Thursday, March 29, 2018

A God made for when Grief strikes

Photo by m wrona on Unsplash

Sitting at the table, alone and shut up in anguish, far beyond the reach that this world’s therapy can supply, where all idols fade, when everything hurts, and nothing helps, with heart wrought, God is sought.
That situation of sitting at the table, searching the Scriptures, journalling, bawling, praying, all alone, was such a common experience, I hardly thought of being ‘met’ by God as a comfort. The fact was He was present in a way I’d never previously experienced or imagined. And still His Presence made my reality not one iota more comfortable.
I languished in the pain of my circumstance — the outworking of a failed marriage, where I’d been thrown on the relational scrapheap. Nothing could assuage that pain, nothing said, nothing done, no escape, no activity, no fellowship, no flight of fancy, nor any drug on the face of the earth.
To insist upon help would have been utter futility. Such as it is in grief.
God’s design is that all trust in idols cease, because — and this is grief’s best blessing — we see they have no power. Finally, when all is stripped away, when there is nothing left in us to fight, nor even hope, what vestige of hope we have left must, simply must, cling to what God can do for us. Finally, the truth is seen in all its terrible brilliance. Nothing can help. Yet, then, help can begin.
Stripped bare, and to come into the realisation that all is forlorn, this is God’s destiny of blessing. We must come to an end of ourselves before there can be a vitalising beginning.
Out of the worst hell on earth comes the heaven long promised from ages old, yet it is never what we expect.
But we must go there… traversing such hell as if God were there, because He is. It is such a wisdom that we must experience the pain of feeling utterly alone and abandoned by God to realise that we’re never abandoned by God. Quite the contrary…
Only in the vacuousness of feeling abandoned by God are we compelled to search by a faith that refuses to believe He could abandon us. Then and only then do we face the true God who never abandons anyone.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Quelling Everyday Anxiety

Photo by Eutah Mizushima on Unsplash

By far the commonest anxiety is suffered by those who would not be diagnosed with a disorder.
The commonest anxiety is caused by stress of task-and-time pressure. The more the tasks build up, the less time we feel we have, and the less peace we experience. And it’s the average mother and father who are afflicted.
Ask any parent with ailing parents, caught in the middle of that stress sandwich — an unabating burden. Something has to give. Little wonder we find some form/s of coping, healthy or else. Yet, we do find ways of coping.
Stress does the strangest things to us. It messes with our minds and that sentiment plummets into our soul. It causes us to dream terrifying fantasies. And it can force us into corners we’d never choose to be backed into.
Probably the most alarming issue with stress-induced anxiety, however, is its impact on our relationships. Seriously, just how much conflict is caused by stress? And how many conflicts emerge through an inability to be honestly sad or courageous; that one or both are not upset so much over the issues, but they’re too emotionally compromised to respond well?
Our inner conflict spills out into conflict with others, and the issues are often secondary at best. We disagree because stress causes us to polarise into a place of inflexibility, because control is the comfort we crave when we feel out of control.
But insisting for control, which is what we do when we’re stressed, is the quickest way of losing control.
We lack peace with others because we lack peace with ourselves. We lack peace with ourselves because we lack peace with God. Peace with God facilitates empathy, wisdom, compassion, patience and gentleness, often even amid stress. But peace with God is something we so often lack. Our anxiety is normal, and yet it implores us to draw near to God.
Of course, I have focused here on everyday anxiety here. The above is not a comment on the disorders.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Why grief was made for hope

Photo by Josh Adamski on Unsplash

Some statements seem ridiculous when we first read them. Perhaps the title seems bizarre. But there are always truths in life we have no idea about.
Then, sometimes, God uses the circumstances in our lives to break through and cause us to learn something new.
This is a hope that’s possible in life — but only through grief — and only when we’re so broken that all we have left, when we’re alone, is God. We reach out, having to believe, believing because we can, hoping beyond chance that He’s there to meet with us. We pray in mumbled murmurs that only God’s Spirit could understand. But we know He’s there. As we bellow our laments, we feel His sympathy.
Grief was made for hope so that we would understand that God is at the depths with us.
Grief was made for hope so that in our darkest hour we would see His light shining through.
Grief was made for hope so that we could see that true hope is rarely possible without loss.
I know, these concepts must seem weird, but ask the person at their rock bottom. The person who searches for God at their lowest ebb. The person who, at last, finds what they’ve ever been looking for. They know. They live what is stated in Jeremiah 29:13-14: “When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart… says the Lord.”
Grief was made for hope. It really is. Somehow only God would make it possible to engineer life out of death.
Loss is the catalyst of redemption.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

To the One who knows you and loves you as you are

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

The world may reject you and pretend it doesn’t know your name, but there is One who never rejects and will never forget your name, because He named you from eternity’s dawn.
The world may think you’re weird and not worth listening to, but there is One who, being the only true Judge, completely gets you and sits on your every word and dignifies you, taking your deepest desire seriously.
The world may be angry with you, and consider you untrustworthy, but there is One who believes in you, that you can still achieve what your deepest heart’s yearning wants to do.
The world may misrepresent and misunderstand and misinterpret you, but there is One who knows all, who knows what you need, how you operate, and what makes you tick, and made you this way.
The world may make you feel unsafe and unsure, but there is One in whom you can be at ease, who provides all, and who always will.
The world may disparage your hopes and plans, but there is One who knows how all plans work out, who would never laugh in your face, who encourages your heart to persist.
The world may whisper all kinds of things about you, but there is One who, by His Spirit, will be honest with you, even rebuking you in all reproving and redemptive gentleness.
The world may look the other way when even as you approach, but there is One who never looks away, who loves you even when you don’t love Him.
Remember there is One who has overcome the world… Jesus.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A life that seems to make no sense but somehow works out best

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The Christian life, properly lived, may feel a lot like this: ‘I don’t know where I’m going, I often appear to be getting nowhere, and yet I’m content, for God is with me.’
It’s the life, in its ideal, that seeks to covet only God’s Presence, and nothing else.
Who would want to live such an uncertain life, living by faith, not by the assurance of knowing I’m in control? In other words, trusting control to God.
Only those who know they can and ought to trust God, knowing in the fullest measure of sincerity in their hearts that following God is the best life has to offer.
The life of faith seems to make no sense at all — certainly to the many onlookers who see us live a life where loss is gain, where we look for hope in pain.
What underpins the faith cause — why does God call us all to live by faith?
This is a truth we must all acknowledge for ourselves and reconcile: our ego wants life ever to be for us. Our life wants life our way or the highway. But the big problem is, if we get our way, often others don’t get theirs. That’s a big problem from God’s point of view — see how He cannot say ‘yes’ to all our prayers? If anyone gets their own way, we could think from God’s perspective, everyone must get their own way. That is an anomaly of life. In the realm of life, such an idea of everyone having their prayers answered is rank absurdity.
This is why we must live for God, living by faith in His created order of things, agreeing we cannot have our own way all the time or even most of the time. We must see that God has an interest in every life, not just our individual life.
This is why we strive live a life that looks to God every single moment, without insisting our portion of control over our life. This wisdom involves letting-go-to-get, recognising that seizing control in life only reconciles anxiety, whereas surrendering control rallies peace in our heart.
But such a life has the appearance that we don’t care about where we’re going or whether we’re getting ahead or not. Yet, what doesn’t look attractive is serenely pleasant for the one who lives it authentically.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Pain that heals a soul’s Pain

