2017 and All It Will Bring

gxnyoltxcr8-jonathan-simcoeThis week between Christmas and the New Year has seemed extra long this year. If you’re like me then you are probably beginning to miss the routine, the normalness of life and are done with rest and the switching off. It’s starting to feel like laziness is creeping in.

So, how are the questions? Let me encourage you to grab a piece of paper, purchase a new journal or even use your phone and answer them. Take 15 minutes and think about them. Your 2016 review. What you would do. What would stop you. Your relationship with God. Put something in writing. Be brave and courageous. It helps.

Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it [Habakkuk 2:2 ESV]

It’s amazing how the simple transition from one year to another can provide an opportunity for a reset. To get back on track. To refocus and begin again.

God is on our side. He is not about second chances, He is about new beginnings. Use 2017 as that new beginning. With God at the centre of all of our hopes, our faith, our dreams – nothing is impossible with God.

Three final questions then as part of this week…in readiness for 2017 and all it will bring…

What’s your biggest challenge? What’s bugging you?

I’d be happy for you to share your thoughts but understand you may not want to. How about you let me know if you have found them useful or otherwise. Like I mentioned above, just make sure you think about them. They are big, helpful questions.

Tomorrow I will ask you one final question.

2017 and God

You may not be like me but nearly every year for as long as I can remember I have always taken these last few days of a year to reflect and get ready for the new one. 

It’s not about resolutions, I can’t keep them and in reality they are (to me), a little boring. 

Here’s my focus ~ that my walk with God would be better. That I would start strong the next 365 days, digging in the Word, praying every day and living with greater intent in regard to the person I say is the most important to me. 

So let me ask some of the questions I ask myself to get me thinking about relationship with God. 

What am I most excited about for 2017 with God?

Where do I need to grow bigger with God in 2017?

What will I make my non-negotiables in 2017 when it comes to my relationship with God?

What I am believing God for in 2017?

Why not answer them and share your thoughts as a comment below. Thanks. 

What Might Stop You in 2017?

Asking some questions in this period between Christmas and the New Year. Questions of reflection and questions to help us to look ahead. So far there has been one about what we were thankful for and another about what we would do if we knew it would succeed.

Today’s is a follow on question to yesterday: what could stop you in 2017?

My answers: I am a serial procrastinator, what’s your excuse. I’m working hard at not letting this get in the way of accomplishing some big dreams in 2017.

I say maybe and perhaps too often, like I doubt I believe what I am saying or I’m really trying too hard to not hurt anyones feelings, when I need to just be confident in what I’m saying.

Fear. Pride. Laziness. Lack of focus. Distractions. Good things. Whatever. All will have their shot at stopping me, I’m sure.

But if we knew what we could do would succeed – what is going to stop us?

How are you liking the questions? Any thoughts as we head into 2017?

What Would You Do in 2017?

Yesterday I asked a question about thankfulness. Having an attitude of gratitude is really important.  Recognising our blessings helps us to notice the good things going on around us and in us.

I was blessed in 2016 to visit Bangalore and spend time with Immy who leads our Xcel location there.

I was blessed to go to Israel and walk where Jesus walked.

I was blessed with healing, financial miracles and breakthrough moments too in situations.

I was also blessed to know that wherever I was, whatever I was doing, God was always with me. My awareness of this grew. It’s so easy to just get on with things and not remember this fundamental truth.

Don’t forget to share your thankfulness stories.

Today’s question gets us looking ahead to 2017. What would you do with your life in 2017 if you knew it was impossible to fail at what you attempted?

Again I’d love for you to share your answers. 

How Would You Review 2016?

Between Christmas and New Year ~ isn’t this just the weirdest time of year? Christmas Day has come and gone. Now, it can seem like all we are doing is simply waiting for the New Year especially if you are not at work. 

It can test my patience by not really being focused on anything. I am naturally a doer and don’t do ‘nothing’ very well. 

