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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Over the last few days, weeks even, this message of being thankful and grateful for what I have been given, those around me and people expressing their thanks and gratitude for me has kept coming up, over and over again.

I admit straight up that this is not an area that I excel in… at all. I often fail at it.. but am trying…

The latest of these happenings occurred today, twice already, and it’s only 3pm…

At breakfast, Aaron spoke about being thankful of the opportunity we have been given, making it count and loving those around us as we go.

Then I got home and read a blog post from B. Reith.. here is an excerpt…

So while I was on the plane I wrote down 25 things I’m thankful for. Not in any order, and not the top 25, just the first 25 things that popped into my head. So here it is:

1. Oxygen – my lungs are working and I can breathe in and out without pain.
2. My heart is successfully pumping blood throughout my entire body.
3. My mother and father – for their unconditional love, support and friendship for my entire life. That is a rare thing to have these days.
4. God’s forgiveness and mercy because of the sacrifice that Jesus made.
5. Water and food. I don’t miss a meal unless if I choose to. I read somewhere that 1/3 of the world is well-fed, 1/3 is underfed, and 1/3 is starving. I dump out water and people die every day because they don’t have access to it.
6. My job – I get paid to do what I love most, to connect with people through music.
7. Eternal life through Jesus Christ, that trumps them all.
8. For the fact that now is not forever. Our worst moments here are only temporary.
9. Strong Tower Bible Church.
10. The ability to see, hear, smell, touch, speak and sing. (sorry, that’s like 6 in 1)
11. The ability to read, write, learn and study.
12. Good coffee ๐Ÿ™‚
13. My 97 Honda Accord that I got for dirt cheap.
14. The gospel and salvation of Jesus. That I have access to the Truth through God’s Word.
15. The privilege to sponsor a child in Sudan through http://www.makewaypartners.org.
16. I survived today, on two different planes, in a van with a crazy driver, on a shuttle… nothing bad happened. I saw on the news yesterday that a dad killed in a car accident on his way to welcome his son back from the war in Iraq. I believe that everyday miracles are happening all around us, we just don’t see them. I’m thankful for those miracles.
17. For the times I’ve suffered and hurt and God helped me through it. I’m now stronger because of the trials I faced.
18. My band of brothers, who walk with me and strengthen me when I’m weak.
19. Good movies.
20. The internet ๐Ÿ™‚ And all other technological things that make life a lot easier, like microwaves, oh… and laptops!
21. I can talk to God the Creator and King of the universe anytime I want because I have access to Him through Jesus. That blows all of these other things out of the water.
22. Comfortable beds, in which I’m about to go to sleep in. My friend just got back from Haiti and said that there is a homeless community of kids that live in a trash heap.
23. Good breakfast!
24. Inspiring music
25. Sunsets that make you stop where you are and be filled with awe.

Wow, I could go on and on and on. I would encourage you to try this exercise. Reminding myself of the things I’m thankful for changes my perspective. I spend most of my time looking at the negative, finding the one thing to complain about. That’s ridiculous. If we practiced being thankful everyday I promise it would open our eyes to how blessed we are, and how much we can help others at the same time

I have so many things to be thankful for, so many people to be thankful for and a great God to be thankful for… but do I live my life that way?

A song I first heard a few years back that really moved me is “Thank You” – Sanctus Real

There are new horizons with colors that I’ve never seen
The sky is filled with graces since you have carried me
I felt so far beyond your reach, but you gave everything for me
I was lost but you rescued my life

[Chorus:]
Why in the world did you come after me?
Thank you, thank you
Words aren’t enough, but for now I can say
Thank you, thank you

There is hope rising ’cause you have strength I’ve never seen
And your eyes are shining ’cause you shed tears for me
I was miles from dry land, but you gave everything you had
I can’t understand a love of this kind

[Chorus:]

I could find other lines that you haven’t heard spoken over and over again
I’ve tried every way, but I keep landing on that simple phrase
So I’ll keep singing, “thank you”

