You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2010.
listening to: in the car i have been listening on cd to Kristene Mueller’s cd – in particular the song Mercy and All My Devotion… very good, kind of mellow and melodic, beautiful heart for Jesus… all my devotion belongs to this Man
listening to: on my mp4 – a mix of Jesus Culture, a smatter of linkin park, and kiwi group Grace Falls who i was priv’d to go and see live last night and know the lead singer from back in the days about 10-15 years ago when we both led youth groups in the same church. is awesome to see him living the dream.
on the box: Lost season 6 has begun and though we are at least a week behind USA i am so loving it. love the new revelations and new questions and answers. Lost satisfys my brain.
reading: picked up 2 books from the older ladies housegroup the other night – i had another meeting at church but popped in to share some good news iwth one of hte ladies and saw they have a basket of books that you can borrow from. i love books. i collect words. got a phil pringle book on the Holy Spirit and a Tommy Tenney book.
coming up: am preaching at our young adults service next sunday – 8 days/sleeps away on faith. my main task this week will be to pray and seek God and finalize the writing of my message. am blessed to be helping with baptizing 2 awesome chicks on sunday – one a newbie my age and a rocking youth who just so inspires me and fills me wtih hope. life hasnt been easy for both so it is joyous and fills me with wowness to be part of their journey.
housegroup this week: this week we’re venturing into new territory – going to break into pairs/threes and do some confession and prayer. a move into greater accountability… read a fantastic article called NO MORE MR NICE GROUP by john ortberg that so stirred my heart!
“God has entrusted us with his most precious treasure—people. He asks us to shepherd and mold them into strong disciples, with brave faith, and good character. I would not give my life to any church that was not serious about this calling—the transformation of human beings”
“We all wear masks. We hide from each other. It’s part of our fallenness. That is why one of the most formative practices in a small group is confession. Confession is the appropriate disclosure of my brokenness, temptations, sin, and victories for the purpose of healing, forgiveness, and spiritual growth. Without confession we are a community hiding from the truth.”
“Without confession we cannot accomplish our God-given calling to transform people.”
“Throughout church history, whenever God has done great things, confession has always been present. In the church, confession must be freely offered—never manipulated. A small group serious about transformation should be moving into ever deeper confession—removing masks to reveal our core feelings and fears, sins we still struggle with, and areas where we’re not growing.”
“I have made certain commitments about food and exercise in my life, but how serious I am about those commitments is difficult to determine without measuring my progress. A scale serves as a tool of accountability for me. Am I achieving my goal, or am I missing it? Ultimately the scale reveals how effective I have been in living up to my commitment. Small groups are the place for people to get on the scale and reveal how intentional they have been to pursue transformation into the image of Christ.”
almost finished: laying up the church mag. i love it. i react to images emotionally – it has to stir something within me. i’m a visual person (as well as a words person!) and get much satisfaction from being involved in something visually!
highlight: went to my friends bands gig last night – it was fantastic. could FEEL the sound and the sound was my kind of sound! loud, alternative rock, good musicality. loved it. loved it. loved it. was awesome as they did a shout out to our housegroup who came along wtih us – totally stoked!
wearing: my where the wild things are tshirt. love it.
on tv right now: the winter olypmics. curling. the kids are quite facinated. i bet they’ll ask to borrow teh brooms for the arvo… seriously, we’ve had a lot of olympic copy cats – which is funny – as it is summer here – and so there has been some fun improvisation. i am a pro male ice skater – good at lifting evangeline up and doing spins. its a lot like ballet except we’re not allowed to take our feet off the floor unless we’re leaping, jumping or lifted. oh just to confirm – i am her MUM – but i have to be the boy )
next sunday i am preaching at our young adults service on faith so today i made space to pray and worship and then at the end had a braindump…
faith is lived… the way you live shows what you have faith in.
you WILL express your faith – whether you intend to or not
we live our lives by faith
we express what we have faith in
faith influences experience
faith influences perspective
- this is why we are told to fix our eyes upon Jesus – our Saviour, the author and perfector of our faith, ALmighty God, Immanuel – God WITH US, creator, ruling reigning king of Kings!
your life demonstrates what you really believe
you live your life in proportion to your faith
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
continuing my series on gratitude, nearly half way!
424. hearing people in our housegroup talk about what God is doing in their lives this year and what their dreams/call are for the future… it just inspires my heart – such a priv to hang with such peeps!
425. new shoes. for $10
426. have the priv of being the sponser for 2 awesome chicks on sunday getting baptized!
427. a cold coke on a hot day
428. rain. oh glorious rain. eases the humidity for a tad.
