3 Tips for the Journey

We are all on a journey which can take us to and through many places.  I don’t know about you but I am still on my journey.  I would like to share 3 tips that have helped me on my journey.

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Tip #1

Journey

Remember that it is your journey and to be aware that some people around you will want to try and hijack it .  What do I mean by that?  We can so often help others on their journey that we forget to move ourselves.  We start by letting them into the proverbial car to help them on their journey and before you know it  you are on their journey and you are either left behind or ‘hijacked’ and taken on theirs.

Remember it is OK to help but let it not be to the detriment of your journey.

“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn, and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.”
– C. S. Lewis

Tip #2

Preparation

What do you do to prepare for a journey? The things I do vary depending on the length of the journey.  The first item on the list is to make sure I fill up with fuel.The next item on the list is the sat nav, although I know where I am going it is always worth having in case of a diversion. Last but no means least is coffee and sweets.  If I prepare like this for a fairly regular 4 hour round trip how much more do I need to prepare for a journey that is going to take a lifetime.

On the journey of life there are many ways we can prepare.  We can look at our goals and see what we need to do to achieve them.  For me this has meant reading a lot. When you are dyslexic this has its problems but very beneficial.  For me prayer has been part of my preparation to ensure that my goals are the same as those that Christ has for me.  If you are married and have children they are part of your journey and goals as a family unit, a couple and individually and you prepare differently for each.

A word of warning!!!!!! Do not prepare so much that you stagnate on your journey.

Tip #3

Find a Mentor

A journey is often easier when someone else is with you, may be to share the driving.  When I travel it is generally alone so it can be very monotonous as all you are focused on are the cars in front. Recently I travelled this same journey as the passenger and I was amazed at the things I missed.  Some of it was the gorgeous scenery or the animals in fields, some of it was the businesses along the journey.

This to me is the reason for having a mentor because they are watching you on your journey and can see things that you cannot e.g. a sign post.  Also the person you choose should have already completed that part of the journey and is more familiar with it.  With that in mind they can advise you of any pitfalls they found.  A mentor will also encourage you when you are struggling and dare I say it they will give you the kick in the butt when needed too.

You may be asking if you need a mentor and personally I can say it has helped me. My mentor has encouraged me to be all I can.

Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

 

I hope these tips have helped you on your journey.  If you have any other tips you would like to share then feel free to write them in the comments section below.  I would love to hear your thoughts

 

 

Life’s Journey Through the In-between

Are you soaring high, struggling or it is fairly average?  When I last wrote about an in-between period it was fairly average with some learning and growth.  This one is very different.

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This in-between is teaching me new lessons and in part I am soaring as a result. During  the previous in-between I was trying to get to the end although it was a time of trust and obedience during this in-between it is responsibility, urgency and releasing.  I am trusting God for how all these things come together.

The previous in-between was probably easier as there was no expectations as I was waiting for the next key moment.  This time there is an expectation with a very steep learning curve.   This time it is a combination of waiting and doing as I am starting / launching a new ministry called Reach Out and it starts with an evangelism training school.  This means that I am the one responsible for what happens, a very different in-between.

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I am at the stage where everything is starting to become tangible but yet still a way off  with so much to do.  I am aware of the work load and do not want to miss something in the moment as small things often go past unnoticed but can be significant.  I also do not want to loose quality in the process.

I have also found that during this in-between my priorities have changed which at times is difficult because it affecting things like my writing.  The way I have dealt with the change is to blog less frequently until my schedule changes .  During this new period I am so excited of what is to come and cannot wait, but the whole point of the in-between is to enjoy the wait.

So what have a learned to date?

I have learned that it is ok for things to change, enjoy the time, trust God for the unknown and step out into new territories with authority.

As I have written this I have wondered if I would change anything or do anything any different and on reflection I wouldn’t because I have had conversations and done things I wouldn’t have otherwise done.  Although some of the changes are quite daunting the excitement is growing.  At times I feel like a plant that is being filmed and its grow shown at a fast pace.

To sum everything up I would say ‘the in-between  enhances the end’

If you have been through an in-between and are going through one I would love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below.

How did I gain perspective?

Perspective is something that can to hard to gain.  If we are too close everything is out of proportion, if we are too far away we cannot see correctly either

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I was recently in a situation where the problem appeared huge, as a result I felt so inferior and useless that I couldn’t see a way out.  I carried on to my next appointment and realized I was not able to open the building for the people hiring the  the building.  This just added to the way I felt.  Whilst I was waiting for replies to various text messages I sent I went for a drive and it was during this time that my perspective changed.

