Mandy's Musings

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What's on your mind?

I've been thinking a lot recently about what it is that we think about, day dream about, get anxious about. What is it that our minds are fixed upon? As Christians, it is easy to know that there are things that are unhelpful, things that distract us from the truth, yet it is not as simple as not thinking about them. Instead, we need to put something else in their place.

I was reminded of this as I looked at Colossians this past week. I love Chapter 3 and the picture of Christians putting off the things of the world and putting on godliness. And how can we do this? The opening verses of the chapter set it up: 'If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.'

Notice that we are not just told to stop doing the things of this world FULL STOP and nothing else. Rather, we are told to replace these filthy rags with the clothing of Christ, the righteousness found in him and behaviour fitting of him. And it is by filling ourself with God's words that we can do this.

I'll ask of you the questions I've been asking of myself:
So what's on your mind? Are you fixing your eyes on Jesus or the things of this world? Are you feeding on God's word so that the cares and concerns of this world can be placed into proper perspective?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Psalm a day

I've been trying to read a Psalm a day this month as part of my regular Bible reading. It has been really encouraging (as was Sunday's sermon on Ps 73).

Today was Psalm 19:
The Law of the Lord Is Perfect
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above [1] proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4 Their voice [2] goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, [3]
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules [4] of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

[1] 19:1 Hebrew the expanse; compare Genesis 1:6-8
[2] 19:4 Or Their measuring line
[3] 19:7 Or blameless
[4] 19:9 Or just decrees

So much to ponder and be thankful to God about. Some random musings ...

* The clarity with which God testifies to his existence in this world by the sheer magnificence of creation is amazing. Yet it is also confronting to be reminded that the result of this revelation is that all who reject him are without excuse.
* How often do I reject God's law or think of it as burdensome rather than delighting in the way the law can revive me, make me wise and give me cause for rejoicing? How can I repent of this hardness and instead be shaped and molded by God's law?
* I wonder what the presumptuous sins which can have dominion over me are? Is it simply acting a failure to recognise God as God and carrying with me as King? Whatever they are, I am reminded of the power of sin to entangle and ensnare.

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Map my run

A friend put me on to this website earlier in the year. I love it that I can work out roughly how far I have run and alternative routes to keep my morning runs interesting.

This morning I did one of my favourite runs - it is nice and short at just over 5kms and takes in the highlights of the harbour around Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay. With the sun shining this morning, it was a wonderful way to start the day. This is where I went:

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Honouring our parents in the faith

Justin has posted a couple of really interesting pieces over here and in the most recent asks 'is there anyone you would like to give honor that may have, in this world of celebrates[sic], lacked it?'

There are many people who I'd like to honour as my parents in the faith - that I am thankful to God for and look forward to spending eternity alongside. These are some of the people who God has used to shape me. Here's just a few:

* Jo Harris who prayed with me in January 1987 when I was just 10.5 sitting in the Big Marquee at Easts Beach Kiama as I asked God to forgive me because of what Jesus had done and to make him Lord of my life.

* But along with Jo there were many others who from 1980 to 1991 were on team at Easts Beach who loved me and told me about Jesus, wrote me letters to encourage me to continue to trust in Jesus. Most of the people's names I have forgotten, but I do not forget the way that you cared or the message you faithfully passed on. Some people I do remember are: Clay and Debbie Lovegrove, David Miles, Justin Moffatt and Roslyn Barker.

* Sandy Grant who taught me to love God's word and mine the scriptures to understand how to live. Thank you for teaching me the importance of regular quiet times that have fed and sustained me over the last decade.

* David Hohne who taught me to think theologically. Bible study in 2000 was the most challenging but also most rewarding group I've ever been a part of.

Who are you thankful to God for?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Early morning ramblings

It is after 3 in the morning and I should be fast asleep, but instead my brain is still going at a million miles an hour and sleep seems a long way off.

I've tried watching episodes of Friends, reading Luther (normally a sure fire way of getting to sleep) and praying but nothing seems to be working. Thankfully there is nothing that absolutely has to be done in the morning, so I can have a slow start in the morning without it having too big an impact.

Sometimes I wish there was an off switch in my head, so that at times like this when I've had enough I can just pull the plug for a little while to get some rest. Running tends to work like that for me - I can't think too much when I'm out for a long run (concentrating on breathing is enough). But I don't think going for a run in the middle of the night is the solution.

Maybe I'll just log in to facebook again!

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