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

People often resist the path of pressure that will augment healing. It stands to reason, healing costs. There is a pain involved in resolving pain, as Henri Nouwen (1932–1996) famously said:
“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.”
There is a price to be paid for redemption. In Nouwen’s economy, words, speaking advice, and ongoing proximity have their limits.
He speaks of a truth here that is necessary on the journey of healing. He speaks about liminal space — that divergence from logic where faith takes the reins from reason, where reason throws its hands up in defeat, and faith says, ‘game on’, where less is more.
There are times when we have to venture into discomfort to release the grip fear has made on us. These times in therapy are the awkward silences where the heart processes what the mind cannot contemplate.
Where the mind is confounded and overwhelmed, beyond its ability to conjure a fabricated defence, the heart must rise, and it ascends courageously as only the heart can, other than shrink.
When we allow our minds to endure such discomfort as the awkwardness of knowing we’re without defence, our hearts rise ultimately on the wings of honesty. The truth wins. And healing begins.
If we would help someone recover from pain, we might imagine the way through is via uncomfortable allegiances with the truth. If we, ourselves, are ailing, we do well to steel ourselves for the inevitable cost of the breakthrough.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The mind’s fight for acceptance, the heart’s battle for love

When I’m vulnerable my psychology sits atop a knife’s edge; I either progress to repentance or topple into resentment. And it’s people who just happen to benefit or pay.
I am as prone to rejection as the next person, and I don’t buy it when people say they aren’t. There are people who exist in a safe bubble of acceptance which says even more about the power of rejection in their lives.
The continuum of acceptance and rejection is possibly the most powerful force. And it all begins in the mind; a mind responding to what the heart feels.
I can tell you that when I’ve felt most vulnerable, I have been most susceptible to rejecting others. When I’ve felt rejected, I’ve tended to respond by rejecting. When I’ve felt accepted, the vulnerable feelings vanish, and acceptance is easy. There is one poignant example where this is rife: in those who have influence over me; a power I have given them. I could be much less susceptible to a person’s rejection if they have no influence on me or power over me, but as soon as they do I have to admit susceptibility. I do not consider those I serve as those who have influence on me or power over me.
It’s those I look up to who I perceive don’t accept me who I’m liable to reject in response to their rejection.
The mind fights to be accepted, and the heart battles for love. Where there is acceptance and feelings of love, there is safety and wellbeing.
Acknowledge the drive for acceptance in others. Accept everyone as they are and experience less rejection.

Monday, March 12, 2018

FIFTH THOUSAND – 10,000 Reasons

FIFTH THOUSAND – 10,000 Reasons
My challenge is to compile 10,000 Reasons for my gratitude to God for His goodness. It commenced on January 22. This fifth thousand spans the days of March 3 to 12, 2018. My first thousand can be found here. My second thousand can be found here. My third thousand can be found here. My fourth thousand can be found here.
Here is my fifth thousand…
2 / 3 March 2018

4001.                   Nothing like a start the day before
4002.                   For a sober reflection on how I’m interacting with people
4003.                   That we developed a ramp system for my son to use
4004.                   For the push-ups and curls I managed to get done
4005.                   For poise to resist anger in the disciplining of a four-year-old
4006.                   For the purpose in me that chips away at the tasks at hand
4007.                   The incredible blessing of an earlier night than expected
4008.                   Waking easily at 4.10 AM to start the work day extra early
4009.                   Air, fuel and oil, with coffee, all before 5 AM
4010.                   For the way a smile alleviated anxiety in the one who served me
4011.                   Simply the quiet of morning
4012.                   For the message from my principal clarifying the tasks ahead
4013.                   A difficult first assignment to retrieve a shoe 15 feet deep on a roof accomplished with the correct tools
4014.                   Just that beautiful perfect autumn breeze and the oft tweeting of birds going about their business
4015.                   That I know now that the passage of the day is assured
4016.                   That confidence is an inside job
4017.                   That I found a towel I had forgotten about
4018.                   For the five balls I found on the roof
4019.                   For the help I can give my daughter today
4020.                   For the news overnight
4021.                   That I am heartfelt excited for people who have their babies even though we lost ours
4022.                   For the comfort my wife and I are for each other
4023.                   For thoughts and prayers I have for dear friends who are struggling on the marital journey
4024.                   That the moon is full on the horizon at 6:44 AM
4025.                   For the breakfast radio interview with an interesting photography guest
4026.                   That I could drive past the old house and reminisce
4027.                   For the poise I had in making a blunder
4028.                   For reminders of how much I still had to learn about life in my twenties
4029.                   For the bliss in the idea that I’m a living being
4030.                   For the privilege of serving a family member and listening at the same time
4031.                   For the duty I have to help a daughter out – with her home, doing things fathers do
4032.                   For the chat that took place about a key component of my daughter’s life
4033.                   That she felt supported by me today
4034.                   For the help I got at the hardware warehouse
4035.                   For the patience I showed in being led to the wrong aisle – it was aisle 17, not 16, close yet so far away! – it’s not the end of the world
4036.                   That the stress of finding things in the warehouse finished – I was on my way
4037.                   That, at arriving at work, I was on task – I had a lot to do in two hours
4038.                   That I got everything done I could reasonably finish
4039.                   Again, it strikes me that frustration precedes relief
4040.                   For space, finally
4041.                   That gratitude is not natural – it often requires a refocus
4042.                   To know that many competing pressures for my time makes gratitude impossible, but for choice
4043.                   For the fact that everyone turned up to our housewarming event/wife’s birthday
4044.                   To see daughter number three
4045.                   For the sound of water on plants
4046.                   That I got to play cricket with my son
4047.                   That we got to see family today that we don’t see all that often
4048.                   That everyone got on
4049.                   For opportunities for rest however fleeting
4050.                   That God urged me to keep going
4051.                   That my son keeps a portfolio of all his ‘messages’ – he likes to preach like Grandad
4052.                   That my son watches me prepare and practice preaching and emulates me
4053.                   For the privilege of dating my daughters – this time my second daughter
4054.                   That I got to see all of my three girls today!
4055.                   For what goes through my heart as she shared what she is finding joyous and difficult in life
4056.                   Hearing my wife and son sing, Yes, Jesus Loves Me
4057.                   For the things I still have to learn about life
4058.                   That my yawns are well earned
4059.                   For the dust on my tyres which prove my car is worthy of its work
4060.                   That I have access to the Test cricket score on the internet
4061.                   For the sounds of doors locking which means the day is coming to a close
4062.                   For the fan on my device that protects it from overheating
4063.                   For the authors I call favourites: Guinness, Peterson, Sande, Foster, Willard, Tozer, McDonald
4064.                   For the opportunity to praise a co-worker who has bought a microwave for work
4065.                   For the FREE eBook
4066.                   That there are times as a married couple that we would not swap for anything else
4067.                   That tomorrow’s plan is simpler than today’s plan was
4068.                   That today was full of connection
4069.                   That tomorrow I share about Billy Graham
4070.                   For the elderly folk at the Nursing Home we visit with tomorrow
4071.                   For email communication when the FREE eBook hasn’t been received
4072.                   That being thankful is a key to joy
4073.                   That I have a dream of being a great communicator one day
4074.                   That I still have never written something worthy enough yet – which keeps me going
4075.                   That I crave words of meaning
4076.                   For the words I have already written
4077.                   For the mathematics behind records
4078.                   That moment when someone has shared something I’ve written
4079.                   That the world is filled with all kinds of people
4080.                   For the fact that the legalist in us cannot stand the diversity in the above
4081.                   That God wins
4082.                   That there is still something to be written… tonight
4083.                   For the laughs we shared as a family today
4084.                   For the grace my wife showed when I revealed something that was said today
4085.                   For the fact that our house was safe today
4086.                   For the beautiful candle aroma that I arrived to today
4087.                   For the sleep that takes us by storm
4088.                   For the uniqueness in each of us
4089.                   That there is a blessing possible in every conscious thought
4090.                   For the history in our marriage, but more for the future
4091.                   That I have company in this journey of life
4092.                   For memory of a grief that lasted far longer than it needed to
4093.                   For the plane going overhead – such a rarity these days
4094.                   For the pain I have endured that is now resolved
4095.                   For God’s voice today to resist a temptation
4096.                   For the brief prayer I shared with my second daughter tonight
4097.                   That I embraced all my daughters at one point today
4098.                   For the angles of an event I can see through a social media news feed
4099.                   For the plans I have to ride on Monday – Lord, bring it to pass!
4100.                   Finally, it is good to arrive
4101.                   Oh look, I see a book

