Saturday, November 27, 2010

Use it or Loose It.....seriously

Hey Everyone,

Been a rough week. I have been sick as can be. The Docter patched me up with some antibiotics which was a great help and the first Docter....God was very involved i am sure. I still have an irritating cought though. I had a few people pray for me here and there which is great. Always good to geat Prayer whenever you can and to make a point to pray whenever you can. Have you ever tried to pray for someone you don't get on with? It's a great way to get God's heart on a situation. He will change your attitude towards them. So think for a second of all the people that get you down and bug write down their names...and pray for them. Let it be God's issue and not yours.

Always had people say to me.....Remember...relationship before issue. I think that's a really good point. We need to not let our gripes get between us all. It's harder when you have to practice that model. I guess that is the next step. First pray for the person and second get together with them and make peace. Something I will be learning this week.

On another side note i have been thinking about the use it or loose it principal. Basically any sportsmen or musician has to keep practicing to be good at what they do. If you don't keep practicing you will get worse at the sport and potentially become really bad at it. The same applies to our physical bodies. If we liedown for a year and then try to walk again. We will have lost the ability and will need to work very hard to get the ability to walk again. The same goes for spiritual gifts. Strictly speaking you won't lose the gift but you will get really bad at it. Same as the person trying to walk again. If we don't practice hearing God regularly, praying regularly, preaching regularly or whatver it is that God has given us as a gift we will get worse and worse at excercising the gift. So be challenged to get ou there with what God has given you and use it. If it's to Preach.....Preach. If it is to prophesy.....Prophesy. If it is to lead...lead. Sounds like Paul writing int he Bible.....But that's what he was getting at. If we all just do what God has called us to do we will be better off.

I guess that's why Doctors have a practice. They need to keep practicing to get better at what they do. I suppose we get to ask the Question of ourselves...Are we Practicing Christians? Do we put into action what we believe. If you believe prayer heals....then why don't you pray when you are sick or pray for others when they are sick?

It's a tough one i know.

Till next time....



Saturday, November 6, 2010

Daryl the dog wisperer

Hello All,

wow....sleep. Somethimg we have been missing. The Dog wisperer (Daryl) said throw your shirt in and the dog will sleep......Well Darn it, It worked. The dog slept and therefore we slept. Needless to say it did wake us up with the usual first light alarm. But hey that's better than several alarms during the night. It was great to sleep and sleep well. This of course leads to a very early morning blog for me.

It's been quite a week. I have had several meetings over coffee and food and some interesting subjects have come up. One of the discussions was with some christians who had a general distaste for church as a structure. To the extent that i got the impression that attending church was pointless and futile much to my dismay. Unfortunatly some of the comments would have been correct as Church has it's flaws. It's full of people of course it will not be perfect. Nothing involving people is perfect as we are imperfect. So what's the point? Why go to church? I guess the best answers for me are around the words Support, Covering, Blessing and Family. Church is a place to get suport. Find people who hopefully have similar beliefs to you that you can talk to and help you through the tough times. It's hard to have support from people who have no clue what you are on about and what church is. Second one is covering. This is probably an area the church in general has abused. Covering is about protection. Knowing that there is a group of people who can assist in keeping you safe. Much like a pride of lions or any other group of animals stick together. It's easier to feed and easier to defend yourself. When you are on your own there is a significant more change of starvation and death. Who will rescue you if you fall into a trap? Granted this can be done by a group of christians not necessarily the church as we know it in the form of a sunday morning service. The point being that a sunday morning service is not what church is about. It's a bit more than that. I think church is like Marriage. Commit. Get involved and be a part of it. Don't just do the functions of the marriage. Have relationship with the people. I think that's why Jesus said people wuld know us by our Love.

Another interesting discussion i had was over creation and evolution. I am no scientist but I do know that not all scientists agree on what did or did not happen. Forget the religious side of the argument. I suppose these days it's easier to believe those that have a bigger marketing budget. As i have always said. Don't beliee it just because it's on TV or in a book or in my Blog. Go and do the research. From my side even if evolution was scientifically correct. (Which is hard to believe) It's a significant jump to go from nothing to stuff, then dirt and then man. There are many Lotto's in that equation. Imaging winning the lotto 10 million times in a row. For hat to happen does not take chance. It takes planning and influence. Creation is that significant. It took planning and influence and that's what we call GOD.
The only person who existed at creation was God. I guess as he sole witness to the event we should probably listen to him more than a bunch of people who were not there.

I also had a shock this week to discover my name plasted on some news websites. Kinda weird. I had some work with SPAR and Expand which I did and it seems to have been a big thing. So now we have marketing people using it to get more buisness. It makes sense and yet feels weird searching the web and finding comments from me. Hopefully if people do search they ulimatly end up at the blog and learn something new about me and the God i serve.

Well, that's pretty much it. Keep in mind that it's relationship before issue. So keep your friendships going even if you disagree over certain things and through that relationship help each other to grow. Did you know that Christians should hold each other accountable? Yip it's biblical. I guess you could call it judging. You can't judge non Christians but if a person claims to be a christian they MUST be held accountable by other christians for their actions. Obviously this needs o tbe done in love....Remember...Relationship before issue.

Anyways....Cheers and have a wonderful week.

Greg Hay

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Red Bull Will Kill you

It's been quite a week. The Puppy arrived and made an impact on sleeping patterns immediatly. It's been a week of late nights and early mornings punctuated by barking and yelping. Waking at 4am is slowly becoming normal for Michelle.....I am still not a morning person. My body refuses to adjust. To survive during the day I have become accustomed this week to drinking a red bull every morning. This helps me through the day. By mid afternoon when the red bull wears off i am ready for bed......which comes much later. Yesterday i had a nurse shout at me. "Red Bull will give you a Heart Attack". I guess being in the medical profession she must know some things. Which lead me to the title of this blog. Do we really know what most of the stuff we drink or eat does to us. I certainly do not want to die of a heart attack. I was reading this week in the bible about your body being a temple of the holy spirit. So if it is a temple we should probably take a bit more care of it. I guess that's not my strong point.

I also went to a short session by Jeremy Stefano at the church yesterday. He said some quite interesting things that are a bit of a challenge. One was as leaders do we train the people in the church to get close to God and become self sufficient or do we just create a title and job roles for everyone. At the end of the day as leaders our job is to assist people to get closer to God so that the entire body can be prepared for when we become the bride of Christ. He also challenged on the point Jesus raised to his Disciples. Jesus said to them "Who do you say I am?" It's a good point. We often theorise or go through logic to answer the question. The point being in your heart who do you say Jesus is?
It's a kinda important question and your life depends on it. He will be speaking again tonight at the Kloof Combined churches meeting.

All in all an interesting week. I am sure next week will be just as good.


IHMS (In His Majesty's Service)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tweeting in it from the devil

Hi There,

I have after a tech conference been very deep in though about technology in the context of church. Is technology the next evolution to bring us closer to each other or seperate us even further from reality and from what really goes on. If we have people in church tweating does it distract from hearing God or help us understand him better. If church was on the internet instead of a building....would you attend and does it really matter? These days we are so stuck on facebook, twitter, youtube, mixit and various other sites can we use these to reach out and do what Jesus said.......Love each other and by this they will know that you are my disciples. Maybe all these social tools are a cry for love. A cry to be a part of something bigger than yourself. something that makes you feel loved and worthwhile.

I read about a church that did prayers over skype. Another one used twitter in the church service, others used these tools to communicate more and more to people in the church. It's nice to have scriptures on the wall in powerpoint.....but when was the last time you took your bible to church and read for yourself? Does this technology make us lazier?

Being a self confesed computer geek i love gadgets. Especially ones that server a real purpose. (iPad does not fit the profile....sorry :-)  

Does having an electronic bible somehow make you more spiritual. It's funny how many people have e-sword and use it for search. When they want to ready they pull out the book. It just seems better. Maybe I am just too old. (ever though how all the electronic bibles could dissapear overnight from amazon and your kindle if they wanted to.....)

In the electronic age there are so many people who can make decisions that have far reaching affects on society without really caring. I read an article on Woolworths and how they pulled the plug on all Christian magazines in the stores because someone high up was offended by an article. Due to pressure the magazines are back. This would not happen with a dicator such as the antichrist.

Ever though of the possibility of not getting a visa or entry to another country because your facebook profile says that you are a christian or that you supported something the goverment did not like. At the same time we have the possibility of reaching people we could never reach before. The internet is full of people looking for something bigger, someone who can care, someone who can fix their hurts. we have the chance to find those people and to make a difference in their lives. How do we do that? I am sure we all have some idea's. So here is the challenge. Think of a way to use the internet or technology to reach people. Not to bible bash them sensless but to express love and care and show them God. Send me an email or comment on the blog. Let's see if we can not only get some idea's but maybe try them.

Cheers for now.

