Monday, 24 September 2007

You gotta follow this link!

I am away at the New Zealand National Apostolic Conference in Auckland this week, so I'm not certain if I will have any internet access where I am staying.
Its set to be a great week and I'll spill all the beans when I get back.

I have a treat for you today though... check out this blog... and trust me, you won't be sorry!!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts from this one!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

When 'Good" Is The Enemy

There is a saying: "Good is the enemy of the great."
It's a saying we should pay much more attention to! For so often we busy ourselves with 'good' things... and it is these very good things that crowd out the opportunities for us to be involved with the best things.

Take time out and think about all the things that you are involved in... are they just 'good' things... or are they the 'best' things?

Good things tend to crowd out our lives while the best things bring fulfillment into our lives
Good things tend to be a dime a dozen while the best things are few and far between
Good things are easy to decide to get involved in while the best things often require more thought
We are encourage to do good things while the best things may be misunderstood by others

What will you choose / what have you chosen?

I'd love to hear your comments!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Give Me A Break

I was just pondering today about a truth that we often overlook...

In this crazy information age that we live in, where we have an unsatisfiable lust for more and new information... where we gather and gather and gather information, more sermon messages, more podcasts, blog articles, etc. as if our lives depended on it... do we ever take the time out to just revisit what we have learnt... to apply it... to evaluate it in our lives?

Most of the challenges we face are not challenges that we are helpless to face... for we have the information... its just the application that we lack.
Perhaps we need to just slow down... subdue that lust for information... and just look for ways to apply what we already know.

What have you heard in the past week / month that you need to apply?
If you're like me... you could write a substantial list.
Lets commit to applying what we got before we dash in a mad rush for the new!

I look forward to your comments!

Monday, 10 September 2007

The Moscow Rules - Part 4

Yesterday we covered the 3rdd of the Moscow Rules... and today we are looking at the 4th. So just to recap on those 10 rules:
1. Know Your Mission
2. Gather Intelligence
3. Maintain A Natural Pace
4. Vary Your Pattern
5. Blend Into The Crowd
6. Be Aware Of Your Environment At All Times
7. Avoid Defensiveness At All Times
8. Assume That You're Under Servailence
9. Never Go Against Your Gut
10. Never Look Back

One of the easiest traps for churches and Christ followers is to fall into routine... mindless habit.
Now there are some routines / habits that are good for us... habits like having a devotional time with God, having a date night with your spouse, going to the gym, etc.
Where these habits become counter productive is when the become stale and predictable because we never vary our pattern in the habit.
We always follow the exact same routine in our devotions, date nights, at the gym, etc. Our times become boring, dull, and lifeless. Now the reason that we started the habit in the first place is because it was so good for us... but due to familiarity it has become meaningless.
Rick Warren tells of an interesting fact in his book the Purpose Driven Church... he tells us that once we have sung a song over 50 times, we can sing that song without thought... and therefore without worship!
Even our bodies respond negativly to the same workout program. It is important in working out to keep your workout program varied if you want to achieve optimal results in the gym.

The habit itself should not change... but what we do within that habit should be varied in order to keep it vibrant and full of life. After all variety is the spice of life!
Are your devotional times predictable?
Change the order, change the venue, change the version of the Bible that you are reading, change the way you read the Bible (theres just reading through a book, word studies, topical studies, character studies, chronological studies, etc.) Instead of reading the Bible why not picture it, take parables and make modern versions of it, write your own psalms, make songs about it, sketch what you read, memorize versus, etc.)

It is a crime to make the Bible boring! Its a crime to allow ourselves to drain of life simply because we allowed ourselves to get stuck in a certain routine.
Be creative... and you will soon see life flooding your soul once again!

I look forward to your comments!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

The Moscow Rules - Part 3

Yesterday we covered the 2nd of the Moscow Rules... and today we are looking at the 3rd. So just to recap on those 10 rules:
1. Know Your Mission
2. Gather Intelligence
3. Maintain A Natural Pace
4. Vary Your Pattern
5. Blend Into The Crowd
6. Be Aware Of Your Environment At All Times
7. Avoid Defensiveness At All Times
8. Assume That You're Under Servailence
9. Never Go Against Your Gut
10. Never Look Back

Maintain a natural pace... thats easier said than done in our crazy paced culture.
We glee over telling one-another how busy we are... but is our busyness something to smugly gloat over? Perhaps its this very busyness that killing the work of God in us!