4 March 2018

4102.                   For patience and grace in cleaning up a mess in the middle of the night
4103.                   For sleep that was solid
4104.                   For wind that cools us through the night
4105.                   That we had the opportunity to plan in bed
4106.                   A day ahead that has some discretionary time
4107.                   That there will be some time of peace and quiet this morning before church
4108.                   For the noise a nearly five-year-old can make
4109.                   That I’m drawing inspiration from the Spirit for today’s devotion
4110.                   For the three weeks that are ahead of now – three big weeks – every three weeks is a big three weeks
4111.                   For the plans my wife and son have for the day
4112.                   That my son goes to a child’s birthday party today – first one from school
4113.                   That my wife’s grandmother will get a visit from her today
4114.                   That we sit at a table for breakfast and have good food to eat
4115.                   For remembering to do something important that could easily have been forgotten
4116.                   That I wasn’t condemned for not doing something
4117.                   For God’s inconveniences – He has the plan
4118.                   For uncertain conversations that remind me of my need for safety
4119.                   For the grace and time God gives me to continue this activity
4120.                   For the Bible version that is loaned to me
4121.                   That even though I’m directionally challenged I still made it to the service on time
4122.                   For De. at the Nursing Home – her help was invaluable
4123.                   That I have the capacity to eat right now
4124.                   That there is a little free time available to me today
4125.                   For the empathy we were able to give each other about our busy lives
4126.                   That there is a time and a reason for everything
4127.                   That my anxiety reduces as I progress with this list
4128.                   That I am 41.28% the way to my goal
4129.                   For the meeting I had with our pastor which helps set direction
4130.                   That I get to preach this week about the importance of women in Jesus’ teaching
4131.                   That I get to catch up with other Christian School chaplains this week
4132.                   That a lot of the boxes that were packed now look flat
4133.                   For the opportunity to compliment a sister in Christ
4134.                   That I could explain the changes we’re implementing, and it was understood
4135.                   For the fact that conflict is an opportunity
4136.                   That the service ran on time
4137.                   That I may not need to dry clean my graduation gown
4138.                   For the communication that occurred on the road to the Nursing Home
4139.                   That every day it seems there is more progress made on God’s plans
4140.                   That energy is what it is that fuels enthusiasm
4141.                   That some bad news can at times be good news
4142.                   For the plans of another family member to shift home
4143.                   That God invites to again ditch the time god
4144.                   For the truth in my need for God
4145.                   That I have a number in mind
4146.                   That I have many, many Bibles – I wish some of them lived in others’ homes
4147.                   For the joy I had when someone unexpectedly remembered my name
4148.                   For the comradery at my workplace
4149.                   That I know that eating is not a sport
4150.                   That our circumstances dictate our prayers – and to know God wants us to transcend that
4151.                   For the revelation I received today about humility
4152.                   That I pray for safe travels for my wife and son as they come home
4153.                   For the story of John Newton, the ex-slave trader
4154.                   That I’m often forgiven for having a confused mind
4155.                   For the refreshed mind I now experience
4156.                   For the sounds of work going on nearby
4157.                   For hints of indigestion that remind me to eat well
4158.                   For the hopes have for revival in our nation and church
4159.                   That my wife and I have come a long way, as all do, in the past ten years
4160.                   That phone calls come out of the blue
4161.                   That when it seems we waste our time it’s not that we always waste our time
4162.                   That marriage is good – our is, but I’m not getting complacent
4163.                   For a raw and real chat with a friend who is suffering a rock bottom experience right now
4164.                   For time to get ahead – for the knowledge that it is best to patiently wait for it
4165.                   For the recount how my son enjoyed the birthday party he went to
4166.                   For a lazy Sunday afternoon
4167.                   For the study I am engaged in – John 20:10-18 at present
4168.                   That there is time to study before I make dinner
4169.                   That I desire to serve my wife – and she serves me
4170.                   That I have a lot to learn
4171.                   That some things I’ll never learn – heaven help me
4172.                   That possibly the greatest lesson is experienced at the end of myself
4173.                   That finishing a thing at a time is wisdom
4174.                   For the reminder I got about an important thing to remain aware of
4175.                   For the child that cries out in need of comfort and gets that comfort
4176.                   For the energy to unpack more boxes
4177.                   That when it doesn’t look like I’m getting anywhere, to hold the faith
4178.                   That I had the privilege of sending an encouraging message about a Bible translation
4179.                   For the blessing that was received by the person receiving the message
4180.                   For the thoughts shared on social media – if only we can respect the person behind the message
4181.                   For the honesty to admit fault
4182.                   That I know what gets me down – the workload of many tasks
4183.                   That I know what lifts me – engagement with people
4184.                   One last salvo – the honesty that says ‘Push!’
4185.                   That I do have the tenacity to break through and to endure
4186.                   For the prayers I hold for a dear couple
4187.                   For Er. and Wa. at the Nursing Home
4188.                   For the sadness I feel as another couple I know separates
4189.                   That the goodness of God is not only in good things but in goodness tried
4190.                   For the fact that I really don’t know how this will end
4191.                   That we have listed the things we need to do
4192.                   For the refrigerator we have our sights on to fit our house
4193.                   For the call I received from a daughter needing support
4194.                   That I have confidence in my ability to work hard
4195.                   That I know there is a cost in sustaining the workload
4196.                   For the brakes on both our cars
4197.                   For bittersweet reflections – our son has spent a quarter of his life with us
4198.                   That my wife and I really enjoy each other’s company
4199.                   For sounds nearby
4200.                   That my wife has the day off tomorrow and she is paid for it
4201.                   For the plans we have to have a family date tomorrow
4202.                   That there is more life behind than there is ahead – that is just a fact

