Its all in the mind


Colossians chapter 3 verse 2 says this : “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth”. 

Paul is telling us where the focus of our attention needs to be. We can give our minds over to a lot of things, for instance, to our jobs – and there is a place for that. We can give our minds over to physical things – exercise, eating well, and so forth – and there is a place for these, too.

Indeed, humans need to set their minds on many things, but they need to be prioritized correctly – put into the right niche and position.Then each of these things has to be seen in relation to the Kingdom of God. Our priorities must be set according to this standard – the overriding goal of our Christian lives. Honestly…. this is a huge challenge for me as daily life crowds in to take priority in my mind.

I try to follow the instruction “Set your mind on things above” as doing this does help to adjust the focus of my attention so that I do not become consumed or too distracted by things that are less important for any longer than needed, so that they occupy the right proportion and amount of time in my life.

May be this short comment can be a nudge to remind you as reader to try the same as we all press on.

Have a great week



Hi and welcome to another blustery day

I have found that it is all too easy to have circumstances creep in that move a person to thinking they are de valued or not even worth much at all.

It is one of those silent assailants in life that can sneak up and before one knows it, you are trapped by the darkness of this feeling.

Well, God is well aware of this potential difficulty and the Bible makes it so very clear that every person has a dignity and an importance because every human is made in God’s image. You, therefore, are made in God’s image and have real value as a result.

The universe declares the glory of God the Bible says but it is not made in His image.. you are.

You are different from Animals  ( they are not religious, they have no sense of time, they have no aesthetic experiences , they have no conscience and no moral experiences. Animals have no complex language as you do, have no concept of violence and do not subdue anything as humans do being stewards of the world). Being so different from animals should give you the hint that somehow there is real value in your being here.

So, what are you? You are unique and you are precious in God’s sight having a very special place in creation. Once a person recognises this then life begins to take on a new a positive meaning… if you let it and explore the possibilities that this truth affords.

Have a great and positive day


Can tough times bring good?

James chapter 1 v 2 says this: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”

What I say is “REALLY??”  But let’s think this through. Clearly extreme trials can all but destroy a person and need a lot of love, time and support sometimes for years to help the person get back on their feet, but for todays thought, may I gently and carefully continue for a moment?

We can learn a great deal about why patience is so vital by comparing the process we are going through to an artist sculpting a work from a piece of marble. Chip by chip over a period of time, an artist uses hammer and chisel to shape something from a raw slab of rock until the finished figure is revealed. God is doing much the same with us except we are living, raw material with mind, emotions, and the liberty to allow or disallow the Artist to continue. If we are impatient, not allowing the Creator to complete His artistry, we will never be perfect , never feel completely fulfilled. 

For powerful enriched living we must begin to cultivate the habit of thinking of life, including all of its trials, as being God’s opportunity to shape godly character in us and make us the best we can be. Through the really extreme trials some of us might suffer, He will be with us if we ask and this can be the most powerful comfort as we come to terms with whatever has happened. Inch by Inch He can carry us on.

James says we should count our various trials as joy! Why? Because verse 3 says that doing so produces patience! We need patience so God can mould us into His likeness. Even God cannot produce godly character without us. James is teaching us that we should not measure the experiences of life by their ability to please but by their capacity to make us into God’s image. If we have any vision – and a real desire to live as God does – we can accept, may be dare I say, and be brave enough to say,  even welcome our trials as steps in God’s creative process and meet them with patience and hope.

And finally, lets remember God has not removed Himself from our suffering but on the Cross actually became PART of it and this gives me a window into understanding that God is my helper in time of need because He does really understand.

Have a great week


Its all good…


Sometimes we forget that guidance or rules are actually for our benefit and following them actually results in a much better life!

In Matthews Gospel chapter 12 we read this: “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees sawit, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 

According to the Pharisees, the disciples were guilty of preparing a meal on a day they should not have been doing so.

Consider the disciples’ motivation for what they did. First, they were hungry. Second, they were itinerate, using as someone said “shoe leather express,” traveling with Jesus. He instructed them, giving them examples of His way of life, all along the way. He Himself said that He had no place to lay His head. They had, therefore, no place to prepare a meal. They did not have homes that they could readily return to.

These were strong, young men, probably in their twenties or early thirties (about the same age as Jesus), so they could have fasted without a problem. But, because it was the Sabbath, Jesus deliberately drew attention to one of the Sabbath’s main purposes: It is a day of mercy and not a day of sacrifice.

Jesus reasoned that, if it was all right for David to allay his hunger under an unusual circumstance by eating bread that had been consecrated for holy use, His disciples could provide for their needs in this manner.

