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Always moved by this creative presentation of the gospel

God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. Colossians 1:19-22

 

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God is all powerful, all knowing, wise, just, creative, The Creator capital T and capital C, He breathed out all the stars of every universe, every planet and atom is by His design and His will.  He is compassionate, mighty, just, holy, righteous, glorious, victorious, reigning….  His love is everlasting.

He hears our every thought and knows what we’ll say, before we say it.

He knows how many hairs we have on our head, and how many hairs we have on our toes.

And not just us, not just me, not just you, but every single person alive and breathing right now on the planet and ever was and will be.

Jeremiah 32:27 says I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?

Luke 1:37 says For nothing is impossible with God.

Zip. Nada.  Zero.  Nil.  Zilch.  Nothing.

There are no impossibilities for God.

With God ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE.  Nothing is in the too hard basket.

He has the power.

Leonard Ravenhill says “I want to see the glory of God invade this generation.” – we want the reality of the Kingdom of God to be evident here on earth – because that’s where the captives are set free, the brokenhearted mended, the sick healed, the blind see, the lost saved. It’s about giving real love to those who have only felt rejection or had to earn love in all the wrong places.  It’s about answers to those who have no idea who they are and what they are doing on this planet.  It’s about giving real hope to people who have no hope and feel like giving up, or who cut themselves or drown themselves in drugs and alcohol and sex because it’s the only way to process their pain.  It’s about being family to those whose families are broken.  It’s where people find hope, grace, forgiveness, eternity… It’s where broken people experience the love and grace of God – just like we have.

This generation is going to hell literally and figuratively and are we doing something about it?

It’s not about life on earth as we know it but about demonstrating supernatural reality.

We have this amazing gift of salvation and being able to really know God.  That wow God that I spoke about 2 minutes ago… who breathed out the stars and made the neck muscles on the giraffe do those things they do so a giaffes head doesn’t explode every time it bends down to drink….

We have to live that supernatural reality from the inside out.

This life isn’t what it’s all about.  It’s important YES – but it’s just a blink in eternity.  Life is more than breathing.  This is not the only realm there is.  Life is more than what we can touch and feel with our 5 senses.  It’s more than minecraft, facebook, wifi, more than Star Wars, more than keeping up with the jones or anything else like that.

So how do we make real the supernaturalness of our lives and see His Kingdom Come?  How then should we live?

The challenge between Elijah on Mt Carmel tells of the Greater Story. Jesus came and lived and died so that you could be friends with God. He stretched His arms out on the cross, on the top of another mountain, and proved that nothing is impossible for God, and that God deserves all the glory, all our lives. It wasn’t the blood of bulls that was shed and sacrificed but the blood of a perfect man who laid His life down for me and for you. It wasn’t 3 jars of water that made it impossible for Jesus but 3 days in the grave – but it could not stop God’s power! Jesus died on the top of that hill and proved once and for all that God’s love is real and that God’s grace is real and that God is real.

And His death issues the same challenge as Elijah did. If the Lord is God, follow Him.

“When we know the truth about God, it fills us with wonder. If we fail to understand his true character, we’ll never be amazed by Him. We’ll never feel small as we stare up at Him. We’ll never worship Him as we ought. We’ll never run to Him for refuge or realize the great love He’s shown in bridging the measureless distance to rescue us.” Dug Down Deep / Joshua Harris

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I’m going to give you 5 reasons why God blows my mind… and should or could blow yours

  1. God is so creative

It never ceases to surprise me how radical and creative God is.  And every day scientists are discovering new things, not only about the universe and stars, but about our own planet and even our own bodies.

In fact, scientists discovered 18000 new species last year!

Did you also know that if you stretched out your DNA code it would stretch all the way to the sun and back 4 times!  It would stretch out to the moon and back 1500 times!

The human genome, the genetic code in each human cell, contains 23 DNA molecules each containing from 500 thousand to 2.5 million nucleotide pairs. DNA molecules of this size are 1.7 to 8.5 cm long when uncoiled, or about 5 cm on average.

You have about 10 trillion cells in your body, so if you stretched the DNA in all the cells out, end to end, they’d stretch over 744 million miles. The sun is 93,000,000 miles away, so your DNA would reach there and back about 4 times!

And if you laid out all your veins from end to end you’d be dead.

Read the rest of this entry »

How many of you know what this is?

choc-milk1.0

Lewis Creamery Whikkakers Chocolate milk…

Earlier in the year a craze began in New Zealand.

People started posting about the milk.  Tweets.  Instagram.  Facebook.  Social media blew up.

Without any form of “official marketing” this milk became the hot new product.   It sold out in minutes.  People stalked the supermaket at delivery times.  It was sold on Trade Me for $60 a bottle!  It became an overnight viral sensation and a marketing legend.  In the six months since its been on the market I have only seen it on the shelves TWICE.

Soon there were news stories and rumours of security guards stationed in the milk section of the supermarket.

Some people in this room travelled to TEN supermarkets to buy a bottle.

If you hadn’t had one, you wanted one.

If you had one, well, you wanted to tell people that you were part of the exclusive “I’ve got milk” club.

There was unashamed bragging and sharing.

The word was out.

Chocolypse was here.

 

Now you may be wondering what chocolate milk has to do with the glorious gospel? Read the rest of this entry »

Last night we had our official kick off 2015 for HKC Youth @ The River.

We had some worship, games and then I spoke.

Being the first night I wanted to tell them a little bit about my own story….

 

I thought I’d begin by telling you a bit about my story.  You see, even though I am WAY older than all of you, I once upon a time, a long long time ago, was a 16 year old girl, who wore all black, who didnt know God and was lost in life.   But one day that all changed.

