Don’t Quarrel

When Joseph sent his brothers home loaded with provision and carts to bring the whole family back he gave them one very clear instruction.

Don’t argue with each other on the journey. 

What great advice. If we want to learn to travel well then we need to learn a few things:

1. Settle our hearts.

2. Recognise God is not shaping us for a moment but for any moment.

3. Don’t argue with others. (Genesis 45:24)

Arguing makes it all about me and what I think. Arguing causes stress and division. Arguing can create upset and unnecessary hurt.

Instead we should learn to practice all of these:

  • prefer one another
  • let some stuff go
  • learn not to react to everything
  • to understand that just because it can be said doesn’t mean it should be said
  • to look for the best in others, to trust one another
  • to forgive
  • to recognise not everyone is like you
  • to put ourselves in their shoes
  • to think maybe they have some stuff going on

Let’s commit to giving this a go and see what a difference it might just make.

Do You Have Toxic Friendships?

Doing life with the right people is so important. Every now and then it’s good to take an inventory of your friendships and be willing answer some honest questions?

Are they for you or are they really just for themselves? We can think they are our friends but really they are just friends with themselves. They are not looking after you, just looking after themselves. Toxic friends are totally self-centred. 

Do they talk about others with you? Think about. If you love that you can get the gossip of them about others, maybe you are who they gossip about when you are not there. Toxic friends love to gossip. 

Is how they speak about people uplifting and encouraging or condescending and rude? Be honest. Think about how they talk about other people. Toxic friendships are hurtful and selfish. It may tickle your ears but it’s not building your heart. 

Do they help you even though it might tough or do they just help themselves? Is it always about them? Are they protecting you or just protecting themselves? Do they give their opinion but never ask for yours? 

Toxic friendships need to removed. However it feels, you will not truly flourish until you make the tough call and draw away from the wrong type of friends. 

Do you agree?

Getting Stuff Done [Exec Pastor Blog]

All the principles of leadership, idea dreaming, vision casting, meetings about this, that and the other cannot beat the good old-fashioned aspect of just getting some stuff done. As much as I may see my role as more than just the operational parts of Church life, they still amount to the primary reason I am in my role.

Getting stuff done. Sometimes that means shutting the door, putting the phone away and getting your head down and plainly and simply, doing the work.

Getting stuff done. There is great satisfaction when projects make progress and you know that you have done a good job.

Getting stuff done. It shows people that you are up for the challenge. To fulfill your remit and carry stuff. It demonstrates a willingness to stop just talking about things and dreaming the dreams and actually making those dreams happen.

Getting stuff done. At the end of the day, that’s what I get paid for. To see the vision come to pass. To serve people. To grow people. To resource leaders and teams.

Getting stuff done. Focus. Make the list. Then do the work. It’s a great adventure and I love that I get to do it.

What do you need to do to about getting stuff done.

Wedding Vows

At a wedding today. Always great occasions when two people share marriage vows and commit their lives to one another. 

As I listened to the vows they reminded me of Jesus’ commitment to me and in return my commitment to Him. It sounds weird put like that but I have given my life to Jesus and have entered a covenant relationship with Him, so the vows could be deemed applicable. 

With my body I honour you. I choose to not do certain things that could cause me harm, make me unfit or disqualify me from the best that this relationship with Jesus has for me. 

All that I am I give to you. Enough said. All that is me is Gods. With His unmerited favour over my life why would I not be happy to do this?

All that I have I share with you. What I have I willingly give to God. I don’t hold on too tightly to what I thinking important but am always ready to share it on His behalf. 

Within the love of God. I live with God at the centre of it all. I let His love change me from within so that I make a difference to those I meet every day. 

This is where my current thinking is stuck at the moment. To honour my God, to be occupied by Jesus and living the full life He has for me. How about you?