My 25 things… (in no particular order.. just what came to me as I typed this)

1. God – saved me.. without Him I’d hate to think where I’d be.. headed to hell.
2. Friends – who stand by me no matter what, for the fun times that build our bond and the tough times that cement it.
3. Family – unconditional love.
4. Music – speaks when I don’t wanna listen.
5. Church – accepting and life changing.
6. Internet – able to reach millions of people at the click of a button… under utilized resource.
7. Food – 26000 kids die everyday from a lack of basic necessities.
8. Education – School and uni are services that I often don’t give a second thought about.
9. Mobile Phone – what the heck would I do with out it?
10. James Turner – Legend who has inspired and taught me heaps.
11. Ben Hafner – Way back showed me that Christianity wasn’t only for weirdos… and now continues to inspire me to love others.
12. Hillsong United – Being part of such an epic community is incredible!
13. Job – I haven’t ever had to find a job, the right job always finds me, giving me the flexibility to do stuff like schoolies and other such things without having to hastle about holidays and time off, while still earning good money.
14. Car – My car enables me to get places… easily.
15. Australia – I live in a pretty great country, beautiful and I heart the weather… but also relatively good leadership.
16. Sunsets – make me think of God and smile.
17. Redbull – hehhe…
18. Redfrogs – schoolies week makes me feel alive.
19. Photos – Being able to look back and remember.
20. Holidays – Times to chill and rejuvenate.
21. Connect Group – being able to share life with an awesome bunch of people that truly inspire me.
22. Deodorant – It keeps me friendly.
23. Sleep – so underrated
24. Ideas, hopes and dreams
25 – Today – I woke up breathing ๐Ÿ™‚

What are your 25 things?

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… no not the softdrink… not the type that gets you from the carpark level to the shopping level of the department store… and definitely not the song by Shannon Noll…

I’m talking about the type of lift we all need from time to time.

Donna was talking about being lifted up at church the other night. For her, it was a maths teacher who had faith that she was smart enough to pass and sowed time and encouragement into her, for Mia, it was the man from the Salvo’s who came each Sunday to pick her and her sisters up for church.

It reminded me of the importance of others.
It reminded me that we cannot do this alone.
It reminded me of the heart of Jesus, loving others. When Jesus walked the earth, He didn’t seem to assume what people needed (afterall to assume makes an ASS of U and ME ;)). In Mark 10:58, Jesus is met with a blind man. The man was calling out to Him and He and His disciples and a crowd were walking by. Jesus stopped and called Him over, and asked the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” To this the blind man replied, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

I love that Jesus asked the man, rather than simply sweeping in and fixing his problems. I think that sometimes we, chrstians, think we have all the answers. Sure, we do have Jesus, and He is the answer but does this give us the monopoly on knowing what is best for people and what they need.

LIFT:

  • to move or bring (something) upward from the ground or other support to a higher position
  • to raise or direct upward
  • to hold up or display on high
  • an act or instance of helping to climb or mount

Follow You – Leeland

You live among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy
For me to turn away
All my needs You have supplied
When I was dead You gave me life
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And Iยดll…
Follow You into the homes of the broken
Follow You into the world
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God
Follow You into the world

Use my hands use my feet
To make Your kingdom come
To the corners of the earth
Until Your work is done
Faith without works is dead
On the cross Your blood was shed
So how could we not give it away so freely?

And I give all myself
I give all myself
I give all myself to You

Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon Heath
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
yeah…yeah…yeah…yeah

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what’s underneath
There’s a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He’s out of work, he’s buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

We often sing the words “In my life, be lifted high, In my world, be lifted high. In our love, be lifted high.”
What do these words actually mean? How do we practically/ literally lift God high?

    Matthew 25:35-36

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

THOUGHTS

When have you needed lifting?
Who lifted you?
If no one lifted you, what ditch would you be in?
Are you lifting others?
How should we lift others?
How has Jesus lifted you?
Do we Lift Jesus?
Is that what worship is about?