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I want to scream it out
From every mountain top
Your goodness knows no bounds
Your goodness never stops
Your mercy follows me
Your kindness fills my life
Your love amazes me
I sing because you are good
And I dance because you are good
And I shout because you are good
You are good to me, good to me
Nothing and no one comes
Anywhere close to you
The earth and oceans deep
Only reflect this truth
And in my darkest night
You shine as bright as day
Your love amazes me
With a cry of praise my heart will proclaim
You are good, you are good
In the sun or rain my life celebrates
You are good, you are good
With a cry of praise my heart will proclaim
You are good, you are good
In the sun or rain my life celebrates
totally loving this song – its so got into my heart and spirit in the last few days. my husband gave me a mixed cd for songs for him to learn for childrens church worship and this was on it. i HAVE the bethel cd but hadnt listened to this song much… though when my hubby was made redundant God really spoke to me through this song, was praying for opportunity and a job and provision and really felt His presence and “something” during this song, and then tony rung up and said he had a job interview – the first opening he had had in 6 months (he had been looking for a job in the 6 months prior to the company he worked for shutting.) was such a God thing.
anyway, i love this song. God is good! rejoice and trust that!
when i first started on facebook about 3 years ago it was fun. just a fun thing to try. i had resisted the “pressure” to join, thinking it was a more of a juvenile time waster than anything. but wow. i quickly discovered it was a great way to reconnect with old friends, keep connecting with friends now, a fantastic way to connect in ministry with our housegroup and share awesome resources as well as information (housegroup details of what was happening that week), and to make new friends on the way. i love facebook. some may call me an addict. i love to connect and communicate. facebook for me builds bridges. it uses words. it can be a platform to shine and encourage other people. to say “i care” with each “like”.
this year my perspective on facebook changed.
on 22.02.11 christchurch – the 2nd largest city in New Zealand, where i live – suffered a major earthquake. facebook was the first to tell me. i follow both our news channels and they put up BREAKING NEWS reports. it was also my main source of information about friends. i have between 30-50 friends that live in christchurch and some family members, cousins. i dont know how people survived BEFORE facebook in events like this – with each status update from a friend to say “IM SAFE” i rejoiced and embraced the peace that comes with that knowledge that someone is okay. soon i had most people ticked off my list. unfortunately other friends have not been so lucky, and my heart hurts with them. facebook is a place i can communicate with them to say “IM PRAYING and I CARE” whereas pre facebook such messages of support would have been difficult or slower. to send a letter takes time. to ring was impossible because on the first few days there were issues with phones, with lines down and over usage. we were asked to use our phones – nationally – only for emergencies. if you look at my facebook page today it is filled with shared information about the earthquake. a way to connect and process and communicate what is going on. i have a friend, a New Zealander, who lives in america with her husband and children. they have family in Christchurch and he also worked in the CTV building where so many have been lost. they were finding getting information hard and at that stage livefeed from our tv stations was not working. facebook was the way for her to find out good and sad news. it was a way for me to reach out to her and hug her hard, even online!
i have had many conversations about prayer and God because of the earthquake. the young man whose workmate i prayed for (and is on page 124 of @stickyjesus) mentioned on a status update i had written that HE was praying too, and that that was a change in his life because of “me” (because of God really!) another friend i have – a facebook friend – who recognized that i was a praying person, and asked for me to pray.
facebook has brought people together.
facebook has brought people together to pray. and practically help. and connect. and care.
i have also been totally humbled at the messages that have been left on my wall of support for me and my country. people overseas who are praying. that does bring such comfort.
more personally, i also saw the power of facebook in action. my 5 year old daughter has severe food allergies, particularly to dairy and nuts. she had a bad reaction to something she ate and i dashed off to the doctor with her. my husband used facebook, in my account, to ask for prayer. by the time i had got home, only an hour later, she was mostly 100% fine – an amazingly fast recovery, and i had 15+ messages saying people were praying. i felt the love. and i credit God and prayer with her fast recovery.
facebook is awesome. thank God for facebook.
so i resisted facebook for so long, did i really need ANOTHER social networking “thing”… esp one that seemed so fast paced and random… yes, they were my initial impressinos of twitter…
but then i grew to love it…
i love the sharing of quotes (i LOVE words and and quotes and collect them like how some people collect stamps, rocks or rugby cards)
i love again the genuine connections i have made
i love again the opportunity to connect with strangers and to shine some love their way
i love the #hashtags
i love how i could find out the play by play score of the rugby first, before “traditional” news media
and then pike river happened.
