Prayer & Fasting

12-days-of-prayer-and-fastingToday we began 12 days of prayer and fasting as a Xcel Church. Corporately we are believing for some breakthroughs, especially as we head towards our Influence Conference in less than 3 weeks.

Personally too, many of us are taking this step of sacrifice and being intentional in our prayer and times with God to see change. This is definitely true for me and my family. But mostly prayer is all about relationship, to spend time with God, knowing God personally, more intimately and passionately.

In Ephesians 1:17 Paul prays that we ‘would know God better’ and that’s a great place to start, with such a simple yet very powerful prayer. After all, everything else flows from the health of our relationship with God. Plus it stops us from just coming to God with a ‘wishlist’ of stuff we think we need. Instead we just spend time with Him because it’s a good thing to do.

What are you praying and fasting for? What are you believing in faith for?

Be Encouraged Today

favour-001

Haven’t posted for quite a while. Lots going on. More about the book stuff later.

Today I was encouraged by the simple power of the Word of God. It’s ability to speak straight to the heart. To remind us of the greatness of God and how much He is for us and not against us.

Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! [Psalm 90:17]

Favour. An act of kindness beyond what is due or usual. Yet it’s more than just the favour of a friend, this is the favour of God. The grace, mercy, kindness, goodness and unfailing love of God kind of favour.

Establish. To set up on a firm or permanent basis. Speaks of strength and being unmovable.

I took time to pray this verse over my day, my family, my future, my church, and my friends. Why wouldn’t you. To experience the favour of God over all aspects of life and to know that the work of my hands would be established.

What verse has spoken to you today?

Kickstarter Project Nearly Done

book-headerSo at the beginning of the year I took the plunge and created a Kickstarter project with the aim of helping get my book published. There are just a few days left, so this is my final opportunity to say thank you to all those who have supported me and ask for others to possibly do the same.

Check out the video and hear about the heart behind the book and why I am so excited about it. You can support me for £10 (or more if you choose) and as a reward I’ll send you a proper copy of the book, rather than a download, if you prefer.

The challenge with a Kickstarter project is it’s all or nothing so I am hopeful that in the next 3 days I will hit the target and then the next step of making this book a reality can take place.  Check out all the updates too which let you know a little bit more of what the book is all about.

Fear Not

imgresGod is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear [Psalm 46:1-2a]

Yesterday in Church when these verses were spoken out they hit me, right in the head and in the heart. Talk about hearing something you needed to hear.

It’s difficult to explain, except to say that for some reason I was ‘chewed’ last night. Unsettled. It is amazing how easily something can get ahold of you and niggle at you, so the words ‘do not fear’ were like pure gold. Just what was needed.

To the stuff I just can’t seem to figure out at the moment. ‘Fear not’.

To the frustrations which don’t seem to moving. ‘Fear not.’

To the dreams that are not taking shape in the way I thought they would. ‘Fear not.’

For all who look ahead with a sense of ‘I don’t know’…’Fear not’.

God is with me. He is for me. His grace is sufficient for me. He has made me an overcomer. He is my refuge. He is my strength. A simple, but powerful reminder.

Which of Gods words are the ones you need to hold on to extra tight some days?

Be Willing to Learn from Others

In Genesis 18 we see Moses was doing a good job but the observation of Jethro was similar to what some of us maybe heard at school ‘could do better’.

He was getting the job done. He was making progress but the wisdom of Jethro brought insight to Moses he may never have seen. Sometimes we can be so busy doing what we do, we never consider there could be a better way.

Learn from Moses how we can always be learning and looking for ways to improve our leadership effectiveness…

Listen. 

Listen to the right people. 

Listen to the right people who have a desire to see you succeed. 

Act on what you have heard. 

Become a leader who is willing to release others. 

Become a beyond you leader. 

Be a leader who sees something in others which they may not see in themselves. 

I am thankful for a couple called Kevin & Tina Hudson who did this for me. Now I am trying to do the same for others. That’s the heart behind my book ’19’ which should be published later in the year.

