Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rumors of Wisdom

27 He focused on Wisdom, made sure it was all set and tested and ready.28 Then he addressed the human race: 'Here it is! Fear-of-the-Lord-that's Wisdom, and Insight means shunning evil. - Job 28 v 27-28

On his journey through his difficulties and his fight with doubt Job circles the question of wisdom. What it is and where to find it.
He comes to the conclusion that we can't find it where we normally look for it because our quest is all too often confined to people and places.
He says that people don't have a clue and this world is devoid of it.

We go looking for wisdom but dig up knowledge.
The gulf between knowing and knowing what to do can be cavernous.
Knowledge without wisdom can be the most destructive thing in the universe.
Wisdom stays elusive and as he puts it "We've only heard rumours of it!".

So how do we make sense of all this knowledge.
We go to the creator of wisdom.

Job paints a picture of creator God speaking this world into being with all its beauty and majesty he turned his attention to creating wisdom. He focused on it, made it, tested it and takes delight in showing and sharing this great prize with his people.

Why settle with a rumour when your father can show you the real thing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Meekness of Wisdom

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. - James 3 v 13 - 17

The phrase Meekness of Wisdom really facinated me. 
I've always believed that there was a gulf between knowledge and wisdom but these verses really helped me to understand it a little better.
Knowledge is great but can be used in all the wrong ways.
It can be used to win an argument at the expence of another.
It can be used destroy a person.
It can be used to make you look good.
It can be used to twist the truth.
It can be used to exhert supiriority.

But when you use it in this way the Bible says it is DEMONIC!

When wisdom enters the door it brings with it submission and is shared with humility.

Its motives are pure.
It finds a way forward in peace.
It educates gently.
It listens with an open heart.
Shows mercy to those who don't understand.
It is more interested in uncovering truth than taking sides.
It humbly finds the best way forward for all.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Steve Jobs & The Apostle Paul on Death

Thanks to Joshua Blankenship for posting this:

"Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything—all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

—Steve Jobs, June 12th 2005 Stanford commencement speech (video)

Live a life worthy of Christ then when we die we win. We get Jesus!

For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. - Phil 1 v 21

Friday, October 07, 2011

Since when was Jesus not enough?


Judah Smith - Sesseon 6 - Catalyst 11 

Last night I have the privilege of attending the evening session of Catalyst 11 - Be Present. Honestly I nearly opted out. My body clock was screaming it was time for bed and I had already been assaulted with great truth for nearly 12 hours. But with 1 hire car and another 3 people who wanted to stay - peer pressure won out :-)

Joel Houston lead us in wonderful worship of our God then Judah Smith stormed the stage. His passage Ex 33 v 12 - 23. Recounting the time when Moses asked to see the "Glory of God"

Here are some quotes:
  • JESUS is the glory of God.
  • Don't wish for what Moses had we have someone better JESUS.
  • Moses wished, with every fiber of his being, that he could have had what we have - JESUS.
  • You don't have to wait for a goose pimple moment you already have all you need in JESUS.
  • I often wonder if I really know what I have in - JESUS.
  • There is  no mystery, no secret or software update that can supplement JESUS.
"I am he," said Jesus. "You don't have to wait any longer or look any further." - John 4 v 25
  • Leading people, a church or a family is not about you its about JESUS.
  • Since when was JESUS not enough?
  • Since when have we a need to supplement the SAVIOUR.
  • Don't look any further than JESUS.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Artificial Maturity

Catalyst Pre Labs - Session 1 - Dr Tim Elmore

  • Views of generation iY (Born since 1990)
  • Our kids want to grow up too fast and slow at the same time resulting in artificial maturity.
  • We are not in an age where we have really bad kids but kids that know too much too soon.
  • Adolescence is expanding at both ends. It starts earlier and ends later.
  • Students are over exposed to information earlier than they are ready and under exposed to experience.
  • We all have an incredible amount of information but we are not really disciples.
  • We are raising the 1st generation who don't need adults to get them information.
  • The average teen is without their mobile phone for less than 1 hour a day.
  • 26 is the new 18 as the pause button has been pushed on adolescence.
  • Research has confirmed that this generation has high arrogance but low self esteem.
  • Leading this generation is a balancing act:
They need leaders who are RESPONSIVE. Providing belief, acceptance, support and leaders who are DEMANDING providing accountability.

They need leaders who provide balanced messages. Childhood messages saying you are loved, special, safe, valuable and have gifts. But they also need adolescence messages saying life is difficult, you are not in control, you are not important, you are going to die and its not all about you.

Leadership must balance autonomy, responsibility and information.

We are leading an EPIC generation. They are:
  • E - Experiential
  • P - Participatory
  • I - Image rich
  • C - Connected

How to get unstuck

Tony Morgan released a brand new FREE e book - How to get unstuck.

Having just read it through the second time I know it will be helping my thoughts as I seek with my colleagues to continue to build a great church in Milton Keynes.

This quote that Tony quotes from Jim Collins really struck a chord:

"Those in power blame other people or external factors—or otherwise explain away the data—rather than confront the frightening reality that the enterprise may be in serious trouble."

Often in church life we can have a victim mentality.

You don't know what my town is like. If I was in another town it would be different.
You just don't know what the people in my church are like.

We will blame anything but are reluctant to admit we are stuck and need to do something different.

I don't look at MKCC as being stuck as a whole. Looking at some of the signs it would suggest we are moving:
  • The church is showing growth. 
  • We have a good range of ages and the youth developing
  • Giving continues to grow
  • People are serving
But in some areas of our ministry we are a little more sticky to say the least. Going to enjoy working through some of Tony's principles with the team.

Get you copy here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I break God's heart

Today I wake up in Atlanta looking forward to the start of the Catalyst Conference today. Looking forward to understanding a little more about Jesus.

Yesterday I spent nearly 10 hours cooped up in a Delta plane so with no movies I wanted to watch I decided to hit up the Mars Hill - Mark Driscoll podcast from the past weekend - Jesus and Peter.

Marks main point was that: "We fail Jesus, He already knows when and where we are going to fail, but Jesus never fails us."

But one thing he said just hit me between the eyes:

"Sin is not just the breaking of Gods laws it’s the breaking of God’s heart." 

I had to close my mac screen and bow my head and quietly apologise to God again for my sin that hurts Him so much and thank Him again for His Grace through Jesus in my life. The video is below. It is a full preach but it really is worth your while watching: