Blame Game

People always want someone to blame, (or something), always.  You gotta blame something: hurt?  You gotta blame something.  Failure?  More blame.

The problem here is that it has become a gut reaction as Christians; we blame Sin.  Sin and Satan, not bad but often inaccurate.

Newsflash sometimes you only have yourself to blame sometimes people will blame even God. Wow what a shock –  not really.

In divorced families blame continually runs rampant.  It is like a cancer and is also what destroys families.  Children especially, are vulnerable to blame due to a lack of communication or lack of knowledge.  Because of blame, lies fester.

No wonder kids blame themselves.

The problem that I have with blame, aside from the obvious, is that it fixes nothing.  Nothing is accomplished when you blame other people and nothing is accomplished when you blame God.  All that it does is just make everybody feel bad and make everybody sad.  So why bother?  Why is it that we do this?

No-one wants to feel stupid, and above all – no-one wants to admit when they do wrong, This is something that goes back to the original sin, in Genesis.

Nobody wants to look bad – and mistakes tend to make you look bad.  The thing is, as Christians, we shouldn’t be worrying about looking stupid.

God is bigger than the bogey man, if looking stupid is the bogey man.

The Bible tells us not to worry about what man thinks, and to not perform for man alone, but for God who sees all and into the hearts of man.  The problem, in my opinion, comes with a lack of faith; and a lack of trust.

How can you trust that God will fix everything if you have no faith?

God hasn’t invited us to a party, but on a wild ride – if we crack under the slightest pressure and begin to blame everything on and off of planet earth, how are we supposed to be able to part the Red Sea?

On Trust

When we wonder why we no longer see ‘Red Sea’ scale miracles, we should take a step back and take a look at ourselves.

In today’s society, very few are adept at trusting God, the problem being that trust is a process; but almost no one wants to devote the time.

Without long practice and determination our trust in the Lord won’t grow.

Practice makes perfect, this is true for more than just daily tasks.  If I can’t learn to trust in the Lord for the little miracles, how am I going to be able to trust Him when it comes to the big stuff?

Being capable of trusting the Lord for the big things and to not fear the little things means that you can become unstoppable.  optimism is a given when you don’t worry about anything, because your trust is in the Lord and you know that your faith is not misplaced.

A Declaration of Worship 

I had an epiphany recently, one concerning Worship; and to be quite frank I am rather more than a little thankful that I had it.
I cannot sing, not for lack of trying, but I can’t really produce any sound that is pleasant to the human ear beyond, “DINNER’S READY!” 98% of the time.
So while I attempt to worship, and by worship I mean sing badly and quietly, or even just lip-sync; it is pretty safe to say that I will never lead worship unless something truly catastrophic has occurred.
This is where the title of this post comes in handy.
Worship does not necessarily mean singing.
Allow me to say it again:


WORSHIP DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN SINGING.



This is probably not news to most people.
‘Yes, of course there’s more than one way to worship. Are you dim-witted to not have found/figured that out by now?’
True, the most common forms of worship outside of singing are dancing and painting.
But worship is not just always a jubilant song to sing; It can be a declaration.
A declaration of Love for Him who created the heavens and the earth.

A declaration of praise.

A declaration of hope.

A declaration of what has been done and will be done by The Most High God.

A declaration of GOd’s unending, forever goodness.

A declaration of the surety of God.

A declaration that HE IS THE LORD.
So, I leave you with this: Every time you worship, you are making a declaration, and even if you can’t sing, you can still praise Him.

My Cup Runneth Over…

In Palms 23 verse 5 it says ‘my cup runneth over’

Conversely: My family was just blessed with an overabundance of frozen vegetables.  We now have so many that we intend to bless other families with these veggies.

And really,isn’t that what that verse is all about?  God blessing us so much that our only reasonable option is to turn around and bless others when we are blessed?

It’s like those stories you read online of the chains of people just carrying over the blessing of paying for someone else’s coffee in a long line.

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The thing that so many people forget about is that fact that God wants to bless us.  God wants to bless everyone to the point where the whole earth ‘runneth over’ with blessings.

Rather, people remember that He wants to bless them, grouse when they don’t see immediate pay-off and, get this, they don’t even ask to begin with.

