Tuesday, 30 December 2008
"In law there is grace; in grace there is law."
What is your take on this quote?
Leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are.
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Sunday, 21 December 2008
I constantly tried to encourage him that it would be fun, that he would be like a cowboy, that he would be so grateful that he gave it a go... he still wasn't buying it.
So I just took him anyway.
He loved it!
I walked with him and in just a few minutes he had gained the confidence to tell me that he no longer wanted me with him on his horse ride.
And at the end of the horse ride... he was already trying to book in the next lesson!
It got me thinking... in life we all tend to shrink back when we need to push forward. New experiences (or risks as we like to call them) can scare us off, but if we have someone to come alongside of us, to encourage us... and even thrust us into the new experience (opportunity) [even though we may be kicking and screaming].
We all need these people in our lives. But the important question is... do we all have people in our lives like this?
How have you or other people done this for you?
Leave a comment and help us to learn from you.
Thursday, 18 December 2008
With this in mind I have a great extract to share with you out of Seth Godin's latest book called 'Tribes':
"If you hear my idea but don't believe it, it's not your fault; its mine.
If you see my new product but don't buy it, thats my failure not yours.
If you attend my presentation and you're bored, that is my fault too.
If I fail to persuade you to implement a policy that supports my tribe, thats due to my lack of passion or skill, not your shortsightedness.
If you are a student in my class and you don't learn what I'm teaching, I've let you down.
It's really easy to insist that people read the manual. It's really easy to blame the user/student/prospect/customer for not trying hard, for being too stupid to get it, or for not caring enough to pay attention. It might even be tempting to blame those in your tribe who aren't working as hard at following as you are at leading. But none of this is helpful.
What's helpful is to realize that you have a choice to make when you communicate. You can design your products to be easy to use. you can write so your audience hears you. You can present in a place and in a way that gaurantees that the people you want to listen will hear you. Most of all, you will choose who will understand (and who won't)."
How do you see this extract pertaining to your ministry that God has called you to steward?
I would love to hear some of your thoughts through commenting on this post.
Wednesday, 17 December 2008
It answers the question why we have so many unchristian Christians... why so many Christians loose their faith when they go to University...
We find ourselves in an incredible age, where at a single search on Google you can find thousands, if not millions of pages of information.
We have high educations with equally high opinions (which are usually based on whim or the trendy cliche of the day)... but we find ourselves with lives that are nothing short of a mess.
Australian's and Kiwis are living 5-7% above their means, we have out of control youth suicide rates, we are faced with overwhelming mental health issues, divorce rates are through the roof, we murder a third of the children who conceived, ... I don't think I need to go on.
The problem stems from our Biblical illiteracy. I'm not just talking about knowing what it says (although that would be a welcomed start) but a deep sense of the Word becoming flesh in our lives... getting revelation and allowing our lives and worlds to be transformed by it.
There is staggering hurdle that we must face... and that hurdle is the distrust for the Bible. Of those who call themselves committed Christians only 3% of under 25's hold to a Biblical world view.
Those hooligan youth I hear you say... the over 25's don't do that much better with only 9% holding a Biblical world view.
So what does it take to hold the Biblical worldview that the Barna Group have measured these stats with?
- Jesus Christ lived a sinless life
- God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today
- Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned
- Satan is real
- A Christian has a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people
- The Bible is accurate in all of the principals it teaches
- Unchanging moral truth exists
- Moral truth is defined by the Bible
So are you one of the 3% / 9%?
If not... what in the above list do you struggle with?
I look forward to having a conversation with you.
Monday, 8 December 2008
19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (New International Version)
18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.One of the things that I love about the Bible is that no matter how many times you have read it... there is always something you haven't seen before, new revelation to be had.
Isn't it interesting in Romans 1: 21 how it says that without an acknowledgment of God and a giving of thanks... our thinking becomes futile and our hearts become darkened!
No wonder God's will for our lives is to give thanks no matter the circumstance!
Whenever we acknowledge God and give thanks to Him we dethrone ourselves and we enthrone God!
