Back after 3 days of camping, it was awesome, i am happy to report that my inflatable mattress was not as comfortable as i expected, and it definitely did not take away from the true experience of camping.
The trip was incredible, but what i love most about camping is the serenity. I mean we wake up, we eat, we hunt, we eat, we hunt, we talk, we eat, we hunt and we sleep. Life is so repetitive but yet there is something just serene about it. It brings you back to your roots, of friendship, fellowship and survival. It allows the men to bond.
I remember thinking to myself whilst we were fishing and eating “what would it be like to have lived like this”. In the days of hunter gatherers, humans existed just to live, everyday they wake up just to hunt and live. I thought to myself how pointless a life that would be.
But the true question is, have we really changed today? As a working man i get up, go to work, fix people who have been “hunting” through physio, go home sleep and the cycle continues. We get caught up in the “Rat race” to make the most money and survive the best way we can. We are hunter gatherers.
The author of Hebrews knew this about humans and he reminds of something so remarkable in chapter 13. That we shouldn’t let this money rule our lives but rather be content knowing that you have the best treasure, God. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Some people have a lot of money some not so much but either way they have Jesus and his love.
At the core of all life we don’t find money as our purpose, but rather worship and acceptance as sons and daughters by the Most High God, this is what defines our Joy.
- remember that you are loved
Well this weekend is our young adults camping trip (something new this year and very exciting!). Whilst at work a receive an excited phone call from my cousin in regards to a self-inflating mattress on sale for $50. I excitedly respond telling him i would very much love to buy it to let’s say ease the sleep in the tent. I remember when i was in high school i used to sleep on footpaths on surfing trips and fishing trips, but now well i guess i feel older.
I liken my experience as a christian to this very inflatable mattress. I want to go camping and be outdoorsy, whilst at the same time cushioning myself from any discomforts of being outdoors. Is this wrong? In ecclesiastes the author talks about seasons, that there are very clear seasons purposed for very clear things i.e. you should be angry, you should be happy, you should rejoice, you should love, you should hate etc. In these times it purposed that you experience one or the other.
It’s hard to embrace the pain, but maybe if you know the during that season you are supposed to feel exactly what you’re feeling, that it is purposed to make you holier and very soon the cycle of seasons will come around again just maybe we can bear it, and get through it.
Sometimes you need to fully feel the hatred for that sin, or fully grieve for that hungry child, and sometimes you need to completely rejoice for God has delivered or be overtaken completely by his serene grace. Seasons are clear, and experiences cannot always be cushioned, so be careful when you bring your inflatable mattress that it doesn’t just turn a camping trip into staying indoors but outside.
May we embrace the many different seasons you have in store for our Journey, and stand up under the fact that our God will get us through.
- Embrace the seasons (i am still using an inflatable mattress on this trip)
PS – this unfortunately means i must halt my post for 3 days, however when i return it will still be day 55, because well the vision of this blog is to do 365 days at least
37“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life
So the other day me and one of my close physio mates are talking about investments and where we go from here now that we have begun our careers. He begins to tell me about a married couple he knows of who took 6 months of annual leave they have saved up and in that time purchase a house. Then in 6 months (whilst getting payed because of annual leave) they renovate this house and after that time sell it for $180k more than how much they purchased it for. They sacrificed 6 months of time and money which resulted in a profit of $180k.
If i were to ask you if they had made a good investment any sane person must respond with a heck yes.
This scenario interestingly enough reminds me of a chapter in a book by Dr. John Piper called “Desiring God” whereby he addresses the issue of the sacrifice involved in missions (this is probably one of the greatest books of our time i would recommend anyone read it). He makes an profound discovery.
In this chapter he basically comes to the conclusion that there is no such thing as sacrifice for Christians, why? Because there is nothing we can give that isn’t repayed by the LORD 100 times (according to Mark 10). Perhaps one could reword this statement to say that the best investment one can make with their life is in Jesus Christ.
Here’s my thinking, we will always “sacrifice” our lives and our time and our resources into something, because our lives can only be about so man things. We will give our resources to our career, our friendships, and yes even our families. Jesus knew this, and he addresses this issue in one of the most misunderstood texts in the bible, Matthew 10.
He states that if you we even love our parents or our children more than him, we are not worthy of him. This is not to say that we can’t love our families, but what it is saying that if we were smart we would LOVE him, invest in him YES even above our families. Why? Because by loving him and investing/ sacrificing our time, our lives, our everything into King Jesus we receive far greater a return than if we loved our families above him. Loving him, you love what he loves which enables you to love your family far more than you humanly ever could. Not only that, he promises you 100 fold return, you will love them 100 times more, you will provide for them 100 times better in this life or the next.
Maybe this means we have make some hard decisions, we might have to choose the less financially secure Job because we trust and invest in God to be our security, instead of money. Maybe this means our families may not have as much time with us, or as big a house as another, but the Lord Jesus has promised 100 times a return.
