Ask yourself this…

UnknownIt’s quite amazing as you read through the scriptures how the bible is tied together and flows together considering so many people put pen to paper over so many years. When we see the authority of the Scripture as being something to hold to it’s still amazing of where we find certain passages situated.

It’s interesting as you read 1 Corinthians 13, as it turns our mind towards love where it is rested. I am told a diamond truly only comes into its own when it’s in its correct setting.      Perhaps 1 Corinthians 13 sits in its correct setting?      The passage is sandwiched between two chapters one having to do with spiritual gifts and the other to do with the speaking in tongues.     I know that most of us have either read or heard it read at weddings, but I’m suggesting that we regain its significance and took this very same passage and applied it to our influence, leadership, common conduct for the common good.  I would even suggest I am struggling to see its relevance at weddings really, it was around a table, at gathering of the church family this was to be effectively encountered This LOVE…

I really do think that this passage was not return for wedding ceremonies, although can be used and is good but it really was more written for the church family life and for those that were taking responsibility and leadership and mature in the body of Christ. So let’s consider…

“Love is patient”
Do I give others the same room that I want them to give me? When mistakes are made, advances are taken?

“Love this kind”
Do the people I hang out with actually like being around me? Is appointed thought ask yourself how much do people asked to be with me outside of my work, outside of responsibility?

“It does not envy”
when that great idea is suggested, when someone gets promoted what my inner attitude like? Do I find a jealous streak arising when a great ideas shared, constantly perceiving others threatening me. Some people find themselves unable to live in their current condition because those who suggests their mature, project the superiority perceive you as a threat.

“It does not boast”
Am I the kind of person that always wants to tell people of my previous achievements, that I almost had gone what I’ve done to every comment. If we are so obsessed with what I’ve done in the past then to be honest would really not advancing towards anything at all.

“It is not proud”
I got it, “you need to come to me to see how it’s done” I was once told. I’m the one that knows how to do it, I am the one in the church/organisations that has the answer, you need to worship like me, think like me, preach like me?

“It is not rude”
As soon as I hear an idea I don’t like to I cut them off mid-sentence. Am I the one that blanks people, do people get a calm cold response from me? Is my insecurity so great I’m sharp with people?

“It’s not self-seeking”
What I give my time to, how I invest myself always and really about?

“Is not easily angered”
People afraid to bring me information that is true about me because they know I will lose my cool. Is my life cultivated from being constantly angry?

“It keeps no record of wrongs”
“that’s the… time you’ve done that said that”, “how many times… I remember the last time, and the time before”. Why tell them and remind people of their failures of past constantly, I mind the epitome of forgiveness.

“ love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truths”
Can people be honest and open with any one of us? it’s lonely influencers/leaders who do not have people around them will open up their hearts and share correctly and accurately truth. For this kind of person becomes the dominant that sits on top. Why can’t a bit the truth is celebrated so that people will enjoy truth at all times.

“It always protects”
Am I the kind of person that people will feel my kindness, graciousness, forgiveness, do they know I will always have their best in mind. It always difficult to flow with people will demand loyalty but never extended in any way.

“Always trusts”
Do I come from a trusting position of distrust in. As my years of life and experiences around me produced a distrusting starting point. Can I be one the trusts, and trusts and only when you are constantly showed that I cannot trust I begin to change. Is my world made up of trust or caution?

“Always hopes”
I half empty or half full pot kind of person? Do I assume or how bad it is or how poor the people are. Can I find inside me a way of believing others.

“Always perseveres”
How long will I stay in with people, once it made a mistake am I out of the, my quick to give up on people? And I’m the one that stays in and is a faithful as a friend.

“Love never fails”
Can people feel and sense my love always it quite often displayed in those that stay around. Is the atmosphere that people draw from me that love winds through?

Therefore as an influencer or a leader, as a parent a mother or father, as a friend and brother or sister IVs the qualities of my influence. Ask yourself when I honestly like. I would even suggest that spiritual gifts or speaking in tongues love will always be. To flow in gifts at a time added to root, and its foundation love must be a love that is patient, kind….

