A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Opening our Eyes

“.. having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints ...” (Ephesians 1:18 ESV)

Our living room window was damaged in the severe storms this year. The intense shaking caused the seal between the two sheets of glass to break. This resulted in condensation building up and flowing down like large streaks of tears. It became so bad that it was like trying to see through a fog. It couldn’t be cleaned because all the mess was on the inside. We just had to endure it all winter, until the expert repair firm finally came to replace the whole unit.

It was a difficult job requiring very careful planning. Once the massive new pane was installed however, we were amazed at the view that was opened up. It had been there all the time, except we couldn’t see it. The beauty of the lush green growth on the hill opposite and the panoramic vista of the ocean were a delight to behold.

This reminds me how it can be for us sometimes. We may keep Jesus out of a certain area of our life, either through fear or some other reason. The problem is it keeps us from living to our full potential and blurs our spiritual vision. When we allow Jesus into those hidden areas He wipes away the tears, cleans away the grime and lifts off the shame. The result is our vision is cleared and we see things from God’s perspective. We see Jesus.

It’s life-changing.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Living your Dream

"To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of:" Ephesians 3:20 Good News Bible

"... because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose." Philippians 2:13 Good News Bible

We have just returned from a short break in the countryside, a delayed birthday treat. Because my wife has a disability and my energy is limited, we had to lean heavily on God for his enabling. We saw it as an adventure. He didn't disappoint us, as we were blessed on every turn, far more than we could have imagined. Also, being relaxed and away from routine, we were particularly open to what God might show us.

I found a children's book on the hotel bookshelves. It was a fascinating story about a family who had an unfulfilled dream. The loss of the father's job acted as a catalyst for their decision to buy a boat and sail around the world. They embarked on an adventure into the unknown, that was to change their lives for ever.

It really spoke to me and touched in on my own sense of adventure. I want to be open to all the opportunities God puts my way and saw this as a prompt from God, to check things out with Him.

These are my thoughts today:

As Christians, we say that all we want is to do God's will, but surely we need to discover what that means for us. He wants us to get in touch with our own hearts and discover our desires, the longings he has put there.

We could start by asking ourselves: "What do I really want to do or be, more than anything else in the whole world? What do I have a passion for?" The answer may link to yearnings that have been hidden away since childhood and stifled by life's pressures and burdens.

Moving out on a dream, going for 'gold,' may be risky, but if God put the desires there, He will provide all that is necessary for them to come about. It may be a choice of staying in a comfortable rut or living life to the full. There may be a time of waiting patiently upon God, until the time comes to make the first step. That takes courage, but even that comes from Him.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stability in a Changing World

"I am the LORD, and I do not change" Malachi 3:6 Good News Bible

Things can never stay the same, but change in our lives and the world can have an unsettling effect upon us.

I used to like having things cut and dried and in order around me. It gave me a feeling of safety. I do like change though, especially if I have arranged it myself and it's enjoyable. However, if it comes out of the blue, out of my control and involves going into unknown territory, it can be scary. I may even find my inner security threatened.

My wife and I have experienced a number of events over the last two or three years, that could have ended in disaster or even tragedy. Thankfully God brought us through and I believe we are stronger because of it. It did however, reveal that I still have some weakness in the area of anxiety and I need to look to God to strengthen me in that department.

The whole world is changing and not necessarily for the good. Global warming seems to be having a drastic effect upon weather patterns, with forest fires, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes and famine. We just cannot learn to live with one another and as a result there are civil wars, ethnic cleansing, suppression, human abuse and terror attacks. Financial crisis, property repossessions and unemployment, may be nearer to home. The list seems endless. These things may not impinge directly upon our lives, but we can't escape the overall consequences. Even thinking of these things, has the potential to engender fear in our hearts.

Thankfully, there is One who does not change. God is always the same. The world may seem to be collapsing around us, but He is always steady. He is our Rock, our true Foundation. Cleave to Him, surrender to Him, walk with him, stay close to Him and we will share in His stability in a changing world.

He must weep over what He sees in the world, but He waits .... patiently .... with open arms.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Child Play

“I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." Mark 10:15 GNB

During childhood there’s born in each of us a sense of wonder, beauty and adventure. I discovered however that this spark can be dimmed or submerged under years of daily routine and life’s pressures.

I asked a friend what he would do if given a whole day just for himself. After considerable thought he was stumped for an answer. Another, when asked what he did for recreation, replied that as a Christian he’d died to all that sort of thing! I was puzzled by his reply and felt sad, as I thought I could join him in a common pursuit.

I once made a list of things I really liked doing. Simple things like rowing a boat, paddling in rock pools, messing with paints, playing the piano, flying a kite, blowing the seeds off a dandelion head ... I reached twenty items and as I kept writing, tears began to flow. I had touched in on a need. I hadn’t experienced some of those things since childhood.

