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At HKC Youth this term we’ve been looking at the behind the scenes stuff – the spiritual stuff that goes on behind the scenes in our life, how that affects here and now, what we can see, how we feel, how we act, and how we are not victims but how God has given us tools to equip and empower us for any situation.

A couple of weeks ago one of our awesome youth leaders did a phenomenal message about the armour of God – who can remember the different parts of armour?

One of the parts that especially challenged me and made me go mmmmm was when he wrote on each nerf bullet a tactic or strategy that the enemy uses to mess with our minds.

Shame.

Fear.

Insecurity.

Guilt.

Hate.

And he shot them out of his nerf gun at his brother who was wearing his helmet of salvation and had his shield of faith up and the bullets just bounced off and were deflected.

Our shield of faith is made up of all the truth we know about God.

He is good.

He is for us.

He is powerful.

He gives us peace.

He heals us.

He is at work to make all things good.

When the enemy fires a lie at us, fires a dart at us, his aim is that it will hit us, penetrate us, wound us – kill steal and destroy us.  That we’ll get hit and then we’ll buy the lie and it becomes the way we think.

But faith identifies the lie and replaces it with the truth of the Word of God.

Jesus did this when the devil tempted him in the desert after he was baptized.  The devil would say “so if you think you’re the son of God do this or do that” and Jesus would hold up his shield of faith and say “it is written in the word of God” and the lie would just bounce off.

There is power in declaring who God is.  Regardless of our circumstances, regardless of what it looks like, God is faithful, He is good, He is mighty to save. When we declare Who God is, our circumstances have to bow to the truth.

But sometimes we have our own lies.  We have our own issues that fight against God.

The war is within us.  My will vs God’s will.  My ways vs God’s way.

There are things that I don’t want to do, that I end up doing.

There are things that I want to do, but I don’t do them.

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride,  and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope,  humility, kindness, , empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” Read the rest of this entry »

United Pursuit have a great sound.  Its slightly raw.  Deeply authentic.

Their songs about God’s grace and love make my heart rest.

 

photo-1434030216411-0b793f4b4173God made my life complete
    when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
    he gave me a fresh start.
Now I’m alert to God’s ways;
    I don’t take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
    I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
    and I’m watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
    when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.

Psalm 18:20-24 MSG

 

There is no other name by which we can be saved.

No other name that heals us inside and out.

No other name that sets the captive free.

No other name that brings hope and wholeness.

His name is Jesus.

He must increase and I must decrease.

May we live to know Him and make Him known.

 

There are days when you need a reminder of how awesome God is and how FOR  you He is.  That He is victorious and mighty.

There is no spiritually neutral group in the world.  No spiritually neutral atmospheres.  We face a battle for our hearts, minds, behaviours.  We are pressed against on every side as Paul would say.  But God is with us and for us.  He is our shield.  Our champion.

Psalm 18 has been my go to passage in the Bible to remind me of these things.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;

my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.

He is my shield, the power that saves me,

and my place of safety.  Psalm 18:2

You light a lamp for me.

The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.

29 In your strength I can crush an army;

with my God I can scale any wall.

30 God’s way is perfect.

All the Lord’s promises prove true.

He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

31 For who is God except the Lord?

Who but our God is a solid rock?

32 God arms me with strength,

and he makes my way perfect.

33 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,

enabling me to stand on mountain heights.

34 He trains my hands for battle;

he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.  Psalm 18:28-34

 

The Lord is our champion.  Undefeated.

Found these great leadership quotes today… thought I would file them here…

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“Leadership is the ability to not only understand and utilize your innate talents, but to also effectively leverage the natural strengths of your team to accomplish the mission. There is no one-size fits all approach, answer key or formula to leadership. Leadership should be the humble, authentic expression of your unique personality in pursuit of bettering whatever environment you are in.” – Katie Christy, founder, Activate Your Talent

A leader is someone [who] leads by example and has the integrity to do the right thing even when it is not popular. A good leader has positive influence over others, inspiring them to become a better person and example for others to model their life against, as well.” – Mark Little, founder and president, Diversified Funding – See more at:

“Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.” – Lisa Cash Hanson, CEO, Snuggwugg

“Leadership is the ability to help people achieve things they don’t think are possible. Leaders are coaches with a passion for developing people, not players; they get satisfaction from achieving objectives through others. Leaders inspire people through a shared vision and create an environment where people feel valued and fulfilled.” – Randy Stocklin, co-founder and CEO, Readers.com

“Effective leadership is providing the vision and motivation to a team so they work together toward the same goal, and then understanding the talents and temperaments of each individual and effectively motivating each person to contribute individually their best toward achieving the group goal.” – Stan Kimer, president, Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer

The lyrics of this song are amazing.  It is one of those songs that I hadnt paid attention to on the album but every time it came on it would make me pause and listen and feel.

It moves my heart that Chris Quilala is the one leading this song as prior to this album they had a beautiful newborn baby die at birth.  He sings out of tragedy with raw faith.  Every time he sings I BELIEVE IN YOU my heart stretches to grow in faith.  Faith doesnt mean the absence of problems or pain but in those moments it believes that God is good, that He never changes and has all the power.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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“Spiritual change requires discipline. I can remember as a college student sitting for hours on end in tiny, windowless practice rooms, playing the same piece of music again and again. I knew that I never would reach my goal–to make beautiful music–without that rigorous discipline. Discipline for the purpose of godliness is not the same as self-effort. Rather, it means consciously cooperating with the Holy Spirit–yielding to Him so that He can conform us to the image of Christ. The problem is, we want the outcome without the process. We want victory without the warfare. Praying and hoping for spiritual change is futile if we sit glued to a television set or neglect the means that God has provided for our growth in grace. Bible study, meditation, worship, prayer, fasting, accountability and obedience are disciplines that produce a harvest of righteousness in our lives” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss).

I’m loving the faith declarations in this song.  It inspires my heart and reminds my mind and soul who God is, that He is the one that speaks and creates.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Harry Allen Overstreet says, “The very essence of all power to influence lies in getting the other person to participate.”

Harry S. Truman says “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”

As christians I believe we are meant to be the influencers.  We are called to make our mark on history – we are called to know God and make Him known.

Kim Walker-Smith, worship leader of Jesus Culture had a revelation while watching Lady Gaga on tv: “We as Christians, are not the only ones looking for ways to influence society…” Read the rest of this entry »

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