Sunday, 29 April 2007

Help Me To See!

Have you ever moved into a new house? It is so exciting. If you are like me, you dream about all the changes that you would like to make around the place. You enthusiastically make a 'hit list'. However... if you don't tick off the items on your hit list within 6 months... the chances are that you never will!

What happens is that as you move into your house you easily notice all the things that need changing and repairing. However, as you spend more and more time in your new home... you slowly and ever so subtly just get used to that crack in the wall... the pink bathroom just doesn't bother you so much anymore... that tired paint on the wall becomes... well normal. We accept it. We no longer see anything wrong.

But this doesn't just happen when we move into a new house. This very same phenomenon happens in our lives! We know that we have certain issues that need to be worked on... and if we don't address these issues in our lives, they very quickly become the norm... acceptable, and so we slide into mediocrity.

Thats why I believe that we need people from the outside to come in and evaluate us. These can be people you see maybe even as little as once a year, but they know you and are able to speak into your life and point out those issues that have just become normal to you.
These people will be worth their weight in gold to you! Pray and seek them out. Make this a priority.

Lets commit to Kaizan... and in a few years time you'll be amazed at the person you have become!

Saturday, 28 April 2007

I am getting ordained this Sunday evening at Eastside Church in Hamilton, which is really exciting! So with this in mind I thought I'd write about the call of God...
Lets start off by looking at Scripture:

1KI 19:19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by," he said, "and then I will come with you."
"Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?"

1KI 19:21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.
Let me put down some seed thoughts to get your mind whizzing:
  • God had chosen Elisha. Does this mean that even if Elisha wanted to run from this calling that he couldn't (Consider Jonah)?
  • What happened under the cloak? Have you had an experience like this?
  • Elisha was a successful hard working man. Why is it that people who really don't want to work and who really don't feel good at anything always think that ministry would be good for them?
  • When Elisha ran to Elijah, why did he say, 'What have I done to you?' Was he trying to put Elisha off? Was he testing Elisha's call?
  • What was the significance of Elisha sacrificing the pair of oxen and burning the plowing equipment?
  • If Elisha was to be a great prophet... why should he spend his time doing menial attending to Elijah... surely he could have been doing better things that washing his hands and feet, etc?
I look forward to your ponderings & questions on this passage

Friday, 27 April 2007

The Most Powerful Way To Share Your Faith

The following is an article taken from the 'Here I Am Send Me' website which is run by Jeremy Sargent of Eastside Church in Hamilton.
Make sure you visit his website, its excellent! You can subscribe to their 3 Words which the following article is taken from (March 07). You can subscribe to this monthly encouragement for free.

Evangelism would be very easy if everybody who was going to be saved would wear a fluorescent sticker on the forehead stating “Please tell me how i can be saved.”Wouldn’t this make the job of the evangelist so much easier and save a lot of “Wasted” time?

Well, the Lord hasn’t chosen this “Ideal” (or so it would seem) way of dealing with those who don’t know him.He has instead given us a very simple way of dealing with those who don’t know him; Listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.In the book of Acts, Phillip the evangelist was told by the Holy Spirit to go and stand by the Chariot. He did, and he found a hungry soul looking for salvation. It all turned out well and the convert even suggested his own baptism should occur.

So, good evangelism is not witnessing according to a particular teaching (although teaching is necessary for good evangelism) nor is it presenting the same formula over and over to different people in order to get a result.(although if you process enough people with this method you will have some return for your work)

Good evangelism is listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit as to WHAT THAT PARTICULAR PERSON NEEDS TO HEAR AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME, and listening to what the person you are talking to is really saying.

Example;I met a man at the Otorohanga Fair Last weekend who used to go to Church. He had just had the death of one of his Children in December and was still reeling from grief. He had also had another one of his children die previous to the last one. Not all have the fortitude and strength of Job to bear up under extreme circumstances like this. He had returned to drinking alcohol for comfort.

He didn’t need to hear that getting drunk was sinful, but he needed to hear some truth. So I said to him, “Alcohol is a thing. It is not a person and so it cannot really comfort you. You need a person to comfort you in your grief. I recounted how God himself had to watch his own Son on the cross. God is acquainted with grief more than anyone in this world. I then said I would pray for him regularly. I have put his name on my mobile phone to remind me of his situation.The Spirit blows where He wants to. Listen up and be ready to obey.

Peter Guyot

Let me encourage you to put this article into practice today! Trust me, when you ask Jesus for opportunities, and you ask Him to guide you each step of the way, you'll be amazed by the results!

So log on to the 'Here I Am Send Me' website and share your faith adventure stories under the 'Breaking The Sound Barrier' tab.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

What Do You See?