Some thoughts from Mark Batterson:
  • Study less and live more (not just a sermon well preached but a life well lived)
  • Balance between family and ministry
  • Balancing act between work & play
In our own ministries, we encourage our leaders to only be out at church activities 3 nights a week (1ce for life group, 1ce for Department service & 1ce for church service). We want our leaders to live balanced lives, to have time for family, mates and those who don't yet know Christ.
This has meant that we've had to do some serious shifting of various activities, but people's balance and personal spiritual health is of the utmost importance to us!
We've had plenty of leaders starting all keen and being involved 5 sometimes 6 nights a week... but these people soon burnout and shrivel back.
Serving God is a life long commitment... we need to pace ourselves accordingly.

How are you at pacing yourself?
What tips / habits have you developed in this area?

I look forward to your comments : )

Saturday, 8 September 2007

The Moscow Rules - Part 2

Well for those of you who read yesterdays blog... I'm addicted to Alias... and just last night finished watching the 4th season. Now I'm waiting for the video store to buy in the 5th.

Yesterday we covered the 1st of the Moscow Rules... and today we are looking at the 2nd. So just to recap on those 10 rules:
1. Know Your Mission
2. Gather Intelligence
3. Maintain A Natural Pace
4. Vary Your Pattern
5. Blend Into The Crowd
6. Be Aware Of Your Environment At All Times
7. Avoid Defensiveness At All Times
8. Assume That You're Under Survelience
9. Never Go Against Your Gut
10. Never Look Back

So rule 2, gather intelligence... how can we apply this to our leadership?
Intelligence gathering is key to espionage... and it should be key to our faith.
Today the church suffers from both perceived and real irrelevance.
Are we answering the right questions? I know we always say that we have the answer... but apparently weren't answering the questions that the 'world' is asking.
Now I agree that part of the problem is that the 'world' isn't asking the right questions, but that ain't gonna change!
Can you imagine a fisherman not putting bait on their hook. We need to bait or make our presentation relevant to our audience (which should not be the church according to rule 1!)

The truth is irrelevance is irreverence!
God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent as well as omnirelevant! And so should the church be.

Today the prophets of our culture are the movies and music!
We should use these modern day 'prophets' to preach the good news to our culture!
Thats why in our youth youth ministry we did a series called mixed tape where we took secular music and preached off it... from Foo Fighters to Incubus, etc. we discovered some great spiritual truths.

But the church's preaching is just one aspect...
How is your life relevant to those outside of your faith?
Do you use the modern 'prophets' to create spiritual conversations?

I'd love to hear your comments : )

Friday, 7 September 2007

The Moscow Rules - Part 1

Over the past 3/4 weeks I have had a bit of an obsession...
I have consumed just short of 4 seasons of the TV show Alias!
Its a great show with plenty of suspense and adrenaline pumping action.

If I must be totally honest... I've even had a few "CIA" dreams...
Anyhow... a few blogs ago I did a post on 'Innovative Church Leaders Move Into The Neighborhood' which spoke about the Buzz Conference 07. At the Buzz conference Mark Batterson did 2 messages on 'The Moscow Rules'. I thought I'd take a few of his thoughts, mix them with some of mine and do a few blogs on these various rules.

Before we go there... heres a piece on the Moscow Rules:
The list may never have existed as written; agent Tony Mendez wrote "Although no one had written them down, they were the precepts we all understood ... By the time they got to Moscow, everyone knew these rules. They were dead simple and full of common sense..."

So here are 10 of those rules:
1. Know Your Mission
2. Gather Intelligence
3. Maintain A Natural Pace
4. Vary Your Pattern
5. Blend Into The Crowd
6. Be Aware Of Your Environment At All Times
7. Avoid Defensiveness At All Times
8. Assume That You're Under Survelience
9. Never Go Against Your Gut
10. Never Look Back

So today lets look at rule #1: Know Your Mission

Our mission as Christians is simple... To win people over so that we can share our lives and faith with them.
Jesus left us with the great commission (Matt 28:18-20) but in the church today it has become more of the great omission!
Jesus said that he came for the sick... but how much of our lives are spent in pursuit of the sick, the lost, the hopeless?

