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I have one good reason why you should walk away from temptation right now.  God is better. Francis Chan.

“The point of your life is to point to Him. Whatever you are doing, God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is His. It is His movie, His world, His gift.”  — Francis Chan
The big idea today is that the depth of your character will determine the vertical depth and horizontal reach of your influence.
The further and faster your influence extends, the deeper your foundation of character and conviction must be.
Public service requires private submission.
Build who you are off the stage and behind the stage and beside the stage way before you start thinking about getting on the stage.
Have you ever met someone and they talked a good talk but didnt walk the walk?  How did you feel? Disappointed?  Let down?  As a youth pastor and as a person I am always thinking what is it like to live on the other side of me?  What do people see when they see my life?  Am I living in such a way that those who see me will want to know God more?
We all are growing credibility accounts with people – and our character will either make deposits or withdrawls in that account.
Spiritual maturity isn’t based on how much truth you know, but on how much truth you live.
Jesus is interested in our heart and our behaviour.  His mission is to transform us  The good news is we dont have to clean ourselves up ever to come to Him but that He is at work in us to make us willing to be transformed.  Christianity isnt a bunch of rules but about a relationship but the way we live our lives does matter and make a difference, first with our vertical relationship with God, and secondly in the horizontal relationships with the people in our world.

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“The point of your life is to point to Him. Whatever you are doing, God wants to be glorified, because this whole thing is His. It is His movie, His world, His gift.”  — Francis Chan


Sometimes God is doing something in your life for others to see.  Your life is part of a greater story that He is weaving, a bigger picture.  Sometimes the things that are happening in our life are not just for our own living and experience but for those around us.  God uses our lives to demonstrate His reality and grace.  

We are called to know Him and make Him known.

Jesus said to his disciples Lazarus is dead and for your sake I am glad so that you may believe.

At the tomb entrance Jesus prayed I have said this for the benefit of the people standing here, so that they may believe you sent me””

In the prison where Paul and Silas were chained and singing – the other prisoners were listening.  Paul and Silas’ captivity just wasnt about them but it was part of the bigger picture.


So what does this say about God?

It says that God is at work in all circumstances of my life. It says that He knows that is going on and that He is the master author of the story of my life. He is big enough to know all the plot twists.


Isaiah 55 says For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.


God is good. All the time. We say that, almost as a catch phrase. Nike, just do it. 30 seconds spray and walk away. Bazinga. May the force be with you. God is good. All the time.

But it’s not just a catch phrase. There is a reality there that sometimes we dismiss. Sometimes our heart says God is good when life is good. Full stop.  We dont allow the phrase to stretch over into other, more painful areas, of our life.

I was reading in Job the other night – and we know Job’s catch phrase – Though he slay me, I will trust Him” (job 13:15) – and in job 1 I was blown away again by Job’s response and real life action w hen he heard his sheep were dead, his camels were dead, his kids were dead etc

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said:

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I shall depart.[c]
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.’

We often colour God with the same crayolas humanity are coloured in. People have bad intentions. People have grumpy pmt days. People mess with ya. People vomit their own negative emotions over you. Their motivations are squewed and they’re living for number one.

But God is good, all the time. He doesn’t have bad intentions. He doesn’t have bad hair days. His motivations are correct. He isn’t messing with your life. Everything He does is filled with goodness. Everything He does comes from a heart of goodness. Everything He does is right. God does nothing by accident. He is an on purpose God.



What does this say about me?

“You’re either going to live your life defined by what you go through or by Who you belong to.” @Stevenfurtick


Jesus said in this life you WILL have trouble, but trouble does not need to define you or discourage you. You can rise because Jesus is risen. You can have hope because God is faithful to His promises. You can be joyous because God is at work. You can have peace because God gives peace despite what is going on around us.

My choice is to say YES to God and to believe. 

Those dark days may be the most richest, character forming, life changing of your life. They certainly were for Lazarus, for his sisters, for his community, for the disciples.

Jesus did something remarkable through Lazarus’ life and death that was on centre stage for everyone to see.  Lazarus’ death and then resurrection were for all to see.  They were part of a greater story that God was weaving.


What is God doing in your life? What does He want to demonstrate to the world around you? What is the big picture?


“From start to finish, this movie is obviously about God. He is the main character. How is is possible that we live as though it is about us?”
~ Francis Chan


took this adorable instagram snap on saturday morning at the civic theatre – we went to see BUBBLE MAN as a family, and with tony’s mum.  had a great time and the show entralled both kids and adults alike!  these two are my heart.  my joy.  have loved having them home for the hols and watching them grow to be best friends.




