As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it). 1 Peter 4:10-11
Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
All the world is a stage someone famous once said.
We are the actors, telling a story.
But the show is not for our own showcasing but is to bring glory to God, the Creator.
Your story matters. Your part matters. Your contribution to this world matters.
Only you can play it.
There are no understudies.
You are it.
God has crafted your life to demonstrate His reality and goodness.
You have gifts and talents that only you can offer.
You are uniquely fashioned and designed by God, for God.
Play your part.
That way God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and He’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11
If you were to have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
For me my list goes like this:
1. JJ Abrams #becauseLOST, #becauseStarWars #becauseStarTrek #becauseFringe
2. Billy Graham (i have a whole collection of his books and love his consistency with life and the gospel)
3. Christine Caine #becausefire
4. Will I Am (because you know I geek out on him)
5. Count Zinzendorf
Now when I mention the last one to people they scratch their heads. Who?
Here are some of my favourite (aka inspiring, informative, challenging and relevant!) reads from around the net this week:
5 ways to share your faith without shoving it down people’s throats.
Within a society where people know the gist of what Christianity teaches but words such as “converts,” “evangelism” and “proselytize” are increasingly associated with religious zealots, abusive cults and violent terrorism, it’s becoming more difficult to communicate faith-based ideas without being offensive or perceived as a close-minded bigot.
Historically, evangelism has sometimes been used as a weapon to hurt, shame, guilt and induce fear. Its longtime associations with obnoxious street preachers, sleazy televangelists and corrupt organizations make it even less appealing to the public—and to Christians themselves.
It has been said that “nobody is indispensable” and, to a degree, that is a true statement. But I can tell you that, as a former pastor and current leader of a youth ministry organization (with 20+ employees), there are certain staff losses that hit the church or ministry harder than others. Losing these kinds of employees leaves a bigger hole in the ministry because they have made themselves more and more indispensable through working harder, smarter and longer.
This brand of youth leader is the last to get cut when finances go south in a church. Indispensable staff members (no matter what their position) have worked hard in the good times so it makes them almost impossible to let go in the bad times. And firing? Forget it! Unless there is some moral issue, you find a way to keep these employees happy. Why? Because they are working hard and producing results!
It’s only until we’ve allowed God to take His place in our hearts and lives that we can then look past the complaints from/about each other, or the lack of connection – all the little, daily issues we face being married.
We can’t look to our marriage/spouse to fulfill or complete us – they were not designed to be our “salvation.” Christ is the only way.
When our security is in the Lord, through spending devoted, undistracted, daily time with Him – only then can we truly love our spouse, and be loved by them.
9 Things Everyone Should Do When Reading the Bible : A few simple habits to build into your Bible reading
Amid the hours of serious Bible study, I treasured this advice. Sometimes, we read to study and understand and wrestle with the truth. But sometimes, we read to make our hearts happy. “Delight yourself in the Lord,” for “your words are sweeter to me than honey.”
Your presence is life to our very bones
Now we drink you in, now you overflow
As a mother, wife, housegroup leader, preacher, whatever – child of God – i need to be living in overflow.
Every day are opportunities that God has positioned me for. I am called to know God and make Him known.
Every day I need Him, I need to walk with Him, I need to hear Him clearly.
Not just for my sake, but for the sake of the world. For the sake of my family. For the sake of those I am called to lead.
I dont serve with my own gifts and ability soley. I use them for God’s glory, but I serve with a greater power and a greater strength.
My capacity comes from God, from the Holy Spirit alive in me.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
So I need to be filled and overflowing. The overflowing is where the real “magic” happens for lack of a better word. It is when lives change. It is when wisdom is said. It is when grace is felt. It is when the right thing is said at the right time. It is when the world changes.
Without God I can feel dry. My bones can feel tired. My heart is duller. My eyes are fixed on my own world. Life becomes just breathing.
But life is more than breathing and I am made for more.
Today I choose to be filled. Today I choose to seek more. Today I love God.
Today I make room for overflow.
Come find me again over at A Fearless Experiment : Today is a fresh day. Fearless ones, remember your God is with you. He is the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. In each season He is faithful. In each season He has purpose. Allow your hearts to stay fresh and open.
When we’re living our lives with intentional gratitude we’re fixing our eyes upon Jesus and agreeing YES He is good and YES He is faithful and YES He is Lord and YES He is the one who loves us! Gratitude is an expression of faith.
Be joyful: Intentionally look around for measures of joy each day. There is joy in simply being alive and in being redeemed by God. Remember, joy is a choice we make, not a feeling we hope to get from our circumstances. It’s good to look for the good, to celebrate it even in small ways. Doing so is a moment of victory. Lysa TerKeurst
2618. spring weather
2619. the grace and love of God, no matter what
2620. encouraging conversations
2621. new faces
2622. my faith – filled hubby
2623. dreamers and builders
2624. the incredible miracle – being completely healed from all my food allergies (and there was a lot!)
2625. fringe season 4 and quality time with antonio
2626. the best housegroup in the world
2627. living stones
2628. cheese scones, donuts, banana cake
2629. good hair days
2630. letters from grandma
2631. love is in the air (3 weddings in 3 months!)
2634. butterfly creek
2635. family time watching The Block NZ
2637. leading and loving it connectLIVE
2638. fresh worship
“Too often I miss Him, oblivious, blind. I don’t see all the good things that He is giving me, gracing me with, brushing my life with. True, He is everywhere, always. Before I thought of Him as further off, not so close. When I started to see all the things that I love bestowed upon me, I started to see Him as near, present, everywhere, showering me with good things. Seeing the things I love all around me gives me eyes to see that I am loved, that He loves me.” Ann Voskamp
This is a bit of an older song, featuring on THIS IS OUR GOD by Hillsong. As I was preparing to preach a few weeks ago I bumped my ipod onto shuffle, and then decided to go with the flow. It meant I was blessed to listen to a range of songs, some of which I had not listened to for a very long time. But these songs stirred my heart greatly. Some of them took me back to seasons when that song was fresh and the wonderful things God had done then. Some of them became new for me again.
He is Lord has an incredible bridge about Jesus coming back again. As I listen to it my heart is filled with fresh faith and renewed hope. My eyes lift to see His magnificence and glory. He is Lord. He is Lord today, tomorrow. Always.
In the first month, the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, Haman caused Pur, that is, lots, to be cast before him day after day [to find a lucky day for his venture], month after month, until the twelfth, the month of Adar. Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from every other people, neither do they keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not for the king’s profit to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that it may be brought into the king’s treasuries. And the king took his signet ring from his hand [with which to seal his letters by the king's authority] and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy. Esther 3:7-10 AMP
Haman cast lots to determine a day of destruction and purposed evil for that date. He cast lots to mark a day on a calendar for the slaughter of the jews and the outworking of his ambitious agenda.
But God had determined that day for deliverance and destiny. What the enemy meant for evil God used for victory and good.
That cancer diagnosis. God has glorious purpose of destiny.
That bad day at work can be the enemy circling your calendar with destruction and discouragement. God turns all things for good.
That unexpected bill. That health concern. That fight with your husband. God redeems all moments and is for us.
God counters Haman’s desire to destroy with an incredible counter strategy.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Let your faith in God’s ableness to orchestrate your life and His faithfulness, goodness and greatness. Magnify God instead of the things that cause you fear.