23 January, 2008


Reconciliation is a journey. It takes each side to be ready for it. It takes a lot of mercy and a lot of courage. Reconciliation doesn`t leave room for our personal cry for justice. But it does leave room for mercy to truly triumph, freeing each individual from the past. Giving an opportunity to grow into the future.

True reconciliation is at the heart of the Christian gospel. Jesus died on the cross and rose again to take the punishment for our sin. That was mercy. So that we can have a blank sheet again to be in relationship with God the Father. So that we could journey and develop in relationship with God.

Christians benefit from the reconciliation Jesus has given us. Without that, we simply couldn´t be close to God. We couldn´t be free from our past; both our sins and the situations where we have been sinned against. We would be trapped.

Reconciliation with God is one thing. But reconciliation with other people is a challenge for every believer. It`s a tough road and not one for cowards. But until reconciliation has taken place I believe that the grief from the wound remains intense. Even when forgiveness has taken place and people have learnt to "move on", they usually still carry grief until reconciliation happens.

As pastors, leaders, parents, Christians, we have a responsibility not just to help people find personal healing and wholeness at the foot of the Cross. We must also help them to come into a fullness of healing in their relationships with others. Reconciliation. Honesty, mercy, courage all in the right timing.

Jesus said: Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:24

15 January, 2008

Running for cover

Few things undermine us so completely and in so many areas as betrayal. It penetrates deep and seems to rip us up from the inside out.

Victims of betrayal run for cover. A confusion of emotions cry out inside them. A cry for vengeance and also undermining waves of self condemnation.

So many situations in life cut us deeply. Betrayal by a loved one or someone we have invested time and emotional energy in, happens to us all on some level at some time in our life. Particularly painful is betrayal by those you admire or who are meant to protect you. From childhood playground spats to the complicated forests of adult relationships, betrayal and how to deal with it is an issue we don`t often hear teaching about.

Forgiveness and mercy are crucial. But even after the release that mercy brings, the memory of that betrayal can still be very painful. Every day brings an opportunity to choose: run for cover or refuse to chew on the bitter roots of that act of betrayal?

Acts of betrayal are usually more about what is going on in the betrayer than about those they betray. But the victim cannot afford to remain in a victim mentality. Betrayal hurts. Deeply. But if bitterness sets in, you remain on the run when really the betrayer is the one who is running, from themselves and the responsibility of the consequences of their action. One day God will focus on the issue with them. Leave it to Him and His timing.

Matthew 6.12: Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.

14 January, 2008

Regaining definition

Sometimes God brings us to a point of reassessing our lives. We think about where we`ve been and where we are heading to. Many of us do this around New Year.

In the Jesus Haus, some of the renovation has meant rediscovering the old treasures in the house. Like beautiful vaulted ceilings that had dividing walls built up into them when it was a hospital.

To enable a room to become the new space it needs to be, we have sometimes had to regain the old definition of a room. To knock out a few walls. Even when the walls have been useful in the meantime.

Sometimes God reminds us of things that we have known or lived before. He calls us back to them, to regain something that has perhaps been missing or crowded out of our lives. Sometimes we`ve moved on from things whilst God is developing new areas in us. But then comes a time of calling back. When He reminds us to regain a particular focus or definition and fuses that with the new things we have recently learned.

It reminds me of something Jesus said: ...every teacher who has been taught about the Kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old... Matthew 13:52

A new year isn`t always about embracing the new. It`s sometimes also about regaining the old.

07 January, 2008


When we begin to answer the question of "Who is reigning" in our lives or in a given situation, we realise who or what is defining us.

Definition is important. Without definition, things get hazy.

Whatever or whoever we allow to reign in our lives defines who we are and how we respond to everything and everyone. 

When we give our lives to Jesus, we make Him Lord of our lives. As we allow His love and power to reign in every area of our lives, we begin to be defined. The person that we were created to be and long to become begins to be raised up. 

When we allow other people`s expectations or desires to reign in our decisions and attitudes, then they begin to define us. We allow them to reign in areas of our lives.

Take a moment to consider the different areas of your life. Your thinking. Your emotions. Your ambitions. Your private life. Your relationships. Your work or study. Who is defining these areas? Who is reigning? And why?

Isaiah 60: 17 "... I will make peace your governor and righteousness your ruler."

The Door of Hope

The gateway of a new year unleashes different emotions in different people. For some it signifies hope; new possibilities, new chances. For others it`s depressing or frustrating, raising feelings of helplessness or of being trapped.

There is something about the unknown possibilites of a new year that can both excite and daunt people. And of course, looking back over the progress or pain of the previous year often has a lot to do with this.

Some people seize a new year and throw themselves into it, taking control and making new choices. Others continue with the attitude that life "happens" to them and live as someone who "manages" this or reacts to what is happening.

I don´t think it is totally explained by different character types. I think attitude and mindsets have a lot to do with it.

Uncovering disabling mindsets or releasing hope into our thinking can be sparked off by one simple question. "Who is reigning here?". 

It`s a simple enough question in any given situation, individual heart or group of people. Is life simply happening to us? Who or what is ruling? And why are we allowing that?

It raises the questions of responsibility and motivation, responses and proaction.

A new year is like a door of hope. The possibilities are endless. Who and what will you allow to reign in your life this year?

There`s a challenge.

1 Peter 3:15 In your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord