Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Communion - the widower

By Hayley Boud

Luke 7-11, “Soon afterwards He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!”  This report concerning Him went out all over Judea and in all the surrounding district


Here we see Jesus is walking with His disciples when He comes across a funeral procession.  There is a woman who is burying her only son.  She doesn’t have any other children and her husband has already passed away.  While there was a sizeable crowd with her, I’m sure she felt alone.  The woman was crying because she had lost everything.  Her husband, her only child and as you know, in those days the women did not have the right to inherit property so she would also lose her house and means of surviving.  The woman has lost everything.


Jesus sees her and feels compassion on her and touching the coffin, he says, “young man, I say to you arise!”  He makes what is dead to come back to life.  Jesus then gives the son back to his mother. 


I am sure during the year of 2015, you crossed many difficult situations.  Maybe you lost something precious to you.  Maybe you lost a loved one, your job, your health, a friend but Jesus sees us and has compassion on us and comes next to us.  When we are crying, that is the time for Christ to help.


There is a song that I would like to play in the background as we take communion.  It is called “Love Came Down”. The lyrics are so beautiful and so true.  “If the storm of life come and the road ahead gets steep, I will lift my hands in faith and believe, I will remind myself of all that you’ve done, and the life I have because of Your Son.  Love came down and rescued me, love came down and set me free”.


Here in the story of the widow, Jesus came to her and rescued her from losing her son, her house, her livelihood and pretty much everything.  Jesus made the son who was dead to be alive.  Jesus did the same for us, we were once dead in our sin but He came and touched us and said, “arise!”  He made us alive spiritually.


John 6:54, Jesus makes us “arise” with Him on the last day.  Let’s praise God as we take communion for His salvation (coming down from heaven to earth – just for us), for bringing us from death to life and for His promise to raise us up on the last day. 


As we take the bread, let’s remember that Jesus is the bread of life.  As we chew on the bread, let’s think about the life that God has given us, the life He has saved us from and the life we will have with Him for eternity.  As we take the juice, let’s remember that is represents blood and we all know that we can’t live without blood so the blood also represents life.  As you take the juice, taste it and feel it going down your oesophagus and think about Jesus and how He has made us alive and He has compassion on us when we cross difficult situations and rescues us.



Sunday, December 20, 2015


Transcript of the message below (as typed while Odon preached, as such, it is not the full message and may be slightly different from the preaching)...

By Odon Bulamba
We are getting so close to the end of the year, that we now start to count down the hours.  2015 will soon say goodbye and we will never see it again.  If we try to think about what we have done since January until now, we may end up writing books and books because we did a lot.  There was good, bad, positive, negative, pleasant and unpleasant and all we say thank you to God for everything we faced in 2015.


This morning I am going to share with you the message of pregnancy based on the visit of Gabrielle to Mary in Luke 1:28.  Mary was not expecting Gabrielle to visit her.  We are not sure what Mary was doing at the time.  We don’t know what was happening when Gabrielle turned up.  Knock, knock, “who is there”, “it is me”.  The person said, “I greet you, you are blessed”.  The messanger started to convey a message without introducing himself.  He didn’t say, I am an angel from heaven sent from God but he went straight into the message that she is the chosen one and will become pregnant.


Imagine a stranger coming to your house, greeting you with a blessing and saying you will become pregnant, goodbye.  What will your impression be?  Like Mary, you will be shocked.  According to their culture, you can’t just appear without introducing yourself, do that is outside of her culture.


When God visits you, He is the potter and you know the potter only uses clay.  God has chosen a human being, formed from soil to try to transform the life of Mary.  Mary represents you and I who were given a message to carry Jesus in us.  To become pregnant, the child lives inside the body of the mother.  That is what God is teaching us; the church of the New Testament. The Lord not only lives in your heart but in your body.  He is in your fingers, under your skin, in your bones and everywhere around you because he is omnipresent.


Most of the time we try to limit God and tell him, “live in my heart” but what about my head or leg or arm?  What will I become if I don’t give God my whole existence?  People go to the salon to get their hair cut and even coloured and we have to change it every time to make it look good.  The same with our nails and body.  This is not only to look attractive but it is also a commandment from God as our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.  In our bodies is where Jesus will stay.  For that reason, if your body does something wrong, you sin and God is angry because you destroyed the temple. 


