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Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”[b] 32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four waterpots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.” 34 Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water. 1 kings 18
We’ve got to get ready in the simple every day parts of our lives. If you want fire in your life you don’t just go “boom here I am, I’m ready” – you prepare.
The amazing encounter with God, the fire falling on the altar came after the altar was rebuilt, after the trench was dug, after the wood was cut and after the ox was prepared. All of these elements take work. Digging. Building. Hard Labour. Elijah had to prepare for the fire to come.
Paul puts it like this – fan into flame. Press on. Run the race.
Chop the wood. Pray. Read the Bible. Go to church. Serve. Give. Worship.
Do the everyday things to make your life an altar for the fire to fall.
Chopping the wood takes time, effort, and consistency. It is often done in the unseen places, in private preparation.
Have you ever watched a movie and been amazed at the transformation of an actor? I know things like that fascinate me and I am a geek so often will look up stuff about the behind the scenes information about movies and actors.
For example, Hugh Jackman used to run on a treadmill at the gym and sing at the top of his lungs to prepare for Les Mis.
Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson spent so many hours training with their lightsabers for the highly coordinated battles that they had to actually slow down the footage because they were too good.
Here’s a geeky thing for you: when Star Wars – The Phantom Menace was released in 1999 2.2 million employees in the US skipped word to see the movie. This unauthorized absence was estimated to have cost the US economy $293million!
We see the finished product and enjoy the entertainment but behind the scenes someone has spent hours preparing for that role.
Your life is telling a story and this year is a brand new chapter in that adventure.
What are the everyday private things, the behind the scenes things, the decisions, the actions, the disciples, that frame your life and prepare you for the highlight reel moments?
What are the habits that you have curated that build your life a life of faithfulness?
What are the intentional actions that you do to build your marriage, to love on your kids, to connect with those in your world, to grow in your calling and steward the life that God has given you?
Character is learning how to make the little choices along the way that ultimately add up to who we become. It’s learning when to say yes and when to say no.
Building a lifestyle of worship, of faithfulness, of passion and purpose chops the wood and gets you ready for the fire to fall.
It’s like you’re painting a massive target on your life saying here am I Lord, send me!
“While king saul was truly the best man Israel had to offer when they demanded a king, his heart had not been groomed through testing before he assumed the throne. As king, saul was entrusted with a measure of anointing to lead the armies of Israel to victory and shepherd the people. Yet without the strength of character that only comes by winning private battles, these public victories exposed the previously hidden weakness of saul’s heart towards God. That weakness, combined with his growing appetite for favour of man, led him to bring glory to himself and disobey the Lord.”
Bill Johnson – Strengthen Yourself In The Lord
Continuing in our series looking at the roadblocks to vision:
Failure to see the end in mind
Sometimes we cant envision the end in mind, the goal, the result and are overwhelmed by the babysteps and details we have to do to get there
Remember that scene from The Karate Kid in which Mr. Miyagi made Daniel wax his car? and paint his fence?
The lesson of the Karate Kid has stuck with me since I watched it when I was about 12. If you havent seen the original – then do it. It’s not just a movie but it’s a metaphor for life. I’m looking forward for my kids to age a little bit so they too can learn from Miyagi’s wisdom. And paint our fence.
The point of the mundane “housework” wasn’t to teach Daniel how to clean and paint, it was to teach him the specific movements and elements that he would then use as karate moves, defeating the roadblocks in his life and achieving his goals.
Daniel spends weeks doing this repetitive, boring task, without understanding why. Over and over again, he paints up and down, and waxes on and waxes off until he reaches a breaking point. He didn’t come to Mr Miyagi to be a slave but to learn karate! He thought that Miyagi was using him and wasting his time.
“But Miyagi shows him what he’s been doing has been preparation for all the moves he’s going to learn. In fact, he’s already learned them — without realizing it. Daniel learns an important lesson here. And so do we when we commit ourselves to the work, not just the fruit. There is no “awesome” and “mundane.” There is only the work that must be done. And you either love it or you don’t. There are three lessons we learn from this Miyagi-style teaching:
- Sometimes, practice doesn’t feel like practice.
- You’re practicing even when you don’t realize it.
- All of life is practice — even the boring parts (in fact, especially the boring parts).
Whatever you’re doing, don’t believe the lie that says you’re doing nothing. No, you’re practising something. It’s just a matter of how intentional you’re being.” Jeff Goins
What are you practising at you in your life?
What are those boring tasks that make up the learning you’re doing?
Lack of Character
Character carries the dream. The word used in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is INTEGRITY. If you don’t have the character, the INTEGRITY to carry it, it will become a roadblock that will prevent you from moving forward.
Character is a pattern of behaviour, thoughts and feelings based on universal principles, moral strength, and integrity – plus the guts to live by those principles every day. Character is evidenced by your life’s virtues and the “line you never cross.” Character is the most valuable thing you have, and nobody can ever take it away.
Oscar Pitorious. Tiger Woods. Lindsay Lohan.
All examples of people who didn’t have the character to carry their dream.
Why is character important?