Now some might object to asking God for blessings, ‘You don’t ask for Christmas Gifts!’, but God has already given us so much already, (Salvation, everlasting life, or forgiveness ring any bells?).

Mathew 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given to you…For everyone who asks, receives..

Even if the only time you ever talk to Him is when you ask for something, He is still happy to hear from you.  Sure, He’d be thrilled to hear from you other times as well, but God is always down to hears from His sons and daughters.

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My Cup truly overflows, it may not be with money or other such things, but its does where it counts and I can only hope that as I learn and grow in Christ, my cup will overflow and that I will be able to pass that overflow into other’s lives as well.  Because nothing tastes as sweet as the bread and the water that He gave us. And that gift is nothing if not worth sharing.

The Ultimate Power Pose

It has been ‘scientifically proven’ that power poses.

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(Basically taking up as much space as possible without being rude),  boost confidence.

When we worship, we tend to adopt these poses almost universally.

Coincidence?

I think not.

God loves us and when we worship Him who gives us strength we are also filled with His power and grace.

Because this is more than a ‘power pose’ this is a symbol of total surrender to the God most High.

Conversely, I suppose that from the outside we do need a fair amount of confidence to do the things we do in worship. (see here for more on this topic)

The fact remains, however, that it is only when we completely submit ourselves to God that He gives us all that we need to be the best versions of ourselves because he knows the best versions of ourselves and all that we could be and do as such.

God knows us and loves us so fully we can hardly imagine the depth of the love and caring that He has for us.

We are designed to worship, and I believe that this just proves it.

Faith Like Man’s Best Friend…

The Presence of faith in someone’s life is a beautiful thing.

God has intervened on my behalf frequently, in both the obvious spiritual sense and in the physical.

As I get older – and move into places and times where I am more alone – I am turning into an island of me, where I am in need of intervention as an individual.

My teen years have been, quite frankly, fraught with adventures.  These adventures often require by my heavenly Father.   The frequency of these interventions have done a wonderful thing for my personal faith.

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Because God is continuously rescuing me from all things mundane and otherwise, I have been blessed not only with a fruitful life, but also an unshakable life.

Oh, I still worry – but it’s mostly about the journey, rather than the end product.

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Why worry about the promise, cause it’ll totally happen, God is just that good.

Your Faith Can move mountains and your doubt can create them.

When Jesus rebukes Timothy, He tells him that later there will be people with greater faith despite few signs to inspire it.

I personally have not seen the deaf hear or the Dead Sea split but because God in His infinite mercy and grace has interfered directly in my life on my behalf for His glory and I know it.

Beyond that, my character and my faith have both grown.

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It May not always be readily apparent, but because I am so sure of God’s protection regardless of what happens.  I have a long-term view on life, whatever may happen long-term, He has my whole world in His hands.

Short term there may be tears, but long terms I am safe and I have been saved.

 

Leadership, Change, Fear, and Faith.

As a leader, a good motto or rule of thumb is ‘Be the Change’.

Being the change is all well and good, but what if your change collapses after a while, or ends up not ‘profiting’ and succeeding in the area it was supposed to. What then?

So do you try to go ahead and lead, be the change? Or do you just not risk failure and the opportunity for change and continue to maintain the status quo?

If you are afraid of change – you have no faith.  With God All things are possible, and if you think that you are going to fail, you are doubting the sovereignty of God. If you say, “I’ve failed before with God’s help.” you need to re-think your definition of that word.

If you are afraid of change.  You are afraid of growth.  You are afraid of success.  You are afraid.

Similar to the parable of the talents, we are all given talent by the Lord, and if you are afraid of change, you are afraid of failure at utilizing your talent.

The absence of change is deadly – not just for individuals, but also for countries. Both societies and characters stagnate in the absence of change.

Without change – nothing will ever happen.  If God hadn’t changed the very fabric of the universe we would very simply not be here.  Without changing somethings, God could not have created the Heavens or the Earth.