1. Why did my perspective change?

My perspective started to change because my view point had changed.  At the beginning I was self orientated, it was ‘a woe is me’ moment.  After a while I realized that I wasn’t doing myself any favours and turned to the One person who could help, so I prayed.  I started to gain Christ’s perspective on the situation.  After praying I was able to hold a conversation that minutes before I couldn’t have done.

2. Time

Time helped to change my perspective because it gave me an opportunity to pray and process what had happened.  Also friends were phoning later to see how I was, and with the Lord’s strength I was much better.  Sometimes we can see time or the lack of it as our enemy when it can actually be our friend.

The last of the points to help change your perspective is….

3.People

I am thankful for my friends.  In this situation one of my friends opened up for me and another rang and completed the change, their words along with the prayers

New Year, New Start

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Another year started, for some it has been a positive start for others it has been a continuation of the same rubbish from the year before.

When ever I write it is mostly from personal experience and wanting others to learn from the mistakes I have made.  On this occasion I would like to share what I do instead of making new year resolutions. I am sure many of you have made at least one resolution, but have you kept it?  The reason I stopped making resolutions was because every one I made, I broke.  One particular year everything I set as a New Year Resolution failed and this was all I could focus on.  Due to what I saw as a failure it stopped me from doing other things because this was always in the back of my mind.  The following year I decided not to make any and this was possibly the best thing I have ever done.

So what can you do instead?

The way I do it isn’t the only way, there are many so find what works for you but here is my version.  I do not make any hasty decisions  I wait until I have gone back to work which in England is usually Jan 2nd and from there choose which day is going to be my reflective evening.  On the chosen evening I look back at everything I have done over the past year, what worked, what didn’t..I then start to construct and arrange my to do list. For me the to do list has on it EVERYTHING I want to do, this includes books I want to read, blogs and audio books.  It also includes how much I want to write and for when.  I develop the to do list over several days and then schedule  the items into my calender, so this year it has stayed the same except I have now added the gym into the mix and through trial and error I have found that the time on the cross trainer or other cardio machines is a good time to listen to a podcast or a chapter of an audio book.

Some people call this a growth or life plan and there are many out there with templates you can find one at Michael Hyatt.com.  I review my plan a few times a year because there are special projects / key events that may change your plan during the course of the year and it requires items on the to do list to be changed.

One of the key points that came out of  my review was shuffling.  I realised that I was shuffling items in the to do list because I had plenty of time to complete them and ended up with zero time because it had been moved so often.

For me, the key to this working is the fact that it is flexible and it focuses on what works, yes you look at the failures but only focus on them to learn from them.

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Please feel free to share in the comments if you have a different way of applying change

Foundations and are they essential

At work in recent weeks we have been doing some renovations, the latest being concreting the forecourt.  when I was first told what we would be doing I thought “no problem its not too much” until we started and then I changed my mind very quickly.  I knew we had to prepare the ground and remove the old and broken concrete before the new arrived.  The process was time consuming and difficult to get right.  Once the forecourt was complete I saw how this transposed into our christian walk, and this is what I gleaned.

This is the forecourt we concreted

This is the forecourt we concreted

The first thing we had to do was to dig up the bad concrete and some of the soil.  The purpose of this was to enable us to use some of the rubble to create a good foundation.  To make sure there wasn’t any holes the area had to be compacted to make the foundation solid.

This is the same in our walk with Christ.  If we do not lay good foundations of reading His Word and prayer when the storms of life come along there is nothing to stand on as it has all been washed away.  As we were doing the work it made me think of the wise and foolish man and how they built on rock and sand.

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To get the foundations right followed by laying the concrete took time and effort.  It wasn’t just one person doing the work there was many people.  If we had tried to do the job with only one or two people it would have taken much longer and made it an almost impossible task.  When it came to who did what, we got people working to their strengths.  It was no good getting someone to empty the wheel barrow if they couldn’t tip it to empty it (which was me), I was given a shovel or a broom both I could use effectively.

In our christian life it is no different.  Each of us has a role to play within church life.  For some that means an up front role i.e. preaching for others it is cleaning or I.T. which most people do not see or appreciate at times, but all roles are equally as important.  In last Sunday’s sermon the analogy was used about a jigsaw puzzle that was 5000 pieces but when the person completed it discovered there was only 4999 pieces.  You could see the picture and you had doubt but all that stood out was the missing piece.  The missing piece is us if we are not playing our part, my part in recent weeks was to use a shovel and a broom.