To hear the message click HERE.
Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
In our culture today we are very prize orientated. We want achievement of the goal. We want it now and we want it to be painless.
The problem with all this is of course that God isn't interested in our preferred timing or comfort.
When Joseph received his vision at age 17 of his family bowing before him... I'm sure he was expecting the fulfillment to be just around the corner. I'm sure he had grand day-dreams of how it would all unfold. I'm certain that he never once dreamed of the trauma that would unfold in the following 13 years. The truth be told, if he knew what was coming, Joseph would have run.
If Joseph were alive today and he had his dream and we saw him now being sold into slavery, or serving in Potiphers house, or in jail... we would have shaken our heads. Perhaps we would have echoed the words of Job's wife... "Just curse God and die."
We would have seen an absence of blessing. We would have seen a curse. We would have rallied intercessors and shouted at the demons.
But the truth is that Joseph was right in the middle of God's plan and purposes for his life. He was blessed!
Only by going through the process of those 13 years could Joseph become the person he needed to be in order to have the dream become a reality.
What process are going on in your life right now? Instead of kicking back and resisting and shouting at the devil... why not ask God to shape you into who you need to become.
Ask God to show you where you need to grow, and what you need to learn.
Ask God for His grace to see it through.
We love the prize... God loves the process!
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Why not conspire against the consumerism of Christmas and click HERE to see how you can give a gift that truly makes a difference!
If you would like to hear about a gang of people who are conspiring against Advent... then click HERE.
Below is a Video about the conspiracy.
Let me know what your thoughts are and what your plans are this Christmas to join the conspiracy.
Friday, 21 November 2008
Best Out of Office Replies by Jeremy Wright
1. I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.
3. I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me until I return from holiday on 4 April. Please be patient and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.
5. The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer and try sending again. (The beauty of this is that when you return, you can see how many in-duh-viduals did this over and over).8. I will be out of the office for the next 2 weeks for medical reasons… When I return, please refer to me as “Margaret” instead of “Steve”.
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Well I have been told off for not having some meaty posts going... so I had better give some decent thoughts on this post or Elise will smack my hands!
Last week I watched a great movie called Fidel & Che... as you can guess it was about Fidel Castro and Che - revolutionaries in Cuba.
What interested me is that these guys started out campaigning against the leaders who were oppressing them... and in the end they were the oppressors.
Perhaps this is why Abraham Lincoln said, "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."
Where did these men go wrong? I believe that he fell in 2 areas:
1) He wanted to stay in power
2) He stopped listening
1) Wanting to stay in power
This doesn't only happen to revolutionist... how many leaders have held on to their positions because they couldn't let go and let someone new take the reigns.
David is one of the few leaders in the Bible who did this well. He not only handed over leadership to his son Solomon, but he gathered resources and support for his runs reign.
Perhaps its fear of not 'being someone'... perhaps its fighting the demons of the unknown... perhaps its holding on to the false belief that you can do it better.
The challenge of leadership is to have a light grip... with a passionate heart for '...'.
How can you prevent yourself from becoming a bottle-neck in the organization?
2) Not Listening
Its easy to believe that you know whats right for people. But the truth is that the higher you go up in leadership the more difficult it is to be connected to the people.
As leaders our challenge is to intentionally create opportunities and spaces to hear people.
There is nothing more belittling and insulting than not being listened to!
I think that Forrest Gump's mama had it right when she gave the advice, "Forrest, you have 2 ears and one mouth. That means that you gotta listen twice as much as you talk."
Or as Larry King says, "I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I'm going to learn, I must do it by listening."
How are you at listening to people one on one? What percentage of the time are you talking? When the other person is talking are you listening to them or thinking about what you want to say next?
How are you at listening to those that you lead? Have you created any opportunities or spaces for people to give honest feedback? Would you listen if they did?
I must admit that before the movie I had a certain opinion of Castro... afterwards... I felt that he fell under the traps that I too often and too easily fall into.
So what are your thoughts on these two issues?
