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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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“God has marvellous ways of taking our worst tragedies and turning them into His most glorious triumphs." -Joseph Stowell

 

Jericho could have been so overwhelming to Joshua that he could have turned his back and hightailed out of there. It could have been a crushing failure.

But Joshua chose to press forward and trust God.

In the times when your Jericho – be it an external circumstance or an internal heart issue – threatens to block the sunshine – look to the Son. Lift your eyes!

The decisions that we make today determine the stories that we’ll tell tomorrow.

Make a decision to know that God is with you and to obey Him in all things and see Jericho’s walls fall down. Make a decision to let the walls down and to let God in to heal you. Make a decision to encounter God.

Victory comes not from our own strength and will power. Joshua didn’t pull up his big boy pants, and knock the walls down himself. Brute strength and strategy didn’t win the day. Jericho’s walls fell down by a supernatural act of God. Likewise in our life. Yes we partner with God in the process. Yes we have to make actions to change and align ourselves with the principals in the Word of God. Yes we have to pull up our big boy / girl pants and just do it. But the changes that we need in our life will happen when we trust our amazing God. God rescues. God restores. God heals.

Joshua went on and led the Israelites to victory. As we have our eyes open and go into our world, God with us, we will see changes and overcoming. Jericho’s walls will fall.

Let’s be people who surrender to Jesus our Saviour and Lord.

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Jericho is a real make or break moments for Joshua. This is his opportunity to make his mark on the future of his people, to demonstrate his leadership prowess. And we see that one of the keys to Joshua’s breakthrough was that he had to follow God.

Joshua worshipped and heard. And what he heard must have made him go what the heck! God had a very non traditional battle plan.

The instructions were to walk around the city, once a day for 6 days. In silence. With the priests carrying the ark and trumpets. Which they don’t use.

Until the 7th day and then they have to go round 7 times and then shout when God tells Joshua.

Now Joshua is probably really glad that he lived a time with no facebook or twitter. Imagine how the feeds would have blown up!

#stillmarching This is one way to get my 10,000 steps in

So hard trying to keep my kids quiet on this long march. the boys just want to yell! #takethecity

March around a city? Heck, we can do that! We marched around that blasted desert for 40 years.  #justdoit

Just keep marching. Just keep marching. Marching marching marching. #srsly

Trumpets? What? That blows!

Seven times around the city? No problem, thanks to #ArkoftheCovenantFit!

If I wanted to travel in circles I would join NASCAR.

Joshua has lost his ever-loving mind. #blesshisheart

God is straight up crazy.

(thanks Dreamers and Builders for your creativity and wit for those!)

When we’re facing our own Jericho it’s important to know that God is with us. As Saviour and Lord. It’s important to know our help comes from the Lord and to get on His page.

We see Joshua doing this also in verse 15. “The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.”

Joshua obeyed. In the small and the big. In the battle and in the bare feet.

To see the walls come down in Jericho Joshua had to obey. In our own lives to see victory in our relationships, in our finances, in our health, in our well being, we need to listen and obey to the strategies God gives us. Sometimes this isn’t easy. Sometimes God will seem straight up crazy.

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“What does my Lord say to His servant?”

We are created to listen. You are hard wired designed to be in connection with God. To hear God speak. He is not a far away God but a God who is near.

 

I am the Shepherd and my sheep know my voice. John 10

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

 

God spoke to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3), Habakkuk knew the sound of God speaking to him (Habakkuk 2:2). Elijah described it as a still, small voice (I Kings 19:12 ). However, I have found that usually, God’s voice comes as spontaneous thoughts, visions, feelings, or impressions.

Cultivating an ability to hear God speak takes time and effort. It’s something we do deliberately, not something we can cultivate on the run.

To cultivate an ability to hear God you’ll need to make intentional deliberate opportunities to listen. Sometimes that may happen here at church, or at home as you’re reading The Word and having some worship time. Sometimes it happens as you’re out driving. There is a particular corner and road that all I have to do is drive down there thinking about a problem and boom, God speaks. I’ve learned to keep a pen and paper in the car!

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And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Joshua 5:14 v14

Joshua bowed down and worshipped Jesus.

Worship is more than singing. It’s about expressing surrender, its about wrapping language about how we feel, its about changing our perception and seeing things from God’s vantage point. The quickest way I know how to knock something down is to worship God. When faced with obstacles, make a choice to get your eyes open and on Jesus and to worship Him.

 

Worship reinforces what matters most, reminds us of truths we forget and renews our desire to live what we believe. Rick Warren

 

It reminds us that yes, God is with us.

It reminds us of His greatness and power.

It lifts our eyes beyond our circumstances to believe the unfailing promises of God.

We see it time and time again in the psalms of david.

David is doing what I call compraying. It’s a combination of complaining and praying.

David is being real with God. Calling a spade a spade.

But then instead of staying in that place of woe is me, David flips it around and fixes his eyes upon God, and begins to worship.

There are so many instances in the bible where worship preceded victory.

We have got to be a people who carve out time to encounter God. I know I say it every time I get up here, and all the time at housegroup but it is so vital.

 

There is something you get in the secret place that you can get no where else. Do everything you can to establish a secret history with Jesus. ~ Banning Liebscher

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