C.O.R.E  

My Father and Creator did not create humans but a man and a woman; therefore He created and specifically formed the masculine heart and soul and vice versa.   We are different but have the same Father and I am speaking more than biology!

Just like our physical core strength determines our external performances i.e. what we can lift, carry, push, hold and resist, so too our masculine core.  Our physical core needs specific exercise to develop it and therein our external performance, so too does our masculine core.   Using the word core as an acronym let’s explore what  muscles our masculine souls have and what specific exercises will help us develop them.    

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C.O.R.E

  1. Certainty
  2. Opinions
  3. Resources
  4. Expectations

These are the four core muscles of our masculine soul as designed by our Father and they are vitally important to our success and achievement as men and also our fruitfulness and productivity as disciples!

Being uncertain at our core is destabilising and leads to increasingly erratic behaviour. The exercise that will strengthen and develop our ‘certainty muscle’ is validation and affirmation.  These validations and affirmations have their roots in the Father’s voice and not in the voices of our mums, spouses or girlfriends!  There were many things my mum gave me and I am forever indebted to her.  So to Dawn my wife, she is a constant reminded of grace and beauty which are vital macro-nutrients to my masculine heart and soul.

However, for years I unknowingly took my need of validation and affirmation as a man to Dawn but she just didn’t have, by design, what I needed.  My need could only be met by my father(s).  I put the letter in brackets because I have two Fathers – a heavenly and earthly one.

When life happens by design; then earthly dads see the need for validation and affirmation and act and speak accordingly into their sons’ masculine heart and soul.

Many men I have met are still uncertain at their core, never having the validation and affirmation from their fathers and spending years seeking it from the women in their lives.  If you’re one of these men and your father is still alive, then it’s never too late.  If like me your earthly father is no longer around, the good news is, the heavenly Father loves to validate and affirm His sons.  Cf Matt 3:17 & Roms 8:16

If you are still seeking validation from the key women in your life, give it up and let them off the hook!

The nature of this vital validation and affirmation is this; our worth and value is rooted in who be, not in what we do.  This truth and experience avoids the massive deception that we as men can get so easily suck into – ‘performance related approval!’  PRA is a toxin to the masculine heart and soul; a slow killer that leads to either driveness, striving or hiding.

My father never validated and affirmed me because I don’t think he ever got me and now, retrospectively I understand this and no longer hold a frustrative attitude toward him.  He did a very good job.  Thanks Dad!

Certainty is really about confidence which is the doctrine of  assurance and this truth is a vital experience our Heavenly Father deeply desires we understand, live in and function from.

Before Jesus had preached a sermon, healed or driven out a demon, His  Father locked onto His heart, who He be and loaded it with His love, His assurance, His approval.  Out of this Fatherly assurance, Jesus ministered, worked and rested! We can and must too!

Uncertainty has its root in fear: Future Events Appearing Real.  We look out from our core as men and ask two vital questions – What is a man?  Am I one?   The Father’s love drives out fear 1 Jn 4:18  and His love starts by answering, in the affirmative, the above two questions. The Father does this by asking us to meditate on the finished work of His Son and inviting the Holy Spirit to testify to our spirits.

John 1:12 says to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave them power to become children of God.  To all! Period!

Meditation is the core mental exercise that will build our certainty muscle, along with taking stuff on but that’s another blog.

If we have come back to our Father by believing His Son’s finished work  on the cross, then He has given us the power to become His adopted sons.  This title and all the realities that come with it are bestowed. They are an utter gift.  Not earned but given!  This is a real stumbling block for us men who have been raised to believe there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Well guys, that’s untrue and grace will continue to be a stumbling block until we let go of this lie.

The primary work or ministry  of the Holy Spirit in the life of an adopted son, is to testify to them that they ARE, who Father says they are and they HAVE what Father says they have.  The key verses to memorise and meditate on regularly, I call this my ‘gym time’ is Roms 8: 15-17

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom 8:15-17 ESV

Meditation on His word is the spiritual equivalent of the  plank exercise to our core.

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The Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirit that we are, by the gift of grace bestowed; sons, heirs and co-heirs!  Heirs of all the Father has put in His will and co-heirs of all that He promised to His son.

This isn’t a free lunch.  It’s a lifelong feast and we are distinguished guests.