Thursday, 13 November 2008
And for those who like the Transformers...
and for all our singstar fans out there
and you know what they say... no pain, no gain!
and finally for something that is remotely useful...
Monday, 10 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
I love it! I think we loose our wonder in life too easily. So here are some questions to get your grey matter pondering:
Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough?
Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word 'lisp'?
What is the speed of darkness?
Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up every two hours?
Are there specially reserved parking spaces for 'normal' people at the Special Olympics?
If the temperature is zero outside today and it's going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?
How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?
Did you ever stop and wonder......
Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze
these pink dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?'
Who was the first person to say, 'See that chicken there... I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta it's bum.'
Why do toasters always have a setting so high that could burn the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?
Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their bum when they ask where the bathroom is?
Why does your Obstetrician, Gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed if they are going to look up there anyway?
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs !
If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?
If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?
Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
Stop singing and read on.......
Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup?
Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?
Good thoughts to ponder hey : )
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Its going to be short and sweet tonight as I leave you with 2 quotes and a challenge:
'It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.'
'Never stop trusting God to do the extravagant in your life.'
Let me leave you with this challenge... "What are you trusting God for?"
Let me know your thoughts.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Monday, 20 October 2008
Well it has been too long since my last posts... I feel like something is really missing in my life!
I was just listening to a podcast by thenewmediology on Twitter and thought I should give it another go. Basically you give an update in less than 140 characters...
I suppose I thought, 'Who cares?!' ... but sinse listening to their podcast... I found out that there is more to Twitter than just 'What am I doing right now'... here are 5 other questions that Nathan Moore and Bill Seaver suggest that you could answer:
- What did you learn?
- What made you laugh?
- What do you need an answer to?
- What are you thankful for?
- What ticks you off?
Monday, 13 October 2008
I have had the good providence of picking up an really good 1991 book published by YWAM called Daring To Live By Faith. Over the past few months I have been feeling like God has been pushing me to a tipping point in the area of finances. Like everyone else, my family has been feeling the pinch financially but at the same time I have felt that God was wanting me to step up in the area of giving.
At our ACTS (used to be Apostolic) conference I heard an offering message that just spoke to me...
actually it was a Scripture... a well known Scripture... but one that I had never applied to the area of finances:
(2Co 12:9) But he replied, "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am.
Then I read this paragraph in the book I mentioned above:
"Many Christians never prove God's trustworthiness in this category of their lives - they remain financially self-sufficient, never stepping out on a limb, never doing anything out of the ordinary. Instead , it seems they ask their bank account, 'Oh, Bank Account, will you allow me to do this for God?'
Those who listen to God will find themselves doing things that they cannot compete without His help.They will take steps of obedience , then allow God to do His part. In other words, Bible faith requires that you do the possible and let God do the impossible. Faith only operates when we have no other resource but God."
Wow isn't that challenging! Its time for me to step out of the 'boat' and trust God to help me walk on the water.
Let me know your thoughts...
Monday, 15 September 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008
The truth is that in life... our greatest regrets will always be things that we did not do. If authoring is your gig... don't live with regret!
If you have other helpful resources... share the love!
I look forward to your comments : )
I have been thoroughly enjoying reading Craig Groeschel's book 'confessions of a Pastor'. I must admit that I struggle to be as honest as Craig is in this book! Craig... you da man!
One of my short comings is wanting people to think well of me... I suppose I have a tenancy to want to have things look better than they are sometimes... "God, please help me be honest."
Craig had an interesting breakdown of types of 'believers':
1) The Casual Believer
This person believes in God but has not surrendered to Him. Even though this person believes in God, he lives his life as if God doesn't really exist - a confessing thiest, but a practicing athiest.
2) The Convienient Believer
This person waves the Christian flag whenever it is convient and or it involves a potential benefit.
3) The Committed Believer
The road to committed faith is paved with personal abandonment and self-denial. Life ceases to be about us, and it begins to be all about God. The committed believer doesn't waver because of the crowd. He isn't moved by others opinions. He is a Christ follower all of the time. Complete obiedience and faithfulness are his goals.
