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Taize-Silence

Have you ever had that moment, you’re on the phone, having a great conversation, sharing your heart and then you realize it’s really quiet on the other end.  The mmms and ahhas have stopped and there isn’t even any background noise.  Silence.  Disconnection.

Doesn’t it sometimes feel like that with God.  You’re talking away, sharing your heart and then you wonder if there really is someone on the other end of the line.

 

Hello?  God are you there?

 

David felt like this.

In numerous psalms he cries out “God do not be silent to me!”

Psalm 28:1-2 says:

To You I will cry, O Lord my Rock:

Do not be silent to me,

Lest, if You are silent to me,

I become like those who go down to the pit.

Hear the voice of my supplications

When I cry to You,

When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.

 

And like he says: When God is silent it’s the pits.

We wonder what has caused the disconnection.  What went wrong?  Was it something I said?  Something I did.  Someone I am?

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be intentional

 

Are you ‘ready to go’ in the morning?

Are you able to maintain high levels of energy during the day?

Do you rely a lot on caffeine or energy drinks to keep you going?

Do you have energy left in reserve at the end of the day?

When we start to pursue our dreams and to live our life to the max the best thing to have is an abundance of personal energy, to have all our tanks full and to go forward in high gear and at full speed! What good is it to have great personal goals if there is simply not enough energy to follow through with them? If we have that extra energy everything will become easier to do.

We are often obsessed with time, and there never seems to be enough of it.

We try to squeeze more into every minute of every day.

We eat fast food on the run and chat on our cell phone while driving, eating, or exercising. We get drive through coffee and watch TV “on demand”. At the end of the day, we fall into bed exhausted, but sleep doesn’t come easily because we’re constantly thinking about the next day.

We want more hours in the day so that we can do more. But there are only 24 hours in each day, 168 hours in the week.

There are two problems with time. The first one is that after a certain number of hours fatigue inevitably sets in. There is only so much we can do.

The second problem with time is that it’s finite, and most of us don’t have any of it left to invest. Our dance cards are full and yet we’re never finished.

There is a strong case that energy management can save you more time than time management.

The way we’re working isn’t working.

We need to manage our energy vs managing our time.

Though time is finite, energy can be expanded, renewed and used more efficiently.

We need to be intentional about energy management.

 

What do you to to make time work for you?

What are your energy management strategies?

 

 

(see the post tomorrow to find out HOW!)

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Romans 12 begins with a powerful call to transformation:  

 

Do not conform 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.

 

 

The message frames v2 in an interesting way:

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

 

We don’t want to be so well adjusted to the world that we just blend in.  But in order to live different we must act differently.  We must make different choices and do different things in order to be different.

 

“Because of Jesus, you no longer have permission to live life ‘normally.'” – Scott Thompson

 

Living differently – living a non normal life – means living deliberately and on purpose.  Intentionally.

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**** preaching notes from preaching last night at The River

 

Confession time. So I did this crazy thing on Monday. I drove past a woman hitching on Avimore, and felt God say, with a bit of a woosh in my heart, turn round and pick her up.

Um no God, I don’t do hitch-hikers. I’m a woman. I’m 5 foot one. I don’t know jiu-jitsu.

Pick her up.

So, I swung around, u-turned and picked her up.

Turned out she was heading only about 5 minutes away and while I had only intended to take her to the end of avimore… I took her to where she was going.

We chatted on the way, as one does.

She was like “I cant believe you stopped” and I was like on the inside “I cant believe I stopped”

But I knew why I had.

“I’m a Christian, I believe God is real and he loves you, and you know, I really felt from God to turn around and pick you up and help you out. Weird eh, but He cares about those things.”

“That’s cool. I cant believe you picked me up!”

It wasn’t a huge conversation. We drove for only about 5 minutes, I dropped her off. But I know that God was using that moment to speak to this young woman. If anything, she knows that He saw and cared.

All the time God is speaking. To me, to you.
He wants to speak TO you and THROUGH you.

God has a history of speaking to us THROUGH people.

He reveals Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. People. Not just heroes or giants of the faith but real flesh and blood people. People who were husbands, fathers, friends, neighbours, workers, employers. Today He speaks through people.