Gabrielle gave a blessing to Mary but not a blessing that would bring joy.  When Jesus met with you for the first time, maybe you cried, “oh lord why did you select me, it’s a privilege to be selected, thank you for dying for me,” and you repented and decided to live for him alone.  Mary understood it was a privilege but it was just the beginning of the journey where you see and feel the power of God. 


It’s good to be accepted and chosen by God and Gabrielle didn’t tell Mary, you will be pregnant for nine months with many challenges along the way but he told her that she will give birth to a child who will be called Jesus.  When we get salvation, we have the joy of salvation but from the day we are saved to the day Christ returns, there will be challenges. 


We talk about Christian babies and then they grow slowly to maturity.  When someone is pregnant for one month, you can’t tell and even after seven weeks, no one can see but after a few months it becomes obvious and people start to ask, “who is the father?”  Mary was challenged because the father was the Holy Spirit.  Imagine telling people that the father of your child is the Holy Spirit.  They will send you to a mental hospital.  For that reason, when you talk about the gospel and salvation, people will think we are crazy.  When you say, I can’t do these things anymore (e.g. drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, go night clubbing) people say, why not?


People start to realise a women is pregnant due to the changes appearing in the body.  There is no menstrual period anymore.  What your body used to project, changes.  For example, you used to know Robbie as a fighter and now he doesn’t or Annette used to gossip and she now doesn’t.  Satan will say, “oh six weeks Colleen hasn’t come to the supermarket for her sanitary pads” [e.g. Colleen hasn’t gone to the night club] and satan will realise he is losing you.


The pregnancy will grow in your womb, not in your back or in your legs.  Why does the baby grow in the front?  When we eat, the food goes to the stomach.  We as the land of food will have the baby sit where the food goes.  If you don’t eat properly, the baby may be born with issues.  You have to look at your diet and why should I eat such a way.  If I love the baby in me, I should take care of myself.


What we call Christmas is a picture of the church with Jesus coming into your life and living in you like a baby and where you go, He goes, what you breath and eat, He breaths and eats.  After one month, maybe Mary was drinking milk but after 2 months she starts to vomit it.  Ange used to eat chocolate but getting pregnant maybe she can’t even stand the smell of it because the little baby inside her now makes all the decisions. 


On one occasion, I took a very good friend of mine to a restaurant.  She is a very beautiful lady and she said she loved so much mushrooms but when the waiter brought the mushrooms, she wasn’t comfortable.  Seeing and smelling the mushrooms, the lady started to feel sick and then she vomited…on my plate.  She was embarrassed and tried to say sorry but before she could finish the sentence, she vomited again and I jumped back so I couldn’t get vomited on me. I felt embarrassed because people looked around and people stopped eating.


When you start to spew out Jesus and talk about Him, those around you feel uncomfortable and you destroy their appetite.  Sometimes we are shy and we start to feel nausea and we don’t want people to discover what we have inside us.  I said to the lady at the restaurant, “are you sick?”  She said, “I’m not sick, I’m pregnant”.  When I said ok, she said, “is that all? Maybe you should congratulate me and encourage me and do more than ok”. When you tell people in the church, I am saved now, the church says ok.  We should support these people in their pregnancy.


For Mary, after a few months she had pain in back, joints, she could not sleep freely but all of that is a command, an order coming from what is inside.  The baby changes your diet.  If your diet was just to read Mathew, then when Jesus is inside you and He will tell you to change the diet, go to Jeremiah.  We might think, “I don’t want to read it because it condemns me, I just want something soft that tells me that I’m blessed”.  God says, “I told you on the first day that you are blessed and remember that blessings can be things that are hard to handle”.  When you are blessed you expect to get things that make you joy but blessings can sometimes turn wine to vinegar.


Mary lost her friends, lost her child-hood and became a woman.  Joseph started to doubt and wondered if he should trust her and wondered what he should tell people. Sometimes when you talk about the truth (Word of God) even Christians will start to doubt.  You may also lose your friends because Jesus comes to separate even fathers from children. 


