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[12 Days] Eleventh Day…

Read: John 14:15-21 (CEB)

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will send another Companion, who will be with you forever. 17 This Companion is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world can’t receive because it neither sees him nor recognizes him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be with you.

18 “I won’t leave you as orphans. I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. 20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commandments and keeps them loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Reflect:

We reach day eleven and for most of us Christmas is now a distant memory. Replaced with the return of normality, whatever that may look like.

Our passage for today reflects some of the themes of advent and Christmas itself; namely that God is with us.

I love this translations use of the word companion. Many other translations use the phrase Advocate or Helper. But, companion adds a new flavour to the work of the Holy Spirit and ties in well with the truth that Jesus speaks in the remainder of the passage.

We have the risk taking, grace awakening, dream filled, person of the Holy Spirit walking with us every step of the way.

We are no longer orphans.

Respond:

Holy Spirit thank you for your presence with us. Thank you that we are not alone, we have you as our guide. May we get to know you as you lead us in your truth. Reveal Jesus to us, this and every day. For His glory. Amen

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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Thankful Tuesday…

What’s this?

Two posts on one day?

You betcha!

On January 1st when New Year’s resolutions were swirling round, I came across one status that simply said, “what thing(s) are you going to continue to do in 2012?”

Two things I will be continuing in 2012 will be blogging and staying thankful.

So, with that here are Tuesday’s Ten Thanks:

1 ) Christmas

A great time with Team Blunders, no major illnesses, fun times and quality time with family.

2 ) Work

Thankful for the work that I do and returning to work today.

3 ) Friends

Christmas has been a great opportunity for spending time with some of our closest friends, looking forward to more meals and more time with friends in 2012.

4 ) Slow Cookers

Mrs B and I were given a Slow Cooker for Christmas – already well up and running with soups, meat joints, spag bol and an awesome beef and Guinness pie. Looking forward to more!

5 ) New Furniture

We have been saving for a while and managed to grab ourselves some superb bargains for the lounge. I am loving my ‘reading’ chair and we have a three seater sofa on order. So, if you come and visit you’ll now have somewhere a little more comfortable to slit.

6 ) New Year

I used to hate New Year, never really sure why. But, this one was great.  Great company and great laughs as we watched Big Ben ring in the New Year.  Really looking forward to 2012 and all that God will do in it!

7 ) New Projects

I love a new project and this year promises some great opportunities to grow, learn and develop new skills and I’m looking forward to it.

8 ) YouVersion

I love the YouVersion app. Mrs B and I have undertaken this year to read the Bible together, we are going to use a wide selection of the reading plans and see how we get on. I’m sure the stuff we read will pop up in one or two blogs throughout the year.

9 ) Winter Night Shelter & Eastbourne Foodbank

We’ve been continuing to hear great stories from these projects over the Christmas period. We’re both thankful for their work and we’re both looking forward to being more involved with them in future months.

10 ) BlogBlunders Readers

Thank you to all of you for reading these posts. What started off as an experiment has grown into something that I love. As I continue to learn to follow Jesus, to learn to pray, I hope that I will become a more accomplished writer in the process and to see what God has in store in the future…

Grace and peace,

Steve

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in God, Holy Spirit, Tuesday Thanks

 

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[12 Days] Tenth Day…

Read: Psalm 24:1-2  (CEB)

Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD’s
and everything in it,
the world and its inhabitants too.
2 Because God is the one
who established it on the seas;
God set it firmly on the waters.

Reflect:

Tuesday morning. For most it is first day back to ‘normal’.

A great day to reflect on the past days of Christmas and look forward. Our Bible passage for today is not specifically Christmas orientated but does speak of a single truth that may help as work invades once more.

The Bible is quite clear, the earth is the Lord’s, he made it, therefore it is his.The coming of Jesus is a huge exclamation point on these verses. Rob Bell added to this thought as several others like it when he said,

The Earth is filled with the Glory of God, He never has to turn up, we have to notice Him

We need to continue to reawaken our minds to notice God. Jesus asks us to follow Him in everything we do. Be it work, marriage, parenting, shopping or any other task. It is the same question to a cleaner, a government official, a full time mum/dad or to those who work in an office.

Jesus asks us to follow him, to be Him in the places we live, the homes we visit, in the shops we use and especially in the places we work.

Let us make today count. The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it.

Respond:

Father, I thank you for my work, especially in this time.
Open my eyes today that I might see you at work.
Show me where you are at work in my colleagues lives,
That I may be a blessing to them and serve them.

May I stay awake to your presence with me today.
Bless those who I work with, those I like and those I struggle with.
May I be your grace and peace to them.

May I through your strength,
Put away all gossip, bitterness and anger
So, that I may be able to see you face in all that I meet.

Holy Spirit speak through me today,
Be in every conversation that I have
May I be a true and faithful witness to you at work today. Teach me to take risks for your mission.