This week there are 2 questions.

1- Have you laid the foundations or are they a little flimsy?

2- Are you playing your part whatever that may be?

Please feel free to comment below about either question, it would be great to hear from you.

Revelation: What have you uncovered?

I was chatting with a friend over coffee about a project I am doing and we started talking about other things too.  During our chat there was a moment of revelation.  For me it brought clarity to a situation I was facing.

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Is there a situation that you are facing that you feel needs some insight.

Are you actively seeking revelation?

I was seeking revelation with regards to the situation I was in but I wasn’t getting anywhere.  I was so busy trying to find a solution that I wasn’t looking in the right place, nor was it the right time.  God’s timing is perfect.

Do you truly want revelation?

At the time I thought I did.  As time went on I realised I was happy not to rock the boat and had stopped seeking revelation.  I had gotten comfortable in my comfort zone, and wasn’t sure that I wanted to hear.

What is revelation?

Revelation is something that has been hidden and now revealed.  Once something has been revealed there is no going back, it cannot be hidden again.  This means there are questions to ask once revelation has occurred and this was exactly what I had to do.

What effect has the revelation had?

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1-The words spoken penetrated like an arrow and I knew that this was the answer. I also knew that this wasn’t the end there was more to be revealed if I let it.

2-It has also allowed me to think beyond the end of the week because I couldn’t before.

3-The stress I was feeling has melted away like wax and I feel so at peace.

4-A freedom, although I have the same freedom to do things as I did before the coffee but my perspective has changed, I am looking at Christ in the centre of it all and not the problem.  I thought I was focused on Christ but now see that is was on my terms not His.

5-The question that needed to be answered has been but that in turn has led to others but in a good way.  These are ones I should have asked before the revelation but didn’t in case I didn’t like the answer.

Are you ready for fresh revelation?

My revelation came when I was least expecting it, in a local coffee shop not in church or my time personally with God.  Christ can move where ever and when ever He chooses.

My advice is to trust Christ and focus on Him on His terms not yours and see how that changes your perspective in your situation.

If you have had a revelation please feel free to share in the comments box below.  It would be good to hear from you.

Hospital, Patients and Christ

I have been spending a fair amount of time in my local hospital due to a sick family member, due to the age of the patients they cannot always remember what has been said to them.  This can be a little frustrating but also encouraging when they do remember something.  The one thing I noticed whilst I was sat in the ward is that they were all waiting for something, with some more patient than others.  The patient ones are willing to wait and get well others just want to leave prematurely.

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How often do we leave prematurely?

An impatient, patient wants to be somewhere else, do we sometimes leave a time with God early and miss something that He wants to do in our lives.

Does this have an effect?

For the patient it could mean a longer stay in hospital but what does mean for us?  Sometimes we do not notice any effect on other occasions Christ may gently encourage us to go back.

The visitor:

The visitor has a special part to play they can see what is going on and encourage the patient to stay where they are.  The Holy Spirit can do that for us.  He can and does encourage us to stay in the presence of God.

The Doctor:

The doctor is the one who knows what the patient needs to get better and what care is required.  Christ knows what we need, and not what we want.  He knows how to care for us and what to do and how.

Care staff e.g. nurses

These offer additional help to the healing process, an encouraging word or assistance when necessary.  These are christian friends and church family.

Do you need all of the above?

Could you manage in hospital without a nurse and doctor with only your visitors to nurse you back to health, I’m not sure you would get better very quickly if at all.  Every person has a part to play.

I mentioned earlier that it was good when a patient remembered something that was said to them.  sometimes we forget what Christ has said to us and through the care of the doctor, visitors and nurses we can remember what has been said to us.

If you have spent time in hospital is there any lessons you have learnt, if so please feel free to comment below.

Creation’s Story

One day recently I was walking down my path and due to the grass, sorry weeds growing there is a thistle growing.  as I walked past I noticed bees collecting pollen.  I was amazed at the intricacies of creation and although there were several bees they were all different as was the thistle with different shapes and shades of colour.

DSCI0876-1On seeing this it reminded me of how God created everything and how individual each and every plant and bee is.