When the pregnancy is four months, even if you were really small, your stomach won’t remain the same, it will grow big.  When the baby grows, you wonder where the skin comes from.  When you pull the skin of my arm, it won’t grow but skin on the stomach becomes elastic to hold the baby inside and the mother is walking day and night with this pregnancy. She walks slowly with the baby inside and she can’t leave the baby aside so she can move faster.


Most of the time we want to do things fast but God doesn’t do things quickly.  God took seven days to create the world while he could have done it all in one second.  He takes His time.  Why do we want to rush things? Why can’t we be patient and let God do things in our lives?


Mary wondered what she should do.  Her friends and family are taking a distance.  Mary was by herself.  Sometimes we cross situations where we start to regret, why God did you allow this to happen in my life and now I’m suffering.  The pregnancy is heavy and everyone is talking about me.  Where are you?  Come and help me but God says wait.


Pregnancy will change the shape of your mind and body and way of walking.  My friend who was pregnant started to hold her back with her hand.  People will look at you and think, oh you are finished.  You can’t tell an eight month pregnant women to run from here to the supermarket or to fight in a kickboxing tournament.  The woman could do it but for the interest of the one inside of her she won’t.  Do you also, for the love of Jesus in you, choose not to sin?


When Mary was nine months pregnant there was a very big temptation as all had to go to the head count.  Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Jerusalem which is a long way without a car and no GPS; just a donkey.  Donkeys are naughty and they make life hard but there was no other choice.  Maybe Joseph blamed Mary, “Why didn’t you tell the angel no?”  Poor Mary was forced to sit on the donkey all the way to Jerusalem. 


Contractions come with no help from Joseph or angels.  Maybe she was crying with the pain, “help me I need water”.  Maybe Joseph complained, “I’m tired with you, you sat on the donkey the whole way while I walked the whole way, you chose this situation, how do I know this is really from God?  When someone attacks you, do you keep quiet or jump back and attack.


One time I went to social welfare and they normally pay $53 per week.  The lady decided I don’t deserve any payment and she said, “don’t ask me why”.  What can you say?  I said thank you and see you next time.  Sometimes it’s hard to see the position you are put in and you have to say nothing.  Maybe your husband is angry from work and you have to pay the price and if you try to open your mouth there will be an explosion.


Mary kept quiet.  It’s not human nature to take off your clothes and walk naked on the streets but when birth comes, people forget about their nakedness and you have to walk without clothes and say, I’m exposed come and help me.  Spiritual nakedness means you expose yourself.  E.g. when you give your testimony in church, “I used to steal, I used to take drugs”.  They are exposing themselves.  This is my nakedness, this is the true me, I’m a bad guy and I don’t deserve this and I don’t have to hide it from you.


When I was travelling overseas one time, we met with gangsters.  The man I was travelling said, “you are lucky because I am a Christian now but I  used to be the worst gangster than you but now I’m changed but you go to the police station and ask about me because I.  He exposed himself.  For example, you might confess to your neighbour, “I killed your cat”.  “You said you didn’t”.  “Yes, I was a liar but now I’ve changed”.  When you have the contraction of your conscience, do you have the courage to come out and repent?


When the woman is coming to the hospital to give birth, all nurses will rush will help the woman.  For that woman who is about to give birth, every position will be wrong: sitting, standing, walking, lying, nothing is comfortable.  Nurses have to support the woman.  When the baby comes, there is a big task.  For any belonging to Jesus, after water and after blood, the baby has to be pushed.  It is your job to push and the world must see what was hidden inside and must see Jesus in us coming out.  You must push otherwise He will die.  Jesus told His disciples, go out and tell people about me, push, let them see Me in you. 


For lazy Christians, they will say, “no it hurts, no God don’t give me such a terrible mission, people will hate me” and God will say, “no, you have to do it”.  At one month after salvation, He takes you kindly and slowly you change until 9 months when you can’t move anymore and you have to push.  I have heard this message of Mary many times, every Christmas we hear the message.  If Mary had decided not to push and finish the work, the angels couldn’t sing and the wise men couldn’t see the star to follow it.


How will God be seen in your life, in your community and in everything you do without you pushing?  The pushing is the effort of the mother only.  It is not by anyone else that the baby can be born.  What strength do you have?  Are you ready to push Jesus?  You need to show those around you Jesus and not only live with Jesus inside of you.  If Jesus lives in you, they will discover but you have a duty to push Jesus out.


A baby is put on the chest of the mother and they hold it.  Many fathers looking on and don’t want to see or be involved, they decide to wait outside.  For those who are around you, you will ask them to come with you to preach but they will say, “no I’m busy”.  You can ask those around you to fast and pray but they will say, “No, I’m taking medicine so I can’t fast today”.


Where Jesus was born, there were animals looking at the nakedness wondering why Mary was in their place, “why are you here, this is our place, you are at the wrong place”.  Which reminds us that to give a testimony should not only be in front of Christians but we have to go to see the unbelievers and tell them who you were but now you have changed. 


We are all pregnant but maybe my pregnancy has been there for 10 or 56 years.  What have you been doing with your pregnancy?  How healthy do you eat? What exercises do you do to protect the child?  You are blessed as the Holy Spirit has testified.  Have you decided to give an abortion?  As Christians we should not terminate the blessing but hold onto it.


When Mary was to give birth, how much help did she have?  She was forced to play a major role to look after the temple of God.  If you don’t feed the baby properly, it may have problems in the same way that if you don’t feed your faith properly, you may have problems.


This morning, I saw a dress on the internet that was shocking.  It was a normal dress from the front but on the back was a picture of the naked backside.  If worn, people will think you are naked.  Sometimes we walk with a gospel but put a picture on top of it so people can’t see that we are a Christian.  Your physical appearance is a big step to help preach the gospel.  If you dress like a stripper, then people won’t consider you as a child of God.


When the baby is born, it has to be fed properly.  Sandy is the daughter of Colleen not daughter of Trish.  We are children of God but we also have to look after Him as our own precious child that is why Jesus came as a precious child of the church.  Who is your baby?  Do you breast feed him? When things go wrong, what do you do?  Do you just shout to God? 


Sometimes you tell a child, “give that to me” and they will say, “no”.  God does the same.  Those who enter the Kingdom of God have to behave like children.  E.g. “God, I’ve been giving offering every time at church, God can I have $2.”  “No”.  “I need a job”.  “No”.  “I need a child”.  “No”.  “I give up God, I won’t listen to you anymore, I won’t visit that person anymore because God you are unfair”.  Yes, he is unfair.  He glorifies himself in everything He does. 


He decided to create satan and he decided to be evil.  He gives to others but not to us.  He is God.  God takes those who are strong (to heaven) but leaves those who are old.  When Jesus decides to live in you, it is a privilege.  You have to prepare your mind and body.  Christmas is coming and we have to celebrate but we should also celebrate the work we have been doing and think about what we will do until Christ comes back.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Let the Peace of Christ Rule in Your Hearts

By Hayley Boud


Colossians 3:12-15New International Version (NIV)
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.   
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful”.


Colossians 3:12-15New American Standard Bible (NASB)

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved,
put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful”.


God has given us a gift of peace that this world doesn’t have.  It’s a gift that only God can give us but we can choose to let it rule in our hearts or we can choose to not let it rule. 

What does it mean to rule?

1.      One of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct or procedure within a particular area of activity.

2.      Exercise ultimate power or authority over (an area and its people).

3.      An accepted principal/instruction that states the way things are or should be donean ​ and tells you what you are allowed and not allowed to do.

We have the Word of God that is our accepted instruction that states the way things are and states the way we should do things and helps us to understand what we are allowed and not allowed to do.  Reading verses 12-14 helps us to see what these instructions are.  We have to let these have the ultimate power and authority over us. 

These instructions are to put on:

1.      A heart of compassion
2.      Kindness
3.      Humility
4.      Gentleness
5.      Patience
6.      Forgiveness
7.      Love
8.      Thankfulness

So, if we want peace in our lives, then we have to put on all of these.  When someone hurts you, put on compassion.  When someone annoys you, put on kindness.  When someone disappoints you, put on forgiveness.  When someone angers you, put on patience and gentleness.  When someone discourages you, put on love and thankfulness.  Not always easy but this is how to have peace ruling in our lives. 

