My life is not a dash or a – between two numbers?

Far Reaching

images-8” –  ” will you be willing to put your trust in God… even when nothing is happening?

Acts 1:12-26, what a passage when people’s’ worlds turn up side down then a promise “…wait until…” what did they expect?    they had become quite aware of the unexpected by now.   Who is going to come?   Is this what we are waiting for the “…promise…”.   O the topsy-turvy times of following Jesus.      These two things seem to go together, wait and promise, wait and promise, can you hear them it’s on its way, but all you can shout is WHEN?

How many times do we go through this emotional roller-coaster, how many times are we left to our own devices? it seems like he is there,  we see and hear him, then silence and what do we do?   does it sound familiar,  all you have to do is wait!

I focused on the question of whether the 120 disciples in the upper room did the right thing in choosing Matthias as Judas as successor. Hey I am not going to bring a judgement, just a reflection and a question that poses itself over our lives.  They were “between the times“—following Jesus’ ascent and before the Holy Spirit‘s descent.    Between times, have you ever thought of people’s’ graves or epitaphs “David Smith 1934 – 1998,  the person’s whole life is concluded with  a hyphen.   all you have done, all you hoped for, all you waited for summed up in ” – “.  How long is yours?  ” – ” what have you done?  ” – ” sums it all up, we are all marked with the same mark are we not? at the end of the day a ” – “.   So what happened in your ” – ” did it all just roll by,  did some one take hold of your life and formulate it, or did you design your own ” – “?.

Between times, between two dates I wonder what are life’s’ joys, trials, advances and successes and of course some set backs,  where are the places and times when God  shows himself?   I think it all comes down to how I conduct myself in the between times.

Consider these thoughts:

  • When nothing is happening we often tend to make things happen. The disciples had no direction or instruction to do what they did, that I can see, to choose Judas’ successor. The 120 may have felt a need to do something during the time they were waiting for the promise of the Father (see Acts 1:4).    Been there?  Abraham was….. and in that between time was when he agreed on a plan to produce a son?
  • When we get simple instructions from God we should take them with both hands. Their instructions were clear and simple: Don’t leave Jerusalem, and wait.     Complicated or what?   there must be more we say inside our selves!
  • When nothing is happening but we are obedient, it is God’s problem, not ours.

When I’m in South Africa I am asked,  when in the UK I am asked, in the USA I am asked…..”What are you seeing amongst the churches in this nation or that one today?”  “What is God doing in UK, Africa, Asia?”    We have great pockets of God at work right in front of us along with behind the scenes, many will say your missing it if don’t you know about this place or that ministry?……But the the answer is: “Not a lot these days”, now before you go down my throat and defend what your involved with, this is not a denial what God is working in lives and places but let me say something,  Certainly when you compare what is happening to what is coming! If we sum up whats happening in light of what God has  promised, we have to get real.     I thank God for bright spots in the world, the places where God is manifesting his rule and his power, the great testimonies of his love and grace don’t misunderstand me!   But as the saying goes, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

I think we are somewhat in the position of the 120, God is working and yet we still  have to be obedient to wait and to work — between the times. The awakening that will shake the world has not yet emerged.    But boy can you feel it rising, we call for a wave of God, deep movings of God to be seen, evident on every shore of every country.   I long to see a moving of God, not just captured in one place where the Christian world runs to, to see, copy and glean from, but  what i call a NOAH revival when the deeps open up and the rain from on high meet and the whole world at one time is flooded with God himself, for this must be revival “God Himself” this is my definition……. when every historic well, every visitation of the past, every uncompleted work of God on earth explodes together when no man or movement can take it up and market it, or promote it as a product of a ministry or a place, but God himself comes to all these places at one time Azusa, South Wales, Hebrides…. on and on the list goes, where God came himself……. and now they all break-forth at one time no one but God will own that!   then we will see a restorative work to herald the Christ, a restorative work of God!   So between times let us do all we have been told, being attentive, obedient, which at the end of the day is true worship is it not, to sing songs is a wonderful medium to communicate heart and emotions by but with our obedient hearts its just singing, with obedience its powerful, while looking for the promise that is coming.