Hospital Window
A great note for all to read it will take just 37 seconds to read
this and change your thinking

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One
man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help
drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window.
The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked
for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes,
their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been
on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit
up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he
could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods
where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and
color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans
played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers
walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city
skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail,
the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the
picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade
passing by.

Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it.
In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with
descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths
only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died
peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital
attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could
be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his
first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have
compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things
outside this window

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see
the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

How do you view life?
There are 3 views in this piece:
1) Blindness
2) A Wall
3) Possibility

While most of us don't suffer from literal blindness (there are none so blind as the person who won't see), perhaps many of us get stuck at the wall / circumstances in our life. All we can see is the wall. We feel stuck... and simply accept it as the way things are.
But to truly live, one needs to see with the eyes of faith and possibility. Saul and all Israel saw a giant of a man named Goliath... but David saw a big God and recognized Goliaths size as an opportunity to not miss! (1 Sam 17)

How do you view life?
in 2 Kings 6 Elisha's servant freaked out when he saw the army surrounding Dothan... but Elisha saw with a different set of eyes...

(2Ki 6:17) Then Elisha prayed, "O GOD, open his eyes and let him see." The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw. A wonder! The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!

How do you view life?
Perhaps your obstacles / walls in your life are truly just God opportunities.
Why not take a moment right now to ask God to open your eyes...

Thanks again to Ellen Hannah from Eastside Church in Hamilton for sending me that great piece : )

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

JAMES MACPHERSON: My Favorite Name For Jesus ...

JAMES MACPHERSON: My Favorite Name For Jesus ...

This is an incredible piece written by Pastor James Macpherson! I really felt the Holy Spirit as I read this inspiring and fresh look at Jesus' names.

(Click on the above link to read the article)

What are your favorite names of Jesus?

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

The Power To Change

Today I was revisiting the challenges that I received at our easter camp... and to be honest... I had to review my notes to remember what I had felt challenged to implement in my life. That led me to think back to a month or so ago when I was at a day retreat with Bill Hybels. There were so many challenges personally and organizationally that I had received during that day... but to my shame, all I can remember is one or two of the challenges, and vaguely at that!

In our western society the lust of our day is information. We run from one fountain of information to another but we never actually mediate on that information. We never work it through. It never gets a chance to become revelation. It simply tickles us... and then we run on. We never commit to the challenge. We would rather have flings. Flings don't cost us, they don't make demands on us. We feel good. We pat ourselves on the back.
But we have been unfaithful to the challenge. We remain immature... dwarfs in our calling, our potential, our being.

What challenges do you need to go back and revisit?
How will you ensure that you work it through, applying the challenge to your life one week from now, one month from now, and even one year from now?
How will you live this out?

I want to end todays thought off with a quote from Eugene Peterson's book 'Run With The Horses':
"He weighed the options. He counted the cost. He tossed and turned in hesitation. The response when it came was not verbal but biographical. His life became his answer..."

Monday, 23 April 2007

Science vs Faith

Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ." The atheist
professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of
his new students to stand.

"You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

"Yes sir," the student says.”

"So you believe in God?"


"Is God good?"

"Sure! God's good."

"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"


"Are you good or evil?"

"The Bible says I'm evil."

The professor grins knowingly. "Aha! The Bible!" He considers for a
moment. "Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and
you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?"

"Yes sir, I would."

"So you're good...!"

"I wouldn't say that."

"But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you
could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't,
does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he
prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you
answer that one?"

The student remains silent.

"No, you can't, can you?" the professor says. He takes a sip of water
from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

"Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?"

"Er...yes," the student says.

"Is Satan good?"

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."

"Then where does Satan come from?"

The student falters. "From...God..."

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil
in this world?"

"Yes, sir."

"Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"


"So who created evil?" The professor continued, "If God created
everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the
principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil."

Again, the student has no answer. "Is there sickness? Immorality?
Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?"

The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."

"So who created them?"

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his
question. "Who created them? There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer
breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.

"Tell me," he continues onto another student. "Do you believe in Jesus
Christ, son?"

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, professor, I do."

The old man stops pacing. "Science says you have five senses you use to
identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?"

"No sir. I've never seen Him."

"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"

"No, sir, I have not."

"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus?
Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for
that matter?"

"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"Yet you still believe in him?"


"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,
science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?"

"Nothing," the student replies. "I only have my faith."

"Yes, faith," the professor repeats. "And that is the problem science
has with God. There is no evidence, only faith."

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of
his own. "Professor, is there such thing as heat?"

"Yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."

"And is there such a thing as cold?"

"Yes, son, there's cold too."

"No sir, there isn't."

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room
suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain.

"You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat,
unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have
anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is
no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing
as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458
degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or
transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit
energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see,
sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We
cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is
energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom,
sounding like a hammer.