What does it mean to be compassionate?

1.      Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. 

2.      A response to the sufferings of others that motivates a desire to go out of your way to help

On Sunday, Odon talked about Colleen and a dream he had regarding her ex-boss.  Colleen was treated badly by this woman but in Odon’s dream, this lady had to come to Colleen and ask for a job.  What awesome revenge!  How good would that feel?  If it were me, I would take my revenge and make her feel worse.  But, if we are to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, we have to be compassionate.  We have to go out of our way to help the person, even though they have hurt us.  Seems like that would make me lose peace not keep peace.  Yet, the truth is, when we are compassionate towards others, we gain peace and when we are cruel, we lose peace.


What does it mean to be kind?

1.      Wine mellowed with age is the same word used to describe kindness

When someone makes us angry, do we also rise up with anger and answer back with anger?  Or are we mellow like an old wine that has mellowed with age?  It’s hard to be kind when people are so unkind to us but if we want to keep the peace that God has given to us, we have to be kind.  We have to be extra, extra kind sometimes.  People can be rude for no reason but if we answer back rudely, we will lose our peace.  If we answer with extra kindness, we will keep our peace and that person will learn how to be kind also. 


Can you give examples of when pride took over, or when pride started to take a place and then you humbled yourself (or someone/thing humbled you). 

Last week, my boss told me to write a letter and he dictated a sentence which I added to the letter.  When he reviewed the letter, he told me to remove a particular word from that sentence (that he had dictated) saying the word was too emotive.  Then, he added that very word to another sentence later in the letter in writing.  I went back and made the amendments to the letter.  He reviewed it one more time and said, “remove that word, it’s too emotive”.  The word that he had dictated and then wrote down.  I felt like saying, “you’re the one who wrote it” but then decided it was best to be humble and accept to be wrong – even though it wasn’t me who was wrong.  I didn’t want to start an argument or make my boss think I don’t respect him, so I took the blame on me to keep the peace.

Sometimes, we will face that, we have to accept others to accuse us and we feel the pride rising up and we want to defend ourselves, but it’s better just to keep quiet.  Sometimes we can say something, if it is with a good tone and attitude but sometimes it is better just to accept to be wrong, even when we are right.

A good verse to remember when we feel pride rising up is, “humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He might exalt you at the proper time” 1 Peter 5:6.

If only I could do that every time.  Two days after thinking I was awesome for not letting pride get the better of me with my boss, I let myself down at home.  Odon was doing the dishes and I was very grateful so I said thank you very much for doing them.  He said, “you should thank Bertila for vacuuming”.  Pride rose up because I don’t need to be reminded like a child to thank people, of course I know how to thank people and of course I would thank Bertila.  Instead of being humble and saying, “definitely, I will, I’m very grateful to Bertila for her help”, I said, “You don’t have to tell me how to thank people, I always say thank you but no one ever says thank you to me” and then I went on and listed all the things I do without getting thanked.  Shame on me!  After I finished talking, I felt so ashamed of myself.  Where was my humility?

It wasn’t that I expect to be thanked, I just thought that if Odon is reminding me to say thank you, then he should remind the kids to say thank you to me for everything I do.  On one hand, that is probably true – we all need to be thanked and appreciated but on the other hand, I should be humble and wait for the mighty hand of God to exalt me at that the proper time. 

So, the moral of the story…let’s remember that we don’t always have to be right or acknowledged.  If we are humble, we won’t mind if people blame us or say things we know are not correct – we will just wait for God to exalt us at the right time.
The verse also says to keep peace ruling in our hearts, we also need to be gentle, patient, forgiving, loving and thankful.  Let's keep this in mind when we feel we are losing peace.  We usually feel that it's someone else's fault when we lose our peace (someone offends us or doesn't do what they promised to do or they annoy us). Let's be patient with one another and answer with gentle kind words, forgiving each other and let's be thankful for one another.




