Tag Archive: Christ-following


God parts the Red Sea using Moses

“Just part one ocean in front of me, once, God, and i will never doubt you again!”

that’s how i think sometimes. but a huge part of me knows it unlikely to be true. it wasn’t enuff for the Israelites [a day later they were whining about water so God made  it appear out of a rock, then it was food and God made bread appear six days a week, then it was about the fact that it was bread and so God sent meat and then finally when Moses goes up the mountain to meet with God they get tired and ask for an alternative God to worship…  [it doesn’t end well]]

but it’s a nice thought to have anyways – if God just does this big amazing impossible thing then i will believe-Him believe Him for ever and ever.

tonite, in the room of inspiration, i came up with the term ‘Pramnesia’ which i think a lot of us are inflicted with:

Pram.ne.sia

/pramˈnēZHə/

Noun

A partial or total loss of memory linked to matters relating to answered prayer.

we see or experience God answer prayer [in some small or big way] and then the next time we are faced with an obstacle or a difficult person or a huge loss, we forget completely how faithful God has been to us and either rail against Him, or forget about Him completely while we try sort the thing out in our own strength, or just completely fall to pieces.

now this becomes a ‘thing to hold in tension’ or a ‘the mystery of God piece’ when we add it to the fact that God is not a big one-armed-bandit in the sky – say the prayer, pull the leaver and instant win… sometimes God’s very real answer to prayer is “No!” and other times it might be, “Yes, but not now” and even other times it might be, “Absolutely yes, but completely not in the way you are expecting.”

another part to hold on to is this description of God in Ephesians 3.20: ‘to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,’

actually, the Message sums it up pretty well: God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.’

and therein lies the point: God is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than ALL WE CAN HOPE OR IMAGINE.

i say this a lot, but i want to encourage you to start believing that perhaps we need to start hoping or imagining bigger. or at least more consistently.

so if you have been struggling with pramnesia, then my advice is to stop it.

let the answered prayers of the past be the catalysts for the bigger prayers you are going to pray for this day – i’m not talking prosperity doctrine at all but about kingdom doctrine – His kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven… or another way to look at it, ‘what this earthly kingdom would look like if God was King here.’

why not try this… for the next week, at the start of each day, pray a simple prayer inviting God to present an opportunity for you to: show Love to someone who is feeling down/speak to someone about something God has done in your life/have a conversation with someone you know by name but whose story you have never heard/highlight a person who you need to forgive or ask forgiveness from… whatever it is doesn’t matter, but pray a prayer inviting God to action in your life… and then be on the look out for the opportunity and take it.

and i’d love it if you returned here and shared some of those answered prayers once they’ve happened…

 

why church is a verb

a lot of people don’t like the church – some people outright hate it [cos of things they’ve seen, experienced, heard about or feel the church has done to them], others are not fans [disillusioned, frustrated, confused, bored] while others just don’t really care either way…

i, on the other hand, love the church [as do many others and as does God which is always a good indicator] and i’m not talking about a specific denomination or a sunday meeting or a building – i am talking about the people of God – Christ followers who actively follow Christ [as opposed to just wearing His name or talking about Him or performing regular religious activities] and when you see the church in action [go back to the xenophobic attacks that ravaged south african townships a couple of years ago to see how brilliantly the church responded] it is an amazing thing to behold and there are many reasons and stories that i could share…

but today it’s just been about our next move to philadelphia mid june which is flippin soon – and how the wider international church has gotten involved – one of the things we are struggling to figure out is the right visa for our specific situation and people like craig and robert and steve and others have all been amazing at sharing their knowledge and people resources [rob being a guy i knew in a band once years ago, steve a guy i met on facebook playing some silly facebook game and craig a guy whose brother i know more than i know him and even then only quite loosely] – but it’s just been this crazy network of people diving in with time, energy and effort [and money – have had others diving in and giving to the need also with fairly loose attachments to us] and i guess it might happen outside of the church as well, but with Christ-following people it is a given and it’s incredible when you see it in action.

