Wednesday, May 31, 2006

There are many ideals we would love to live under or live in.

Some may be a perfect society where there is no crime or fear of crime.
Or maybe that families would always be safe and stay together.
Or maybe that as Christians we would see 'God Stuff' happening all the time...

The reality seems sometimes so far away from the ideal.
Does that mean we don't look for the ideal?
Does that also mean we don't expect it, or even give up completely?

Your answer should be NO!

God has placed us all here to change our current reality into His reality.
It is easy to see all the bad stuff in the world.
The challenge is what are going to do about it.
The questions from God to you, is what are you going to do about it?

I have learnt something over the years...
Just sitting around doing nothing achieves exactly the same, nothing!
You have to do something to achieve something.

I have grown up in christian circles hearing how God is like this and that. That he wants to do miracles. We have have been told again and again what Church should be like. But it doesn't always seem to be that way.
It would be natural to assume that if we put together a special prayer event that people would sign up as fast as possible. The reality is that only a few do. It is like we are waiting for something else? But I am not sure what it is?
We talk a lot about this generation making a huge mark in history. What scares me is that we might miss it. Why? Because we aren't always that aggressive in going for it. We are still waiting!

Can I encourage you to stop waiting (if you are?).
If you want to change this generation or society or even church then you need to do something about it. If you are hungry for God to move than you need to do something about it.

How you may ask? Well it is real simple!
Start with what you do know and let God do the rest.
How about this weekend you go after God with some renewed passion.
Get involved in the Global Day of Prayer...it is only 30 minutes out of an entire weekend.
Come along on sunday and be part of God doing something amazing things with us as a church.

Look what Jesus said....

Matthew 11:12 (niv)
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

Remember...that ideal and reality are just two poles we live in between.
You can move between them in whatever direction you like. The choice is always yours...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I have a relative who says...
"When I win Lotto, I am going to do this and do that"
The only problem is that they don't normally buy a ticket. So all they really have at the moment is wishful thinking.

Now I am not telling you go buy Lotto tickets. I am simply wanting to share with you the point that hoping, wishing, even dreaming sometimes is not enough to see something happen. You need a little more than that.
You generally will only get something when you go for it. When you work for it. When you pay some sort of cost for it.

Many times I have hoped to get something. Even sat around waiting for it...and guess what happened?
You guessed it...nothing!

Many years a go, God spoke to a young guy about something he wanted him to do.
I noticed that he didn't give him the '5 step plan', or a special 'thing' to achieve what God had for him to do.
The two things he gave him was His favour (spirit, presence, anointing) and advice. And that advice was pretty simple.
He said "be strong and courageous" (Joshua 1:6)
Simply having the idea to win battles or having the strategies were not enough for this guy called Joshua.
God told him to have some guts and get on with it. That way he would be successful.

For you, don't just sit around wishing.
If God has given you something to do, please just do it.
Please be strong and courageous. And then God can bless what he gives you to do.

What God spoke to a young Joshua, he is speaking to you today.
How about you encourage yourself with the whole passage of scripture?
I know God will speak to you through it!

Joshua 1:6-9 (niv)
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I have heard so many sermons and devotions on dreams, and how we are supposed to have one.
To be honest I find them difficult sometimes...especially if you still waiting on yours to be fulfilled!

Personally I have many dreams.
Today I wanted to share with you a dream and a dream fulfilled.
To at least show that they do come true, that God will fulfill the dream he places on your heart.

22 months a go I started work on something that I had dreamed of and we had dreamed of as a church.
Our very own Cafe!
We came up with ideas, worked the ideas, presented the ideas and I prayed a lot!
After all that happened in early 2005 I began to think it might never happen. I found myself questioning whether I had the dream right in the first place. But I continued to pray...even if it was a little 'shaky'.

Last sunday morning the dream came to pass. We opened our Cafe for the very first time.

Now you may be thinking that it was a little dream. Or maybe even not that spiritual. That doesn't matter.
What it did tell me is that God will fulfill a God Given dream! That is what he does!!!

We quote the life of Joseph so much on this subject...
He had dreams, and he also had times of hardship before the dream came to pass.
Don't panic if you are in the hardship phase. It just means your dream is that little step closer.

I am reminded of a little story in the Book of Daniel (Chapter 10), where Daniel is visited by a someone like an angel.
This person explains to Daniel that he had been trying to get him the answer to what he was asking for 21 days. But it was delayed because something evil was stopping him. But as Daniel continued to pray, the prayer was eventually answered.
Sometimes when we have a dream we have to pray and fight spiritually. Just because it might be taking a while doesn't mean God is not answering. It could mean that the enemy is trying to stop it. So keep praying. God will send the help he knows is needed to fulfill his purpose.

Here is a good scripture to finish on...

2 Chronicles 15:7
But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I love coffee!
It is such an amazing drink...

When you get a coffee from your favourite cafe, a lot has happened, and has to happen to make sure you enjoy your coffee.


Those simple beans have to be picked right
Roasted Right
Ground Right
Drawn Right
Then you add the milk...
It has to be Right
Stretched Right
Heated Right
Poured Right
...and finally you get it with a smile.

While thinking about this, I couldn't help but see how our lives are like this process.
We are like a bean, raw and untainted.
Before we can be exactly who we need to be, God works on us little by little.
Sometimes it feels like you are being roasted. Other times like being ground.
But in the end we can be something of huge value to those around us.

Without some refining, without some pruning, we can't be all we can be.

The Bible says this...
James 1:2-4
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Jesus said the following...
John 15:1-2
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

Again, I love my coffee. I can see that the process it goes through is worth it!
The process you may be going through will be even more worth it!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I have got another traffic story for you...

After dropping Jack off I hit the motorway.
Like most of you I am secretly praying that by some divine miracle that the roads will be clear. That I will arrive at work in record time and totally relaxed. But who am I kinding? I live in Auckland.

Today was just like any other day.
It is normally not bad in regards to flow until you get to a certain section. Generally you will always find yourself stopped there surrounded by people just like you. For that brief moment in time you have everything in common with them. No matter what happened before that day or what station of life you are in....the motorway can be the great 'leveler'.
At this point no one cares what sort of car you drive, we are all the same!

Today I looked behind me and noticed a young guy in a really nice car. You could see he was listening to an iPod or similar and just waiting there like me. But I began to think about him. To wonder what life was like for him...and then something happened...I found myself praying for him. I was asking God to bless him, to save him, to meet him where he was at.
It was at that point I realised I could turn this frustration of a traffic jam into a time where I could pray for those around me.
As soon as we started to move I found myself praying for the van in front, praying for the lady beside me...it was fun!

All of us like people praying for us. We love it when we know that someone is talking to God on our behalf.
So next time you are stuck in traffic...I dare you to look around and find someone to talk to God about it.
You will probably be the only one praying for them that day.
Just imagine what God might do with your prayer for them.
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