‘What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life’
I found this video by a preacher at Mars Hill Church. I found the words quite compelling. In that, we can’t just run rampant and abuse God’s grace and forgiveness and expect to belong to Him.
And he said to them, “Go into the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
With God’s guidance and strength I have written a book based on my posts over the last 12 months. It’s a very quick and easy read with pictures and diagrams. I have inserted a few pictures into this post. If anyone reading this feels like they would like a copy please let me know, whether it be for individuals or church members. I feel it could be of value to a church with a big commuter population. I would just need to cover printing costs and shipping. My plan is to print more either by self-publishing or getting the support of an actual publisher. The more I print via self-publishing the cheaper it is. Also, the more interest I get, the better I’ll know the best way to publish it.
‘If I must boast, I will boast of things that show my weakness’
The Bible is an incredible book. And it never ceases to amaze me how it says the opposite to what my instincts are. The campaign I’ve been working on for the last 6 months launched last week. The ad agency I worked for sent out an email to thank people for their hard work and they were kind enough to include me on it. It looked like there were over a hundred other names on the email as well. Who were these people? I can’t remember all of them sweating it out with me in London or all the other 10 countries I went to. A few of them yes, but not a hundred! Like all artists I can get wrapped up in my work and think of it as mine. ‘My baby’ they call it. But I had to check myself and acknowledge that many others contributed to its outcome no matter how big or small it may have been. In the corporate world we like to feel important. We like to be ‘the man’. People clapping enthusiastically as we enter out office buildings, looking at us in awe…..I’m getting carried away. But God is the one to look at in awe. It truly was God’s work to be able to make 12 commercials in 4 months. What I do is only a gift from Him anyway and as I’ve said before He can create way more than I can. He’s just letting me and the other hundred people have a go at it on his behalf.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, teach us to be humble toward others. Forgive us for not crediting you in all that we do at work. Amen!
‘Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.’
Every year on Good Friday this song pops into my head. Click here. It’s from Jesus Christ Superstar. I’m not a fan of the film, mainly because I think they portray it as an imaginary event. But I do like the song. It looks like the moment where he’s being led away by the soldiers and the disciples (in this case a bunch of hippies) are realizing its for real and get scared. They don’t want to let him go or lose him. But I take it more as starting over. Forgiveness. He shed his blood for us and washed us white as snow. But pure white snow gets dirty after a while and we go back and ask to start all over again, everyday. But we also have sins from the past, perhaps a long time ago that burden us or drag us down. We’ve asked for forgiveness, yet still we hang on to them. But the promise is that with faith and a prayer of forgiveness we can truly let go of all that and march toward the prize that awaits us. Eternity with Jesus!
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, You sent your one and only son to die for us so we can let go of all sin. Past and present. Not letting go of that sin shows a lack of faith in you and is a sin in itself! So, please forgive us – Amen!
Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven
I know what the workplace can be like. I’ve found myself drawn into conversations I shouldn’t have and struggled to get out of them or actually played along. It seems that everyone likes to hear a story about someone else. Most of the time the stories or not so nice. It’s normally about someone in a position of power, someone high up in management who’s trying their best to do a good job but isn’t according to the gossip or rumor.
How do we deal with gossip? We can ignore it and walk away or we can use the words in Luke as a weapon. Words of protection and good against evil. The words clearly say ‘Do not judge others’ and ‘Love our enemies’ (Luke 6:27). We can say those words to our work colleagues. You may think or worry that they’ll look at you like you’re crazy but that’s a human concern and worry. If we’re spreading The Gospel and not gossip then surely God will look after us and open the hearts of those listening to us? It’s worth trying so we can sow the seed of Jesus in someone’s heart, isn’t it?
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, we pray for peace in our workplaces and for those of us who are being attacked by careless talk. May you guide us all in how to behave so we may work for the glory of you – Amen!
‘Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’
It’s a cynical question aimed at me. I found myself complaining about my schedule yesterday at London airport. It didn’t help that the plane was delayed 3 hours but I was complaining about all the different places and countries I have to be in and how short a time I’m there before I have to jump on a plane and go somewhere else, and I was also complaining about the time zones. The person I was talking to nodded their head in fake sympathy but just as I was getting carried away I checked myself. What was I saying? What must God have thought? He was not physically there to defend Himself and say “Excuse me Andrew, I could be wrong but I do remember you praying on the train 10 months ago about wanting to do lots of different things rather than be stuck on a train everyday and that you’re a ‘creative person’ and creative people don’t like doing the same thing everyday”.
God directly answered my prayer. The perfect answer of course, And there I was complaining about it. So, I’m here to ask a prayer for forgiveness and to say I am thankful for all that God has provided for myself and my family over the past 3 months. And I’m going to try my very best to enjoy what God has given to me, even if it is Zurich….
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, forgive us when we don’t give thanks for answered prayers and when we selfishly move on to the next want or need – Amen
The Lord will keep you from all harm – He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore
I like the ‘coming and going’ bit of that Psalm. When I was flicking through my bible on the plane this morning I stumbled upon those verses. When I’m on the road I do feel close to God because I’m away from others that I’m very close to. My family and friends. God is who I’m traveling with and its great comfort to know that He’s with me, watching over me. I have a long two weeks ahead of me. And as much as I’m excited to go to China I know that it’s hard place to live if you’re a Christian. I don’t think there’s a high Christian community in Switzerland either. As for the UK….it’s not very British to talk about it! But, God will be with me, which means He’s in all those places. I pray He will shine through me. Even in the London rain.
Pray with me
Heavenly Father, it’s a great comfort to know that you’re with us. 3000 miles way from home or a 50 minute train ride. We give thanks for all our blessing and forgiveness when we’re too wrapped up in our work and travels to notice them – Amen!
‘When a Knight won his spurs in the stories of old, He was gentle and brave he was gallant and bold. With a shield on his arm and a lance in hand, for God and for valor he rode through the land….No charger have I, and no sword by my side, yet still to adventure and battle I ride. Though back into story land giants have fled. And the Knight s are no more and the dragons are dead. Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed, it’s the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed. And let me set free from the sword of my youth. From the castle of darkness, the power of truth.
Whoa…that’s a bit heavy for a Monday morning! We sang that song at school in England. If you click on the title above you can hear it. It has a lovely tune. The song has stayed with me with all of my life. It pops into my head when I’m about to venture into an environment or situation that I’m not particularly looking forward to. The word’s in bold on the ones that I say to myself. It’s an emotional piece for me because I know that God is with me. Always. I know he is because He’s proved He is over and over. So, as I venture into my next battle, it’s a case of “Here we go again God, the same concerns and worries. Sorry, I can’t stop having them but as long as you’re with me I guess I’ll be okay.”
Let faith be my shield and let joy be my steed!
‘Heavenly Father, Forgive us for ever doubting your presence and help us remember when you’ve been with us and how you’ve helped and protected us. Encourage us to look to you always for strength’ – Amen!
‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them to do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets’
In advertising we often talk about how easy or hard the client’s brief is. The word ‘generic’ often comes up. Something that one brand has that a thousand other brands have but they still want to sell it. Once the grumbling is out-of-the-way we get on and do what we’re employed to do and that is be creative in positioning something that’s generic in an interesting way.
Try writing ‘forgive’ on a stone and carry it with you in your pocket.
The above scripture sounds like an easy brief, but is it? How can I love a person who purposely made me look bad at work (At least that’s what I thought). How can I not be jealous of someone who beat me to the promotion or simply did a better job than me? There are answers though out The Bible. One example is Romans 8:28 – ‘And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God, and are called according to His purpose for them’. I love those two words ‘We know’. I know because I believe and have faith. So, it’s pointless me saying “It’s not fair that I didn’t get that promotion or job”. I can imagine God shaking his head and thinking “He just doesn’t get it.” And of course I don’t always understand and I know I will forever go through life not fulling understanding why certain things work for and against me but I believe that when it’s ‘for’ it’s because God wants it that way and when it’s ‘against’ God knows it’s not going to be good for me and it’s simply not part of His plan as disappointing as it maybe sometimes. And the times when I’ve ignored Him and tried to do things my way or gone ‘off brief’ it’s become a huge mess. But that’s for another time!
Heavenly Father, Living life according to your law is a tough brief and we’re thankful that you forgive us when we answer it wrongly. Teach us not to invent our own answers that satisfy our own selfish needs but we pray we’ll turn to the knowledge of your word in scripture instead – Amen!
“God arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.”
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:
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!
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.