429. my son got a principals award this week at school.
430. crunchy apples
431. 2 tim 2:19 – the Lord knows those who are His.
432. Your Love Never Fails, worship cd by Jesus Culture. way cool.
433. i love words. i collect them.
434. i love twitter. cos it is words i can collect.
435. LOST. sigh. makes me happy.
436. going out to see a band 2morrow night with some of our housegroupies. will be fun!
437. new songs for Mainly Music.
438. good friends who i can be me around. and who know the right thing to say at the right time.
440. exodus 33 and 34. like wow. what brill chapts.
441. You cant see the glory of the Lord unless you’re hidden in The Rock. go read the end of ex 33 and see if u see…
442. fun day at the beach on sunday talking to randoms about Jesus. prayed for someone on the beach for the first time ever.
443. taking some of the younger guys who had never done that before, get them addicted to talking to strangers aobut jesus….
444. excited to be preaching not this sunday but next and then also easter sunday at our young adults service. first topic theme is faith, second is proclaiming christ.
445. totally loving mp4 preaching by winkey pratney. you should google him and his stuff. he’s solid and fired up.
446. Lost…. did i mention that???
447. my lovely twitter friend leslieblueeyes who is like my heart over in another land – i love her passion for Jesus and revival and His ways!
448. how my hubby makes me laugh.
450. 9 years married
451. wedding photos.
453. almost finished laying up our church mag – found the PERFECT cover – and some awesome images that make me emotionally react. that is how i choose them, if it stirs something within me, i choose. if not, i keep looking!
what helps us walk the narrow road is not watching our feet on the path but fixing our eyes upon our Great God.
this was in part inspired by a Kelanie Gloecker song i was listening too in the car which has a bridge that says “I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good”. ..
You see sometimes we forget about who God is and his love and his greatness and then we can become overwelmed by the path ahead of us and the struggle to walk the narrow road, in obedience and refinement and holiness and in relationship with God. we look at our feet and loose perspecitve and heart. if we fix our eyes upon our Great God and know who he is and his love and greatness then we have perspective that enables us to keep pressing on and to walk a life in holiness and pleasing to God.
the christian life is a life of choice – every day we make the choice to obey God, to follow His ways, to surrender to His will, to meet with Him, to make time to read His Word…
Jesus: “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” (Luke 9:20) Every day we make the choice to live our response – You are the Christ, the Saviour, the Lord of All, the King of Kings, the Almighty God.
Revelation 3 warns us about being lukewarm. For me the key of remaining in love with God is to remain connected to Him. John 15 is a great passage about this. If we remain connected to God, remain working on our relationship, remain spending time, remaining entralled and facinated by Him, then we will outwardly walk with Him too.
what helps us walk the narrow road is not watching our feet on the path but fixing our eyes upon our Great God.
what helps us walk the narrow road, to make the choices that please God, to make choices towards holiness and faith and righteousness and love, is fixing our eyes upon our Great God, to see Him for who He is, to be amazed and in awe of Him!
[disclaimer = i dont mean we live by experience to experience, buzz to buzz, but in day by day, constant relationship wtih God, spending time and disipline and relational time in his Word and worship and church and walking out his ways and hearing him and talking to him....]
one of the things i really love about God is the “tension” between total love and grace for me right now – and the working out-ness of holiness in our own lives – that there is that pull to be better people – conformed into the character and likeness of Jesus. holy.
yet even though i am not “there” yet does not disqualify me from been loved by God.
or liked by God.
right now, today, as i am, God loves me. he is my Father and he loves me.
he is at work in my life to make me willing to do his will and to transform me and all that, but right now i am loved.
Nothing you confess will make God love you less. Joel Osteen
God does not go far away from us because we are not perfect – rather he draws near with compassion and mercy and shows the way for us to walk, and gives us grace and strength and encouraagement for us to walk out our faith and to obey him. he forgives us when we stuff up. he has given us the righteousness of Christ to be our record of rights. he made us new and clean and adopted us into his family.
yet somewhere in our human nature (or sonspiracy theory if you will – the lie of the enemey) we step back from God if we are falling down. we hide our faces. we cover our nakedness… but God, who sees all, knows all, walks towards us, calling us by name… (Genesis 3) yet in our inperfectness we should even more draw near to God – in hebrews it says that because of the sacrifice of Jesus we can BOLDLY aproach the throne of God, enter the holy of holies, and find grace at our time of need. what is our time of need? when we are imperfect and falling down.