Monday, September 28, 2015

Working efficiently

By Odon Bulamba

It’s a pleasure to be here and a privilege to be alive.  Every minute of our lives counts, so we should ask ourselves from time to time, “What do I do with all the minutes I have with my life, all the seconds of the day”.  Maybe 20% of my time for watching tv, maybe 30% of my time is for swimming, maybe 10% for nightclubbing and at the end of the day, the day is gone. 


Yesterday I had a challenge, a lady asked me to show her my nose without pointing.  I said, “look at my face and it’s below my eyes”.  She said, “I can’t see it, show it to me”.  Sometimes we can’t express what is in our mind.  Sometimes God gives to us the word which is in front of us but we can’t clearly explain it to ourselves. 


In Mathew 7:24-27, there is a story of Jesus who was telling us that for those who hear the Word of God and do it, are wise and are like those that build a house on a rock.  In opposite, for those who her the Word of God and don’t do it, they are like the foolish who build their house on the sand. 


My message today is to try to unlock the padlock to understand the secret of those verses Jesus gave to us.  There are two different types of people: God has given both of them ears and understanding but the one who listens to God and then decides to do it, is automatically called wise while the one who decides not to do it, is called stupid.  Who would like to be called stupid?  Who is happy to be called wise?  I’m the first one – I’d much rather be called wise than stupid.  But to be wise (according to Jesus) is to do something which Jesus can’t do for you - you have to push yourself to do what the Word of God tells you.


Many read books from philosophers and wise people etc to become wise but to read without practice – your wisdom is empty. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God.  People tell you that on Sunday they will go to church to listen to the Word of God to make their faith grow big.  I need faith but you can have faith and you are still called stupid.  You can have a very big amount of faith and God can consider you stupid even if you do miracles, speak in tongues etc. 


Wisdom is very important in life.  Many people consider faith as the first thing they need because from it they believe they will get healing, money and all the material things they want.  I have faith in you God, help me.  God looks at you and says, “Thank you for having faith but I want you to become a doer, not just someone with faith. I want you to do things”.


Today, we don’t want to do things, we prefer to do things the easy way.  We prefer to go to Burger King instead of making a burger for myself.  We buy artificial flowers instead of working on a garden.  We need to see things happening quickly because today no one wants to work, we just want results quickly.


Not that long ago, we had dial up internet and had to wait 20 minutes before getting connected. Today the speed is so fast and yet we still complain when it takes two seconds,  “arggh, telecom my internet is slow” and the internet provider tries to fix the problem without reminding you that it’s better today than yesterday.  We complain and tell the internet provider we will leave their company and go elsewhere if they don’t fix the problem causing it to be slow.


When all we had was dial up, we could only download one photo a day and yet today we can download books but we are not satisfied.  We can go fast in our cars forgetting we can kill someone.  I’ve seen men go to the car yard and ask which engine is so powerful even though there is a speed limit on the road.  They will break the rules but that is what they want.  Today, you will have those who will judge you positively but others will judge you negatively.


The Word of God is in front of you and God is telling you, “you are my disciple, I love you and you have faith but you forget to use that Word”.  In the Bible, God used the example of building.  He used to talk about plants and trees but the disciples didn’t understand.  This time, He changed the strategy and talked about construction.  When you look at construction, there is no life in wood but in a tree there is life.  God wants to teach you with material that has no life.  When you build a house, the first thing you need is land.  Everyone today is fighting to buy land and those who have it believe they are rich but those who don’t have land have to rent and ask others to borrow their land.


I can have a car but if I have no land to park my car, I have to pay Hamilton City Council (HCC) for a car park. You can see how important is the land and the house.


Land contains something underneath it.  When you have your land and you have to build a house, you need a foundation.  Our body is the land because it came from the soil.  Do I need foundation or not?  My choice will make me appear clever/wise (someone who pleases God) or dumb (someone who doesn’t please God).  God looks at us and wants to see what our decision will be, putting aside faith – what will our actions be?  God has given us all the tools: We have the HOLY SPIRIT and we have eyes to see (physically and spiritually) and hands to kneel down and pray.


Before building a house, we have to design it.  We obtain an architect who will design a plan for the house.  For example, it might have five bedrooms and two bathrooms and we the house owner will be the boss and decide what we want and the builder has to follow the plan because that is our house and that is what we want.  After telling an architect what we want, he will draw it on the piece of paper. 