I decided to work through the list and hired a mountain bike on the High Peak Trail, a disused rail track in the hills of one of our National Parks. I felt self conscious at first; as a vintage learner with expert youngsters looking on. That was soon forgotten though, as I cycled through a tunnel and rattled through ravines. I paused on a viaduct to admire the panoramic view and was overcome with joy. It was as if Father God, ‘my Daddy’ was smiling with me all the way. It was powerful stuff, helping to rekindle my God-given heart desire.

Your list may be different to mine, but don’t lose the spark from childhood.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

In Quietness and Trust

"in quietness and in trust shall be your strength" Isaiah 30:15 English Standard Version

Yesterday started well and we were looking forward to the day. However, all of a sudden, things began to take a downward turn.

I discovered there was a problem with our car and couldn't see how it could be fixed. Then, when trying to complete an important form, I couldn't find the necessary document to accompany it. I wasn't sure whether I had mislaid it, never received it, or it was lost in the post. All this started to wind me up and I became agitated. After frantic searching and several phone calls, I was no further forward. I even thought of accusing my wife.

Thankfully, I came to my senses and realised what was going on. While I was ignoring God in all this, the Enemy was taking advantage of the situation. He was trying to destroy my peace and even drive a wedge between my wife and I. After repenting of my attitude, I did what I should have done at the start. I handed everything over to God. After all, I wasn't getting anywhere trying to do it my way.

Not surprisingly, without having to change our plans, the car was repaired, and without charge. The document, which had been delayed in the post, arrived later.

When we go about our day, looking to God and resting in Him, we can have complete confidence, that He has everything in hand.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Words that Hurt

“But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:8 GNB)

When I was at school, we used to shout out, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will not harm me,” in reply to hurtful playground taunts. It just was not true of course. Words spoken over us, especially when we were children, can stay with us and have a negative, disabling effect in later life. Sometimes the words don't have to be spoken, but can be picked up from the attitude of parents, teachers and those in authority.

Here are just a few of my examples from my childhood: “Big boys don’t cry;” led me to think that it was wrong to even say, I was hurting, let alone cry. “You are no good at art;” was picked up from a school teacher. Years later I would hold a pencil, longing to draw, but not knowing what to do, because I might fail. “It’s my fault, there must be something wrong with me;” picked up from the family “atmosphere.”

It was only after I became a Christian, that I understood the extent of what was going on. I realised there was a solution and I could do something about it. After I had forgiven the people concerned, in my heart, I renounced those lies and released myself from the hold they had over me.

As a result I began to be freer in my feelings and have probably filled several buckets with tears. I started to paint with the help of a good tutor and have since exhibited some oil paintings. The false guilt was lifted and I began the journey of finding out who I really was in God.

Now, if words come to me, that have the potential to hurt, I try to remind myself what is really true. What God says about us, the truth in His Word, always brings freedom.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Throw them Overboard

“The violent storm continued, so on the next day they began to throw some of the ship's cargo overboard ..” (Acts 27:18 GNB)

Although I am no sailor, I have a love of boats and anything to do with the water. My wife and I often refer to one of our favourite paintings. It’s depicts an open sailing boat with an large orange mainsail, creaming along in a turquoise frothy sea. A couple - that’s us - are seated in the stern, relaxed and confident, looking into the sun, as they sail into the wide blue yonder.

It’s a beautiful picture and speaks to me of effortless adventure. The adventurers are fully yielded to God in complete trust. They are secure in the knowledge that He is in absolute control of their lives and will get them to their destination.

This idyllic scene can change when the weather turns stormy, the waves become threatening and fear knocks at the door of our hearts. If you are anything like me you may be tempted to make your own plans, just in case things don’t work out. This could be analagous to towing a lifeboat behind us and filling the boat with unnecessary cargo for comfort and life preservation. The problem with that is, it just serves to slow the boat down or at worst even sink it.

We can carry cargoes like old habits, old ways, giving importance to material possessions, anything that can take our eyes of the Master Mariner and water down our trust in Him. Let’s throw them overboard and cut free.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Shaky start - Brilliant ending

“You may make your plans, but God directs your actions.” (Proverbs 16:9 GNB)

We were both in recovery, my wife from an operation and myself from fatigue, and decided we needed a break. We chose Guernsey, an island several miles from Jersey at the mouth of the English Channel and close to France. We planned the journey to be as easy as possible. We were to be driven to our local airport and would be in the comfort of the hotel for late afternoon tea. We felt a peace in our hearts about our little adventure.

Everything went according to plan, until we approached Guernsey. The pilot announced it was too foggy to land, so he took us on to Jersey. He left us on the tarmac to make our own way to Guernsey by boat. We weren’t sure how and when we were going to get to our destination, but made our way to the ferry terminal. With several hundred other hopefuls milling around us, I just surrendered the whole thing to God.

We eventually arrived at our hotel just before midnight. Every little detail that had concerned me had worked out, from the unscheduled ferry, to the car rental girl bringing the car to the dock on a hunch. What followed was an unforgettable holiday.

This simple example serves to remind me that however prayerfully and carefully we make our plans, God sees the whole picture. Provided we surrender to Him, He will direct every little detail to our eventual benefit.

Technorati Profile