God doesnt turn us away. he forgives us. he loves us. in our imperfectness he loves us. we dont need to be perfect to enjoy God and worship him and live for him. [disclaimer: that doesnt mean we wallow in our sin and carry on like that - as paul would say - forbid that! goodness no!]
so great was the love of God for YOU and for ME – in real life – not just some theological esoterical thought – that he sent Jesus as the sacrifice to make us acceptable to himself. we then outwork that in our lives from the inside out…. we make the righteousness that is on the inside – the righteousness of Jesus that our spirit has – and we outwork that in our real lives, body, soul….
dont let anything hold you back from loving God and been loved by Him. know his love. know he makes all things new. know his grace. know it and live in that knowledge.
John Leonard Dober and David Nitschman are names you may not readily recognize. John was a potter and David a carpenter. Ordinary occupations. Extraordinary men. They are men who left the security of their jobs and families in Copenhagen to become the first Moravian missionaries in 1732.
John Leonard Dober and David Nitschman are unsung heroes.
Well almost. Their final words as they departed on their mission are now lyrics in a powerful new Cindy Ruakere song; “Receive”.
These men were not going on a nice short term mission to the Caribbean, or even Africa or China but they sold themselves into slavery to answer the call ‘come and minister the gospel to us’. It gives new meaning to the phrase “sold out for Christ”. They became slaves in order to have the opportunity to reach the slaves of the West Indies for their Lord. Their life’s purpose was to follow the Lamb who had given His life for them and for all the souls of the world. Their mission statement was “Our Lamb has conquered, let us follow Him.”
One of the men left his wife and children begging on the wharf for him to reconsider and stay. But the call and heart of God for these slaves in the West Indies was even greater than the pull of home. As the ship pulled away from the docks the men lifted a cry, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering” which became the resonating heartbeat of the Moravian Missions movement.
The men felt their sacrifice paled in comparison to the sacrifice of their Saviour. They loved Jesus with everything they were and did, and desired to walk in obedience, knowing that the God who called them is the God who gives the courage, grace and anointing for the task. Even to spend a life of hard toil, with meager provisions and hardship. They experienced and modeled the truth of Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
The Moravian Movement, that sent out David and John, was founded by Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (born in 1720), in the early 1720’s. He initially founded it as a refuge for Christians in a papist Europe, but soon it attracted those with a desire for intimacy with God and a zeal for prayer and evangelism.
In May 1727, Count Zinzendorf and the leaders of the community felt God calling them to prayer at a deeper level. They committed themselves to praying round the clock, beginning a 24/7 prayer meeting that lasted over100 years involving not only the adults but the children of the movement. In August of that the minister at the Sunday morning service was “overwhelmed by the wonderful and irresistible power of the Lord.” A move of God broke out, with people testifying that “hardly knew whether they belonged to earth or had already gone to heaven. We saw the hand of God and were all baptized with his Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost came upon us and in those days great signs and wonders took place in our midst.” Over 10 years later John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church visited the community where the revival was still taking place. He experienced a powerful encounter with God that was to shape his own personal relationship with God and his ministry.
It was in this environment and atmosphere that David and John grew in hunger of God, His Word and His Lost. They epitomized the Count’s personal life motto; “I have one passion: It is Jesus! Jesus Only!” They knew that the secret to been able to sell themselves into slavery in order to minister to their fellow slaves was to be totally in love with their Lord. With their eyes upon Him they could lay their lives down and carry the cross of slavery.
These two men birthed a missions movement, not by persuading men to “Go” via flashy display boards, brochures and messages, but David and John, and the men that followed their example, lived the message and just did it. They lived the “Go”. John Leonard Dober and David Nitschman inspired their generation, and generations to come to lay down their lives for The Lamb.
here’s some of the challenging and inspiring tweets i’ve read lately…
Following Jesus is Christomorphic: As I grow in Him, I become more like Him in character. Worship and devotion changes me. erguncaner
your zip code is your mission field. markbatterson
“When was the last time you were saddened because your sin pained the Holy Spirit ?” – Francis Chan jefox5
If you’ll do the natural, God will do the supernatural! chad_veach
The essence of sin is man substituting himself 4 God…the essence of salvation is God substituting himself 4 man. Stott jeremytreat5
“We can have no power from Christ unless we live in a persuasion that we have none of our own.” (John Owen) pastorstevehill
“Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.” – Frank L. Gaines greatestquotes
i have found twitter to be a fantastic resource for quotes – as a preacher and writer i collect words… sometimes it also speaks right to where i am at – i love that!