My grandfather punished his wife by building a house without a toilet.  God is so good, the day they moved in, my grandfather had diarrhoea.  The wife said, “you were so wise what you did” because he was punishing himself.  Once you choose your plan, God will tell you to go ahead now.  The plan is in front of you, you have all the tools and you can employ people to do the job for you but remember not all contractors are serious and you will lose money, time and peace.


Many years ago you had to dig the ground with a shovel to get a foundation strong enough to hold a building.  When you dig the ground, you put the soil aside and you have to use your physical strength (not spiritual).  It can be hot or cold weather but you have to do the job.  Some will dig 30 cm but the builder says, you better go deeper otherwise when the wind blows or storm comes, your house will collapse.  The more you go deeper, you find yourself sinking in the hole you are digging.  Your body is now inside the earth.


After digging, you call people to see what you have done and you point out where things will go such as the plumbing and electrical wires which are all under the ground.  The foundation will again be covered with soil.  This analogy reminds us that we were given a body with the strength, capacity and ability to see and do things and God is asking us now to go deep inside of ourselves and make the foundation and structure of how we should live our lives. 


Does the world see you flashing light or like a small torch?  Everything you do should reflect the Lord God.  We tell God, “God I’m weak, I need the HOLY SPIRIT” but God is telling us, “No, the HOLY SPIRIT can’t do your job for you.  He can teach you but you have to dig and find out your actions and know if they are a good foundation for your faith.  The Holy Spirit can give understanding but you have to search My Word”.


Jesus would tell people, “Your faith has healed you but you also have to walk to this place and wash in this water”.  Imagine, you come close to God and say, “I want to see” and He spits on your face and tells you to walk to the water and wash it off.  We might think, “God are you fair? Can you see what you are doing to me?”  How often we complain to God when things don’t go the way we want. 


Dig and discover how deep your foundation is.  You can know all the verses by heart but that means nothing if you are not putting these verses into action.


Once our ground is ready (the foundation is made) we have to build on the foundation a strong building.  This analogy reminds us to build our faith, to make a decision to pray every morning: “God really, is that what you choose, good we will start with that”.  The problem is that first day we start to dig and we feel tired, on the second day the phone rings, on the third day we decide to do it tomorrow and on the fourth day, we no longer care.  For example, we might say, “Even if I don’t go to church, who cares, it’s between me and God”.  Very often when we try to encourage others to work for God, they respond by telling us not to judge them and that it is between them and God.


When we start doing things our way and forgetting to build on the foundation, God starts to

Wonder if we are really the ones that He chose.  He starts to ask Himself why He gave such a privilege to this person to be His child while He didn’t give the chance to everybody.  Many people don’t even get to hear the Word of God.  You and I are chosen as disciples of Jesus and He gave us everything we want – now is the time to use it but we have excuses and excuses to not work for God. 


When we see the structure, we say what I beautiful house and ask who built it? Do we stop and think about the foundation?  We never do.  For some reason you can be in your 6 million dollar house and your house can collapse in 2 seconds in a sink hole.  Very often we don’t look at the foundation.  We can say we are fervent in prayer, we love you God but God says yes, you appear flourishing but how is your foundation?


One day I cut a rose at my place and sniffed it and it smelt good.  So I decided I should smell the roots because it created the flower.  It smelt bad.  This is the root which gave this flower beauty and smell but the root smells bad. The tree can look attractive and green but the colour of roots are dirty and muddy and ugly but they hold something precious.  Your body can look ugly and uncomfortable and you don’t like the way your body looks but let it bear the good fruits by making the right decisions. Before making any decision, we should ask ourselves, what does the bible say I should do?  If the bible says this is what I should do, and I promise God to do it, then do it and then you will look wise.


Wisdom doesn’t mean everyone will agree with you. Those who are foolish will believe you are a show off person because your ideas will be opposite to theirs.  The other day I was working at the warehouse and a man wanted a bike but I was too short to get it down so I called Richard to help who was taller but the man said, “I don’t like people of colour while he was Maori and Richard was white”.  Why not?  Sometimes people will hate you just because of who you are.  When that happens, it’s like digging the soil and you hit the rock and it hurts but you have to continue without a word. Sometimes you hit an electric cable and you realise you shouldn’t have dug there and now you have to start again. We have to keep trying and trying without giving up.


One day the judge will come (JESUS) and he will separate the sheep from the goats.  They look almost the same with the same body shape and colour and horns.  They both make nice meat.  Saved and non-saved can both have faith and believe in Jesus but when He comes to separate us, He will look at our deeds.  What did you do when you went you through trials?  Did your house shake or not and if it shook – then look at your foundation.  How much control do you have over your body?  When you say you are not eating, your stomach won’t punish you.  You can close your eyes.  You can decide to walk rather than use the car.  You can decide today to not go swimming regardless of the heat and you won’t. 


In Australia, this man said that the day that we allowed children to eat too much ice-cream, they will die in water.  Buying ice cream won’t stop you from swimming any more.  Children die when they swim in water but we blame the ice cream.  We start to blame: when I read the bible or pray, that is when problems arise in my life so I start to change the reality of my faith to something else.  If I drink one glass of wine it’s ok as long as I don’t get drunk but tomorrow it will be two glasses and then it turns into a tank.


Yes Jesus paid the price so you can be free but don’t you have any price to pay?  He said, love your neighbour as you love yourself.  It’s the hardest thing to do.  Do I really love my neighbours?  Mostly not.  We can be so happy to know what is happening in the lives of others and gossip but we don’t love them because when it is time to talk to them about the gospel my body starts to shake and heart beats fast.  I can talk about other things like rugby but fear to talk about God.


We tell God, I’ve done my part, it’s up to you now God and when we do that, our foundation is shaking just to talk to a human being just like you and me.  All we have to say is simply, “Jesus loves you, do you love him back? Why not?”  Do you believe God can forgive, it would be better for that person to run from you than for you to run from God.  We love the easiest ways.  We only want to talk about Jesus and bible when we are with other Christians.


Last week I found a guy (let’s call him Caleb) who works at the Warehouse and I knew he was a Christian.  During a meeting I said, “praise the Lord, Caleb” and he was embarrassed and he didn’t want people from the warehouse to know he was a believer.  This reminded me that when the storm comes, you will be exposed.  This beautiful shape of your house will be turned up and people will see all that was inside it.  They will see the bed and all that was under it, all your documents etc.  It’s better to make your foundation solid.


In New Zealand we use concrete to build the foundation which is sand, water etc to make a solid. Sand is soft and flows through our fingers and can’t hold a house up on its own.  This reminds us not to minimise yourself and believe you are weak because once you put your actions with the Word of God (water) you will be solid and nothing will shake you.  You can be poor now and tomorrow you will be rich or vice versa.  You can be lonely today and tomorrow have a child or vice versa. 


We often say, God why only me but if we loved our neighbour as ourselves, we will say, “God look at them, why are they are crossing this?”  When death is next door, you don’t care but when it knocks on your door, you cry and suffer but you don’t cry for others.  When we put our lives into the lives of others, then you are making the solid foundation and God will call you a wise person.  To be wise is to put yourself in the shoes of others.  Once you know that, you will please God and the Kingdom of God will be there for you.


When Jesus left, He said, “I am going to prepare a house for you but in the meantime start also to prepare a place – shape yourself”.  We think that it is just Jesus’ job to build the house.  My job is to pray and His job is to work.  No! Your job is to pray and do (Eph 6:11)  and Jesus will decide if it will work or not.  We have to put on the armour of God, we have to use our hands, eyes and brains to put it on.  90% of Christians today are waiting for God to put the armour on them.  We tell God, “I have a lot of problems” and most of the time it is money or wanting a handsome husband or travelling which is our foundation but God says, your foundation in Christ first.


The lawyer of the offender said to the jury, “now I know you are going to decide but in one minute the person who was dead will walk through the door” and they looked at the door.  They found him guilty but the lawyer said, “how can you find him guilty? You looked at the door and therefore you had doubt”.  But the jury said, “the offender didn’t look at the door because he killed him”.  God knows everything and you can try to hide things from God and find strategies to get passed God but your conscience will find you guilty.