Lack of Father given validation and affirmation in men,  leads to us being and becoming increasingly frustrated.  There are a lot of angry men out there and the answer to their struggle is to come home to Father, get His validation and affirmation and begin to feast at His table.

There we find the Father given nutrition that will feed, grow and develop our masculine souls.

Is it time to come home men?  The table is set!

Lessons from Ivy!

 

Just had a wonderful four days at Centreparcs at Sherwood Forest, a serious time of chilling and being with family.

It was my first holiday with my granddaughter Ivy and watching her and her interactions with mum and dad was a joy.

I was reminded of how it really should be in those early days and weeks of life, through Ivy’s eyes and facial expressions when her mum, my daughter Bethany was talking to and interacting with her.

Ivy’s eyes were full of wonder, awe, joy, happiness and sometimes they matched the frown on her face. All this stimulated by Bethany’s tone and gestures.

This was connection and intimacy 101!

I loved these observations and was fascinated by them.

What a privilege to see and be part of these moments.

I do not know what career Ivy will eventually have or take but at the moment she is teaching me a lot and reminding me of the heart of my Father and His desire to love and be intimate with His sons and daughters.

I am reminded of the tender and amazing words of the opening chapter of Hosea –

Hos 11:1

When Israel was only a child, I loved him. I called out, ‘My son! v1

That I lifted him, like a baby, to my cheek, that I bent down to feed him. v4the message

These observations and reminders carried on throughout the week and quite frankly made my holiday.

Many lessons were offered and my hope is that I will learn and internalise them!?

Ivy is only 12 weeks old but already I have observed her preferences and a tradition developing.

Ivy does not like to be held on your knee but desires, quite strongly via her vocal chords to be up and looking around. She communicates to you that she wants you to stand!

Once there her eyes are darting around and her shutter speed is amazing, as she captures info!

 

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It was just brilliant and I find her sense of wonder absolutely beautiful and it wells me up.

Why do we seem to lose this?

It was a week of first for her, all of which she took in her stride.

Her first experience of the sub tropical swimming pool was beautiful. She wasn’t amazed or fazed. She, pardon the pun, just soaked it all up. Although at one time her face did seem to be registering why there were so many people in the bath with her!

The first time in the reclining Mamas and Papas part of the push chair and for the first time wearing her excellent ‘Ewok’ coat. She looked amazing and very cosy. This combo led to her having a four hour nap in the day which was another first. In the end mum had to wake her. Another first!

This week of observations, lessons and reminders have led me back to two core scriptures and desires of the Father –

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” 16 God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. Rom 8:15-16 The message

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 1 Jn 4:16

Bethany and Liam’s spirits wanted Ivy to be reminded of the love they have and feel for her, and for her, through consistent reminders, to know it and rely upon it.

 
Just as any parent, including God the Father would!

Thanks Ivy for all you have given me this week.

One proud granddad.

Climate Change.

If you’re expecting some thoughts on climate change as it relates to the overall temperature of the planet and toxic gases, then this blog will disappoint.

I am using the word climate as describing the prevailing opinion or feeling, within a people group or locale.

Thoughts and feelings produce a climate that is both internal, within the mind and heart and external, within our contexts. I believe that this climate needs to be ‘barometered!’

A daily checking of this barometer of the climate within our hearts and minds is vital to every kind of health – spiritual, mental, emotional, relational and our potentiality and creativity.

The prevailing climate of our minds and hearts directly affects all aspects of our lives and interactions with others.

As a man thinks within his heart so shall he be. Proverbs 23:7.

The thoughts within our hearts directly affects who we be and all we do, attempt or will not attempt, flows from our being.

In a nutshell all doing or attempting flows out of who we be.

Who we be is built and sustained by prevailing thoughts, feelings and decision, we’ve internalised !

The climate within is directly influencing the atmosphere and weather without.

Ever experienced a feeling of deflation and elation when certain numbers come up on your phone.

Our bodies and emotions reacting to internalised thoughts, which affect our energy levels and attitudes.

I am reading a classic book about enthusiasm and how it is a vital part of wholeness and soundness of being when I come across a discipline of mind and heart the author called mental ventilation!

It fascinated and then resonated with me and I realised that I used to practice this discipline but had let it slip.

