Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to live a clean life?

I'm no longer a young man by any stretch of imagination but I think this is good advice NO matter what are you are!

Thanks Garry Patterson for posting

Psalm 119:9-16…

"How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you;
don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.
I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won’t sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed,
God; train me in your ways of wise living.
I’ll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you’ve done it.
I relish everything you’ve told me of life,
I won’t forget a word of it.”

How can a young (or any) person live a clean life?… That’s How.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Anne Jackson - Permission to Speak Freely

My Story: The Preacher’s Daughter & The Youth Pastor – My Introduction to Sexual Abuse and Pornography

A title to a blog post by Anne Marie Miller (Previously Anne Jackson) which jolts against your sensitivities. But I have read much of Anne's story in 2 of her previous books: "Mad Church Disease" & "Permission to Speak Freely".

Thankfully Anne is one of the few people I have come across who are willing to talk openly about some of the raw difficulties she has faced and is facing in her life. I am sure her openess will give hope to so many others as it has done in my life.

Watch Anne share her story first hand by clicking on the pic below.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Jesus: Version 346.5?

Almost two years ago I heard Judah Smith say:
There is no mystery, no secret or software update that can supplement JESUS.
It is no secret to those who know me that I love gadgets and in particular gadgets with an APPLE on them. But not long after you have made the huge investment for the latest item, the new technology soon becomes old hat. The upgrade eventually makes the previous obsolete.

The Bible makes it clear that with Jesus there is no upgrade.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever - Heb 13:8

There is no need for an upgrade on the PERFECT COMPLETE work of Jesus. When he said it was finished he didn't mean version 1.0 or even 2.0. His version can not be upgraded or bettered in any way.
I often wonder if I really know what I have in - JESUS - since when was Jesus not enough - Judah Smith
Image from

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I want to yearn for you.....

“Yearn” (Shane & Shane) from Desiring God on Vimeo.

Holy design
This place in time
That I might seek and find my God
My God

Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
And over You
And only You
Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
Over You
And only You
Lord, I want to yearn

Your joy is mine
Yet why am I fine?
With all my singing and bringing grain
In light of Him

Oh, You give life and breath
And in You we live and move
That's why I sing

Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
And over You
And only You
Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
And over You And only You
Lord, I want to yearn

Saturday, August 24, 2013

You have permission to _______________

Love this from Elevation Church. Click here if you can's see the video.

You Have Permission To _______ from Elevation Church on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Missing God

You live in terms of what you see and touch. I’m living on other terms. I told you that YOU WERE MISSING GOD IN ALL OF THIS. - John 8:23 (Message)

Maybe the most surprising thing about Jesus statement is not that fact that people miss God, but it is where and to whom he said it.

He didn't say it in a brothel or crack house he said it in the TEMPLE.

He didn't say it to the so called reprobates of society he said it to RELIGIOUS LEADERS of the day.

They spent their days reading God's Word, busy in service, surrounded by reminders of God but were missing God in it all.

Even when God turned up in their midst they MISSED him.

The proof is in the opening verses of this chapter where everything they thought about God meant that their job was to pronounce judgement on a woman who was caught in sin. They had become God's policemen rather than His guides to point people to his grace.

They missed God big time.

God help me not to miss God in all of this.

In all our music, teaching, campaigns, campuses, plants, conferences, podcasts, books, blogs, strategies, programmes and all, God don't let me miss you!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My Lighthouse

We had the great honour of hosting Rend Collective Experiment at MKCC on Sunday. As well as doing a great job at leading our church in worship of Jesus they are just great humble people.

They taught us one of their amazing new songs which was full of gut wrenching honesty but a sure hope that we have in Jesus - My Lighthouse

Check out the video here if you cant see it.

In my wresting and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence You won't let go
In my questions Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My lighthouse, My lighthouse
Shining in the darkness,
I will follow You
My lighthouse, My lighthouse
I will trust the promise,
You will carry me
Safe to shore

Fire before us You're the brightest

Monday, August 19, 2013

Trusting HIM to keep us

Andrew Murray - Abide in Me (Ch 3)

MORE than one admits that it is a sacred duty and a blessed privilege to abide in Christ, but shrinks back continually before the question: Is it possible, a life of unbroken fellowship with the Saviour?

Eminent Christians, to whom special opportunities of cultivating this grace have been granted, may attain to it; for the large majority of disciples, whose life, by a divine appointment, is so fully occupied with the affairs of this life, it can scarce be expected. The more they hear of this life, the deeper their sense of its glory and blessedness, and there is nothing they would not sacrifice to be made partakers of it. But they are too weak, too unfaithful--they never can attain to it.

Dear souls! how little they know that the abiding in Christ is just meant for the weak, and so beautifully suited to their feebleness. It is not the doing of some great thing, and does not demand that we first lead a very holy and devoted life. No, it is simply weakness entrusting itself to a Mighty One to be kept--the unfaithful one casting self on One who is altogether trustworthy and true.

Abiding in Him is not a work that we have to do as the condition for enjoying His salvation, but a consenting to let Him do all for us, and in us, and through us. It is a work He does for us--the fruit and the power of His redeeming love. Our part is simply to yield, to trust, and to wait for what He has engaged to perform.

Stop performing and let God perform

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Move into the neighbourhood

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. - John 1:14

Thursday, August 15, 2013

If Jesus.....?

David Platt - Silence Is Arrogance from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Privatised faith and a resurrected King is practically inconceivable - David Platt

Watch the full message here

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Worship is more than a song

Click here if you cant see the video

Jimmy Needham

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that's the measure you must take to crush the idols
Jerk the pews & all the decorations, too
Until the congregations few, then have revival
Tell your friends that this is where the party ends
Until you're broken for your sins, you can't be social
Then seek the Lord & wait for what He has in store
And know that great is your reward so just be hopeful

'Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song

Take a break from all the plans that you have made
And sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper
Beg Him please to open up His mouth and speak
And pray for real upon your knees until they blister
Shine the light on every corner of your life
Until the pride and lust and lies are in the open
Then read the Word and put to test the things you've heard
Until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken

'Cause you can sing all you want to
Yes, you can sing all you want to
You can sing all you want to
And still get it wrong; worship is more than a song

We must not worship something that's not even worth it
Clear the stage, make some space for the One who deserves it
Any thing I put, before my God, is an idol
Any thing I want, with all my heart, is an idol
Any thing I can't, stop thinking of, is an idol
Any thing that I, give all my love, is an idol

Cause I can sing all I want to
Yes I can, sing all I want to
And we can, sing all we want to
We can, sing all we want to
We can sing all we want to
And still get it wrong
Worship is more than a song

Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze
If that's the measure you must take to crush the idols

Surprising Faith

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. - Hab 3:17 & 18

The small book of Habakkuk is tucked into the books of the prophets of the Old Testament but this prophet doesn't seem to fit the mould. Instead of talking to people on God's behalf the book is a conversation between him and God.

It is one of those profound conversations where the created is questioning the creator with the age old question: Why?

Although Habakkuk does get some answers in the middle of these answers God introduces the concept that is picked up and quoted by New Testament writers.

"the righteous shall live by his faith" 2:4

For Habakkuk the light comes on and he composes the song that we have read above. A song that crystallises the very essence of faith. Not predominately a tool to prise something from an unwilling deity. But as an anchor of trust buried deep in the eternal plan of an almighty God no matter what is going on within our envelope of time.

William Cowper quoted Habakkuk in his hymn Sometimes a light surprises:

Sometimes a light surprises the Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord, who rises with healing in His wings:
When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.

In holy contemplation we sweetly then pursue
The theme of God’s salvation, and find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
Let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.

