I was nudged with this thought in regard to my walk with God but it could relate to anything that is considered important ~ God, marriage, family, work, your business, a dream, the future.

Don’t be flip. Don’t be so casual about it as to be seen as though you don’t really care. Don’t take it so lightly or exert no effort towards it and expect whatever it is to be healthy, remain healthy and be full of life and fruitful.

Don’t be flip. Like, whatever. Otherwise you’ll end up there one day and wonder how that happened. Don’t become lazy toward something that you say is important but instead, focus.

Flip the attitude around.

Flip the effort upwards.

Flip the behaviour to its right side.

Flip the laziness to one side.

Flip it. Turn things over. Start afresh. Repent. Get back on track. Begin again. Pick things up from where they were. Do something positive about whatever ‘it’ is.

Let’s take an honest look and flip things around if needed. Don’t settle, get comfy or make do. Let’s get stuck in to things we say are important and see what happens.

Eagerness or Excuses

In scripture we find a verse that tells us ‘if you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land‘. [Isaiah 1:19] 

Unfortunately the culture of today is often more unwilling and disobedient. We want to work less for more pay. We want to pay less tax but gain more benefits. We want to receive without contributing. We want a great future without all the effort.

John Maxwell tells the story about a young man asking a millionaire about his secret to success. ‘How did you make your millions?‘ is the question from the eager young man. ‘Hard work’ is the reply. After a moment the young man asks another question, ‘Is there an easier way?’

We want it and we want it now, yet I’ve learned that God doesn’t really work like that. We may have an eagerness for the things of God yet we seem unwilling to exert any effort on our own behalf. We expect God or someone else to do all the work.

We are willing but not obedient. Which means we don’t get to enjoy the good place we really want to be in. We are eager for the future plans and purposes of God but have a long list of excuses as to why it just can’t happen. And that makes me sad.

I am guilty of this myself, more times than I care to remember. Laziness. Procrastination. Ignorance. Pathetic excuses like ‘I’ve got no time’, yet I find time for some stuff that must make God laugh (otherwise He might cry).

Eagerness + excuses usual equals unfulfilled dreams, plans and purposes.

Willingness + no obedience equals not ending up in the good land that God has for me.

An unwillingness to pray means God cannot answer. One thing I know the best way to have prayer unanswered is to not actually pray. An unwillingness to act means the project, the dream, the idea will never happen. To many say ‘God said’ but then never follow through with any movement of their own.

God doesn’t need to change, we do, I do. The question is whether I am willing to. Can I, with Gods help and the Holy Spirit within me, overcome the daft reasons and obstacles so I live out His best for my life? The answer of course is a wholehearted yes, but only if the willingness is followed by some action, if the eagerness is not followed by excuses.

I would love to know what you think…

The Next Generation

Friday night at Xcel Church is youth night. Has been for many years. We are determined and purposeful about reaching and releasing the next generation.

We will always believe in them.
We will always point them to Jesus.
We will always help them know more about Jesus.
We will always encourage them towards their destiny.
We will always give them opportunities to have a go an duse their gifts.
We will always do our best to not get in the way of them flourishing with God.
We will always pray for them.
We will always show genuine care for them, where they are right now and will be in the future.
We will always make space for the next generation.
We will always make sure that they know we are here for them.

If we don’t then the next generation will not discover how amazing they are and all that God has for them.

Big up to our amazing Planet Youth team who sacrifice every Friday night and more to pour their lives into a bunch of young people. It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.

Play your part too. Do them a favour and pray for them, thank them and stand with them as they do all they can to reach and change a generation.

A Bigger Life

‘Please hear this dream I have dreamed’ [Genesis 37:5]

Adam had all of creation presented to him
Noah was party to the future of the world
Abraham was told to imagine having sons more numerous than the stars
Jacob wrestled the Angel of God
Joseph saw his life in the way that God saw it….BIGGER

Walking with God is living life at a higher level. Living life with a panoramic view.

Life can only truly be at its biggest when we place God at the centre of it. Joseph had a sense of his future based on this thought, although I’m sure he didn’t see it exactly as it happened. He just made a determination to walk with God, the rest was the adventure of living it.

A dream though is one thing. Holding on to it through all eventualities is something completely different. Unfortunately many people don’t make it. Feelings and emotions can get in the way. Problems and challenges can become obstacles that seemingly cannot be overcome.

Joseph held on to what he knew. God was for him. God had a plan for his life. He walked as someone who had faith in his God. I think even if the dream had not been fulfilled he would have held on to his faith. It was after all the most important thing to him. It’s what helped him make decisions along the way and it’s why Gods favour was on him wherever he happened to be.