24.11.10 – New Zealand’s worst mining disaster
twitter was where people gathered, so to speak, to share information, and responses, to speak their heart and share support
twitter had a new meaning and a new purpose
it made the world aware of what happened in our small corner of the world
and again on 22.02.11
the christchurch earthquake, where many of my friends live and where many died.
twitter again, and facebook, was the hub of connecting, sharing, weeping together, raising support, calling out for prayer, caring – as well as news and information. complete strangers would physically go and check on someone because of a tweet shout out for help. it directed people to where they could get clean water and food. i’d imagine that for those in christchurch with iphones and the tweets hooked up that way that it would have been a lifeline to information assistance – as there was no power. some suburbs STILL have no power. twitter became the new way to share civil defence information.
when i last posted about this chapter i shared this tweet that for me put it in perspective:
it humbles me.
i felt to tweet lots about the earthquake – the more people praying the better i always think
the more people caring the better the world will become
its happening here.
this is my land.
and i want the world to know.
i’ve made new friends because of the earthquake. people have asked me to pray. people who dont know jesus yet but know that i pray and are totally shaken. its such a priv.
jesus is using twitter.
to connect His body all around the world.
to connect His people in serving Him and building His Kingdom.
to show love.
twitter has a darkside. people can misread what you say. 140 doesnt give a lot of wiggle room to convey tone sometimes. you’re putting yourself out there and not everyone is full of light and sunshine. even in the christianity those who should be on the same side can be so divided and then act even more dividing by their words and accusations. think before you tweet. read what you’re writing. apologize if need be. have grace. take a deep breath. relinquish your right to be right. have a guard on your heart and your words. speak with gentleness. dont get into bizzaro arguments and the like. we dont need to defend jesus. its also not all about the quantity – its not a numbers game or a popularity contest. for me its quality of connection that makes the experience worth it. dont fall into a trap. dont build your worth on the wrong thing.
this chapter of @stickyjesus is really practical to demystify what twitter is. all those hashtags and #FF and RT? its another language. but really this chapter inspires you to be in the game and to be taking the opportunity to be yourself and share the gospel in your 140 characters… extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience. listen to the Holy Spirit and be led by Him and He will lead you to post things that will speak to peoples hearts. twitter and facebook are gifts from God to us, lets use them for His glory and the expansion of His Kingdom. lets use them to demonstrate His love and grace to a lost world.
go join the group read:
Great crowds came to Jesus, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, those who could not speak, and many others. They put them at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them. The crowd was amazed when they saw that people who could not speak before were now able to speak. The crippled were made strong. The lame could walk, and the blind could see. And they praised the God of Israel for this. (Matt. 15:30–31 NCV) What did the people do with the sick? They put them at Jesus’ feet. This is the purpose of praying for the ill. We place the sick at the feet of the Physician and request his touch. This passage also gives us the result of healing prayer. “They praised the God of Israel for this.” The ultimate aim of healing is not just a healthy body but a greater kingdom. If God’s aim is to grant perfect health to all his children, he has failed, because no one enjoys perfect health, and everyone dies. But if God’s aim is to expand the boundaries of his kingdom, then he has succeeded. For every time he heals, a thousand sermons are preached. Max Lucado
our christianity isnt about rules and regulations. we do have the Bible, the alive, active, powerful revelation of who God is and how to live for Him, the guidelines for how to live a holy life, with some very black and white instructions, but there is no checklist for holiness because it goes deeper than that. its a heart thing. its a relationship thing. God designed it that way because He’s not interested in robots – or pharisees – but He wants friends and followers, He wants lovers and children. its about being LED by the Spirit of God (Romans eight – a moment by moment following and being in tune with Him. we are living in response to His love – living from the inside out – living out the inward righteousness that is the free gift of salvation from Christ – making that our outward experience and reality. being a christian is more than going to church, wearing a christian tshirt, wearing a wwjd wristband… its a relationship with our Father God, brought and paid for by the brutal execution of Jesus Christ on the cross. we have the challenge and the call and the privilege to live that out as a demonstration of the love and grace of God – glowing in the dark – shinning His light – to the world around us, on and offline.
when God sent his son to absorb the sins of the world, it cost Him everything. @stickyjesus
as pastor paul washer says, “we are not called to build empires. we are not called to be accepted. we are called to glorify God.” @stickyjesus
We are in a battle for the souls of mankind. We war against Satan and all of the forces of evil in the universe. Satan has established his kingdom in the hearts of men and women. That kingdom must be destroyed and Christ’s kingdom established, no small task for the church. But it can be accomplished.
