proactive

Reactive or Proactive?

As you arch over a chess board in silence, and your opponent makes a crushing move, your gameplay changes dramatically. You must now react, and that gives your opponent the advantage. By putting you into a defensive mode he is safe from attack.

It is the same in life, church, occupation, family, friends when we become reactive rather than proactive, we settle for less than the best.

Some Examples

Jesus was proactive.

He took the lead, never deviating from His mission.

He preached, taught, healed, worked, loved, lived and died on His own terms, and He was (and is) the most influential being to walk the face of the earth.

You think of the truly significant people out there. Whether you agree with their ideology or not, they all have one thing in common, this intensely proactive stance.

  • Nelson Mandela – Despite intense opposition, a government that did not even recognise him as a citizen and a 27 year prison sentence, he proactively worked to bring about large-scale change in the country, eventually becoming the first black president of South Africa.  More info…
  • George Müller – Opened a string of orphanages and schools, preaching regularly throughout his life. He traveled 200,000 miles before air travel and without asking anyone for a single cent raised almost £1.4 Million. If we convert that to todays money, that is over $163,000,000. He cared for the orphans and educated them so well that local mines and factories found it difficult to obtain workers because most of the orphans went on to skilled trades or professional careers. Read More…
  • Andrew Carnegie – Started life in a poor family and got a job as a telegrapher, but before long invested in railways, became a bond salesman and ultimately founded the Carnegie Steel Company which sold for the equivalent of $13.6 billion. Carnegie then spent the rest of his life  in philanthropic endeavours which he believed to be the goal of life. Read More…

A proactive life does not necessarily mean you will be famous to the world, but it does mean that you have used the great gift that God has given you, called ‘Free Will’ and it is only by a right action of the will that we can live a life of relevance and purpose.

Today, I want to challenge you to take a proactive approach to three things.

Your spiritual life

If you do not take initiative and spend time with Jesus you are bound for a constant lukewarm experience.

Reactive Christianity is when we don’t pay God much attention until our life gets messy. We then get close enough to stop the pain but soon drift out again.

Then we start the cycle over.

Be proactive. Decide on the relationship you want with Jesus and be proactive about achieving it.  It will sustain you at all times, both good and bad.

Your family

Our first mission field must be our families. Being reactive will mean you only react to situations rather than creating them. It takes effort to have a good family. You must create the beautiful home atmosphere intentionally.

Define family time. Define acceptable conduct. Define family worship- not as a dictator but with great love and intentionality.

Your work

It does not matter if you work for a boss or you own your own business, this principle always applies.

If you examine the most outstanding employees in any business, they are proactive, they don’t wait for the environment to change, they become an agent of change and the company is better for it.

If you examine the best business owners you will find they are proactive, they do don’t set their course by their critics or their pain points. Once they identify a good course they take action until the goal is reached.

The rubber meets the road

Romans 12:2 says

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Our minds must be transformed if we are going to live the abundant, proactive life God wants us to live. This can only happen by the power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. Accept it anew today and chart your new course!

Coin with Caesars image

Who’s image do you bear?

Even though he never argued with anyone, Jesus is the greatest defender of the faith to walk the earth.

No matter how tricky the situation, with only a few words he was always able to send the would-be adversary away speechless.

Today I want to share one of these times with you.

You will find the record of this in Matthew 22:15-22 if you would like to read it for yourself.

Background

The Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus so they could accuse him falsely, so they devised a question for him that would give them occasion to accuse him no matter what way He answered.

The question was this:

“Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”(Matt 22:17)

Why was this a tough question?

To understand that we must consider the political situation they were operating in –

Here are some fast facts:

  • The Jewish nation was under Roman rule.
  • Tribute/taxes must be paid to the ruling nation
  • Paying taxes to Rome was of course an effrontery to their understanding of themselves as God’s sovereign nation.  Paying tribute only strengthens their captors.