The core dynamics the author shared where of lumping and dropping those thoughts and feelings that like toxic gases affect our inner climate.

It reminds me of the truth of Proverbs 14:30 – a heart at peace gives life to the body but envy rots the bones!

Peace and envy are strong feelings and thoughts that give or take from us at the bones and body levels.

We cannot let enthusiasm in when the inner climate is being controlled by dark, gloomy and negative thoughts. Hate, prejudice, resentment, bitterness, cynicism will blanket our inner minds and hearts and we will have a greenhouse effect building within.

Is it time we ‘opened a window’ in our life?

Is it time to ventilate and change the climate?
In the book the author is struggling mentally and meets a man he knows who always seems to have a underlining enthusiasm but not the smiley annoying type!

He asks him how he manages this attitude and the answers he daily ventilates his mind.

His discipline, which was always before he went to sleep passed through three stages –

1. Recapitulation
2. Reviewing
3. Lumping

Through stage one the man briefly went over the unpleasant instances of the day: sharp words, insinuations or harsh or hostile acts said and done by others.

Stage two he reviewed his own mistakes, errors our stupidities. He then added any disappointments, frustrations and every form of unhappiness. Having lumped all these together, he dropped them from his mind. He let them go and let in fresh air!

This practice reminded me of two core passages that command disciples to ‘get rid’ of certain thoughts and emotions. Eph 4:31 & Col 3:8

Through this discipline of mental lumping and dropping I would add something – forgiveness.

The daily practice of forgiving others and myself is vital to all aspects and levels of health.

The English are obsessed with the weather.
This Englishman isn’t.
I am a ‘disciplined barometer checker of the climate within!’

I daily open a window because I do not desire an inner greenhouse climate!

Intimidation:the life & level limiter

One of Satan’s favourite weapons against the masculine soul is intimidation. The sole purpose of intimidation is found within itself – timid.

To overwhelm the masculine soul with a sense of timidity. Of perceiving and feeling the difference within you with regard to who or what you are facing. To stir up feelings of inferiority and inadequacy.

One man who the Father chose to raise, train and discipline was David and he had many opportunities to be intimidated but only once was he defeated by it.

Have you ever had the experience of standing in a crowd as two captains pick their teams. Your hope and prayer is that you’ll be pick first and you won’t be picked last. This was my first major time with the spirit of intimidation.

It’s important to remember that intimidation is a spirit. After all, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Intimidation will come through flesh and blood but its real  source is from beyond.

David had a moment when he realised that there’d been a ‘pick a king moment’ and he was not even considered for the short list. A list compiled by his own Father.

How’s that for major league intimidation! Not even your father thinks you have what it takes.

In fairness to Samuel, this was his first time at interviewing for a King. As Jesse brought all his sons, minus David, Samuel said “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands before me?” Father answers his question – Nope. Not him. Not Eliab!

What happened next I am sure put Samuel in a sweat. He watches as all of Jesse’s other sons are paraded and rejected by God. Whoops!

Samuel asks an obvious question – is this all your sons? Jesse’s reply is insightful. There is still the youngest!

The word for youngest is  haqqaton, describing not only age but rank.  David is the little brother.  The last one in the line but according to the mind of the Father, the first and only one on His list to fill the vacancy

I was never chosen first or last, when the captains where making up their minds but I do know what the intimidation of your dad not thinking you have what it takes, feels like.

It casts a long shadow!

From this moment David’s life begins to change and he faces many more intimidating times. When Satan knows that the Father has chosen another son to raise, train and discipline and take their predetermined place within His epic story.

He will try to intimidate the life and potential out of that son, all the way through the journey.

As stated, David had many but his most well-known one was facing the champion of Gath Goliath. Just before David enters the valley and they get into it, Satan attempts three times to intimidate Father’s chosen masculine soul of the moment.

Satan often tries to use those closest to you and he sifts David’s oldest brother Eilab –

“When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”” 1 Samuel 17:28 NIV

Two questions and two statements designed to intimidate David.

I love David’s response: “Now what have I done!” And he turned his back on his brother!    David turned his back on both his brother’s opinion.

Coincidentally, what had Eliab been doing for 40 days but watching Goliath and doing nothing! Huh!
Attempt No 2. Saul wants David to look like him from a distance!