One weapon God has placed within the church that can tear down the strongholds of Satan was used mightily in both the Old and New Testaments and throughout the history of the church. It’s the life that is totally yielded to God. That person holds nothing dear to himself except Jesus and His glory. That life will contradict the culture of the day.
God is looking for men and women who will not be conformed to society but rather transformed by the Holy Spirit into the image of Jesus. This life will cry out, “I want Jesus more than I want anything!” Where are the men and women in the West willing to lose everything to gain God’s glory on earth? Too many of us think we can have God’s glory at little or no cost. Our tendency is to seek miracles rather than God. We seek to bask in the comfort of blessings rather than focus on “the old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.” – Sammy Tippet
i love the end download of this chapter of @stickyjesus:
- the gift of salvation is priceless
- the cost is nothing compared to the reward
- you are either hot – or not what He has called you to be
- you can count on adversity, so when it shows up rejoice in it
- you will grow as you continue to “go” toward the life He’s called you to
so often the gospel is presented as a happy happy joy joy thing (remember ren and stimpy), a life of ease and comfort.
tell that to the persecuted christian in the middle east.
or the teenager rejected and bullied at school.
or the wife forced by her non christian husband to not go to church and stay silent.
in everything we face Jesus is with us and for us and we can pray and seek Him and find Him and He gives peace.
but its not an easy life.
He gives joy in the midst of the difficulty.
He gives us comfort because we need comforting.
we overcome by His power and become overcomers because there are obstacles that need overcoming.
i love 2 corinthians 1:4 – He comforts us so we can comfort others.
our life is lived out on the world stage to show the reality of God. raw. real. honest. broken. flawed. hard.
but in that we find peace, hope, love, grace, power, strength, joy.
in the midst.
in the flood. in the fire. (isaiah 43:2)
that’s part of the cost.
God is more interested in our character transformation than our happiness.
difficulties will rub the sharp fleshly edges off us.
they will refine us into the character and likeness of Jesus.
the cost says NOT MY WILL, BUT YOURS LORD.
the cost puts Jesus firmly on the throne and surrenders to His leading.
the cost follows the leading of the Spirit, not the desires of the flesh.
the cost is to walk on the narrow road.
“Don’t live under the control of your sinful nature. If you do, you will think about what your sinful nature wants. Live under the control of the Holy Spirit. If you do, you will think about what the Spirit wants.” (Romans 8:5, NIRV)
its a lifetime of following Jesus. taking up our cross, denying self. salvation – “its not just a one-time decision, it’s a lifetime pursuit.” mark driscoll
when you really understand God’s work in your life, your natural desire will be to surrender your life to Him. to obey Him unconditionally. that posture of surrender will result in radical steps of faith, and a confidence that flows from a heart that’s fully devoted to God’s plans. steven furtick
William Barclay, in commenting on the above verse, said, “To deny oneself means in every moment of life to say no to self, and to say yes to God. To deny oneself means once, finally and for all to dethrone self and to enthrone God. To deny oneself means to obliterate self as the dominant principle of life, and to make God the ruling principle, more, the ruling passion, of life. The life of constant self-denial is the life of constant assent to God.” (The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 2, p. 167).
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” Jesus, john 14:23.
challenging eh. love is expressed in obedience. willingly choosing to obey shows love.
“There is a cost, but when you are in love with God, it seems like no cost at all.” -Damon Thompson
fix your eyes upon Jesus. our saviour. the lamb that takes away the sin of the world. the one who laid His life down for us, willingly, to rescue us. the one who paid the ultimate cost.
i think i could use colossians 1:20-22 in almost every message i preach and every post i write.
And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent.
it says it all doesnt it. the price. the cost. paid by jesus. that i may be accepted and loved and saved.
join the group read here: http://blog.ourchurch.com/2011/05/25/stickyjesus-10-cost-everything/
i asked this on twitter today and received these answers:
jasonbhuffman i say yes. "What God wants" is a relative term based on how specific you want to be. God wants you to love others & serve him
mrsbrownkiwi Our job is to say ‘Use me, I’m available’, because we love Him. Then in time our path is made clear.
rlcassidy : Q: Can u be totally in love with God and NOT know what He is calling you to?" Sure, He’ll clue you in at the perfect moment.