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I have some friends who have not led lives fraught with excitement/change, (and by excitement I mean weird and sometimes scary events as a result of living in a sin-cursed world).  While not bad people, because they have not been ‘tested’ as it were, by life.  They have not ‘suffered’ the same character development.  One case being so forward as to presume to be more pious than I; because for all of the things to have happened to me I must have done something to deserve them as opposed to themselves, who have lived their lives, ‘right’.

Essentially, I have led such a singularly crazy life because I am a sinner/bad person.

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Two things to remember here:

  1.  We are all sinners – just because we have been forgiven by the grace of God, does not mean that there aren’t still consequences for those sins.
  2. God loves us, and because He loves us, He does not cause bad things to happen to us. He may allow bad things to happen – but He does not punish us.

Aside from all of this is the fact that hardship forces you to grow, and beyond all of the bad I can see the silver lining.

God may not cause these bad things – but He will use them to glorify Himself.

Change is a part of life, we required change in order to grow; if we fail trying to bring change, we will grow from it and we should not fear that, but be prepared to accept it and move on with grace.

Be like the Elephant (you don’t have to forget)

One of the great lies of society is  the saying: ‘Forgive and Forget’.

Ok, yes; forgiveness is good – nothing wrong there – the problem lies in the ‘forget’ part.

As Christians, God has called us to walk a path of forgiveness and love, just as Christ did, loving and granting forgiveness even to our enemies; no easy feat.

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Forgiveness is hard, in some cases you may need to forgive the same person for the same thing multiple times, even if they haven’t committed the same deed multiple times – every time you remember what they did and feel anger and resentment means that you have to go through the process of forgiving them all over again.

Here is the thing you need to remember most of all:

Forgiveness is an action, not an emotion.

God has called me to forgive and love, He has called me to great things, he has big plans for me.

He has not called me to be a moron.  As such, yes. I may have to constantly forgive people – but not forget; yes I forgive people, but I draw the line at forgetting.

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There will always be consequences for people’s actions, even more so since we live in a sin-cursed world.  This is true in Heaven and on Earth, and while it is true the God has cast our sin away as far as the East is from the West, does not mean that there won’t still be consequences for our actions, from a parking ticket to estranged family, there will always be consequences, both happy and not.

Someone can hit me and I will forgive them, doesn’t mean that I am going to go out of my way to let them do it again if I can help it; so I’m gonna dodge, just in case.

Not forgetting isn’t retaliation, it’s protecting yourself.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say, ‘Forgive and forget’, sometimes forgetting can lead to you getting hurt all over again.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…shame on me.

 

Sorry – The Art of the Apology

Even if you hate Justin Bieber – you probably haven’t been able to escape his somewhat recent single – Sorry – it’s another in a dearth of songs all along the things of being so sorry about the way that they acted while they were in a relationship, or to directly quote it, “Is it too late to say sorry now?  I’m sorry that I let you down.”

The thing about today’s society is that no one like to admit that.  No one wants to admit when they’ve done wrong and the slightest hint that made, just maybe, they could have ‘done goofed’ is the biggest front to their person since Trump was elected President. People have difficulty accepting that they are not God; the problem with this isn’t even with the difficulty in saying sorry (which isn’t even a thing, I’m Canadian, sorry, but I know) but in asking for forgiveness.

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My Mother, wonderful woman, has raised my sibling and I to always say sorry and then immediately ask for forgiveness; for us, they go hand-in-hand.

It’s awkward (is it ever) and has elicited more than a few tears over the years.  However, because of this we have closure. We are capable of ending the day peacefully.

The Bible tells us to not let the ‘sun set on our anger’.  when we don’t ask for forgiveness we are only giving a lacklustre performance in an area in which, as Christians, or indeed – mature adults who desire good working relationships with the people around us – we are supposed to excel.

We are leaving our apologies half-baked and without meaning:

“Oh, I’m sorry – but I don’t care about you enough to ask for forgiveness, what your opinion is of me or whether or not I ever see you again – it doesn’t matter at all.”

Really spreading the love.

Saying sorry without asking for forgiveness is not accomplishing anything. it is an empty platitude that is the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a gaping arterial wound.

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Just think about it: “Will you please forgive me?” 5 words for your next apology – we ask God for forgiveness, so why not our fellow man?