So here is the challenge:
What kind of faith do you posses? Is yours casual - you're a good person who believes in God, but doesn't let your faith dominate your life? Or do you perhaps have a convient faith - living right when someone's watching, or when it might benefit you, but doing what you want te rest of the time? Or are you committed - wholly devoted to the One who's wholly devoted to you?
Great challenge... thanks Craig.
I look forward to your comments : )
Saturday, 6 September 2008
So I wanted to give you a link to an amazing post from Pastor James Macpherson and then get on to some great videos. This post is on the Cross and suffering... so click HERE to be blown away.
And now for something completely different...
Absolutely Hilarious Bathroom Mirror Prank
Most Amazing Illusion Ever
Exploding Bottle Rocket Hits Crotch
I trust you enjoyed : )
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
So in the spirit of having a bit of fun, I have some funny youtube clips:
This video is of a youth pastor trying to make a grand entrance:
This next clip is of a Capoeira fight:
This next video beauty is by Mark Gungor on the difference between men's and women's brains... a true classic!
And just to end off just right and be PC... I'll leave you with Jeff Dunham and Achmed the Dead Terrorist:
Hope you enjoyed this post.
If you have any good videos please share the love and give us the links as you comment.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Talking about creative... one of my mates David Luke showed this clip on sunday when he shared his four word (we give 4 minutes to an individual each week to share a thought from God's Word). This video shows what happens when we practice omphaloskepsis:
And just because I can... I'm going to give you a link to the greatest lemonade recipe in the universe. So if you want to change your life... click HERE.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
One of the coolest things I have seen is during one valentines a mall in South Africa hired actors and had them sprinkled through out the mall. They were dressed in their characters attire and were frozen still. The characters were all taken from love stories such as Romeo and Juliet, Pocahontas, etc. It created such a great vibe in the mall. I'd like to use this on our Uni campus next year as part of our Orientation Week outreach. Have the same idea but add Jesus in there. I recon it will create some cool conversations.
What creative ideas do you have for such escapades? I'd love to hear from you so please do leave a comment.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
That's how I roll
Usually people making funny faces in the background, without the knowledge of the main subjects of the photo.
Other cool sites: Howcast - ever wanted to know how to do something... this site brings it to you in a humorous manner.
Saturday, 9 August 2008
I was at gym doing some weights and I was getting quite out of breath as I strained through my bicep sets. I had to sit down as I was getting quite dizzy. I suddenly had a thought about Ps Wayne's message... and i began to realize that my problem in the sets was that I wasn't breathing. I was just straining. God began to give me the gentle nudging and challenge.... if I'm just going to run from one thing to the next... if I'm not going to rest... to hover.... I will get dizzy and end up no-where.
By the way, I tried the next set concentrating on my breathing... and it was even easier than the first set! I tried it again today and the breathing certainly makes a huge difference!
I wonder how I (and you) need to implement this breathing / hovering principal into our everyday lives. What strategies and practical things have you done to 'breathe / hover'? I look forward to your comments : )
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
I love the way that churches like lifechurch.tv have really lead the way in sharing their resources for free. Check out there OPEN section that has heaps of resources from graphics and videos to life group studies. Click HERE to check it out.
What other free resources are there out there that you use often?
I look forward to your comments : )
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Hey, its been too long since I've been blogging. I really missed it! Well I finally got my new iPhone last week Wednesday. What a great toy! I must admit that I'm loving it. I love its predictive spelling, awesome interface and ease of use. I love the heaps of free applications and the fact that I can listen to music and my podcasts on the go now. Things I'm surprised by is the fact that the iPhone has a great camera but no video capabilities. I'm surprised that you can't have any word documents etc. My phone crashed today... my fault really. I was updating software when my laptop battery gave out. I found a really useful youtube video on how to restore your iPhone. Clich HERE to view it. The video was made by "how to iPhone". Its amazing what great resources are out there. Talking of resources I have just done a post on the Vision Youth Network blog. Click HERE to check it out and read the post. I'm always on the scout for really good videos off youtube. If you know of any good videos then please let me know. Well thats me for tonight... till next time. PS: If you are looking for a great (on-line) Bible app for your iPhone then click HERE. Thanks to LifeChurch.tv for that! Even if you don't have an iPhone... its worth watching the video to learn how to communicate thoughts clearly. Go on... click HERE.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences : )
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
This is beautiful. Something that has been covered in dirt for years can become a work of art. Sound familiar?