We too are individual and I wrote a few weeks ago about being unique or lemming but this picture led on to having purpose.  The bees had a purpose which was to collect honey, we too have a purpose.  Sometimes our purpose isn’t obvious and we have to wait on God and see his plan and purpose unfold.  There are others that know what their purpose in Christ is.  Both scenarios can be frustrating because with one you can see where you want to go but there are obstacles in our way or frustration because you cannot see where He is leading.

The times in between can be times of learning, growth and intimacy with Christ,  friends, family and colleagues enabling  you to take others with you and helping them grow as you do.

1- take time to look at God’s creation

2- spend time with Christ

3- spend time with family and friend etc

4- enjoy the learning

5- take others with you on the journey

This is how something that should have been cut down sparked something important in my life.  Make the most of each opportunity has it comes your way.

 

If there is anything that you would like to add then feel free to comment below

Lessons from MotoGP

I was at the Silverstone watching the Moto GP racing with family and I should have taken notes as I found many similarities between the riders and our christian walk.  I was astounded with what these guys could do with a bike,it is one thing watching on television but another seeing it in person.

Here are some of the items that came to mind.

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1- Trust– They trusted the bike, people on the pit wall and the mechanics, if they didn’t they couldn’t throw the bikes around like they do.  If the rider didn’t have complete trust in every aspect they wouldn’t be able to race as there would be too much doubt.

We need to trust God implicitly as He will never fail us, we fail Him but He never reminds us.

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2-Confidence– This is something that riders oozed.  When you saw them on the screens in interviews or sat in their pit garages they were confident they they could get the job done.  For some that meant fighting for 7th or 8th place, there wasn’t any doubt about what they had to achieve.

At times we lack confidence in ourselves to do the task Christ has called us to.  Our confidence should be in Him as He is the one who chose us for the task.  Christ has confidence in us we should trust Him.

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3- Commitment– All of the riders, whether it is in the GP races or the rookie cup each was committed to get the job done.  At times there were so committed they fell of the track.  Sometimes it was their fault on other occasions it was the fault of others.  This doesn’t stop them from achieving their goal. They wouldn’t get up in the morning and say ‘sorry I’m not racing today as I do not feel like it’ if they did they wouldn’t be racing for that team for very long.

We sometimes take the commitment to Christ lightly. Christ died on a cross for us, the ultimate commitment.  We can sometimes feel the draw of others around us to take us off track or something catches our eye or takes our attention. We need to keep committed to Christ at all times He didn’t give up and our bad days will never be as bad as His.

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Some basic truths learned during my weekend at Silverstone and ones that I am taking into this new season.

What truths have you learned from watching motor racing on two or four wheels? Please feel free to comment below.

How do you communicate?

In this world full of technology we have numerous ways to communicate, such as mobile phones, social media, email, messenger of all types, texting and faxing which very archaic in comparison.   I am of an age where I can remember the first fax that was sent.  At the time it was incredible that a letter could getting to another office without leaving the office.  Another occasion was the first time I was asked to text back,  I didn’t know my phone could.

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If you could only take one piece of technology away with you what would it be?

For me I would be torn between my phone and my tablet, but I think my tablet would win because it is more versatile.  I would have to take all the accessories with it thou.

Does technology supersede personal contact?

For me I am sad to say technology has taken over.  I do not see people as often as I use to, I would now send a text instead.  On the other hand because of technology I have kept in touch with friends that I otherwise would have lost contact with as them either lived away or abroad.  At times I know that I could have visited someone in the time I spend on the phone or sending messages.

Do we need to change our habits?

I am in the process of prioritizing my week because when a friend came to stay I was able to accomplish more.  At the time of her visit there were certain tasks that had a time constraint, this meant I had to re assess time spent with emails and social media.  I have only just started and the results are already positive as I have been able to spend time with family.

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Vocal or text?

If you are not able to see someone face to face what option do you take?  For me I would rather pick up a phone and call someone rather than text.  I sometimes go to send a text and give up and ring because some things cannot be said via text.  In my 9-5 job I have to communicate with a wide variety of people from other employees, bosses, reps, suppliers and anyone else you have to deal with when you manage a company.  I have noticed that people are loosing the art of verbal communication, I ring they email back.  This is getting more commonplace some websites do not have a phone number.

All of this has made me appreciate that we do not have to make an appointment, leave a message or send a text when we want to speak to the Lord.  He is always available and He is wanting us to speak with Him, we just have to make time.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

Please comment below.

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