5 March 2018

4203.                   For poise to be woken immediately before my alarm, concerned I wouldn't get to it and it would wake my wife
4204.                   That I overcame the urge to go back to bed and not ride
4205.                   For the paracetamol available for me to take
4206.                   For being able to get my bike out of the shed quietly
4207.                   For the winds that buffeted me
4208.                   For the hills that gave me resistance
4209.                   For the presence of people around me
4210.                   For the fragrances and aromas around me
4211.                   For the view outside
4212.                   That I can sit here midride and do this
4213.                   For the fact that there are thousands and thousands of normal transactions in any one day
4214.                   For the women’s life who sits near me; for her and her children and grandchildren
4215.                   For the radio overheard in here
4216.                   For the chatter of staff enjoying working with each other
4217.                   For the sounds of systems in the background
4218.                   That there are plans today to recreate with each other
4219.                   That there was good sport news this morning
4220.                   That I can find reasons to be thankful out of nothing
4221.                   That I have freedom regarding what I eat
4222.                   That there is a great deal of satisfaction enjoyed in my work
4223.                   For the joy I see all around me in my workplace
4224.                   For the aroma of banana bread being toasted
4225.                   That the coming weeks are busy and challenging
4226.                   That these challenges are good speaking assignments
4227.                   For the wisdom that looks 2-3 weeks ahead to see what’s coming
4228.                   That I will soon be third place in the world on the world’s number one article directory
4229.                   For the prospect of the meeting taking place on Tuesday night
4230.                   For the ‘magic’ in little beginnings
4231.                   That there is already forming in me a kin for this place
4232.                   For the emergent love of this area and its people
4233.                   That I can sit here; for the ease of freedom in my whole life
4234.                   For the mistakes I made yesterday that I could laugh about last night
4235.                   That life doesn’t stop at defeat
4236.                   For all those years where I diligently fathered my now adult daughters
4237.                   Wow, I am do blessed to have three beautiful women as daughters
4238.                   For that aspect of life that seems surreal; did that really happen?
4239.                   For the perspective God gives me as I take this time to connect with life and with Him
4240.                   For News delivered quickly with gusto
4241.                   For the number God placed into my mind just now
4242.                   For what God does in me as I sense signs of progress
4243.                   For the efficiency of focus
4244.                   For the knowledge that frustration and distraction are dysfunctional cousins
4245.                   For the rhythm in keeping the pace
4246.                   For those times when my mind overcomes itself saying ‘I cannot do this’
4247.                   For the value inherent in work
4248.                   For the moment the penny drops… I can ENJOY this work
4249.                   That at 7:09 AM I imagine my son and wife laying in bed chatting or tickling or something
4250.                   That it occurs to me that busyness is my last resentment
4251.                   That I can say NO!
4252.                   For the empowerment I feel in getting ahead to earn the right to enjoy the work
4253.                   That all work is good if there isn't time pressure… if I can truly enjoy it
4254.                   That one day soon I will be riding longer distances
4255.                   That a hot day tomorrow doesn't deter my passion
4256.                   For the chance to catch up with peers tomorrow
4257.                   For the blessedness in enjoying modern engineering
4258.                   For that sweet machine that drove past
4259.                   The beauty and majesty in the early morning
4260.                   For how my heart feels when I look at my wife!
4261.                   For the prayer that the day’s quota will be finished in threes… then to get well ahead
4262.                   That today is to a day to get ahead!
4263.                   For the love flowing through my veins this moment
4264.                   For the rich, heartfelt prayer for a friend
4265.                   For friendship ministry
4266.                   That I have all I need
4267.                   That I need never panic, it only causes me to sin
4268.                   For the revelations that I get, that I forget, that I pray I csn recollect
4269.                   That there is always more, especially when I feel there is no more
4270.                   For the state of mind I’m in right now that I call Thought Production
4271.                   For the numbers that impact my mood positively
4272.                   For the state I find myself in when the world and all the enemy's angels cannot knock me of balance
4273.                   For the constant reminders I get that this world is a spiritual realm
4274.                   That God has WON the victory!
4275.                   That this day will be about that victory!
4276.                   That at 7:35 AM God is teaching me something very important through experience
4277.                   That experience is wonder through personal awareness
4278.                   That the body’s processes can elicit pure joy
4279.                   For the pain that is possible and any moment that pain isn't experienced
4280.                   Love chugging up the mountain like a steam train
4281.                   That I could do 100 before 8AM
4282.                   That I could add my work to a public toilet and clean it
4283.                   That soon a different phase will commence
4284.                   Look ahead at what looms… can you get sight of joy?
4285.                   16 days out through 20, nice to grant the subconscious permission to enter that fray
4286.                   Did you feel what just started?
4287.                   Like an electronic game, there are levels in this life to ascend
4288.                   So… ascend
4289.                   That there are separate presences to be felt, all spiritually valid, all of God
4290.                   That feeling when nearly there… keep going up the mount!
4291.                   That on arriving home I wanted to clean the shed out
4292.                   That when I finished I could actually walk inside the shed
4293.                   For the motivation to fix my wife’s bike
4294.                   That the bike wasn’t irreparable
4295.                   That in sorting the shed multiple conflicts were resolved
4296.                   For the receipt of several revelations – to the point of pressure!
4297.                   For the tiredness that comes as a result of inspirational overload
4298.                   For the massive learning breakthrough we had with our son
4299.                   For the creation of a ‘Milo break’ that helps our son deal with frustration
4300.                   That we can do something pleasurable to ward against frustration (12:21 PM)
4301.                   For Veggie Tales as an alternative to secular children’s television
4302.                   For the church history books I found in the shed
4303.                   That we could do a reconnaissance of the location for our son’s fifth birthday
4304.                   For family time
4305.                   That we saw and engaged with Ma.’s family at the Aquatic Centre
4306.                   That I got to chat with De., Ma.’s father – really nice bloke
4307.                   For the salt and vinegar chips we shared as a family outside
4308.                   That we got to scope some improvements to the shed
4309.                   For the opportunity to clean up
4310.                   To frequent a new takeaway store and begin striking up rapport
4311.                   For the opportunity after dinner to go out again and get bread and fuel for the car
4312.                   That in getting coffee and spilling it everywhere I got the opportunity to joyously clean it all up… and the cup was still half full
4313.                   For the opportunity to be reminded how functional and effective I am doing Administration work
4314.                   That in writing for anyone who might read the world over, the Lord reads me, and He sifts me
4315.                   That this day has been what it promised to be – productive
4316.                   That I could come to my Princess’s emotional rescue and squash a bug
4317.                   That I got my message and PW presenter’s notes printed well in advance
4318.                   For the opportunity to press home the advantage – more to write

6 March 2018

4319.                   Woken in a dream again, which is insight as to where I am at
4320.                   Quiet drive in the dark towards work
4321.                   Arrived safely
4322.                   Recognising I am now outright third in the world at something; out of 380,000 others; never thought I’d be here ten years ago
4323.                   For the plans I have of what I could do this morning
4324.                   Reflecting on yesterday and the feeling of accomplishment
4325.                   For the earthy smell of fresh rain on pavement
4326.                   That a job simple enough went super smooth, something to show
4327.                   That a chance waking last night worked out especially well
4328.                   That due an incorrect alarm setting, I got to see my son today; at 5:15 AM
4329.                   That it's just me and the mosquitos
4330.                   For the privilege of providing a lift
4331.                   For seeing a place to clean that I may have overlooked
4332.                   That I get to exercise while I work
4333.                   Oh the chance to do one or three things more than I had planned
4334.                   That I got to carry the new microwave up into the staff room
4335.                   For the reminder of air on a humid morning
4336.                   For a minute or two to breath that air
4337.                   How good to have a good start?
4338.                   For the opportunity to let someone know I haven’t forgotten them
4339.                   For the pleasure in compromise
4340.                   For memory – of yesterday and of a thousand yesterdays – aĺl safely kept in the vault
4341.                   Again, for the significance and surety of the numerical system
4342.                   For the breeze to cool me down after work and shower
4343.                   Out of the phone box and into chaplaincy
4344.                   For meeting Jo. at prayer group and hearing them sing and pray
4345.                   For the sense of God’s peace over those prayers
4346.                   That there were new parents there
4347.                   That there was a word – utter dependence
4348.                   Made it safely with time to spare for a peer catch up
4349.                   For a place I used to call home
4350.                   For rapid service
4351.                   That I have exactly what I need; the need for Jesus
4352.                   That I got to see a children’s pastor I have been in ministry with - great to say hi
4353.                   For the vibe as I wait – much rather wait than be late
4354.                   That I have this day
4355.                   That I can encourage anyone with my smile
4356.                   For the good news I just heard
4357.                   That I could copy text from WhatsApp
4358.                   Realising that in strength there is a key disadvantage – heaven help us when we are so well equipped that we rely on others – Lord, be merciful enough to take away every scaffold of dependence on any other thing than You!
4359.                   For the grace given to me nearly 15 years ago when I had nothing
4360.                   That there is privacy here
4361.                   For the journey immediately ahead
4362.                   For fasting, which reminds me of what I usually take for granted
4363.                   For the Lord's word ‘that’, as in ‘write on that’
4364.                   For the colours in my salad
4365.                   For 10-minute reminders
4366.                   That people rely on those they have found trustworthy
4367.                   For my body's response to cough when something is stuck in my throat
4368.                   For the will and ability to affect a fix
4369.                   That I could get to and from the hardware store quickly
4370.                   That little inconvenience was suffered
4371.                   That I got the correct part
4372.                   For air conditioning that cooled me down
4373.                   For help in the provision of an important list
4374.                   That there was clarity in messages from other staff
4375.                   That prayer got me home safely
4376.                   For a bed to collapse on
4377.                   That I have a wife who is unflappable (a great majority of the time)
4378.                   That I got to spend time outside watching my son paint
4379.                   That my son’s use of paint used creativity
4380.                   That dinner was cooked for me
4381.                   That I was able to negotiate with my son so he could accept the consequences of his poor behaviour
4382.                   For the books we read together
4383.                   For the chat in bed before we turned the light out
4384.                   That whilst I put my son to bed my wife could shower
4385.                   That an important meeting about my role at church went well
4386.                   For the wrestle I underwent writing my latest offering
4387.                   For the fact I can pick up shopping for my wife tomorrow
4388.                   That my wife has some wonderful ideas for our son’s birthday
4389.                   That the timing of things went well today
4390.                   For the fact I have internet access through my phone
4391.                   That my wife is truly a partner – she is easy to live with
4392.                   For the product of work – genuine tiredness
4393.                   That God has shown me today how people trust in things not of Him
4394.                   How there is enough time
4395.                   That I helped my son with his toileting routine
4396.                   For the prospects of tomorrow to prepare for the days ahead
4397.                   That we have settled into this area nicely
4398.                   For the waves we receive and give as we drive down our street
4399.                   That we have had a big day and are thankful for it
4400.                   That I have something to give to my son’s teacher tomorrow