So essentially, if Jesus said “Yes you should pay your taxes” they would have accused him of seeking favour with their Roman overlords and incited rebellion against him from the jews thus greatly damaging His ministry.

If he said “No, you should not pay your taxes” he would have been committing an offence in the eyes of the Romans and the Pharisees could have then accused Jesus of being a rebel seeking to destroy Rome’s power.

Jesus’ Answer

Jesus knew they were flattering him and trying to trap him with this question and he said so.

“Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?”

But he didn’t just leave it there, he gave them an answer they would never forget.

He asked them to bring him a denarius, which they did then he started by asking them a question.

“Whose image and inscription is this?”

They answered correctly in saying it was Caesar’s image.

By stating this obvious truth, he is getting them to bind themselves to the consequences of the argument before continuing to his point.

“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Why this is an awesome answer

He totally changed the issue in question from tax paying to one of service to God.

He did this by drawing their attention to Caesars image and assigning that as his right to receiving the tribute but then he brings in the concept of “rendering to God the things which are God’s

What bears God’s image? we find out in Genesis 1:27

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him;

Therefore the automatic conclusion is that since we bear the image of God we should be rendering our service and worship to God as his tribute – money is at best a minor secondary issue.

The bible says that the Jesus’ would-be accusers “marveled, and left Him and went their way”.

There really wasn’t anything more that could be said.

Let us remember who’s image we bear and render our life and energies to him.

temple copy

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

During the time of Passover, the Israelites were supposed to rid themselves and their houses of anything containing leaven, this is because leaven was symbolic of sin and Passover was symbolic of their deliverance from sin.

This is what makes the story of Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple so interesting. He cleanses the temple of the sinful practices going on within it.

This story can be found in all four gospels, but the one I was reading this morning is John 2:13-22.

Here we see Jesus in an unusual state, when he sees the marketplace in the temple, he is essentially seeing indulgences being sold, many of the animals were not fit to sacrifice.

On top of this, it was commanded by God through Moses that the people must raise the sacrifice as a pet to ensure there was an emotional bonding to the lamb, thus illustrating more keenly the pain of transgression when the lamb was slain.

When Jesus sees this abomination taking place, he erupts into righteous indignation and drives them all out of the temple in a rather dramatic scene wielding a make-shift whip and turning over tables.

This got me thinking about us, when we first accept Jesus, we usually have plenty of money-changers and illegal commerce going on in our hearts too. This is where he starts his work, just like when he delivered them from Egypt they purged the leaven from their homes, so too, when he delivers us from sin, he purges sin from our heart.

Just like Jesus cleansing the temple, It can be a painful process, but it is a liberating one for all who accept it.

To strengthen this link even further, it is important to recognise that the Bible states that our bodies are the temple of hype Holy Spirit.

Let us ask Jesus today to enter into our temple and evict any remnants of our old life that may be there.

PN

You will see greater things than these…

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry you find him selecting his disciples, today I was reading about Nathanael specifically and I noticed some lessons that I think we would do well to consider.

The story is found in John 1:43-51, but if you don’t have time to look it up, don’t worry I’ll give you an overview.

Overview

After Jesus selected Philip as a disciple, Phillip runs to Nathanael his brother and announces that he found the messiah.

Nathaniel is skeptical, but accepts his brother’s invitation to “Come and see“.

On arrival Jesus declares Nathaniel to be a good Israelite in whom is no deceit and furthermore describes where he was sitting before his brother came to him.

That was all Nathanael needed, he openly declared

“Rabbi, you are the son of God! You are the king of Israel!”

Lessons

Now it is time to look at the take-aways lessons from this story.

  1. You don’t need to be a trained evangelist to lead people to Jesus, you just need to know him yourself and invite others to come and see.
  2. Jesus knows where we have been and what we have done, we can trust him totally to do what is best for us.
  3. We should be quick to believe and slow to doubt.
  4. If we stay connected to the Messiah we will see still greater things.