ChyldofGodAng I say No b/c 2 know God is to know His heart & if you know His heart then it would be silly not to know what He wants u to do
diamondlarrt To answer your question: I think it may be possible. I sort of feel that way lately as I’m still looking for an income source
pentacostalman yes, and if you want to know the calling that God has for you, then pray and fast and ask God to show you and He will
DrJared yes, met many people in that situation
melodeej Yes…sometimes it is hard to follow God’s lead or recognize His voice.
mrsbrownkiwi Yes I think so.
and though this wasnt a direct answer it fit the question: Jennivieve Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it: you will be shown what to do next. [Elisabeth Elliot]
i guess there are many questions hidden in that…
can you be madly in love with God, loving Him with all your heart, mind and strength and soul and not understand His ways?
can you trust Him even in the silence of unrevelation?
is the not knowing what you’re called to do a symptom of coldness of heart or unbelief or rebellion?
are there obstacles in our own life to hearing from God?
is the destination the most important thing or the transformation?
does it need to be a specific “thing” or is the everyday loving Him and obedience to His Word “enough?”
are we looking for dramatic guidance when the leading is right under our noses?
are we looking for big ministry calls when the call is to demonstrate God’s reality in our everyday life to the people around us?
i love how God works in tensions sometimes.
there is the tension between God being our Guider, His Word a lamp to our feet, the One who orders our steps, the One who reveals which direction we should go in… the One who prompts us to do specific things and make specific decisions, who places desires in our hearts and compels us and works in us to do His will.
and the tension of walking by faith not by sight… of not knowing where to put our feet next, of not knowing exactly what we’re called to do, of feeling like we’re using our mind to make decisions, of trusting that God will guide us but feeling a more nonspecific leading…
we have people in our housegroup that experience one or the other, or both. which is why i’m thinking about it alot. some i can see (i hope i dont sound judgemental!) that it is a unsurrendered heart that is restricting how God leads them or how open they are to being led… others they’re wholehearted and devoted and dedicated but still feel none the wiser and a bit lost in regards to the big picture. i continue to pray for them all that they’ll know His love and love Him with everything and that they’ll serve Him everyday in every way! and i encourage them all to take that time out to seek Him – because i believe those who ask, recieve, those who seek, find and to those who knock, He opens the door. i also totally believe 1 Corinthians 2:9-11 that says that the Holy Spirit reveals the good things that God has prepared for those who love Him, that the Holy Spirit is our Guide and reveals the love of God to us. sometimes though it isnt because someone isnt asking. its just the way God is outworking His plan. its because we’re called to trust and to live being transformed.
i dont think someone is more spiritual because they know. or that someone is less spiritual because they dont. or that someone is more spiritual because they’re waiting on God, or that someone is less spiritual because they have defined goals. have we made it all about that and do we look down at people on a different path? i so hope not! God often asked someone what was in their hand – or what they could do RIGHT NOW TODAY – are we wanting to be future forward and thus missing out on the opportunities of today, putting our life on pause until we get the big picture? some people can get so wrapped up in the knowing or not knowing that they can be paralysed if the way doesnt seem written in the sky before them, instead of stepping out and DOING something.
and i know i’ve been blest. right from salvation night i knew i wanted to preach. and so i’ve lived my life towards that goal. i’ve always been aware of very specific guidance but also been very aware, or perhaps confident that God would guide me in my life and so i step out and live fully. i make decisions quickly and believe that if i make the wrong decision that God would speak and guide me away from that. i’ve been secure in His love and ability to reveal His will. i’m wired that way.
abraham was called to a land he did not know.
moses knew the location of the Promised Land.
joseph was called to be a leader and then went to the prison before the palace.
noah was called to build the ark and got very specific plans, likewise moses got the plans for the tabernacle and followed them precisely.
paul often mentioned that he was LED by the Spirit, or restricted by the Spirit.
“When we are thirsty for God, God will satisfy that longing. And as we continue to seek God, we’ll grow to know him more and more intimately. When we hear God’s voice, we’ll recognize it instantly. We’ll talk to God all the time and miss him when circumstances distract us from his presence. We’ll build a history together, storing up story after story of shared experiences. We’ll love God. We’ll trust God. We’ll know God.” the christian atheist by Craig Groeschel
regardless of whether we have a clear life map worked out or whether we feel like we’re walking blind we’re called to know Him and make Him known, to love Him and to serve Him. i believe that as mrsbrownkiwi said that as we’ have an openness about our lives and say YES USE ME that God will, in the ordinary and the extraordinary and that our path will be made clear.
the main point is that if we’re in love with God and knowing His love we’ll be confident and secure of whatever path we’re on and trusting that He will speak if need be and that He is at work on our behalf and in our hearts.
there are 2 verses that i often mash up in my mind. whenever i hear one i immediately think of the other. to me they are connected in their message.