When it comes to building a church, a business, a life even, then we have to be willing to learn from others and make changes if necessary.

What would you add to this?

17 Ways to Be BIGGER in 2017

big-001-001

Towards the end of 2016 I wrote a two posts about how BIGGER was going to be my word for 2017. Check them out: Am I BIG Enough? and Jesus was the BIGGER Person.

I meant to follow that post with some thoughts as to where we could be BIGGER in 2017, so here goes.  Are we BIG enough in 2017 to…?

  1. Try something new
  2. Break with traditions
  3. Acknowledge you are not big enough & keep growing
  4. Be a carrier of the vision (of church, work, your life)
  5. Serve others
  6. Love the less loveable. Love your enemies
  7. Rely more on God than on my self
  8. Make new friends
  9. Ask every day for the Holy Spirit
  10. Remain humble
  11. Make room for God by letting go of other things
  12. Keep asking God to ‘change me’
  13. Forgive
  14. Repent
  15. Stop complaining about what I don’t have and be thankful for so much that I do have
  16. Be passionate
  17. Live ‘as if’ this is all true

17 things for 2017 where I know I could definitely grow, become the BIGGER person, make more room for all that God can do with all of these in my life.

What do you think? Would you add anything else?

Continue reading

4 Keys to Seeing God Do the Impossible

hear-001-001

Walking with God is not that complicated. There’s not a formula but I do believe there are certain things we can do which can definitely make it easier.

Be willing to hear God’s voice.

Be willing to listen to what God is saying.

Be willing to obey what God is saying.

Be willing to trust what He is saying He can do.

In Luke 1 Mary demonstrates all four of these and she does so with such great simplicity of faith, it is quite wonderful. Let it be as you have spoken. I magnify You God. Look at what You are doing, through me and through this child to be born.

God speaks. She hears. She actually listens. She responds. She accepts. She obeys. She trusts.

In the rush of life we have to be ready to hear, to listen, to obey and to trust. There is power when we bring them all together. If we hear but don’t listen, we won’t understand what it is God is asking of us. Yet if we hear and listen but do not obey, we miss out on the fruitfulness of Gods full blessing. And we cannot obey and trust God in action if we do not know what He has been saying to us.

Only in the working of all four is there the full reward, the creation of something new in our lives, God making something seemingly out of nothing as we hear, listen, obey and trust. Then nothing is impossible. For ourselves, for the people around us, maybe even for the world.

Tell me why you would agree or not?

Build What Is Unseen

building-001-001

So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal [2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV]

Do you ever wonder what life could have looked like? I marvel at how God worked out so many ‘what if’ scenarios to get me to be where I am. How different could it have looked if at just one those pivotal moments I had chosen the other option.

Life is full of those kind of moment. We’ve all had them and, we will all have them again.

I may think that the substance of my life is based on what I can accomplish, how successful I am or what I accumulate along the way but I have come to recognise in reality, it’s not.

A life isn’t only built by all that we can see. Instead it is built by all that we cannot see.

I think this is why I love that I get to do what I get to, play my part in building local church. It’s too big for me to congratulate myself. In the breadth of eternity, what I’ve contributed is tiny.  And it’s not mine anyway – it belongs to Jesus, I am just a willing particpant, here to serve in the building.

When I get busy being someone who helps build Gods House, His church, my eyes are taken off the here and now, what I may think is important and they become fixed on what God wants. The things I can’t take with me. The things that are not temporary but eternal. Things like….

Faith exercised. 

People drawn to God. 

The making of disciples. 

Seeing lives being changed. 

A different kind of legacy. 

Treasures in heaven. 

I love Hebrews 11 where we read about a whole bunch of people who gave their lives for something they didn’t even get to see in the here and now. And they were happy with that.

They weren’t wanting to build something that could be seen now except to bring glory to their God. What they really built was an unseen future, one which others would get to enjoy in the here and now along with one they would enjoy for all of eternity.

Let’s be builders of the unseen. Less worried about what we have and give our lives to building others, building the church and thereby building our eternal future.