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Compared to others

Christianity

A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. (Luke 1:39-49 NLT)

I know my shortcomings, my failures and my sin. I know that I’m not good enough, and I look at other Christians and think how much better they are than I. But I suppose that that is exactly where Satan wants me to be! It’s very easy to compare myself with others or with perfection and see how awful I am!

Then I look at really special people and I’m totally amazed. If I feel puny against other Christians, how miniscule I feel against the greats! Mary is an example – a wee girl, a lowly servant girl – and all nations will call her blessed! After all, she carried the baby Jesus inside her, so she should be held in high regard! She is so special – she readily accepts what the angel tells her and moves into the role which God has given her, without a single doubt, without a complaint and with no buts…

But then God reminds me of something. He tells me that he sent the Holy Spirit to me, that I can be filled with his Holy Spirit. I am a carrier too! I have my  shortcomings, my failures and my sin. God sees them and uses them; he takes away my sin. He didn’t choose me because I was perfect: he chose me because I am me. He took notice of me and has plans for me.

I should not compare myself to others – I just need to compare myself to the me he wants me to be and when I fall short of that, I should not call myself unworthy – all I have to do is to strive harder to be worthy. I am only unworthy when I stop trying to be worthy. That’s what Peter did after he had denied Jesus three times – he didn’t focus on his failure, but moved into his purpose.

I am chosen, just as Mary was chosen. I have a purpose, just as Peter had a purpose. God is the I AM, and I am me.

Who is in charge around here?

Christianity,General

I have been watching the events in Egypt with astonishment. I have marvelled at the courage of the people, and there is no doubt that the world has changed dramatically. Twitter, Facebook and the internet in general gave them a “weapon” which was never before possible, and put the world in a place where revolution can take place with scarcely any bloodshed. There is no doubt that the impact which the protest had on the shaky economy also brought pressure to bear, as did the worldwide TV coverage. Thirty years of authoritarian government ended in fewer days.

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Follow the instructions

Christianity

I once bought a new kitchen for my house. It was a self assembly kitchen. I was never very good at woodwork and stuff like that in school, so I was really pushing out the boundary of my ability, to say the least! I asked the guy at the store if it was easy to build the units. “Oh yes!” he said, “once you’ve done the first unit, the rest is easy.”
He wasn’t joking! I think it took me three or four days to assemble the first one successfully. I did it lots of times, a different way each time – but I was always left with an extra bit at the end, and the extra bit wasn’t always the same extra bit! Finally, I understood what the instructions were trying to tell me – it wasn’t my fault, you see – they just weren’t speaking to me clearly enough. I hate instructions that mumble, don’t you?

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Identify yourself

Christianity

We read a lot these days about identity theft. In the last year it cost £1.9bn in the UK, affecting an estimated 1.8 million people.

Wikipedia states that “the victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if he or she is held accountable for the perpetrator’s actions. Organizations and individuals who are duped or defrauded by the identity thief can also suffer adverse consequences and losses, and to that extent are also victims.”

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Look at it this way

Christianity

I remember coming up with a different way of doing something at work. An older colleague shouted out to everyone, “There you are. If you want to find the easiest way of doing something, always ask the laziest guy you can find!”

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