Saturday, 30 June 2007
"Untapped potential is a crime to humanity, an insult to God, and a shame for an individual."
What are you intentionally doing this week to develop your potential?
I'd love to hear your thoughts : )
Friday, 29 June 2007
I really loved this short but punchy perp from Rico's blog... I'll know you'll enjoy it while been blown away by it!
I have this written on my door in real big letters:
"YOU LOVE JESUS ONLY AS MUCH AS THE PERSON YOU LOVE THE LEAST"
It was from 'Focus on the family' off Rhema like 6 months ago, and my flatmate quoted it back to me yesterday, and don't ya hate it when your own preaching comes back and bites you in the butt!!
Ponder that today, really truly think about it. Think about how much you need the love of Christ and then think about how much you love Jesus light of that quote.
Send me your comments : )
Thursday, 28 June 2007
Gen 26:12-14 MSG
(12) Isaac planted crops in that land and took in a huge harvest. GOD blessed him.
(13) The man got richer and richer by the day until he was very wealthy.
(14) He accumulated flocks and herds and many, many servants, so much so that the Philistines began to envy him.
Psa 84:11 CEV
(11) Our LORD and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield. You treat us with kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right.
Deu 28:6, 8, 11-13 CEV
(6) The LORD will make you successful in your daily work.
(8) The LORD your God is giving you the land, and he will make sure you are successful in everything you do. Your harvests will be so large that your storehouses will be full.
(11) The LORD will give you a lot of children and make sure that your animals give birth to many young. The LORD promised your ancestors that this land would be yours, and he will make it produce large crops for you.
(12) The LORD will open the storehouses of the skies where he keeps the rain, and he will send rain on your land at just the right times. He will make you successful in everything you do. You will have plenty of money to lend to other nations, but you won't need to borrow any yourself.
(13) Obey the laws and teachings that I'm giving you today, and the LORD your God will make Israel a leader among the nations, and not a follower. Israel will be wealthy and powerful, not poor and weak.
Luk 6:38 CEV
(38) If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.
Php 4:19 MSG
(19) You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.
There are obviously 1000's more... but that should get you started.
As you water your seed... may you experience a bountiful harvest!
I would love to hear your comments and stories of what God has done for you!
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
As you have journeyed with me through this series, you may have enthusiastically applied the principal that Joyce Meyer has taught in her book called Prepare To Prosper.
Perhaps you have already dialed into your on-line banking or have run to check your post box to see if any checks have come in...
Let me encourage you with another short extract from the book:
"The farmer maintains a specific routine in caring for the seed he has planted until his harvest comes. He is patient about it. He does not expect to plant the seed and have it produce a harvest the next day. Nor does he plant it, walk away from it, and expect to do nothing else to provide for its care. He continues to water it, pull weeds and make sure it gets plenty of sunshine."
(The emphasis was mine)
Jas 5:7 ESV (7) Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.
How do we know when we just plain need to be patient and when we need to bash down the doors of heaven?
How long do seasons last?
What is the purpose of seasons?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts
Tuesday, 26 June 2007
Before we get into it... just a little question and challenge:
Did you spend time searching out for the answer?
There's a whole blogs worth of discussion right there... in fact... I have blogged on that before... click here to see that blog.
So to get right into our discussion today: in a nut shell (and no pun intended) - The Word of God spoken out in faith waters the seed.
Just as natural seed will not produce a harvest without being regularly watered, neither will spiritual seed.
But why is it that we so often go through challenging times financially when we do give?
It would seem that we go through a time of testing - a season of doing what is right even though we don't seem to be getting the right results. As we persist in faith, breakthroughs start to happen.
It is during this season that we must remember the words:
Pro 18:21 ESV
(21) Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Another exert from Joyce's book:
"To begin blurting out negative statements from emotion is extremely unfruitful. Speaking out of our emotions is not the right thing thing to do. our emotions usually don't do well in times of testing. As we mature in Christ, we learn to control both the emotions and the mouth.
After we give - after our seed has been planted - we should speak life to it. Water that seed with the Word of God. Don't curse it by speaking negative things."
I look forward to your comments : )
Monday, 25 June 2007
If you have read part 1, did you have a ponder? What thoughts did you come up with?
In todays installment I thought that I would give you some key Scriptures that would be your guides as you think and seek revelation.
Gen 8:22 MSG
(22) For as long as Earth lasts, planting and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and winter, day and night will never stop."
Isa 55:10-11 MSG
(10) Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don't go back until they've watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
(11) So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them.