Years ago when playing football there were a few lads who had all the gear, even the latest Georgie Best boots with bright red linings. Some of these lads were really good footballs, others were empty shirts!

David was a warrior, he’d been waging war against the bear and the lion, protecting the sheep in his care!

He wasn’t a lookalike he was the real deal!

“David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.” 1 Samuel 17:39 NIV

This is not me and so he took them off!

Another great and prompt response to the spirit of intimidation.

Attempt No 3 Water!

“Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”
1 Samuel 17:40 NIV

There was a moment, just a moment when David would have caught sight of himself in the reflection of the water of the stream.

He could have paused and thought about who he was and what he was facing. He didn’t. He broke any false reflection of himself, any fear based fiery dart thought by thrusting his hands through and onto his stock choice of weapon – a stone!
It was a moment the enemy could have used to put him in pause.

To get him look at who he was, where he’d come from and what people thought of him.

David’s hand breaks through the water and demolish any attempt at passing on an old reflection.

David was not a captive to his past and its opinions by endless reflection.David was compelled by who his Father was and where he was taking him.

David’s focus was not on who was waiting for him in the valley:Goliath.But who was waiting upon him in the valley His God!

David’s hand broke up the reflection and released the pebble and he knew his God would do the rest.
David knew this public gigantic moment was very similar in kind to his private moments of killing bears and lions.

We need to have private victories that precede and prepare us for public ones!

Intimidation has to be dealt with otherwise our masculine soul stays on the side watching the action and forfeiting the benefits of victory. See 1 Sam 17:25.

Appropriate

It is a wonderful thing to be led back to the double take in the margins which was written in your own hand.

It’s one of the great joys of the Holy Spirit to double take us, get our attention and lead us into truth.

I know that when He is engaging me in this process I will experience more freedom and liberty in my soul, mind, emotions and then down stream into my life and contexts! I am learning to honour these moments with my full attention.

Pay attention is all the way through both the book of proverbs and my school days!

What did I write in the margin? Wow and appropriate.

These were in response to an amazingly succinct sentence written by Alec Motyer in his commentary on Philippians –

“As we become in experience what we already are by grace!”

As we become in experience is the language of appropriation and this is a lost spiritual discipline. This discipline empowers and enables us to become in our day to day what we are already, the day we reunited with His grace.

” yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name He gave the right to become children of God.” Jn 1:12 NIV

He gave the right are vital words to grasp in relation to the dynamic of appropriation.

The use of appropriate in our culture is predominately about taking what you have no permission or authority to take.

It’s not yours so you cannot take, use or appropriate it!

The Father gave permission and authority to ALL who received and believed His Son and His work, to make their own, ALL He has given us in Christ.

Who we are. What we been given. What we can do.

Identifying with His work is the beginning but not the end of our journey back to Father.

Making real to our experience and contexts, all He has done, given and commanded is!

And the shorthand for that is appropriation

We cannot be more connected, loved, empowered, resourced, protected and thought of because we are in Christ and seated at the right hand of Father.

We have the best seat in the house. This is hospitality beyond five star.

These and many more truths are a part of being in Christ and yet for many the reality of their day to day is anything but!

Every time I eat the appropriate nutrition, take in the appropriate hydration and lift the appropriate weights I appropriate to my body, life and world what is there but needs to become visible!

The Holy Spirit’s primary role after conferring on us the spirit of sonship (adoption) is to testify or witness to our spirits that we are children, heirs and co-heirs!

He double takes us, show us the truth that’s already been given and reveals to us the principles we need to work to make His finished work a reality in our day to day.

I call this my ‘road work!’  My punch the clock workouts!

The only work that made me worthy and deserving of His grace has been done. My ‘road work’ empowers me to become in experience what I already am by grace.

To make visible what is invisible at the moment!
To bring from His dimension into my dimension.

To use theological language justification is all gift. Sanctification is graft!

Regards Andy

How He is!

I am three weeks into a lifestyle change.  I say lifestyle change not diet because diet infers an end date, whereas lifestyle change; well…!

As part of my prep, I have read and am re-reading my notes, from Bigger, Leaner, Stronger by Michael Matthews. An excellent, challenging, informative and empowering read.

