Is it possible to be perfect today?

Psalm 18:32

“God arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”

Conversation

Can we really be perfect? Somewhere in The Bible it suggests we can never truly be but I can’t remember where. I often say to myself “Today, I’m going to try and be like Jesus”. That means that every second of every minute of every hour of every day I have to be the following in the work place and everywhere else:

– Kind, Loving, Wise, Strong, Forgiving, Joyful, Peaceful, Humble, Patient, Encouraging…

The list goes on. But I know what you’re thinking. “That’s impossible to be all those things”! Truth is, I sometimes blow it within the first 30 seconds of walking into the workplace by not saying a friendly hello to a co-worker because I’m too wrapped in myself and my own thoughts. Unfortunately or fortunately, (depending on how you look at it ), God wants us to be all the above words. Demands it actually. But the good news is we can’t be that way by ourselves. We just have to know that we’re aiming for it and be active in doing it.  As Psalm 18:32 suggests, we need God’s strength to help us.  But what does God’s strength mean? And how do we get it?  Through prayer we can pray for strength through the power of the Holy Spirit. Regularly reading scripture is a reminder of how we should behave. Talking to fellow christians also helps through sharing concerns, worries and difficult situations.  When we feel closer to God we become more aware of His presence and that helps us check ourselves before we may say something wrong or take action in an inappropriate way. 

So, let’s try and aim for perfection today. Not just for ourselves but for the benefit of those around us who might just notice something different about us. Jesus shining through us!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not being perfect. Forgive us for not behaving in the way that glorifies you. We humble ourselves before you and pray that you can give us the strength to make our way perfect. Amen.

Picture of the Day

I love this picture of Jesus forgiving. When I’m praying for forgiveness I have an image like this in my head. It’s incredibly comforting. 

We can let go of our past sins knowing that God has forgiven us.

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24 September, 2012 22:41

Mark 10:13-16

‘Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like little children will never enter it’

This post isn’t going to be that long as I’m doing a test post by email.

However, I love the scripture above. In the work place we are a lot of things but we don’t consider ourselves to be little children. No, we’re all grown up and people want us to be strong and inspiring leaders. But in my quietest moments away from the craziness of advertising I find the scripture in Mark helps simplify things. Children see the world simply. I have an image of their minds being clean, innocent and pure. Free from all the noise that affects out work lives like office politics, deadlines, workload, tension, stress and much more. Children look to their parents or guardians for help. They don’t try and work things out for themselves because they know they can’t. We can do that too. We have our Father in heaven who we can talk to when we’re worried, unsure, afraid or simply overwhelmed. When we need Him we can ask for his love and protection just like little children do. Amen!

A quote from C.S. Lewis. “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither”.

Nice one Mr.Lewis. Most of us are just aiming to get to the train station or bus on time but it’s great advice that’s also echoed in 1 Corinthians 9:25

“All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.”

The Second Coming

It would be true to say that when we think of prizes we do think of trophies and medals. Especially in Darien! But there’s another prize worth aiming for. Eternal life with God where there will be eternal joy. Not short-lived joy like getting a new job, receiving a promotion or buying a new house or car. No, we’ll be joyfully singing with the Angels. And yes, you will sing beautifully! I know that if you’re anything like me you find it hard to picture. The artist here tried his hardest but it’s something that’s simply beyond our imaginations as human beings. We just need to have faith!

Prayer

Heavenly Father, Teach us to focus on you and not be distracted by earthly temptations that lead us down the wrong path. Help us to be disciplined so we can keep our eye on the prize of spending eternity with you. Amen!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the legacy of C.S. Lewis and his writing click here

C.S. Lewis

Just as i finished writing this on the plane the Steward opened up a can of Coke and it sprayed on my shirt! I didn’t sigh and I didn’t huff!

Commute with Christ

James 1:2-4

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything’.

Conversation

I don’t think I’m a very a patient person. Which isn’t good, because I believe that losing my patience means I will behave in a very un-Christian like way. Which then means God will not shine through me. It’s as simple as that.

Today, I was on my way to the airport again. I had a car pick me up at 5am and my flight was at 7am. I thought at that time of morning I would fly through to JFK airport. I was wrong. No sooner was I on the 95 then the traffic came to a halt. I couldn’t believe it. 5am and the traffic…

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Does God travel with you on business trips?

James 1:2-4

‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything’.

Conversation

I don’t think I’m a very a patient person. Which isn’t good, because I believe that losing my patience means I will behave in a very un-Christian like way. Which then means God will not shine through me. It’s as simple as that.

Today, I was on my way to the airport again. I had a car pick me up at 5am and my flight was at 7am. I thought at that time of morning I would fly through to JFK airport. I was wrong. No sooner was I on the 95 then the traffic came to a halt. I couldn’t believe it. 5am and the traffic isn’t moving because of construction work. I let out a sigh and a huff. It took about 20 minutes to get moving again. But not for long before we hit more traffic. I was 30 minutes into my journey and I hadn’t gone 6 miles. I let out an even bigger sigh and a huff. I think the driver heard it this time because he started to weave his way from lane to lane but we all know that doesn’t work. I told him so as well. My impatience was now starting to show. Not good.

Once we did get moving his poor driving skills started to show themselves. He couldn’t keep within the lines of a lane and he couldn’t keep his foot consistently on the accelerator pedal. I was worrying about missing my flight and now I was concerned I’d be in an accident. It then started to rain. Torrential rain. Needless to say, this made things worst. I won’t go in to details but I really was in fear of my life. Even if the driver could keep within the lines of the road, he wasn’t able to see them.

I eventually did make it to the airport with 30 minutes to go before my flight. I did thank the driver and I sprinted into the airport. Once I was in my (aisle) seat on the plane I had time to reflect back on the journey. It was undoubtedly exhausting and nerve-wracking and I think I tried to be patient but I wasn’t. I didn’t lose my temper but I was impatient. And what was worse, I didn’t even think about praying for patience or for my safety. I HAD LEFT GOD AT HOME. Neither did I show any concern for the driver. It can’t have been easy for him with the bad weather, his trouble with driving and me sighing in the back.

But God is gracious and he will give me another chance. All I can do is pray for forgiveness, patience and perseverance. And that for future trips, I don’t say goodbye to Him as well as my family when I leave for the airport. Amen!

The Driver’s view….Very artistic!

Toothbrush, Razor, Passport, God?

Philippians 2: 14-15

‘Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the Universe’

Conversation

One of the great things about writing a blog is that I can share experiences in real time. Times when I believe God is working in my life.

It’s been a long day. At the dawn of the day I was in Darien. Now I’m in LA.

This morning I did the usual pre-flight ritual of going online, checking in and obsessively looking for the elusive aisle seat. I was amazed to find one available. Just one, so I frantically clicked the select button. I proudly announced to my wife in the car on the way to the train station that I had secured my seat and she suggested that perhaps God had secured it and not me. I had to agree.

Anyway, fast forward to later in the day when I’m comfortably sitting in my aisle seat feeling sorry for those ‘middle seat’ people. Those ‘less fortunate’ than me. At least that’s what I thought.  After about five minutes I heard a voice coming from the row of seats across from mine. It was a teenager, probably around 16 years old. “Excuse me”, he said. “Can you swap seats with me, that’s my brother sitting next to you”. The boy asking me was sitting in a middle seat.

I’m ashamed by what I said next. Truly, I am. The word “No” inexplicably came out of my mouth. No sooner had I said it, my heart immediately softened. I corrected myself and more than happily agreed to swap. I felt awful for saying no.

Earlier in the day I prayed that God would be with me during my trip in all circumstances. But I suppose we should be careful what we pray for! That seat clearly wasn’t for me. I believe it was reserved through me for that boy. I thank God for that. I thank God for the joy on the boy’s face when he was sitting next to his brother and I thank God  for choosing me. Amen!

The view from my Hotel room in Santa Monica.

 

Are we too busy working to admire God’s work?

Psalm 24: 1-2

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The World and all it’s people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the sea and built it on the ocean depths.” 

 

The Smoky Mountains

To have a relationship with God, it’s good to take time to enjoy and marvel at what he’s created. That’s not easy for us commuters to do! We generally stand on the same part of the platform every morning and sit in the same carriage, maybe even in the same seat. Rarely would we look out of the window. We think there’s nothing interesting. But spending time with God can also mean spending time with all that he created. Take a quick look at the way the sunlight hits the trees and the color of the morning sky and all the beauty surrounding you. And then be at peace. If God has the power to continuously change the color of the leaves then he has the power to help you in all that have to face at work. You just need to open your heart. Be still, and know that the Lord is with you.

 

– Heavenly Father, we praise you for all that you have created for us. We pray that we can spend more time marveling at its beauty and help us protect this earth for future generations. Amen

PS. I’m posting this one today because it truly is a beautiful day!