Pastor’s Pen 29th December 2019

Shalom. May the end of one year simply remind you that a new year is about to happen.
Life is full of endings and beginnings… as one things closes, another opens. Whilst it’s not always seamless in transition it’s true that the nature of the universe is cyclical.
We tend to think in linear terms and clock up years as they go, but there are cycles of seasons within those years that give a degree of predictability to the process and pattern of our lives… Summer is followed by Autumn which is followed by Winter which is followed by Spring which is followed by… and so it goes.
We are the ones that impose a year and ascribe days, weeks and months to each year. We always have… calendars have existed for as long as we have had organized society. Archaeology has identified the oldest calendar as about 32000 BC. In Thailand it is 2562 BE (Buddhist Era)… the Hebrew calendar is in 5771…
yet the world more or less identifies itself with the gregorian calendar of 2019… because Jesus came.
Amazing.
So when you get worried about the finishing up, the conclusion, the graduation or the closing down of something… don’t worry too much. Instead celebrate… celebrate what happened, acknowledge the ups and downs, grieve the losses and rejoice in the blessings… but remember…
THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
So I don’t know what 2020 will bring exactly, but it’s coming pretty quickly. So when it arrives celebrate the beginning for a new year of fresh opportunities… for the ability to continue what you’ve already begun, or the ending of something reaching its natural conclusion, or the start of something new.
Either way… enjoy the New Year and cease the day as it’s the first one for the rest of your life.
Remember that each day is the day the Lord has made, so rejoice in it and be glad.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 22nd December 2019

Shalom. May the very name in Christmas point you to the one we celebrate.
It’s only days till Christmas, and Summer has started. It’s a busy time of year; then it’s holidays! It’s so easy in the midst of the hustle and bustle to lose sight of what is important – remember Christmas is about love, and a time to show love to each other.
It’s a funny time of year, because we seem to be winding down and finishing things up, yet at the same time we gear up for new things and new beginnings, it’s exciting and challenging!
John Ortberg writes, “I discovered when trying to live in a loving fashion for one whole day – that love requires an enormous amount of energy – and I was just too tired to give it. I realised that, as unspiritual as it sounds, if I was serious about becoming a more loving person, I was going to have to get more sleep. I also discovered that I have a very hard time thinking, feeling, and acting like Jesus, when I lack sleep.”
I can say for myself that this is true. As we get busier, its harder to fit everything in isn’t it? Often this means that I have less sleep, also it means that those closest tend to get what’s left of me at the end of the day, and sometimes that’s not much.
Have you ever tried to pray when you were lacking sleep? It’s hard. Before Elijah was able to spend any prolonged time in prayer, the Angel of the Lord made him take not one, but two long naps. Contrast that with the disciples in Gethsemane who couldn’t pray because they kept falling asleep.
Sleep is a gift from God; listen, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late… for so He gives His beloved sleep” (Ps 127:2). Maybe the single most spiritual thing you could do this week is to take a nap!

Bless ya
Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 15th December 2019

Shalom. Joy to the world, the Lord has come…
Joy… an amazing emotion, state of being and concept.
Joy isn’t happiness but it encompasses that. Joy is more a choice than a wave you roll with. I can be happy one minute and anxious, sad or upset the next… but still have that underlying joy that reminds me the best is yet to come… that anchors me in the truth that the Lord has come.
This is the joy of Christmas… that our need of a Savior saw God send his one and only Son to be that for us… even though we weren’t aware of our need.
Joy to the world because a deeper understanding than happiness is being revealed. Joy to the world because no one is excluded, no thing is left out. This is a totally embracing, universe bending, heavenly chorus affirming reality that Jesus has come… come into this world that didn’t recognize him, to a people that by and large rejected him, to a world that more or less tries to ignore him, to a world that he deeply loves and cares about. Joy to the world… his name is Jesus.

May you enjoy the season that is Christmas and remember the reason.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 8th December 2019

Shalom. May you feel the breadth of Gods’ love as the realisation of Christmas and all it heralds sink deeper into your awareness and flow to your actions.
Well, not too many days to Christmas. What will your true love give to you? Maybe not 10 Lords a leaping, today I’d suffice with one – his name being Jesus – his leaping for joy as he celebrates the life found in those who follow him.
Christmas reminds me afresh that Jesus will meet us wherever we are. Look where he came to! The creator of the universe, the king of Creation, the Prince of Heaven, the purveyor of Grace and Mercy, came to earth…
Did he come to a flash palace, or a comfortable room; was he born in luxury having his every whim satisfied, wanting for nothing and awash in nice and to us, necessary items?
No!
Did he come with powerful, important people pleased to see him (excepting the wise Magi – not really)? Was he courted by world leaders? Was he lavished with the attention of the press and lauded as a celebrity?
No!
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him…14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth… 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John 1
Jesus came to a stable, laid in a manger, visited by shepherds. He was born into a messy place. That’s why he can cope with our messes.
He was persecuted as a child and became a political refugee, fleeing his land of birth. He came back to finish what God called him to.
To set us free, to give us grace and truth and to help us to see, know and have deep, authentic relationship with God the Father.
He came… because his love compelled him to.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike