Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Who runs the church?

Who runs the church? ”I”, said the Pastor, “I am the master. l run the church”.

Who runs the Church? “I”, said the deacon, “Don’t think I’ll weaken. I run the church”.

Who runs the church? Said the man in the pew, “Let me tell you, I run the church”.

Who runs the church? All these are wrong.

This is the right: When Pastor and deacon And men in the pew Are simply just channels For God to flow through – GOD RUNS THE CHURCH.

From Aaron Linford

So leaders & attenders alike its time to get our hands off:)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When the crap hits the fan?

A few thoughts from Pastor Mark's message at MKCC on Sunday. Image Bearers - Fruitful.

  • Even when you or anyone else didn't see anything in you God intentionally chose you.  
  • Often we feel like we are striving not thriving - but God is at work in both these extremes to transform us. 
  • God is at working in your life to make you an OAK not a twig.
  • You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit! - John 15:16 
  • Jesus is the only TRUE vine (source of life) not even the church can give you what Jesus can 
  • Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes,t hat it may bear more fruit - John 15:2 / God's plan is to make you more like him.
  • When the crap hits the fan in your life, maybe don't blame the devil, & ask what is God trying to teach me. 
  • The Christian life has to be a supernatural life because without Jesus we have no hope of living it 
  • Jesus is the centre, not a priority on a list 
  • Abiding in Jesus love means we will love others. Love not condemnation will always be our highest goal towards others
Check out the full message here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Simple Invite

Today sees the consecration of the first female Bishop in the Church of England. As discussion rages on the rights and wrongs of this development, an article in the Telegraph about Libby Holden simple journey of faith gripped me much more:
It was as an 11-year-old girl that Libby Holden, as she then was, first found her way into the church. 
Her family, from Glossop, Derbyshire, were not regular churchgoers and it was only through an invitation from a young friend to a children’s group at St John's church in nearby Charlesworth that she first attended. 
It was a simple, almost unthinking, act of kindness when she got there which had the biggest impact on the schoolgirl – and, by extension, helped alter the future history of the Church of England. 
“From the moment I turned up, that church community welcomed me into their extended family and their love for me loved me into faith,” she explained last month.
Read the full article here

A Simple invitation from one child to another, kindled by the love of a community, changed a life forever.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ye mind me o' departed joys, Departed never to return

Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon
How ye can bloom so fresh and fair
How can ye chant ye little birds 
And I sae weary fu' o' care

Ye'll break my heart ye warbling birds
That wantons thro' the flowering thorn
Ye mind me o' departed joys
Departed never to return

Oft hae I rov'd by bonnie Doon
To see the rose and woodbine twine
And ilka bird sang o' its love
And fondly sae did I o' mine

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree
But my false lover stole my rose
But ah! She left the thorn wi' me

- Robert Burns

Happy Burns Day

Cant see the video click here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The confusion of Gifting and Growth

The true index of Christian maturity is not the possession of gifts of the Spirit, but the production of the fruit of the Spirit - Luther
How do we recognise a maturing and growing Christian, someone who is becoming as the name suggests - Christ-like.

Often we equate gifting with growth and maturity. If God has given someone the gift of prophecy then they must be mature. If God has given someone the gift of preaching or leadership they must be very mature.

We must not confuse gifting with growth. Gifting is what God gives us by an act of his grace, growth is what he produces in us over time through testing and trails.

Growth is seen in a leader, not by the mere fact of them being a leader, but in them being a leader who is steady in faith when everything is heading south, a leader who loves continuously even when being betrayed, a leader who is reliable when everyone else lets people down, a leader who endures through unbearable suffering. That’s maturity!

Catch more of these thoughts on the video below:

Saturday, January 17, 2015


One of the burdens of leadership....

"The fact is few people will understand why you do what you do. But that's why you're the leader and they're not. If everyone understood and agreed with everything their leaders did, there would be no need for leaders." - Larry Osborne
Although that's no excuse to stop explaining!

Quote via Dave Kraft

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Where is the place of worship

So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. - King David Ps 63:2

What image is conjured up in our minds when we think of a place of worship:

An auditorium or stadium filled with 100's or 1000's of like minded people singing and dancing.
A tight band accompanied by professional pitch perfect singers.
A visual display enhanced by smoke machines, LED lights, video screens and moving gobo's.

Maybe so....but King David found himself almost as far away from that scene as he possibly could when he penned this song known as Psalm 63.

Singing this song he found himself in the wilderness of Judah. Possibly running for his life from Absalom, in fear of his very life. But David did not stop singing because he was in the wilderness, but he worshipped His God in his present circumstances.
"There was no desert in his heart, though there was a desert around him. We too may expect to be cast into rough places ere we go hence. In such seasons, may the Eternal Comforter abide with us, and cause us to bless the Lord at all times, making even the solitary place to become a temple for Jehovah." - The Treasury of David
His natural hunger and thirst reminded him of his desperate need for God.
His parched lips were used to speak praises to his God.
His sleepless hours became glorious times of reflection on his saviour.