It can bring with it nothing but He will bear us through;
Who gives the lilies clothing will clothe His people, too; Beneath the spreading heavens, no creature but is fed;
And He Who feeds the ravens will give His children bread.

Though vine nor fig tree neither their wonted fruit should bear, Though all the field should wither, nor flocks nor herds be there;
Yet God the same abiding, His praise shall tune my voice,
For while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lead me to the rock....

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. - Psalm 61:1-3

This Psalm is the was the basis for a song sang by the Gathers (not really my style of music more my mums). Search on youtube and you will find numerous takes of friends with smiling faces gathered around the camp fire singing the words to a light and happy tune.

For me the psalm and the song create in my heart more of a guttural desperate cry for help from a God that in the moment seems far away. Whilst trying to remember the times when God has shown up and daring to ask him to show up again. Praying in faith mixed with that tinge of doubt that is still present in our minds even though we wish it wasn't. Lord I believe, Help my unbelief!

Lead me to the rock.....

When my heart is overwhelmed
And my eyes are blind to You
And the pain of life is just too heavy to bear

And then the mountains seems so high
And my faith's too weak to climb

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
Lead me to the rock, lead me to the rock

When my life is hit with fear
And I fight to hide the tears
And I wrestle in my heart to know what to do Lord,

I'm welling up inside But I know You hear my cry
Jesus, lead me to the rock that is higher than I

You are the rock and there is no other
A tower of strength, You are my shelter
Lord, You are my hope eternal
You are the rock that is higher than I

Monday, August 12, 2013

7 things a leader MUST do

Originally posted by Ron Edmondson:

7 things a leader must do
  1. Think bigger – Leaders don’t have the luxury of “resting in the moment” for long. Celebrate yes. But, then the leader must begin thinking “What’s new?”, “What’s next?” or “What needs improving?” Things are changing fast and to keep up, you’ll have to always be thinking beyond today.
  2. Include others – There once may have been a day where a solo leader could flourish, but those days are gone. People want a seat at the table of decision. Information can no longer be controlled. Reclusive leaders aren’t trusted and therefore not followed far. In the process, they waste valuable talent and opportunities from people on their team. (Also empower and release others)
  3. Remain positive – Leading isn’t easy. To say it is would mean life is easy…and it isn’t. Leading involves navigating through ups and downs and the successful leader will be the one who can keep people anxiously and excitedly looking forward through each season. On dark days a leader must point people towards better days…towards hope. (Towards Jesus)
  4. Challenge status quo – Change has always been part of society, but today change is happening at warp speed. Leaders must be agents of discovery and agents of improvement. Effective leaders must continually encourage people beyond what they think they can do. (and understand that most people don't like change at first. You must choose courage over comfort)
  5. Insure strategic thinking – We rarely reach a destination by chance, and so effective leaders are strategy experts. They work with people to craft a path to reach a destination that may not always look exactly like what we thought it would, but gets us closer to achieving our vision. We must get better with less resources and that will require strategy.
  6. Communicate effectively – In a day where information is at everyone’s fingertips, and the quantity of information is overwhelming for all of us, the most effective leaders will be skilled communicators. They will be able to filter us through the mass of information to the most important information in the context of achieving our vision.
  7. Stand firm – The successful leader will be able to guide a group of people towards a well-defined, easy to understand, worthy vision…in spite of hardships, setbacks and disappointments. As fast as change is changing, there must be some things which are consistent, which can grab and keep people’s heart and energy long term. Otherwise, we will see no real progress. That means effective leaders can’t get distracted with things that in the end won’t even matter. (Perry Noble says - Listen to Jesus and do what HE says.)

Friday, August 09, 2013

Boasting about?

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. - 2 Cor 12:9

Just prior to this declaration Paul has opened his life and heart to his readers in total vulnerability. He gives them the inside track on two polar opposite experiences in his life. A revelation and a thorn.