Between Times!


My World…your world?

I wonder what world  you and I awake to every day, a world that confronts you or a world that gently wows you?    I have learned over the years not to compare each persons world as we can so quickly dismiss other Peoples world though our own coloured view-point.    What seems so insignificant to you may be so large and debilitating to others,  yet in this world there are some things that flatten the field of play, so to speak, and we can all empathise, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one, the securing of some future event,  having the supply of food on your table.

My aim is to encourage you to consider the world you awake to today, perhaps an exciting event begins todays adventure or perhaps an unsettled issue hung over from last night, or even the concern on how  we will get through the next day and survive it.   So many worlds we awake to each morning.   What is the world before you? how is it rolling out in front of you?    A small decision, a huge event, a life changing or even a threatening day “……..this is my day……..”
Stop now and have a look at your world, the people who occupy it with all the movement of life, the events that create the terrain before you, the valleys and mountains to walk.   Stop for a moment and think what is my world like, what will I see and experience today?
The Psalmist in Psalm 98:1 (Message) says “Sing to God a brand-new song.    He’s made a world of wonders!    He rolled up his sleeves, He set things right.    The context of the song is important here, to sing a brand new song is a good thing but some times  as life is overwhelming we can not find a new song.   I am told in our travels in Africa that we should understand that “Africans sing if they are happy and sing if the are sad, so they sing at all times”  Celebration and song is a way of life there, happy or sad it’s  a song, I don’t find that in the West however perhaps it is something  we should learn.   One of the many things I love about my wife is that she carries a song within her constantly and when she looses that it changes her view and her inner ways, I see the impact of carrying an inner song in her which is wonderful and one of the many things i love in her.    OK back to the context of the song,  do you not see it here its, “he’s made  a WORLD OF WONDERS” this has to be a good way of life, realising that my life and my  song has a connection to a WORLD OF WONDERS.      With my every turn, as I open my eyes there are wonders to be seen and found, our Father has filled a world out with wonders for us to see, find and encounter so that we become those that anticipate wonders with every new day.   Perhaps “new mercies every day” have a direct relationship with realising and seeing a world of wonders as well.
Our song Is through the medium of his wonders, I will say it again our new song has a direct relationship to the wonders we see.   May be songs are not sung when we do not account for the “…world of wonders…”.    O Lord I want to see your wonders at every hand not a narrow band but  be overwhelmed at every hand, seeing your wonders all around us, circulating our lives a “…world of wonders…”
“The wonders of our God” the old hymns sung, it is the record and impact of God with his rolled up sleeves creating wonders, these are the impact of this hymn.    Charles Wesley saw “O for  a thousand Tongues’ to declare the wonder of our God, he grasped and saw.
Oh That we might see the world of his wonders, just as Charles Wesley seeing  every aspect of God coming through  and causing us to shout with him,  with the shout of the deaf and the leap of the lame, shout wonders of our world to God.
Our world is his palette, his brush stroke as he lays down his mark throughout our world, can I be one that will see the world of wonders around me constantly.  O God I ask for a life filled by the world of wonders – then push for it son, I feel and hear  a cry inside me, for the world of wonders, your world your creative order where you are.
We are  invited as the readers to sing to the Lord a new song (cf. 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 144:9; 149:1) because in His strength (right hand and arm are symbols of power) He has provided salvation and revealed His righteousness. God’s great salvation is possible because of His loyal love (ḥeseḏ) and faithfulness (these may be trans. “faithful, loyal love”). Remembering His covenant with His people Israel, the Lord delivered and saved them.    A WORLD OF WONDERS surrounds us waiting for us to pay attention even in the midst of life and challenges of struggles.
LET ME EVEN GET TO THE POINT, LET ME  CHALLENGE YOU TO SEE THE WONDERS THAT AWAITS YOU IN THIS DAY, not just the miracle of healing which is magnificent in its self but wonders of life, growth, change, wonders in every way.  My cry is that we do not lose the wonders of our world for one wonder only but that we are able to encourage each one of us to be awakened to the wonders of our Father
In view of the wonders of grace and righteousness displayed in God’s salvation, the whole creation is invited to unite in praise.    My spiritual father loved the song by Louis Armstrong “What a wonderful World” and every time I hear this song sung  I think of him,  but even with out that thought I find that song moving me to appreciate the wonders of the world he has planted us in.   I am fully aware that there are human horrors taking place that many encounter each day yet in the midst of the world, shocked as we all can be of human atrocities, just t stop and wait and begin to part those things to see and look at the wonderful world that the Father has given us, he has and will enable us to see himself in our day.    I pray Lord that though the dim light sometimes of life we will see the world of wonders so that we may see our immediate world transformed through the palette of your brush strokes our lives.     That you might see the wonder of s simple life, that you might see the wonders of God at every hand throughout your day, how he involves in daily actions in and through you and those around you
Open your eyes to the world of wonder!