“Embedded in the larger story of redemption is a principle we must not miss: God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things in the lives of others.”

He is the God of Peter, of Oliver, of Jennifer, of Claire. And people learn about God and see Him THROUGH people like you and me.

We live in a world where there are so many voices coming at us from every direction. Even our own voice doesn’t stop. Everything and everyone competes for our attention and ear space. But not everything speaking is good. There are voices with an agenda to kill, steal and destroy. And the only one that speaks perfectly is God. So how do we hear His voice more clearly?

It’s important in this sea of voices to hear clearly from God.
It’s important to hear HIS heart and His guidance.
God’s Words will change your future. God’s Words will change a nation. God’s Words will define our life. God’s Words will define our marriage, our children, our identity, our dreams, our destiny. We need to hear His voice.

God’s voice is powerful. In the beginning God SPOKE and there was light. God said and creation was created. And His words still carry power. The disciples said “You have the words that give eternal life.”

 

 

God is speaking. Are we listening? Is His voice the loudest?
In a world of noise how do we hear His voice with a greater clarity?

 

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*** I’m reading PLATFORM by Michael Hyatt and was mmmmming over an experience he and his wife had while snorkelling… it just resonated with me as a brilliant analogy and as it fits as a preaching illustration for a message i’m writing for the 25th May i’m filing it here for reference…

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I read this great, aka challenging, post the other day (10 Things Pastors Absolutely HATE to Admit Publicly) and began applying it to my own life in the circles of influence i have.

 

For myself i have added number #11 to the list

#11 : I worry that i’m not ____________ enough and can’t provide the help you need (fill in the blank: good, qualified, smart, compassionate, wise, cool, relevant)

#11 is my biggest worry, fear, whatever.

There is even a phobic name for it.

 

atelphobia

#11 is the one i need to punch in the face, shut it up and nullify any limitation it could place on me.  i will not live within its boundaries or restrictions.

 

I shared about it with my mums group yesterday as that was one area i was adding a i’m not blank enough to.

I had being away on holiday and some live stuff had happened for these women and they had posted in our fb group about what was going on.  I was away but had snippets of time to check fb and saw what was going on but didn’t have the time or head space to go in depth to reply and help.  And frankly, some of it was about things that I have forgotten.  Toilet training.  Night time waking.  Tantrums.  23 sure fire ways to get your toddler to adore broccoli.  Things that i don’t have to deal with as a mother of a 12 and 8 year old.  They have their own stages and joys.  And they like broccoli.

So I was being down on myself that I was maybe not blank enough to be their leader.

That perhaps they needed someone more in touch with their specific relevant life issues and that was parenting savvy and wise.

I had then gone to bed and had had a really “interesting” dream.  One of those ones that speak to the heart.  I awoke and knew that God had been speaking and that I was the right leader and that though I probably wasn’t going to be the one to advise them on night time waking and toilet training and two year old tantrums I was going to encourage them and get them praying and equip them to become not just mums, but warrior women of God.  That the gift I could give was that I “had been there and done that, got the tshirt” and was now passing on HEART strength for whatever battled they faced.

 

So I bared my heart to these lovely mums yesterday and was humbled and heartened by their outcry that I had even entertained for a second that I was not blank enough to be the leader or even part of the group.

 

There are times we have to take those voices of insecurity and ignore them.  Or more importantly replace them with a truth.  The Truth.  Remove the lie and speak the truth.

We have to refuse to live with atelphobia and to live in the freedom of God’s acceptance and power.

Rewrite the script you live by and know that God graces and empowers you to serve Him.

 

 

How do we rewrite the script?

1.  know what God says about you – find specific personal verses in the Bible that God rhemas to you – highlight them, write them down, meditate upon them

2.  stop the fear in its tracks… change the way you think but stopping the thoughts before they become a negative downward spiral

3.  talk to someone about how you feel.  let them give you a new encouraging script and perspective

4.  step out and help someone – use the gifts and talents God has given you and watch Him work His wonder THROUGH you.  a few positive experiences under your belt is evidence you are blank enough

5.  make a list of all the ways you are enough – your talents, your values, your attributes

 

 

In myself I am nothing, but with God I am everything.

