Good enough



I am probably just like you.

I want to live life well.  I want to know Jesus and to follow Him.  I want to be like Him.  I want to make the most of every opportunity I am given and to multiply it for God’s glory and for the extension of His Kingdom.

But I get tripped up by things sometimes.  One of those things is trying to be perfect. 

In Luke chapter 10 we see the story of two sisters, Mary and Martha.  I love these two women that Jesus loved.  Just two sisters trying to serve Jesus and follow Him.  Women like you and I.  Mary is captivated by Jesus and sits at his feet to hear every word He speaks.

And Martha loves Jesus too.  It was her idea to invite Jesus into their home in the first place.  But, when Jesus arrives she can’t relax and enjoy the evening.  Something is driving her.  I don’t believe she loves any less.  I think dear Martha lets the pressure of getting everything right rob her of something more important.  And it probably wasn’t the first time.

Martha wanted to show her love for Jesus in a practical way.  How wonderful!  How precious and good!  But then she got a little carried away and soon there were elaborate recipes, side dishes and table settings and she was overwhelmed.  That is because perfectionism always escalates what is required. 

You know what I mean.  Like when an invitation for lemonade in the backyard becomes high tea at the Ritz.  Perfectionism drives us to make even simple things into elaborate productions until we are completely worn out.

 Just look at verse 41 where Jesus rightly discerns that Martha is ‘worried and upset about many things.’  Do you relate to that?  I do and if I am not careful, this can become a way of life.

If my value is based on my achievements, then no ball can be dropped and every plate must be spinning.  It all has to be perfect or I don’t feel good about myself or my life.  I can’t rest or worship or have fun until things are just how I want them to be, which of course is an elusive goal.  There is always something more than needs to be done.

And then, perfectionism affects your relationships.  It is all so inevitable.  We worry and work and wear ourselves out and then we get upset when others don’t share our unrealistic expectations.  It wasn’t enough for Martha to turn a simple meeting with Jesus into an elaborate feast, she wanted help with it.  How unfair it is when we resent someone else’s relaxation because we don’t know when or how to relax.  Mary was able to sit at Jesus’ feet because she was comfortable with rest. 

But worst of all, perfectionism causes you to miss out.  Just like Martha, if we don’t identify and fight this in our lives, we will miss out on all sorts of God-given opportunities.  We will miss out on fellowship because our cooking is average or our home needs redecorating.  We will miss out on exciting ministry opportunities because we don’t speak or sing as well as so-and-so.  We won’t apply for a job or try a new hobby in case we aren’t good enough.  And worst of all, we will miss out on time with Jesus because we are busy icing an unnecessary cake.

Perfectionism makes it very, very difficult to live the careful life, maybe even impossible.  

That is because when we spread ourselves too thinly, we end up neglecting the things that really matter.  The only way to stop this is to recalibrate our thinking.  Our minds need daily renewal so that truth can thrive and lies can be rejected.

You can start today.

Right now, remind yourself that you are a deeply loved child of God.  You are really good at some things and pretty average at others.  But, you are learning and growing.

Remember, perfection is not the goal, God’s perfecting is, and He is working on your character, not your resume.  You are not in competition with anyone else.  You are uniquely created and valued by the One who thought you up.  You are His idea and He likes you.

God is refining you but that is His job and His business and He will finish it in His time.  

There are things in your life today that really matter and things that really don’t.  Pray for the grace to know which is which.  Then you will work when it is time to work and you will drop everything when Jesus comes to visit.  















































My daily slice

DSC_0741Bread gets some bad press.

A growing awareness of food intolerances means that sandwiches are definitely out of style as working professionals choose trendier lunches.  Although the UK is a bit behind the US, gluten-free options are now available everywhere and sales of sliced bread are down 12% as compared to a few years ago.

But in the Bible, bread is a wonderful thing.    It is used many times in God’s Word as a picture of important truths.