Let me know your thoughts...
PS: for a look at a great art piece based on a famous quote from St Francis of Assisi then click HERE
Thursday, 24 July 2008
Our church conference started this evening. What an amazing night as we kicked it all off. We won't be podcasting the message for another few months but CDs can be purchased from Eastside.
Its so exciting to have this amazing input and to see the incredible effort that our teams are putting in to making this conference da bomb!
Another thing I'm excited about is getting my new iphone sometime next week. Boys must have their toys!
Till next time
Saturday, 19 July 2008
WE have the great privelege of having Pastor Danny Guglielmucci at our church this weekend. So I thought I'd share some of the great one liners that he has shared thus far from the Pastors lunch and the Staff and Elders Supper yesterday.
"When you're sent you go with authority.
When you're went you go with only your ability."
"Suspicion, insecurity and gossip are the three enemies of trust."
"Some people in church life contribute... others build."
"When we don't fuel the House... we rob it of achieving its purpose (the context is Malachi 3)."
"The degree to which you see Jesus, the degree to which you'll serve."
"We judge others by the evil in our own hearts."
"Your and determines your end."
"Unity flows from authority."
"I can't correct you until I can caress you."
Its been an amazing weekend thus far. I can't wait for what God has in store for us!
As I'm sure that many of you are aware that Mike Guglielmucci is fighting cancer. Actual Mike says that he is fighting for his destiny and he is letting God take care of his cancer.
Below is a phenominal song that is being played all over the world which Mike wrote when he learned that he had cancer.
And this is the story about the song:
Let me know your thoughts.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
I am a pragmatic man by nature. I like to work on practical things to move forward. I hate excuses, especially lame ones where people try to play the victim and blame everyone else.
Being pragmatic I like to press forward. But sometimes in order to move forward, we must press backward. We must deal with our past then and only then can we march forcefully and triumphantly forward into our destiny.
I just watched a phenomenal movie called Antwone Fisher. Its a 2002 / 3 movie that Denzel Washington acted in and directed. The movie shows the journey of a young navel man who journeys back into his past and is able to move forward because of it. Its a great movie about redemption, forgiveness, family, mentoring and self esteem.
Its sooo good that I cried! Do yourself a favor and get this movie out!
Monday, 14 July 2008
"When the Bible speaks, God speaks."
"Men don't rebel against the idea of God; men rebel against the will of God."
"The great design and intention of the office of a Christian preacher is to restore the throne and dominion of God in the souls of men."
"When I coach our teachers around here at Willow, I always ask them 2 questions. 'What do you want them to know? What do you want them to do?' If theycant answer those two questions immediately I say, 'You're ill-prepared. Don't inflict that message on our people."
Hope you enjoy!
I look forward to your comments : )
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Now some things that I have noticed on my journey:
1) In the past I used to gym with a partner. My gym sessions took about 2 hours. I couldn't always do the routine I wanted, but I couldn't miss gym either as I would be letting my partner down.
2) I now gym alone. My sessions take 1/2 the time and I can fit it into my lunch break. I do the routine I want, and I can fly through it. However, the down side is that I don't get pushed as hard, and of course, its far easier to let myself off the hook and not go to the gym that day.
Its like that in leadership. I can forge ahead alone and get where I am wanting to go fairly quickly. But I reach that destination alone, and one can only accomplish so much.
But taking others with you on the journey... is slow and frustrating. Very frustrating! But you get there together and together we can accomplish a multiplied effect far far greater than I could have achieved on my own.