so thank you church and to all those who have been churching us these past few days and months – looking so much forward to the journey ahead and hopefully learning how to church so much better ourselves…

[and hopefully getting to finish my book ‘i kissed hating (the church) good bye’ which is not about me cos i love the church but really hopefully going to be a tool for those who love Jesus but have been struggling with His bride… busy transcribing this month, but when that’s finished will hopefully do some deep sea diving into the book to try and finish it before we leave…

there is a verse from revelations which has been running thru my head – it’s the one where john has the vision of the messages given to the seven churches and is found in rev 3.1-3 and says, “i know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. wake up! strengthen what remains and is about to die, for i have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. but if you do not wake up, i will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time i will come to you.’

and just been thinking lots about the difference between head and maybe even heart christianity and actual real life flesh and blood Christ following and how much of that disparity exists in my life as well – in terms of my head and heart i am absolutely 100% passionate about God and kingdom growth and world transformation, absolutely…

but how much am i actually living this thing? loving God, loving people? like really? actually? in 3D?

i know there’s bits of it, for sure, but i’m pretty sure there’s not nearly enuff, and if i’m absolutely honest, i am terrified that i am not even coming close to really living it out – one of the things which excites me about next year’s doing something different (and still waiting on God to see what that is) cos i don’t think it can continue…

and right now that seems to be the difference between me and guys like shane claiborne and keith green and so on – in heart and passion and mind i would imagine we are d.n.a. twins (or triplets?) but they lived it out – out on the streets – in peoples faces

and even huger than that is the difference between me and Jesus. and that is really not cool for someone who claims to be an ardent Christ follower as i do – Christ loving (absolutely) Christ believing (no doubt) Christ awe-ing (full on)

but Christ following? hm.

there must be more than this… in my life.

this is not good enuff.

i remember some kids song that went ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself, oh-oh love your neighbour, but don’t get caught’ and thinking as i write that, i may very well have added the ‘don’t get caught’ on to what was a nice kiddies song of which i still have the tune playing in my head… so maybe scrap that…

but it brings to mind the one thing that is hugely on my mind at the moment – loving your wife, and better – been blogging a series on Facebook called ‘how to love your woman better’ which is aimed at getting guys (and everyone really) thinking about how they love their wives, girlfriends etc (and the other way round of course but directing it at the guys) – the other night i was at a function with some of my people and tbV overheard the one woman speaking to her man on the phone giving him some directions or something and then getting irritated with whatever he was saying on the other end and finished the conversation by screaming “I HATE YOU!” and hanging up…

wow, that breaks me… it was not a Christ-following relationship, but i don’t doubt even in some of those people dive across the boundaries of what should never be said or done and God has put it HUGELY in my heart to see Christ-following relationships improved to the thousand percentile (no, i don’t, it just sounds like a nice word) and especially to see the bar raised…

when i got married to tbVal in my speech i spoke to married men and single guys about that and put myself totally out there in terms of how Paul does with his ministry – follow me as i imitate Christ kind of vibe – but follow me as i role model good relationship… on the one hand i guess it can appear arrogant, but it is completely not. it is the desperate plea of someone watching a lot of people in relationship (Christ-following and not) and saying “there must be more than this” [my life theme song] and stepping up to the plate and making myself hugely accountable and vulnerable and there for the shots to be fired at and committing (cos it is completely a commitment as opposed to an arrogant statement) to loving my wife better.

i do think that loving tbV is one of the things i do best in life. not saying i have it perfect or close to that and not saying i am necessarily better than anyone else, but in terms of everything i do in life, it is one of the things i work at the most and try to intentionally get a lot more right than i did yesterday. we still do have a way to go before we are any kind of perfect couple, but in terms of what is out there, we have a lot to teach and model and call people towards already… and NOT just because we have “only been married 5.5 months”

one of the things is to love my wife publically – not to a sickening “please stop” “get yourselves a room” level of grossification, but to an extent that lets people know i love this woman, i am committed to her, and i want to express it.

so love your wife… and get caught! a lot.

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