So what is He saying? The Sabbath is a day of mercy and if one can rightly, lawfully use “holy bread” to do something that, according to the letter of the law, was illegal, then it was also legitimate for the disciples to provide for their needs also in an unusual circumstance.

The emphasis here is on the word unusual. How frequently was David fleeing for his life and finding himself hungry? It did happen, at least this one time, but it did not happen every Sabbath. Maybe in David’s lifetime something like this occurred a few times, but even for a man of war like David, it did not happen all that frequently.

The overall lesson, however, is that it is not the intention of God’s law to deprive anybody of good things. The intent of God’s law is to ensure life.

In this case then, they were blameless because a larger obligation overruled the letter of the law. The larger obligation was to be merciful. The letter of the law said that they could not have that bread. The larger obligation said that it was more important to eat than it was to fast (to sacrifice eating). 

Lets learn from this and as, with God’s help we follow as best as we can the teaching through Scripture for us as Christians we can remember that it is for ours and others benefits and for abundant life!

Have a great day


For our Good

Good morning

1 John chapter 4 verse 8 says: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Every thought, every word, every act of God is an expression of love. God is sovereign, and He has the right to do whatever He wants. This would be tyranny except for one simple fact: Everything God does, whether seemingly arbitrary or not, is motivated by love. Even our trials are supreme acts of love as Hebrews 12 verses 5 to 11 and Job’s experience show.

Herbert W. Armstrong once said about Job: “Job was one of the hardest men for God to ever bring down to repentance that has ever lived on the face of this earth.” As terrible as the trial was, Job needed it for salvation. Psalm 84 v 11 says that God will withhold no good thing from us. To withhold that trial from Job would have been withholding a good thing, making God guilty of hating Job!

Only God is wise enough to allow us to go through a desperately needed trial while simultaneously using it to accomplish His other purposes as well. In the worsening times ahead, God will not use some of us as cannon fodder for His purposes, though He has the right to do it—He made us. Because of His love for us, He will allow us to face trials because we need them to perfect us. After all, “all things work together for good” to those called.

How will we survive spiritually if we are among those God chooses to be persecuted? Only because we believe that God loves no one more than us, and for this reason, we will know that what we are enduring is for our good and will bring about His purpose.

As children, we were disciplined by our parents. As it happened, how often did we thank them for the love they were showing us? As parents, we have disciplined our children. How many times have they ever said, “Thank you”? Most likely, the answer to both is, “Never!”

Do we discipline our children out of love or hate? Love, of course. Then why do they not say, “Thank you”? At the moment it is happening, they cannot see—they do not believe—how much we love them. It is a hallmark of youth or immaturity to be blind to the big picture, to see only what is directly in front of them. Hopefully, in times of trial, we are not children in a spiritual sense.

Have a great January



Hi folks

I have not long finished my end of year review which was full of questions and as I then reflected I began to think of lots more questions and found myself reading some comments from the Apostle Paul as follows:

1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 11 and 12 say this “that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.”  

My questions started….

Do we lead a quiet life, or are things always in turmoil? Do we live in peace, or is it in constant strife? If we are living in strife and turmoil, what are we doing to contribute to it?

Do we mind our own business, or are we busybodies and meddlers? Do we always want to know what the other person across the fence is doing? Do we always call up somebody for the latest news about what’s going on over in this church or with that person and his problem?

Is our “helpfulness” really a guise for poking our nose in where we are not wanted? With some people it is. They serve in order to get the goods on others.

Do we work, or are we lazy? This does not mean just our physical labour for the food we put on our table. It could be spiritual work. It could be our service to one another. Do we work with our own hands, or are people always making allowances for us? Are we living off the goodness of another’s heart? Some people think they are owed something. They are victims of circumstance, and so they want everybody to give to them, rather than working for it.

Do we show the same Christian character to our work buddies as we do to the people who sit beside us in church? Paul asks that here in terms of “walk[ing] properly toward those who are outside.” Are our lives hypocritical? Do we put on our best character and slip into a chair at church just once each week? Do our acquaintances in the world see Christ in us, or do they see something else? Do they see someone who curses six days a week, but one day a week, he is the soul of pleasant and wise speech? How do people in the world see us?

Lastly, Paul says, “I urge you that you may lack nothing.” He does not mean, “Do we lack a pair of shoes, a new TV, or the latest techi game?” What he means is, “Do we lack anything that makes us better Christians, or are we satisfied with ourselves where we stand?” Have we come into the church and accepted God’s grace, and then say “Take me as I am, Lord, without one plea”? Or do we know that we lack some quality that would make us better Christians and strive to add it to our characters?

Lots of questions as my last blog of the year but may be worth thinking about.

Have a great Christmas



Matthew chapter 7 verse 1 says this  “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

As we near the year end at work there is always an increase in intensity to answer the question “have we done enough”? This I see leaks into the judgement of others and can become a little tense if we are not careful.