So I guess the question is... who are you taking with you on your leadership journey?
I'd love to hear your comments : )
Friday, 11 July 2008
"The only part of the Bible that you believe is the part that you do."
The apostle James said it like this:
Jas 2:17-26 MSG (17) Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (18) I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, "Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I'll handle the works department." Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. (19) Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That's just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? (20) Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? (22) Isn't it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are "works of faith"? (23) The full meaning of "believe" in the Scripture sentence, "Abraham believed God and was set right with God," includes his action. It's that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named "God's friend." (24) Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works? (25) The same with Rahab, the Jericho harlot. Wasn't her action in hiding God's spies and helping them escape--that seamless unity of believing and doing--what counted with God? (26) The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. Separate faith and works and you get the same thing: a corpse.
So here is the challenge... 'What do you believe?'
I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
"I need to remember that when I’m heavy with inadequacy and uncertainty. Who I am in Christ comes before what I do for Christ."
Click HERE to see the rest of the post.
Friday, 4 July 2008
I can't say that I've felt that much better... but I certainly haven't had much time to listen to podcasts, blog, and do some of the creative thinking that seems to come alive from 11pm on.
Well thats me. Hey, I just realized today that I haven't been twittering... I had just totally forgotten about it over last weekend and that was the last that I had thought about it... I better go and do an entry right now... hold on, I'll be back in a sec.
Oh heck, its been so long that I've even forgotten my password! shameful : ) By the way, have you checked out my (now) newly updated twitter? Click HERE to check it out.
I read a great thought from Rick Warren today. I can't remember the magazine that I was reading and I don't have it to give you a direct quote but it went something like this:
Life is a series of problems. Either you are right in the middle of one now, or you are just coming through it or are about to enter one. In life we constantly face problems because God is more interested in our character than our happiness.
What a great thought! And how relevant to our discussion on living with the Babylonian mindset that says at all cost we must cling to comfort. But the truth is that we cannot follow God and hold to comfort at the same time. look anywhere in the Bible and you will find God stretching people right out of their comfort zones. How odd that today we have leaders who want to speak and influence others ... but who desire to do it cheaply. Who are we trying to kid anyway?!
Let me know your thoughts :P
Monday, 30 June 2008
I'm sure you love going to church... isn't it great how the services are designed to fit around our busy schedules. And I love what happens at church... but its it a bit of a pain when we are asked to get involved. And don't you just hate it when they ask for you to part with your hard earned cash? And why is it that people always need our help when its so inconvenient for us?
But does comfort and true Christianity go together?
Consider some of the following versus from the Bible:
Mat 10:38 CEV
(38) And unless you are willing to take up your cross and come with me, you are not fit to be my disciples.
Mat 5:10-12 CEV
(10) God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right. They belong to the kingdom of heaven.
(11) God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me.
(12) Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago.
Lev 25:35-36 CEV
(35) If any of your people become poor and unable to support themselves, you must help them, just as you are supposed to help foreigners who live among you.
(36) Don't take advantage of them by charging any kind of interest or selling them food for profit. Instead, honor me by letting them stay where they now live.
Php 2:3-4 CEV
(3) Don't be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves.
(4) Care about them as much as you care about yourselves
Mat 6:24 CEV
(24) You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Mar 9:35 CEV
(35) After Jesus sat down and told the twelve disciples to gather around him, he said, "If you want the place of honor, you must become a slave and serve others!"
I don't know about you... but those versus are like a cold icy shower.
It makes you do a double take.
It makes me think... where do I fit... in the Babylonian mold or in a more truly Christian mold?
Let me know your thoughts on this post.
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Ps Michael compared the bondage of Egypt with the captivity in Babylon.
In Egypt the people were treated badly, and were given leeks and onions to eat.
But whenever one is oppressed at some point there is always an uprising.
Babylon on the other hand gave their slaves meat and wine. They bought them... and so when the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem... many didn't. They liked the comforts of Babylon.