IHM (In His Majesty's Service)

Greg Hay

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fasting over and others

Hi There,

Truth be told i finished fasting quite a while ago. I did not make the 40 days as planned. I made 11 days. It was still worth it even though it was shorter than expected. i got closer to God and that's what counts. It was a great fast. It's the only one i did this year and was way better than expected. This was due to all the prep work i did. Next year i will do a fast and maybe even a few more. Maybe i'll lower the sights and try to hit 20 days first. Do the 40 days later. I guess we will see next year...i could add this to my new years resolutions but it's probably a bit early for that.

After the fast i also got the privledge to Preach at church again. It's great to Preach and I do enjoy it. I just get nervous inside realising the responsibility that comes with it. The scriptures are quite clear on what happens to those that lead people's not a pretty ending for them. So yes, when you preach, speak, lead a home cell or do any stuff related to speaking on God and teaching people there is a huge responsibility to get it right and not only get it right but to say what God wants to say. It's great to open you mouth and waffle but if it's not what God wants it's probably better just to keep quite.

So it was with great care that i planned what to preach on. I felt attracted to two topics but was more drawn to one. This is normally one of the ways God leads me to a topic for a sermon. So I had my sermon which was around fathers and God as your father. Many people get freaked out by this as they associate God in the same light as their earthly father. Sad thing is that God is the perfect father. He is most likely quite different to your earthly father who at the end of the day should reflect God as the father. Unfortunatly we probably get it wrong quite a bit. I got quite a bit of feedback from people after church so it seemed to have gone down well. I though it would as there were some worship songs that tied into the theme and the worship leader did not know what i was preaching on. Breaking of bread also tied in the scriptures around God knowing you in the womb. So i guess God had a message for a few people.

Something else that struck me this week was how priveledged some of us are. A young girl came to home cell for the first time. She has had a rough life. She had 13 siblings. 10 have died. Her father has also died. Her mother has problems with alcohol and her brothers battle to get work while she does what she can to help with her work while still doing night classes to finish matric and feed her child......It's like a tv show. Yet it's here in SA. There are many more people like this in SA and the question is "What r u doing about it". More importantly and probably a bit of a cliche "What would Jesus do?" and since we are his embassadors and a reflection of him and a reflection of our Dad...God....What would he want us to do.

I read a blog this week where some christians and non christians were arguing quite strongly about how christians act weird and try to be too spiritual and not do anything practical or real. So i guess in the cases above....what can we do practically. Prayer is great, But sometimes people need a bit more. The scriptures say that they will know us by the way we love each other. It does not say by the way we pray or fast or do other things. So Love once again is the motive.

I have been reading acts and noticed how practical the early church was. Someone needed food they made a plan. Someone needs heling they prayed for them and they were healed. They baptised and evangelised eveyone and no-one was without need. In our churches do we have people without need? If the answer is no then we have probably messed up. As the early church no-one had need because veryone stepped in to sort it out.If we have needs it's because we don't step up and relly on God and work as a community to support those around us.

oh well..... Enough rambling...

That reminds me. Been at Tech-Ed this week. Other than all the work related stuff do you know how technology can reach people for the church in ways we never expected and i suppose it will be used by the antichrist in the last days to control and destroy the people of God. (He the book)


Greg Hay

Monday, September 27, 2010

Beginning day 6 with no food after food weekend from hell

Hi All,

This weekend has it's good point and bad. Being a long weekend it was bound to be filled with entertainment and food. Not the best thing when fasting. Saturday was torture as Michelle got into baking mode and made tons of lovely Muffins and Scone's and.....I had to help. This is a warning. Do not assist in making food when fasting. Particularly in the early days of fasting. You will be tested to your limits. In saying that, i survived.....and then Sunday came.

On sunday we ran around for church doing quite a bit. We felt a bit overloaded but made it through in any case. We also preped lunch for the Alpha course for the Zim Refugees and Zulu's. We made hotdogs..........This is a warning. Do not assist in making food when fasting. Particularly in the early days of fasting. You will be tested to your limits. You would think I had learn't from the first time. Although in saying that it is great to help others out. I know the Zim guys don't exactly have loads of $$ and need all the help they can get. The same goes for some of the Zulu guys. It's a good thing to provide for the poor. It's scriptural as well. Same as what I mentioned in the earlier blogs. Try skip a meal and feed someone who needs it. I guess this sunday we did that.