images-6The Kingdom Increases with indisputable evidence. 

Mark 16:20 ( Message Translation)

And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.

Can we come to a place today, where we are confident to know that the master is working right with us, that he is along side our work and declaration.     That he awaits the words we speak in order that he might work right alongside us.

Authentic ministry is when the master works alongside you.

Can we simply step into the confidence of this, with the immediate walking of a faith that says,  ‘I speak’, ‘he works’ then the  ‘validation’ and ‘evidence ‘are the products.

Validation confirms that we are about the Father Business.

What a powerful experience  for all involved….“…the Master working right with them…” O Lord that this would become our daily experience.      Our work and ministry would become the working together of my words alongside my Lords validation, what a privileged position.   God  has  planned for interaction, becoming one with his people,as they preach, He will be right there working with them.    In this, the minister also becomes the sign sent from God and validated by him.

Isaiah 18:18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has givenme are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.

In these verses we read that we will become the children of signs and wonders, these children will be signs and wonders in themselves and will also be given to seeing signs and wonders around them.      Is What we read in Marks gospel and in our lives today the re contextualising of this passage that “…Master working right with them…” causes them to be a sign and wonder?

Jesus has now taken up more fully his heavenly priesthood in the order of Melchizedek, his ministry continues in another realm, as High Priest and Advocate for His people (Hebrews 7–101 John 2:1–3).

He is now seated at the right hand of God ,the “right hand of God” being the place of honor and authority (Ps. 110:11 Peter 3:22).

One of His heavenly ministries is that of enabling His people to do His will

Hebrews 13:20–21 May God, who puts all things together, makes all things whole, Who made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus, the sacrifice of blood that sealed the eternal covenant, Who led Jesus, our Great Shepherd, up and alive from the dead, Now put you together, provide you with everything you need to please him, Make us into what gives him most pleasure, by means of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Messiah. All glory to Jesus forever and always! Oh, yes, yes, yes.

We read here of the wonderful active working together of the Father and the Son.

  • He put us together
  • He provides all we need with the goal of pleasure to the Father
  • He makes us into something, transforms us into people who give the Father “most pleasure”

How amazing, the single sightedness of this, it is not just to bring down the devil so to speak or to bring in the Kingdom, although the kingdom is our message, but to put us together, give us all we need and make us into the people who bring him pleasure – the sole aim of man is to bring pleasure to the Father.

How can we not bring pleasure to him as he puts us together, he provides for us and he makes us, nothing of our work and labour, it is only his making of us.

The signs authenticated their message. This task of proclaiming the gospel and spreading the kingdom is still our life and ministry, carrying on today through disciples empowered by the risen Lord, with their message being validated through the Godhead.

Hebrews 2:4(The Message Translation) “All the while God was validating it with gifts through the Holy Spirit, all sorts of signs and miracles, as he saw fit.”

With God standing alongside us  to validate our message with indisputable evidences, who can excuse any failure to become the man or woman God intends us to be?

Reach out today and live in that Sign and Wonder understanding.

How will you answer?

Right or Wrong

What side will you take?

Which one shall I chose?

