Being Thankful

Photo credit: www.aholyexperience.com

I’ve been reflecting on thankfulness this week. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, however, it has been hard to ignore with all the messages on social media.

I wish we did celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s very powerful to stop, be still for a few moments, at least, and reflect on what we are thankful for. In doing this we cease thinking about ourselves as we put our mind to God, to other people, or to simply to something else, depending on what we believe.

Praying with a thankful heart

One key lesson I’ve learnt this year is the power of thanking God as I go through my day. Earlier in the year I read a marvellous book, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, that opened my eyes to the extraordinary power that a thankful and grateful heart brings to our life.

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Intentional Friendship

Photo credit: www.gentlecarechironorwest.com.au

We come to the final element of our study on “Walking as Jesus Walked.” It is perhaps the one element that actually surprised me as to its significance. However, once I worked through Dann Spader’s book, it was plainly evident it’s criticality to Jesus’ life and ministry.

This final element is my weakest one in practice, but more significantly, in my desire for it.

“The remarkable thing about Jesus was that relationships were His strategy”1

Jesus was very intentional about building and developing relationships. I’d encourage you to spend some time looking at His commitment to the disciples.  Read more

He Shall Be Exalted!

Photo Credit: http://ourlibrary.mornpen.vic.gov.au

So we’re now at the fifth element of the Holy Spirit POWER acronym : Exalting the Father.

According to the “Free Dictionary” on the web, to exalt means:

–       To raise in rank, character, or status; elevate.

–       To glorify, praise, or honour.

–       To increase the effect or intensity of; heighten.

Jesus lived a life glorifying the Father.

“Jesus answered, ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.’”(John 7:16-18 NIV)

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Feeding our Hunger

A Sydney Jacaranda

We continue our series on “Walking as Jesus Walked”.

What I see from my limited study (at present) of Jesus walk was that He fed on the Word. He was the fulfilment of it. So He needed to know what He was going to fulfil, so He knew the Word.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matt 5:17-18 ESV)

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Do what He says

Brandy-girl, our much loved pooch

Earlier in the week I had one of those challenging conversations with a good friend where we both said things that were hard to hear. We both left the conversation a little in certain about where we stood and also where our friendship stood.

I’ve spent a lot of time this week ruminating on the conversation whilst talking to God about it. Pride has continued to badger me with thoughts such as: “of course you’re right, Ian. He was wrong,” “he’ll never change,” and “just forget the friendship, it’s not worth it.”

Most of the time when such thoughts have hit me I’ve cried out to God to take them and rebuked “pride” to get off my back as he’s been defeated by Jesus. Funny, he’ll disappear for a while but then make his presence known with a similar thought but with a fresh twist.

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Praying like Jesus

Photo credit: www.ligonier.org

It’s been too long since my last post and for that I apologise.

Let’s quickly re-cap where we are. A few weeks ago I raised the notion of loving and trusting God with our “all” as the Bible repeatedly exhorts.

How do we do that, I asked?

Follow the one who came as our example: Jesus.

Taking instruction from Dann Spader’s excellent workbook: “Walking as Jesus Walked” we identified the 6 elements to intimacy with the Father, which you can find here.

Last time we explored the significance of child-like dependency  and now let’s address prayer.

There is so much we can talk about on the topic of prayer but I wanted to highlight only a couple of aspects in today’s post.

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“The Soul Saver”, Dineen Miller

Photo Credit: www.dineenmiller.com

There’s so much to love about this novel.

I found Dineen’s debut novel really hard to put down. It moved along at great pace plus a series of well managed conflicts (yes, there a few) made me want to get to the next page quickly.

The main storyline is powerful and compelling. And then Dineen overlays a spiritual battle to intensify the drama. It’s this spiritual side that particularly grabbed me. Starting with Lexie’s spiritual gift (you’ll have to read the novel to find out what it is) which I discovered is Biblical, I was fascinated how Dineen seamlessly wove the spiritual in and out of the ‘natural’.
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Living a Dependent Life

Control.

I struggle to not be in control. I like order, routine, and degrees of predictability.

Boring, huh?

And I get anxious when things are out of order. Worse still, I get anxious thinking about the possibility of things getting out of order.

Sad, huh!

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Modelling Jesus’ Life

Photo Credit” Moody Publishers

I left it last time with this notion that Jesus came, not just to restore our relationship with the Father, but also to be the example for that relationship.

I’ve mentioned Dann Spader’s book, “Walking as Jesus Walked”, a number of times, so let’s get to its key elements.

Spader has based his message from a close study of Scripture. As one works through each chapter, he lets us examine many of these verses for ourselves, so we become familiar with Jesus as a man, who lives a life solely dependent on the Holy Spirit.

This dependence aspect is critical and I’ll explore that a little further in my next post on the weekend.

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“Follow Me”

Photo credit:www.missionalchurchnetwork.com

So we’ve started out on this little expedition to better understand how to love God with our “all”, our everything. I believe this is one of love’s great adventures. God is a never-ending well who so desires for us to dive in knowing that He’ll be there to catch us.

Let’s jump!

Together!

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