Pro 18:21 MSG
(21) Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit--you choose.
Rom 4:17 ESV
(17) as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"--in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
I trust that as you meditate on the Scriptures and ask for God to bring revelation... that it will all become clear... (as mud anyway : )
As always I look forward to your comments!
Sunday, 24 June 2007
Joyce believes that a key missing element in why we don't see our financial seed (giving) come to harvest is because we have not watered our seed.
While sowing is obviously a key part to reaping a harvest, the seed in the soil if not in the correct environment will not bear fruit (or multiply).
[Let me just pause right here and make a note: some of you may be thinking that we should not be giving with an expectation of getting... thats just plain unspiritual!
But let me challenge you with 2 points:
1) Does a farmer ever sow a seed without an expectation of a harvest?
2) Do Christians really struggle with the problem of giving to reap when only 3% of Christians are actually tithing (giving 10% of their income to the church)?]
So how do we make sure that the seed experiences excellent conditions? Let me quote from the book:
"God has been showing me that many people sow without ever enjoying the harvest He would love to give them because they are not properly caring for the seed sown.
planted in proper ground
under proper conditions
produces a prosperous harvest!
The Lord spoke to my heart, 'Joyce, you need to have a special season of watering the seed you have sown. This is the preparation for a new level of prosperity."
So how exactly do we water the seed we have sown?
Have a think... ask God... and keep watching this space!
I look forward to your comments : )
Friday, 22 June 2007
I've been reading a book called Who Took My Money. I came across something very interesting.
Robert Kiyosaki was talking about an investment he made into mutual funds when he was a young man. Basically a sales man came round and got him to invest.
When Robert visited his rich dad he was questioned about the investment. Robert really didn't know anything... and he was beginning to sense that he had made a really bad investment choice.
This was confirmed by the reports sent out by the investment company an the shares performance.
Rich dad proceeded to tell Robert that it wasn't that he had made a bad investment... but rather that he was a poor investor.
And that got me thinking. Isn't it so like our human nature to want to be able to point to someone / something else when things are going poorly. What we don't realize as we point elsewhere is that we have the rest of our fingers pointing straight back at us!
Was the investment bad... yes it was! But was Robert forced at gun point to invest in it? No! He was just a bad investor and so he chose a bad investment!
Its like John Maxwell says, "If you have been in a church as the senior leader for more than two years... then all the problems are your problems!"
It sounds really harsh... but it is in fact freeing!
I can change! I can choose to grow! I can choose new strategies!
It is actually very empowering to accept responsibility (response - ability).
How soul destroying hoping for something out there to change!
What situations do you need to accept responsibility for?
What plans will you put in place to change?
I look forward to your comments!
Monday, 18 June 2007
Well, I'm at the movies again... and what a beauty this one was. Its one of my favorite.
In this movie the government has sought to eradicate feelings from all people. Emotions are blamed for the evils of man kind... wars, murders, jealousy, etc. (expect of course the murders committed by the government against 'sense offenders').
The government has eradicated people's feelings by using a drug called Prozium.
The main character John Preston (played by Christian Bale) begins to forsake his Prozium doses and begins the journey to feeling.
While interrogating a sense offender - Mary O'Brian - John is challenged with this statement, "What are you living for?" to which he could not muster a good enough answer to. He then challenges her with the same question, "What are you living for?"
Mary's response... "I'm living to feel."
Since the Greeks emotions and feeling have been looked down upon.
Even today when we say that someone is just emotional... we are not saying that in a positive light.
But what role (if any) should our emotions play in our faith?
Why did God give us emotions?
How can our emotions complement our faith?
When are emotions good and when are they counter-productive?
As always, I look forward to your comments : )
Thursday, 14 June 2007
Check out the site... it has great features like a Q & A, a Breaking the Sound barrier - where people share their stories of how they have shared their faith, and heaps of other useful bits.
So without any further ado.... over to the 3 Word
This is an excerpt from an article written by Pastor Paul Scanlon from the Abundant life Church . I actually heard this preached as well and really enjoyed it , I hope that you enjoy it too.
There are, broadly speaking, two distinct schools of thinking among charismatic Believers with regard to divine guidance and the discovery of God’s will for our lives.
School one, and by far the largest, is summed up by the mentality that says: ‘I don’t move without God’s guidance’.
School two is the complete opposite. It says: ‘I don’t expect God’s guidance until I move.’
I wonder which one you are in. Do you believe that God’s guidance is the cause of your movement, or an effect your movement causes?