The Cross of Christ: A Divine Exchange

 Moments of reflection today. A packed house at Xcel to say thank you for the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ. The event that changes everything, forever, if we will let it. 
Jesus embraced the cross and in doing so, completed a divine exchange. God’s unmerited favour, that clothes us in His righteousness and makes us right with God. 

He became weak, so that we become strong. 

He took the judgement we deserved so we could go free. 

He was punished for our sin so that we can be forgiven. 

Through his wounds and the stripes on his back, we are healed. 

He was made sin so that we could become the righteousness of Christ. 

He died so that we might live.

He was made poor so that we could become rich, and live the abundant life he promised us.

Jesus understands us. He recognises our pain, loneliness, isolation, hurt, injustice. He went to the cross experiencing them all. He nailed His life to the cross for me, so now I nail my life to him and will live a life that honours that sacrifice, even when it’s hard. 

The Cross of Christ: Appreciate the Cost

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus felt the weight of what was awaiting him. Scripture describes that the burden caused him to sweat drops of blood.

And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground [Luke 22:44 ESV]

He was about to carry my sin. And the sin of everyone else too. My sin, the shame that goes with it, the hurt, the pain and the guilt. I can find that hard enough to carry as one person, what a weight to carry for all of humankind.  

Yet he did so willingly. 

Where I might back down from such responsibility, Jesus took up that burden and carried it, on purpose. 

Where I might only think of what’s comfortable for me or the thing which brings me most fulfilment, Jesus chose to do what would bring comfort and fulfilment to us. 

When I might only do what I will do, what I deem to be best for me, Jesus laid down his will and went with what his Heavenly Father was asking. 

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done [Luke 22:42]

In response, especially as I have decide to follow Hin, my life must acknowledge the cost, the weight of the cross that Jesus carried, the means by which he set me free. 

He loved me and demonstrated that love with an overwhelming act. I reflect and ask a difficult question: Why am I so stubborn at times in holding on to things and behaviours that don’t demonstrate my love for Jesus but are more about a love for what I want and enjoy?

I am free because of Jesus. I am loved unconditionally by Jesus. My sins have been removed and are forgotten because of Jesus. 

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus [Romans 8:1]

Lord let my life reflect that freedom and be the best it can be for you. Amen. 

The Cross of Christ: Find Rest

Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest [Matthew 11:28]

At the intersect of the cross, between our human frailty and God’s divinity, amazing things become available to all, if only they will receive it.

We can be overwhelmed, frustrated, lacking purpose, running from stuff, the gap in our souls empty and yearning to be filled by something.

In response, we can fill life with the next best thing, the dream car, perfect job, or whatever it maybe for us, yet once we have it soon find ourselves unsatisfied once more.

One thing is for sure, nothing on this planet has ever been made that can satisfy our souls and fill that gap. Only by coming to the cross of Jesus and acknowledging the need for Gods divinity do we discover true rest, being truly satisfied.

As we approach Easter let’s take some time of reflection and be honest enough to admit whether or not life is lacking the rest that Jesus offered. Come to the cross with our human frailty and take the true rest that is ours and know the unconditional love of a Saviour who never leaves anyone who puts their trust in Him.

Who Would Copy You?

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things [Philippians 4:9 ESV]

We often look for people to learn from, someone to be a mentor, a role model who lives out the kind of life we may aspire to. I want and look for these people in my life. 

Here’s the challenge. As much as I want that for myself, who would want that of me? Could I confidently say to someone, like the Apostle Paul, that they should practice the way I live?

That requires looking at my life and asking some honest questions as to whether they would learn, receive, hear and see things worth practicing. And that might be a little uncomfortable. 

Yet this is the call of God. To lay down my own life and carry the one He has for me. To surrender to Jesus, to sacrifice for Jesus and to serve Jesus. In doing this then maybe my life becomes one worth imitating, one where others can copy what they hear and see, learn and receive.

This is my prayer today. Jesus help me become the kind of person that represents You well. That others would see things in me that demonstrate the life of Christ. Amen