He had a revelation of God and heaven in a supernatural way. Not sure in his own mind how it all came together but it was so incredible that "he heard things that could not be told". He doesn't even make it clear that he was the man who experienced this incredible revelation of God.

But he also owns, personally, "the thorn" he has and chooses to share his weaknesses with his Corinthians friends. We have no real clue what the thorn was. But his prayers for it to be taken away had "FAILED" and he had come to realise that the reason that they had failed was that somewhere inside he had the tendency to become "CONCEITED".

So he plays down the fact that he has encountered a spiritual experience that virtually no one else ever has. And chooses to play up the awareness that his prayers have failed, he is stuck with a weakness and has a tendency to become conceited.

An incredible example of a revelation from one of the greatest leaders of our faith.

Somehow in today's information age I feel we would have heard a little more about the "heavenly" experience that the irritating "thorn".

Books would have been written, speaking tours would have been arranged, facebook pages would have been published and twitter would have been tweeting with 140 characters of the "things that could not be told". All to tell us about the man who went to heaven so we could marvel at how great he was and feel like they were somehow less of a christian.

Paul chose to write about his weaknesses so that generations of Christians to come would know that greatness rests with Jesus not his followers.

Making clear that hiding your weakness only hides them from the grace that is sufficient to make them irrelevant in the panorama of His power.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. - Romans 8:18

The Bible is not silent on suffering in fact so much of the letters written to the early churches return to this difficult subject with monotonous regularity. Guided by the Holy Spirit the writers of God's Word were lead to open up this tender wound again and again.

Not only did being part of this new kingdom not protect you from all the common trails of this world, like sickness and natural disasters, but it brought a new world of pain through persecution. Following Jesus actually added to suffering in a tangible way.

Three things Paul tells the Roman church to bring comfort in suffering.
  1. Compare your suffering with the glory to come. Call to mind everything you know about how marvellous God is then take a deep breath and realise the the true extent of God's glory has not even been revealed to you yet!
  2. Understand that the Holy Spirit is praying for us even if no one else is or we don't even know what to pray.

    Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. - Romans 8:26
  3. Realise that whatever is happening in our lives, God WILL use it to accomplish GOOD in his eternal plan.

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Leaders Who Last

A few weeks ago we had the great privilage of hosting Dave Kraft one of the Elders at Mars Hill Church at MKCC. Dave spent a day sharing with leaders on how they can finish well.

Here are some of his observations of his time here:

  • The very diverse ethnic make up of MKCC. Lots of people from Africa and other European countries are part of their fellowship. 
  • The strong vision MKCC has to impact, and make a difference in their community and the surrounding region with the Gospel 
  • The commitment the leadership team is making to invest in the next generation of leaders. 
  • The number of very young leaders that MKCC is currently training. I met some at the seminar as young as 14! 
  • The vibrant worship on Sunday at MKCC. They were completely engaged and enthusiastic.
And a short video of his trip:

England_June2013_LFTH from Dave Kraft on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


Revere is:

A 7 piece London based band.
A  Jersey Hotel.
An Estate Agency.
A US City.

But it is also how we should approach God's Word.

Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who REVERES the commandment will be rewarded. - Prov 13:13

The word is defined as:

To regard with respect tinged with awe.

And comes from the Latin - reverērī, to stand in awe of, fear, feel reverence.

Sometimes I ignore it by leaving it on a shelf or as an unopened tab at the top of my browser. Sometimes I ignore it by reading its words and doing the opposite. Sometimes I read it in desperation just to find a verse that will help me out of a hole. Sometimes I read it to arm me to prove a point. Sometimes I read it so I can beat another person up with it. Sometimes I read it just so I can preach a sermon. Sometimes I read it just to check the performance box. All of these and more the Bible describes as DESPISING God's Word.

To open its pages with trembling hands is our deep privilege. Our heart beating with a mixture of excitement and a tinge of awe as we allow our eyes to settle on the very words of God we discover exactly who he is.