Friday, September 24, 2021
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Nick Parker

Christmas, What is it really all about?

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About a month ago I headed off to the shops as I usually do once a week, except this time there was something different about the shop when I got there. For some reason a shop that I regularly frequent seemed foreign to me. At first I couldn’t understand why, it wasn’t until my wife said “Wow, they’ve started putting up Christmas decorations early this year” that I realized that the reason I didn’t recognize the shop was because the whole shop had been transformed into a Christmas winter wonderland.

It just seems that every year Christmas preparations start earlier and earlier, soon we might get to a point where we actually never take the decorations down!

The question I have is, why? Why do we dress the shops up and go through all this extra effort for Christmas? Surely there must be more to this holiday than decorations and fancy gifts.

I suppose the reason the shops put so much effort into decorating is because they know that with Christmas comes and increase in sales, and an increase in sales means more money. So the sooner people start buying, the better. But, are the shops to blame for us seeing Christmas this way. I honestly think that the reason our perception of Christmas has changed is because we have allowed it to be changed. We have somehow made it all about the ‘what we can get’ and not about what we have already been given

We need to get back to basics; we need to understand what Christmas is really about. Make a choice this year to look beyond the gifts and decorations. I know that might sound hard, but I came across this video and it really opened my eyes to the true meaning of Christmas

You see, Christmas is and always will be about Jesus, he is the reason that we celebrate this time of year. We get so caught up in giving and receiving gifts that we ignore the fact that we have already been given the perfect gift, a relationship with Jesus.

So my challenge is this. This year choose to get to the heart of Christmas. Choose to trust Jesus and have a relationship with him. His gift is can never be outdone, and it’s free! Don’t get caught up in the hype of Christmas, but rather get caught up in the reason for Christmas.

Jesus is real. So real that we celebrate his birth. So chose to honour that celebration by giving God the gift that is His greatest desire, a relationship with you.

Is This Book Just Another Bestseller?

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First of all it think it’s important to mention that I’m not the type of guy who you would regularly see in a book store.  As a matter of fact if I got into a book store once a year, that would probably be a lot. But,on the odd occasion that I do go, I always notice one thing and that’s that all the books on display appear to be “best sellers”. No matter what book you pick up, it always seems to have a sticker on it saying “best seller” followed by a quote from someone famous endorsing how good the book is.

So the questions is, if all books seem to be “best sellers” then which book is the best of the “best”? Now I know when someone mentions the all time best selling book, most peoples first thoughts would be that I must be one of the twilight books, or perhaps Harry Potter. Well the truth is, it isn’t either of those books, in fact the best selling book was written before any of us were born.

Do you want to know what the best selling book is? I’ll tell you, the book that has sold the most copies in the world is… The BIBLE

Yup, that’s right! The best selling book of all time is the bible. Now I know for some that may seem a bit strange, because you don’t often hear people saying that they just popped off to the bookstore to get a bible. I suppose the next question is, why is the bible so popular, I mean, isn’t it just a book made up of a random bunch of stories from long ago?

Well if you aren’t familiar with the bible, I can understand why you may see it that way, because it’s the same way as I used to see it. But, here is a video that I think will help clarify why exactly people read the bible, and what all those “random” stories really mean.

What makes the bible so special is that it is a book like no other, this book has the power to change someone’s life. It is a book that is alive, and even though it was written thousands of years ago, seems to be more relevant now than ever before.

What makes the bible so special is that it is the living word of God, and by God, I’m not referring to an old man with a walking stick, but rather someone who knows you and loves you and desperately want to have a relationship with you.

The bible is filled with stories of love, fear, prosperity and desperation, yet all these stories point directly to a savior who loves us. That’s what makes the bible so popular!

So, if you have never read your bible before, why not give it a go. You might be surprised by what you read.

 If you have any questions about the bible or faith, drop us a message in the comment below or send us an email

You May Know Your Dad, But Do You Know Your Father?

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Dad, a word used commonly throughout our society, yet this very word seems to have so many different meanings. To some, this word embodies love, protection, strength and honor, to others, it brings feelings of neglect, loneliness, hatred and resentment.

Isn’t it amazing how one word can be so powerful?

The very use of the word “Dad” can bring someone joy and leave another devastated.

