Monday, 30 June 2008

Are You Living In Babylon? Part 2

So from the last post we saw that for a vast majority of Christians who have been bought out by a Babylonian system ... comfort is the name of the game.

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

Are You Living In Babylon? Part 1

I heard a really great message by Ps Michael Pitts which had a really great thought in it... one that has spurred on a couple of thoughts that I'd like to share with you.

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

The New Stained Glass

I must tell you that I have been enjoying the thunder... you can read more about this as well as an awesome post by Ps Mark Batterson on our church's blog. Just click HERE.

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

Your No Determines Your Destiny

Tonight we brought to a close our series in the 6pm service called NO. I thought I'd share with you one of my thoughts from tonights message.

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

Who Will You Choose To Offend?

Choosing who you are willing to offend is probably one of the most important leadership questions that you need to answer if you are going to be effective in seeing your God-given vision fulfilled. Want to know why? Then read this great (and short) post from Strategy Central. Just click HERE.

Hope you enjoy the post. Let me know your thoughts : )

Monday, 16 June 2008

Your NO Defines You!

Its been so exciting seeing God move in our church community. Over the past 3 weeks we've seen 11 people baptized and 20 people commit their lives to Jesus. And This is just the beginning of the new season that we are entering.

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

online videos are the new revolution

I was reading mediaexplosions blog tonight and came across some really interesting stats about online media:

  • 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 (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

Resourcing Yourself

Hey gang, great to have you visiting my blog. I have just written a great post on my churches blog which has a really great thought, a challenging quote and an encouraging video. Its well worth the visit! Just click HERE to check it out.

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

I Can... through Christ!

At some stage in our walk with God we all find ourselves feeling inadequate and unable to do what God is asking of us... I thought this Scripture and video might encourage you (and me)...

"...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 : )

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Proof of God?

Heres a great video that I'll know that you'll enjoy...

Let me know what you thought : )

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Serving Free Rice

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have been promoting a great sight where for every word definition that you get right the sight donates 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program. At the same time you benefit by increasing your word power. If you haven't visited the sight yet then click HERE.

Help end world hunger

I took up a 30 day challenge to each day go on freerice and get 500 grains of rice per day. It has been fun and all the better... I've been able to see donate 15 000 grains of rice or 150 bowels of rice. Just 5 or so minutes a day has meant that I have provided 150 meals. It was simple, free and fun. (These are the figures to date from freerice: 77,122,560 grains of rice donated yesterday. Over 35 billion grains donated to date)
I challenge you to take up a 30 day challenge!
We might not be able to change the whole world... but we can certainly make a difference in a few people's lives!

On the subject of serving others... click HERE to see a really funny and thought provoking video by Igniter Media.

Until next time...
I look forward to your comments : )

Monday, 2 June 2008

Ed Young on Authority

How great is a long weekend? I absolutely love it. I got to hang out with my brother and his wife and the folks. And we had 10 baptisms at church over the weekend. It was just good all round!

Authority is a subject that I have been interested in for a while now... so I thought I'd share this YouTube video.

Let me know what you think it means to be 'under God's authority'.
I look forward to your comments : )