Wednesday, 20 July 2011

If this is how much i can change nature, how much can i change YOUR nature?

So i went for a walk recently, and i hadn't been for a while…as i took in my surroundings i was taken aback by how much the nature around me had changed since my previous walk.  Some had blossomed and some had changed slightly but it had still changed.

I was reminded of the verse in the Bible that says:

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!"
And i felt God say to me:

"If this is how much i can change nature, how much more am i able to change you?"

So i thought i had seen a drastic change in nature and i had, but God can help us change so much more than we even could imagine.

On my walk i met a man named Joe who was walking his dogs; he commented "some of these trees have blossomed and others not so much" and he was right.  But they had still experienced a change and however little the change was, it was still significant.

And so it is with our lives; we may not experience a drastic change all in one go and everything is better (although i believe God can and does do this for people), but we might be on a journey and we are changing bit by bit, as God will continue his good work in us until the coming of Christ.

We often consider ourselves to be unworthy or needing to change in so many areas, but God in his grace and mercy helps us through sanctification to become more like Jesus.
As Cheesy as this may sound, i want to quote my pastor Andrew Owen, who once said "There is a reason for the season"

Maybe right now even though it's summer you feel like you're stuck in winter (Mark Cameron, if you're reading this, that sentence is for you because i know how much you love analogies).  

But as Christians and followers of Christ, God has a plan for us and it's a good one.  We can put our trust in him to believe in a good outcome.  Trust in the one who knows all things.

Be encouraged


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Let's take a drive around the blog!

So i had a dream a few nights ago, and to cut a long story short, would be wrong, so i'll tell you the long story.

So a couple of years ago i used to live in a flat with a flatmate.  In the dream, i'm back living in the flat with him and my flatmate decides to give me an awesome sports car called a Safari Bongo.  A lovely sleek silvery/grey colour, similar to an Aston Martin, but with it's own quirky features...  I think to myself 'oooh niiiice'.

I decide i will drive the car to church (the dream was on a Saturday night so i was dreaming of the next morning).  The car is awesome, especially the sound system!  But it has one strange design - it doesn't have a normal brake pedal; instead it has what looks like a weird pressure pad.  It takes me a while to get used to this.  Basically when you press the brake pressure pad it takes about 5 seconds for the car to stop.  This is bad when you want to do an emergency stop.  Actually it's bad if you are just generally stopping.  So i get to some traffic lights that are red and by the time i've managed to brake, i'm already through them by about 20ft.  Thankfully they are not the newer traffic lights that have the cameras on top...i get a few strange looks from other drivers that appear to be asking "Why hasn't he stopped?" and "What on earth is a Safari Bongo?  I want one!"

So i drive the car back to my flat and tell my flatmate about the weird brake pedal.  The first thing he says is "Brake pedal?  Sounds more like a BROKE pedal haha!"  i politely laugh at his joke.  He says to hold on and he'll get the instruction manual.  We find out that in order to brake more quickly you need to repeatedly press the brake pressure pad in quick succession, then the car will slow down faster (slow down faster?  That sounds wrong!).  So all in all a bit of a complicated car.  Good sound system and awesome looks, but it might just crash.

So i'm not really sure if there is a point to this dream other than to share it with you.  But if there is a point i think it might be this:

Are you sacrificing things to make your life look good on the outside, when on the inside things aren't working properly?

See it doesn't matter how good something looks on the outside, if it's not functioning in the best way on the inside it's probably not that beneficial.

Maybe sometimes it's good to take a look at ourselves and see if there are any funny brake pedals that need looking at.  If in doubt, take a trip to the heavenly engineer and see what he has to say :-)

Happy Thursday!

Sam G

Monday, 28 March 2011

Enjoying The Journey

When i go for a journey in the car, probably the most important thing to me isn't where i am going, or even do i have any petrol (although, that can help), but it's usually 'what music am i going to listen to on the way?' and why is that important?  I guess it's important because it means that i will enjoy the journey more :-)

I went for a walk to try and find a specific place the other week and i said to myself 'when am i going to get there?  Why am i not there yet?' and i really felt God say to me the phrase 'Just enjoy the journey'.  As i started to look around me i realised that there was a lot of great scenery to take in and things to enjoy (like rabbits quickly running away from me) as i was getting to where i was going.  This really spoke to me in a few ways…

I think sometimes in life we can want things right now; we have hopes and dreams and wish they would come to us straight away.  Let's not forget about how good the journey there can be though.  The people we meet, the friends we make, the way in which we grow and are shaped in a way that will most likely prepare us to be more suited to where we are going.  God's timing is perfect.  We don't always understand why things take the time that they do, or why they happen the way that they do.  We can however choose to enjoy where we are at and trust his plan for our lives.

So remember to enjoy your journey, to take in the surroundings of where you are at right now…maybe it's not the nicest scenery, perhaps you're in a bit of a dark valley at the moment.  Well, that's okay, God is still with you and for you.  He's shaping you and forming you in a way that you probably won't be able to see until you're a bit further on in the journey.  Just trust him though, he'll work everything together for your good.

Proverbs 3 v 5 - 6

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths"

Monday, 21 March 2011


Acceptance, what does it mean?  

To some it will mean being part of a family or a group of friends, to others it will mean knowing we are loved.  But what if, even when we know that others love us and accept us, we still feel unworthy. What if, no matter how hard we try, we can't help but value ourselves by what we can do or can't, and what our talents are or aren't?  The world seems to base our worth on what we are good at, what we have to give, how we look and come across in social situations.  How can we reach this great standard of perfection?