But, why? Why is this word so powerful?

To be honest I don’t think it’s the actual word that is powerful, but rather the meaning associated with the word.  Dad is the word chosen to represent the male figure in our lives, the one who gave us life. So, in a way the word is irrelevant.  What’s more important is what it represents.

So if you had a father who has never there, or perhaps a father who was around, but never involved in your life, then those are the images that would come to mind whenever you hear the word dad.

But, is that it? Does that mean you have to live your life not knowing the love of a Father?

No, because your real Father is still here and he loves you. I know it might sound strange, but hopefully his video will help you understand

You see, just like Jo, you might not know who your Dad is, but that doesn’t mean you can’t know your Father. Unlike your Father here on earth, God will never leave you, he is always with you. He knows what you are going through and wants to help. All he asks is that we seek a relationship with him.

Just know that you are loved unconditionally by a Father who made you and accepts you. Make a decision to no longer let the absence of your Dad determine your future, but rather trust your Father to give you the life and future you deserve.

If you have any questions about who God the Father is, or you would just like to chat. We would love to hear from you.

Will This Ever Finish?

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Have you ever started something that just seemed like you would never be able to finish? It might not always be a project; it could be a relationship or even something closer to home, such as some form of illness. I think it would be naïve of me to think that there are only a few of us who have ever been in this situation. Realistically we are all on some sort of journey, and are all in need of there being an end point.

Often you can see the end in sight, but what about those times were it seems that the finish line is out of reach. That no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to find your way.  But, is that it, are we just suppose to give up and become resigned to the fact that, this is just how life is going to be? Surely that can’t be it.  Surely there must be something we can do!

The truth is, there honestly isn’t anything we can do on our own. But, don’t get despondent, there is hope. There is an answer that will lead you home, no matter what the situation.

On our own it may seem impossible to ever reach the finish, but I love that we don’t have to do it alone. We have a savior who loves us and wants to help us, he wants us to succeed. To not just finish the race but to conquer it. And, all that He asks in return is that we have a relationship with Him.

So, know that no matter what you are going through, you are not alone. The finish line is within sight.  Just keep fighting and put your trust in a father who will never let you down.

You Are Beautiful

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There are certain terms that seem to have become normal in our society, specifically when referring to woman.  Terms such as “what is she wearing?”, “she’s fat”, “she’s too skinny”, “she’s ugly” etc. These terms have become a part of our everyday lives. Surprisingly, its not only men who use them. More often than not woman are the ones who look at each other and immediately have something to say about an individual’s outward appearance, regardless of whether they know the person or not.

But, why is it that outward beauty has become the focal point of whether a woman is truly beautiful or not? Is it because the media says so, maybe because “popular” people say so, or is it just because we live in a world where we are driven solely by visual satisfaction? The question is, who really defines beauty? And, is it possible to be beautiful no matter who you are?

Here is a video that will hopefully help shift your perception

You see, beauty isn’t defined by what people say.  It’s defined by the one who made you.  An inventor always thinks his creation is beautiful, because he created it. He spent time and effort making it and wouldn’t change it for anything. Well, that’s the same way God sees us.  He made us and thinks we are beautiful the way we are. If he had thought otherwise he would have made you differently. No, instead he made you the way you are, perfect!

So don’t allow the world to tell you whether or not you are beautiful.  Don’t let their voices creep into your head. Know that you were made out of love.  Perfect and beautiful. God would never make something He wasn’t proud of.

You are beautiful!

The Most Unlikely Candidate

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Have you ever looked at someone and thought, how did they get there? And by ‘there’ I mean that promotion, or that new job? To you they seemed like the most unlikely person.  Surely they aren’t qualified?  Do they even have the work experience? These are all natural questions, because to the human mind it just doesn’t make sense. Yet, someone in authority has seen something in them, a potential that is apparently hidden from the rest of us.

But, what is it that they see, and why are they the only ones who can see it?

Well the answer is quite simple.  When you are the head of an organization, whether it be a business or a sports team, you have a vision for where you want the organization to go. You don’t just know where you want to be, you also know the people needed to take you there. Often the reason we don’t see potential in people is because we don’t see the bigger picture. If we knew the end goal, we would understand the process. That’s why it often seems like the most unlikely people get chosen.

