“There is always a blessing to be had from the word therefore in the Bible. It makes us stop and look back to the preceding cause before we move on to the ensuing effect!” Moyter on Philippians
How many times have you had to go back before you can proceed and tick the box that says ” I have read the terms and conditions?”
I love it when I understand the T&C’s, start them and the withdrawal is immediately and literally deposited into my account!
“we do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience [endurance] inherit what has been promised.” NIV
Between, I believe and I receive, and there it is, there is always a gap! Even a nano second is a gap!
He gave them capacity that matched the command!
a ‘sufficiency to meet any deficit,’ we are experiencing.
through faith and endurance will shall inherit what has been promised!
O I wish it could be Christmas everyday! Really?
Why is special crucial to the monotony of everyday?
What is special and how do we produce it?
Is presentation really as important as the present?
Why does Christmas Eve bring so many men to the shops?
Are awe & wonder relevant today?
What did your granny always tell you?
Silent night! Have you plan one?
It’s the thought that counts!
Naming the reindeer is a stupid game anyway!
Are jolly and fat really related?
Do real men wear Christmas jumpers?
If we are ready for the challenge and the adventure, here are five steps that will move us from memory to imagination.
1. Think about what you think about.
Begin taking an inventory of our thoughts, especially about the issues and dynamics of home, work, and relationships, our potential, future hopes or aspirations.
- Become aware of any fear that’s there! Fear is an acronym –
- Future Events Appearing Real.
These words were spoken to a friend of mine, who was about to follow his ‘TA army flock’ down the ski course. The Sergeant and instructor saw fear in his eyes and challenged him to see future events in a different way and engage his new skills and he’d be alright.
We cannot go any further or higher than our thoughts permit!
- Is our fear just the result of being human ?
- The consequence of facing something new or big?
- Or is it tied to a past experienced that acts like a bungee?
We cannot change what we cannot see or become aware of!
There are two actions within this one word: change the way you think and then go in a different direction. See Luke 15:17&18
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Einstein
Our thinking informs and builds our belief and precedes our actions. So if we attempt new actions without new thinking, we will experience limited progress and success. However, if we combine new thinking with new actions, we will release new power into and towards our contexts.
The law of combination states: that when we combine two elements we release a compound – energy/power!
New thinking combined with new actions will release new momentum, and this new power and energy will begin to affect the issues and contexts we desire to change. (Apologise for so many news but new is good!) Have to be careful with formulas but as an illustration it helps –
Thinking + Attitude + Approach + Action = Outcomes
When we change one part of the chemical formula, we change the nature of the results! Stephen R Covey *
- Before we think thoughts we imagine!
- It is true that a picture paints a thousand words!
One of the purposes of our imagination is to make present and possible, ‘future events’ that seem impossible at the moment. As an adopted son of an amazing Father, I am commanded to imitate Him (Eph 5:1) The dynamic within this words speaks of copying or mimicking Him –
- God makes know the end from the beginning. See Ish 46:10
- God often enters our today using the language & image of tomorrow
- These words & images often bear no resemblance to how it is or how we are e.g. Gideon Judges 6 & Ish 54:1-4
The love of this ‘Tomorrow Imagining and Speaking Father’ is trying to cast out fear. 1 John 4:18
- Imagination and faith, when combined release vision.
- We see around us with our eyes.
- We see tomorrow with the eyes of vision.
Sight is a function of the eyes, vision a function of the heart. Dr Myles Munroe *
Taking the time and making the effort, and it will take both, to continually bring to our imagination a new image is a vital principle in moving us from memory to imagination. Vital because our minds seek to complete the image we persistently bring to it.
- Our words are the dictionary of our hearts and the core purpose of a dictionary is to define!
- So what we confess is dynamically defining us!
Begin the process of using metaphors and language that support the new image and thinking we are holding within us.It might seem weird or a little odd to use present tense vocabulary towards our ‘still the same contexts or issues’ but think of it like this:
- When our new tomorrow happens, what language will we use?
- Then use it now!
God tells the barren woman to sing, burst into song and shout for joy, which on the surface seems insensitive or even harsh but He’s addressing her form her tomorrow and with the benefit of hindsight.
She is on a page but He is on every page, including how it ends!