165942_3516248465233_595791959_n 179571_3516558232977_609252931_n

we arrived in the city early to orientate ourselves to tony took the kids for a walk up the road to see the sky tower and his mum and i found a mccafe and enjoyed planning more of her 70th birthday party




Bubbleman web_310x280

this is the BUBBLEMAN.  wow eh!  he does amazing tricks and scientific WOWs with bubbles.  the kids are hounding me to make bubble mixture now by the bucket load!






this was a pivotal quote from my message on sunday night to our seven pm service.  it still grips my heart.  GOD IS BETTER.  I’m speaking again this sunday morning so off to pray by the fire!



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.



so what are you totally loving this week?



… check out what other peeps are loving whatever day of the week it is over at MNM’s BLOG

things im loving

notes for my message tonight to the seven pm service @ The River



There are crazy love things we do for our husbands/wives and our kids…

Love makes us do crazy things

For the love of my kids I have helped coach a school rugby team, kissed snotty faces, endured dora all the way to tauranga, tried to learn the names of all the star wars characters/planets/space ship thingys

For the love of my husband I have “watched” car racing, made endless cups of coffee and always choose caramello chocolate, even though Turkish delight is my favourite, and even now that I cant have caramello I still buy it for him and watch him eat it… because I love him.

For the love of childrens church – tony has danced up the front at church

Because he loves me he watched Lost with me.

For the love of the all blacks last year people spent lots of money and painted their faces and yelled till they had no voice.

Love makes us do crazy things.

It changes our heart. It makes us see the world in a different light.

Love motivates us.

Crazy love COMPELS US

2 Cor 5:14-15 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.


The Greek word translated “compel” – literally means, “it PRESSES us,

– but it’s pressure, not from the outside, but from within.

– it is “motivational rather than directional”

– “The love of Christ GRIPS me”, one translation puts it.


Jacob rachel

Jacob worked 14 years for the hand of rachael in marriage. 14 years! That is crazy love!


Therefore a person who does not understand the love of God would accuse someone, could accuse you for being crazy.

Jacob was crazy to give up so much of his life for this chick

Abraham was crazy to believe he could be father of nations at the age of 100

Peter the disciple was crazy to leave the family business to follow Jesus

Rowena was crazy to go to afganistan

You are crazy for XXXXXXXXXXXXX

You’re crazy to not have sex before marriage or serial date

You’re crazy for tithing

You’re crazy for going to bible college instead of pursuing a lucrative career.

You’re crazy for praying and believing God

You’re crazy when you make choices to build your marriage even in the really hard seasons when culture says get divorced and find a new romance

You are crazy for stepping out and offering to pray for someone when they’re sick


The love of Christ leaves us no choice except to live our lives for Him.

So what does our life look like when we are compelled by Him?

  • WITNESSES: We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5:20
  • OBEDIENCE: Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. John 14:23
  • RIGHTEOUSNESS: “Has your relationship with God changed the way you live your life?”
  • FRUITYNESS: Galatians 5 outlines a list of characteristics of God that will be forming and growing in you – as you continue to say YES to God



The same verse can be translated with the word constrain – so instead of compelling us – For Christ’s love constrains us

Now I’d like to use a food analogy here:

This year I have gone on a gluten free diet because of the allergies I have. I am constrained and restrained from eating products with wheat in them. No white bread, no pasta, no tim tams, no caramllo chocolate… anything with wheat in it is really bad for me and makes me really sick. So I choose to be restrained and constrained in what I eat so that my body is healthy and strong.

If someone came and told me to go and knock myself out and eat toast with hot melted butter and lashings of marmite on it – I would restrain myself. If they waved it under my nose, tempting me with the aroma and delicious smells – I would restrain myself. Because I know the consequences. And I know the benefits of eating a restrained diet.

In the same way we live a restrained life – avoiding the things that are bad for us.

It’s as important to have a “not gonna do” list as it is to have a “to do” one.

Those things might be wrong relationships, lying, selfishness, ungodly ambition.

They might be giving into the anger, gossiping, watching porn, saying no to God when you know God is asking you to say yes.

Part of us might be tempted by those things – but we restrain ourselves because we have a greater value and a greater esteem and a greater love for God.

People again might think you’re crazy.

Why don’t you date that hot guy? So what if he’s not a Christian?

Let’s go out and get drunk on Friday night.