He qualifies and equips the called.

My job is to say YES to the things He is calling me to do and He will enable me to be a best fit in that moment, for that role.

In Him I am blank enough.

 

 

Do you ever struggle with feeling not blank enough? Or is this just me?

* notes from my preaching last night at The River 

Samson_by_christians

 

 

There is one guy in the bible I just don’t like.

Samson.

He’s a jerk.

But you know, he often makes it into children’s bibles. I don’t know why. I mean, the guy is strong, kind of the wolverine of the bible. The children’s bibles always picture him with strong muscles and beautiful flowing hair. He even makes into Hebrews 11 which is like a hall of fame in the bible.

But he is a womanizer and as I said a jerk.

Samson was called to live a consecrated life but instead he lived an out of control life. He was called to be a great hero and while he does some heroic acts he has some serious flaws that detract from his potential and purpose and at the end of his story we find him broken and blind destroying a temple kamikaze style.

He showed such promise. Like Samuel, like Isaac, like John the Baptist he had a auspicious supernatural beginning. His parents, barren, had a divine encounter with an angel and the promise of a son. Talk about DESTINY!

But he is a jerk.

Tonight I want to talk about some of the lessons we can learn from his life – about living consecrated, living set apart, not out of control.

 

But before we get into that I want to add a disclaimer.

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River Touch Your World **** preaching notes from today

 

A couple of weeks ago our SAS team went and spent some time up at Point View Reserve overlooking the city and spending some time with God one on one. They all had a specific assignment to do but I was free.

Free to stop and city watch.

I found a spot under a ginormous tree and cast my eyes over our city.

As I looked down I could see one house in the distance surrounded by emergency vehicles. I could see the lights flashing.

My heart did a double take. Someone in that house was having an emergency!

I don’t know what it was but it could of being anything. Perhaps a child had a fall and broke their arm. Perhaps an elderly person had a heart attack. Perhaps someone had gone into anaphylactic shock (okay, only an allergy geek would think that). Perhaps someone had broken into their house, or there was a home invasion, or a kitchen fire, or a cat up a tree. I don’t know, but the point is. There was an emergency happening, to real people in that house.

I didn’t know who they were but God did.

It made me aware afresh of the importance of touching our world.

I had a new vantage point and awareness that each house represented a person, a family, someone that needed to know God.

It made the mission really big, and really personal. They were no longer just houses intangible statistics… they were people.

God has orchestrated it that we are the delivery agents of the good news. Now if I was God I would have done it differently. I would have picked a reliable messenger service. Like angels. Or sky writing rainbows.

But God has entrusted us with the mission to reach out to those around us and to tell them about His reality, His grace, His love, His hope. He says “tag you’re it… you’re the light of the world.” Touch the person beside you and say “tag you’re it!”

His design is that He touches the world THROUGH us.

"You’re the team of God; the best He’s got. And He believes He has a winning team."

 

I’m esp stoked to be here today as our Street Outreach Team are out there, in our community today, knocking on the doors of those house, praying with people and talking to people about how good and real God is.

Last time we were out, you may have heard this, but it’s a but wait there’s more story, we met a young mother, with a newborn, who opened the door in her pjs. She apologised for her state and then burst into tears after we introduced ourselves and said why we were there. She had been up since 5am with a screaming baby and felt so overwhelmed and had been praying “God do you see me? Where are you God?” knock knock knock. Her family had all gone to church and she was feeling alone and vulnerable and incredibly overwhelmed. God had seen and was with her and equally impressive sent the only mother in our SOT (me) to knock on her door and pray with her, give her a big hug, and encourage her. Here’s the but wait there’s more part – we thought that was amazing enough – and like many of our conversations with strangers – we pray and walk away, leaving it up to God to heal and God to work in their life, often not meeting them again. Anyway last week I popped down to Mainly Music to say hi to the team and some of the mums I know from there and there she was. The pj lady. She hugged me so tight and began to tell Gail and I how that one conversation and prayer had changed her life. How she knew God was with her and how she had then being telling all her friends about what had happened and had begun to reach out to her new neighbours to invite them to church.

