A Day in the Life of Xcel

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Sunday ~ what a day. It doesn’t happen by chance. We pray like it depends on God but BIG UP to the teams that work like it depends on them!!

Here’s some of the things I love about my church…

3 locations. Multiple teams. All about lifting the name of Jesus and with a desire to see transformation in local community. It’s a beautiful thing. The willingness of so many volunteers to come early for set up, sound check and to pray together.

Troubleshooting. Things don’t always run smoothly. The ability to take on an issue and just get on with it, no fuss, no big panic, it is fantastic. Here’s the best thing too, most people wouldn’t have even realised that anything went wrong. Me included sometimes.

Worship. Such an excitement about the place as we get ready to record a live album on Sunday 11th September. Checkout this short clip from yesterday and another new song. Save the date!!

That we are building something for God. Never underestimate the power of a big vision to engage. The Xcel 2020 vision is bold but full of opportunities for some ‘only God’ moments. There is a place for everyone to participate.

The people. Just love the heart of the people. Love that they are with us on the journey. I know we may not always agree on the best way to do things and that’s ok. That’s family. We can have our discussions and then we get on with it. People are what this is all about. Connecting with Jesus. Connecting with others within Xcel. Connecting with those who don’t Jesus yet. It doesn’t get any better than that.

I could go on. The adventure is on and I am glad to be a part of it. Why not join us this Sunday and find our for for yourself what all the fuss is about. Check out the website

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Less of the Secular

Listened to a Pastor last week make a passing comment about ‘not really doing secular’. 

It’s an interesting comment, one I do not have the full context of, but one that has certainly made me think. It’s made me observe my life too. 

  • Am I loving the secular too much? 
  • Does my love for the secular squeeze out my love for God?
  • Do I try and live too close to the edge  of my faith so I still ‘fit in’?
  • Should I give some stuff up in response to what Jesus gave up for me?

I think the answer to all of these questions is probably ‘YES’. If we are honest, the answer for nearly everyone would be ‘YES’. 

It’s so easy to fill time with anything. I’m not advocating the need to throw out the television or be quite so dramatic. For me it’s more a need to reflect and have a willingness to be really honest with myself. 

  • What actually do I think I can’t live without?
  • What behaviours as a Christian just make a mockery of me saying that I am a Christian?
  • Why am I wiling to settle for such a low standard when Jesus had called me to live the full life He has won for me?

It can be tough being a follower of Jesus. It can involve choosing to not do stuff that others consider normal. And here’s why…because the life God has for any of us is far superior to any temporary pleasure we can enjoy in the moment. 

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt 6:33)

Trust in the Lord, and do not lean on your own understanding (Prov 3:1)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬)

If you are a Christian I would love to know what you think about this. 

Being a Pioneer

Fantastic time at Influence 2016. So much to think about and digest. Definitely had a spiritual deposit from being in Gods house all day.
 

Tonight Mal spoke about being a pioneer. Here are my notes. So much said, I did my best…

Romans 15:20-21

  • Every great venture has begun with a pioneer. 
  • God is raising up a new pioneer generation – people who will create a path for them and for others to follow

1. Godly pioneers are divergent thinkers 

  • people tend to be satisfied by the easiest answer they can obtain – convenience
  • divergent thinking – are there opportunities that have never been done, things never explode before
  • they have a broad adjacent possible – take what’s around you to form new ideas
  • Learn by education
  • Learn through revelation
  • We need both
  • divergent thinking is important across all avenues of life 

2. Pioneers are big hearted people
Luke 7:19 – Great pioneers are not offended by who God uses next

3. Great Pioneers travel light
If you want the messages they will become available via our website very soon

What has been your highlight of the day?

How Time Flies

 
Who is this man with my children? So freshed faced and young looking. My girls so cute and loveable.

This picture from about 11 years makes me think…

Time flies. 
How easy it is to forget what you’ve done and where you’ve been. 
Nothing stays the same. 
I look old now. And have a beard!
My family are beautiful. 
They still are but just not that little anymore. Still cute though. 
What have I done with those 11 years?
What will I do with the next 11 years?

None of us are getting any younger. So making the most of every moment, living with purpose and for a cause bigger than yourself is so important. 

I am adamant that being involved in building local church and being in relationship with God has kept me young. Maybe not in the natural as we cannot stop that, but definitely young in spirit.

How has time flown for you? 

Ready For Lift Off

Just sat in the airport waiting, enjoying a coffee before heading off to Bangalore. Excited for the adventure, if not a little nervous because it’s a new experience. 

But I’m ready for lift off. Not just in the literal sense, also in the spiritual sense. Surely the adventure with God is about making your life available to Him and then going along for the ride. 

My trust is in Him for the next 5 days as I step off a plane to be part of making history with my fantastic Xcel Church. 

Things I know I will experience this week…

New culture. 

New foods. Might even get to eat with my hands too. 

New people. 

New Xcel location. Moving things forward. 

Mission trip preparation. Getting stuff ready for the team coming out in August. 

More than all this, I get to hang out with Immy. To encourage him, help him and pray with him for the future of Xcel Bangalore.

Please play your part and pray for us as we travel, for favour, for protection and for no dodgy tummy. We will see you on Sunday with a whole bunch of stories to tell.