7 March 2018

4401.                   For a walk before dawn
4402.                   For the opportunity to lay things out
4403.                   That I get to start all over again
4404.                   For the mind’s capacity even upon waking
4405.                   That walk exercises the entire body
4406.                   For the amount of people who will walk into this shop
4407.                   How the bag is a barrier
4408.                   For eye contact that communicates so much
4409.                   That there are still aspects of life to be overcome
4410.                   For the reflection in the window
4411.                   That wonder is a gift to the open mind
4412.                   That as a missionary in my local area I have intrinsic purpose
4413.                   For the capacity of this shop to serve so many needs
4414.                   For the kindness of the barista
4415.                   That I am capable for the tasks today
4416.                   That I can work with children in my son’s class today
4417.                   That today there is the hint of freedom
4418.                   That life as it is lived seems like it will never end
4419.                   For the hint of rain in the air outside
4420.                   For the sophisticated technology on a motor vehicle these days
4421.                   That today two weeks from now I graduate
4422.                   For what that week will represent
4423.                   That because I persisted I arrived
4424.                   For the reassurance that I have ‘saved’
4425.                   That it doesn’t take as long to do something when I’m focused
4426.                   That there is blessing ahead according to the amount of gratitude I allow to blossom now
4427.                   For the headlights that signal presence and safety
4428.                   For those times the eye is caught
4429.                   That the constant movement of the body prevents injury
4430.                   For the blessing possible in a positive attitude
4431.                   That there is one King over all, Jesus
4432.                   For the opportunity to praise His name any and every day
4433.                   That there is a third of a quota in next to no time
4434.                   For the grace accorded me in living this life as His creation
4435.                   For the sweet music played here
4436.                   For friendship in the giving and receiving of coffee
4437.                   That there is pain in a stretch that provides information
4438.                   For the fact both my parents are alive
4439.                   That my daughters and brothers live close by
4440.                   For the milestones to be celebrated this month
4441.                   That I have what it takes despite the mind's lack of confidence at times
4442.                   For the fact I’m not in that queue
4443.                   For the opportunity for patience when in a queue
4444.                   For the workers of our nation
4445.                   For the breaking news of the day
4446.                   That God has the victory and reconciles all
4447.                   For the grace and ease in not counting
4448.                   For the function of maintenance
4449.                   That I know my mind divided is compromise I prefer not to make
4450.                   For the manager of this establishment
4451.                   That the time taken is fundamental to the execution of a task
4452.                   That we all need time
4453.                   That we all have needs
4454.                   That I am always best off being honest
4455.                   For the quota and how it empowers (or disempowers)
4456.                   For the best laid plans
4457.                   That the sultry sky reminds me of being in another place
4458.                   That I am called home
4459.                   For a mother’s commitment to her children
4460.                   For the walk that takes me back from whence I have come
4461.                   For the efficiency in rail
4462.                   For this new street of ours
4463.                   That even in the cajoling of plans there is a way ahead
4464.                   For the ensuing vision that can only come to pass
4465.                   For one’s children and their children to come
4466.                   That here again is evidence of progress
4467.                   That I wish always to honour my God
4468.                   For the short time I’ve been away from home
4469.                   For the flatness in this road
4470.                   For the peace in the tweeting of birds
4471.                   For a problem that presents that must be overcome
4472.                   That belief for a solution is part of the solution
4473.                   That I never know how or why I’ll be needed
4474.                   That I am at my best when I’m ready
4475.                   That there is wisdom in waiting in favour of being late
4476.                   That the journey of learning is long and God does not give up
4477.                   For the grace incumbent is sweet to me
4478.                   For the noises my body can produce
4479.                   That a bad mood can be overcome as I stand back and be still
4480.                   That a negative attitude fixes nothing, and nothing changes the fact, which is such a reliable truth
4481.                   For my son’s loading and starting of the dishwasher
4482.                   That we are ready well ahead of time – a precious few extra minutes of discretionary time
4483.                   For a child absorbed in play
4484.                   Where there is peace as there is now – enjoying it while it lasts
4485.                   That the challenge remains ever before me, driving me into purpose, away from despair
4486.                   For the idea that I’m nearly there this morning at 7:57 AM, but that I will need to pause
4487.                   That the giving of the Christian Teacher Network card was exactly what was required
4488.                   For the opportunity to cut up fruit for the children in my son’s class
4489.                   That even in spilling coffee all over a desk, some good can be still be done – reminded me I had washing to do
4490.                   For the fact my Friday is now free
4491.                   That in reflecting over last night’s meeting I can see a little more of God’s plan for my life
4492.                   For a chat on the phone with someone I’m helping – observing positive signs regarding reconciliation
4493.                   For the fact that today has seemed unproductive, but I have spent time in several areas demanding my attention
4494.                   That as I chatted on the phone I remembered that my pastoral shape is often prophetic
4495.                   For the fact that today started well, and the pressure was off from the beginning
4496.                   That I hope to get one more nap before picking my son up from school
4497.                   That it means little to me how much life costs me – to pour out my life is a privilege
4498.                   That as I reflect on the roles of leaders in churches I am thankful for leaders
4499.                   For the ideas that have not come today – sweet reprieve
4500.                   For the prayers being prayed for me today
4501.                   That I received my graduation papers today
4502.                   For the sight of my son running off in the distance toward the playground with other students
4503.                   For the chat I had with Ha.’s mother, Je, when waiting for school to finish
4504.                   For the desire to connect with other parents
4505.                   That my son wanted to show me the new show in his kids’ television channel
4506.                   That I overcame the temptation to quit before I started – then folded all the washing and cooked dinner
4507.                   That my wife was able to be heard by me when I needed to be spoken to
4508.                   That an apology was forthcoming and all in the household heard it
4509.                   For the compromise at the dinner table
4510.                   That the chores were shared in a very equitable manner
4511.                   For the inspiration to write an article for my Lord
4512.                   That I am satisfied to go to bed having done a good day’s work

