As a young boy I regularly heard people say “show me your friends and I will show you the type of person you are”.
The people around us can have a profound effect on the way we see things, they can input our lives both positively and negatively.  The people we allow into our lives will determine how much we grow emotionally and spiritually.
You will hear me say this a lot ” we live in a world thats puts an increasing amount of pressure on us to make an incredible amount of choices”.  Everything we do is a choice; what clothes to wear, what music to listen to; what exams to take, what to eat or what not to eat etc etc etc …………Everything is a choice, from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep, everything is a choice.  Life is a series of choices.
Our choices are influenced by our relationships.  The people we surround ourselves with, the people we do life with, all have the potential to  influence our lives.  They have the potential to influence how we act, what we say, how we think, where we go, what we wear, what we eat, how we see the world and how we see ourselves.  The have a huge impact on our lives.
Proverbs 13:20 says ” He who walks with the wise will be wise”. Lets take this one step further,  spending time with people who inspire us, motivate us, challenge us and stretch us will raise our level of thinking and lift us to lofty new heights.  Spending time with ambitious people will in turn makes us become more ambitious.  Spending time with loving people makes us loving people. Spending time with generous people will help us to become more generous.  Spending time with God loving people will, guess what, make you a God loving person.
If you fly with eagles, you will think, feel and act like an eagle

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Merry Christmas

December 17, 2009

Christmas is really close and everyone is really exited in the “Christmas Spirit” and going out and spending loads of money on friends and family and don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas so much.
It’s the time of year when we can spend good quality time with family and friends and giving them gratification of how we feel for them. But in midst of all this Christmas hustle-bustle how many of us really sit back, relax and reflect the real meaning of Christmas….not too many hands raised there eh?

Well I would encourage all to try and keep it in your minds the meaning of Christmas. Which is the birth of a might powerful god … a baby? Yea that’s right. Our saviour who died on the cross for all our sins was nothing more than a wee cute baby born in a manger. What a wonderful thing that was. Merry Christmas to you all ! 

Christmas is coming

December 16, 2009

Christmas is fast approaching and as I prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World I can’t help but think about the life we are celebrating.
Jesus was a real life walking, talking, living, breathing miracle maker. Throughout his ministry everywhere he and his disciples travelled the most remarkable things happened.  He turned water into wine! He could make five loaves and two fish feed thousands! He brought people back from death to life! He could make bling men see again! He could walk on water! He could make cripples walk! He could make the dumb talk! He died on a cross taking the punishment for your sins and my sins and then to top it all off he rose from the dead.
Jesus’ teaching was revolutionary.  He spoke about forgiveness, about love , about grace  and about mercy.  He made what the world at the time considered to be the most outlandish claims.  He called himself many things; “Son of God”, “Son of Man”,  “The Way, The Truth, The Life”.  He said things like “no one can get to the Father except through me”.  Jesus challenged people to think in new ways, he inspired them, he motivated them, he stretched  them and he guided them.  An encounter with Jesus meant that your life would be transformed forever.

Can I encourage you that the same Jesus that lived 2000 years ago is alive and well and doing the same things right here in this city, and across this nation and beyond.
Hebrews 13:8 it states Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and forever! Even now his teaching is still revolutionary – it brings life, it brings hope and it has and will continue to inspire millions upon millions of people around the globe to seek to live and become more like him. Miracles are happening all the time,  people are being welcomed into the kingdom of God everyday, relationships are being restored, emotional and physical hurts and illnesses are being healed, sorrow turned to joy, worry turned to peace, the hopeless have hope.
Today, you too can have an encounter with Jesus that will transform your life forever.

Samson, Get Out!

December 16, 2009

            Samson is one of my favorite characters of the bible.  He wasn’t as good as Mary, or as close to God as Elijah, or as compassionate as Ruth, but his story is still so interesting!  One little part stood out to me especially as I was reading it this week, dealing with bad relationships and getting out of sinful cycles.

            One of Samson’s obvious mistakes was going out with a non-Israelite woman.  At that time God didn’t allow relationships like that because they tended to compromise the cultural values that God gave them and tended to lead to the Israelites worshiping other gods.

            This girl obviously wasn’t good for him either.  Clearly she didn’t have his best interests in mind.  She was selling his strength, literally letting his eyes get gouged out and sending him to a life of grinding in prison so she could get some silver.  Not a good person for him to be spending all his time with!  If someone I knew was in a relationship like that I would tell them to get out!

            And he keeps taking her back!  It’s obvious she’s trying to hurt him and yet he stays in that dangerous situation.  On top of that, he stays in a sinful relationship when he has these really legitimate grounds to get out of it.  He’s given so many reasons and so many opportunities to stop sinning, but he just pushes right past them.

            If someone I knew was being like Samson, I’d tell them to wise up!  Don’t be with someone who is wrong to be with.  When you see a chance to stop sinning, take it!  And don’t ever stay with someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind.  If you see a chance to get away from someone who hurts you, go for it!

