December 2013

Someone once told us to freeze bagels then toast them from frozen - always ready and never stale! Genius. Another is frozen mashed potatoes [if the very thought has sent you into culinary convulsions – take it up with Delia as she uses them!] For those more technically wired: Apple TV – wirelessly transfers stuff on your computer/iPad onto your TV and stereo – amazing. Then there is my computer’s impressive ability to simultaneous run two monitors at the same time – just plug them in and you can display two full screen documents or applications at once. All brilliant. All discoveries that have changed the way I live.

I appreciate that I have now split readers into two camps: those totally understanding my thinking and those filling with pity and concern over what is actually impacting my life!

Whichever camp you find yourself in, here’s my observation and point: little things can make a big difference in our lives.

Often we can find ourselves looking, longing, praying for major changes to happen in our lives – for God to break in and fix a relationship, a workplace, a family, a broken body, a broken heart, a crazy big financial challenge – for surely that is what God does? God is a great big powerful God, so it is natural to assume that His solutions must be great big and powerful.

The thing is, in my experience, God often chooses small things to make big changes. God chooses normal people, uses everyday decisions, uses the ordinary, to do extraordinary life changing things. Through an unexpected conversation, a person pausing to really listen, a nudge of encouragement to pursue a new opportunity, our lives can be significantly impacted – little things making a big difference. [By the way, I am not suggesting frozen mash and multiscreen functionally are small messages from God!]

If you check out the life of Jesus you do find some incredibly extraordinary things happening; loads of miracles, healings, mass catering on minimal budgets and the extraordinary world changing power of Jesus’ death and resurrection. God is definitely a powerful God who can do big things! However, we also read that God embraces and uses the ordinary – Jesus was not born into wealth and power but into an ordinary working class family, his birthplace was not a palace but an ordinary town. When Jesus grew up and began teaching he used parables about ordinary everyday things that people could relate to, he spent time with and spoke to those no one else had time for, he ate with them and in the midst of conversations revealed life changing truths of grace, love, forgiveness and acceptance that changed people’s lives.

God can definitely do the spectacular, but I think we sometimes forget that God is also master of the small, the ordinary Have you ever discovered something that has totally transformed the way you live? God is de!nitely a powerful God who can do big things! However, we also read that God embraces and uses the ordinary. and the everyday - as a result we can miss out on what God is saying and wanting to do in and around our lives. As we celebrate another Christmas and move into a New Year, here’s a challenge for us as individuals, Small Groups and as a church family. Be expectant of great things from our great God – but also keep a lookout for God using the ordinary: someone showing kindness, listening, serving, helping, loving. PLUS the flipside: as well as asking God to do the spectacular, ask God to use your ordinary for Him: your words, actions, listening, money, love.

May God use your ordinary to do something extraordinary this Christmas season and in 2014..
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