God dynamically does the same to Gideon; He addresses him as a Mighty Warrior because God knew what was in him and had seen him operating as one. The answer to an unproductive and fear gripped life is vision and Father has got loads of it and desires to share it with us. See Eph 3:20
We need to watch our metaphors because our potential and capacity are listening!
5. Act: Stop and start.
There are some actions we need to stop because they are part of the problem and other actions we need to start because they correspond to our new image, thinking and future. Our new image has the same potential and power as a seed but unless this seed encounters an ‘intentional grower’ it remains dormant.
Some years ago, seeds were found in a tomb in Egypt, they were hundreds of years hold. A person, an intentional grower, took them and gave them the environment and commitment they needed –
They released what was entombed!
- Our imaginations are either wombs or tombs!
- Father’s seed is in there but is it dormant?
- Are we ‘Tomb Raiders?
- Do we need to become intentional growers?
Only through cultivation can we make the picture on the packet become a reality in our lives!
Passivity lets anything and everything grow. Cultivation, which is intentional growing and purposeful production, takes pro -activity. Have a look at this metaphor at Proverbs 24:30-34
I hope these steps and their thoughts have made us think and I would love to hear your comments. I would like to share a final thought, which has and still does help me in my daily discipline of making future events become real!
More energy was used breaking out of orbit than was used to travel to the moon and the rocket shook the most as it was breaking loose of gravity!
If we decide to take these steps, you will experience gravity and shaking but these are signs that you have engaged the power and are heading to a new destination! The gravity and shaking will occur in our soul, which houses our mind, will and emotions.
- Feelings and thoughts will try and hold you back and keep you in. Our & others
- Feelings and thoughts will act like gravity because –
- They are attached, even super glued to the comfortable and the familiar.
Once we begin to move inwardly and outwardly towards our new goal, they will kick in, seeking to accomplish what gravity does; hold us down and keep us in place. However, if we continue in these steps despite our feelings we will experience breakthrough and breakout.
- So are we staying with memory or moving to imagination?
- Staying within orbit or going where no one has gone before?
P.S My TA padre mate made it down!
Please leave your comments
* pg 86 Seven Habits of Highly Successful People
* Preface to the principles & power of vision Dr Myles Munroe
Following his usual routine, a man buys his morning paper and starts out the shop door for work. He never makes it. Instead he finds himself being checked over in hospital. Finding nothing physically wrong, he takes himself off to see the counsellor who is helping him with his loss.
Believing there to be a stimulus to the man’s experience, he was asked to describe the last thing he saw, heard or smelt! The man stared at his counsellor and said ‘My wife’s perfume.’
The stimulus that triggered this experience was a memory!
- As men we all have the capacity to remember.
- The amygdala processes fear based memories
- The amygdala is larger in us men than women
- The amygdala never forgets a fearful moment!
The man’s present directly affected by a past trauma, via a memory!
A railway worker in the USA was working his shift, checking some refrigerated cars, when he accidentally got locked in one. It was something he’d always feared might happen. It would be hours before the next shift clocked on and found him. Although there was enough oxygen the man knew he would freeze to death if he didn’t get out.
Sadly, the next day that’s how they found him, with a note by his side.
- Those who found him were amazed that his body displayed signs of being exposed to severe cold and yet the railway car was not coupled to any power.
- In fact the refrigeration unit was off!
- Also the outside temperature was in the 70’s!
Imagination had a massive effect.
Our bodies do not understand the different between a perceived thought and a real one; it simply begins to interact with the image we have mentally decided to focus on! Memory and Imagination are strong forces and will ‘influence and affect’ our masculine hearts and souls and the potential Father has placed there.
Why do we need to move from memory to imagination?
Deciding to move from Mem 2 Imag is a Catalyst for change
The power to change our present circumstances and create future new contexts is forfeited if we do not know how to move from memory to imagination. Both are powers that directly affect our present, like the man in the first story and our future, like the rail car man.
Memory is limited & often its look & language is past based & tensed.
One thing I have learnt and am applying to my life and relationship with God as a Father is this: He often enters our today speaking language and sharing images from our tomorrow! The classic ‘son on the receiving end of this kind of Father Stuff’ is Gideon. See Judges 6 esp v 15
God addresses Gideon as a mighty warrior but Gideon is stuck in a memory and his imagination is seized up!
It might seem that God is playing mind games with his son and He is! His Father is after Gideon’s ability to imagine a context change and a different tomorrow. Father’s language is not past but future, not why this but why not. It would be years later but the sentiment would be used by JFK –
If not us, who if not now when?