This video reminded me that in life no matter who you are or what you have done, there is still potential in you.

If God could choose the most unlikely person, Moses, to lead his people out of Israel, then he can definitely use you and I. You may seem to be the ‘most unlikely’ to the people around you, but to God you are the only person perfect for the task at hand. No matter what people may say, believe what God has said about you. That you are loved and called! There is nothing that can separate us from Him.

Moses was a murderer, suffered with insecurity and had a speech impediment, yet God used him. Don’t see your downfalls as weaknesses but rather as areas where you can shine through. He is strong in our weaknesses.

Know that even though it may seem that all is lost, there is still hope. There is a plan for your life. God has chosen you!

Forgiveness, the Most Powerful Weapon

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I’m sure most of you would agree that at some point in your life, you have known what it feels like to be forgiven. Forgiveness is probably the most powerful tool/weapon we have at our disposal. Forgiveness has the power to bring life, it has the power to bring freedom and hope. We don’t realize that by forgiving someone we not only release that person of the guilt, but we also release something in ourselves, freedom.

Forgiveness is often hard to understand or to put into words, we can’t always rationalize it. I mean, how would you forgive someone who killed your whole family?

This has to be one of the most exceptional cases of forgiveness I have ever seen. How is it possible to stand there and look into the eyes of the man who killed your family and forgive him!? Surely just looking at him would bring about so many emotions, the least of which I would think would be forgiveness? Yet, that’s exactly what happens, she forgives him.

The secret to her forgiveness isn’t that she has forgotten what happened to her family, but rather that she has had the revelation that if God has forgiven this man, then so can she. I suppose the next question is, how could God forgive someone who has committed such heinous crimes.
Well, the truth is that God chose to forgive him, and all of us, the day that he sent his son Jesus to die. Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to. He stood in our place. He is the reason we are able to have a relationship with God. There is nothing we can do to ever earn this forgiveness. All God asks is that we follow him and live a life that is in accordance with his will.

If you ask me, that’s not much to ask, especially when we consider all the messed up things we have done.
Once you have realized that the all powerful God of the universe forgives and gives second chances, it makes it a lot easier for us to forgive. I’m not saying that forgiveness is always easy, but what I am saying is that it is a choice. One that we all have. If God can forgive, so can we.

Are Prisoners a Lost Cause?

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In a society where crime is common practice it isn’t uncommon to see people go to jail. Daily, people are being convicted for a variety of crimes, ranging from petty theft to brutal murder. Prison has become such a familiar place in our society that most of us during some phase of our life will have known someone who has or is imprisoned.

The one thing that is common to all crimes, whether they be large or small, is our reaction to the stereotype of someone being a ‘convicted felon’. Naturally our first response is often “they deserved it” followed by the statement “well, there goes their life”. We immediately assume that by someone being a convicted criminal, they somehow become a lost cause. There is no hope for them and they will never amount to anything, no matter how long they are in jail for. Once they have a record, they will always have a record.

But is this really how we should be thinking?  Surely there is still hope, no matter what they may have done?

The best way to answer that question is to hear from someone who has been in jail.

Here is a video of Tony and Javier.  They speak about being in prison and how they have found hope and a new purpose for life.

What I love about this video is that it reminds us that no matter who we are or what we have done, Jesus still has a plan for our lives. He still wants to use us and have a relationship with us.  All He requires of us is that we choose life, a life in relationship with Him. What we don’t realize is that it doesn’t only take a jail to make us a prisoner.  At one stage in our lives we were all once prisoners, living behind a mask, scared to show who we really are.

So, no matter what “prison” you find yourself in, know that God still has a plan for you.  There is hope. He can use you no matter the circumstance.

You have the choice, so choose life!

Is Your Heart in it?

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In our friendship circles there will always be individuals who are more passionate about a specific sport or activity than the others. It’s not a bad thing at all, in fact its what makes that person unique. However, there can also be that one person that seems to take their passion to the next level. No matter where they are or who they are with, that one thing will always be the topic of conversation. Their passion almost seems to go beyond dedication and border on obsession.