Isn’t that exciting? the longer we stay connected to Jesus the greater the wonders we will see, so never give up your faith and he will show you greater and still greater things, thus will your faith be established.

If you have one of those ‘greater things’ that you would like to share, I would love to hear about it, tell me in the comments below.

2-1

Two to One

Have you ever felt like the odds are stacked against you?

I think we have all been there at some point.

Today I simply want to encourage you to never entertain the idea of being forsaken. Because, believe it or not, if you cast yourself upon the Saviour, no matter how dark the circumstances, for every agent of satan seeking your ruin there are two unfallen, Holy Angels who are on your side, we know this from Revelation 12:4

And [the Dragon's] tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth

We see that the stars typically represent the angels in prophecy (like the seven stars in Jesus hand of Revelation 1:16, and the morning stars singing together in Job 38:7) and we also see that it was satan’s angels that were cast to the earth with him in Revelation 12:9.

Therefore, if satan only deceived one third, that means that two thirds of the unseen celestial world, including Jesus, are on your side, and their goal is your salvation.

Be encouraged, you are not alone, lay hold of your relationship with Jesus by faith and you will find peace to your soul.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee- Isaiah 26:3.

 

I Got Married!

unnamedYeah. You read that right.

I got married. Hitched. Wedded. Joined in marriage. United in wedlock. Spliced.

Whatever you want to call it…

And it was fantastic! I am very blessed to have a wife like Sarah. It has been just over nine excellent months since our wedding, and I am only just now getting back to my blog to give you all the news.

We got married back on the 8th of December 2013 amongst a group of our dearest friends and family.

Here are a couple more photos for you to enjoy…

Firstly, the Bridal party

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and secondly, the family shot…

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And as if that wasn’t enough good news for one post, I have one more item (no, its not a baby announcement) It has been a long time since there were any kind of regular posts on this blog, I am hoping to change that by returning to a more regular blogging habit.

I look forward to seeing you all here for a mix of photography, life lessons, Bible discoveries and more!

Caleb our example

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As I was reading the word today I came across this passage… It made me long to be of a different spirit; Just like Caleb was…

It is challenging when we think of what that really means. When we look at the life of Caleb, we see a man who lived by faith and not by sight, he saw the world around him as God saw it, then acted as God would act.

Let us all strive to be the Caleb’s of this generation. Who knows if we might see the real promised land without seeing death!

2012 in REview–2013 in PREview

Here is my annual report! courtesy of the fine folks at WordPress… it is interesting to see it all, but quite dismal overall as far as traffic goes, I would like to say “2013 will be better, I’ll post more and get into it properly again” but that would be a lie, the truth of the matter is… I probably wont.

Why?

There are two reasons for this… one being my new Web Design business, Farbox Creative which is taking large chunks of my time (there will be an industry blog over there too) but the main reason I doubt I will be finding the time is the fact that on the 31-12-2012 I got engaged to a truly amazing woman(Seen here:bottom-right), and so there is a truck-load of planning to be done which may preclude me from reviving this blog fully.

So! I wish you all a blessed and safe 2013 and hope to post at least occasionally ;)

Luke.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

BPC:Falling

This challenge was a fun one, after convincing my Dad to let me trace around him with tape, (Note: this can result in unintentional hair removal) I ascended to the roof to snap the photo, had I more time, I would have tried again and framed the shot better, but overall, it was a fun entry.

Checklist

  • Roll of wide white masking tape from Bunnings
  • An understanding family member to trace around
  • A hat

Settings

  • Focal length: 18mm (Kit Canon 18-55mm lens)
  • Aperture: 5.6
  • Shutter speed: 1/200
  • ISO: 100
  • White Balance: Auto

What I liked?

The concept was really what I loved about this one.

The Final Result? Continue reading

Web Professional, Amateur Photographer, Husband, Son, Friend, Follower of Jesus