Archives For Bible

Well this is it. I’m nearly there. Only two days of my 40 Days of Water challenge remain. Two more days until I can drink what I like, when I like. Freedom.

Except.

Part of me is sad it’s going to finish. I know once it is over and I can resort to morning coffees I will feel differently, but I genuinely feel it’s been quite an impactful journey to have been on.

***

I don’t want to use the classic cliches that could be applied here – “It’s changed my life”, “Now I realise whow much I take for granted”, “I’ll never look at a glass of water the same way again” – because that would be, well, cliche.

But the truth is, I think the last few weeks have changed me. They’ve made me realise how fortunate I am to live in a corner of the world where water is available at the turn of a tap. I’ve come to be grateful and thankful for the water I use – particularly to drink – rather than going through the motions. Above all, hopefully the money I’ve raised can make a difference for communities who don’t have clean water.

As far as sacrifices go, it’s not been the most difficult. I’ve not gone without anything I need, just without some things I’ve wanted. But the shift in my perspective has been significant, and something which I don’t think I’ll forget in a hurry.

Blood:water Mission are an amazing organisation who do amazing things, and I’m proud to support them and have been part of the 40 Days of Water blogging team. One community at a time, they are spreading God’s love and showing compassion to God’s people.

Whether it’s Lent or not, that is a challenge which we should all rise to and be inspired by.

***

To learn more about blood:water mission visit their website, and to learn more about 40 Days of Water visit the campaign page. You can also follow #40days on Twitter.

“The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one.

Everything was created through him; nothing – not one thing – came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.”

John 1:1-5, The Message

***

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

mentor-1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing one of Tyler Braun’s books before.

He’s a writer I’ve come to respect, admire and listen to, primarily because what he writes resonates strongly with where I find myself and where I believe so many others in this generation do as well.

So when he got in touch with the opportunity to review his new book, How to Find and Thrive With a Mentor, I jumped at the chance. Mentoring is an area of the church which is constantly misunderstood and misinterpreted and yet one which is vitally important.

Tackling the issue straight on, Tyler manages in this short book (it’s only 25 pages) to not only define mentoring, but give a hugely encouraging example from his own story. In an age where so many millennials seem to be struggling to find their place in the world, this book puts forward a strong argument for all of us having a mentor.

As someone who doesn’t have a mentor and who has regularly thought about having one, this book is a significant prompt. More than that, it provides a picture of a church community which is constantly seeking to encourage and equip emerging generations. By passing on wisdom, knowledge and advice, mentors can truly speak powerfully into our lives and encourage us on our walks with God.

Whether you have a mentor, are a mentor or are thinking of having one/becoming one, I encourage you to read this book. It will take you less than an hour, and it might just push you to make a life-changing decision.

***

Tyler’s new book is available as an e-book to download here. You can read his blog here and follow him on Twitter.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the following line in the Lord’s Prayer:

‘Your will be done’

There’s no way of telling how many times I must have said those words. For people who have been in the church for years, these words have a tendency to become stale and we just read them or recite them without really thinking about what it would mean to let God’s will be done in our lives.

How would our lives be different if we truly surrendered to God? So often in church, we sing songs or recite lines or prayers that speak of us surrendering our all to God. We request that God takes all we have, that we abandon ourselves to Him completely and become totally His.

If you are like me, however, there is more often than not a catch. God, have Your way with me…but. Don’t send me there. Don’t make me talk to that person. Don’t make me give up on this thing I love. Don’t push me too much out of my comfort zone.

It seems that we’re happy to ask God to do His will with us, but as long as we can control it. We’re happy to be submitted to God, as long as it doesn’t require us doing the things we don’t want to, or giving up the things we love like money, relationships, gadgets or our time. The thought of giving up our popularity and status – even within our church communities – is something that scares us.

Philippians 3:10-11 says, ‘I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.’

There’s bits of that verse I can fully get behind – knowing Christ, attaining resurrection from the dead. These things I will run after and fight for and follow forever. But sharing in His suffering, becoming like Jesus in His death? Can’t I just omit that part? Well, no. Surrendering to God’s will means opening up to the possibility that we will share in His suffering, that we will become like Christ in His death. That, however, is truly following Jesus, truly giving all we have to Him.

Stop for a minute, and think what your life would look like if you really, absolutely and completely abandoned yourself to God. Where would you be? Where would you go? Who would you spend your time with? Would you have the latest phones and computers, the big house and the nice car? Or would you be living on the kindness of others, on the grace and provision of God? Would you be uncertain of where you were going to be day in day out, unsure of how to even make ends meet?

Submitting to God’s will is something that it’s easy to want to do, but hard to actually do. It’s the desire of every follower of Christ, but gets pushed aside by our desire for things of the world.

But if we simply pay lip-service to God, then we aren’t fully living for Him. In fact, I sometimes think God must get a little annoyed at us claiming to be surrendered to His will but not really giving ourselves to Him.

Next time we read the Lord’s Prayer, or sing a song of surrender, or pray for God to take our lives, stop and think about whether you really mean it. Then think of the love God has poured out for us, and how He loves us and desires us to be fully devoted to Him. Make a conscious effort to will for God’s will in your life.