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I went to bed the other night with a list of comparisons running through my head.

I’ve written on comparison before.  It steals your joy and rips you off.  It’s a brutal attack.

It is a trap.

Even as I re-read the words I have penned previously my heart begins to argue.

Yeah, but.

Yeah, but.

Yeah, no buts.

It’s unfair to us because it limits God’s plan for our lives. Comparison says to God, ‘I want to limit Your work in my life to this and nothing else. I just want to be like this other person.’

But God has an individual plan for each of us. His plan for you is greater than you could possibly imagine. Stop looking at His plans for others so you can walk in the plans He has for you and receive the blessings they bring. Joyce Meyer

It’s unfair to place limitations on myself based on my comparison to someone else.  It’s unfair to what God wants to do to and in and through my life based on the shadow someone else casts.  I am not called to fill someone else’s shoes, I am called to walk worthy the call of God for MY LIFE.

Therefore I, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received Ephesians 4:1

I charge you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:12

God has uniquely wired and gifted each one of us.  He has created us on purpose with purpose.

Each person has their own purpose and their own aspects that God will work through to complete the good work He has begun, in our lives, in those we lead, in those we reach.

When I compare my life, my calling, my reach, I fence in what God can do.

I shrink back, into myself, and take my eyes off the great power that God has placed within me.  I look down, at my limitations I entrap myself, instead of remembering I am just a jar of clay so that the all surpassing power be shown to be of God.

When I compare my life to others something inside of my slumps.

God would have us instead keep our heart encouraged in His love and grace, in His power and His faithfulness.

Comparison robs us of that joy, encouragement and the experience of living by faith.

To silence the comparison I remind myself of these 2 things:
1.  I am called.  On purpose, with purpose.

2.  I am created.  On purpose, with purpose.

I am growing.  I am learning.  I am stretching.  But in all of those things I am completely His and complete in Him.

What helps you beat the comparison trap?

Isaiah 35 is one of my most favourite passages of the Bible.

In a dry time of my life when I couldnt feel the presence of God, God breathed life into this chapter and claimed it as my own.

His promise is that in the dry places, in the desert of our life, that springs of living water will flow, that the deserts will bloom and that there will be new life and new growth.

The phrase “deserts will bloom” sings of such hope and power.  The promise that life will flourish in a place where no life is possible.  Miraculous refreshment.

Sometimes we hold back from God, in our desperate spaces, because of our own unfaithfulness.  We got ourselves in a dehydrated state, so thus, how can we ask God to help, to ease our sorrow, to fall afresh upon us.  But God’s presence and power is not dependent upon my own faithfulness but His own.  He is faithful.  When I am dry He breathes new life into my soul.   Deserts will bloom.  Will.

There is no situation too far away from God’s grace.

What desert do you need to bloom today?

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“Your life from seed to full-grown tree is a process. We all like the idea of fruit, but rarely do we allow ourselves to build a root system.” Banning Liebscher

What dreams do you have for the future that you need to plant the seeds for today?

How can you best nurture those seeds?

Today I had a fascinating conversation with my 13 year old son about memory.  He told me that there are 4 types of memory.  Short term, long term, now memory and future memory.

Future memory is about vision and dreaming.  The person you want to be, the things you want to do and have.

I want my future memories to become future realities.  I want to take them out of the dream realm into the now realm.

So I plant seeds in my now.

I nurture the gifts and talents that I am graced with.

I stir up the passions and purposes of God.

I read and learn and grow and stretch so that as time passes I am becoming and being who I am meant to be.

I nourish my root system with connections and relationships, with conversations that spark a sense of determination and delight, with books and podcasts that reframe how I see the world.

I want my fruit to be rich and productive, to speak of a life lived with God, for God, by God.

I want my fruit to encourage and inspire other people into the greatness that God desires for them.

I want my fruit to be eternal, lasting, significant.

I want my life to touch other peoples lives, not for my own fame but to make His name famous.

As I see this end in mind I must nurture a life that walks with God in my today, in my now.

My now has a profound influence on every part of my tomorrow.

How are you nurturing your seeds and roots?

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This morning at church I got to share about why we give our money to God.

My key point was that small matches light big fires, that our contribution can be used in incredible ways, to change lives and help people.

When I was checking Facebook at home I came across this post that demonstrates this perfectly.

http://www.hefty.co/liz-woodward/

It is about a waitress who pays for the meal of two firefighters,  who had spent a long shift attending a fire.   She wrote a note on their receipt,  thanking them for their courage and sacrifice.   They were so touched that they shared it on Facebook and encouraged people to, go to where she worked and to tip big.  But wait, there is more.  They then found out she had a fundraising page to raise money for a special wheelchair for her dad, and shared that too.  Before you could say ” small matches light big fires” over $70,000 had been raised!

Every moment, of every day, I want to walk with You

Be with You

Open my eyes God, to see Your love, to see You

My heart cries out, more and more, to know You

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“God-size dreams ensure our growth. When God calls us to something, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable, like someone handing us the wrong size in the dressing room. It gaps in strange places and pinches in others. We may find ourselves wanting to send it back for a more reasonably-sized dream, one that doesn’t cause so much discomfort.
But that’s a huge mistake.   God hands us an extra-large vision by design. He is not just interested in what we can accomplish for him, but in who we are becoming along the way. As we struggle to grow into what and who God calls us to do and be, we are changed and shaped more and more into the likeness of Christ.”  Michael Hyatt

We are the dreamers of dreams.

The visionaries who live for the invisible of tomorrow.

The builders who create now for the future.

We are the dreamers who stretch into greater things, who push ourselves to do more and more importantly, become more.

Today is a glimpse into what I dream and what I dream to become and do.

As dreamers we must make each moment count.  Our whole life matters.  Dreams don’t magically come true at the right time without the right preparation and cultivation.

Do you dream of being an author?  Then write, now, today.

Do you dream of being a missionary?  Learn and serve, now, today.

Do you dream of being a worship leader?  Practice and join the worship team.

Do you dream of being a preacher?  Write messages, now, today.

Take God’s hand and run with His dream.  Put doing steps and substance to your dream.

Live for the invisible promise of what is to come and wrap preparation around it today.

I love reading about when God calls Jeremiah the prophet in Jeremiah 1.

He tells Jeremiah that before he was even born, before he was anyone, before he did anything, that God called him to be a prophet to the nation.  God then goes to to teach Jeremiah to see and to speak.  He shows him an almond branch and asks Jeremiah what he sees.  He unfolds the meaning of that branch to Jeremiah and then shows him further things and further insights.  God prepares Jeremiah.  He equips him.  He trains him.

Likewise, before we were born, God knew us and called us.  He destined us.  He wired us, on purpose with purpose.

And as He is the dream giver, He is also the dream fulfiller who unfolds step by step the growth process that shapes us to live out that dream.

My dream is in HIS hands.  He is faithful to complete the good work He has begun in my life.

I can trust Him with my dream and respond in faithfulness to grow to be who that dream needs me to become.

What is the lesson God is teaching you today?  

This song has been “doing the rounds” around here… wrecking peoples hearts in all the good ways.

God’s love is so lavish – beyond what we can describe and understand, undeniably good and great.

His goodness and greatness are in the fibre of everything He does and says and we can totally trust fall into His promises and ways.

Sometimes we can paint a very human God.  One who changes His mood and His mind.  One who has bad hair days.  One who sets us up to fail or doesn’t care about us.  But this is not God.  God is good, all the time.  Near, all the time.  Intentionally loving, all the time.

Do you know He is a good good Father?

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think 
As you call me deeper still 
as you call me deeper still 
as you call me deeper still 
into love love love

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.  Viktor E. Frankl

In that space between what is said and done, there is that moment.
That moment where our tempers can flare, our hearts can be crushed, our thoughts scattered with confusion and misunderstanding.
In that moment words can rush to our mind, dancing on the tips of our tongue,  threatening to spill over like a dam in a thunderstorm.
In that moment we need to breathe,  breathe, breathe.
Pause.
Consider.
Choose.
In that moment we should still time and look, really look, into the eyes of the person we’re about to unleash reactive words upon.
This is a person we love. We respect.  We care about.
Hurried words and actions spoken in the flare of anger, the crush of disappointment and haze of miscommunication rarely come out in the way we intend.
So take care.
Tame the tongue.
Still the heart.
Choose wisely.

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God is all powerful, all knowing, wise, just, creative, The Creator capital T and capital C, He breathed out all the stars of every universe, every planet and atom is by His design and His will.  He is compassionate, mighty, just, holy, righteous, glorious, victorious, reigning….  His love is everlasting.

He hears our every thought and knows what we’ll say, before we say it.

He knows how many hairs we have on our head, and how many hairs we have on our toes.

And not just us, not just me, not just you, but every single person alive and breathing right now on the planet and ever was and will be.

Jeremiah 32:27 says I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

Luke 1:37 says For nothing is impossible with God.

Zip. Nada.  Zero.  Nil.  Zilch.  Nothing.

There are no impossibilities for God.

With God ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE.  Nothing is in the too hard basket.

He has the power.

Leonard Ravenhill says “I want to see the glory of God invade this generation.” – we want the reality of the Kingdom of God to be evident here on earth – because that’s where the captives are set free, the brokenhearted mended, the sick healed, the blind see, the lost saved. It’s about giving real love to those who have only felt rejection or had to earn love in all the wrong places.  It’s about answers to those who have no idea who they are and what they are doing on this planet.  It’s about giving real hope to people who have no hope and feel like giving up, or who cut themselves or drown themselves in drugs and alcohol and sex because it’s the only way to process their pain.  It’s about being family to those whose families are broken.  It’s where people find hope, grace, forgiveness, eternity… It’s where broken people experience the love and grace of God – just like we have.

This generation is going to hell literally and figuratively and are we doing something about it?

It’s not about life on earth as we know it but about demonstrating supernatural reality.

We have this amazing gift of salvation and being able to really know God.  That wow God that I spoke about 2 minutes ago… who breathed out the stars and made the neck muscles on the giraffe do those things they do so a giaffes head doesn’t explode every time it bends down to drink….

We have to live that supernatural reality from the inside out.

This life isn’t what it’s all about.  It’s important YES – but it’s just a blink in eternity.  Life is more than breathing.  This is not the only realm there is.  Life is more than what we can touch and feel with our 5 senses.  It’s more than minecraft, facebook, wifi, more than Star Wars, more than keeping up with the jones or anything else like that.

So how do we make real the supernaturalness of our lives and see His Kingdom Come?  How then should we live?

This is another of the incredible songs from Ascend Conference by Hillsong United, featuring on their new Empires album

Say the word and there is light
Say the word and dead bones rise
Every start and end hangs on Your voice
For Your word never returns void Read the rest of this entry »

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