Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!

Psalm 139:13 - 18

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together
in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you
because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made
in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained
for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to
me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Nothing inspires me more than to see the wonder of God's work! On 25 November, Benjamin Gibson-Taylor was born! A perfect little treasure...a gift from God! To think that this boy was knit together by God in his mom's womb – absolutely amazing! When one looks at a baby one realises the magnitude of what scripture says we're "fearfully and wonderfully made". God does not just leave it at that – he's got a plan and purpose for each and every child!

Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans
I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


The future of little Benjamin is in the best hands possible…God's and with that he has been blessed with two amazing parents, Bevan & Jo, whom he'll learn from what it means to follow Jesus wholeheartedly – while having stacks of fun in the process! When one looks at this family you realize that doing things God's way results in God's total order and blessing!


I am truly blessed to be a part of this celebration of new life and to share in God's goodness and blessing! All glory to God!


Friday, September 11, 2009


Foundations...they're everywhere! In your home, your workplace, church. We know that when the foundations of a building isn't strong or of good quality, the building or structure may collapse – it's unsafe!

Foundations do not only apply to buildings, but also to our lives as Christ Followers.

Paul writes in the book of 1 Corinthians:

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ" - 1 Corinthians 3:10 – 11

I am amazed at Paul's statement "I laid a foundation as an expert builder" – as we minister or go about our daily business, interacting with people around us...do we lay foundations for Christ like expert builders? Is our foundation HIM? As people, we often seek the 'experience' of praise and worship rather than the lifestyle of Praise & Worship. We seek the experience of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, yet we often don't walk in step with the Holy Spirit. If our only focus is the experience, we need to re-evaluate our foundation...and if necessary "go back to the basics" – Christ!

Is your foundation Christ? If it is, are you building like an expert builder? If not, what is it then?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Transformed Mind results in a Transformed Heart

As we journey together as Christ Followers, we become more aware that often times serving Christ is an act of the will – a conscious decision. When things are going well it is easy to follow Christ, but at other times, we really have to 'draw deep' to continue through tough times. You may at times be so bombarded by the world and the things of this world that we 'lose heart'. It could be work pressures, pressures at home, people's pressure or just the sheer volume of events and things that are seemingly going 'wrong'.

The answer lies in renewed thinking. Romans 12:2 says: "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will".

Renewed thinking results in a new perspective, a new reality – GOD'S REALITY.

We read in Psalm 43:5 "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.". The Psalmist is clearly in a bad place – he poses some questions to himself because something is not as it should be, however he does not let the condition of his soul drive him, but changes it to putting his hope and trust in God - the renewed thinking.

How do you renew your mind? By spending time in the Word – meditating on it, getting to know our Father in Heaven who has only the best planned for us! Once we know this, we don't allow the condition of our "soul" (feelings, emotions etc) to dictate to us how we should act, but instead we stand on the word of God and allow it to renew our thoughts...which ultimately results in a renewed heart – a heart after God's own heart!

"...be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." – the result...."Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is..."


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

REFLECTION ON A DAY – old 2005 blog post that serves as a good reminder!

As I was sitting back and reflecting on another crazy day, I found myself thinking about ministering in the context I am in. I was thinking of the past, reflecting on the present and looking towards the future…where is God taking me?


This is a question all of us ask from time to time. What is God's will, plan and purpose for my life? It was then that I thought about how God had been working in my life and the people he had placed across my path, and a all of a sudden it struck me how blessed I was to have such great friends and family and people who support me – a true gift. I look at nature and stand in awe! That our dad has taken care of every little detail in our lives so that we can enjoy his blessings and wonderful creation – He is in control.


The words of Psalm145:4-7 started mulling in my mind


Psalm 145:4-7
"What you have done will be praised from one generation to the next; they will proclaim your mighty acts. They will speak of your glory and majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. People will speak of your mighty deeds, and I will proclaim your greatness. They will tell about all your goodness and sing about your kindness."


I have come to realize over the last while that one needs to take rest and appreciate what God has given us and just simply enjoy hanging out with God and marvel at His works. You see we get caught up with so much "stuff" in our lives that we often forget to enjoy God's wonderful blessings. We forget to say thank you and rush from one place to the next…and all for what? This again comes back to the crux of living a life of deep appreciation and humility in front of our Saviour. It takes coming to the Father saying "I am not all I claim to be" and getting to a place where we can change our focus to giving God all the glory and honour. The same is true with our gifts…we often rely so on our gifting that we forget God in the process (ironically – the One who has given us the gift in the first place), but coming back to God with that humble heart day by day shows us that we are dependant on His love and grace.


Why Humility? Well, we read in 2 Corinthian12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in weakness". You see the interesting thing of Humility is that when we humble ourselves, we surrender "self", and allow more of God. In so doing we exalt God and we give Him the glory and not ourselves. A good example is that of Gideon when God told Gideon to fight the Midianites. Gideon rallied up an army of 30,000 soldiers, but what did God do? he told Gideon he had too many soldiers. That day 20,000 men went home, and Gideon was left with 10,000 men. But God had other plans…still the army was too big, and eventually God narrowed the army down to only 300 men and the outcome was that the Midianites were defeated. The army did not defeat the Midianites by their own strength, but they defeated the Midianites by God's strength.


What can be learned from this? Humbling ourselves and becoming weak - giving back to God what he has given us - makes us dependant on Him more, and less on ourselves. When we are weak we tend to rely on God's strength rather than our own and if God does not "show" we certainly will 'drown' so to speak.