Church was cool. Worship was great thanks to Philipa's team. I did breaking of bread a bit differently and spoke about where passover came from. It's around the Plagues and God Rescuing the Jews from Slaver, Captivity and Death by sacrificing a lamb and putting blood on the doorposts. The point being that Jesus was sitting with his disciples doing the passover meal andwas sending the same message. He was going to die as the Lamb to free everyone from Slaver, Captivity and Death. So when we break bread we should remember that. We are celebrating the opportunity to go into enternity with God. The promised land which is after death. (For now we wander through the desert of life)

As part of this i gave a mini altar call and some people came up. The interesting thing is that one of them was a moslem. He had been a church and it seems has given his life. It's going to be wonderful to see that that works out. Not many people knew who he was which was even more interesting later on as a lady came and gave a word about Moslem's becoming christians and getting to know God. Due to the persecution many moslem's are keeping it secret and hiding this from everyone and living as practicing Moslems' when in fact they are christian's. She encourage us to keep praying for the Moselm's.

All in all a good weekend.


Friday, September 24, 2010

No food for 3 days

Hello everyone,

Today is day 3 without food. Probably the best fasting experience i have had. Mainly due to my preparation. Normally by Day 2 I would have splitting headaches from the caffeeine withdrawels. This time I got off caffeeine very early. No Tea, No Coffee, No Coke, No Chocolate has helped to make the experience a little easier and a little more bearable. I had the coffee headaches a week before i fasted and at a time when it is bearable as it is covered by other foods. When you fast it's normally exteremely hard to get through the first three days with a headache. If anyone's planning on fasting. Get off Caffeeeine very early. Hunger pains have not been bad either. Michelle has helped me cut down on meal sizes in the run up which has helped my body adjust. I also have had smaller meals and less MEAT. more salad's and lean meats. I gotta say that i actually feel quite well. I feel more alert than normal which feels good.

Yesterday i stank. Seems all the gunk was coming out my flesh so I had to shower a bit more. Something to remember for the first few days of a fast as your body deals with all the junk in your body is you do start to stink although it seems that it has now all gone. Michelle is pleased that my aroma has gone.

I do feel the cold more than normal. I think due to not having energy in my body i can feel it more than i would. When the sun sets I start closing curtains, windows and doors to stay warm, and I had my jearsey on the one night even though it's summer.

I can feel that i don't have the energy that i normally have. I could not run a mile or anything close. Not that i could do that before.

Reading the scriptures is interesting. The scriptures seem to have come more alive to me. Michelle and i have started reading throigh the new testament as part of the fast. We have just finished reading the old testament. In Matthew we have not even got to chapter 10 and have already read three times about fasting. One is Jesus fasting, two is Jesus talking about his disciples not fasting and three is Jesus explaining how to fast and not to look depresed and sulky. Guess that's something for me to remember. It's also great to get stuck in to the new testament again. So many Christians belive some many things that they have been told yet they have never read the scriptures. It's one of my passions. I have ready the Bible cover to cover a few times and it gets better every time I read it. My advice if fasting or not is to read the scriptures. All of the Bible and not just the pieces you like. You would be amazed and what you will find.

Being a public holiday and a weekend we normally would be having people over and braaining and eating stacks. I have already lost out on some of that. I guess that's something to be aware of in a fast as well is that you can't have all the social events you normally would. I even missed a lunch appointment. I was in a meeting and was offered some great chocolate biscuits. Normally I would climb in. I had to resist more from will than from hunger.

Michelle is enjoying eating healthy. Stuff that rabbitts eat. It's not my kind of thing. I have a dislike for cooked vegetables so Daniel fasts are not something I would do. However it's a good fast to do and worthwhile for those who don't have the build I have. I have lost about 2kg's already. Not that it will show. I have a large belt to feed off for a number of weeks.

I don't know why but I am looking forward to Church on sunday. I have some kind of expectation building. Feel it's gonna be good. It's also going to be a really busy day. Young Adults are leading Worship , Serving Tea, Serving Breaking of Bread, Food for Alpha and i am service lead for the day. It's gonna feel like we are running around on Sunday but i want to experience God. So in whatever hapens on Sunday....Seek God. No Matter what goes right or wrong. Seek him. I suppose that applies during the entire year. We seek him at all times regardless of our emotions. We seek him because he is God. He is the creator. In a weird way we are irrelevant and only he is relevant. Yet he has made us relevant by creating us. We get to glorify him as his creations in everything we do and say. Much like tree's and mountains express him. So should we.

Enough rambling.....