The subject of judging often seems very difficult to grasp. Some use the term “judge” in a generalised way, making assertions such as, “We shouldn’t judge one another.” Is this true? If we took this to an extreme, we could make no evaluation of whether a person’s conduct is acceptable to God, society, or ourselves. Such a totally non-judgmental atmosphere would generate such tolerance that it would be hazardous to life and limb. Nothing would be called into question. Nothing would be wrong.

God never intended any such thing when Jesus said, “Judge not that you be not judged.” Again, if taken to an extreme, a person’s example, whether good or bad, would have no power to influence behaviour in others. Before determining whether we want to imitate or reject how another person acts, we must evaluate—judge—his conduct.

Just something to think about for us all I suspect.




Psalm 19 V 12-14 says this “ Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. 
Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, 
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. “

David showed no hostility toward God and he tried hard to change whenever he could see that he was wrong. However, he could not always see it. For instance, David stole Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, and she became pregnant. After conniving and cheating in an attempt to avoid the consequences, David intentionally arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle.

Incredible as it may seem, David did not see how terribly wrong his sexual immorality in both his thoughts and actions was. He broke both the spirit and letter of the law. Not until the prophet Nathan brought him to his senses did spiritually blind David realise his sinful behaviour.

Nevertheless, we cannot judge David too harshly, since our vision is likewise clouded regarding many of our problems. It is hard enough to recognize and admit the problems we can see, much less the ones we cannot. Rather than judge him, we can actually identify with David.

So as we press on into the week and enter the busy Christmas period, it is good practice to spend time quietly asking God to help us see where we have gone wrong and ask Him to help us put things right.

This will be very refreshing.


A little meekness and majesty


Matthew 17 v 24 and 27 say this “When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your Teacher not pay the templetax?’

V 27 continues with Jesus saying “Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” 

The Greek word behind “tax” or “tribute” in verse 24 is didrachma, equivalent to the Jewish “half-shekel,” the Temple rate paid by every male Israelite above age twenty. Those responsible for collecting these half-shekels came to Peter. Unlike tolls, which were duties on goods, the Temple tax was levied on individual Israelites. The collected money, paid into the Temple treasury, went towards the cost of Temple services. The Jews were much more willing to accept this collection than to pay the despised publicans who extracted taxes for Rome.

The miracle’s preciseness is seen in the coin found in the fish’s mouth, a full shekel (two didrachmas)—half a shekel each for Christ and Peter (“for Me and you”; verse 27)—the exact amount to satisfy the requirement. In this way, Jesus puts Himself alongside Peter as sharing His position and relationship as a son of the Kingdom.

All true Christians fill this amazing position: They are no longer servants, but sons in Christ (Galatians 3:26). With His brethren Jesus shares His family relationship to His Father.

This account contains two principles. The first is doctrinal, teaching Jesus’ place in God’s Kingdom as the rightful Son. The second is moral, showing that greatness in the Kingdom derives from service and humility. Jesus’ phrase, “lest we offend them,” should motivate us to continue to seek to use meekness and wisdom.

An interesting account that I take into this week with me.

Have a great day


Abundant life?

Jesus said  “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”.

What does He mean by this? What is abundant living for one person may be absolutely unsatisfying for another. A hard-charging, A-type businessman – into exotic holidays, sports cars, and rock climbing – would not consider a comfortable seat in a quiet lounge, a vegetable garden, and a weekly round of golf at the local course to be fulfilling, yet they would probably suit a retired person who was elderly and had some creaks and groans. I know such people in both camps!

The Greek word Jesus uses here means “superabundant,” “overflowing,” “over and above a certain quantity,” “a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate.” In other words, He promises us a life far better than we could ever envision, I Corinthians chapter 2 v 9 comes to mind if you have a Bible.

However, before we begin to have wonderful dreams of palatial homes, big cars, around-the-world trips, and wads of cash, we need to step back and consider what God says comprises “life.” Once we determine His view of living, we will have a better grasp of what kind of blessings we can expect as a Christian. All we need to do is glance around at Christians around the world  to know that wealth, prestige, position, and power in this world are not high-priority items on God’s list of blessings.

Perhaps the most telling biblical definition of life – particularly eternal life – is given by Jesus Himself in John chapter 17 v 3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Note that this definition makes no mention of length of days, health, prosperity, family, occupation – in fact, the only thing it does mention is knowing God!

What can I take from this?

God’s top priority may not be with the physical circumstances of our lives. It is enough that He assures us that we need not worry about what we will eat or wear, He has that covered,  and eternal life, the kind of life in which a Christian is truly interested, is not determined by duration but by a relationship with God.

So the question is….. do i and you have abundant life?