4 Keys to Seeing God Do the Impossible

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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?

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5 Things Leaders Think About

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A leaders view is usually different to everyone else. They have already seen where they want to take people. The vision is very clear. Just like standing on the mountain top on a clear day, seeing for miles in full colour, all around, a great panoramic view. The challenges lay more in how to take everyone on the journey, to help them to see the future and to want to make progress towards it.

Leaders maybe look out from the summit and wonder how shall we do this? They think about the difficult questions, the balance different aspects and facets of leadership and decision making like others on the journey with them may not.

From my limited experience here are 5 possible areas of thought (potential areas of disagreement)

Big picture  vs  Small details

Making decisions individually  vs  Making decisions collaboratively

Listening to the right opinion  vs  Ignoring the wrong opinion

Staying inside the lines  vs  Thinking outside the box

Honouring the past  vs  Living for today  vs  Building for the future

5 Ways to Help Leaders Think

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Here are 5 quick things I have learned when it comes to the thinking aspect of being a leader. I recognise this may not come easy to everyone but I have discovered the importance of the thinking the process, and how much it is an essential aspect of leadership which every leader must embrace.

To not think things through could be seen as ignorant, maybe lazy, perhaps a little dangerous.

Create Space. For me I have to be deliberate and block out time, even to the point of putting it in the diary as an appointment sometimes.

Learn they way which works for you. I like a clear desk and a pile of clean sheets of paper and then I am ready to go on the journey of thinking, noting down thoughts, questions, ideas which I can come back to later. To an observer it may seem like a curious process but I have learned over the years what works for me.

Honest Reflection. We have to be willing to ask the more difficult questions. It’s not about what I think is right for me but rather what is right for what or who I am leading, to which there is a subtle difference.

Good sounding boards. My personality is more introvert and therefore I naturally lean to sitting on my own to work things through. However, that is not the best kind of leadership. Getting the right people around me can help take my own good thoughts and make them even better. Plus it is good to be able to ask someone else who you trust and who shares the same vision, values and heart as you, ‘what do you think?’

Time with God. I can have great thoughts but what I really want are Gods thoughts. All of the above are only as useful as it is to make time to hear from God, what does He think, how is He wanting to lead and direct me. One of my favourite scriptures is from Proverbs 16:9 ‘A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps’.

There are benefits to thinking things through properly, none so more powerful than just not looking like you haven’t really thought about it. People are not always keen to follow a leader who doesn’t seem to care or give them confidence of any thought or preparation.

Thinking things through builds trust. It creates a greater sense of team, if we involve them too in the thinking process. It shares responsibility too. It reveals how much you actually care about who or what it is you are leading.

Why not take some time this week and create your own thinking plan. Think about how you will make time to think. I guarantee it will be worth it, for you and for your teams.

Any other suggestions in regard to this idea of leadership and thinking?

To Pioneer…You Can Go Back


Pioneers are all about moving forward. They are only focused on leaving the old and embracing new things.

Yes. I agree. But I also disagree.

Friends of mine recently moved from one place to go back to where they lived before. I imagine people asking them why were they going back and asking it in such a way that it comes across as negative.

But going back doesn’t have to be negative. In the same way that an arrow is pulled back to be launched, going back can be he same for us.


We can pioneer by going back to the old, to embrace doing things in a new way. That’s what some of my friends are doing and they are pioneering a new path for themselves and their family.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these pioneer posts. Let me know what you think.

Check out previous posts here…

To Pioneer…

Do Something Ordinary

Commit to the Journey

Be Willing to Learn

To lead well in life is to be willing to learn. It is to acknowledge that we don’t know everything, that we are not always right and that every day there are opportunities for learning. 

After all, we spend most of our life faced with multiple challenges and situations, things that demand our attention and ability to make decisions. To do this and lead ourselves well through them involves a continuous willingness to learn. 

Learn from our mistakes. Don’t just give up. Instead ask yourself what can I learn from this experience?