I must admit my greatest challenge is prioritizing space in my life for hanging out and doing life with those who need Jesus. Life is sooo busy, and I have just found over and over again that without great initiative and proactive planning on my part... this just doesn't happen.

Those who work statistics will tell you that after 2 years in the church, the average Christian doesn't spend anytime with non-Christians! How sad!!

This life will be over in a few blinks of the eye... you'll look in the mirror and wonder where the past 70 years have gone...
This life would have been wasted... even if we busied ourselves in church programs and devotion without concern for those who don't personally know Jesus!

What do you need to change in your week?
What tips do you have for keeping on mission?

I look forward to your comments : )Align Center

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Perps I'm Pondering (I'd love your feedback, musings & questions)

Here are a few thoughts about my next few messages:

6pm Services:
  • Sun 9th September (Pt 2 of Series on: How To Bebo In The Real World) We will be looking at how to WOW people. To win over people's hearts and minds simply going the extra mile can make you stand out! We will look at the parable of the Good Samaritan and the lessons we can learn about WOWing people.
  • Sun 29th October (Pt 4 on our series: Living Bigger) I will be looking at the 'Power Of Money' to do tremendous good. A challenge to rethink the part that we can play in being positive change agents in this world.

  • Sun 9th September. We will be looking at Joshua 23 & 24. We need to capture a revelation of the promises that God has given us & our church for this city! We will look at the partnership required between us & God, and encouraged to stand in faith on those promises... not giving up (Gal 6:9)
Reverb Service:

  • 21st September. We will be looking at the account when Jesus cursed the fig tree that wasn't bearing fruit. What do we need to curse in our lives?

I would Love to get your feedback!!!!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The Right Place @ The Right Time

Neh 2:1 CEV (1) During the month of Nisan in the twentieth year that Artaxerxes was king, I served him his wine, as I had done before. But this was the first time I had ever looked depressed.

In this passage of Scripture we see that Nehemiah was a cup-bearer to the king Artaxerxes.
Four months earlier Nehemiah's brother Hanani came to see Nehemiah and told him of the state of Jerusalem's walls.
But what was Nehemiah to do. He lived 100's of miles from Jerusalem... he even had another job altogether.

Often we find ourselves like Nehemiah, seemingly in the wrong place 'if you want to use us Lord'.
But is it the wrong place?

Pro 16:9 ESV (9) The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Pro 20:24 ESV
(24) A man's steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way?

Psa 37:23 ESV
(23) The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;

Perhaps the place / position / circumstance that you find your self in right now... is exactly where God wants you to be.
You may struggle to see how your place could be significant in God's plan... but thats just because we don't have His perspective! (Imagine how Joseph must have felt in the Egyptian jail... remembering his grandiose vision he had years earlier!)

If Nehemiah was a priest in Jerusalem or a resident or even wealthy land owner in Jerusalem... he would not have been able to accomplish God's restoration plan for the walls of Jerusalem.
No, it was as cup-bearer to the King that he was supplied with all the materials for this God-mission.
Without knowing it, and without planning for it, Nehemiah found himself in exactly the right position / placement.

Today, right now, you have been placed by God.
Thank Him for your placement and commit yourself to His plans and His ways.
Do this, and soon, in hindsight you will see God's wisdom... His perfect placement and positioning of you in your work place, sports club, school, etc.

I'd love to hear your comments : )

Monday, 3 September 2007

For All Leaders & Communicators

This is a podcast where Kem Meyer from Granger Community Church interviews Mark Batterson from Theater Church about understanding your audience as a leader and communicator.

You can check out Mark Batterson's blog here

Saturday, 1 September 2007


"Frown and you frown alone but smile and the whole world smiles with you."

Smiling is contagious, it's incredibly powerful and ... its free!
So make sure you change your world... with your smile!

Make a game of it... and see just how many people you can pass on your smile to this week.

PS: Here is a great NZ site that you can visit... and give someone a great big smile