Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Good things happen when you... (Part 2)

I have found that the culture you pick for your life, that you value and embrace, and that you live out...has a huge bearing on how life is and will be for you!

Some time ago I was part of a group who wanted to reinvent one of our Sunday services.
Normally you pick some people to be at the door when people arrive. They hand out something and greet people as they walk in, they are the first point of contact.
But we were after a culture change. We wanted something different from the 'norm'. So we decided that everyone part of the team putting the service together was the welcome team.
Everybody was to greet. Everybody was there to serve visitors, guests and our regulars.
And very quickly our culture changed!

As the service attendance grew everyone grew with it.
We went from 5 or 6 welcoming people to what seemed like everyone doing it.

Good things happen when you welcome!
It has the potential to change not only your life, but their life and even influence history!

Imagine coming to visit me at my home for a second...
After you have knocked on the door you wait.
I open the door and see you...
What happens next is important!
If I say no thanks, shut the door and leave you stranded on my doorstep, you would feel pretty stink!
But if I say "great to see you, want to come in?" your world will feel right...

I think we should apply the principle of welcome to all areas of our life and faith.

Have a look through scripture and welcome is a very regular reoccurring theme!
“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me." [Jesus Matthew 10:20]
Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. [Luke 18:16]
For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. [Acts 28:30]

Paul in a few of his letters mentioned about specific people who should be welcomed.
While John mentions a guy who was the opposite, who specifically made others in Christ feel not welcome, and that was a bad a thing!

May you decide to explore this some more this week?
Maybe decide what sort of culture is important to you?
Do you want to be someone who welcomes and what can you do to make sure this is a reality?
I think good things happen when we welcome...

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Good things happen when you... (Part 1)

I can still remember it clearly...being invited to watch a "video" and have some pizza.
This young guy Dave Foote and his girlfriend decided that would be a good idea for some reason.
So on the arranged Thursday evening I came back to where I was boarding after a short run and we sat down to eat and to watch.

That evening changed my life!
No the pizza wasn't the life changer, it was the video that we watched.
This actually ended up being the beginning of my faith journey...

It all happened because of something called invitation.
Dave took the time, plucked up the courage, risked rejection, to invite me to do something that had the potential to change my life. In hindsight I don't think he had any idea how much impact it would have!

Good things happen when you invite.
It has the potential to change not only your life, but their life and even influence history!

In Marks Gospel account it says this..."That evening after sunset the people brought [invited and collected] to Jesus all the sick and demon possessed...Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons..." Mark 1:32-34 niv

When we invite those who 'need Jesus' to something where Jesus is most likely to be, Jesus has a history of meeting that need supernaturally.
All it took was the invitation and facilitation to give Jesus an opportunity to do 'His thing'.
Because He is still the same today I think maybe one of the most powerfully spiritual things we can do is invite. Inviting people who 'need Jesus' to something where Jesus is most likely to be...

So who could you invite this week? What could you bring them to?

This could be a game changer for you and them?
This could be one of the most exciting things you ever do?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Whose Report?...pick one...

If you have a look around the world for even just a moment, it isn't always a pretty sight. I am not talking about the scenery, I am talking about the politics, the conflict, the disasters and more.
And with what is reported, it is understandable to be concerned, maybe even a little scared.

In the 20 or so years I have been a Christian I have lost track of the number of predictions I have heard.
Dates for when Jesus was coming back (not possible as Jesus even said He didn't know).
Dates for disaster predictions that never came true.
I even had a guy tell me recently about how he knew about every major event before it happened including 9/11. It is just that he didn't tell anyone before they happened?
You can be forgiven for sometimes getting confused, even a little cynical?

So what report do I put the most weight on?
The report that tells me we are doomed or the report that tells me God has a plan for my life?
The reports that seem contradictory or the report from God that are not based on confusion?

I shared recently a pretty cool Psalm.
Psalm 121 says some pretty cool things.
I read in light of all that is happening and I am trying to focus on that being the report for my life, family and ministry.

Maybe it could bring some peace to you today as well?

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121 new international version

My choice today to is to keep my eyes on Him.
To walk as humbly and honestly as I can.
To do good wherever I am and be a blessing.
And to put all my trust in God.

Something to think about...

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

You Can!

Each morning I spend a few moments reading through articles relating to our faith to learn, to be challenged and to be encouraged.
Something struck me that I wanted to share about for a few moments...

I have been 'wrestling' with quoting the Bible 'in context' lately.
I am a huge fan of being biblically correct whatever that means. The last thing I want to do is teach rubbish that harms anyone elses faith. The very thought makes me feel nauseous!!!
I am also a huge fan on God's Word being what we call Rhema. Where it is highlighted in places, even out of context sometimes, as God is speaking directly to you about something.

A writer was commenting on misquoted Bible verses. 
One in a particular is seen on a few sports persons arms, either via tattoo or bandage. 
"I can do all this through him who gives me strength".
They were saying it is not in context. Simple as that. 
That God wasn't meaning sport and physical endeavour when Paul penned it.

This is what I think. I think it is both.
It is what it needs to be for you, in that moment, for you to grow in your faith and relationship with God.
You just need to recognise which one it is and be honest about your approach.

In Context...
If you read the verses leading up to the statement, it becomes more clear what the context of what Paul was sharing is.
10I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:10-13

Paul was talking about the fact he can do all things because God can help him through all things.
For Paul it was all about his faith journey.

To quote Brian Orme - "This verse is a tribute to a man who learned to follow God in any circumstance. Whatever came Paul’s way, he handled with faith. It could be stoning, prison, shipwreck, beatings, etc." "A beautiful reminder to pursue faith and trust God in the midst of the ups and downs of a life given fully to the cause of Christ."

In context God wants you to know you can!
You can make it. You can get through whatever you are facing as you follow Christ.
If it is hard right now, keep going! God is going to get your through!

Rhema time...
God may be saying to you today..."You Can"!
You are going to achieve _____ because He is with you.
You Can.
You Can.
You Can.
Whatever God has placed in front you to do...

Don't give up my friend. You can do this!

Something to think about...