Who will you stand with?

images-6Life is full of choices they bombard us every day for attention from large challenges to small incidental choices that make up the day, tea or coffee, is it toast or biscuits, this way or that way some times choices of opposites and some times so slightly different that it can be complicated.    Choices of benefits to you personally, choices that benefit the whole wider community, choices that cost you but are for the greater good.  O my word life is full of them!

We also know that from the onset of Gods dealings with humanity, in the account of early Genesis, that he also offers choices.    Looking at the story of Adam the Father seeks to mature his sons by bringing before them choices, so that we can learn what it is to be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14).   Adam is given a choice of trees to eat from and directed in his choice yet he made the very opposite choice. Since the beginning God has brought moral choices to you and I as a process of our maturing as his sons.     We are even told in Hebrews 5:8 that Jesus who had grown in favour with men also and “learned obedience through suffering” even the Christ had choices set before him, through his overcoming choice He brought to you and I the entry to a face to face relationship with the Father.

Yet within the pages of the bible there are choices offered and some times a different answer is presented and necessary.    When you read the opening chapter of the book of Joshua I suggest one these necessary different answer is being presented.   But let me commence by starting with offering to you a new “beginning” to this familiar account of the battle of Jericho.    We all consider the story commencing in chapter six with God telling the Israelites to walk around Jericho for seven days before the walls “came tumbling down.”    Showing us that there is a time for a “shout of faith” on one day and the long walk of 6 days of “silent faith”, we all like the shout but what about the silent faith, that’s for another article.   Let me suggest to you that the actual story beginnings  at the end of chapter five.   In Joshua 5:13 we are introduced to a simple setting that is often missed, Joshua is “near the city”, he is not at a safe distance but the picture opens up in a risky place for an enemy commander to be.     What he was doing there?      He is not at a safe distance he has found himself near his enemy and as he draws near he is about to encounter the realm beyond the moment.   Is it not often when we feel the imminent danger the nearness of threat that an encounter is on the way?     Was he on a reconnaissance mission?    Was he studying the city walls, trying to come up with a plan of attack?

Suddenly, Joshua is interrupted when he looks up and sees a man in front of him not any man but one with “drawn sword“.  Battle ready and Joshua His battle instincts triggered, Joshua walks forward with a challenge: “Are you for us or our adversaries?”

How does the man answer? “Neither, but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”     “Neither”

Joshua’s as many of us was clear in his mind he saw two options for us or from them, but that “neither” blew his for and against, friend-or-foe sides out of the water.      The passage reveals that it is not just a man but God who was in front of Joshua— and God isn’t bound by “option A or option B” thinking.    As the story unfolds we find a strange picture being described as a shoe less commander near the enemy in the middle of holiness as God outlines His plan.

Do you like me often get lost in your mind on what comes before us with “this or that” which is “right or wrong” and the whole moment is summed up with making my choice.  we move from circumstance to people also become either “friends or foes”. I can only choose between ‘option 1 or 2’, ‘door 1 or door 2’.      Sometimes we even come knocking at God, trying to get Him to tell me which option He’s going to identify with.      Joshua’s story reminds me that God may be replying to my “This or that? questions with, “Neither.”      What does that mean to me, just maybe, perhaps it is better I recognize His presence, take off my shoes, and stand still for a while on holy ground.      Not to get religious, but the very place where your foot is standing now, in every day moment is holy ground, this is constantly the ground of God, and therefore holy ground.    Has not heaven come to earth in you, heaven has come to reside in you, to remain in his temple, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the residence of Christ, you are always standing on holy ground.    Then avoid making somewhere outside of you as holy and disqualifying yourself, thinking too little of yourself, God has chosen to make his residency in this human life, is this not part of salvation?   Heaven has come to earth inside you.    Otherwise we will live always chasing heaven and never arriving.    Realize heaven has taken up residence in you “Christ in us the hope of glory”.     This encounter is to prevent us getting lost in the debate of sides “whose side are you on”, but more bout getting a third perspective, so that He your heavenly Father can outline a perspective we would have never considered otherwise.

Neither” is often the Fathers view when we offer our predicament, or situation, friend or foe arguments, which way is it this or that and the answer is “neither” let me show you my option.      Listen for your “Neither” to have heavens option