Bread is very often used as a picture of provision.  In Exodus, the heavenly bread called manna was God’s provision for His people in the desert.  In the gospels, Jesus blessed, broke and multiplied loaves of bread to feed the hungry crowds who followed Him.

In Matthew 15.26 Jesus used bread to describe spiritual blessings, particularly supernatural physical healing.

And of course, bread is a picture of God’s ultimate provision for us, Christ, who describes Himself as the bread of life in John 6.35.  Every time we take communion we are reminded that our Bread of Life was broken for us to provide salvation.

And then in the most well-known words of the Bible in Matthew 6 we see the template for prayer. Verse 11 says, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’


The word used here for daily is a very intriguing one.  ‘Epiousios’, was not a word that was used in ordinary speech and in fact,  it is only found in this prayer and not used anywhere else in the Bible or in any other Greek writings.  It may have even been coined by the writers of the gospels themselves which makes it arguably the most difficult word in the New Testament to translate.

Early Bible translators used context and similar Greek words to attempt to derive meaning.  They settled on ‘daily‘.  They believed the word had a sense of ‘just enough’ or ‘what is sufficient for today’ so that we should ask God for the basics we need to live each day, which of course we should.

However more recently, a closer look at the prefix used here gives a fuller meaning.  Rather than just enough for today, the way the word has been constructed has a sense of provision that is above and beyond, bountiful, more than enough for the future.

 Make no mistake, this is supernatural bread and the portions are generous.

Like the loaves that Jesus multiplied, there are always baskets of leftovers.

Each time we pray for our needs we can pray believing that the answer will be full and rich.  God’s answers overflow into our tomorrow.  They are abundant, not just adequate.

It is like there is exponential power in our daily prayer time with God.  It builds.  I am reminded of Deuteronomy 28.2 where God promises His children that the blessings of obedience will overtake them, like an avalanche of answers that they can’t outrun.

There are answers for you today.  There is healing and deliverance and supply.  But you can expect that these blessings will also overflow into tomorrow.  There are words of direction that will propel you towards callings and ministries in the future.  There are solutions to problems you don’t even know about yet.  There are words of comfort that you are going to need.  There is bread from the Bread of Life Himself.  You will be filled up and you will receive enough to share with others.

The God we pray to is a giver.  He is a good father.  He gives generously out of an endless supply and He always gives enough for tomorrow.

Philippians 4.19 promises us that God supplies our needs out of the riches of Christ.

Matthew 7.11 promises His gifts are good.

Romans 8.32 says God graciously gives us all things.

Psalm 34 promises those who seek the Lord will lack no good thing.

God knows what is around the corner.  He knows the challenges and struggles and disappointments and loss we may face.  He knows exactly what we need today to be ready for tomorrow and we receive it when we make time to be with Him daily.

Trusting, believing hearts can choose daily bread over worry.  We can be filled with every word that God speaks and never be hungry again.  We can laugh at the future because even in the deepest darkest valleys, there is a table already prepared for us,  and our cups and our breadbaskets are overflowing.


‘How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear You.  You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.’  Psalm  31.19  NLT












There is a lake near my home and it is my favourite place to walk.  I have walked around it dozens and dozens of times, in hot sunshine and in rain.  I have been around it so many times that I know the path like the back of my hand.

But sometimes I like to take my camera and try and find views and scenes that I have never noticed before.  I like to explore the smaller paths that wind between the rhododendrons and camellias and look for something new to photograph.

It is the same lake, of course, but there is always a fresh angle or a new perspective waiting to be discovered.  And, the more I discover, the more I love it.



I think knowing God is like that.

If I am going to live carefully and wisely, as described in Ephesians 5.15-17, if I am going to understand and grasp God’s will, I have to always remember that I don’t know everything.  There is always more.

God is bigger than my particular political persuasion or my preferred church denomination.  He is bigger than my own personal view of the world.

That is one of the reasons that we need each other.

In Romans chapter 12, we see that we are all gifted in different ways and in verse 5 it says, ‘we being many are one in Christ and individually members of one another.’  The New Living Translation says, ‘we are all different but we depend on each other.’

