Get up & Grow.....

We are never meant to be 'static' on our journey with God. There is always more - more to know, more to feel, more to experience, more to do - more, more, more. That's one of the things that makes the journey of faith such a thrill.

How often do we settle for just 'chugging along' though?

How are often are we happy to say that everything is 'ok' rather than looking for more ways to plunge headlong into the adventure of getting to know the creator of the universe each day? We are created for constant growth - which is why the absence of it eventually leaves us bored, dry and asking the question 'is this it?'

“The general human failing is to want what is right and important, but at the same time not to commit to the kind of life that will produce the action we know to be right and the condition we want to enjoy. We intend to do what is right, but we avoid the life that would make it a reality.” -Dallas Willard

If we really want to grow we've got to be prepared to put effort in. If I want to grow things in my garden I need to prepare the soil, create good growing conditions, water and look after the young plants and keep the weeds down.

If we truly want to grow with God, we need to create the conditions that enable the growth God so longs to see happen - which takes effort, genuine commitment and trust that God will do the rest.

“There are very few people who realise what God would make of them if they abandoned themselves into his hands, and let themselves be formed by his grace.” Ignatius of Loyola

What is God growing in you at the moment?
What ground do you need to pay more attention to?
What weeds need dealing with?

In and Out..............

"Every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character" Oscar Wilde

We all have an 'outer life' and an 'inner' one. Outer life being the one that people see most of the time because it's on display for all to see; our inner life holding our true feelings, beliefs, desires and motivations - generally more hidden away - in fact we can fall into the trap of thinking that no one sees it at all - even God....... Psalm 139 reminds us how foolish we are to think that though...... "God..... I'm an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence."

Usually our inner life remains hidden, but in times of stress, the state and integrity of that inner life becomes the thing that can drive, sustain or trip us up depending on what shape it's in at that particular moment. If our inner lives are in good shape and our external world goes a bit pear-shaped, we can be confident that we fall back on internal capacity and strength to see us through.
If our internal life is actually a mess - then we are in trouble........
How many times have we been suprised to see people with great looking external lives buckle under pressure?

Jesus asks in the storm 'where is your faith?' He knows when our external world is under seige and wants to know whether our investment in our internal world will lead to strength & belief that will weather the storm.......

Does my inner world strengthen and support a my outer life - or is how I live my my outer life suffocating my inner world?

What am I feeding with my thoughts, actions and energy today?
Godly destiny, healthy relationships, obedience, more like my maker, dreams and vision - or selfish ambition, idle fantasy, instant pleasure, laziness and junk?

What do I really need?

A long holiday somewhere hot?
New car?
Less month at the end of the money?
Wii Fit?

I could na
me loads of things that I really, really need right now!

In a very
familiar story (Mark 2), Jesus gets stuck in a house because the whole town has rocked up to see him. A group of friends are so desperate to get their paralysed friend near the front of the healing queue that they rip the roof off the house and lower the poor bloke down on a stretcher right under Jesus' nose.

I've read this story so many times - and even made houses with holes in their roof out of shoe boxes at holiday clubs! But today I was struck again by Jesus' understanding of what the man really needed, rather than what he thought he had come for. He was after healing -and why not - he was paralysed after all........
But Jesus knew what that man really needed - restoration to his heavenly father - 'son your sins are forgiven'. The man got what he really needed - and later what he was originally seeking as an extra bonus.

What would it be like to really live my life truly dedicated what I need - rather than what I think I need? What would change, what would grow, and what would need to die?

We think we need 'stuff' - we need Him.

We seek happiness - He offers joy.

We chase cobwebs when we could be seeking Him.

We cry 'heal me' - He answers:

I have..............


This weekend I've thought a lot about the question

"What does resurrection mean to you?"

Firstly, and most obviously because it's Easter, secondly because I've been part of a blogging project run by Slipstream that you can see if you click here, and thirdly because at church on Sunday the question of the day for me was.......

"What would it really mean for me to choose to follow Christ every day rather than to just say I do?"

Big questions.............

What do I need to be resurrected to? What dreams am I dreaming with God for the future - how does the way I live my life this year, this month, this week, this very day take me one step closer to our dreams becoming a reality?

What do I need to be resurrected from? What habits, attitudes, behaviour and thinking have I drifted into (or run towards) that take me further from the life God intends for me and the dreams we share?

I sense the begining of another adventure for me.......


Paper, scissors, stone...................

Truth whips falsehood,
good beats evil.
Love wipes hate out.
In my place.

God is for me,
death defeating,
Life imparting.
Face to Face.

God indwelling.
New each morning.
Such is Grace.

Lost art of living.........

Hopes and dreams are wonderful things - they inspire and give vision for the future.

But to live only for future hopes and dreams runs the risk of living with bits of our present lives 'on hold' while we wait for whatever it is that we dream about............

The risk is that we miss everything that the present offers for the sake of the future we hope might be. Living this way can leave us hearing the promise of 'life in all it's fullness' (John 10:10), frustratedly asking 'is this it?' because we're living a half-life -
half committed to the present, half waiting for something else.....

To truly live out life in all it's fullness surely means to live fully rooted in the here and now, making the most of every minute of every day - inspired rather than distracted - by the possibilities the future holds.....


God in my living
There in my breathing

God in my waking

God in my sleeping

So often we get caught in the trap of thinking we need to see or feel God to be assured that he's there - when actually of course he is there - because he says he will be - in our every breath, in our every moment.
God watches as we sleep - sometimes prevents us from sleeping because he needs our attention......
God is in every second of every day - we don't need to struggle to find him, or strive to see him - however we feel, what ever kind of day we're having - he is there. Of course that also means that in our foolish times, when we think we can hide what we've let ourselves become, what we're thinking or the true desires of our heart he is present in every breath then too. ........

God in my resting

There in my working

God in my thinking

God in my speaking

How do we find God in our resting, rather than seeing resting as a time to rest from him too?
God never takes a day off from us.
God wants us to acknowledge him in every thought we have - would God think our thoughts, or use the words we choose - sometimes miraculously, sometimes in simple normality, but sometimes I think not............

Be my everything

Be my everything

Be my everything

Be my everything

Everything........ rather than an add on to our life or a hobby.......
We so easily say we want to put God first in everything, but how often do we actually put ourselves and our needs first and then try to find a way of justifying our choices. Sometimes to truly say that God is our everything, we need to think less about what we 'deserve' and more about God's best for us - which will always be greater than what we think we have found.

God in my hoping

There in my dreaming

God in my watching

God in my waiting

God knows which of our dreams and hopes will grow and be good - he also stands alongside us in that thought life that is deliciously inviting but brings the opposite outcome.
God invites us to turn over all our hopes and dreams to him.
God knows our hearts desire - for good or ill............
God knows what we wait for..............

God in my laughing
There in my weeping

God in my hurting

God in my healing

God stands alongside us in times of hope and promise that become pain and tears.
God delights to hear us laugh and catches every tear.
God alone offers futures full of hope and promise.
God prods, encourages, draws, drags and welcomes us from hurting into healing.

Christ in me

Christ in me

Christ in me the hope of glory

You are everything

God gets to everything before us - before we even think to look for him, he is there.
In every present moment, in every second of the past, in every minute of the future - God is there.

Christ in me
Christ in me

Christ in me the hope of glory

Be my everything

Words from the song 'Everything' by Tim Hughes