Until we have found this place of worship maybe we have never really worshipped at all.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Creating the possibliity

‘For here’s what I’m going to do:..... I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. - Ez 36:26-27

Growing up in a Pentecostal church, God the Holy Spirit, was high on the agenda. In my limited child like understanding he was the cool powerful God who would show up with strange but dynamic gifts that demonstrated His majesty.

He gave people the power to speak in other languages, the ability to understand and interpret  those languages, the ability to prophecy the words of God into and about a situation, revealed hidden secrets and imparted His wisdom, give people the ability to have rock solid faith even against overwhelming odds and even on the odd occasion heal a person of sickness or perform an unbelievable miracle.

I still believe that God the Holy Spirit demonstrates the power of the Godhead in all these ways but I have also come to understand, and for me possibly more importantly, his day to day work in my life, which, for me is so much more incredible:

God has put His Spirit in me and made it possible for me to do what He tells me and live by His commands.

For me that is the greatest miracle of all! Without him I am helpless but with Him I CAN live exactly like God wants me too. Maybe I need to remember is possibly the main reason God has put his Spirit in us.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Sights to take your breath away

But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? That’s why Scripture exclaims, A sight to take your breath away! Grand processions of people telling all the good things of God! (Romans 10:14-17 MSG)

Even in my sheltered life I have seen many things that have taken my breath away:

The Aurora Borealis 
Rembrandt's The return of the prodigal son
Michelangelo's crouching boy
Sunset from Laguna beach
Ground Zero
The Hermitage 
The many sights of Rome

I still enjoy these moments now as I recount my experiences and emotions to others as the memories come flooding back even many years later.

But nothing can come close to seeing lines and lines of people telling others of the glorious things their God has done for them.

Yet so many of us choose to keep these glories secret to ourselves. Hiding the wonderful acts that God has done for us. Our silence and the acts of our God is a strange thought.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Saying goodby to five star

On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said. Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.” (Luke 9:57-58 MSG)

Jesus was frank and clear with anyone that was considering following him. He seemed to go out of his way to tell prospective disciples how hard things were going to be.

However this was no psychology test, they were really signing away their life away, lock stock and barrel.

There would be prisons not 5 star hotels.
Stocks not comfy armchairs.
Beatings not pampering.
Hunger not banquets.

In a day when it seems that many Pastors are looking for "honour" in this world, be it:

5 star hotels
Upper class plane travel
Cars for them and their wife
Paid for houses
Fully funded pensions
Even season tickets to watch their footy team
and much more

Let us never forget the call of the one to whom all honour is due, to come follow, rough it and yes even die!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Worship - Risking yourself totally

Meanwhile, the eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee, headed for the mountain Jesus had set for their reunion. The moment they saw him they worshiped him. Some, though, held back, not sure about worship, about risking themselves totally. (Matthew 28:16-17 MSG)

In today's church "worship" is popular. "Worship" attracts. "Worship" sells! Well worship that has become synonymous with music does.

But we know really that worship is much more than singing songs to Jesus with great music, talented singers and energetic worship leaders to a background of video screens, lights & smoke machines. (even though I love all of the above)

Worship is about total and absolute surrender of everything we are and everything we have.

So rather than being critical of the few disciples who held back from worshiping Jesus in this moment, I have some respect. 

They respected Jesus and worship in that they were prepared to ask themselves the hard question. Were they prepared to risk everything?

That's in a nutshell what worship is: risking our lives for Jesus, not just glancing his way while singing about him in our pews.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

No Questions Asked

Walking along the beach of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers: Simon (later called Peter) and Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them, “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch men and women instead of perch and bass.” They DIDN'T ASK ANY QUESTIONS, but simply dropped their nets and followed. (Matthew 4:18-20 MSG)

This totally blows my mind. Two brothers working the family business down tools and follow a perfect stranger. To that point Jesus had done next to nothing, he was almost anonymous, yet these guys gave up their livelihood to follow him.

They didn't have hindsight as we do. The 4 books that are now famous written by Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, had yet to be penned. The events of Easter & Pentecost were far in the future. Yet their decision was immediate and UNQUESTIONING.

In my following I am still full of questioning:

1. Will I be safe?
2. Will you provide?
3. Will I be successful?
4. Where are you taking me?
5. What about my family?
6. Exactly what do you want me to do? (I want to make sure it's my ministry)

and many more.... 

But for them there were no question they simply followed the call of Christ. They immediately decided to become disciples.