One of the ways in which Christians depend on each other is for the different perspectives we each bring. 


It is so easy to read things we already know and to only spend time with people who are just like us. When we do that, we are missing out because we often learn the most from those who are different from us.

This doesn’t come naturally though.  It can feel uncomfortable and vulnerable.  It involves listening more and never being so set in our ways that we can’t learn something new about God from someone else.

If you are a bit of a bookworm like me, someone who is always reading and writing and thinking, it might be time to hang out with a Christian who serves the needy in more practical ways.  Watch and learn as they get their hands dirty and love others with actions, not just words.

If your natural inclination is towards serving other Christians in church, you could dare to spend the day with an evangelist.  Their love for the lost will infuse you and challenge you and change you.

If prayer isn’t your thing, find a friend who is a committed intercessor.  Listen to the passion they have for prayer and let them lift your faith with their tales of God’s supernatural answers.

If you have been a Christian for a long time, nothing will refresh and revive you like the energy of a new believer.  It is so sincere and pure and totally contagious.  If you are newer to the faith, find a mature Christian and just watch them.  See how they live life, make decisions and raise a family.  Ask them anything you don’t understand.  Follow them as they follow Christ.

Don’t read the same authors or go to the same conferences all the time.  Try something a little different.  As long as it is Biblical, learn from someone with a new perspective. It really is life-changing.

Don’t spend your life just re-enforcing what you already know and believe.  Look to learn every day.  This is how we grow.



We must always remind ourselves that there are things about God we do not know or understand yet, however long we have been Christians.  God has so much truth to reveal to you and so much new beauty for you to enjoy.  There is treasure you haven’t found in the Bible yet and ways of praying you have never thought of.

This Creator God we call Father is indescribable and uncontainable and it takes a lifetime to scratch the surface of His goodness and love. 

There is so much to seek, to chase and to discover in God.

And God promises that whenever we seek more of Him, we find more of Him.  







Positioned for promises


Times of waiting on God can be tricky.

In Genesis chapter 15 we see Abraham’s bright idea to help God by having a child with Hagar.  And then, in one of the saddest chapter of the Bible, we watch as his human solution plays out.  It’s not pretty.

When chapter 17 begins, 13 long years have passed.   I am sure God’s promise seemed a distant dream as each day Abraham watched his foolishness wreak havoc.

But then the Faithful One, the very author of the promise, speaks.

‘I am Almighty God; walk before me and be blameless.  And I will make my covenant between Me and you.’

And hope returns.

Almighty God, I am, Yahweh has spoken and He still has the full intention of doing everything He said He would.  His promises are irrevocable because He is the One who keeps them.

But He wants something from Abraham.  He wants Abraham to walk before Him.  The Hebrew word for the phrase, before Him, is the same word used for the presence of God that Adam and Eve hid from after they had sinned.

God the Creator wants to be known.

Can you wrap your head around that today?  This God we serve, who is working out His plans and purposes in the earth, isn’t some CEO of the universe who barks orders, directing His will from afar.  He longs we would know Him, know His heart and His presence every day of our lives.

It reminds me of  John 15.15 where Jesus says, ‘I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I call you friends for everything I learned from the Father I made known to you.’

Our God wants us to be part of what He is doing on earth.  He has places for us to go and things for us to do.  But first He wants a relationship.

And we need to know God in this way because just like Abraham, our human solutions often fall short at best.  At worst they cause pain and loss.  But the answer isn’t to live in fear of getting anything wrong or making silly decisions.

The answer is walking close to our Promise-giver God.   It takes humility but also confidence and boldness, believing that God will do everything He has promised in His perfect timing.

Are you waiting for God today?  Is there a promise you are believing for or a decision that needs to be made?

There is wisdom in being quiet enough and careful enough to hear God’s way of doing things.  And, there is safety in God’s promises and in His presence. 

Do what it takes to position yourself for both today.