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I love how the old testament has so many things that happen in real life that picture something supernatural and spiritual.

Take for example when the Israelites were in the wilderness, fleeing from exile, heading towards the promised land and they were hungry.  Their reaction always amuses me – they were slaves in Egypt, treated terribly, forced to work in extreme conditions, oppressed and persecuted, yet here they complaining and wishing they were back in Egypt where I quote “here we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”  Now from reading previous chapters of the conditions they faced I’m not sure their filter was accurate.  They’re painting their past like it was satisfactory and forgetting that they belong to the God of miracles who split the sea to set them free.   And I confess I have read it and gone silly Israelites, you are so stupid, how could you forget your God, oh ye of little faith.

Until God reminded me, that I too am like a silly Israelite, forgetting my God, oh me of little faith.

We have moments in our life when the journey when hardship comes from left field, or things aren’t working out like we expected and we forget that the God who does miracles is with us and for us and at work doing a zillion things behind the scenes but we might see only 3 of them.

Gods solution to their complaining met their needs on a practical level but also on a spiritual level.  God provided manna that would fall every morning – like a supernatural bread that would appear around them – that they were to gather every day.  They were to gather just enough for that day for themselves or their families.  There were of course some that tried to hoard but when they went to open their manna pantry the next day their manna had rotted and was filled with worms!

Everyday they had to gather the manna for that day.

Everyday they had to find their satisfaction in God.

Everyday they got a tangible reminder that God is with them and for them.

Everyday they got a reminder that they are special to God.

Something in real life that reveals something supernatural and spiritual.

Everyday we have to gather the manna for our day.

Everyday we have to find satisfaction in God.

Everyday we need that tangible reminder that God is with us and for us and that we are His children and that He loves us with a never ending love.

Now we’re not heading out the backdoor to the lawn to pick up the days kai, our manna is time spent with God, in His word, in prayer, in worship and its not filling our bellies but filling our spirits and souls with peace, hope, grace and wisdom that being in God’s presence gives.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that we do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God.

The passion bible puts it like this: Bread alone will not satisfy,[d]
but true life is found in every word,
which constantly goes forth from God’s mouth.”

 

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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?

 

 

 

 

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OUT OF THE OVERFLOW – I sleep with the Pastor

We must start living our daily lives, and doing ministry out of the overflow of God. People need Jesus more than they need me, or you. We need to start praying for God to root all of us out, so we have more room to fill Him in. I want when people to see me to see Jesus. I want when I leave a place, or a conversation for people to desire more and more of Jesus. I want them to experience Jesus, not Jessica.

May the anointing of God start filling us, and the places we go. We sing these songs to be the lights of this world, or songs to fill us up and send us out. But are we just sleeping and singing corporate karaoke or are we truly awakening to the power of the words of these songs and desiring every cell in our body to be covered by Jesus.

 

 

The Mr. Miyagi Guide to Practicing Your Craft Jeff Goins

Remember that scene from The Karate Kid in which Mr. Miyagi made Daniel wax his car? (What — you’ve never seen that movie?! Shame on you. Go watch it now. It’s a classic!)

The point of the exercise wasn’t to teach Daniel how to buff. It was to teach him the fundamentals of a craft he didn’t understand.

So Daniel spends weeks doing this repetitive, boring task, without really understanding why. Over and over again, he scrubs that car until it shines like nothing else — until finally he can’t take it anymore.

He didn’t sign up for this. He wanted to learn Karate. He wanted to be awesome. And this felt like a chore, a waste of 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.

 

 

Why superheroes don’t inspire us anymoreTyler Ward

What social research says about the power of vulnerability at work & at home.

Research shows that projecting as if we have it all together is both “dated” and “destructive.”On the contrary, when we’re willing to take off the masks of who we “should” be to admit who we currently are, we create a human connection that is not only necessary for relationship, but critical to inspiring (or leading or helping) others.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of inspiration. Brene Brown, a long-time student of vulnerability and the author of “Daring Greatly,”says it this way:

Our ability to be vulnerable forms the basis for our connection with others, a connection that is critical if we are to inspire others. (Read more)

Vulnerability inspires change. Peter Fuda and Richard Badham spent 5 years studying the effects of vulnerability in a professional workplace. Their conclusion?

When a leader (read: parent, pastor…etc) admits their own weakness, it invites a mutual accountability that creates momentum for change. This act of humility is seen as courageous and inspires others to follow suit. As more members of the team join the process, the snowball becomes more tightly compacted and almost impossible to stop.

 

 

 

Focus, Perspective, and Leading Well – Christine Caine

THE MORE LIFE I LIVE, AND THE MORE CIRCUMSTANCES I FACE, THE MORE CONVINCED I AM THAT IN ORDER TO FULFILL OUR CALLING, WE MUST BE SELECTIVE IN THE THINGS WE LOOK FOR IN LIFE.

If we as leaders truly desire to live out our God given purpose and destiny, we must make the decision to follow God with our whole hearts and maintain a passionate faith walk. I have come to the realization that the perspective we maintain actually determines the purpose in which we walk in.

As leaders it can be easy to become distracted and miss the plans and purposes God has for our lives because our focus is on unimportant, insignificant things (that just happen to be screaming the loudest for our attention!).

 

 

4 Places to Encounter Jesus That May Surprise You – Jonathan Merritt

A few years ago, I found myself in a time of profound spiritual emptiness. I’d been working in the church world for many years and my time of service was a period of sweet struggle. Crafting sermons, trying to make much of Jesus. Calling people to faith, and reminding those who found it to keep doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

BUT SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY MINISTRY HAD BECOME A JOB. ANOTHER WAYPOINT IN MY EFFORTS TO SAVE THE WORLD. I SPENT MORE TIME TALKING ABOUT GOD THAN TALKING TO HIM. MORE TIME DESCRIBING GOD’S PRESENCE THAN BATHING IN IT.

I had become a travel agent pointing to God like a far-off tourist attraction when I should have been travelling there myself.

I tried to balance my increasing workload with budding writing opportunities, a juggling act that often left both efforts unfinished. I was moving bricks from one stack to another. Worse still, I was moving farther away from the God I wanted so badly to draw near to.

So I decided to take a journey to meet the God of the Bible. What I discovered is that Jesus often shows up in unexpected spaces.

 

 

+ this great one:

If I’ve learned anything about dreaming, it is thisJon Acuff

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