overcome
God our justice God our grace God our freedom He has overcome
God our refuge God our strength God is with us He has overcome
My soul knows it’s worth…. My joy is boundless…
With the tragic passing of Robin Williams, seemingly the epitome of happiness yet truly depressed, I can’t help but question what is true happiness, what is real joy.
Deeper than a smile and a belly laugh what lies beneath that causes us to feel happy? And how do we sustain it?
I loved almost all of his movies, they made me ‘happy’ especially Patch Adams, but it’s a fading joy, lasts no longer than the day I watched it.
So then what do we do to find real lasting joy?
Think of all you pursue
Wealth, recognition, international acclaim, the opportunity to do what you ‘love’ so that you never work another day in your life ( I’m sure you’ve all heard that one) how about love and family?
Surely if you had all of this you would be happy? Most of us don’t get close to getting all that, we tirelessly chase after it and that’s why when someone so funny, so inspiring as Robin Williams passes, it’s a unique opportunity to question and ponder how, and why was he still so unhappy? And would we be too?
Now I do not want to belittle those who suffer from clinical depression and mental illness, but rather to focus on us all who search for meaning and happiness from the world and are always left unsatisfied.
The problem is, we believe if we had that job, that house, lived in that place, married that person, had our OWN family, we would find that joy that we all seek. And sometime you might, but not lasting joy.
Storms will come.
Your life will be rocked and if your joy is circumstantial then it goes to figure that if those delicate circumstances change your joy will diminish?
So what then?
Many like Robin Williams just can’t take it anymore and give in or give up. Others live lives of misery, also giving up on finding joy, they become cynical and mocking.
Truth is most of us just seek distraction. I did this. Whatever will keep them distracted enough to not have to face the fact that they are actually unsatisfied by the world, unfulfilled, they are not living the life that had anticipated but even if you had everything you wanted you would likely feel the same way.
King Solomon from the bible had everything! Now for those not so familiar with the bible, Solomon was a king, the wisest and wealthiest king ever! He was David’s son, he rebuilt the temple. He had riches we cannot even fathom. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines, it is said he could have anything his heart desired! This is so far above what any man has today, think of all the celebs and all the successful businessmen and all the royals and you are still short of Solomon’s glory.
Yet he declares near the end of his life:
Meaningless, everything is meaningless
Now do not despair, he goes on to say that the only satisfying thing is. God.
All things are created by God and he declared them to be good however they can not fully satisfy us. Why seek the things God gives us when we can have him?
I have seen families lose loved ones, friends lose money and jobs, friends go through unthinkable evil committed against them, friends go through struggles and disappointments and all of these friends who have Jesus, have an anchor that regardless of the storm their souls feel comforted. I have never known anyone to truly give their life over to Him and want it back. It’s so much more than a religion we follow or a type of behavior we attempt, it’s a love we feel and an indescribable peace. Then we slowly start to reflect this love to others, sadly most people view the church as self righteous and judgmental, and it sometimes is but Jesus is never!
Be honest with yourself, do you really expect anything in this world to satisfy you and make you happy? Sit on that thought give it enough time to really digest…
Awake my soul to the hope you hold, your grace is all I need. Is a line from a song I love, it’s the best option, the only real option.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
Inspiring videos of people who despite their situations have ‘this joy’
Please watch this video for an awesome explanation of the difference between Jesus vs religion –
My Final thought;
Depression is a disease, Bipolar and other clinical depression as suffered by Robin Williams is a disease and can be treated and managed by doctors, physiologists and the correct medicine.Many crazy Christians promote the incorrect doctrine of Faith healing, in other words you have to have faith to be healed otherwise there is some sin in your life. This is heresy. Try telling someone who has cancer to have faith to be healed and if they are not they did not have enough faith?! Disguusting. this will lead them to feel insufficient and deserving of all their pain and sickness.
Now can God heal, absolutely!
But more importantly he can heal your soul.
He can provide His peace and comfort regardless or despite of your situation, (you could be in jail or war) your circumstance ( you could be broke and in huge debt), your illness (you could be on your deathbed with cancer) your mental struggles (addiction or depression) God is not waiting for you to ‘have faith’ and be better, He is there in it with you, he can give you an indescribable peace, everyone who asks for it…
Philippians 4:6-7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Romans 10:13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” – C.S Lewis
“‘There is no such thing as an atheist in the Southern Ocean” – Robin Knox-Johnston, the round the world sailor.