I'll try to blog a bit sooner.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Great Potjie Cook Out

What a great day at Church. We had a great Potjie Cook out. Lots of people took part of all ages. There was some seriously good food. I should know. I tried them all as I was a Judge. One thing I appreciated was also the muti culural side to it. In South Africa that's real great. We had the White okes doing Poitjie's, the Indian's did some awesome curries....I could see some white oke's sweating. Then we had the Zulu's, Shona and Malawian's Braing meat and Pap. It was all in all an awesome occasion. We even had an American present....another one...well actually and x south african. So she fitted in just fine after being away for 13 years.

One thing that struck me at the Braai was the Refugee's and the fact that they don"t have much and could enjoy themselves with everyone else. Yet they are poor. As Christian's and as a church we have a duty to help out. Back to fasting. There is a scripture that talks of fasting and giving away your food while you fast. If I remember correctly it is a rebuking to the leaders of Biblical times saying that they fasted yet it had no meaning and the writer was saying would it not be better that when you fast to consider those that don't have much and to give them food. Sure the food will most likely be short lived and won't give them a career. It is however a start. it's a small thing one can do to help others out. There are starving families out there. Maybe we should skip one meal a week and send a 5kg bag of Mielie meel to those that need it. A 5kg bag feeds about 20 people or 20 meals for one person. That's a lot and does not cost much. I say we can all do our small part.

Something for me to think about and maybe do when i am fasting.

cheers Greg

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Getting Ready for the fast

Happy Spring for everyone. Good month for a Fast.

The date is set....23rd of September for the fast. It's time for me to start watching what i eat and how much i eat. Avoid large meals and generally eat healthier. With Michelle's help this should not be too hard. I also need to cut back on Coffee and Caffeine......the dreaded headache creators. If i wait too long the first days of the fast will be a nightmare. Best cut back on Caffeine asap. I'll have huge headaches in the first 3 days of fasting if i don't stop caffeine and that makes fasting harder.

It so happens that Michelle and i have been reading the Bible cover to cover. Getting people to read the bible is a pet hobby of mine. I find too many Christians have no idea what is in the Bible. They heard something from someone which is normally second or third hand and a load of rubbish. Most of the time Christians get pulled into something believing it's right and in the meantime it's not even biblical. There are so many examples of this in the church these days it's frightening. Moral of the story, Read the That's what we have been doing. All it takes is 4 chapters a day and you will finish in about 10 months. When i start fasting on the 23rd it will be the day we begin reading the new testament. I am looking forward to that.

Something for anyone to consider when fasting is what is the point.....Time to Read the bible...maybe that's a good reason. Finding God. Praying. Those are also good reasons.

In a few days I'll be reading Daniel. He fasted quite a bit. Refused to eat food that was "unclean" and worship idols. Later he ended up in a lion's den. Maybe the fasting helped him handle the lions den. His buddies ended up in the fire. Maybe fasting helped them too. More on this when i get to read it in a few days.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

40 Day water fast

Hi There,

It’s almost time for the 40 day water fast. I’ll be starting in around 3 weeks’ time. I have not done one for a long time so this will be quite interesting. The Fast I do is a complete abstinence from food. The only substance I have is water. In large quantities. I need around 2 Litres a day to sustain myself. The big thing with a long fast like this is to plan and prepare. You can’t decide to do a 40 day fast on the fly. You need to scale down on your food’s and get ready for it. It’s also quite a mental challenge. I have to get my brain ready for this. If I have any doubt or no desire to do it, it can become so much easier to stop fasting. Any excuse to not fast or to stop fasting during the middle of the fast will work if my motivation is not there. So that’s what I am working on now. I am also busy writing the beginnings of a book. I have decided to record the fast and the various days so that others can learn from my experience. I’ll also upload some video’s to youtube as well.

To start with I’ll answer some of the questions I am sure people are asking.

One of the questions is Why? Why fast? What’s the point? Why do it? For me as a Christian it’s about relationship with God. The bible has numerous examples of fasting of various people either to get closer to God or to repent of their lives because they are not as close to God as they should be. Jesus even mentioned Demons that could only be dealt with by fasting. I would say that I have an element of the first two. I want to be closer to God. I want to hear his voice and see him move and be a part of his plans. I am repentant that I am probably not where I should be with God. I should be closer to him as should all of us. Fasting is a biblical principal that assists with this process. Jesus fasted before he started ministry. He fasted for 40 days and I am sure that if he did it then it has to be some principal to that. If the Son of God fasts why should we not fast? We don’t get to heaven by works but we do need to consider disciplines that help us improve our relationship with God. Prayer, Reading the Bible and fasting fit in these categories.

Well, let’s see how we go.