1. Never give up. Your dream may take longer than you ever dreamed it would. There are things that God is doing behind the scenes to grow you and make you and these things take time and come disguised as trials and “roll your sleeves up work”. God knows the road you are walking and the destination. He is the map maker and the author of your life. Follow the compass of His guiding and never give up.
My dream has been to preach. I got saved when i was 16 and thought that was EVERYONE’S dream. I wanted to communicate the good news of Jesus to everyone and anyone. one on one, in groups, up the front. whatever and however. i wanted to know God and make Him known. in 2004 i was fortunate to do a preaching course at our church, with the drawcard that we would be sent out to itinerate as part of the course fulfilments. And then i got pregnant. i remember driving home from church one night, after hearing about the adventures that the other course graduates, non-pregnant men, were having and feeling discouraged and disappointed. I clearly heard God say “i made you a woman.” like duh? but then i let that sink into my heart. God knew the road i was walking on. He knew and created me. He knew i was a woman and would be a mother and pregnant. I didn’t have to follow the same road as the other people around me. He had a specific tailor made designed road for me to walk on. He is the dream giver and the dream fulfiller.
2. Learn on the way. Take the opportunity to learn for everybody and everything on the way. Difficult people in the workplace. Family crisis. Rejections. Storms. They are all teachers that give us wisdom and skills that we would never learn otherwise. Make the most of every moment.
As a preacher moments can become stories, analogies. I can learn how people communicate, how people learn, how people understand. I can learn how to wrap words around a concept. I often listen to message twice, once for content and then once for crafting. I am always learning. I am learning most of all how a very real God meets us in very real situations. I am learning to pastor people as i am pastored and as God outworks things in my own life. It connects me to God and connects me to people.
3. Serve someone else’s dream. As you serve you learn. As you serve you grow. As you serve you develop character and work ethic that will take you a long way into living your own dream. Don’t sit back and wait for it all to fall into your lap but develop credibility with God and with others by living for the dream now by serving someone else’s dream.
If i want an opportunity, if i want my moment, then i must be faithful with other peoples dreams and serve where the need is. sometimes this means working outside my gifting, or doing something not glamorous or not noticed. but it develops credibility with people that can open doors. its NOT about me. its about what God is doing in His church, His body. together we work and serve and live. God holds the key to the promotion and to your dream but He has created His body for a reason. Be involved and connected.
4. Be who the dream needs you to be. Character matters. Character will keep you in your dream. Develop consistent integrity. Be prepared to go the right way and the long way and the wise way. Because it counts and it has reward.
Now i’m not talking about perfection here, but reality is that if you want to lead you need to have integrity and character. don’t expect talent to take you everywhere. talent with no character is no good. i believe God will hold the door closed if we don’t have the capacity to live and sustain the dream. because the dream really isn’t about you – its about people being drawn to God and walking with Him. i have seen the fall out from when leaders buckle under pressure and don’t have the character to sustain the calling. i don’t want that to be my legacy. my prayer is that God will continue to give me His wisdom and grace and i humble myself to make right choices that honour Him and encourage others.
5. Let the dream grow. your dream might look a bit fuzzy around the edges… that’s okay. Our dreams often grow as we live, serve and experience life. Position yourself in life to explore and expand your capacity.
As i said, when i got saved all i knew was that i wanted to preach. today i have the priv of speaking at our church a few times a year and at our women’s conf. i get to service lead and together with my husband we lead a housegroup. i lead a mums group and next year will be working closely with a group of young adults in a “gap year” course. knowing God and making Him known. i am living out my dream. my dream has evolved as God has revealed more of the picture and as i have grown and walked with Him.
“We have heard all about Jon’s dreams and passions, but do you have any Jenny?”
This question always makes me laugh because I know people are not going to like my answer.
Folks want me to say, “My passion is baking or sewing or photography.” We all have a definition of what really counts as a passion and often it most be artistic by nature. People essentially think you’re going to respond with something that is found on Pinterest.
But do you know what my passion is?
Raising our kids.
Being a mom.
Taking care of the Acuff house.
That is my definition and I don’t particularly care if other people think those passions “don’t count.”
They count to me.
Don’t worry about aging. Worry about not aging well.
It’s hard to say when a person reaches adulthood. Leaving mom and dad’s house, finishing college or getting a job don’t seem to automatically make a person an “adult” these days.
If anything, adulthood is a daily and gradual process of choosing maturity over immaturity. It doesn’t happen in one big moment, but over years of wise decisions. Adulthood is a sculpture carved over time. It’s a process of a person casting away their childishness and taking the shape of Godly maturity in their thoughts, words and actions.
Reasons to be Passive (Part 3) by Paul David Tripp
You and I live in these little, mundane moments. The character of a life is not set in three or four moments of huge significance. No, the character of a life is set in 10,000 little moments, one after another. The character formed in those innumerable little moments is what positions us to respond in the big moments of life (see the Parable of the Ten Minas, Luke 19:11–27.)
INFP: God, help me to finish everything I sta
ENFP: God,help me to keep my mind on one th-Look a bird-ing at a time.
