Community, Courage, Devotion, Friendship, Prayer, Uncategorized

Day 10: “Your Kingdom Come”

thy kingdom comeWhat did Jesus mean by saying, “Thy Kingdom Come?” while teaching his disciples how to pray? God’s plans, not mine. His intentions, not yours. Undertaking the Lord’s strategy before our own.

Total surrender to the will of God is easier said than done. Dying to your fleshly desires – submitting your goals, money, children, health to a Heavenly Father comes with resistance.

Your inward focus over the last week and a half has allowed you to hear God with more clarity, to tune into the Holy Spirit, to find freedom in areas where you struggle. Hopefully, you’re learning to yield to his voice in a more meaningful way.

However, if your biggest obstacle is yourself (your problems, insecurities, fears), then understanding “thy kingdom come” as it relates to others, will prove difficult. Ask God, “why have you put me in this spot at this time with these people?”

It’s time to begin looking outward. How can your own personal revelation benefit someone else in your world?

“God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them” (2 Corinthians 5:18, 19).

Sharing the love of Christ looks different for everyone. You may give time to a friend who needs a listening ear. Or, make a meal and cart kids around for a mate stuck at home with an injury or a newborn. You might go out of your way to help your co-worker.

Encourage someone.

Extend forgiveness.

Whatever God is asking you to do, go for it! Pray for opportunities. Step out in faith.

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
 as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:9-13).

Australia, Inspiration, Uncategorized

How Big is Your World?

world

If you have ever been around pre-school kids, you know they are full of questions.  Their minds are always turning and thinking and they are SO LITERAL! I get the most joy out of chatting with my four year old daughter lately.  She is very clever and NOTHING gets past her.  A few days ago, we were driving and she said, “Mum, is Australia bigger than the world or is the world bigger than Australia?”  I laughed as I tried to give her a geography lesson and I was hit with some deep revelation.

In her mind, Australia is everything.  It’s home.  It’s school.  It’s church.  It’s family and friends.  Shopping and eating, sleeping and traveling.  Her whole universe is what’s right in front of her.  It’s hard for her to imagine anything bigger than her “WORLD!”

The sphere we live in is much smaller than the actual Earth, isn’t it?  I realized as I explained how big the rest of the world is to my sweet girl that nothing outside of her reality really mattered much.  She sort of looked at me with glazed over eyes and moved on to the next topic.

As adults, we are very similar.  Oh, we might understand geography and topography.  We might know demographics and populations.  But our worlds don’t go much beyond what we experience each day either.

Think about it… if you’re like me, your prayers mostly revolve around your own issues and needs.  Your schedule revolves around your priorities.  Your conversations are always about your life.  It takes a conscious effort to actually think about something other than yourself.  To remember

THE world is so much bigger than  OUR PERSONAL world.

I’m encouraging myself today to think about something other than myself!  Let’s all do it and make THE WORLD a better place!

Praise the Lord, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. (Psalm 117:1,2)

Newcastle, Pictures, Uncategorized

Tunnel Vision

This morning, on my run, I almost ran an old lady off the sidewalk.  My friend and I were about an hour into our glorious run, chatting away near Cooks Hill and didn’t move over to let the lady through.  As we almost collided, she let us know what she thought about us in very unflattering terms.  I didn’t even realize what had happened until I heard her yelling back at us.  We were a bit rude to not step off the sidewalk and let her have it.

I have tunnel vision when I run.  I can come home after 10K and not be able to tell you one thing I saw on the road that day.  I just run and run and get so caught up with the thoughts inside my head, that I can’t even remember where I am sometimes.  I have made wrong turns down streets for half a mile before I realize I need to turn around.  I don’t look at street signs.  I don’t look at the houses.  I just run.  And when I’m with a friend, I talk and run.  So, you can see, it’s easy to knock an old lady off the road in this fixated state.

As Christians, we often run through life with a narrowed viewpoint, concentrating on a single idea to the exclusion of others.

(And I don’t mean in our belief system, which can be considered “narrow-minded” by those who disagree with our morals and convictions.)

I’m talking about the greatly restricted peripheral vision we have due to our focus on OURSELVES.  How many times do I go through a day thinking about MY problems, MY situation, MY family, MY food, MY schedule, MY, MY, MY, and give no thought or consideration to those sharing my sidewalk?

In ministry, we walk right past hurting people in the corridors of our own churches.  We ignore the signs of a friend in need because of our paltry outlook.  Our field of vision hones in on what WE want, OUR goals, and OUR desire to move ahead faster, better, stronger.  We don’t knock people down physically on our way to where we are going, but we might shove them out of our ‘busy’ circle of life.  The people around us can be seen as impediments to our journey.  They, needing our time, slow down our pace.

They, like the elderly woman this morning, see us coming and wonder if we are going to move out of our way to acknowledge them.  They watch us move through our lives, striding along, not knowing if their slower pace is good enough to be noticed.  Often, when we do, it’s too late.

I want to shift my focus with a phone call to check on how a friend is doing or by treating someone to coffee. A card in the mail or a FB private message can go a long way to opening our eyes to see what’s in front of us.  Instead of looking at what someone can DO FOR ME, I want to expand my peripheral vision and see whats coming my way.  More for others, no motive involved.

Most people think the church is peripheral to the world.  But, Ephesians 1:23 in the Message says the world is actually peripheral to the church.  Maybe if we stop acting like everyone and everything is peripheral to us, and put ourselves on the periphery, we might find ourselves more influential, more heard, and more valued by those around us.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3,4