Maybe it's to do with the way we've been brought up, mindsets of striving to be better at things to be more appreciated.  Perhaps we are more concerned about how many people comment on or 'like' our facebook statuses than who we are as people.

But there is a truth greater than this task of trying so hard to be accepted.  

In Ephesians 2 v 8 - 10 Paul says:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast" (great stuff eh?) 

and then it continues to say (I love this bit) :

"For we are Gods workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do"

I find this so interesting because we are told that it's "not by works" and yet a few verses later we read we have been "created in Christ Jesus to do good works"; but here is the beautiful thing - it's almost as if when we try to achieve a certain status through works, it is unattainable; only God through Jesus Christ, can give us that status of acceptance, THEN as a result of this and out of joy, we realize we have been "created in Christ Jesus to do good works", and these are the only works we have been asked to do.  Not works FOR acceptance, but works FROM acceptance.  It all comes out of an overflow of our relationship to God.

I believe that it's only when we truly begin to grasp who we are in Christ that we can accept ourselves, because we are not basing our value on what we have done, but on what He has done.

When we get to know God, and the truth of His word begins to saturate us, we discover who we really are.  You can discover that although you may have been given great talents and abilities, it's YOU that God loves.  Just you, for who you are, not for what you've done or can do, but because He loves you, because He just DOES.  Because God IS love.  So here is the challenge...can you accept what God says about you?  If you will accept God and what He says about you, you can learn to be able to accept yourself.  Then realizing who you are in Christ, gain a new perspective of the right kind of works; not works for acceptance but works out of gratitude.

God loves you.  He accepts you.  You are his workmanship.

(I'm not saying I've got all this sorted by the way, I'm just throwing some thoughts out there :-) )

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Rebecca Blacks Song 'Friday'

Well happy Sunday to you all, i trust you are having a pleasant day?  Good stuff, then let's begin...

Haha so i just heard Rebecca Blacks song 'Friday' for the first time - ok so it's not got the most profound lyrics: 'Saturday is the day after Friday', and then a bit later 'Sunday is the day after Saturday' although that being said it could be really good for children who are learning the days of the week...they could just play that section over and over again to get them to learn some stuff...but they'd probably need to add some more lyrics about the other days of the week, so that those days didn't feel left out.  And so that the children can know about the other days too...

Also, i wasn't expecting the AWESOME breakdown rap towards the end of the song, sweeet!  I quite like surprise raps that just come out of nowhere, great stuff.  I also quite like that she doesn't think that she's anything she isn't.  I don't mean like a strange wild animal or something...well i HOPE she doesn't think she's a strange wild animal, like a Rebecca Black Mamba or a Rebeccasaurus (or even, a 'Tyrannosaurus Bex')!  Raar!  But more to the point what i mean is she doesn't think she's the world's best singer, so that's kinda cool, she's not under any false pre-tenses.  So I say well done to you Rebecca, for helping to teach children about (some of) the days of the week, for writing a song that's become quite successful and also, for not thinking you are a strange wild animal.  Hats off to you :-)

Peace out friends, and have a lovely Sunday.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Letdown (sounds like the title of an American Comedy starring Seth's not though...i don't think)

Here's what i find slightly frustrating…

You go to see a film at your local cinema complex, great.  You come out of the film and realise that the cinema complex also has an amusement/games section so you take a little wander round there.  They have games machines of all varieties and then you notice some coin machines; you know the ones where you put in a pound coin and try to get it to push lots more pound coins off the edge of the ledge so that ideally, you end up with loads?  One of those.  And then next to it there's one that's similar, but instead of real coins, it uses chocolate coins, haha, awesome!  Anyway, you go for the real coin based one because firstly you don't have any chocolate coins to put in the other one and secondly, even if you win lots more chocolate coins, you don't really need any more chocolate right now…

So you start to put some pound coins in the machine and hey, what do you know, on the first go you get ten pound coins back…awesome!  You try it again, another ten pound coins, sweeeet!  

You go downstairs with your winnings, to the ground floor of the cinema complex.  You notice that there is randomly (yet somehow conveniently) a lending library on the ground floor.  It seems slightly out of place but you take a look anyway and to your pleasant surprise, they are selling off second hand CDs and DVDs, for a mere £1.79 each!  This is your lucky day, what with the £20 you just won upstairs, you could buy at least, well, ten items!

Looking through the CDs you quickly find 10 that you've wanted for ages but could never seem to find anywhere else, how exciting!  The DVDs weren't of such a high quality selection so you just leave those.  Then something a little strange happens…you start to feel as if this is almost too good to be true, as if as great as it all is, there is a bizarre feeling about the whole thing.  Then something very weird happens; you turn around to see your Dad standing there and he says 'hey, do you know where your Dad is?'….'errr, what?!', you think.  As the seconds go by, you begin to recognise this familiar feeling, and then it hits you…'ooh nooooo, i'm in a flippin' dream!!'

Yeah, so i find that slightly frustrating.  It's like you try so hard to keep the stuff that you had in your dream but it just…disappears!  And that's what i call 'The Letdown'.

On the plus side, another part of my dream did include a sequence in which i found myself on Top of the Pops with David Bowie, performing 'Let's Dance', pulling off some sweeeeet dance moves.  It may or may not be worth mentioning that i was also dressed up as a bear.  

Well, there's a little insight into the workings (?) of my mind.  I've heard it said that we only use 10% of our brains…i have a theory that i might be using at least some of the other 90% while i'm asleep.

Thanks for reading :-)