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 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. Hebrews 12:1-2
let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:2
Let us throw off everything that hinders us.
Let us repent and live holy.
Let us take up our cross and follow Jesus.
Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus and follow Him.
Let us be transformed.
Let us be transformed by the renewing and changing of our mind.
Let us be transformed so we can change and throw off everything that hinders us.
do you see the connection?
as i am changed by the Word of God revealing truth and the way i should live and changing me from the inside out, then i throw off the entanglements of temptation and sin.
“Too many Christians believe in God… but then live as if He doesn’t exist. They still worry all of the time, they trust in money to help them, they know God loves others but don’t necessarily believe that’s true for them, and they don’t think change is possible, despite God’s power.”
“Sin is fun — at least for a while. But it never fails to come back to haunt you, usually when you least expect it. Like a sneeze, sin feels good at first, but it leaves a huge mess.”
“…There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. And there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. Love is not something God does. It is who God is. And because of who he is, God loves you. Period.”
“When we are thirsty for God, God will satisfy that longing. And as we continue to seek God, we’ll grow to know him more and more intimately. When we hear God’s voice, we’ll recognize it instantly. We’ll talk to God all the time and miss him when circumstances distract us from his presence. We’ll build a history together, storing up story after story of shared experiences. We’ll love God. We’ll trust God. We’ll know God.”
AWESOME BOOK – the christian atheist by Craig Groeschel
who do you say Jesus is?
this is the moment where you make a decision.
will you leave here as a Christian or a non Christian? will you resist the grace of God? will you reject the love of Jesus? will you reject his invitation? or will you accept His grace by turning from sin and trusting in Him?
will you give your life to Jesus?
will you repent from your sin, turning from being the god of your own life and trusting in Jesus? do you have a better plan? because there is none.
make the most important decision of your life.
if you’re feeling this in your heart, that is the Holy Spirit prompting you, compelling you, convincing you, that you need to make a change and that you need to respond.
4. I am able to fulfill the calling God has placed on my life (Exodus 3:9-12; Psalm 57:2,).
And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. But Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? And God said, I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain. Exodus 3:9-12
I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfils his purpose for me. Psalm 27:2
another 2 verses that immediately pop into my head are:
… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us Ephesians 3:20
God can complete the good work He begins in me and calls me to. He can fulfill HIS purpose and His plans in my life. He can do more than we can ask, dream, pray, imagine. He has the power. And He works in my heart to make me willing to do His will. i believe that as i continue to love Him every day and to serve Him and obey Him that He is ordering my steps and my life and thus i will reach the destination and goal. i believe it is HIS resources in my life, the power of the Holy Spirit, that empowers me to serve Him. thus i am able to fulfill the calling He has on my life because it is HIS work in me that enables me to do this. it is not by my power, or my effort or my work, but His work in me as i continue to say YES to Him.
a year ago it was the finale of Lost. i had watched the show right from the start. major freak fan. i even mentioned it in every preach i had done for the last 2 years – an intentional thing that began as unintentional but then became the “thing” (along with gun noises… yes, gun noises… pow pow) the LOST final came with perfect timing by God. strange as that may sounds. it came at an incredibly painful time in ministry and on the night, before the show, something out of the blue and kinda yuck happened. so i got to watch Lost and cry and release tension and emotion and enjoy my favourite programme. perfect timing. i say that LOST is my happy place (after Jesus of course!) and there are many times when i just need to stop and breathe and chillax. i watch LOST in those moments. i’m a bit of a wierdo, i often read a book or do something while watching TV. not so with LOST. LOST is the only programme for a long time i’ve actually focused on and got connected to. i totally love LOST. still. ps today i am wearing my LOST tshirt from threadless tees. yip, i’m that much of a geek
podcasts! i love preaching. i’ve been listening to Mark Driscoll, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble, Francis Chan and Matt Chandler this week. good stuff. praying it wont be just words in my ears but fire to my heart and food to my soul.
jaffas – perfect sugar high food for a brain dump kinda night… red, chocolately, jaffary… pure goodness in a sphere
this picture. bliss. this is what i kinda sometimes feel like in the presence of God. total peace. His presence is life to my life.
and as always. i love Jesus with all i am and all my heart and all my soul and all my days. For His glory and the building of His kingdom and the rescue of the lost.