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Category Archives: Jesus

so I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not good enough…

I stuff up, stumble, fall, trip over the same stupid stuff, can’t talk good, shy, self conscious, doubt when i should have faith…

This is one of the reasons why I love the Bible – it’s full of people who are not good enough… yet God still loved them, used them to do mighty things and change the world and blessed them.

People like Adam, Noah, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, Thomas, are all great examples of the grace of God.

Let’s look at Adam and Eve.

Many of us know the story of Adam and Eve. The original sin. They were given one rule in the garden, and they broke it. They ate the fruit. Let’s have a look at

Genesis 2:6-13

6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

Adam and Eve sinned – felt shame and tried to cover it with fig leaves.

God knowing what they had done, says. “Where are you?”

They reply “hiding cos we are naked.”

God says, “who told you that you are naked?”

In verse 21, It says that God made them clothes from animal skins. These clothes would have covered them much better than fig leaves.

As Christians we believe that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we may be forgiven. We find it fairly basic to our beliefs that God can forgive anyone and welcome them into the body of Christ.

But how often do we forget that this grace is not only for the not-yet-saved, but also for us? Jesus can cover us a lot better than animal skin.

How often are we like Adam and Eve and we look down on ourselves and what we have done and rather than running to God to seek forgiveness, we run the other way to try and hid our shame with fig leaves.

My favourite passage of scripture is in Luke 15 verse 11 – 31 – the parable of the prodigal son.

I love it because it gives me a picture of God.

Most of us would know the story.

Then he said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’

“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and over indulged, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He had no food or money so he started looking for a job. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father. – he rehearsed a speech… he was scared that because he had turned his back on his father and shut him out that his father wouldn’t help him.

“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’

“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a robe and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a big fat cow and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—I thought he was dead but he is now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.

The Son never got to finish his speech.. he said “’Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ – but he never go to the part about asking to be hired help…

When we come to God for forgiveness – we aren’t a second rate Christian…

While the son was still a long way off – the father ran out to him – the closest we can get without grace is still a long way off’

One last point we can take from this story – The father covered the son with a robe. – we can only imagine how filthy the son would’ve been – working with pigs – he had no food so obviously no shower – he then walked a long way home… so by the time he got to his father he would have been rather dirty… the father placed the robe on him – this robe covered all his dirt.

Jesus is better than any robe.

Another example of someone who was not good enough is Moses. Moses thought this too. When God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, God gave him lots of instructions.. he told him exactly what to say and do… Then Moses says in Exodus 4:1 “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”

So God turns his staff into a snake, gives him leporasy and then heals him and tells him if they still don’t listen, don’t worry, I’ll turn the water to blood.

But Moses looks at himself, and says in verse 10 “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

When God tells us to do something, rather than looking at how big God is, how often do we look at ourselves and doubt.

It’s like for a moment we forget who made us. We forget that we are clothed in Jesus. We look at our sin and our failed attempts to cover our shame rather than looking at Jesus, who God gave us to cover us.

So, yes – I’m not good enough – but that’s ok… God already solved that problem.. He gave me Jesus… Jesus is always more than good enough…

… 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 I´ll…
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?

 

Last weekend, I had the privilege of helping out xxxchurch at sexpo, Brisbane.

I first heard of xxxchurch.com back in 2004… I checked it out and fell in love with what they were doing. I loved that they saw a problem… and tackled it head on. A problem that was often side-stepped or ignored by churches around the world. Rather than standing on the outside, yelling from the sidelines, words of anger, judgment and disgust, they jumped right in. Unafraid of the ‘sin’ but loving the people. Unashamed of the name they bear, Jesus. Attempting to live and love just as he did/does.
Since 2004, I have been following their website. Checking out regular video blogs, updates and hatemail. They have changed/expanded/grown quite a bit over the years, the T shirts and designs have developed from “porn sucks” to more eye catching images, they now offer free accountability software and the team recently moved from one side of America to the other with the dream of Strip Church. Throughout all this change, the message remains the same, Jesus Loves Pornstars.

Hopefully by now, you can see why I fell in love with this ministry.

 

When I was given the opportunity to serve with them at Sexpo in Brisbane I jumped at the chance. The days leading up to the porn show I was unbelievably excited and a little nervous. Excited to be a part of something bigger than me and nervous because people had warned me of what goes on in sexpo (how they know… I don’t want to know).

 

I walked in on day 1… not really sure what to expect… prayed up and ready for action… oh wait… totally wrong choice of words there! I was welcomed by the xxxchurch crew. Sam, Rachel, Brian and Deb. They were so lovely and stacks of fun. I began handing out Bibles… It seemed too easy… People loved them, a few stopped and asked what we were about. Good conversations… who would have thought, coming to a porn show to find out about Jesus. Sure, there were a few people who were disgusted by it, others only stopped to talk to ask me out, or to find out if I was going to strip later, but overall, the response was amazing. We were quickly running out of Bibles, suddenly 3000 Bibles didn’t seem like many.