8 March 2018

4513.                   For another gorgeously quiet drive
4514.                   For some tasks to direct my efforts
4515.                   That life conditions our mind and heart through experience
4516.                   For the devotional material I have for today
4517.                   That all is quiet in this particular work
4518.                   That quiet is good for contemplation
4519.                   That I have picked up my spare coat hangers already
4520.                   That as can be expected the minutes tick by
4521.                   For an excitingly full day
4522.                   For the delight experienced when something works out simpler than expected
4523.                   For four screws that leapt out at me when I normally find such things hard to find
4524.                   For a plan that will exceed someone's expectations
4525.                   That there are several minutes available now
4526.                   For well serviced and reliable machinery
4527.                   For water on tap
4528.                   For a job done before I looked at it
4529.                   That I could set up a space creatively for a meeting
4530.                   That I got more done than I planned
4531.                   That this work is invigorating
4532.                   That work like this piques the mind
4533.                   For the time I get to be ready
4534.                   For the grot on my skin that washes so easily off
4535.                   For the water I take for granted
4536.                   That today I can excel
4537.                   For if God is for me, who can be against me
4538.                   For the blessings I will receive and give today
4539.                   For the power in honest authenticity
4540.                   For Ev. who served me with such humility and delight
4541.                   For on International Women's Day for all women who havd ever lived
4542.                   That there is more equality for my daughters now than there was fifty years ago
4543.                   For my capacity to discipline students redemptively
4544.                   For the character of children who epitomize play
4545.                   For the meeting that took place outside today
4546.                   That I could assist three teachers this morning
4547.                   For this moment as I muse about the world and my place in it
4548.                   For straight lawn edges I saw just now that remind mevof the order possible in life
4549.                   For this private place
4550.                   For the occasional pain in my knee that reminds me of the function in that knee
4551.                   For the thanks I received from stakeholders on two separate occasions today
4552.                   For contact with a parent about another parent and their challenge
4553.                   How God’s promises work out in incredibly interesting and amazing ways!
4554.                   For the kinship shared between special persons of special relationships
4555.                   How God grows things in directions I had not contemplated before
4556.                   That God always has more blessing for us than we can handle
4557.                   For the presence of mind to check a detail
4558.                   For the opportunity to encourage a young man tonight
4559.                   That anything bad I go through is meant for my ultimate good
4560.                   That life experience can be shared
4561.                   For the opportunity to talk with a family member who is really struggling
4562.                   That I can brainstorm support needed
4563.                   For knowledge of the spiritual dimension in life
4564.                   For the knowledge I work well in crisis
4565.                   For the knowledge I have a weakness that I can make of the banal a crisis it should never be
4566.                   For the redemptive plan in play in life
4567.                   Just a cool number!
4568.                   For the belief there is a way through
4569.                   That God puts life into context
4570.                   For those of age too young to know how cruel and dark this world can be
4571.                   For when teachers record the sessions I do with the students, which is about legacy
4572.                   For getting and keeping cool
4573.                   For the memory when it reminds me of things I thought I didn't know
4574.                   For Za., Ca., and Be.
4575.                   For when the principal beats me to sweeping up messes
4576.                   For the knowledge only God Himself could know
4577.                   For prayer support because prayer is the best any of us can do
4578.                   For the anticipation possible preceding the delivery of a message
4579.                   For the very life I lead today
4580.                   For the greetings I get in every room I visit
4581.                   For the helpful and positive culture in this school
4582.                   That I got to meet another neighbour – from number 23
4583.                   That reason was ultimately established in a parental standoff
4584.                   For the stop I took on the way home to ensure I wasn’t tired on the road
4585.                   That my family works together to help, and always has
4586.                   For the concern I have for my children seemingly at all times
4587.                   That my wife has already chosen the songs for an Easter service I’m leading
4588.                   To hear my wife and son playing piano together
4589.                   To hear my eldest daughter’s voice
4590.                   For the chance to talk with a friend who has had tragic news
4591.                   That a prayer meeting was an anointed time of fellowship
4592.                   For the chance to intercede on behalf of the saints
4593.                   For the Spirit’s power that I could pray in the power of tongues
4594.                   That I could support a couple who are supporting us via prayer ministry
4595.                   That where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name, there He is with us
4596.                   For the blessing I can be simply being me with my experiences
4597.                   For the prayers I have for a pair of battlers
4598.                   For the belief I have that God is about to do something big – if that is His will
4599.                   That I was paid an unusual compliment today
4600.                   For the person who said ‘you are a picture of joy’ today

9 March 2018

4601.                   That I had the opportunity to ‘panic’ because my phone was faulty – how fortunate I am to have so little to panic about
4602.                   That everyone I care about as far as I know is okay
4603.                   That there is discretional time today
4604.                   For the idea that I have tasks to plan and execute over the next few weeks
4605.                   For the opportunity to deliver birthday invites – discreetly!
4606.                   For patience in dealing with a four-year-old who is difficult to motivate this morning
4607.                   For a prayer to prays for poise when frustration mounts
4608.                   That there is remembrance of our deceased son when I look down at my keys
4609.                   That this phone seems to be working again
4610.                   For awareness of anxiety today
4611.                   That the next step is not to relax but step into routine
4612.                   That this place is home base
4613.                   For the calmness when it returns
4614.                   That the life is relentless which is nice to know
4615.                   For thought of what can be done today and this weekend
4616.                   For staff in any position that involves intense focus for any length of time
4617.                   For those tyres that hold me safe on the road
4618.                   That I got the invitations out relatively simply
4619.                   For the group of young male employees who can share a laugh with each other
4620.                   For all the myriad plans of all these people
4621.                   That there is hope in the resplendence of light
4622.                   For the Harley riders cruising through
4623.                   For the confidence in the friendly voice right near me
4624.                   That God is good that He keeps the faith with our presentations of veneer, when anxiety rides too high
4625.                   That there are truths too high for most of us most of the time
4626.                   For the eclectic nature in certain persons
4627.                   For the peace in a coffee shop environment
4628.                   For the prayers I hold for the safety of the diasporic hi-viz brigade
4629.                   For the blessing we normally reject in busyness
4630.                   For the people of this area… anyone who calls this place home!
4631.                   That bond the exists between friends
4632.                   For the irrelevance in money
4633.                   For diligence that proves frugal with financial resources
4634.                   That for some there is so much wealth there is obliviousness to the plight of others – God allows this freedom
4635.                   That eyes and ears might be opened for hearts to receive
4636.                   For blessed perspective
4637.                   That there is still more and ever more to do in building God’s Kingdom
4638.                   For the opportunity to present my thoughts on radio media
4639.                   That there is a place for all people on this planet – mine is the role of advocacy
4640.                   That there is five minutes spare
4641.                   For the idea that structure is good
4642.                   That many things can be done, but to do one thing is good
4643.                   For the varieties in the roles I presently play
4644.                   That some days are easier than other days
4645.                   That I get through the hard days
4646.                   For the knowledge and the awareness that little things upset me
4647.                   For a checklist on whether I’m following Jesus or Pharisees
4648.                   That life is in the moment now
4649.                   That in life there are goals and a purpose – until there is a time, temporarily, to let go
4650.                   For a successful interview
4651.                   That’s it’s easy to get lost in the minutia – we are given so much life
4652.                   For the recordings of interviews I get back
4653.                   That there is one more free hour
4654.                   For the greetings we receive every day by the crosswalk attendant
4655.                   That there is power in a decision
4656.                   For the capacity and courage to say no
4657.                   For such an understanding wife
4658.                   For the rapport my son has with his classmates
4659.                   That I feel like I have nothing left to give and that that is okay
4660.                   For the grace God gives me every day in more than a thousand ways
4661.                   That my wife put my dry-cleaning in to be done
4662.                   That we took the easy way out for dinner
4663.                   That my son wanted the boy’s toy
4664.                   That we were able to retrieve the lost toy
4665.                   For my son as he sings, ‘I am, you are, we are Australia’
4666.                   That again I am stung by a paralysis – but I cannot give up
4667.                   Over the cusp and into the last third, there is hope in me yet
4668.                   For the sounds of my son at 7:42 PM in bed but still awake – he will be asleep soon
4669.                   For the ideal of friendliness
4670.                   That I was able to level up the washing machine
4671.                   That I think I know how I can fix my bike
4672.                   For the recreation time my hard-working wife has now
4673.                   That there is much variety in my life
4674.                   For the chat my wife and I had about her work colleague (Ne.) who is struggling
4675.                   That sometimes in life it’s an uphill battle and it feels that way right now
4676.                   For the ideas, the breakthroughs, that come without warning
4677.                   For the chat I had just now with a friend about a friend – the prayers and plans we have
4678.                   For the preparations I have made for tomorrow
4679.                   That I can go and get cleaned up now
4680.                   That soon tonight will give way to sleep, but not just yet
4681.                   That some/many of the opportunities I’ve been given over my life are bizarrely good
4682.                   For the movement of God at hand as of this moment
4683.                   For the tree in our back yard that the bees have had to devour
4684.                   That there are hopes that I have…
4685.                   For my love of this new community of mine – how I will be able to serve God’s kingdom in the years to come
4686.                   For that ill feeling I had today, that it didn’t last
4687.                   For the wrestles I had with my son this afternoon that make much sense
4688.                   That God has given me so much – equipping me for now and what is to come
4689.                   For the prayers I have for my eldest – that everything will go well
4690.                   For the cash I have with me that gives me options
4691.                   That there is nearly about 53 percent to go in this challenge – it seems like quite the journey
4692.                   For the prayers of others for us and for me that I really do covet
4693.                   That I am so little without God
4694.                   For every single time someone I really respect shares my work
4695.                   That I trust my experience and perceptions are valuable to and for others – God tells me to trust it
4696.                   For another opportunity to get behind a pulpit this weekend
4697.                   That in deep discouragement, a profound encouragement can just be around the corner
4698.                   For the possessions I have of my daughters that they at this time don’t seem to value
4699.                   That there are possibilities that I cannot contemplate tomorrow
4700.                   For the plans I have early tomorrow morning
4701.                   That those plans include repairs for a bike and the mounting of pin-up boards