Abraham was a member of school two. In Hebrews 11 we read that Abraham ‘obeyed and went, but he did not know where he was going’. In other words, Abraham wasn’t given a map, just a command to leave where he was and go in the general direction of Canaan. Of course we know that God directed his life at times very specifically, but that was only after he created the initial movement and momentum by his original obedience.
Although Abraham didn’t know where he was going, he did know where to leave. God told him to leave his country, people and family. If all you know is that you can’t stay where you are, then that’s enough to create movement in the right direction. We don’t need to know where to go or what to do next before we move.
Knowing that you can’t stay where you are is your inner compass pulling you towards the future; listen to it and follow it.
God will be many things to your life - a father, provider, healer and restorer - but one thing God will not be is your chauffer. God doesn’t want to be your driver in life, he wants you to drive and he will give directions as and when necessary. He wants to edit your life not create it.
Remember those ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bracelets? I think they were probably invented by the first school of guidance; those who don’t move before they know they have God’s specific guidance.
This WWJD fraternity did nothing to help mobilize a church that was already parked up, waiting on God. If our thinking and church cultures become dominated by ‘What Would Jesus Do’ instead of ‘How Would Jesus Think’, then we can end up wasting years praying and asking the Lord, ‘is it A or B?’ When you know how Jesus thinks you will always know what Jesus would do
Consider these often quoted scriptures on the theme of divine guidance:
‘In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps’
‘A man’s steps are directed by the Lord’
‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord’
These and others we could quote, all indicate that God directs steps or movement not stationary things. God is drawn to people in motion.
What has this got to do with evangelism?
Everything!!! Its so easy to get caught up in what I call virtual evangelism when we believe that we are actually doing everything to reach the lost, when in fact we are reaching no one ..we can plan, prepare and even present our case to God and others all from a stationery position but the reality is until we take actual steps and move towards those that need to hear the message the world will go to hell
Maybe you’re a firm believer in the first school of guidance, but I invite you to try the second school. I can’t promise that you will prefer it but I can promise you an adventure. Join school number two and just start doing something for God today!
I would be interested in your comments about this article,in the comment box below
That was good stuff hey!
Leave your comments... and don't forget to check out the hereiamsendme web site : )
Wednesday, 13 June 2007
I bought a gas heater last July from the Warehouse. What a beauty a gas heater is!!!
So I whipped it out just over 2 weeks ago to find that it was faulty. So we took it in ... and they sent it back to the manufacturer for repairs.
So for 2 very cold and uncomfortable weeks we waited... and waited ... and waited.
Finally we are told our prized possession has returned. Tarryn (my wife) picks it up and fires her up at home... excited like a little school girl expecting that seductive blast of warm air...
only to find that it was in the same state as when we sent it for repairs.
So Tarryn heads back to the Warehouse only to be told that they don't keep gas bottles to test their faulty products and that she would have to send the product herself to the manufacturer in Hastings! (not only that but she was given a poorly photocopied piece of paper explaining that due to the heaps of returns of the product... some of which are baseless... the customer must now send the product to the manufacturer).
Well as you can guess from this blog... I was not a happy camper. In fact I was down right seething at the treatment that Tarryn got.
I was down their the next morning and was determined that I was coming home with some heat!
As always, they wriggled and tried to squirm their way out of it. They even got me to speak to the manufacturer... but I wasn't budging... I wanted a working heater.
I demanded my money back (in a very nice but firm manner I might add - I must have been the nicest irate customer they have ever encountered)... they wriggled and squirmed... but they could tell that I wasn't accepting any excuses... any more delays... I would have my heat, and have it tonight.
As you've guessed... I'm sitting in my lounge right now... a rather toasty lounge...
I bought me an Italian model... almost double the price, but guaranteed to keep me from that irate customer space!
So here are 2 lessons from this escapade:
1) Don't just accept what is handed to you
2) You get what you pay for!
Let me ask you:
- What has life thrown you that you have just accepted?
- What promises from God have you given up on as circumstances stare down at you?
- Have you let people treat you inappropriately?
- What have you let slide?
- Have you just given up on your mates coming to church / life group... on coming to Christ?
- What price are you willing to pay to get what you want?
- What price are you willing to pay to make Christ famous?
- What price are you willing to pay to walk in your destiny?
As always, I look forward to your comments!
Sunday, 10 June 2007
This aritcle of James Macpherson's blog was too good not to share... I know you'll really enjoy it! (You can follow the link to James' blog by clicking the title or his name, or by looking under my section on web sites I'm surfing).