Advertisements

Keep Kissing…Art of honesty

imagesProverbs says as we have discovered “An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship” – this is our continued thinking into the art of using your lips…

Be gentle. Proverbs 15:1 contrasts the results of different approaches to honesty. A “harsh word [one lacking tact, kindness, and sensitivity] stirs up anger.” Anger can lead to a rejection. A “gentle answer [characterised by preparation, wisdom, and care] turns away wrath.” Gentleness can remove the barrier to honesty.

Since many of our relationships are not accustomed to the light of honesty, we need to move carefully and slowly. Because the truth does hurt, it only makes sense to handle it with care.

Be appropriate. Timing is crucial with the truth. If you need to confront your spouse, stay away from the loaded minutes when you first get home at the end of the day. A truthful conversation should be held in a private and quiet place.

Communication that holds potential for discomfort needs time and space. Don’t hurry. Don’t dole out a healthy portion of honesty on your way out the door in the morning. Don’t offer up a truth bomb as the last thing before you close your eyes for sleep and then defend your lack of discretion with, “I’m just being honest!”

Proverbs 25:11 compares “a word aptly spoken” to fine gems that have been set into gold and silver jewellery. That word of honesty will be true no matter where and when you share it. Put it in the right setting, and the result can be beautiful. Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!”

Build an environment of trust. Truth comes as a shock within a relationship where the norm has been denial. The resulting fallout may be devastating. Work on creating an atmosphere of acceptance and grace.

This is especially true when dealing with children. A parent who uses the truth like a sledgehammer, inflicting pain without grace, is an abuser.

Simon Cowell-type criticism without the safety produced by grace and love is rude, obnoxious, and malignant. It has no redeeming value. But, in a family where love is the main course on a consistent basis, a side dish of critique can be offered without fear of harm.

The honesty equation goes something like this: More honesty brings more intimacy—and more intimacy brings more honesty.

When you are in a friendship that is new or tentative, don’t unload truth all at once.

Set the stage for greater vulnerability later by sharing only a little now.

Perhaps Peter didn’t walk out on Jesus when Jesus called him “Satan” because by that point in their relationship, Peter knew that Jesus loved him. Did it hurt? Sure! But Peter trusted the giver of such forceful truth.

“In our desire to be an inspiration to one another we often veil what is true, because what is true is not always inspirational. But hurting believers whose lives are in tatters often need real help. If we were able to put aside our need for approval long enough to be authentic, then, surely, we would be living as the church.” Taken form Sheila Walsh book

Unpleasant truth is sometimes necessary. But our truth-telling needn’t be a slap in the face. Rather, it can be as gentle as a kiss that honours our relationships, demonstrates love, and confers value.

Learn the art of Kissing…. Truth telling….

Kissing honestly – a Kingdom of God reality.

An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship

Proverbs 24:26

imagesI am amazed and shocked how much influence a man can wield…   our TV has been dominated in recent years with talent shows and competitions for all types of people and animals.   Dog trainers, singers, puppeteer, acrobats, martial arts, dancers, individuals and groups alike, all trying their best, programs such as  “….got talent”, “X factor”, “The Voice”, “Idol”, the population that view seem to be oblivious to the program’s design, its aim to be exposing of the unfortunate through flattery, its staging what will be done to get viewing figures, the ridicules along with the talented in a world where we have no failures where we are not to allow any one to fail at anything. 

The voice of one man, one judge is sought on the UK and USA programs, the opinion of the daddy of talent programs Simon Cowell, a judge, it is what all take interest in receiving.   Yet he has acquired a reputation for his severe criticism of the pop-star hopefuls, talent displays. “My attitude has always been, ‘Don’t lie to people,’” Simon says. “Kids turn up unrehearsed, wearing the wrong clothes, singing out of tune, and you can either say, ‘Good job,’ and patronize them or tell them the truth, and sometimes the truth is perceived as mean.”

The real question is, why do people even show up?

Even the untrained ear can discern that many of them can’t sing. Yet they believe with miraculous sincerity that they can make it big. What has happened here?

Someone lied. In an attempt to encourage, a parent or friend or significant other told the hopeful singer that he had the right stuff. In the name of love, someone told him that he should make a CD. Out of a desire to protect the self-image of a young person, someone lied.

Cowell acknowledges that part of his job is to close that gap: “For a lot of contestants, it’s a suspension of belief. Your family and friends say you’re pretty good—and we’re here to stop you.”

