Tuesday, 12 June 2012

.:.character development.:.

Character development is essential to a good story. Do you have a favorite character? A Disney, Looneytoons, Star Wars or LOTR one, perhaps? When we see good character development (whether in a good or evil character)- we are drawn in. We are invited into a segment of their life, captivated by their circumstances and completely helpless but to watch how they respond. These characters are embodied or "put on" by actors who play the role convincingly. But at the end of the day, those actors go home, and are themselves. 

Character development is essential to a good person. Do you know people of good, strong character? A mentor, friend or family member perhaps? When we experience good character in others - we are drawn in. We are invitied to examine our own life, captivated by their conviction and completely empowered to watch and learn by how they respond.
What kind of character do you wear?
Make no mistake - even good character is something you put on. Colossians 3:12-17 tells us to put on a Christ-like character living out traits such as compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience BECAUSE we are God's chosen people. What we wear can help identify our allegiances. Emblems, logos and symbols speckle our clothing uniting us to something bigger. In the same way, our character is a testiment to who we submit ourselves to; we put on character traits that will associate us to something bigger.
Character. {Noun}
1. Moral or ethical quality.
2. Traits that form the individual nature of a person.
3. Qualities of honesty, courage and integrity.

Don't confuse character with reputation.
Character is what someone is;
reputation is what someone is thought to be by others.

"It is unfortunate that character development is not usually a section to fill out on a resume or university application, because we all know that it is one of the most important parts of any human. It will determine your successes, failures, relationships, and ministry to others more than your talents and abilities ever will." -Cheryl Crocker

What are you doing to develop your character?
Here are a few ideas to get you started thinking...
-Keep your word; don't make promises you can't keep.
-Develop as a person; grow your maturity spiritually, emotionally, mentally.
-Admit and learn from your mistakes; take ownership and make things right.
-Study and be shaped by the Word of God; The Bible teaches us about the best character!

"God doesn't say He dwells with the best singer or the one who preaches best or the one who has the best intellectual grasp of doctrine. He does say He dwells with those who walk uprightly and blamelessly and speak truth from the heart." -Cal MacFarlane

What are you spending your time developing?
Developing your God-given gifts is important to do... but if you don't develop your character, your gifts are an empty offering to the Lord. He cares more about the heart of the giver than the gifts themselves.

Character matters.
Character development is essential.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

guarding your heart

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." -Proverbs 4:23

Everything you do flows from it.

Every beautiful thing you have to offer this world stems from your heart.
Every negative thing you have to offer this world stems from your heart.
It's your choice.
What you allow into your heart is what will take root.
And what takes root is what will grow.
And what grows becomes the garden you glean from.
And what you glean is what you end up offering the world in return. 

Everything you do flows from your heart.

Make no mistake, your heart is under assault in this world.
They try to suffocate the beauty of your heart, and the life it wants to offer the world. If you allow their waters to wet your heart, you'll drown in a desperate attempt to believe the deceit that what you offer is beautiful.

For your heart to thrive, you will need to protect it, guard it, nurture it.
To guard your heart doesn't mean to put a fortress around it.

The image of a princess locked in a tower is a false understanding of protection.
True protection and true guards don't just block out the bad, they allow good to pass through too.

Make no mistake, your heart can recognize beauty.
They empower and encourage the beauty of your heart and the life it wants to offer the world. If you allow their waters to fall on your heart, you'll reap a harvest, and offering the world pieces of you will come naturally and easily from the overflow of your heart.

Guarding your heart.
Allow good to be received and given.
Let your heart breathe.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

.:.Did you hear?.:.

Have you seen the show Friends? I've recently been watching some re-runs. About halfway through season 5, the character Jennifer Aniston plays, Rachel Green, makes a new years resolution not to gossip. There's a line in this particular episode where she wants to share that a co-worker became pregnant, but realizes that it would also fall under the gossip category and so decides to keep it to herself. It struck me as odd, because I don't think I've ever given a second thought to sharing if my friends are engaged or pregnant. Baby's are blessings and gifts from God, and weddings are joyful occassions, and I love to talk about happy things like these. But it dawned on me as a result of watching this character wrestle with gossip, that it really isn't my news to tell.
Gossip needn't be false to be evil -
there's a lot of truth that shouldn't be passed around.
~Frank A. Clark

I'm often tempted to justify my gossip or slander with these two false qualifications:

1. If I just tell one person...
2. I'm speaking truth, so it's not gossip...
Can you relate?

There are many warnings in scripture about slander and gossip.

James 4:11
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

Proverbs 20:19
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.

Proverbs 16:28
A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.

The warnings and consequences are obvious.
I need to strive to do better in this area. Will you join me?

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.

This post is linked to WLW's Wednesday Link Up Party. Link up too!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

We are all shipwrecks

There is a difference between things being hard and things being out of control.

Sometimes in the moment we believe that the latter must be stabilized before God can work in and through us. We grasp to get things under control before we turn to God. Why? I've done it because I think I'm unworthy to come to the cross as a broken person.

How incorrect I am when I think this folly. For it is the broken-hearted who find rest{oration} at the cross; those trying to be perfect before approaching the cross continue to busy themselves with just that when they get there- trying to hold it all together.

The cross held the broken body of our perfect Saviour,
why do we think we need to come looking any better?

It's when we are in the center of out-of-control that we most realize our need for God and should call out to Him. But fear keeps us at bay sometimes, doesn't it? Maybe it's the fear that God won't rescue us, won't accept us, or will see how broken we really are.Or perhaps it's really the fear of accepting that we can't rescue ourselves, accepting our own brokenness, and we project that onto God. But He sees our brokenness... every tiny crack in our masks. And He loves and accept us.

There is no storm that God is overwhelmed by and no face of hardship He cowers away from.

We are all broken. And we are all welcome at the cross, in our brokenness.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.:.