Wednesday, March 30, 2016

where I show you...

Many have a glimpse of where they want to go, even before they get there...

Abram was told by God to go to a land He would show him.
Later after he become Abraham and life had continued its due course, God showed him the land his descendants would inherit.

Throughout scripture are recorded people who saw something from God and then went. It was like they had a vision or a glimpse, and that vision or glimpse gave them direction, gave them the necessary motivation to take steps forward.

Maybe it should be no surprise to us that our journey is similar?
Both as individuals and as a Church.
We are moving as a Church family into a new facility (new to us) that is ironically shaped like a tent. Something many of these people all had in common was their journey involved tents. They didn't all live in palaces and permanent locales. They were people on the move.
They were people like us looking in faith to the future God has for us.
Over the last 2 years we used this new location as a temporary meeting place when our normal facilities weren't available. We had a glimpse of what God might be bringing us into and now we are there.

Can I take this even further?
After Sunday night and the huge Easter celebration that ensued, many close to me actually said the same thing. Along the lines of "this may be one night, but we are looking forward to this every week". It was like they had a glimpse of the future and God was drawing them excitedly towards it?

What has God maybe shown you about yours and our future?
Have you had a vision or a glimpse?
Abram was simply being faithful to God when He got his. He wasn't stressing and straining over it!

We are going where God shows us - for us there simply is no other way...

Something to think about...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Festival

Why Festivals?
Like what is the point?
Why spend the money and take the time?

Here is a few quick thoughts for ya...

Reminder - Festival cycles are a great reminder of the foundation to what you hopefully believe.
The Israelites had quite a few throughout their calendar, all set to remind them again about God's love and provision.
We have set several in our time as well.
Easter and Christmas are just a few. Some follow something called Lent.
Others do an annual pilgrimage to special conferences and events.
If it reminds of God's love and provision, then that is a good reason to attend!

Groups - God likes to do things with individuals and groups, not just one or the other.
Scripture paints a pretty clear picture of powerful God moments for individuals and groups. From angelic visitation in the quite of night to clouds of glory when the masses are worshipping with everything they have.
We are encouraged to meet together and to remember Him as much and as best we can.
Festival promotes that on an even larger level. It is an opportunity for God to meet en-mass with the people He truly loves!

Highlights - Festival creates specials times, special memories that become part of your 'highlight reel of faith'.
I remember distinctly many festival moments that have been special to me and indeed helped shape me. From my first Christmas as a follower of Christ. My first Easters getting to sing different things as items. To the different major events I have attended or even served it.
You have an opportunity even this Easter to create some highlights for yourself by being at and/or participating!

Notice - Mass attracts attention. God wants to get the worlds attention, that is why is He doesn't always do things in a corner or on the quiet. When God's people get together en-mass it attracts the attention of those outside of faith. And that attention draws some curious to see what all the fuss is about!

So after all that from me can I encourage you to get on board with this season of festival?
Where ever you are join in the Easter Festival. If you have the time make sure you do all you can and participate in every aspect you can. Go to all your Churches Services and activities.
It will make a huge difference to your life and faith!

Something to think about...

If you here in Taupo this weekend - we do festival!
Check out what we have on offer here...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tent Peg Faith

I wanted to share a couple of thoughts that relate a lot to where our Church Family is at, that maybe will encourage you on your faith journey?

Here is a scripture we really feel God has spoken to us through...

2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
    stretch your tent curtains wide,
    do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
    strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
    your descendants will dispossess nations
    and settle in their desolate cities.
Isaiah 54:2-3 niv

God is not asking us to throw away anything, nor is He asking us to start again.
He is asking us to take what we already have and stretch it a bit.
He is asking us to not just stretch in one direction, but a little more in every direction.

Imagine you are one of many people around what is collectively our tent...
Now imagine yourself with your tent peg in your hand, stretching it out a bit.
To the right and left of you people are doing exactly the same thing.
As everyone stretches together the tent invariably become bigger.
Bigger in space, effectiveness, expectation, resource - bigger everywhere.
Making room for us to grow and for others to find shelter...

Tent Peg Faith is all about letting God stretch us 'in faith'.
It is taking what God has given each of us and stretching it for His glory.

May God speak to you about where you can stretch in this season as you join others around our tent?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Read between the lines

Scripture makes some pretty bold and sometimes hard statements about life and faith. I am a big fan of all of them!
We can also miss so much of what is not written by only focusing on what is written. That is why I am also a fan of praying as you read scripture and expecting God to speak directly in our hearts.

Here is an example that I hope helps?

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 
1 Timothy 6:12 niv

What is written between the lines here?

1. Your faith is equated with a fight.
It will feel like a battle sometimes. It is supposed to...not some ocean cruise on the Love Boat of good times. Following Jesus is for the broken, lost and sick...who discover something better worth holding onto. That fight for many of us is the wrestling with our desires to do wrong and/or temptation pulling us in directions we know aren't right. We are called to wrestle (fight) with our faith because it is worth  something to us...

2. Lots of fights are going on...which one should we fight?
The hint is there good fights and bad fights. Paul talks elsewhere about avoiding fights about the meaning of words and of genealogies. We are called to fight a fight that is good and that is eternal.
It is like we are being encouraged to pick a side in the battle. I choose to fight the good fight of grace, love and truth.

3. Am I willing to fight?
Pacifist Jesus theology takes us to places and influences potentially in poor ways. It means we keep waiting on Jesus to pour blessing after blessing on us and that everything should be peace, love and mungbeans. 
How willing are you to fight for what you have? How far will you go?
I have stuck my hand up to follow Jesus and join with the Kingdom of God for two things, my life and the life of those around me. I will fight for what matters most and not simply rest on what matters most.

As you read this passage and any number of potential others in scripture this week...
May you consider what is written between the lines? May you let God speak and build you?

Something to think about...

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

We all...

We all have the propensity for much evil and...
We all have the potential for so much good...
Which side will we lean towards more?

That was my thought I tweeted to the world around me this week.
It came to me as I was running along a path in a local park, watching others...
You might be wondering why?
Well here is my thought process...

  • I found some people were really good at sharing the narrow path, while others were really selfish (one group gave me no room and I crashed briefly into some bushes).
  • Rubbish bins were being used by some and others just dumped all manner of stuff on the ground.
  • Some people were walking their dogs on a leash, while others let their dog bark and jump on me.
  • I think of people who care amazingly for those with special needs and then also think of others who have abused them for whatever reason. A lady is Russia did the unthinkable this week! She cut the head off a special needs child...I can't begin to put into words how that makes me feel.
  • Someone dreams up a drug in a lab that can help people who are sick with the desire to make it cheap and accessible. Another person buys out the rights to that same drug and ramps the price up 1000% because they see profit as a bigger benefit.
  • Some people grow up to become Hitler's and Stalin's while others grow up to be Mother Theresa's.
  • Two boys grew up to be Cain, the other Able, and they turned out quite different.

I am not going to get into why people are different and some act one way or the other.
I simply want to keep it personal for you and me.
Which one do we want to lean most towards? 
Yes our upbringing and a lifetime of influences will have a bearing on us, but they don't have to define us!

Can I encourage you, especially if you consider yourself to be a Christian, to do the following?
Each day look for one opportunity to do good for someone else even if it costs you something in regards to your time or resources.
Each day fight the desire to be selfish or even nasty.
Each day ask God to help you. Maybe even be like David and maybe ask Him to deal with you heart?

You have the potential right now to do so much good!

Something to think about...

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