ENFJ: God help me to do only what I can and trust you for the rest. Do you mind putting that in writing?
INTJ: Lord keep me open to others’ ideas, WRONG though they may be.
INTP: Lord help me be less independent, but let me do it my way.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
When I was in my early twenties, there was nothing I disliked more than conflict. I won’t use the tired cliché that I avoided it like the plague. But, since I just used it anyhow, I’ll admit I tried to navigate around conflict at any cost.
I was a ‘stuff it and smile’ kind of girl. The problem with pretending to be fine when you’re really not, is all that pent up steam will eventually come out. And if you’ve ever held your hand too close to steam, you know how it can burn.
A much healthier approach to the inevitable conflicts we all must deal with is to face the issue head on with grace and humility having asked ourselves one very crucial question. This question is so crucial that might I dare say not asking it could lead to extreme conflict escalationrather than relationship restoration.
So, what’s this crucial question?
Am I trying to prove or improve? That’s the question. In other words, is my desire in this conflict to prove that I am right or to improve the relationship at hand?
CLICK ON THE LINKS TO READ MORE!
**** notes from sunday morning at the river ~ guest speaker kristen williams
Matt 24:14 then the end shall come
The gospel expresses the kings dominion over everything
With the king comes the kingdom
Want the king more
Inherit what is promised
Faith and patience
Faith days NOW
Patience says NOT YET
We have an inward longing for a outward different reality that we do not have yet
When there is no revelation of Gods redemptive purpose
Live in a way today that prepares us for tomorrow
Run with the horses now
God wont promote you to a place that your character cannot withstand
Faith is expectation
Patience is contention
To become strong enough to carry it
Phil 3:12 I press on
matt 6:9 your kingdom come
Live on and love that tension
Because God is at work to shape us
Jacob wrestled with God and then walked with a limp
Faith with no patience produces shooting stars, here today gone tomorrow
Patience without faith produces hope less christians
James 1:17 even the wait is a perfect gift
Theologically and experiencally know that the kingdom is not now and now
John 16:33 in this world you will have pressure
See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work. Isaiah 54:16
**** notes from the best housegroup in the world – peter morton speaking
The test of success is even greater than the test of hardship
All about jesus
Leadership is using the influence you already have
3 do nothing
The kingdom of God is the influence of God
Change the way we see our lives
Often we just think of occupation
Perceive our identity not just by what I do but who i am
GOD THROUGH ME
At any given point in time
None of us need a title to be a leader
Eg fruit tree
What is in your life will come out
You don’t need a title to be empowered
What’s in the well will come up in the bucket
Do you think it matters how well a leader manages their personal life even if they can do the job?
Leadership always begins with us, with me
It’s not about principals but about character
We can only influence the world for God the same degree we are influenced by God
Guard your own time with God
Fly in the ointment
Intention doesn’t change anything, action does
Too many christians live without the anointing
What could your job look like with the power of God
Its not just a job
Dont box God in
Use your influence for the kingdom of God
Where the rubber meets the road
Having your personal life on order actually means you are mire flexible to be available to God
Disorganization is not spiritual
Creation shows order
Disorganization is sin
Not just personality flaw
Disorganization affects those around you
Bring it under the lordship of christ
1 use a diary
2 have a week view of your life
3 don’t leave things to the last minute
You will reap what you sow
How you treat leaders is how others will relate to you
No one ever has a problem with authority until authority tells them to do something we dont agree with
"I need my own set of default procedures for when selfishness, pride, impatience, anger, or bitterness rear their ugly heads. Because in the moment I feel them, I feel justified in feeling them and find them hard to battle. But God’s promises – His truths and examples from Scripture – are powerful enough to redirect me to the divine nature I’m meant to have." ~ Lysa Terkeurst ~ Unglued
When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. "I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ 1 Kings 2:1-4
Do what God tells you. Walk in the paths he shows you: Follow the life-map absolutely, keep an eye out for the signposts, his course for life set out in the revelation to Moses; then you’ll get on well in whatever you do and wherever you go. (1 Kings 2:3 MSG)
these are the first and foremost instructions that David gives his son.
the path to success and satisfaction is found in following God, obeying His commands, walking faithfully with Him.
sage words for a man that lived it and also lived against it. through experience David learned what really matters.
these things really do matter. they do lead to success. there are heaps of self help books and 7 steps to successful living guides, but seriously, there is a way that is right to live and a life pleasing God will be a rich life of satisfaction. i’m not going to say a life of happiness and happy happy joy joy, of ease and comfort… but it will be satisfying and i believe successful.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
our lives are not our own, they are for the glory of God. i want to be someone who walks with God.
how do we walk with God?
1/ practice the presence of God
2/ pursue His priorities
3/ pour out for His people
as christians its so important to pass on our wisdom and strategies to the next generation. we saw in joshua how important it was to pass on our faith to those following after us. we can share our life story, share our successes and failures, share what we’ve learned, share how God was and is real in our lives.
Psalm 78:4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 78:5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
Psalm 71:18 Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
Psalm 79:13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you for ever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise
Psalm 102:18 Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD:
Psalm 145:4 One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.