Friday, 30 November 2007

When Memory Fails

The following is a great quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Christian who was martyred for standing against Hitler.
Bonhoeffer was fascinated by how his fellow prisoners could come so close to death in an air raid and then forget about it as soon as the danger was past. While allied bombs rocked the prison cells, non believing men would cry out to God for salvation; but as soon as the bombers had passed and the dust settled, the prisoners went back to playing cards and passing time, forgetting all about their supplications to God.

"Something that repeatedly puzzles me as well as other people is how quickly we forget about impressions of a nights bombing. Even a few minutes after the all clear, almost everything that we had been thinking about seems to vanish into thin air. With Luther a flash of lightning was enough to change the course of his life for years to come. Where is this 'memory' today? Is not the loss of this 'moral memory' responsible for the ruin of all obligations, of love, marriage, friendship, and loyalty? Nothing sticks fast, nothing holds firm; everything is here today gone tomorrow. But the good things of life - truth, justice and beauty - all great accomplishments need time, constancy, and 'memory', or they degenerate. The man who feel neither responsibility towards the past nor the desire to shape the future is the one who 'forgets', and i don't know how one can really get such a person and bring him to his senses. Every word, even if it impresses him for the moment, goes in one ear and out the other. What is to be done about him? It is a great problem of Christian ministry."

I look forward to your comments : )

Sunday, 25 November 2007

New Vlog Entry!

Check out this great video that Paul put me onto by pastor Francis Chan... click HERE to visit my VLOG

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Colin Powell's Rules For Picking People

This is a great quote from Colin Powell on what he looks for in people taken from The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell:

Look for intelligence and judgment and, most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego, and the drive to get things done.

What would you say are the most important things to look for?
I look forward to your comments!!!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

JAMES MACPHERSON: Christians and Technology

JAMES MACPHERSON: Christians and Technology

I was reading at the weekend about the communications revolution and learned that it was a man's unwavering faith in God that kick-started the whole thing ...

Samuel Morse began the information revolution with his invention of the telegraph in the 1830s. The son of a church minister, Morse had been studying art in Europe when on a voyage home he heard people discussing experiments in electromagnetism. He spent the rest of the trip trying to figure out how information could be sent electronically.

His American Electromagentic Telegraph and Morse code system was patented in 1837. He spent the next four years trying to convince governments and business to fund it. No-one would. He wrote in his diary …

"The only gleam of hope, and I cannot underrate it, is from confidence in God. When I look upward it calms any apprehension for the future, and I seem to hear a voice saying: 'If I clothe the lilies of the field, shall I not also clothe you?' Here is my strong confidence, and I will wait patiently for the direction of Providence."

Finally, in 1843, Congress gave Morse $30,000 to construct a line between Ballitmore and Washington. Within a year the line was finished and the first message sent was Numbers 23v23: “What has God wrought!”

Within a short space of time governments and businesses were relying on the telegraph for communications.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Random Acts Of Kindness For Stu's 21st

You may remember my blog awhile back talking about Project Stu (if not... click HERE)...
anyways, today was the day that we hit the streets and did our little random acts of kindness.

We did something really small... really silly in humanistic terms... but something that hopefully threw people off balance enough to bring a smile.
We went around paying for people's parking meters. Most of the time we just did it before they even had a chance... before they had even made it out of the car. Sometimes the people engaged us... even had conversations and they told us about when they were able to 'bless' someone.

I must admit, it all felt a little silly and VERY random. But it was touching... freeing... and delightful.

Thank you Stu for breaking out the mold... and helping us to do the same!!!

I'd love to hear your comments and stories!!!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Great Quote

All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive at death safely. But dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip or dance, just don't tiptoe.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Pathways to the Divine - Part 1

We started a new series at Eastside Apostolic Church this weekend called Pathways to the Divine.
I am so excited about this series because I truly believe that it is going to release alot of people in to a freedom that they haven't experienced before.

We have a God who has gone to every length to connect with us... our Father loved us sooo much that He gave His only son... full knowing what would happen.
Jesus took on the restrictive form of a human... and a baby at that, suffered abuse at the hands of His creation and was crucified on a cross (the most humiliating form of capital punishment)... but even that pales in comparison to Jesus taking on the sin of the world upon Himself. It was unthinkable... unimaginable.

Zep 3:17 CEV
(17) The LORD your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love."
I love this verse, it describes God's excitement over us. The Hebrew describes God spinning around because of His overwhelming joy and excitement.

God has gone to every length to connect with us... yet the truth is that many of us really battle to connect with Him.

This series proposes that the reason for this is simply that we are trying to connect with God on someone else's pathway.
Perhaps we've modeled someone we respect or a friend or whatever. But what if their way of connecting with God is not your way? We have all been made uniquely right.

So over the next 3 weeks we will be looking at 9 pathways that we connect with God on. These 9 pathways have been adapted from Gary Thomas' book called 'Sacred Pathways'.

I look forward to hearing your comments : )

Thursday, 15 November 2007

JAMES MACPHERSON: Quote of the Day

follow this link to see an awesome quote from James' blog: JAMES MACPHERSON: Quote of the Day

God Speaks To Me In The Movies (Part 2 - Facing The Giants)

One of the themes that was picked up in the movie was: our life purpose is to glorify God... not ourselves.