One conversation turned into a ripple that is affecting the world that SHE is in. Us touching her world is touching other peoples world.

Awesome eh.

 

Cool, lets turn our bibles, or flick on our devices…. To 2 Kings 7:3-11

Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, ‘Why stay here until we die? If we say, “We’ll go into the city”– the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.’

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, ‘Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!’ So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

Then they said to each other, ‘What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.’

So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, ‘We went into the Aramean camp and no one was there – not a sound of anyone – only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.’ The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

 

What you may notice here is 2 things.

1. The lepers experienced the feast

2. They then went and told those in famine about the feast

The lepers were in a town under siege and suffering the affects of a long campaign. There was no food. It was a no win situation. So they made a bold radical choice. To leave the city and throw themselves on the mercy of the Arameans in hope that they had some food and a good bill of rights for prisoners.

When they arrived in the tent city they discovered it abandoned. God had turned up and defeated their enemies. And then they found the food. And the gold. And the clothing. And the everything. And then they ate the food. And then they remembered… their friends. Their family. Starving children. Hopelessness. Back in the city there were others who needed food too.

They said: This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.

This is a day of good news. Our enemies are defeated and gone and we have food!

The same thing works with us right here right now.

We experience the feast – experience salvation – experience grace – experience His goodness and greatness and then we go and tell others about our experience. We experience God bringing us into a family, into new understanding of purpose and love and eternity. We experience being able to be connected intimately to the Creator of the Universe, the One who breathed out the stars and spoke and there was light.

What you experience as real and good in your life you will broadcast to others.

This is the day of good news!

 

Seth Godin, a marketing guru says that people like that are sneezers – they catch onto a new thing really fast but more importantly they let everyone in their world know – they’re like an infectious bug that is then sneezed into everyone in the room so before you know it, you’re all sick. The aim of marketing is to get the sneezers excited about a product/service so that they’ll ah ah ah achooo it out into the world.

When there is a great sale on at the mall, or a new burger joint opening down the road, or a new movie opening or you’ve just had your hair cut by the most amazing hairdresser ever – don’t you tell everyone? We naturally sneeze what we’re into to the people in our lives.

You’re called to be a sneezer for Jesus. To experience all that He has to offer and then to sneeze it out into the world around you and infect the people in your life, in a good way.

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Zechariah 13:9 This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, “They are my people,” and they will say, “The Lord is our God.”’

God will refine you like silver and test you like gold.

Life has a way of being a fire.  Of pushing buttons and casting us into unfamiliar and challenging circumstances.

Do not be surprised at the situations that come up but instead embrace the process that God uses to work change and transformation into our life.

This journey we’re on. It’s going to be messy. We are going to have moments when we are emotionally stretched. When we are misunderstood, when we are misunderstand, when we are freaked out, when we are tired, when we doubt anything and everything.

i love this Lost clip – THE MOTH – which illustrates the struggle, nature’s way of strengthening…

 

 

 

 

In those times I have 4 things for us to do:

  1. Identify what is really going on. Stop feeling and look at what you’re feeling and why that might be. Be honest. Journal.
  2. Talk to someone. Stay connected. Often in times when we’re going through a transformation we want to find a man – or woman – cave and get our mail delivered there.
  3. Don’t pull out of things you’re involved in. Don’t quit coming to church. Keep going. When you’re going through hell, just keep going. This is no time to quit. If you do, the enemy wins.
  4. Look after your temple. Maybe all the emotional stuff is coming out because you’re too tired, run down, not eating right, have your period. Make sure you’re getting good sleep and good food as it will be a contributor to how you are processing what is going on around you.

 

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Last week i spoke at our 7pm service @ The River as part of a series called EYES OPEN.

I spoke about how Joshua lifted his eyes and saw God and that enabled the walls of Jericho to fall down and for Joshua and his people to move into victory.

The big question of the night was : What is the Jericho in your life?

Eyes Open – To See God

Eyes Open – To Surrender

Eyes Open – To See

Eyes Open – To Worship

Eyes Open – To Hear

Eyes Open – To Follow

Eyes Open – To Victory

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