 

Before you made a fool of yourself, wouldn’t you want to be stopped? As hard as it may be to hear the truth, as difficult as it may be to accept it, wouldn’t it be more loving and kind if someone said, gently and firmly, “Don’t do this. It’s not good. I like you. I love you. But you’re not a pop star”?

Of course it would. But we’ve lost the ability to tell the truth when the truth is hard.

Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips,”  it’s not an honest answer is like a slap on the face. A kiss is something to look forward to…but honesty?

How can these two be similar?

How is a kiss comparable to an honest answer?

A kiss honours relationship.

A kiss brings us close to another and builds relationship.

Risking this type of kiss, we honour one another and our relationships.

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, took a big risk when he told Moses that he was taking on too much responsibility by acting as arbiter of all disputes for the people of Israel: “What you are doing is not good!” (Ex. 18:17 ).   Moses, who was not known for his patience when confronted with the truth, could easily have rejected this advice—and the advisor. However, “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (v. 24 ).

How many times has your wife or husband come to you honestly “I’m upset…” your children turn and say “I don’t like that…”   Often we are not excited to be told the truth about ourselves, especially when it’s contrary to our perception

We could save ourselves much hassle by letting things go.    But some times we bravely take on the task of truth telling for my sake and for the sake of better relationships in our family. Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

    Telling the truth is interior decoration for another’s character. The risk—and the relationship—is worth it.

More thoughts on these kisses next time

“To this end…” still working towards it

Community under canvas Our journey is continuing on this time I will deal with only one step, it’s so important in a disconnected society, a society that is not aware of anyone else but of self, that this step be prayed and worked through, enjoy considering.   To be a people of love and display to our world people being TOGETHER

Step Seven COMMUNITY LIVING

I don’t know whether it was my upbringing as a child in the Welsh Valleys, where lives were thrown in on each other and things were shared or what, but I have never found community living a problem, and long to see it at every level. I am not talking about a commune but a community where no one has need and each person is considered and looked after, where people are aware of others around them rather than just self.

I have been able to adapt easily to living with a crowd as long as there has been some place – all I’ve needed was a bedroom – to pull aside and be alone with God for a time.     Apart from that, the difference of temperaments and personality were no great issues for me.

Here are some of the things I have learned in community with others:

1. Don’t take things too seriously. It is amazing how we can make mountains out of mole hills, and little issues assume great importance. This is where many relationships have foundered and fellowship been broken. Many things are best over-looked and forgotten by the immediate release of forgiveness and love at the time.

2. People respond to praise. Don’t be afraid to praise others. This acknowledges, honours’, and builds men up. Make room in your heart for appreciation of others.

3. Everybody loves to be loved and so the time taken, word spoken, gesture made, effectively communicates our appreciation and love for people,

4. Make room for others. Don’t look for ways to promote yourself by seeking prominence. Make room for other people respond to those who have made room for them.    Give them scope in your life, fellowship, responsibilities.     Let them try things out for themselves, and ‘have a go’.

5. Keep short accounts. If there is a breakdown of fellowship deal with it quickly – Get rid of it before it widens. It is the accumulation of small things that creates the big problems. Just as it is the silt that comes down with the river that forms the mud bank that eventually holds the waters back.

6 – Don’t be afraid to confront. Don’t look for confrontation, but neither should you run from it where it is necessary for the saving of the person or situation. Paul disliked confrontation but was not afraid to stand up to Peter when a fundamental issue of the gospel was at stake. It is better to be wounded by your friends than destroyed by your enemies.

7. Grace and faith. Serve up, in every relationship with people, great dollops of grace and faith. These are the twins of all progress and achievement in relationships.

8. Be loyal to men and women and people will be loyal to you – the end time will be characterized by this breaking down (2 Tim.3:4) amongst other things.     All the more reason to shine as a light in a dark place in respect to keeping covenant.

9. Love the brethren. By this I mean demonstrably so. Let your feelings become tangible in this respect.

10. Serve one another. Do little things – learn to hump the tables around. Learn to look after each others needs, be a servant and in this way you encourage others to serve, particularly be a Joshua to a Moses somewhere.