Now that sounds like a simple theme... but think about it...
Alot of what we do is to make ourselves look good. From simple things like the way we dress to not wanting to admit our faults. We all strive to put on the best 'face' possible.
Now I'm pretty sure that we don't consciously try to make ourselves look good instead of seeking God's glory... but subconsciously... is this your secret mission?

When bad things happen to you and challenges come your way... do you ever say, "God how could you let this happen to me?"
When you feel challenged to give is your first reaction to grab on to your cash and say, "but thats mine!"
Do a self check... how much of what you do is for your glory... and how much is for His glory?

I'd love to hear your comments : )

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

God Speaks To Me In The Movies (Part 1 - Facing The Giants)

I sure do love the movies... and I was pleasantly surprised by this little beauty.

I'm not going into the plot of the story except to say that it was heartwarming and filled with lots of great faith lessons along the way.

What I really wanted to comment on was how encourged I was by this churches effort! Thats right... a church produced a major motion picture. Sherwood Baptist Church got into the movie business after reading a Barna report showing that films are more influential today than churches. If that’s true, Sherwood’s leaders decided, then they had better start making some films themselves.

Claes Ryn notes in the American Conservative, “Society’s long-term direction is . . . set by those who capture a people’s mind and imagination.”
So this church undertook what would seem like an impossible task. They had 500+ church members pitch in to make the film with only 5 film professionals to fill technical positions.
The entire movie was produced for only US$100 000 and has grossed over $10 000 000 as of the 1st January 07!

The team were wanting to include a Third Day sound track on their movie and while asking permission from Third Days distributor, they actually backed the film which led to its national release.

It just goes to show that Nothing Is Impossible with God!
What have I limited myself from doing because I believe that it is too big or too out of the box?
How does God want my church and I to engage my culture?
How can I practically live out the following Scripture:

Eph 3:20 MSG (20) God can do anything, you know--far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Leadership Reflections by Mark Batterson

This was taken from Mark Batterson's blog. Click HERE to visit his site.

Had a blast hanging out with Brian Houston yesterday. Tough to put the day into words. I walked away with a few practical ideas in the area of staffing and finances that we'll try to adapt and implement at NCC. I won't share those, but I will share a few key thoughts.

My macro observation after being around Brian and some of his key staff is that healthy churches, like successful teams, have a core group of staff that stay together and grow together for a long time! They do life and do ministry for several decades. I was impressed with the core team from Hillsong. To that end, Brian said:

"Don't worry about the periphery. Focus on the core. Every church has a soul. And the soul of the church will determine its destiny."

"Having an agenda--wrong motivations--will keep you out of the core."

"There are just some things you won't be able to do in a few months or a few years. You need a long-term committed to pastoring."

Brian talked some about the pattern principle in II Timothy 1:13: "Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me."

Every church has a pattern--a pattern of negativity or positivity, a pattern of responsibility or inconsistency, a pattern of complacency or conviction. What pattern are you perpetuating?

A few more one-liners:

"Your accent won't make you a foreigner here. Your attitude will."

"Meditate. Think concepts through. The best messages come out of meditation."

"My biggest enemy is busyness. I'm trying to unbusy myself."

"Stay normal."

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Check Out This Edition of the VLOG!

This next VLOG is a video of Francis Chan... an awesome view... follow this link to view.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, -- light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.

-John Constable, painter (1776-1837)

Friday, 2 November 2007

Evaluation Colin Powell Style

As you may be well aware, I have been reading a book called Leadership Secrets Of Colin Powell. I wanted to share another exert from the book:

"In such a climate, the most important question in performance evaluation is no longer 'how well have you performed your job since we have last met?' Instead it's, 'How much have you changed your job?' What exciting new initiatives have you launched? What new projects have you started? ... What new skills and competencies have you learned and how have you applied them to improving things around here? Which of last years job responsibilities have you delegated, outsourced, automated or eliminated and what new responsibilities have you snared?... And people who can answer those kinds of questions assure themselves of growth, development and authority within their organization."

Reading all this really excited me as I sat in the Eastside Church's staff meeting and listened to the Heads of department share on their 07. I was amazed at the number of new initiatives! Good on the team for not growing complacent and just giving things a go!

What are your thoughts?


I'm reading a great book called 'The Leadership Secrets Of Colin Powell' at the moment. It has a really great quote that I wanted to share:
Freedom to be your best means nothing unless you are willing to do your best.

It got me thinking about the amazing freedom that we have to read God's Word... to pray... to share our faith... to worship God publicly in a church service...
Yet the truth is that often we do not take advantage of this! We can easily be slack in our devotional times with God... we tend to easily neglect our small groups and worship services.

We have this amazing freedom to meet with god face to face...
Oh, what a magnificent day when the veil was torn in the Holy of Holies...
but do we take full advantage of this wonderful privilege?

What would it look like if you were taking full advantage of your freedom to worship God and come before His awesome presence?

I'd love to hear your comments!