Atheism has made something of a comeback in the past 12 months with people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris arguing passionately that belief in the transcendent is folly.
Atheism, the absolute belief that there is no Absolute, is the mother of ...
Materialism since without God, matter is all there is.
Hedonism since without God, now is all there is.
Relativism since without God, opinion is all there is.
Humanism since without God, we are all there is.
Nihilism since without God, random chance is all there is.
Atheism reduces human life to nothing more than random (nihilism) molecules (materialism) expressing irrelevant opinions (relativism) in the eternal now (hedonism).
It seems to me that while theism might make little sense to Dawkins, atheism makes nonsense of everything.
Saturday, 9 June 2007
The idea of me sharing these is to receive your feedback and input...
So comment away!
Leaders Life Group:
We are all ministers... pastors. What does pastoring your life group members look like.
Who has been your best picture of a 'pastor' in action and why? How did it make you feel?
Why is it that when you decide to go hard out for God... life seems to go to pieces?
Look at the life of Joseph and how he moved from the dream to slavery (and betrayal) to Jail (and isolation) and eventually to fulfillment of the dream.
The going to custard is a 'good' thing! A look at why and how to stay sane I suppose.
How have you grown from difficult times? What challenges have you faced after God has given you a dream?
The why behind the expectations we have for our leaders...
There certainly is a big demand that I make of the leaders in CE & Elevate. Am I going overboard... or is there some good reason to all of this?
There is no higher calling or greater investment that we can make than investing into the lives of people... but there is a cost involved.
What is reasonable and unreasonable to expect from the wonderful volunteers in church life?
Grace... but not as you know it!
We mostly think of Grace as God not squishing us for being sooo sinful.
I want to look at a side of Grace that we have become ignorant.
I believe that this message could be the most significant message that I will share this year!
Living the Christian life is just plain difficult! How do we do it? How can we change?
I believe that Philip 2:12-13 holds the key!
I believe we need to stop trying to change...
PS: I will be blogging soon the 3rd part of my giving feedback series... keep a look out for it... its going to be a boomer!
I look forward to your comments : )
Friday, 8 June 2007
This is an often quoted Scripture, but not an often well lived out Scripture. Lets start a revolution that changes all of that!
Yesterday we spoke about how to receive feedback into your life... today we will look at how to give feedback.
- The motive for giving feedback must originate from your love for the person and your desire to see that person grow
- Always ask permission before offering your feedback. An example ask would go something like, "Jim, if you would like, I have some feedback for you from when you ...". You simply put it out there that you have feedback and then leave it up to the other person to ask you if they would like to hear it.
- Do give feedback face to face. (I have learnt the hard way that e-mails can be read the way the person is feeling at that moment!)
- Don't overload the person with too much feedback. One or two points is sufficient for the person to go back and work on. anymore than this can just feel overwhelming.
- Sandwich the feedback with genuine praise and encouragement. (we tend to remember negatives 4X more than we do positive feedback).
- Some people do not like receiving the feedback immediately. Perhaps a day or two after the event would be more appropriate (unless of course their behaviour is inappropriate).
- Feedback should be given within 2 weeks of the event or the person won't remember what you are talking about.
Thursday, 7 June 2007
I can not think of a more helpful tool for growth than getting critical feedback from the right people (of course there are always people who feel the need to pull you down but we aren't talking about them).
So here are a few simple keys to opening up your life to the precious gift of feedback:
- Ask for feedback (from those qualified to give it)... give them permission to give you critical feedback. Let them know that you really want it. Seek it out often.
- Appreciate the feedback (most people who ask for feedback actually don't want to hear how they can improve. The greatest test of this is receiving feedback from those 'under' you!) Don't allow your ego to get in the way of your growth.
- Don't try to defend your actions... just take note of the corrections needed (this doesn't mean that you have to act on every suggestion... just that you are taking note and are open to the corrections given).
- Appreciate the feedback verbally.
- Apply the feedback. There is no greater sign of your thankfulness for the feedback given than applying the given correction to your life.
Tomorrow we shall look at how to be the giver of feedback.
I look forward to your comments and personal stories on this subject : )
Monday, 4 June 2007
I have been reading a book on Churchill & Hitler... to very interesting men and great leaders (not morally, just in ability).
What has really grabbed me as I have been reading their comparisons is how they had to persist to get where they got.
For instance, Hitler was a complete and utter failure in the 1920's... his NSDAP (nicknamed Nazi party) was headed nowhere... polling a mere2.6% of the vote in 1928. Most people in the 20's regarded Hitler as a joke leader of a joke party.