When it comes to my walk with God I look at Joseph and some thoughts come to mind…
I want that same kind of life.
I want to live with that greater level of faith.
I want to see my future in the way that God sees my future.
I don’t want my emotions to get in the way of the BIGGER life that God has for me.
I am determined to keep the main thing the main thing.

How about you? What’s the dream God has given you? 
What will you make sure doesn’t get in the way of holding on to your faith?

Your Power of One Experience

Been a great series at Xcel Church.

I think these conversations and connections were already happening but talking about them has increased our awareness of them. [It’s a bit like choosing a new car. You thought there weren’t many about but from the point of choosing you start to see them everywhere. It’s got a special name but can’t remember it] Maybe it’s demystified them for us. The fact that we don’t need to see salvation in every conversation for it to be considered good. One conversation is just one step. We sow the seeds, we water the seed BUT God brings the increase.

So what’s your experience been?
What’s your power of one story?
Had any great conversations?
Been surprised at the easiness of it?

I’ve been stuck with my thought on the power of one idea. I have an idea that we could ALL help one another with our ideas. Taking the philosophy of the early church and how they worked to make sure that everyone had everything they needed…maybe this idea could work.

On our own we can get so far. Some of us might even make it. For most…we have an idea, don’t know how, so give up. What could we achieve if we got the right people round us. Not just for encouragement but with resources. As John Maxwell says ‘No one is as clever as all of us’.

What is your idea?
What’s that one thing you would pursue if you thought it would succeed?

How could you help someone?
What one thing could you give for free [perhaps]?

[Before someone comments – there are sites out there sort of like this]

Making Breakthrough…[Day 53]

Looking back…I talk a lot about breakthrough.

Sometimes I do feel like David in the Psalms when he asks of God ‘How long?’

Had a thought today though…my job is not to reason with God about the breakthrough but to just keep standing on the Word, to keep trusting in His statutes, to remain blameless before Him, to seek after God and right standing with him.

The small words will then become my experience. Words like…
…it came to pass…

‘Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord’ (Ps 119:1)

This week as I have been praying my level of expectation has increased. The confidence that God is about to do something incredible…I am becoming slightly giddy at the prospect. I cannot underestimate this Sunday at Xcel Darlington. The ‘coincidence’ of preaching a new series ‘Turning Points’ and then in your prayer times feeling like God is saying that this is a ‘turning point’ for Xcel Darlington cannot be missed. I am not one for ‘spiritualising’ stuff for the sake of it. But I cannot escape these thoughts.

Xcel Darlington partners…don’t miss out. This WILL BE a history making weekend. I realise that we plant, others water and it is God that brings the increase but, hey…we still have to play our part – right?

What do you think?

Massive…If You Dare

Massive March continues. Pastor Chezz is coming to Darlo. Don’t miss out. 11am @ the Dolphin Centre.

Massive March is not just about growing Xcel – although that’s what we want. It’s also about growing ourselves. 1 year on…we can be MASSIVE…if we dare.

Dare to believe.
Dare to pray.
Dare to dream.
Dare to invest in yourself.
Dare to bring.
Dare to invite.

Xcel Church can make God famous. Make God MASSIVE in this region….IF YOU DARE.

Do you?

Make 2009 Your Best Year

New Year resolutions. Most people make at least one. The change of year is a great time of reflection, looking back on what the last year brought and then believing for better in the next. Problem: good intentions are not always enough. Many of them never fulfil the promise.

There are many things that could help…

1. Set some goals
Make them specific and measurable. Be realistic but with an element of stretch involved. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

2. Make a list
How do you eat an elephant? The same attitude is needed to make goals a reality. What do you need to start doing to see the goals achieved? Break them up into bite size chunks then you can tackle them, one at a time, rather than trying to swallow the whole thing at once.

3. Remember the BIG picture.
One successful day doesn’t mean you have made it. One bad day doesn’t mean the goal can never be reached. Failing is likely to be part of the process, but it doesn’t make you a failure. Edison took 1600 attempts to get the light bulb working so keep that BIG picture of the future clearly in your sight.

4. Become accountable.
You can do this in many ways. Tell someone you trust about your goal. You are not necessarily after an opinion, just support, someone to ask you how you doing, are you on target. An accountability partner can work for you, if you are truly willing to hear what they say.

5. Get a Life Coach.
This is the next level but maybe paying for some coaching will add the value to what you want to see happen, encouraging you to stay on track. Check out excelyourself for more information about how a life coach can help, plus a great offer for 2009.

6. Celebrate.
Rewards along the journey are fantastic incentives. Mile markers are great. Where do you want to be in 6 weeks time, 3 months or 12 months time? What will it look like? How will you feel? When you get there – spoil yourself, have a day off, celebrate.

For more information on how coaching can help you, your team and your business…please contact me.