Here I am handing some Bibles to a couple of girls.

I met some very interesting people over that weekend. From Mr Penis Man, the guy in the white suit selling “adult toys”, a few American booth owners who had flown to Australia simply for sexpo, Mr Condom Kingdom booth owner, the girl that was too embarrassed to tell her Christian family that she was actually working at an “adult toy store” not organising an event and new friends.


The whole weekend wasn’t spent at sexpo, I got to hang out with some pretty awesome Americans. Brian and Deb have an amazing story, one that bought tears to most of our eyes during dinner (fish N chips… my fav!). Also got to hang with Sam and Rachel, incredible couple with such a heart for people and great story to tell.
This weekend, I also learnt a lot about myself.
I learnt that I can relate to a range of different people, entering into their world and find common ground.
I learnt that with God, I can do anything.
I learnt to expect the unexpected… amazing things do happen.. Miracles happen everyday, you just gotta be prepared to look for them rather than try to shrug them off as something else.
I learnt that I am not impressed by people who try to impress others.
I learnt that I tend to judge christians. (… something I need to work on).
I learnt that not a lot surprises me.
I learnt that not a lot shocks me.
I was reminded that everyone has a story, each story is different and amazing.
Since working at sexpo, I have found the most common question I am asked by Christians is “how did you cope with it?” I feel like answering, “oh, it totally messed me up… like I am sooo a sex addict now”… I mean what do they think? Are we (Christians) really that scared of the dark? Is that why we insist on hiding in our churches? Do they not realise that I took my light with me so I could see clearly the whole time? Why isn’t the first question I am asked, “How many Bibles were handed out?” or “What was the response like?” It’s something that annoys me… I guess it’s something you gotta get used to when you step out of the box.

“Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.” (Rob Bell)

You can read more about it at xxxchurch.com.
and while you’re there…check out heartsupport.com

It’s funny how we (Christians) can so easily point the finger and say “look at what he did!” and “How could anyone do that?” and “What was he thinking?!” and judge (subtlety of course)… but I was thinking about it on Saturday, (work was fairly quiet and I was in a deep thinking mood)… I was also thinking about other issues that Christians so quickly point the finger and “judge” on, such as abortion, porn, self harm, homosexuality, depression, substance abuse and crime…

We (Christians) seem to have the monopoly on what is ‘right’ and anything else is wrong. So often we seem to express our opinions by telling an expecting girl that abortion is murder, by telling a pornstar that what she is doing is wrong and disgraceful, by telling a young girl that sleeping around is dirty and desperate and the Bible says “No” and the consequences are eternity in hell. But who are we to come into their lives at that point? where were we (the church) when the young girl was looking for love in the wrong places? Did we show her that Jesus’ love is pure and more powerful and fulfilling than any boy she could hook in with? or were we too busy telling her the Bible says “NO” to sex b4 marriage?
Where were we (the church) when the young boy was looking for acceptance and started doing drugs? Were we there to show him that God accepts him no matter what the boy’s father may think or say to him? Were we there when he got beat up at school?
Where were we when a father looking for help with getting his life together, as his wife left him? Where were we when nothing he did seemed good enough? Where were we when he lost it and did an extreme act, which he will never forget as long as he lives, neither will his other kids, or his ex-wife? I hope rather than simply pointing a finger and saying “the bible says ‘thou shall NOT KILL’ How could you!?!” We are praying, praying for him, for his other kids, for his ex-wife, for his other family, for all parents who sometimes struggle and don’t know this awesome God that we have to help us out in tough times…

I guess the point I’m attempting to make is that we need to be there for people always, not just when things go really against what we would do… or when we get offended. We need to show people that Christ isn’t about a bunch of rules but rather love.


Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reminded that jesus isn’t simply a trademark, a nice word, a cool saying or a clique phrase. Have we turned the name that is above all names, the most powerful name, the name that saved us from the doom that we were headed for, into just another word, often used as a curse word or a tacky trademark used to make money?

I guess once you become Christianised it is easy to forget what we have been saved from, and what saved us.

I think that we have to really make sure we know who we are following… otherwise we might end up reading all the “right” books, going to the “right” church meetings, listening to the “right” music, wearing the “right” clothes, say all the “right” things… but at the same time totally miss Jesus…

I’d take a bullet for you
Bleed all my blood out for you
Be taken hostage, under the knife’s edge
Pay all the ransom for you
Do the hard time for you
On the front lines for you
Bring on the pain, the ball and chain
Be executed for you

Pre Chorus:
I’ll cover for you, take a hit
I’m your alibi
I got your back
I’m living every day just to die

Chorus:
Every day I die for you
Throw me in the fire, I’d walk right through
I made a promise, it’s an I-O-U
I’d D-I-E for Y-O-U
I’d D-I-E for Y-O-U
I’d D-I-E for Y-O-U
I’d die for you, die, D-I-E for you
I’d D-I-E, I’d die for you