we have this awesome slot in our young adults service called DEVO KIT – its about how to actually connect with God everyday in your own life, away from church, at home… this week its my turn to share…
so heres some more reasons to regularly spend time reading your bible and praying:
1. ILLUMINATION and REVELATION and PERSONALIZATION
- one great thing about the Word is that “as you read, the same Holy Spirit who inspired the writers illuminates the readers. How awesome is that? The Holy Spirit quickens the Word and something gets in our spirits.” Evotional.com – in other words God illuminates His Word as you read, there on the spot – something jumps out at you, a message to you from God. Something HE wants YOU to know. It might be an encouragement, a challenge, a to do, a vision, a direction to go in, something to pray about, an answer to a question… but you can know that when something jumps out of the Word to you it is FOR you FROM God. The Holy Spirit dwells within you to reveal “stuff” from God-
However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10
- so read with expecation – it doesnt matter how long you’ve been a christian or how many times you’ve read the bible or if you have a degree in exegies and eschatology – what matters is that God speaks and reveals Himself to us – His kids.
So WHEN God speaks to you – WHEN something jumps out at you – WHEN something is illuminated to you – dont just underline it and move on – stop, think, dwell, consider, meditate… stop and think about what it says – do you understand it – stop and think WHY God might be saying this to you today – think about what the verse says and what it might mean for you – does it apply now or do you think it is about your future – is it a doing verse or a heart verse – something to be acted on now/soon/future or something to encourage/challenge you heart wise? if you dont get it now – that doesnt matter – God will continue to reveal what He is saying to you. sometimes its obvious, but sometimes meaning needs to be searched out…
2. STORE IT UP – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 You might not think that a particular passage is relevant to you now… but it might in the future and the same Holy Spirit that makes a passage jump out to you when you read it can make a passsage jump into your spirit later on.
- But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26
so store up the Word in your heart – it is God’s way and God’s will to you for your life. Learn sensitivity to His voice.
Imagine with me. It is a hot dusty day in a hot dusty land. The wind rises, blowing hair into the eyes of a young man. All around him are the noises and smells of the market and temple. The air is filled with the bleating of sheep, the lowing of oxen and the shouting of people. Each step he takes he is bustled and pushed by those around him. They all are heading to the same destination. The temple.
The young man presents his lamb to the levite priest before him.
The priest examines the lamb thoroughly. He opens his mouth. Checks the lambs hooves. Runs his hands up and down each leg. He checks for flaws, defects.
The priest nods solemnly. Relief floods the young man’s heart. His offering was perfect. Acceptable. A weight lifts off his shoulders. He is forgiven.
Did you notice?
Did you see?
The priest didn’t look the young man up and down. He didn’t glance his shoes, look in his eyes, or ask for a record of how he spent his time in the last week. There is no third degree or scrutiny of the mans heart and character. The young man did not have to be perfect or acceptable to be forgiven.
The sacrifice needed to be perfect and acceptable. The sacrifice needed to be blemish free.
The Bible says “you must bring to the Lord as the penalty for your sin a female from the flock, either a sheep or a goat. This is a sin offering with which the priest will purify you from your sin, making you right with the Lord.” Leviticus 5:6
The Old Testament sacrificial code is a shadow and a foreshadowing. It shows us how we are forgiven. It shows us how we become acceptable with God.
Just as the young man had his sin covered by the blood of the acceptable lamb so too we come before God covered and made acceptable by an offering. The offering of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
1 Peter 1:1-19 And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
And just as the priest didn’t examine the young man to see if he was blemish free God doesn’t look at us, he only looks at the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. The blood of Jesus, the Lamb, covers us and makes us acceptable.
Did you see that?
Did you feel that?
We don’t need to be perfect to come to God. The perfect sacrifice was given in Jesus. When we first come to God (pre-Christian) we are totally blemished and defective because of sin. The Bible says we are dead to God. We are made acceptable by trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus. This is what faith is.
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” Romans 5:1
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12
Our life as Christians and right standing with God continues to depend upon this sacrifice. It is not by our own effort or goodness that we can know God. We can never measure up or become unblemished by working for it. When God looks at us He sees the righteous record of His Son. We are right now acceptable to God.
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7
We are instructed and encouraged to walk out our faith by living lives that are pleasing to God but this is a process that takes a lifetime. As we “clean our lives up” though we don’t need to feel far away from God or not good enough to know Him. . If we are a Christian there is no limitation or separation between God and us. Jesus gave His life so that we can know God and be called a child of God. We can know God.
This should give us freedom and joy and gratitude and a sense of awe – the WOW response. Let’s live like this. Let’s live in this freedom and forgiveness. Lets live responding to the grace of God.
The sacrifice has been paid. We are forgiven.