“What doesn’t kill you, makes you smaller.” – Super Mario
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Charles Spurgeon
“Knowing the Bible is one thing. Knowing its Author is another.” – Unknown
“Any faith that ignores the poor is not of Jesus.” – Rick Warren “I bring good news to the poor,comfort to the brokenhearted, freedom to captives, and release to those imprisoned by darkness.” (Jesus quoting Isaiah 61:1)
“Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.” – Charles Spurgeon
New International Version (©2011) 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Some more Bible Verses relating to Building Each Other Up from the King James Version (KJV)
1 Thessalonians 5:11 – Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
1 Corinthians 14:26 – How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Romans 14:19 – Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Edifying – To instruct especially so as to encourage intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.
[Middle English edifien, from Old French edifier, from Late Latin aedificre, to instruct spiritually, from Latin, to build; seeedifice. Prior to building one another up we need to first recognize and affirm each other.
Recognize: Its incredible how many pastors are often unaware of how their preach was received or ‘how they did’ alot of the time they think they were waffling, yet God was stiring hearts and lives were changed. The same goes for the worship team. I have overheard our own team discussing how off key they thought they were, or that certain settings were off and it all just sounded wrong. Let them know when they were rocking it, when they were moving us to worship.
We need to recognize one another’s good works, appreciate how hard they have worked or practiced and then we have to recognize that is is Jesus within them leading them to do these good works for him.
Affirm: once you realise this you will be aware of mans frailty of his self doubt and his insecurities. Here is where you have to be sensitive to these men, build them up, encourage them. Try send the pastor or worship leader an email letting them know that they are appreciated and that they are being effective for his Kingdom.
At the same time you will become aware of a real annointing over someone, on Gods clear purpose being unravelled through them. He chooses the least among us to ensure that we recognize it is all through his power not not our own. Most of the disciples were plain fishermen, Matthew was a tax collector. You are more able to encourage and build them up when you realise it is Gods will that they are carrying forward. Pray for your leaders, thank God for using them and you.
Ephesians 4:11-16 – And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers Finally just remember, we are one team, one body we need to spur each other on.
New International Version (NIV)
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
You are no accident, it says in the bible that you were knitted together whilst you were still in your mother womb – Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother?s womb. (NIV Bible)
God has placed special talents and skills in everyone of us. But many wander lost trying to find their calling and wasting their true talents. I don’t believe necessarily that your true calling or talent may even mean that it should be your career. I believe we are definitely called to work as it says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10
10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
But our God given talent or calling might be something we do after work or even whilst at work but not part of our job or maybe on weekends or perhaps we do totally give up our ‘career’ and fulfill his purpose.
There is an old expression that states, “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good.” Clever and catchy cliché, isn’t it? The only problem is that these words are unbiblical. The Bible says, “Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col 3:2). Contrary to popular opinion, being heavenly minded always inspires us to be more earthly good. Thus, our goal as Christians must be to set our minds on things above and faithfully serve the Lord.
I love the quote from the movie ‘Into the Wild’ where Alexander Supertramp says “Careers are a 20th century invention and I don’t want one.”
I read a book a few years ago that had a very big impact on my life. I don’t agree with everything in the book but I do love the guys heart and his way with words – “A man’s calling is written on his true heart, and he discovers it when he enters the frontier of his deep desires.” ― John Eldredge from the book Wild at Heart
He goes on to say – “If you had permission to do what you really want to do, what would you do? Don’t ask how; that will cut your desire off at the knees. How is never the right question; how is a faithless question. How is God’s department. He is asking you what. What is written in your heart? What makes you come alive? If you could do what you’ve always wanted to do, what would it be? You see, a man’s calling is written on his true heart, and he discovers it when he enters the frontier of his deep desires.” — John Eldredge, Wild at Heart
Take some time, go for a walk, remember back to when you were in school or just starting out in your ‘career’ what was it that made you come alive/ What is it that gets you excited?Where and how can/are you going to make a difference. Do it!
I came across a good blog recently about turning your interests into your carreer –