Learn from other people. Older and younger. Glean wisdom from all sorts of people. 

Learn deliberately through reading books or listening to podcasts. On all sorts of things but especially in those areas we need some extra wisdom. 

Learn that failure doesn’t have to be fatal. It is a natural part of the journey. We have to learn how to fail forward. 

Learn that just because it’s tough doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Just because it’s easier doesn’t make it right either. Not everything in life will go the way we want it to or expect it to. 

Learn to trust God in everything. Often the toughest one of them all but for those of us with faith in God, probably the most important. 

Learn in all aspects of life but especially in regard to handling money, dealing with people, your own emotional intelligence and how to make difficult decisions. 

How well we learn will have an impact on how we can lead well in life. If we struggle to lead ourselves well, then our ability to lead others is going to be limited. 

What learning would you add to this list?

The Cross of Christ: Be Made Right

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new [2 Corinthians 5:17]

It’s not about what you can do. It doesn’t matter on our background, education, where we were born, where we live, nothing can make a difference to the fact that at the cross of Jesus, all were made right. All the work has been done by Jesus, we just need to accept it. 

Sins were paid for. The price paid for our sin was the broken body and the spilled blood of Jesus. Nothing we have done has not been covered. When we acknowledge by faith that Jesus is Saviour, God looks at us and doesn’t see our past or present mistakes, He only sees someone made right through the finished work of Jesus. 

Made right with God. The dissatisfaction that we can often feel is impossible to fill by chasing after a dream, the perfect job, the right relationship or through the purchase of certain stuff. Nothing on this planet can satisfy us completely. Only through the cross can that gap be filled. 

We need to admit we need to be made right. To acknowledge our sin and believe that what Jesus did was for us. Why not consider this for a moment and ask Jesus into your life. Find true rest and rightness with God through the cross of Jesus Christ. 

My Week: Sunday

Sundays. Love Sundays. Being in the House of God with my incredible Xcel Church family. 

Sundays in Church are a non-negotiable for me and my family. There’s not much that will keep us away.

Why such a big deal? Planted in the House we flourish. Plus I would rather have my family in the centre of Gods will than them be doing other things. It’s also about honouring God and giving Him my best, like He has given His best for me. 

Don’t allow simple things to keep you from being in Gods House.

*****

It was a great day too. Privileged to speak at Xcel Church in Darlington. 

 

Then tonight, sowed seed in faith believing for a breakthrough harvest. Have to be honest and say that if you weren’t there, then you missed out. Hope you will be with us next week. 

Five First Day Priorities

First Monday of 2016 = first day back in the office.

Here are 5 things I did to help me set off on the right footing:

Catch up with my Lead Pastor over a coffee. Most important thing today. No agenda as such but a great opportunity to set ourselves up for the year. The first four weeks of the year can often set the rhythm for the rest of the year. Setting the right focus and agenda will have a big impact on how I approach my role. I need to know what’s important as it influences my other conversations.

Reminding myself about what I am responsible for.  I have written before about giving myself permission to be an Executive Pastor. Every now and then I need to remind myself. I am in this role for a reason. Knowing the heart of my Lead Pastor and what he wants to see helps to remind me why I am doing what I do.

De-clutter. Clear the space. Get rid of the paper off the desk. Create an environment which will help the thinking process. We actually rearranged the office.

Check the metrics. Start getting the right information in front of me ready for future conversations. Metrics don’t run things but they do demonstrate some progress. How do we know if we are heading in the right direction if we don’t know where we are coming from?

Get some BIG questions written down. What should we be doing? Ultimately it’s all about reaching people for our incredible Saviour, extending the kingdom and building local church. So it’s important to ask the right kind of questions ~ where should our energies be put? What is a win? The right questions can help with our thinking, which helps keep us focused.

And now to relax. It’s too easy to be overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done, but after a full day, learning to relax with family and friends is vital. Plus good food helps too.

How about you? How did your first day back go?