Verse 2:
Give me your paranoia I’ll walk the plank for you
Sous la guillotine, jusqu’ à la fin
Willing to suffer for you
Interrogate me for you Accept my fate for you
Put me in a noose, turn the dogs loose
Take all the hatred for you

-D-I-E 4 Y-O-U – Family Force 5

WOW! What Jesus has done for us… I can not fathom…

Just Talk To Me
Bill Colclough
Don’t be afraid if you don’t understand
Don’t fear you won’t do it right
Don’t worry about performing
Just talk to me
Don’t need no words you can’t define
Don’t need a special voice you keep reserved just for me
Don’t even have to close your eyes
Just talk to me
Don’t need to wait until you’re hopeless
Don’t need a particular reason to call
Don’t need to fake your holiness
Just talk to me
Don’t worry that you don’t love me enough
Don’t need to do anything special
Don’t pretend you’re someone or something that you’re not
Just talk to me
Don’t need some formal speech about all the social and theological issues of the day
Don’t be afraid I won’t listen
Don’t use lots of fancy phrases you heard some preacher say
Just talk to me
Don’t try to be impressive
Don’t think about your image
Don’t need to be self-conscious
Just talk to me
Don’t think it has make sense
Don’t feel the need to use complete sentences
Don’t feel the need to use words at all
Just talk to me
Don’t pretend to be happy if you are not
Don’t be overwhelmed if you feel hopeless
Don’t worry if I’ll do what you ask
Just talk to me
Don’t feel you have to take all day or all night
Don’t feel the need to be serious or sombre or stressed
Don’t even think about wearing your fancy clothes
Just talk to me
Don’t worry if you’re pleasing me
Don’t think you have to have all the answers
Don’t try to feel anything different at all
Just talk to me
Don’t worry about feeling terribly confident
Don’t try to change the world
Don’t think yourself too bad or too good to do this
Just talk to me
Don’t spend your emotional energy getting all worked up over this
Don’t think of me as a perfectionist
Don’t believe everything you hear down there
Just talk to me
Don’t keep a list or record of when we chat
Don’t need to make an appointment
Don’t stop to talk to the receptionist
Just talk to me
Don’t try to be your preacher
Don’t try to be your mother
Don’t pretend you’ve got it all together
Just talk to me
Don’t need no special glasses
Don’t need a microphone
Don’t worry if it isn’t good
Just talk to me
Don’t lie to me
Don’t question if I understand
Don’t think it doesn’t matter
Just talk to me
Don’t bother about the rules
Don’t bother about whether there are any
Don’t pursue anything by which to measure yourself
Just talk to me
Don’t confuse me with your father
Don’t put that kind of pressure on him or yourself
Don’t try get away from the point of who I am
Just talk to me
Don’t try to impress me
Don’t try to hide anything
Don’t concern yourself about whether you’re wasting my time with trivialities
Just talk to me
Don’t ask if I know about the latest hospital report
Don’t think I don’t know all the latest gossip
Don’t wonder if I know the best possible outcome
Just talk to me
Don’t think anything is too insignificant to bring up
Don’t worry if you cry
Don’t worry if you don’t
Just talk to me
Don’t be afraid
Don’t be unnatural
Don’t be anything you don’t want to be
Just talk to me
Don’t hesitate to shout if you feel like it
Don’t hesitate to rant
Don’t pretend
Just talk to me
Don’t forget to laugh with me
Don’t forget that I’m the one who started all this
Don’t forget I already know what you’re going to say
Just talk to me
Don’t worry about what I might say or think about you
Don’t be concerned if you lose your train of thought
Don’t be surprised if I talk back
Just talk to me
Don’t forget to listen
Don’t forget I care more than you can possibly imagine
Don’t worry about the silence
Just talk to me
Just talk to me
Just talk to me

Too often I get all caught up in the legalistics (is that a word?) of Christianity that I seem to forget the most important part… God loves me… I know it sounds really cliche but its true…

Luke 15

11Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13″Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17″When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21″The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22″But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Jesus showed us a great example of this in the parable of the prodigal son. The son was scared that because he ran away and wasted all his money (which was actually his father’s) that the father would turn him away. So the son wrote a speech, in the speech he tells his father that he is unworthy to be his son. this i a speech that i am sure he would have rehearsed a hundred times on the long walk home from his partying and sinful days. When his father sees him “a long way off” his father RUNS to him…. now for his father to see him “a long way off” his father must have been looking for him… also his father RUNS to him…

Another interesting part of the story is that the father hugs and kisses him. Then the son finallly has a chance to say his speech, “‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But his father wasn’t listening… he was too busy planning a party for the son.

we don’t need to come up with some long, Biblical, intellegent speech in order for us to talk to God… He is too busy running towards us.