Today we have been bought out by a Babylonian system that teaches us to live for self gratification and comfort.
In the next few posts we will look at how this outworks in our everyday lives.
Till next time...
(PS: I'd love to hear your thoughts on the post)
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
As you may have noticed (on the bar to the right), I have also joined up to twitter. I have decided to give it a bash and see how it goes. It should be fun.
Well I won't make this post too long cause I really want you to read Mark Batterson's post. I know that you'll enjoy it!
Monday, 23 June 2008
Before Jesus graduated into ministry... He had to have practiced His NO's. We see this when His parents brought Him to the temple at age 12. A few days into traveling back Jesus' parents realized that he was not with them and so they returned to Jerusalem to frantically search for Him. Finally they found Jesus in the temple astounding the teachers of the law. And as all parents do they freaked out and let Jesus have it. They wanted Jesus to follow their expectation... but He simply explained that He was about His Father's business.
Jesus said no to their expectation and yes to the call of God on His life.
Then just as Jesus is about to launch into ministry the Holy Spirit sends Him into the desert where He fasts for 40 days and the devil comes to tempt Him. 3 times Jesus says NO and quotes Scripture to the devil.
You see it was imperative that Jesus own a strong NO as He entered into ministry as many would try to lay their agenda's and expectations on Jesus. If Jesus was going to follow the call of God on His life He would need to own a strong NO. And its the same with us.
So who sets the agenda and values in your life. Is your life determined by others expectations of you? Or like Jesus, do you own a strong NO so that you can say YES to the call of God for you?
Let me know your thoughts on the subject : )
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Hope you enjoy the post. Let me know your thoughts : )
Monday, 16 June 2008
One of the things I really enjoy in our 6pm service at Eastside church are the series that we do. We've been on a series called 'NO'... which teaches us that the word NO is actually positive as our NO is actually a YES to something else!
Any way, I thought I'd give you a few of the one-liners from Ps Simon Moetara's message this Sunday:
"What you say NO to will define you."
"If you don't say NO - you allow others to dictate your life's agenda."
"Let people people feel the full weight of who you are and who God made you to be, and let them deal with it."
"The deeper you go into your yes the stronger your 'no' will become."
"We're not just making decisions for ourselves, but for our families, friends and church too."
If you missed the message you can always grab a CD from the church office for just NZ$5.
By the way if you haven't checked out our churches blog, I've written a post called "Do You Carry The Vision?" Just click HERE to check it out.
Until next time...
I look forward to your comments : )
Friday, 13 June 2008
- U.S. Internet users viewed 11.5 billion online videos during March, 2008, representing a 13% gain from February, 2008 and a 64% gain from March, 2007.
- 139 million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 83 videos per viewer in March, 2008.
- 73.7% of the total U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
- 84.8 million viewers watched 4.3 billion videos on YouTube.com (50.4 videos per viewer).
- The average online video duration was 2.8 minutes.
- The average online video viewer watched 235 minutes of video.
So how are we 'Christians' using this new media form to share our story and the Good News with the world.
See below for a great random video:
The good news is that you don't need heaps of fancy equipment... just creativity and to have heaps of fun along the way.
How has your church or ministry used youtube and other online media?
I'd love your comments : )
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
I was just thinking about it the other day and I have really noticed a significant shift in the way I resource myself. I used to have about 3 - 4 books on the go all the time... but over the last month and a half my reading has really slowed down while my listening to podcasts has really shot through the roof.
What are your top 3 methods of resourcing yourself? I'd be really interested in hearing from you!
Well, I will sometime in the near future get the podcasts that I'm listening to on the side bar of this blog. Who are your favorite preachers to podcast?
My top 3 have differing styles but each one really hits the spot for me.
In case you're wondering who they are here goes (in no particular order):
Till next time...
Saturday, 7 June 2008
"...Instead, we boast about what Christ Jesus has done for us.
...I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me..."
Philippians 3: 3c,9b
How have you overcome your feelings of inadequacies?
What Scriptures have been important to you?
I look forward to your comments : )