Monday, March 30, 2020

Day 05 : Covid-19 Lockdown in Taupo

They say that music has the power to move someone.
To affect their emotions. To shift their mood.
To change their life.
Now add to that power, power from Heaven...
...what difference could a song, the right song, make in your life right now?

Over the last few days every time I listen to, even sing along with certain songs, my countenance changes.
My mood changes.
I feel stronger.
God feels closer.
And I feel like I can tackle whatever is coming my way...

Here are some of my favourites right now!

Graves into Gardens - Elevation Worship

Faithful Now - Vertical Worship

Can I encourage you today to pick a song?
Pick a special song that connects you with your Father in Heaven.
And let it shift you...

Something to think about...

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Day 04 : Covid-19 Lockdown in Taupo

I woke up far too early today and after a while of just lying there thought I would listen to the radio.
Every moment of talk and comment was filled with Corona virus talk, seasoned fully with fear to flavour it up. It didn’t help me at all!

As I was spending time eating my breakfast, thinking and praying, I was reminded about what Jesus would do when the world around him brought pain and or drama.
He would withdraw.
Scripture tells us that Jesus would often withdraw to "lonely places" (no one else around to distract him, no tasks to do), with nothing else except time with His Father in Heaven...

It is also recorded that when the news of his cousins death was reported to him, that it very much effected him.
His cousin is pretty famous in the gospel narrative.
John the Baptist as we call him.
This is a the cousin who jumped in his mother’s womb at the news of Mary, Jesus mother being pregnant.
This is the cousin who he grew up and saw Him at extended family gatherings.
This is the cousin who baptisted Jesus and then witnessed the Holy Spirit coming upon him, the voice of God speaking over his life.
This is the cousin who heard all the amazing reports of what Jesus was doing, that He was who he had been preaching about...
I really do believe that they would have had a pretty close bond.
And when John died, Jesus couldn’t just carry on like nothing had happened.
He needed His Father in that moment...

Jesus even said this one day...
"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31 NIV

And as the writer of Song of Solomon simply says...
"Come away, my beloved..." Song of Solomon 8:14 NIV

Maybe this moment you are facing is affecting you a little stronger than you would like?
Maybe it is causing anxiety, even fear to bubble up for you?

Can I suggest today and any other moment of any other day, that you 'come away with Him'?
Just get away for a moment to breath.
Take a moment to be in His presence.
Pour our heart and then listen to His voice in return.
Ask him to refill you with His Spirit and to pour peace on your soul.

I believe He will meet you in a special way when you do.
That choice to come away with him will be for you exactly what you needed!

Something to think about...

[ For a Video Version of this Simple Thought click here ]

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Day 03 : Covid-19 Lockdown in Taupo

Since the lockdown a lot has obviously changed for all of us journeying through it.
Our lifestyles have certainly changed to reflect our new reality.
For me personally as a Pastor, I have quickly needed to adapt to a 'new normal' of leading a Church.
It is not business as usual.
My routines have had change to reflect this.
My methods as well.

I have discovered as I actually predicated earlier in the week, that this is an amazing time to learn some new things, develop new skills etc.
Just yesterday I recorded a video message. That meant learning how to setup audio recording, camera placement, lighting on a ridiculous budget and grabbing anything we have lying around. I still have a lot to learn but also the learning has been fantastic for me.

Necessity has forced this change into my life, but maybe free time could be an opportunity for yours?

Jesus said something that reflects my simple thought today...
 “Every scholar of the Scriptures, who is instructed in the ways of heaven’s kingdom realm, is like a wealthy home owner with his house filled with treasures both new and old. And he knows how and when to bring them out to show others.” Matthew 13:52 TPT

For a someone like you and me following Jesus I think that means we have things we have learned over time plus things to learn right now. It is the old and new.
And right now you can add to your storehouse with the new.

Everything from studying God's word through to new practical skills are on offer right now to you and me. This is an amazing opportunity to build into our storehouse.
Read a book you have been putting off.
Take time to develop your relationship with God.
Learn to bake a cake (sorry that ones for me)
Study and develop a new skill that you have been wanting to try.
The opportunities right now are more endless than limited!

I want you to know that this will be very good for you.
It will not only occupy you and give you something to look forward to but it will be 3 key things:
Good for your mind
Good for your soul
Good for your spirit

Something to think about...

Friday, March 27, 2020

Day 02 : Covid-19 Lockdown in Taupo

Today is Friday and that would normally mean for me doing all the final preparations for Sunday and the Services we host each week.
As I sit at my desk I am reminded that this Sunday and how I approach it, have fundamentially changed.
I won't get to preach my message to people face to face.
I won't get to chat over a cup of coffee.
Many things about today and then Sunday have changed, but some key things haven't.
God is not bothered in the slightest.
And the Kingdom of God will continue to advance...

I am reminded that when the Church first officially sprung into life on the day of Pentecost a 'new normal' occurred.
For them that day and forward they now received the Holy Spirit.
1000's were being saved.
Lives were being changed dramatically by God.
The Church was growing. It was on fire.

And then things changed again...

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. Acts 11:19-21 NIV

The Church needing to discover new normals is actually God's normal.
For your prayer and mine over many years of "God build your Kingdom!" to come true, God uses moments even like the one we are in now, to see the Kingdom advance.

Can I invite you prayerfully today to discover what your 'new normal' is? Remembering that the foundations of our faith will always remain. To love God and to love people.

The delivery is allowed to change.
I for one have been praying for many years that it would change.
We simply all need to fix our eyes on Jesus, press in, charge on prayerfully, and be part of the next move of God that will grow the Kingdom even further.

Something to think about...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Day 01 : Covid-19 Lockdown in Taupo

Our tiny nation of New Zealand is now officially closed.
Closed boarders. Closed businesses. Even closed Churches.
As we journey through this home based adventure I felt to share something simple every day.
So here we go with my Day 01 simple thought...

I am sitting here thinking about how I feel in this moment.
In my mind there are a number of unknowns even though we have planned as best we can with the 48 hours pre lockdown provided us.

Think of this moment maybe a little like following Jesus for the first time.
You haver some idea what it means but also not a lot of an idea.
Does that stop you?
No. You step out in faith following Him not knowing exactly where it will take you next.
You just know it is the right thing to do.

Right now being in the first day, first stage of a nationwide lockdown, I have some idea but not a complete understanding of what may come.
Does that stop me?
No. I am now stepping out in faith on some level in the governments plan, but more importantly I stepping out in faith with Jesus.
I just know it is the right thing to do.

You maybe like me today, wondering a little how this will all pan out?
The equation for life before and life now as a follower of Jesus is actually exactly the same.
It is all about faith. It is all about trust. It is all about Jesus.

Someone shared a great Corrie ten Boom quote today...
"If you look at the world you'll be distressed.
If you like within you'll be depressed.
But if you look at Christ, you'll be at rest."

Something to think about...