Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? - Peter his 2nd letter 3rd Chapter 11th verse.
Today people keep on wishing you a happy new year. If nothing else people seem to be a little more friendly.
As someone once said; We don't know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.
I don't know what 2010 will hold and probably wouldn't want to know if I could but I do know how I should live.
"To live a holy life - no matter what!."
Hard, testing, difficult & even unfashionable but it is the only thing that stays if everything else is taken away. God never promised me happiness in this life but he did send me a saviour and a comforter to be with me in everything.
So in the words of Peter I want to "Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. " no matter what it holds.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Last night we watched Newspring Christmas service via the web. (Using PS3 we had a great 42 in picture) I think it may become a new tradition. The music was great & Perry Noble hit it out of the park talking about "Come Home" from the story of the Lost Son.
Introducing his message they showed the video below. I messed me up absolutely and totally.
You can get a copy Kadence.tv
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with
- good character
- spiritual understanding
- alert discipline
- passionate patience
- reverent wonder
- warm friendliness
- generous love
No mention of finance, no name it and claim it, but an ongoing process of work, development and growth. And as we do this and mature every day no matter what the circumstances, God or bad, we will find a reward.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Reading a Post from my old pastor Roger Blackmore (In old I mean that he was my Pastor many years ago, but I guess that makes us both old, sorry Roger) my jaw just hit the floor.
Roger's church are in the process of appointing a Student Ministries Pastor and although they don't have the budget they were stepping out because they knew it was the right thing to do. Their own congregation are being given the opportunity to give however I still cant quite believe what happens next. Here it is in Rogers own words:
"A friend of mine who pastors a great church in this area that has a lot of financial challenges as they look to the future. He told me his leaders have had a meeting and decided to give us $25,000 to pay our new staff member during 2010. He told me they love what we’re doing, want to see us open more campuses and continue to kick butt, so they want to help us move forward."
So another local church decides to fund another local church to hire a pastor. What?!?!
That really is kingdom!
Read Rogers post here.
Silas, a most dependable brother. I have the highest regard for him. - 1 Peter 5 v 12
We only come across the name Silas a handful of times in the New Testament but we don't really know too much about him. What I do know about him makes him in my eyes truly Godly man.
Sometimes I here phrases in the church which although I understand they way they are used does not sit perfectly comfortably. "He is a number one leader" or "He is a number two leader" etc.
Although I suppose that these levels of leadership exists church leadership is much more about team than anything else.
Silas was a leader in his own right, one of the church council of the Jerusalem "Mega" church. But he never wrote a book for the new testament but delivered the letters. He never planted a church own his own but was with Paul as they did it together. He even suffered beating and prison with Paul. He even supported the young Timothy.
The "greats" of the New Testament wanted Silas with them. Somehow they may not have been quite so great if this "dependable" man of God was not with them.
They recognised that, so were not threatened and he recognised that, so was content.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Matt Chandler received the pathology report following his recent operation the other day and the news was difficult. He is home but is facing appointments with doctors and some difficult decisions. One of his friends Pastor Vassar wrote an incredible post about the difference between desire and hope. Here is is in full:
I write this today because I need to. I need to tell myself these things. I just read the pathology report from the Village Church on Matt Chandler (http://ow.ly/MM81). I have known Matt for many years and love and respect him deeply. I am praying for him and for his sweet wife Lauren, and their kiddos, and the Village. And, I am praying with this in mind: there is a difference between desire and hope.
I am praying with great desire. My desire is that God would heal Matt, hand him to Lauren and the kids to be her husband and their daddy, restore him to the pulpit, empower him to preach his heart out for the magnification of Jesus, and one day let him play with his grandkids. I think God wants me to desire those things and ask Him for them, knocking until my knuckles bleed, making it clear to God how I desire Him to respond. And, those desires are good. But those desires are different than our hope.
Sometimes desires are not fulfilled. But, our hope is. Hope does not disappoint us (Romans 5:5). Our hope is certain and sure. Our hope is that none who trust in Him will ever ultimately be put to shame. Our hope is that in Jesus we are forgiven, given his Spirit, adopted as sons and daughters of God, and will one day be revealed as such (Romans 8:14-16; 1John 3:2-3). Our hope is that Jesus has defeated our greatest enemies of Satan, Sin, and Death and through Him we will triumph (Romans 8:37). Our hope is that God is sovereignly moving heaven and earth to secure the good of his elect and bring about their glory and joy (Romans 8:28). Our hope is that we who are in Christ are the eternal objects of God's love and that nothing, absolutely nothing, can change that status or rob us of its privileges (Romans 8:38-39). Our hope is that these momentary and light afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2Cor 4:16-17); that the things we suffer are not worth comparing to the glory that God will reveal to us (Romans 8:18). Our hope is that God will not leave us nor forsake us so that even as we experience ten thousand shadows of death come over us, we shall not fear because He is with us (Psalm 23). Our hope is that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us into his presence (2Cor 4:14). Our hope is that if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united to him in a resurrection like His (Romans 6:5). And, our hope is that Christ, who is our great treasure, will be exalted as such whether by life or by death (Philippians 1:20). This is Matt's hope. He knows this hope; he lives this hope; he preaches this hope. Lauren knows and lives this hope as well, and Matt is blessed to have her at his side.
I just needed to tell myself that today. I need to remember that as I voice desires to be fulfilled and as I plead with the "God who is able," for Matt's strength and healing and restoration, I must not confuse my desire and my hope. I am holding tightly to hope and finding my comfort in the God of Hope. Praying we all will. Apostles Church will be praying for the Chandlers.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The Daily Express has reported that "Dr Grills, a public health fellow at Monash University, Australia, has studied the negative impact of Santa’s image on public health in literature and on the web."
It goes on to say:
"His fat and sugar-loaded diet sends out a message that obesity is synonymous with cheerfulness and joviality. His habit of consuming a brandy at every home indicates a serious booze problem and added to that is the more disturbing possibility of Santa drink-driving his sleigh."
So now Santa is to blame for drink driving and obesity.
Frankly I've never liked him since he didn't get me the scalextric I wanted when I was six.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Yesterday I read the following tweet from Matt Chandler who has just gone through brain surgery to remove a tumor and is now waiting for the results of a pathology report:
"Path report is 2ndary at best...good report doesn't mean much, bad report doesn't mean anything...my days are numbered and not by this report."
This morning I read this:
Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.13 Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.- 1 Peter 4 v 12 - 13
Very often in the middle of difficulty we are tempted to ask where is God, why have you left me?
Peter reminds us that God is always on the case and as we are changed to be more like him, glory is around the corner in this life or the next.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
We don't like suffering.
I would never willingly choose it.
We ask God to keep us away from it or deliver us from it.
Some who tend to add to the Gospel by sticking a word in front of it suggest:
As Christians we should never suffer.
Or we suffer because we sin.
If we stop sinning God will deliver us.
"Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. 2 Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want." - 1 Peter 4 v 1 - 2
Although I don't want to say this as I really do not want to suffer.
If suffering helps to bring me closer to God then maybe just maybe suffering can be good for me.
As Jesus did by "Enduring" the suffering of the cross for the great prize that was at the other side.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Yesterday I spent some time with an old friend who was a Pastor until a few weeks ago. He had served and sacrificed the church for a number of years before being asked to leave. Listening to him its clear that the transition could have been handled better.
Listening to him was hard. His heart had been hurt and he was clearly in the middle of a storm of questions, doubt and hurt. My heart went out to him as I spent a couple of hours trying to encourage him.
Today I read this:
Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. - 1 Peter 3 v 12
Attention is defined as the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things.
The hardest thing in the world to do. But Peter is encouraging us to ignore the words and the actions that are hurting us and concentrate and be ready to hear what Jesus wants to say to us.
Our questions and others words very often cut but Jesus words heal a broken heart when we don't know what to say.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Another important day for us at MKCC. Mark and I sign the Building Lease for the land adjacent to our current property. So the clock is ticking. Technically we now have two years to complete the building to the standard required by HCA.
For those of you at MKCC don't panic our building is still scheduled to be finished long before that. In September 2010. The diggers move in on Monday.
And no I am not blowing a kiss at Mark!
If I have hear this said once I must have heard it a thousand times. Yes its true and I am sad to say I am one of them. We have to admit that our actions do not always match our beliefs. But sometimes we are maybe to ready to accept it. We can concede to our hypocrisy just that little to quick. Maybe I am just looking for an easy way out to justify or excuse my sloppiness.
God does not let me off that easy.
Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. - 1 Peter 2 v 12 - 13 (Mess)
On the 11th July 2008 the digirati team of LifeChurch.tv launched an iPhone App to accompany their web based Bible YouVersion.com.
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Well done guys! and thank you for helping me read the Bible that little bit more.
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Friday, December 11, 2009
(Peter) .. writing to exiles scattered to the four winds. Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!- 1 Peter 1 v 1 - 2
Peter wrote this letter to followers of Jesus that were scattered all over what is now know as Turkey. Most of them far away from the great cities we equate with great Christian churches like Jerusalem, Antioch and Rome. It was not even written to a particular church but individual believers looking to live out their normal lives in the light of their saviour Jesus.
We don't know their names, but we do know by reading this letter they faced verbal abuse and discrimination for their belief in Jesus. Not necessarily organised by the great Roman empire but by ordinary people who lived next door.
To these people and to us God says: Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you.
Monday, December 07, 2009
I posted earlier about the storm that has hit Matt Chandler and his family. Keep praying for him with. He has had surgery and is recovering in ICU.
This video posted over at his blog was shown in his church this weekend - inspiring.
Click on the image to watch.
We started our new teaching series at MKCC on Sunday. Called "He will be called" it is based on Isaiah 9 v 6:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
I kicked it off with "Wonderful Counsellor".
Studying the word Counsellor throughout the Bible helped me understand a little more the Biblical view of God counsels us.
The meaning is one who brings someone close to their side and speaks quietly too them.
I think this is a beautiful picture of what God does for us. He puts his arm round our shoulder and whispers a word just for us, not for anyone else, just between you and God.
An amazing God!
You can watch the whole message here or listen here.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
God forced me to my knees yet again today to say I am sorry. That's the problem with reading His word it's always calling you higher.
So today I start reading Jonah. That's safe. Ive heard this since I was in Sunday School. Then I read Jonah prayer to God in Ch 2 v 8.
Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
Why on earth would I pass up on God's grace by placing other things in front of God in my life but I am sure I do it daily.
For Jonah his idol was national pride which if he held on to it, he would have experienced the grace of a city turning to God on mass.
I need to let go of so much but to experience God's grace in a way that I never have before I must loosen my grip.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I am the ultimate Mr Fix it. I can listen for only so long then I just have to try to fix things. They only problem being is that there are just so many things in life we just cannot fix.
We all have friends, family and relatives who have or are going through tough times. Being part of a church staff you hear about so many more people that are suffering in one way or another. Sometimes it seems to overwhelm.
You pray and you pray, you look for a way to help and your heart hurts because you see so much suffering.
This verse helped me. Job 2 v 23:
“Then Job’s friends sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was”
As a friend sometimes the best thing we can do is button our lip and listen. And when our friend doesn't even want to talk maybe the best gift we can give is our presence no mater how long it takes 7 hours or 7 days.