Who cares who I knock down as long as I am the best and get the promotion?

Skip church and work on sunday

Rather than ONLY telling teenagers "Live pure" we should tell them, "Do something great." Vision produces restraint.

  • ‘How far can I go before it’s considered a sin?’ instead of ‘How can I keep myself pure as a temple of the Holy Spirit?’
  • ‘How much do I have to give?’ instead of ‘How much can I give?’
  • ‘How much time should I spend praying and reading my Bible?’ instead of ‘I wish I didn’t have to go to work, so I could sit here and read longer!’

I have one good reason why you should walk away from temptation now. One reason. GOD IS BETTER.

2 Cor 5:14-15 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.


Compelling comes from being convinced



Most of us here, well esp us chicks, will remember and fairytale wish the famous line from Jerry mcquire, staring tom cruise. No not the “SHOW ME THE MONEY LINE” – but line where he says to renee zelwigger “you complete me.”

Often we can go on an idealist search for mr right or miss right to find that PERSON that completes us, that knows our heart, that hears us, that chooses us, that loves us unconditionally, that makes us whole.

Reality is JESUS is the only one that completes us. Relationships are great and finding the right person to marry and build a life with is awesome.

God’s crazy love for us can heal us and make us whole.

Now I am not saying this is a click your fingers one time encounter – it is progressive. Step by step. Day by day. Healing by healing. Choice by choice.

The great things God will do through you are going to grow in the soil of persistence, prayer, obedience and sacrifice. That means there will be plenty of plowing and pruning. That’s the way living things grow, whether you’re talking about vegetables or vision. The process is a time of strengthening. The process is the place where you lay down your pride and learn to rely totally on God. Most importantly, the process is the way we grow to know God. And that’s really the whole point. Steven Furtick

He is our comfort, hope, joy etc XXXXXXXXXXX

There is an interesting narrative in 1 Samuel 18 that I read recently. And I confess I read it and then asked God “what does this mean? How is this real in my life? Is there another layer to this story.” Because it’s kind of gory.

2 samuel 18 – don’t let something hang from the tree but let it die

2 samuel 18

David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7 There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great – twenty thousand men. 8 The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.

9 Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in mid-air, while the mule he was riding kept on going.

10 When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, ‘I have just seen Absalom hanging in an oak tree.’

11 Joab said to the man who had told him this, ‘What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior’s belt.’

12 But the man replied, ‘Even if a thousand shekels were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, “Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.” 13 And if I had put my life in jeopardy – and nothing is hidden from the king – you would have kept your distance from me.’

14 Joab said, ‘I am not going to wait like this for you.’ So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. 15 And ten of Joab’s armour-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.

16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes.

Absolm represents undealt with issues and conflict
Unmerited affections
Hanging in the tree branch
How often do we hang something on the cross, temporary, able to take it off…?
How often do we let it dangle there… at arms reach… “surrendered” but still available…? Come on – lets get real!

Kill it.

The love of God can only complete us and get us on that process when we let the love of God heal us and to heal us sometimes its gonna hurt!

When we totally give ourselves, open handed and open hearted to God, He completes us.

When we do those things that cost – like forgiveness, like grace, like love, like kindness, like laying down our rights, like being generous – its letting God form Himself in us.

When we don’t do those things we so want to do – we are killing that thing hanging on the tree instead of temporarily tucking it away out of sight out of mind.


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


God has begun a good work in your life and He completes you.

In 2 sam 19 we read how david mourns his son and how that affects his follows
Joab went to see david about his actions mourning over unresolved conflict and issues and tells him to act like the king and stand up into victory… for me this story isn’t about a father loosing his son, its about dying to self and about making the CHOICE for God, to choose FAITH and to choose actions of FAITH. To allow God to complete us by laying down those things that hinder us from walking with Him and walking into our destiny. David’s mourning and reluctance to let go could have ripped his nation apart. What you refuse to let God heal and destroy could rip your life apart.



This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 john 4:10

“It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.”

Francis Chan

“…I don’t have to worry about not meeting His expectations. God will ensure my success in accordance with His plan, not mine.”
Francis Chan






“…when we love God, we naturally run to Him-frequently and zealously. Jesus didn’t command that we have a regular time with Him each day. Rather, He tells us to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ He called this the ‘first and greatest commandment’ (Matt. 22:37-38). The results are intimate prayer and study of His Word. Our motivation changes from guilt to love.”  

Francis Chan,

“True faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God’s fidelity to His Promises.”
~Francis Chan






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