5 Ways to Staying Healthy in My Role

Reflecting again on those things that are important to me that I believe help me to stay healthy in my role ~ as a husband, as a Father, and as an Executive Pastor in my local church.

Keep reading the Word of God. Every morning, be it 5 minutes or longer, I was check out the scriptures. Sometimes it’s part of a devotional I may be doing, other times it just picking it up and reading a portion. Either way, it is food for my spirit and just one key way in which I maintain my spiritual health.

Keep praying. And not just for myself. Each day I have specific things or people that I pray for. This has been a disciplined approach otherwise I would just pray for me all the time and I really don’t think that is right. I journal my prayers to help keep me focused cause my mind can easily drift, plus I have a record too of all that God has done for me.

Time with my family. They may not consider lounging about watching the television as anything special but often our just being in the same room is enough to keep my soul refreshed. We may play a game, watch a film or go out somewhere, that’s not the most important. To keep me healthy it’s about being with the people who the most special to me.

Doing a good days work. I love helping to build local church. It’s definitely where my heart is and I feel that I am in the right role. I like to know that what I am doing is making a difference and helping to bring the vision to pass. My soul is stronger and healthier when I have permission to be in my role, am empowered to lead and to help get stuff done, either just me or with others.

Getting a good nights sleep. Work hard, play hard and then sleep well. Enough said. If I don’t have enough energy for what God is calling me to, the person to blame is usually me. I’m not going to let tiredness from late nights be the reason God doesn’t use me.

One thing you notice as you read about successful people is that they not only had ideas and dreams but they were also willing to learn and discipline themselves to see those ideas and dreams actually happen. It was usually the simple things that would bring the greatest reward.

What would you add to this list?

Destiny Can Need a Tough Call

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you [Genesis 12:1]

Walking with God is not easy. Anyone who says that has never really tried to. If you are Christian, one endeavouring to live the full life that you believe God has called you to, then one thing is probably certain ~ you will have experienced how tough it can be.

Living out your God-given purpose may require a tough call.

A CALL to GO
Abram’s call to GO had him leaving his country, his family, and his home. We may be asked to do the same but even if we are not, the call from God will still be one that needs us to GO.

To GO into all the world, to GO to our neighbours, to GO the lost, to GO to those in need, to GO and be an example, to GO and make a difference. However insignificant it may seem to us, to the one that you go to, it may just change their life.

A CALL to TRUST
Abram didn’t know where he was going, God just said that He would show him. Being willing to go involves stepping out in faith, uncertain of how the future may unfold, but confident in the one who is unfolding it.

Faith by its very definition is believing in those things you cannot see. That can be tough. Many times we have to begin to move as God directs before He will reveal the purpose or the direction we should move in.

A CALL to ADVENTURE
Abram stepped out and into a journey to ‘somewhere’. He placed his fragile human life into the hands of an almighty and powerful God. It would turn out to be the best decision he could ever make, the adventure of a lifetime as he continued to go and to trust in God.

A CALL to RECEIVE
At the time Abram may have wondered how it would all turn out, I know I may have thought that way. Follow his life and you discover a man who received all that he needed from God.

As we go, trusting and experiencing God at work in our lives, we too will never be left helpless or forgotten by Him. Abram would become the Father of many nations. We may not have the same reward but we have rewards nonetheless. Instead we will build up treasure in heaven, the most secure kind to accrue.

Q: How have you found what God is asking you to do tough? Why not spend some time today thanking Him for all that He has done for you as you have continued to journey with Him?

The Future Awaits

When I was 19 I was given the opportunity to lead a youth group. Little did I know that this was the beginning of my future. A journey in leadership was taking it’s very first steps. Just like a toddler, I wobbled and fell a few times but through the encouragement of others, I got back up again and took some more steps.

Is that where you are? First opportunities are coming your way. The future has started and is waiting for you to make your way towards it.

Psalm 37:23 tells me that the steps of a good person are ordered by the Lord. One step at a time. Maybe we over complicate it but the simple aspect of one step is often all it takes. Yet we must take them with care. I heard something this week which has reminded me about how easy it can be take a wrong step.

We are one step away from greatness. One step away from being incredible for God. 

Or maybe we are one step away from a great act of stupidity. One step away from making ourselves invisible for God. 

I wonder why some people can navigate through life while others fail or give up on the journey. The balance between one and the other can be that fine. Every crucial moment, every challenge, every decision, every action ~ can take us one way or another.

The future awaits, if we stay focused. It can still be reached even if we mess up or have messed up along the way. The key is getting back up and taking another step.

The Apostle Paul encourages us to run as if to win. To not allow anything to hinder us or to allow anything to cut across us while we run our race.

As we take those seemingly fragile steps into the future let’s do so understanding the awesome power of God available and on our lives.

Let’s care enough to not hinder ourselves. Let’s run with enough determination that nothing will impede us. Let’s focus on what’s going on around us that we never allow ourselves to become shackled by opinion, persuasion or pride.

Your future awaits. Take that next step towards it and enjoy the journey as it unfolds before you. And never give up, even when you mess up. Just get back up an take another step. God loves it when we do that.