This book has reminded me of the power of the immutable law of combination that my Father has put in place and also the mantra – principles work if you work the principles!  To which I would add the importance of finding and understanding the principles.

In the past, I have not bottomed this rule and acted but not with a full enough understanding, so my application did not bring transformation!

The science underpinning the gains that can be experienced post weight training has really captured my imagination and heart and has me saying over and over again – “that’s how He is!

His grace always gives us more than we can imagine or ask. Eph 3:20

This principle is at the core of His character and one example of it is found in Luke 6:38 –

 

“Give and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.””Luke 6:38 NET

The measure you use, not hold, He will use to measure back to you…..but

Pressed down, shaken together, running over!

 

The picture of The Father in this interaction of measure and measuring back reveals how   committed He is to the law of return.

Three times He adds to the measure, pressing and shaking until every part of the measure is full and as a result begins to over flow!

He keeps working after we have used the measure, making sure we have the return on our effort.

The science supporting proteolysis is ‘so how He is,’ and in some clinical test where a post infusion of amino acid mixture was given, they saw increases of between 30 – 100% of protein synthesis! Cf Mark 4:20

The stats regarding carbs post training is also indicative of who He is.  A carb post meal workout resulted in elevation of insulin levels that were still working 2 – 5hrs after all the effort of the sets and reps!

Father does not help those who help themselves.

He honours those who work the principles He’s put in place and to those who acknowledge and honour him He makes a greater promise –

“I will do exceedingly abundantly above all you can imagine of ask, according to the power that’s at work within you. Eph 3:20

The exceeding abundance of the Father is waiting to be draw upon or downloaded.

He’s waiting for someone to set the bar and beginning repping with it!

Happy lifting!

 

 

Flapping Heck!

“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, so the LORD spread out his wings and took him, he lifted him up on his pinions.”     Deuteronomy 32:11 NET

 

What do you do when the one who has been caring for you, suddenly starts to destroy what you’ve been comfortable in?

Their action produces a force that destroys the comfortable and clears the ledge, which has been home?

The above are the results of the mother eagle ‘encouraging’ her young to leave the nest and ledge and  release their potential.

The nest and the ledge have been necessary and important for a season but now it’s time to soar.

This deliberate activity of the eagle is used as an illustration of the Father’s love to His own.  Indeed, the sentence structure of the verse indicates ‘habitual or typically behaviour.’

In my local parlance – “Its how He is!”

Typically, Father will at sometime, mess with the nest and clear the ledge, to release the potential that’s dormant!

Desiring to be comfortable is at the core of being human and yet so too is being disturbed and stirred into action!  Comfortable is much easier and like anything will become a habit if another option is not chosen.

The only constant for the disciple of The Father, is change!

We are all being change from one degree of glory to the next! 2 Cor 3:18

Are things in our world being stirred?

Are will feeling the ‘draft and down force’ of the Father?

Is the comfortable falling apart?

Are we on the ledge and there’s nowhere to hide?

Father is probably at work and it’s time to take the leap and leave the ledge!

The promise for ‘ledge leapers’ is that He will spread His wings, catch and carry us to the next part of our progress and maturity.

Maybe it’s time to stop flapping about His flapping and take up His offer of a lift!

Unconscious Competence!

Unconscious Competence!

In my last blog (18/8/16) I shared some thoughts about unconscious incompetence.

The dynamic of not knowing that we don’t know what we need to know as men.

Our Father loves to bring His life and fill those spaces that are empty.

Today’s blog is a reflection about one man, who one day was led into a sacred space and divine appointment by Jesus.

His teacher was trying to make him aware of the competency that was already in him, which would fill the space and meet the need which was coming over the horizon.

That man was Philip.  That day is found in John 6:5-13

As a disciple, a man within His team, Philip had the mandate and the designated power to ‘fill the earth.’ Cf See Gen 1:28 & Eph 1:23

Jesus was intentionally training His men to do what He’d been doing and do greater things.  Jn 14:12

This particularly day Jesus saw the need before Philip and He turns and asks Philip, there were other team players there, a direct question.

Teachers and questions are historically almost negative for me.

What is it about being put on the spot by being asked a question?

This is one of the uncomfortable sides of Jesus but a side I now expect and am learning to love.

Here’s my paraphrase of that event (Jn 6:5) – Jesus saw on the horizon a pressing need; hungry people. “I can and will feed them, yet I need to train the lads because when I go back they’ll have to do what I’ve been doing.  Who’s ready for this test, this pressure? Phil!

Turn up the heat, apply great pressure are the dynamics of the word test.

Jesus intentionally puts His friend and team mate in the zone, and He makes no apology for it!

The words of the late Myles Munroe are very insightful –

“Potential is determined and revealed by the demands placed on it by its creator.” Myles Munroe

Jesus puts Philip in an exacting place and a sacred space, for the sole purpose of bringing out what’s dormant: the power to fill the space and meet the need!

Some time back, during an intense time, I asked the Father want was going on and He said this-

Exacting places; are extracting places!

  • Exacting – trying or unremittingly severe in making demands.
  • Extracting – to draw out, withdraw.

 

I came to realise that the problem I was facing and the pressure I was under, were designed and factored in by Father.  Through me, He would fill the space, meet the need and relieve the problem!

The problem was, I didn’t know what He’d put in me and how it related to what I was facing.

I was unconsciously competent!

This problem in me needed to be addressed before the external problem could be properly faced and solved.

 

Are we under pressure?

Is a problem coming over or covering the landscape of our life?

Perhaps  these are designed and factored in by your Father?

Is He trying to get us to realise what we’ve been given, so we can release it?

 

Pressure is essential for muscle growth.

 

Is He asking us to wake up and grow a latent ability, gift or skill?

Willing us to pick up the bar, start to rep and produce?

Unless we realise, become consciously competent, we cannot release and we and others will miss out.

 

 

Unconscious Incompetence!

Father is a ‘filler!’

A re-read of Genesis 1&2 reveals that He fills all He creates – the sea, land, plants, us!

I love the phrase describing the sea – it was teeming with life.

Father is draw to emptiness.  He desires to bring His life to empty spaces.

There is a space that He particularly desires to fill that is often overlooked and misunderstood: unconscious incompetence.

This can be defined as not being aware that I don’t know what I need to know!

Father is clear about a lack of knowledge – it’s a dangerous place.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Hos 4:6  NKJV

 

When I become aware that I don’t know, what I need to know, this can become  a sacred place. Father invites us into this space and holds His breathe to see if we will RSVP and enter?

As men, when we lack info, knowledge, experience, skill, we have a number of choices – blag it, ignore it  or humble ourselves and ask for help.

I don’t know, what I don’t know, is a core obstacle to learning, development & transformation.

All great teachers are aware of the space that learners have to enter and remain in until they’ve received the info, experience, knowledge or skill they need.

Blaggers hate this space and time but learners positively love it.

Learning lies at the heart of Christianity because Jesus defined everyone who followed Him as a disciple.  Disciple means ‘disciplined learner’  and we have this label until we see Him face to face.

I am therefore a lifelong learner!

Right at the front end of His earthly ministry, the Father took His Son into a sacred space for a specific reason.

The Holy Spirit led Jesus into a stark, dangerous and potentially deadly place. See Luke 4:1.  Jesus was tested and His humanity was put under great pressure.  What He’d been acquiring for around 30yrs, (see Lk 2:52) He now began to apply.

The contrast between how He went into this sacred space and how He came out is remarkable.

He went in full of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1) and came out in the power of the Spirit (v 14).

This was a test and He passed it with flying colours!

The verses in the Bible that give me the most trouble are the ones I understand!   Take this one –

He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. Roms 8:29 The Message.

“Along the same lines as the Son!”

The Holy Spirit wants to lead me into a thought through place, so I can apply what He’s be teaching me, realise and release the potential He has given me and have new experiences to learn from!

If we RSVP to the Spirit’s leading, we can be sure that we will enter the sacred space one way and come out completely different.

We will return with new power; His super on our natural and with renewed confidence and increased enthusiasm.

Let’s face it, He created us men to take stuff on and with His power win some battles.

Father desires to empower us so we become acquirers of knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

“Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have get understanding.  Prov 4:7

There is a cost and a price attached to learning which is more than monetary.

We have to admit, enter the space and find what we lack.

Humility is the prerequisite to learning and Father always gives grace to the humble. 1 Pet 5:5

He does not intend to leave us as mere acquirers.  He wants to take us into that sacred space so we can apply what He’s been showing us, mature and mark that place with His grace!

