Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dare to be different!

Being a Christian in a Non-Christian environment isn't easy. At school, college, university, work we are often in the minority. It is then that we have to make the decision to either follow the crowd, which often means going against what we believe in, or to go against the flow and dare to be different.

I know when I was starting school, especially just after starting high school, I found it really difficult to know what to do or how to act. I wanted to fit in with my peers but often that meant doing things I didn't agree with. Most of my classmates knew I was a Christian and because of that some of them seemed to constantly watch me, waiting for me to slip up! I had people asking me to 'go on swear' or misbehave. I'd like to say I made it through high school shinning and making a stand for Christ but whilst I wasn't rebellious and didn't join in with what I knew was wrong, I don't think I ever made a true stand for my faith. I just tried my best to blend into the background.

Being a Christian, however, doesn't call us to blend into the background. If we look at the example of Jesus, he actively went against the norms of the times. A Pharisee would consider himself to be too righteous to mix with sinners but Jesus ate lunch with tax collectors and spoke to adulterous women. He broke the rules of the Sabbath by healing the sick and his followers weren't scholars but fishermen, a tax collector and a zealot.

Romans 12:2 says "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." 

As Christian's we are called to be like Jesus and follow his example. As it says in the verse above, we shouldn't conform to the world, rather we need to stand out. We need to be the ones who go and make friends with the person in our class who is always left alone. We need to reach out the sick, the broken, the outcasts and the 'sinners' of our community. We need to stand up for what is right instead of blindly going along with what is wrong. We shouldn't be afraid to stand out for our faith, in fact we should be standing out for our faith. We have to dare to be different. This is my challenge, will you make it yours?

Friday, 26 August 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

So it's that time of week again =) I look forward to doing this, it's nice to reflect on the good things that happened in the last week =)

1. I went to church for the first time in about 5 months on Sunday
Because my M.E made me sound and light sensitive and I had trouble sitting up for long periods of time I wasn't able to go to church, but last Sunday I felt well enough and managed to sit through the entire service =)

2. We spent the weekend and Monday catching up with people we knew out in India
Frank and Beryl came to stay for the weekend and on Saturday morning we went to a place called Chennai Dosa which did authentic South Indian breakfast which was amazing! Also on Monday Bryce and Claire and their kids came who we also knew out in India so it was like a big reunion =) 

3. I got a fishy pedicure with Amy
It wasn't as weird as I expected and actually kinda fun and relaxing =) I had a great time with Amy and Becky too so definitely a good day! 

Pop over to see Clare at Seasider in the City and check out other people's reasons to be cheerful this week =) 

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Revoking the lies

I'm sure all of us, at least once or twice in our lives have had harmful words spoken over us. The problem with harmful words is that if we allow them to, they can take root and become truth to us. I've always thought the saying 'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me' was utterly ridiculous. In my experience, words are equally as painful as being hurt physically, if not more so! Broken bones heal a lot quicker than a broken heart. Years ago when listening to a sermon I heard another version of this saying. 'Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will tear my heart out.' I think that one is a much more accurate description, and I'm sure that if any of you have been hurt by words, you'll agree.

A couple of years ago in church, I got a picture of a wrist that had been broken quite badly and hadn't healed right. This completely restricted the function of the wrist. The only way to fix it was to break the bone again and set it in the right place. In my life what this picture meant to me was that I had allowed the lies spoken over me to take root and become truth and because of that, I hadn't healed properly. But to heal me the only way was to revisit the lies (and so break the bone) and allow God to speak His truth over me instead. If anyone has broken a bone, they will know it's a pretty painful thing, and so is revisiting the lies spoken over us. But it's something that has to be done if we want to move on in our relationship with God, because by believing the lies, you are putting that before God's truth.

For me revoking the lies was a process, I sat down and wrote out a lie that I had believed as truth, then underneath it I wrote the truth. But that wasn't enough, I also found evidence from the bible to back up the truth. Sometimes there were so many verses from the bible to back up the truth, I ran out of room!

Believing the lies even once, allows Satan to get a foothold. It allows the lie to take place of the truth that God has told us in His word, and that can cause our relationship with God to falter.

Philippians 4:8 says 'Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things'

If we allow ourselves to to focus on these things then we can recognise a lie so much easier. If we line ourselves up with God's truth then nothing anyone says to us should be able to take root. When our focus is on God, His truth and His truth only should be able to take root in our hearts.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

I'm very excited to be joining in with this again! It's something I really missed doing over the past couple of months!

1. I got out of hospital on Saturday!
After 10 weeks and 6 days (not that I was counting or anything!) I finally got out of hospital! But not only that but I have more energy than I did before I went into hospital. Whilst my M.E is still a problem it's not completely dictating my life anymore!

2. I went to Grandma's house on Sunday
It was my Grandma's 74th birthday on Monday so the whole family went over and enjoyed an afternoon of games, laughter and lots of food! I think the funniest moment was trying to teach my Granddad how to play the australian version of 'Hello Harry', a game that my sister learnt at camp.

3. I went shopping on Wednesday
Now this doesn't seem like much but I don't remember the last time I was well enough to go shopping! I just felt like a normal 20 year old going shopping with a friend, and even the fact that I was in a wheelchair didn't bother me this time!

There are so many things I've been thankful for over the past week, these are just a few! Pop over to Glass Half Full's blog to find out what other peoples reasons to be cheerful were this week