Churchill too was a man plastered with failure and ridicule... his brainchild, the Gallipoli campaign in WW1 was a hopeless failure (he is even said to have briefly considered suicide because of it), and his ensuing political career was a joke... he was even narrowly kicked out of his own constituency by a 3 to 2 vote.
It could be said that these 2 men had every reason to give. To walk away.
But they didn't.
They stuck it out.
They knew that their lives would make a difference.
They had iron grit.
How about you?
What would it take for you to give up?
What set of circumstances would cause you to walk away from your 'destiny', your mission to make a difference in this world, to follow those God given dreams and desires... to settle in for mediocre... for a comfortable life?
Interesting that just about every great man... every great leader has faced seemingly insurmountable challenges... but these molded him / her... it shaped their characters.
How was are those words of St James:
Jas 1:2-4 ESV (2) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, (3) for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (4) And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.Thats why one of Churchill's greatest speeches was simply,
"Never, never, never, never, never give up!"
I look forward to hearing your comments!
Saturday, 2 June 2007
Basically it began with a dream (as all great achievements do)...
A dream to provide a free encyclopedia that would be available to the world.
So Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger got together to form Nupedia. They had developed a very intricate 7 step process for writing articles. This venture began in 2000. After a year, the progress was painstakingly slow... with 30 people contributing and only 34 articles written. At this rate, it would take several life times to produce an encyclopedia!
On Jan 2nd 2001 Ben Kovitz ( a computer programer) introduced Wiki to Sanger.
The idea being that the Wiki software would truly achieve the ultimate 'open' source for contributers to the encyclopedia. Absolutely anyone could log-in, and contribute.
And as you can imagine, there was considerable resistance on the part of Nupedia's editors and reviewers to the idea of associating Nupedia with a wiki-style website. Sanger suggested giving the new project its own name, Wikipedia, and Wikipedia was soon launched on its own domain, wikipedia.com, on 15th Jan 2001.
The project passed 1,000 articles around feb 12th 2001 and 10,000 articles around Sept 7th. In the first year of its existence, over 20,000 encyclopedia entries were created — a rate of over 1,500 articles per month (Nupedia would have taken over 588 years to achieve what Wikipedia did on average each month in it's first year!).
On Aug 30th 2002 the article count reached 40,000.
Today there are 1 811 427 articles in English!
All in all there are nearly 7 1/2 million articles and over 7 1/2 million users of Wikipedia!
As if this wasn't amazing enough... Wikipedia has been found to be 1% more accurate than the Brittanica encyclopedia (or so the rumors go)!
Isn't it amazing what happens when we are willing to let go of our control... and opt for multiplication through others!
Imagine how much more of a legacy you can have when you let go of your ministry... giftings... and even dreams etc. and focus on investing your life into others!
Imagine how much more you can accomplish when you let go of control and let God take the reigns in your life!
I absolutely can't wait to hear your thoughts on this blog : )
Friday, 1 June 2007
My mom taped an episode of Oprah for me... Its was about going on a debt diet.
Weather we like to talk about the subject or not (God has no problem with it! There are 500 versus on prayer & 500 on faith & over 2000 on $!) it is of absolute vital importance we tackle this subject head on!
Because we have shyed away from this subject it is the primary cause of most divorces, causes untold amounts of stress, and prevents us from being able to sow generously into God's Kingdom and the lives of people! (did you know that there are over 2000 versus on the poor & injustice in the Bible?)
Anyways, here were the top 5 $ excuses:
- I'm not good with $
- You only live once (so spend it up)
- I'm afraid I'll loose $
- I don't have the time
- I'm too old for this
Isaiah 32:8 says, "A generous man dreams of ways to be generous, and by generosity he shall stand."Let me challenge you... what ways can you dream up of getting more $ so that you can be more generous?
Too often we just accept the box we are living in right now. But you can break out of that box if you want to!
Some simple tips from the show:
- Maximise your income (set an income goal, ask for a raise, develop multiple streams of income)
- Spend less than you earn (pause before spending, use a debit card instead of a credit card, shop around)
- Invest the $ you don't spend (set up automatic savings, you should aim to save around 10%, earn more interest)
- Protect your $ (get insurance, get a will)
- How can you apply Isa 32:8 to your life?
- What $ excuses do you use?
- Whats stopping you from being a generous person?
- Is generosity even connected to $ necessarily?
- Do you need to get out of debt?
- What are the things that you would really like answers on in the area of $?