It’s interesting because we see Peter in “Mark 10″ boasting to Jesus about how much he’s sacrificed, Jesus responds by rebuking his attitude and reminding him that it is not a sacrifice but rather an investment, so you have nothing to boast about except the huge returns you are going to get.
We Christians are supposed to know that the most secure Blue Chip investment for our provisions, for our future, for our families, for our hope, is found not in money but in Jesus Christ.
I’ll end off with a quote from Saint Augustine:
“If you love your soul, there is danger of it being destroyed. Therefore you may not love it, since you do not want it destroyed. But in not wanting it to be destroyed you love it” – To truly love ones soul means to love Jesus above ones soul, because only then will it not be destroyed.
May we invest in the safest investment of Jesus
- Trust Jesus for my future and my security
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and
CS Lewis – “Mere Christianity” – Chapter 10
“Hope – The continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some people believe) a form of escapism or wishful thinking but one of the things a Christian is meant to do…. Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth… You will never save civilisation as long as civilisation is our main object”
Have you ever felt hungry, but not just for any food perhaps moreso a particularly specific one. The day driving home from work i was hungry and as i am trying to care for my body i did not want fast food. However at 1pm i had a game of golf booked in and it was 12:30pm and the nearest restaurant was, yes a McDonald’s. I pull in buy the food and frantically eat my burger and fries. After eating it although i was full physically i was unsatisfied as far as eating a meal goes, i think i really did crave something wholesome and home cooked (although there are times i crave the grreasiness of a McDonald’s).
The rest of the afternoon although physically full the food had not accomplished it’s full objective of “feeding” me because i was craving a more wholesome meal.
I saw another instance of this scenario prior to fishing with the boys, My cousin Thomas hints he wants KFC, the whole drive to our fishing spot. Instead yes we pull into McDonald’s for convenience sake, he eats a burger and after exclaims “damnit i should have bought KFC”.
What is this phenomenon we so often experience? We crave something even though we don’t need it physically.
In CS Lewis’ amazing book “Mere Christianity” he basically outlines the very essence of Christianity (an amazing book i thoroughly recommend it to anyone). However tonight i flip to chapter 10 and it speaks of Hope and it’s role in the Christian life.
In this he cleverly defines hope as the Christian longing for heaven (not for the escape but as a hope of our eternal future). He goes on to mention that if we are honest with ourselves all Christians do in fact seek out this hope. We look into our marriages, our spouse, our jobs, money, holidays, geographical location etc. When we attain all these things we realise that there must be more…. But what is it?
I mention this because i find myself in a position in life where physically i am not wanting, i have a good job, a good girlfriend, good hobbys, a well-rounded social life with many groups of friends and yet there is something i still long for.
I was driving home tonight praying and i realise that yes i am still craving, although my life seems full i am not fed. I start praying for the church and i get discouraged i cry out to God, why is our church not growing? Why are people leaving church? What are you doing?
Immediately i am led to 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – Fix my eyes not on the present, but on the future hope. I was reminded of something my mentor once said to me “if your dream can be accomplished by you, it is too small”. I realise that the church, my life and every ministry i may be a part of is not purposed only for present success, but for eternal investment. How can i know that my church isn’t exactly where it’s supposed to be right now that in the long term God may use it to maximally glorify his name?
If we look to our lives and realise how short they are, how big God’s plan is, and how long eternity and our future in heaven is, we cannot help but have hope in all we do. Hope will not cease to rise in us if we find our fulfillment not in the things of civilisation but rather in the eternity of heaven.
May we find eternal hope, in eternal life, as we realise the life we lead is far bigger than what we see right now. It is with our King and Saviour in heaven, his plans are eternal, life is fleeting so amongst all the busyness of life always remember to eat only what you are truly craving.
- Find hope in the eternity of God
Well just got home from fishing and it is 1:30a, i’ll be honest i am exhausted and this blog will be short.
As i reflect on a looong day, early morning church, followed by a church lunch/ picnic, than drumming at City Network Church, then straight to Churro’s in Freo then Fishing at Woodman’s point, i can’t help but feel overwhelmed.
Tonight Linda managed to catch her first fish, using this “magic rod”. Basically Steve had this rod consisting of fake lures, and we’d chuck in some burley which would lure the fish and then throw the rod in and the fish would think what they smelt was the fake bait. They would bite it and we would catch them, time and time again.
I think we caught at least 10 fish using this method tonight, and i remember thinking man fish are dumb.
But in some sense of reflection, we are exactly the same, we bite the same bait over and over again and yet expecting one time the bait will satisfy our every need. Without sometimes realising the best food is right before us in Christ.
May we bite him and nothing else as we realise nothing else can satisfy
- Be satisfied in Christ alone and nothing else
PS. i know i could have elaborated further but honestly at 1am this is the best i’ve got, part 2 of Easter coming tomorrow so stay tuned!