Now I’m not sure if you would be able to relate to this, but in my friendship circles these individuals always seem to be soccer fans. They live and breathe soccer.  It has become so important to them, that its almost as if their lives depended on it. No matter where they are, soccer is always the topic of conversation. I think its safe to say that they would rather be without food for a week than miss their favourite teams game. They show the highest form of commitment and dedication and no matter what others may think, that will never change. Win or lose, rain or shine, that is the team they support and everyone should know about it.

I recently came across a video that made me realise that there is a direct link between the passion people have for their favourite sports team and faith. Have a look.

So, you see Christianity is a lot like football, and any other passion you may have for that matter. It takes commitment and dedication. You can’t be into ione day and then not the next. You have to make a choice and decide to give your whole heart to it. We often see people running to Jesus in the hard times, but neglecting him in the good times. But thats not how it works, he wants to have a relationship with us.  He wants us to be 100% committed to him, just as he is 100% committed to us. Let your passion be evident to all those around you. I promise that if you make a decision to live for Jesus, it will be the best decision you have ever made!

If you have any questions about what was spoken about in this blog, or would just like to chat to us, please send us a message. We would love to here from you.

 

What Does It Mean To Be Called a Man?

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When you hear the word man, what is the first thing that comes to mind? is it someone who is brave, passionate, loyal, loving? Or is it a liar, a cheater, an abuser, or someone who you can never depend on?

It seems to me that in this day and age more and more people would probably relate to the second description. The question is why? What has happened to the ‘man’ of old, who is depicted in movies as  the hero, always willing to do whatever it takes to protect his family?

As men, perhaps our standards have changed.  We seem to see the world in a different way. We no longer have the desire to be the head of our household, the pillar of strength or the faithful husband. We now care more about who we are, and what we can get out of a situation. If we find ourselves in a situation we don’t like, we just walk away. Women have become objects of pleasure, instead of prized possessions. Everything is expendable and the only thing that seems to matter is the perception of our friends.  It is all about us.

This is not who we were designed to be.

I came across this video that tackles the topic of what it means to be a man.  I really think that it will challenge your view point of this new standard we have become accustomed to…

I’m at the threshold of becoming a man
And like Peter Pan I turn around and I run
Not because I want to be a boy forever
But because of what being a man has become
Somewhere along the road we lost the definition
We need to break tradition
U-turn and transition to a road less traveled
Cause I look around at the world and I’m baffled
About all these examples that are on display
Preaching morals that bring decay
Why are there so many children being raised by single women
Since when did being a man mean neglecting your responsibility
And thinking up clever messages as excuses for promiscuity
Throwing away everything for the touch of a mistress
Leaving their kids eyes full of tears on Christmas
Cause a dad was the only thing they had on their wish list
We’ve gotten off track by some distance
Cause getting a girl pregnant doesn’t make you a father
You need to be there and be the first love of your daughter
Set a good example to your son
Instill good character that can’t be undone
Why have we degraded women down to objects of pleasure
Like broken hearts are the currency we are going to use to measure our manhood
We’re just boys in disguise
Constantly chasing different lies
Like step on every and anyone to get the office in the sky
Cause at the end of the day
It’s just me, myself, and I
But the greatest man to ever live gave up his life
And we’re just standing by, letting chivalry die
With these preset standards, I can no longer comply

I want to be someone people can rely upon
I want to be strong and have a shoulder for people to cry upon
Give my all in trying times
Stand firm in changing tides
Put others above myself
Not conform to the world but seek eternal wealth
Be able to make tough decisions and do the right thing when not in peoples vision
Be able to admit when I’m wrong without delay
Say I’m sorry and realize the promise that I just made
Its time to make a change
Unlock the worlds chains and make a stand
A new Neverland
Full of Godly men who serve, protect, value, love, and respect women

What I love about this video is that it reminds me that that greatest man to have ever lived died for me and that if I want to be anything like him, then I need to make a choice to follow in his footsteps.   To become someone who will serve, protect, value and love women. This man is no stranger to us, in fact He knew us before we were even born. That man’s name is Jesus.

As men, lets make a choice to pioneer a new standard. A Godly standard.  A standard of true strength.  It won’t always be easy, but we don’t have to do it on our own. We have the power to change the way the world look at men.

If you would like to find out more about being a godly man, or you would just like to chat about something mentioned in this blog. Please send us a message, we would love to hear from you.

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