To counter this I thought over the next few days I would post some blogs to help me help you. To ask some questions to cause us all to reflect, be thankful, but also to look ahead with purpose and challenge too. 

Question 1: Looking back on 2016 ~ what 3 things are you most thankful for? Maybe reflect and use this time to give God some thanks for the things He has done in your life during the last 12 months. 

I look forward to reading your comments and your stories.

11 Questions to Ask About the People Around You

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You can go further when you have the right people with you and that’s a fact.

We were created for relationship and more importantly, we were created for the right kind of relationships. Most people agree, we become like those we hang around with, so the question is, who are you hanging around with?

In pursuit of the dream, the accomplishment of a  particular goal or just a strong desire to lead well in life, all can be enhanced by having the right people around. Be willing to ask yourself the tough questions. People can bring out the best in you or the worst. People can lift you or pull you down. Who do you have around you and what do they bring?

Do they believe in you? Do they encourage you?

Do they inspire you? Do they resource you?

Do they challenge you? Do they ask the right questions?

Do they celebrate with you? Do they have a great walk with God?

Do they demonstrate loyalty? Do they trust you?

Do they share the same values and beliefs?

Now, I’m not telling you to go and say goodbye to all your friends but I am telling you to be careful about your connections. The right ones can cause you to flourish, the wrong ones may possibly destroy you.

When there were 80 days left until the New Year I asked what would you give your attention to during those days. Now 14 days have already passed, lets see what we have done. [Awkward moment when we reflect and either say something or nothing].

Here’s one thing you can do which will help in making some progress – get the right people with you on the journey. Take time out over the next couple of days and ask yourself, who is the one person who could help me, who could I share my dreams with, who could I be accountable to for actually making things happen. If you believe in God, why not spend some time asking Him to help in bringing the right people into your world.

How has having the right people around you helped?

How Can I Help You Best?

You read my blog, some of you even know me personally, so I am asking you a question, one that could just help me shape the pages of this blog for the future.

Allowing for how well you know me or what you have read here – what do I know? If you were coming to me for something, what would it be? What problems would you come to me to for help? If you had a question, what would it be about?

I would value your feedback. Please complete the simple 3 question survey by clicking on the link below…

How Can I Help You Best?

Thanks for helping me as I look to make changes to this site of the next few weeks.

Unlearn Church?

The recent advertising campaign by Ford challenged us to UNLEARN.

UNLEARN Postman
UNLEARN OAP
UNLEARN Pets
UNLEARN Autographs
UNLEARN Everything

Ultimately they are wanting us to think differently about cars made by Ford. To see Ford differently. The strap line they used was to ‘let go of what you know’. See the video here.

For a few weeks now I have been thinking about this UNLEARN idea from a local church perspective and genuinely want to hear your thoughts. You may or may not be part of a church, that doesn’t matter.

Let me just say, I am not looking for an opportunity to become liberal in the message – the Good News of Jesus is just that and it will not change. I am not about to make some parts easier to swallow just because they challenge us. We all know the ‘how’ part can be amended. Perhaps the UNLEARN is part of this.

Here’s how I am approaching this thought:
1. Don’t think too long about the answer – your immediate thoughts are what I want to the 3 questions below…

Q1: What would it mean to UNLEARN church?
Q2: What do we need to UNLEARN to see our churches vision happen?
Q3: What do we think people not in church need to UNLEARN about church?

2. When it comes to the answers…
Be honest. Be creative. Think outside the box. Think about others. Be encouraging and positive. Keep it simple (so I can understand it).

3. Finally – let me know if you are a church goer as this will give me some context for your answers.

Let’s start a conversation and maybe UNLEARN church, seeing it as an opportunity to ‘let go of what we know’ and to learn something new that may be of benefit for those of us already in church and possibly of even greater benefit for those who are not going to church right now.

I know some of you are going to love this opportunity and thanks for getting involved.