10 March 2018

4702.                   That my alarm woke me up
4703.                   For the fact that gratitude was on my mind from the start
4704.                   That I'm learning something about gratitude I never thought I'd need to learn
4705.                   That there is a force within me today
4706.                   For the fact it is not three weeks ago today
4707.                   That Easter is in three weeks
4708.                   For a quiet and peaceful ride
4709.                   That I have a water bottle with me
4710.                   That I get to help my eldest daughter today
4711.                   For the plans I have to get a gear cable around the corner
4712.                   For the time I will make to wrestle with my son today
4713.                   For the planning I will bath in prayer today
4714.                   That my wife and son sleep in peace right now at 6:02 AM
4715.                   For yesterday’s capacity to have a low day
4716.                   For the blessings ahead that today knows nothing about
4717.                   That at my age I know what I can endure
4718.                   For thought of what the Remaining years might be like
4719.                   That I’m not here alone
4720.                   For the strategy I have for this exercise today
4721.                   That today I get to play
4722.                   That part one of an important job went seamlessly
4723.                   That there is such peace and quiet in this room
4724.                   For the cherished safety I often take for granted
4725.                   That God never ceases to amaze me… my diligence added to His faithfulness!
4726.                   A job that just inspires confidence
4727.                   That I could do with my innovation a two-man job
4728.                   For how well my body’s holding up
4729.                   That hard work bequeaths time to ponder and plan
4730.                   That in a few hours there will be family time
4731.                   That today marks a fortnight from a different place and time for my thoughts
4732.                   For the opportunity to begin an article so I won’t forget to write it
4733.                   For my experience on that subject matter
4734.                   That I am servant hearted
4735.                   For the wisdom to do something now whilst I’m thinking about it
4736.                   That today is cool and beautifully breezy
4737.                   For perspective beyond the gates
4738.                   For the teachers and staff that ply their craft here
4739.                   For the grateful feeling I need to add to each of these Reasons
4740.                   That I’m nearly done here
4741.                   The Good Lord God blesses the grateful, forgiving, compassionate heart. Always.
4742.                   For the work done and for the work to be done… there is always purpose
4743.                   That gratitude is an attitude not a feeling… a decision of intent
4744.                   That I was able to pick up my bike cable quickly and cheaply
4745.                   That common sense prevailed regarding a job I was to do for a relative
4746.                   For time spent discussing a new relationship
4747.                   For the time we could spend as a family at the bike park
4748.                   That I could return another shopping trolley
4749.                   That my son rode his first burm
4750.                   For the shopping my wife was able to do after we finished at the bike park
4751.                   For my opportunity to repair another boy’s bike
4752.                   That I personally rode more bumps and burms than I thought I would have
4753.                   That we have three bicycles that work now
4754.                   For the traction my articles have had in recent days
4755.                   For the short discussion on respect between my son and his mother
4756.                   For the appreciation our son showed us for taking him out today
4757.                   For the television time our son has earned
4758.                   That we had sunscreen to put on to protect us from the sun
4759.                   For the interactions I’m always praying on having in our new community
4760.                   That we are protected here by Almighty God
4761.                   For the push that is in me right now – which is just a push away
4762.                   That as I sit here, the harder work of the day done, I sit content
4763.                   For the party across the road – a family we have not met yet
4764.                   For the eggs that my son liked which we added to our meal
4765.                   That my wife has the time to shower in peace
4766.                   That we will use a machine to clean our dishes tonight
4767.                   For the humming noise made by our son when he enjoys what he’s eating
4768.                   For the request of a person who wanted me to write on drug addiction
4769.                   For my wife’s work ethic – she just keeps going and going and going
4770.                   For the way in which our son went to bed
4771.                   For the reminder of what can happen when I take my eye off small children
4772.                   For the wind outside, because it reminds us of God’s great power
4773.                   For the ideas that the Holy Spirit gives me
4774.                   That my body is capable of relieving joint pressure and pain
4775.                   For the time I will spend with my wife tonight
4776.                   For the birthday a special someone had yesterday
4777.                   For an important family member’s new relationship
4778.                   That there are different ways of doing the same thing
4779.                   That there are mysteries for which I will never know why
4780.                   For the individual elements in the important message I have to preach tomorrow
4781.                   That I can choose to be grateful
4782.                   That there was an attempt at sleep
4783.                   That I never know when an article will just come out
4784.                   For the inspiration behind someone else’s article that prompts my latest offering
4785.                   That here I am seven minutes to midnight believing I can finish
4786.                   For the fact that we are safe inside while the storm rages
4787.                   That I feel ready for tomorrow’s message
4788.                   For the excitement I feel for the month’s duties
4789.                   For the way words come
4790.                   For God’s sponsorship and endorsement
4791.                   That I will continue doing my best – it’s all I can do – it’s always good enough
4792.                   That there are few reasons I see for going a different path – maybe none
4793.                   For the thought I had of a bygone era – go back twenty years! Youngest daughter in utero
4794.                   For the blessings I receive that I have no idea are coming
4795.                   For the keys I have
4796.                   That I do know enough to succeed in my life
4797.                   For the moments soon where consciousness shall give way to unconsciousness
4798.                   That I can receive peace many ways
4799.                   For the ideas I see others have that make me marvel
4800.                   That I have arrived at the way station!