My family  moved around lots because of my Dad’s job.  Every 2 years we moved to a new town.  I was born in Whangarei and have lived all over NZ – from the north to the deep south in a tiny town called Edendale and Gorrrrrrrrrre.  It’s where i get my accent from.  So you’ll hear the extra R’s when i say church, Lord, worship, purple work shirt.

Anyway when I was 16 we moved to Blenheim.  Now the difference between Gore and Blenheim for me was huge.  I went from a co ed school, with about 300 guys and girls, to a girls only school, with over 1000 girls in it!  Yikes!  Culture shock!

One day in my Classics class a girl I sat beside me asked if wanted to go to youth group with her.  I looked at her and said “do they have boys there?”  She was like, “duh, yeah”.  So i was in!  Yip, I went to youth group to meet guys.  Man God is sneaky sometimes!

But notice – it was her invitation that got me along to youth group.  I wonder who you sit beside?  Who has God put in your life that He is wanting to show His reality and love to?

Anyway, I went along and on the first night there was someone there, yes a guy, with a guitar and he said we’re going to have worship now, and he then prayed.  Everyone closed their eyes and bowed their heads and I was woah, what is this?  What is happening?  But then my woah turned into a WOAH because I had this sudden realization that God was real and that I could know Him.  That I MUST know Him.

I went along to their Easter Camp, knowing I was going to become a Christian.  I didn’t know what that meant but I was ready to give my everything to Jesus.  I think I thought that being a Christian meant I would have to wear gray, be really boring and never listen to heavy metal music again.  But that sense that it would be all worth it was so strong that I was ready to wear gray, be boring and listen to nuns singing soprano.  Forever. Read the rest of this entry »

Flowers by Passion | Cereal Magazine

Nothing About You Is The Gospel…And That’s Good News – Tullian Tchividjian

How often have you heard the gospel equated with a positive change in a believer’s life? “I used to __________, but then I met Jesus and now I’m ___________.” It may be unintentional, but we make a serious mistake when we reduce the good news to its results, such as patience, sobriety, and compassion, in the lives of those who have heard it. These are beautiful developments, and belief in the gospel does produce such fruit. But the results should not be confused with the gospel itself. The gospel is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself.

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Here Is What Happens When Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Makes A New Year’s Resolution

ENFP

“I resolve to make less than thirty new years resolutions this year, and keep at least two of them.”

Outcome: Stays up for fourteen straight days in an attempt to complete first resolution and subsequently ends up creating fifteen more.

ISTJ

“I resolve to be less regimented and spend more time relaxing.”

Outcome: Schedules relaxation between 3:15 and 3:42pm each afternoon, during which time they create detailed lists of how they will relax on following days.

ESFP

“I resolve to party less… On weeknights… Before 5pm.”

Outcome: Drunkenly announces their resolution to five hundred of their closest friend on Thursday January 1st, at the bar, at 4pm.

ENTJ

“I resolve to screw over marginally less of my colleagues as I fearlessly charge towards success.”

Outcome: Keeps a detailed chart of co-workers they are not preying on. Eventually hires a colleague to manage this chart as a distraction while the ENTJ rises above them professionally.

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NINE QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU EXEGETE PEOPLE – Paul David Tripp

Here are nine helpful questions to ask yourself as you attempt to be a student and exegete of your people:

  1. What are the cultural idols that are particularly attractive to my people?
  2. Where do they tend to buy into an unbiblical worldview with its accompanying hopes and dreams?
  3. Are there themes of spiritual struggle that I need to speak to?
  4. Where do they tend to get discouraged and need the hope of the gospel?
  5. What is the level of their biblical literacy and theological knowledge?
  6. How many of them are actively involved in service, and how many are “ecclesiastical consumers”?
  7. What do they tend to struggle with in the workplace?
  8. What do they wrestle with at home?
  9. What are they reading, watching, and listening to, and how are they influenced by it?

These questions – or others will similar heart-focus and lifestyle recognition – will help you in your preaching, teaching, and counseling as you connect the transforming message of the gospel to the real experiences of the people God has entrusted to your care.

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Don’t Miss These Three Markers for Discipleship -Ed Stetzer/Pastors.com

What Are We Missing in Discipleship?

Lately there’s been a lot of talk about spiritual formation and discipleship, and rightfully so.

I think we can all agree there’s a discipleship deficit in many churches. There isn’t a whole lot of discipling going on, even though that’s precisely what we, as Jesus’ followers, were commissioned to do—make disciples.

So leaders are asking questions like, “What should we do?” and “How should we do it?” There are plenty of successful models that have been tried in a variety of contexts. But how can we best make disciples right where we are?

There are plenty of discipleship books and models. But what can we learn about discipleship from Christ and the early church? In this series of articles, we are looking at four discipleship principles found in Scripture:

  • Maturity is a goal for disciples.
  • God wants you and your church on a clear path toward spiritual growth.
  • God involves us in our own growth, as well as our church’s growth.
  • God calls you and your church to be spiritual leaders.

 

How can it be?

That God loves me, despite all my sin and flaws?

How can it be?

That I am loved so greatly?

I am loved.  I am loved.  I am loved.

All because of Jesus.

All because of the cross.

 

 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

“This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all.”
— Brennan Manning

The heart of the Gospel is the pierced heart of the Son of God. It is all there, at the cross. God horrified and assaulted by our sin, our clenched fist in His face and His breathtaking act of turning that same cross into the instrument of redeeming love, reconciliation and salvation. He died for those who killed Him. By His blood He forgave those who spilled it. That is the Gospel story.  Reinhard Bonnke

 

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