As men we can fail at times, to activate what we have been given and begin to see change, instead we just complain. If we have developed a habit of complaining can I challenge that habit with this thought and encourage you to really think about this truth –
Our complaining is a sign that we believe something better exists!
- I am tired of x and y.
- Something ought to be done about a and b
- Someone needs to take action and change the status quo
These statements are signs that we do believe that ‘better’ exists!
Gideon was a complainer who, by His Father help, turned the energy of complaint into power that decided upon change.
The catalyst was adopting and focusing on the ‘tomorrow image’ of the Father and making the decision to leave the generationally ‘learnt hopelessness memory’ he‘d been living and wallowing in! v 15
- Strong words & medicine I know.
- However, truth often makes us angry before it liberates us!
- I didn’t like its taste but I love its affect
Memory can be like a straight jacket to our life, potential, capacity and abilities, its power can keep us bound and hold us back. Like the jacket, memory can cover our hearts and tie up our hands, and it’s with our hearts that we imagine and dream and with our hands we work to make the dream a reality.
- We have the power to begin to change where we are and how it is.
- Why, as men, would we not desire to change the circumstances & the context we are in?
- Why not use what we’ve been given to break with the past & move into new futures: for us, our families, others?
The Father asks us to love Him with all we are and have, including our imaginations and He is more than able and willing to release His exceeding abundant power and provision into our circumstances. However, His power and provision are conditionally tied into the use of our imagination –
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Eph 3:20
Without Him we cannot, without us He will not!
St Augustine, Early Church father
Michael Paling has been on and recorded many great journeys.
Stephen Tompkinson, is giving us amazing aerial views of great landscapes and places as he balloons across continents.
- Great journeys are vital to the masculine soul, for it was created to explore!
- The glossary of the masculine soul includes words like: adventure, discovery, challenge, risk.
- Great journeys offer us all of these and more.
Great journeys are not just geographical. Life offers us the opportunity to discover, go beyond the norm and the status quo
- Think about childhood to adolescence. Remember that?
- From adolescence to manhood.
- From single to married
Great journeys, undertaken, mean the traveller will not be the same when they get back. This in part, is why we long to go there as men. One of greatest ‘toxins’ for the masculine soul is boredom.
“Boredom is the plight of a modern man when he lacks distraction and has no absorbing passion or pastime.” Blaise Pascal
When Joshua had grown old, the Lord said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over. (Joshua 13:1 NIV)
- Joshua was very old but God is not talking retirement, slippers and shed.
- His agenda is still to go beyond, to move from the familiar to the unknown!
- Joshua’s travelling and journeying days were not over!
When we stop journeying we become settlers and we silence and sideline the urge to move out and into!
There is a great journey that I believe the Father desire we all take as men and that journey is from Memory to Imagination. Memory and imagination are powerful dynamics that have the ability to impact our masculine hearts and souls, leaving their mark and some impacts are meteoric!
- Memory is all past, previous or present focused!
- Imagination is possible and future focused!
- Memory is limited, imagination unlimited!
One of the saddest dynamics I have experienced many times over in conversations with men, is they focus on what they have done, seen and experienced. Very little about what they are looking forward to, imagining or planning for!
For some men, imagining is not the problem; it’s the power of memory that keeps them within the boundary line and accepting the status quo, instead of crossing over into new territory.
See Gideon Judges chapter 6 esp v13.
One thing I have realised about following the Father of the Bible is this:
- He never leaves us where He finds us.
- He always takes His sons from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary
Speaking as an achiever, Lord and mentor Jesus said to His twelve disciples and friends, this very truth – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8 NIV)
The Holy Spirit will lead these men from Jerusalem to the very ends of the earth; this is not just about the spirit of mission but of adventure and risk. The Holy Spirit would be compelling these men to keep journeying, He would be pioneering opportunities that would be life transforming, for them and others!
Being male and a follower of Jesus is not about slippers and settling but about journeying and transformation! Travelling and greatness are intrinsically connected.
Final thoughts –
- A soul can exist in memory but it can only thrive through imagination!
- Have you taken this great journey yet as a man?
- Are you still behind the line and in the memory?
- Women burnt their bras do we need to burn our slippers?
The greatest journey lies ahead: from time into eternity and what we have released in time will echo throughout eternity.