11 March 2018

4801.                   That there was six hours (almost) solid sleep
4802.                   For patience in cleaning up a mess
4803.                   For the people’s appreciation for what I offer, which I do not deserve
4804.                   That God gives me such freedom that I may eat unwisely – my opportunity is self-control
4805.                   That God extends His grace to me in so many ways
4806.                   For waking up
4807.                   That the winds have died down
4808.                   For the rain that has come
4809.                   That (haven’t been outside yet) there hasn’t been any damage sustained
4810.                   For the excitement in me that I get to preach an especially important message today
4811.                   For today, it’s very own day, with not a minute short compared with other days
4812.                   That I get to see my son pretend he’s walking on snow in his room – using snow shoes
4813.                   Scanning my calendar makes me feel good at this stage
4814.                   That soon I see there is one week off
4815.                   But before that there is one week off
4816.                   Looking forward to school camp first week of May – in a much better place than whilst on the previous one!
4817.                   That I can hear my son playing nicely by himself (6:30 AM)
4818.                   For the box scores for Bourges Tango so I can update myself for Ru.
4819.                   That God has given me the friends I have
4820.                   For the capacity to bless people I know with my heart – for me to be blessed by them
4821.                   That there is even time for this
4822.                   For the time I will be making this week to truly reflect
4823.                   Ten reasons God is so good – this can’t be too hard
4824.                   There is always hope, even in the worst despair
4825.                   God catches me most when I’m falling or have fell
4826.                   That He has given me this mind, body and soul
4827.                   That life is so extraordinary in context of the eternal
4828.                   I have a wife and she is so gorgeous
4829.                   For the children I have and how long I’ve been a parent
4830.                   That I understand the need to love and how to love
4831.                   That there is blessing ahead because I must love
4832.                   For toys that help my son create and innovate
4833.                   That there are ten minutes still free
4834.                   That I was able to get my USB to our sound guy
4835.                   For producing a song book and printing it out
4836.                   For getting ahead and producing two more for Easter
4837.                   That my articles have been shared so much in the past few days
4838.                   That the weight of numbers creates sustainable weight
4839.                   For meeting Sh. At church and chatting about kids’ El. and Le.
4840.                   That the message today was received well, particularly by women
4841.                   For the body language of those who listened
4842.                   For Ja. and Jo. who are special
4843.                   To be interviewed for an important role
4844.                   For being asked my view – what I would do
4845.                   For the fellowship with new persons at church
4846.                   That I was prepared to go to the park when my son wanted me to
4847.                   For the rest I so desperately needed
4848.                   For the meal my wife is presently preparing for us
4849.                   That on Sunday afternoons we have time to really go insular
4850.                   That I’ve had two times today when I could get lost inside myself
4851.                   For children’s television that focuses on learning
4852.                   For the hearts and minds of the saints
4853.                   For the prayers I was able to pray for Ga. today
4854.                   That I was able to get something tasty for lunch
4855.                   For a drive around our community
4856.                   For the genuine desire in my heart to serve our local community
4857.                   For the endorsement of the eldership of our church
4858.                   That I never need to be good enough – happy to be who I am
4859.                   For the fact that we were able to break a chain today and begin a new pattern
4860.                   For the demonstration of grace in how a couple were used at church
4861.                   That there are more opportunities today to write and to inspire change
4862.                   For the feeling I had before I got up to speak today – I really wanted to speak today
4863.                   For the feeling I have when I can’t get the words out quickly enough
4864.                   That I know what it’s like when true forgiveness isn’t possible – to be ready
4865.                   For being able to balance two people’s attention at a time when they both wanted me
4866.                   For the willingness in a younger man who wants to play for us
4867.                   That there is humility in a particular family
4868.                   For the resolution of an important issue
4869.                   That the shop is not too far from our house
4870.                   For the plans I have for the next message and its preparation tonight
4871.                   That I love steaming through these Reasons now – looking for excuses to be grateful
4872.                   That the goodness of God is everywhere
4873.                   That even in despair there is a way out called hope
4874.                   That chaplaincy excites me
4875.                   That there are so many good things to be involved with – focus is required
4876.                   For my wife’s desire to get quiet time watering the garden
4877.                   For the tunes my son is humming as he goes to sleep
4878.                   For the shower that I’m about to have
4879.                   That there is space ahead
4880.                   For the time I have planned to be at the Foodary tomorrow morning
4881.                   That the interactions I had today were about the eternity between souls
4882.                   For Di.’s health and wellbeing
4883.                   For the sound of my wife’s singing
4884.                   That even when I get behind I can, with focus, get ahead again
4885.                   For encouragement that comes from the least expected source – happens so much
4886.                   That there are aspirations to show my son so many things about cars
4887.                   For the desire to teach my son about care
4888.                   That God is so faithful… as I approach the halfway mark tomorrow, not at any point have I fallen behind – He has always provided me the time
4889.                   That tomorrow is a day OFF
4890.                   For back stretches
4891.                   That I will soon have the latest collection of messages to review
4892.                   That there are two places I find peace – relationships and tasks
4893.                   For the contemplatives and mystics through the ages
4894.                   That there is one job to do, then onto the next thing
4895.                   For the recovery in sleep
4896.                   That there are relationships in the past that are left in the past
4897.                   For relationships that have not even commenced yet – that only God knows about
4898.                   For the unofficial chaplain ministry
4899.                   For the ability to soak in certain material – for an incarnational spring to form within
4900.                   For the progress of this latest message

12 March 2018

4901.                   That I was woken early – yes, a good thing
4902.                   For a windy, cool morning
4903.                   For the sight of my mission before me
4904.                   That I have no problem waiting at 5:08 AM
4905.                   I recognise when the pressure is not on
4906.                   For times of changeover when issues are critical
4907.                   For how different music sounds meld beautifully together
4908.                   That there are times to stand or sit back and relax – when needs are simple
4909.                   That today of all days is when progress may finally start
4910.                   For the wonder in systems that are managed seamlessly
4911.                   For the mirror image
4912.                   That there are good things occurring all the time
4913.                   For the ability to restore posture
4914.                   That people are looking for genuine connection
4915.                   That there are real needs
4916.                   For when people absorb pressure for me
4917.                   For when I can absorb pressure for people
4918.                   That of all people today I could absorb pressure but that is not my role today
4919.                   That there is enjoyment in sitting, reflecting
4920.                   That today no matter what happens I will be content
4921.                   For the men, women and children who walk into this place
4922.                   For the force of the wind
4923.                   That today is the day the Lord has destined for goodness and grace to prevail
4924.                   That anomalies need not upset me
4925.                   For the commencement of a favoured fortnight of experience
4926.                   For the hopes one can have in a game
4927.                   That in a church like ours everyone can be known
4928.                   That seasons of upheaval blow their way into life
4929.                   That I might at this moment celebrate the good ending a younger person I know has had
4930.                   That there is glory in a thing done well
4931.                   For the time of equilibrium
4932.                   That times like this are to be cherished
4933.                   That places can long have been seen yet not known and then they are
4934.                   For the blessings known
4935.                   For the slow yet certain winds of change that blow in
4936.                   For the sharing of space
4937.                   That this place is place enough for anyone
4938.                   That the courses of life occur here
4939.                   For the purpose of an idea
4940.                   That the eclectic sense is the basis of creativity
4941.                   That blessing lives and dies in a thought or its absence
4942.                   For the appreciative perception of numbers
4943.                   That while this hour is a stretch it doesn’t feel like work
4944.                   For comradery
4945.                   That connection is the basis of all human need
4946.                   For the opportunities life gives when we are open
4947.                   For illusions that work in my favour
4948.                   That truth works best through confidence
4949.                   That the subjectivity in faith aids the objectivity in truth
4950.                   That beauty is everywhere that fear is not
4951.                   For image or facade is a choice when bravery is too high a bar to reach
4952.                   For the meeting of sources with needs
4953.                   That there need not be alarm
4954.                   That peace ought to prevail for all the right reasons
4955.                   For eloquent speech
4956.                   For elegance and class
4957.                   That today a new way can be forged as if there were no yesterday or tomorrow
4958.                   That endless are the possibilities
4959.                   For the life of a young athlete who has such a blessed character and is daily in my prayers
4960.                   For the life that struggles on day one of week two – God, be with!
4961.                   For another life, because of choices that could have been made
4962.                   To know the direction forged is right for me for now
4963.                   To be content
4964.                   That states of contentment are rest and resolve that help
4965.                   That everyone is on their journey
4966.                   For predictive text
4967.                   For neutral positions
4968.                   That now is both an abstract and a concrete concept
4969.                   For the hopes in a life - in every life
4970.                   For investments made in human undertakings
4971.                   For alarm bells and the response they evoke
4972.                   For the minutes ahead in this hour
4973.                   That today is lived in live time
4974.                   That neither memory nor hopes are relevant now in the present
4975.                   For the role memory and hopes play in reflection
4976.                   For the worker out there doing their level best
4977.                   For the life that is ruined by bankruptcy through others’ mismanagement – God, help that family, help me to do that
4978.                   For the sun as it rises
4979.                   For the sun as it sets
4980.                   For the natural order in things
4981.                   For the rate of progress
4982.                   That good things fill the receptacle of confidence
4983.                   For the state known as the new in the now
4984.                   For a new realisation completely devoid of fear and loneliness