These principles hold good as strengthening bonds to secure harmony inside the relationships of the wider community of the church.     It would be wonderful if our Christian experience was only a series of positive virtues.      Unfortunately I have been both a victim and perpetrator of some negative issues also.

 

“To this end…” even more

Hands that toil
28 
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature inChrist.

29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

(Col 1:28-29)

I recently watched a new documentary fronted by Hercule Poirot, the French detective, well not really it was the actor David Suchet.   The focus was the it is a tracing of the life of Paul, amazing and moving.   I was moved to see the resolve of this man, Paul that is, the outright single-mindedness he was on his purpose, that Christ might fill all in all.   He clearly was a man with a desire of brining Christ to a broken world was uttermost, it was not just salvation but a transformation he believed in, the belief that he could change his world, he really had a conviction and laboured to that end.

“To this end I labour”, I now continue with the thoughts around that ”labouring to an end”, I have already competed 2 posts and cover 4 steps for us in of setting a pace to get the job done.    All who have celebrated the arrival of 2013 it is once again the beginning of a new year, it affords us in our thinking a focus on the coming year, what I would give my self to, what I would labour towards, I trust this further journey will add to the last two blogs under the same topic heading, read on!

Step four VERBAL CONFESSION

As soon as it is feasible it is good to confess your faith verbally.     Confession with the mouth seals something in your heart.       It is this commitment, confined in your own words, that spurs you on in your Christian pilgrimage.

Verbally sharing your faith deepens your appreciation and conviction of the life you have received, as well as sharpening your ability to communicate it effectively to others.   Sharing your experiences confirms the God of history that invades today and brings hope for tomorrow.

Confession quickly allows us to find from the crowd those whose faith and boldness is similar to your own, and you will be drawn to them as they are drawn to you.     It is often the beginning of progress in meaningful relationships.

Step five LEARNING FROM OTHERS

‘Of the past’

I owe a great debt to men such as Bryn Jones, Arthur Wallis, Ern Baxter, E Stanley Jones, Austin Sparks  Andrew Murray, F .B. Meyer, S.D. Gordon, Watchman Nee, Rees Howells, Charles Spurgeon. George Eldon Ladd and others, the list is endless.     Most I have never met in the flesh, but have sat for hours on end listening to them opening their hearts in revelation of Christ to me.      All this has taken place through my being a prolific reader.     I cannot over estimate the value books in my life.      The writings of such men as these speak to all ages and times, since the principles set out are themselves eternal.

‘Of the present”

One of life’s privileges is the opportunity of fellowship with men of spiritual experience beyond ourselves.    They may not see themselves as fathers or mentors to us, but many of them are that. They are deep waters of revelation, experience and truth for us. I am again indebted to numerous men in my lifetime – Keri Jones, Tony Ling, Ray Bevan, Dave Mansell, Charles Simpson, Gordon Fee, Tom Wright, Derek Morphew, Sam Solyen and others, endless list again.  For some of these were willing to take an interest in me and allowed me to draw upon them in my development, others I meet and continue to draw from their journeys through writings.     Needless to say I clung to several of these very strongly and learned from every one of them.

Then again in retrospect I see how many men who were growing up alongside me in their own faith have greatly influenced my life.     I think in lots of instances we owe as much if not more, to brother-ing than fathering in our spiritual progress.

Step six LEARNING TO HANDLE DEFEAT

I have seen so many allow themselves to be wiped out by mistakes.     If I had allowed this to happen to me then I would have been destroyed in the first 3 months of my life.     But again-and-again I came back to the bedrock conviction that I was born again despite my many miserable failings.     The burden and what I had seen came to the fore front, resurrection from deep within the very taste of the future God has allowed me to taste came strong at those times

I have continued to go forward with this conviction of faith, that God is greater than my mistakes, bigger than any problem I face, deeper than any shallowness of thought, word, or action on my part.      Even realizing that my mistakes and my success are as much part of who I am today rather than only seeing the success made me they all have made me and brought me to today!   I got to today because of my successes and my failures they made me and i am not so bad after all.

This enables me to bounce back again from any failure, embracing grace as the means to restored fellowship, and giving me liberty from any condemnation that would threaten my progress or happiness.

That’s long enough for this one we will continue next time on Step seven Power of Discipleship