Therefore we must constantly remind ourselves of God's promise - that His grace is sufficient for us and that it is not about us, but all about Him. All glory, honour and praise to Him who has given us yet another day to enjoy his marvelous creation and to be able to share it together. Therefore, we might not always be sure of where God is leading us, but through coming to God simply saying "here I am, use me with all my scars and bruises…I am here for Your glory" brings a rich simplicity back into our walk, and helps us to rely on God's love as we journey through life's hills and valleys. The challenge for us is to go back and humble ourselves and appreciate the little things that God has blessed us with and to walk like we have never walked before with our Dad – totally reliant on Him!





Thursday, June 18, 2009

Transitions – Never Losing Heart

Transitions are interesting things... Transitions come as a result of change. I suppose in a sense CHANGE is the only thing that (apart from God) is a guarantee. Rather ironic isn't it?

When we look at seasons, we find that in order for new growth, new life to take place, something has to die first, but the result is that in a new season there is FRESH, NEW growth...Have you ever seen a wilting flower? Not as pretty as it was in it's former 'glory', but once a flower has blossomed, it dies...it's a natural part of life. We can get discouraged as things that were before beautiful, or things that once worked doesn't work now. But it is a new season – the old season wasn't bad, it's just over...it was necessary for the new season, but the new season WILL come regardless of whether or not we want to let go of the old season or not.

So what am I saying? Mmmm, I'm in an interesting change of season – I know the season is changing, I am not sure in what way, but there is a SHIFT – that's guaranteed! Sometimes I feel like losing heart, but it is because of a comparison of a previous season that was good, but the new season holds its own, awesome, fun and exciting new growth. It's scary, but NECESSARY.

Instead of avoiding the new season, 'rock out' to it, and allow God to lead you in the new season. The transition may difficult, but it is absolutely essential as we seek to grow into the fullness of what God has called us.



Desert Song – by Brooke Fraser

"All of my life, In every season

You are still God

I have a reason to sing

I have a reason to worship"


Ecclesiastes 3: 1     "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven..."

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Franciscan Prayer...

I recently finished a book by Craig Groeschel entitled "IT: How Churches and ministries can get it, and keep it". A brilliant book that has challenged, inspired and has fuelled me to keep seeking God's heart passionately without excuse!

At the end of the book Craig prays a prayer for that goes like this:


"May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and the exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, and starvation, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done."


WOW...awesome and challenging. I pray that this would be the cry of our hearts – that we won't become complacent in our walk with the KING OF KINGS, that we would be HIS hands and HIS feet in a world that is broken. And that we would unashamedly and at all costs stand and believe that God has a plan for ALL people everywhere and that "ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE – THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES US STRENGHT"



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Psalm 101: A prayer of one whose life is falling to pieces, and who lets God know just how bad it is

I've been reading the Psalms lately and have stumbled upon Psalm 101. An awesome theme for all Christian – I know I can relate to this at the moment. I must add a disclaimer though – this is a work in progress.


Psalm 101 (Message)

1 My theme song is God's love and justice, and I'm singing it right to you, GOD.

2 I'm finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I'm doing the very best I can, and I'm doing it at home, where it counts.

3 I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things. I reject made-in-Canaan gods, stay clear of contamination.

4 The crooked in heart keep their distance; I refuse to shake hands with those who plan evil.

5 I put a gag on the gossip who bad-mouths his neighbour; I can't stand arrogance.


6 But I have my eye on salt-of-the-earth people--they're the ones I want working with me; Men and women on the straight and narrow--these are the ones I want at my side.

7 But no one who traffics in lies gets a job with me; I have no patience with liars. I've rounded up all the wicked like cattle and herded them right out of the country.

8 I purged GOD's city of all who make a business of evil. A prayer of one whose life is falling to pieces, and who lets God know just how bad it is.


Like David, we often go about life singing of God's love and Justice, we try and live right, but sometimes we feel like David as he writes: "but how long before you show up?" Life keeps throwing 'bog' at you – and we know that it is the spiritual battle – but when is the 'bog-throwing' gonna stop? When is God going to show up? We feel discouraged, we feel oppressed, attacked...relentlessly – and we ask: "Where is God?"

The Answer: Right by your side! Jesus says: "I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you". It's interesting that David speaks of WHOM you surround yourself with. As the Message translation (above) puts it "salt-of-the-earth people" – people who share the same heart after God and what HE wants to do. God speaks through these people to us to encourage us in our walk with him – to help us persevere and endure. You see, Christ wants us to live out our faith in the ordinary events of life – but by HIS strength (even when he appears to be silent) – the real question is: "Are you listening?" And are you listening to the RIGHT voices?


An author and pastor whose heart I love writes in one of his books that we need to listen to "Insiders who have an Outsider heart". What this means is that we need to surround ourselves with people who will sharpen us in our walk with Him, but those people need to have a heart of seeing Outsiders (those who are far from God) become Insiders – for God's glory. When we start surrounding ourselves with "salt-of-the-earth" people, it will help in a huge way in pursuing God's will (His Mission, His Purpose) amidst the uncertainty of life and the challenges we face. DISCLAIMER: NOTHING can substitute of our personal Intimacy with Christ.


I love how the Psalm ends: "A prayer of one whose life is falling to pieces, and who lets God know just how bad it is."


In essence our lives are falling to pieces, but the encouraging thing is that God is there and can be trusted through the tough times. He loves us so much that we can tell him how bad it is – and most "awesomely" is the fact that we can let go of the things that burden us and weigh us down and let God do what he wants to do. His will be done!