Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I choose your plan

This song was sung at our FUSE Youth takeover at our Sunday services at MKCC on Sunday. Written by Audacious! Church it really is an amazing song based on Romans 8. These words from the chorus brought tears to my eyes:

Move in me, move in my soul
Be my god, take control
I will praise, though I don't understand
I submit, I choose your plan.

That's my prayer for today, tomorrow and forever, Lord give me the grace and strength I need to choose your plan.


Imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Heb 6 v 12

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Cor 11 v 1

I urge you, then, be imitators of me. 1 Cor 4 v 6

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord. 1 Thess 1 v 6

For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus. 1 Thess 2 v 14

We often ask the question in circumstances and situations, what would Jesus do?. The idea of taking Jesus as our example and imitating Him is acceptable and desired. The idea of looking to another person as an example, or as a church leader looking to another church as an example, is often frowned upon.

Paul was a great man of God but he certainly was not perfect but still he encouraged believers to imitate him. I think today we would be saying who does this guy think he is? He hasn't got it all together? He is pointing us to a man instead of Jesus.

Paul knew only too well that he didn't have it all together. He was very open about his struggles. But he also knew that he had learned some lessons along the way. He had fought some battles and had the scars. He had learned some truth about the kingdom. Which he knew was valuable for other followers of Jesus.

I believe God uses examples, models and mentors as a way of helping us develop personally and as church leaders, to grow local church.

Find people, and churches, who are stronger than you are, have gone through what you are going through, further along the road that you & IMITATE.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hope against Hope

18 In hope he (Abraham) believed against hope,..... 20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. - Rom 4 v 18 & 20 -21

I wish that I could say that I have never distrusted the promises of God but I can't.
Delay has caused be to doubt.
Circumstances has caused me concern.
Criticism has caused me to question.

It frustrates me how quickly I allow the oldest sin to find a root in my heart: "Did God say....?"

My faith has be come just hope. In the same way that I "hope" that Aberdeen will win a football match. (Not much hope).

My hope must die and be born again as Peter describes in his letter as "living hope".

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to his great mercy has begotten us anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" - 1 Peter 1:3

John Piper has said that:

  • Living hope is full assurance, or strong confidence that God is going to do good to us in the future.
  • Living hope is a strong confidence in God which has power to produce changes in how we live.
So today I choose LIVING hope rather than just hope.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bringing back the wonder

It surprises me still that I can find myself in the doldrums feeling sorry for myself. Looking too much inside myself focused on my deceitful heart that still looks to question so much that I know to be true. But reality floods my heart when I choose to glimpse at my Saviour rather than my selfishness. This quote from John Bunyan rocked my world today:

"Sometimes when my heart has been hard, dead, slothful, blind, and senseless, which indeed are sad frames for a poor Christian to be in, yet at such a time, when I have been in such a case, then has the blood of Christ, the precious blood of Christ, the admirable blood of the God of Heaven, that run out of His body when it did hang on the Cross, so softened, livened, quickened, and enlightened my soul, that truly, reader, I can say, O it makes me wonder!" - John Bunyan

Now if that's not enough to bring back the wonder then I don't know what will.

HT - Desiring God

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hearing & Seeing

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. - Job 42 v 5

Hearing and seeing are two different things.
Often hearing about a famine in Somalia will make us shake our head in disbelief with little real action.
Being present and seeing children die through starvation will leave an indelible mark that will change our lives forever.

Job is saying to God that this is the type of experience that he just had.
Job was a good person. He was THE example of a God follower on the earth.
He had heard about God and followed God.

But what he is saying here, is that his God was too small. His God was actually much bigger than he had even imagined. His eyes had been opened to a new perspective of God and it was gigantic compared to his old view. He had seen a new reality of God.

What stands out to me is the catalyst God was able to use to bring about this transformation in Job's view of God - Suffering.

Today God has helped me to see that my view of God has been way too small and I have seen something of his greatness and character that I've never quite seen before.

No matter what else is going on in my life today, because I have seen a little more of our sovereign God, today has been a good day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Multiply rather than add to your life

"Reading about leadership, I got to thinking that if I were to invest an increasing amount of my time in developing the next generation of leaders, instead of just adding to my life, I would multiply my life." - Dave Kraft

Maybe its because I am advancing in years passing my 48th birthday but I found the above statement revolutionary and freeing at the same time.

Below is a discussion from Dave about the way he is working to resource the next generation.

This includes his book Leaders Who Last (Re: Lit Books) & his website.

Dave Kraft | Leaders Who Last from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Silence to Listen

Man do I need to learn this:

"Silence your body to listen to your words. Silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts. Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating. Silence your heart to listen to your spirit. And silence your spirit to listen to God." - Mama Maggie Gobran

Great leadership by Bill Hybels

Presently the Willow Creek Association's Global Leadership Summit is taking place in Chicago. Bill Hybels confirmed that Howard Schultz withdrew over an online petition calling the Illinois megachurch anti-gay and threatening a boycott. Bill said the association let the Starbucks CEO out of his contract and talked to the attendees about the situation.

Yet again I am blown away by how Bill shows incredible grace and leadership in his response.

Well done Bill!

Friday, August 05, 2011

This was Grace

Mark Sherratt sent me this video today.

This father and husband has totally humbled me and gave me a completely new dimention to God's GRACE!

"I cling to my rock Jesus!"

This was grace - short film from Andrew Laparra on Vimeo.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Abraham's Choice

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn't do but on what God said he would do. - Rom 4 v 18 (Mess)

Like Abraham we all face situations in life when "everything was hopeless". There is just no way out, no way forward.

When the boss says your job is redundant.
When the doctor says your cancer is terminal.
When your spouse says they have found someone else.
When your son is hooked on drugs.

The list goes on. It is all to easy to end up without hope.

It is then we face the Abraham choice. Live dictated to be his circumstances or live in the light of God's ETERNAL promises.

That does not mean that God waves a magic wand and my circumstances change but that God's promises are more real to me than my circumstances.

I am the apple of God's eye and he hides me in the Shadow of His wing - Ps 17 v 8
I don't need to worry because He wont leave me alone. - Du 31 v 8
I always have Christ in this life and after this life, I get even more. - Phil 1 v 21

These are not just words these are God's promises to us.

God help me to make the same choice as Abraham today, tomorrow and for the rest of my life.