December 15, 2009

December 11, 2009

GRAND DESIGNS

December 9, 2009

We live in a very exciting and ever changing world.  Technology is moving forward at an incredibly fast pace and we are constantly discovering new and innovative products that are being pushed in the market place.  If we look around us we can see  the development of fresh and inventive ideas, state of the art design concepts and the most impressive architecture .  Creativity and vision have become fundamental parts of everyday living in modern society.
Creativity and vision are the catalysts to change, without them things stay the same.
In his book Who You Are When No Ones’s Looking, Bill Hybels says, “Vision is the ability to catch a glimpse of what God wants to do through your life if you dedicate yourself to Him”.
King David had a vision from heaven. He said, “I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it” 1 Chronicles 28:2 NIV.  David dreamed of building a magnificent temple that would be  state of the art and innovative.  David’s temple would require new levels of creativity that would push the boundaries of the status quo to even greater heights.
We now live in the age of the new covenant where we have become a holy temple for the Lord.  Ephesians 2:21 tells us that, “we are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord”.  The spirit of the Lord lives and dwells in each of us.  He lives in you and he lives in me.
In the same way that David dreamed of building a magnificent temple, a dwelling place for the Lord, we too can dare to dream.  We can dare to dream of making ourselves a magnificent dwelling place for God.  We can dare to dream of building a magnificent life that is full of creativity and innovation.  We can dare to dream of a life that will push the boundaries of the status quo to new and greater heights.  God already has the blue print drawn up, the plan has already been made, the design feature that is uniquely you has already been created.  Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, submitting to God’s perfect will for our lives

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How is your walk with Christ?  Is it bold?  Is it daring?  Do people that know you even know that you’re a Christian?  It can be really easy to say “I’m a Christian!” but what does your life say about what you believe? 

In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus talks about how we are the “salt of the earth” and how we are the “light of the world”.  Why?  Well, salt tastes good.  For instance, take things like french fries and potato chips.  If you don’t add salt to them, they taste terrible!  Jesus is saying that we, when we follow Him, help make the world better, we help it to taste good.    Beyond that, these verses tell us that when we follow Jesus, we shine His light.  God uses our lives to light up the darkness of this world!

So here is the question…how salty are you?  How bring does your light shine?  Jesus says in these verses that no one lights a candle and then, immediately, puts it under a bowl.  That would be ridiculous!  Are you willing to let your life shine?  Are you willing to be salty?

I have an illustration that I often use when I teach on these verses, where I turn off the lights and then strike a match.  Everyone becomes transfixed on the little flame; they can’t keep their eyes off it.  I then say something about how we need to shine like that little match in the darkness of our world.  Which is true.  But, here is the thing:  Is that enough?  Do we just want to be a little match?  What about a candle?  Or a bonfire?  Or a raging 3-alarm blaze?  If you really were willing to turn your life over to Jesus fully, just how bring could He shine in your life?

The best part of theses verses comes in verse 16, where Christ tells us that those who observe us living bright will “see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  How amazing would it be for our lives to have that affect on our friends and family around us?

Are you willing to find out?

Mind Your Own Business!

December 3, 2009

So I struggle a lot with what other people think. It’s so easy to do! I worry that my clothes might be offensive to the older crowd, or not cool enough to the younger crowd. I worry that if I use my talents people might think I’m not very gifted, & so I just decide to myself it’s better to not use them at all rather than put a crack in the “cool” persona I’m trying to create. I can get so nervous of how people see me that I end up being really shy. I try really hard to overcome it, I do, but I still can be so nervous when talking to people I don’t know very well. You know that feeling you got when you first met someone you really liked, and you were trying to act casual but your mind was racing a mile a minute trying to figure out what to do or say? It’s like that for me all the time! Well, not all the time, but a ridiculous amount of time, because I don’t have the same personal confidence here as I did back in America. At home I had my family, the familiarity of my hometown, and lots of friends that I could take my authority and worth from. So when I lived in California I had a lot of self confidence. Now, though, I’ve left those things mostly behind. But I do feel like I have good self-esteem: like I know I’m cool, I’m just worried other people won’t agree!

So the root of the problem is this: I worry too much about what other people think! I am so nervous about what other people’s opinions are of me that I let it dictate my actions. And that pulls me away from the real Kelly, who I know is unique in “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus,” as it says in Ephesians 2:10. Here’s what I need to just get through my head: Other people’s opinions are none of my business! They’re not my opinions, so I shouldn’t focus on trying to change them. And they’re not my problem either! If I’m living a life that glorifies God, he will give me friends or respect or love as his plan provides. And where else can I be happy if not the center of his will? I definitely can’t find happiness in the opinions and minds of others! I mean, look at the head case I am; I sure hope nobody relies on me to keep them happy!

So remember if you get worried about what people think, and remind me if I ever get nervous; what other people think is none of your business! So mind your own business!

December 2, 2009