It will cost us but sacrifice lies at the heart of biblical masculinity.

I am learning to love those times when He leads me to this unconscious incompetence space.  I know that this is a sacred space and a divine appointment and I will become aware of what I don’t know or what I’ve been given but am not using!

At these times, Father is setting me up for a new revelation, insight or experience that will empower me to transform and to move up, move out or move into!

 

 

twitter-new-year-resolutionsWe are in that blessed month where the emphasis is on making ‘new resolutions!’   To activate in a positive way our resolve and use it on something that will add value to our lives.
There has grown a multi- billion pound industry around the big five Jan resolutions: more exercise, lose weight, improve diet, save more & pursue career ambition! (courtesy of Nat west via recent email!).  The bombardment on our minds and hearts, is staggering and along with this systemic barrage , there is a subtle strategy: to remind and to prompt!
To remind us of those moments we could of and should of said no, and to prompt us to use this word no, more often this year!

Culturally, January is the reminding and prompting month and by the end of it, here in England at least, we’ve had enough!  Along with the reminders and prompts are the necessary products we will need to remind us of what it is we say we want, and to help us achieve our goal!

The purpose of this blog is not to encourage you to make a new year’s resolution but to break one and to use a Father given product that will bring instant weight loss, fresh energy to our bodies and much needed peace to our minds and hearts and lead to better and deeper sleep!
What is this Father given product?  Grace.
the-grace-card.001Grace is the unique product of Christianity and yet many Christians know grace but struggle to live in and from this truly liberating truth and reality.  Grace is our USP (unique selling point) no one else has it and it still saddens me, that it has taken me years to get into the ‘now grace zone,’ but now I am here, I am not leaving!
The realities of Father’s grace are wide and varied, and  affect every aspect of what makes us human and empowers every ability we have been given.  Although grace is a massive subject, not one I ‘ll try to cover here, there’s an aspect of grace that is really vital to experience, in the midst of the bombardment of the ‘remind and prompt month,’ –
      grace keeps no record of wrongs! 1 Cor 13:5
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Grace erasers from its memory, those times we know we have fallen short of His and our standards, and we have asked for forgiveness.  The question is have we forgotten and have others?
I have conducted hundreds of funerals and experience grief up close and personal and I have learnt many things, one that’s in the top three, is the place and power of memories. In the context of bereavement memories become a  gift and a curse.  A gift because of what has been but a curse because of what would have been!
Within every memory is energy,  a power that can, will and does moves us!
The problem is some memories are toxic and are slowly draining the life, energy, sleep and hope out of us!   So, in this reminding and prompting month, is it time to stop re-visiting a memory that weighs you down, condemns you and has frozen your potential and abilities?
Shame, Guilt and Regret are all weights Father never created us to lift, hold, carry or rep with.
These weights are not putting muscle on us, quite the opposite, they are sapping our strengths: physical, emotional, volitional, psychological, seeking to eradicate any and all sense of hope.
Guilt says I did something wrong.  Shame says I am wrong.  Grace is the answer to both!
Grace makes us both deserving and worth at the same time! Still find this mind blowing. What a product and it’s free!
We may lose weight, improve our diet, exercise more, save more, change jobs but still carry around inside a weight which nothing seems to shift.  Grace will shift it and that’s when we’ll experience instant weight loss, energy gain and better and deeper sleep.
Forgiving others is not easy!
Neither is forgiving ourselves!
Both, said Jesus,  are necessary because both release us from a yoke and burden that we were never meant to carry!
One purpose of a yoke was to tie the inexperienced ox to an experienced one, so it could learn, grow and develop its potential, capacity and skill.
jesus
  He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Ish 53:3  
Jesus has experienced all that life and men can throw at us!
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted. v4 
Took up: a massive Hebrew thought – remove and utterly destroy!
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed. 5
Wounds: internal, that is bruises & external, that is blows; are both  healed by and through His blood on the cross!
Peace has been made available by grace, all that remains is a choice.
Do I want His peace?  Will I yoke myself to this ‘experienced’ Jesus?
Some memories are devastating, despicable, depressing and yet even into these, He longs to bring His peace and one day also, His justice.
May 2016 be a ‘weight loss’ year!