In Jesus’ name

Amen

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Ninth Day…

Read: Luke 15:1-10 (ETR Version)

Luke 15:1 Many tax collectors and sinners came to listen to Jesus. 2 Then the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to complain, “Look, this man welcomes sinners and even eats with them!”

3 Then Jesus told them this story: 4 “Suppose one of you has 100 sheep, but one of them gets lost. What will you do? You will leave the other 99 sheep there in the field and go out and look for the lost sheep. You will continue to search for it until you find it. 5 And when you find it, you will be very happy. You will carry it 6 home, go to your friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Be happy with me because I found my lost sheep!’ 7 In the same way, I tell you, heaven is a happy place when one sinner decides to change. There is more joy for that one sinner than for 99 good people who don’t need to change.

8 “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, but she loses one of them. She will take a light and clean the house. She will look carefully for the coin until she finds it. 9 And when she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘Be happy with me because I have found the coin that I lost!’ 10 In the same way, it’s a happy time for the angels of God when one sinner decides to change.”

Reflect:

For many today will be the ‘last day’ before work and work despair may well and truly of hit by now. So, what better time then to focus on the mission of God I hear you say and I’d agree.

The New Year is now up and running and this may be our last time to reflect before the school runs, sandwich making, to-do list, early morning starts and our 99mph days kick back into gear. As you read the Bible passage for today – let your mind wander and wonder, what if the vision behind these stories is true?

What if there was a God who would search for you in the same way as the shepherd and the woman did?

Respond:

Father God, thank you for the overflow of your love. Thank you for your grace that found me. Thank you that you sent Jesus to come and find us. Holy Spirit as this year unfolds may I learn more about your ways and may I live knowing that I am found. In Jesus name. Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Feast of the Holy Name…

Jesusbest

Read: Luke 2:21-32

Luke 2:21When the eighth day arrived, the day of circumcision, the child was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived.

22-24Then when the days stipulated by Moses for purification were complete, they took him up to Jerusalem to offer him to God as commanded in God’s Law: “Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God,” and also to sacrifice the “pair of doves or two young pigeons” prescribed in God’s Law.

25-32In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:

God, you can now release your servant;
release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.

Reflect:

Happy New Year to you all!

We reach day 8 in our series which is the day set aside as part of the church calender to remember the naming of Jesus. We remember that he was brought up in the tradition and ‘right’ way – Mary and Joseph carried out the relevant acts stipulated in the Old Testament, they followed their God and His ways. The naming of a child was huge part of society at that time. Your name was everything, it was your identity and indicated your family connections.

So, as we start 2012 you may like to begin by reflecting on one of the 200+ names of Jesus found in the Bible, I’ve put five here to get you started. But a quick google search should reveal the others.

What do the names add to your understanding of the character of Jesus?

Author of Life – Acts 3:15

Word – John 1:1

Immanuel – Isaiah 7:14

Prince of Peace – Isaiah 9:6

Saviour – John 4:14

Respond

Eternal God, thank you for revealing your character through your names. May I learn to reflect on these names and reflect on your character in 2012. May my goal be to know you and who you are. May I live for you alone. Amen

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Six Days…

Read: Genesis 1:1-5 (The Message)

Genesis 1-2First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

3-5 God spoke: “Light!”
And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
and separated light from dark.
God named the light Day,
he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day One.

You may like to carry on reading the creation narrative here.

Reflect:

We reach day six in our series and the obvious link is the six days of creation. We are not going to debate the creation narrative in this post – but look to our creator. Later on in the Biblical narrative we read some of King Solomon’s words that encourage us to remember our creator in the days of our youth. Or in other words while we still can, we choose to remember our creator.

The Gospel of John points us to the fact everything, whether seen or unseen was created for and through Jesus. As we start the countdown to returning to work/school/’normal’ life may we all find time in our busy schedules to regularly remember our creator.

Respond:

In the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, Lord I come. Before I forget your creation, before I forget your love, before I forget your story. I choose to remember my creator, his love and his story. May I learn to carve time out of my schedule to spend remembering you. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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[12 Days] Fifth Day…

Read Psalm 1

Psalm 1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Reflect
Today we reach day number five.

Five in the Bible is most often associated with the first five books of the Bible, namely Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Or the books of Moses or the books of the law.

Our scripture reading today is all about meditating on God’s word. Psalm 1 calls us to meditate on the word of God day and night. Later in the Gospels, Jesus said he had not come to change anything from the law, but that he was fulfilling the law. Filling it out, putting flesh on it.

Have you ever read the Bible in a year? Will you in 2012?

Have you consciously tried to look at every passage you read looking for Jesus?

He is there, putting flesh on the very words of God.

Respond

Holy Spirit, help me find Jesus. As I read, study, digest, mull over and generally flick through your word would you show me Jesus. Turn my gaze to Jesus, may all that thrills my soul by Him and Him alone. Amen

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in 12 Days of Christmas, Jesus

 

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