"What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?"

"Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if it
isn't darkness?"

"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence
of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light,
flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and
it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the
word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make
darkness darker, wouldn't you?"

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will
be a good semester. "So what point are you making, young man?"

"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to
start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. Flawed? Can
you explain how?"

"You are working on the premise of duality," the student explains. "You
argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad
God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something
we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses
electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood
either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of
the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not
the opposite of life, just the absence of it."

"Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved
from a monkey?"

"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man,
yes, of course I do."

"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes
where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

"Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and
cannot even prove that this process is an on-going Endeavour, are you not
teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion
has subsided.

"To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student,
let me give you an example of what I mean."

The student looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who
has ever seen the professor's brain?" The class breaks out into laughter.
"Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt
the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one
appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of
empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain,
with all due respect, sir. So if science says you have no brain, how
can we trust your lectures, sir?"

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his
face unreadable.

Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. "I guess
you'll have to take them on faith."

"Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with
life," the student continues. "Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?"

Now uncertain, the professor responds, "Of course, there is. We see it
everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is
in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These
manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it
does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is
just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the
absence of God.

God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man
does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that
comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no

The professor sat down.

Big ups to Ellen Hannah of Eastside Church who gave me this piece!

Saturday, 21 April 2007

My Next Perps

Here are my next 4 Perps this week:

1. My Highschool Diaries - A message for Elevate on 27th April
  • Here I look at 4 points in my life at high school: Meeting Christ, Being baptized with the Holy Spirit, My friends deserting their faith, & Post high school.
  • What questions would you like answered during this perp?
2. The 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders - A Message for Eastside's combined Lifegroup Leaders Equipping Day

3. Spiritual Leadership - A Message for Eastside's combined Lifegroup Leaders Equipping Day
  • The thought here is that while leading requires 'leadership' skills... as spiritual leaders we should also rely on the Holy Spirit's input.
  • How have you experienced the Holy Spirit in this way?
  • What would you like to learn most from this message?

4. The Call of God - A combined message spoken at my ordination service at Eastside's 7pm on 29th April

I look forward to your comments : )

Friday, 20 April 2007

To Godtube or not to Godtube

The world has been swept by the Youtube craze which allows anyone to post videos about just about anything. It has led to many people becoming 'world famous' with 1 000's of people viewing their videos each week.

By posting a video you can create a craze across our global village... some for good (like Bono's message on taking responsibility for the poor... and some that aren't so good (like the teens who record themselves boosting cars and beating up other kids, etc)

But there is set to be a new craze in the Christian community... Godtube. I first logged on when they had just 5 videos...
but I logged in just a week later and their have been over 900 video posts. Check out this amesome video

But here is my question... should we have a separate community... or should Christians focus on being salt in the 'world's' communities? Check out this video that tells us why Godtube is Stupid

So what do you think?

But before you make up your mind lets heed Proverbs 18:17 which says:
The first to present his case seems right,
till another comes forward and questions him.
Check out this counter video on Why Godtube might not be so Dumb

So now, what do you think? Post a comment on: to Godtube or not to Godtube

Thursday, 19 April 2007

The Power Of The Little Man

In each and everyone of us lies two very opposing polls...
There is a part of us that senses that we can... and we should make a difference. That we were destined for greatness - this is what I blame my obsession with superhero's on. We esteem hero's, we want to be hero's... we desire to be difference makers.
Then of course there is that part of us that believes that we are too small and insignificant to really make a difference. We question ourselves 'Who do you think you are?' We shake our head at our foolish and prideful thoughts that we could actually be difference makers.

And thus we have the greatest battles that must be fought... daily. Which thought will win and thus determine your life's outcome? I do believe that Henery Ford had it right when he said,
"If you think that you can do a thing, or you think that you can't do a thing, you're right."
Unfortunately most of us tend to go with the negative thought and believe that we really can't make a difference... and so we don't.
But the truth is... it is the small, the average man that is making the greatest difference in our world today.
Most of us were amazed to see Warren Buffett give away 85% of his fortune (thats 85% of US$44Bil) and we think, 'Wow, what it is to be a difference maker.' But the truth is that over 70% of all money raised for Not -for-Profit organizations is given by the average Joe and not by the massive corporations as one would have thought. In fact it has been worked out that if just the Christians in the US gave a full tithe to their churches, there would be enough money to eliminate world hunger and still have millions left over for evangelism!
Never again believe the lie that you can't make a difference! Decide today that you will be a difference maker. Decide today to do something small and you'll be amazed by how much of a difference you'll make in your world!

Imagine living in a world where we all believed that we could make a difference.
Would there be poverty?
Would there be suicides & depression?
Would the world be reached for Christ?

What do you think?
(I look forward to your comments)