Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Grace & The Law

I read a great quote out of Brad Young's book, 'Meet the Rabbi's'... it still has me thinking about the full extent of its meaning:
"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

Great Quote

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
Mark Twain

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Unusual Christmas Trees

Merry Christmas everyone.

I thought it might be nice since we are all in the Christmas spirit to show some unique Christmas trees.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

We All Need Somebody!

Just this Saturday I had planned to take my son for a horse ride. Everyone loves horse riding right... except Ethan really wasn't keen. He kept making excuses about something that happened when he was at kindi... which I can't remember. Anyways... he was really sure that this was a terrible idea and he was going to have no part in it.

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

It Is Your Responsibility!!!

I've been in ministry for a long time now... some 13 years. I have a great passion for quotes and I've picked up a few beauties along the way. One of my favourites says this, "It is a sin to make the God of the Bible boring!"

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

A Biblical Worldview

It has been on my mind a lot of late... and we are going to dedicate an entire series to it next year.
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?
    1. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life
    2. God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today
    3. Salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned
    4. Satan is real
    5. A Christian has a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people
    6. The Bible is accurate in all of the principals it teaches
    7. Unchanging moral truth exists
    8. 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

The power of Thanks

Romans 1:19-21 (New International Version)
since 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

Process vs The Prize

I've been thinking about this topic for some time now... just pondering and letting revelation settle in.

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!