How to Get Unstuck?

Puzzled__Main

 

Ever felt like you are stuck in a certain cycle? It could be a behaviour, a way of thinking, a problem or just a bad habit. It may not be anything too serious, or it may be threatening to your life, maybe influencing your marriage or other key relationships in a negative way, it could even be impacting your work life too.

Whatever ‘it’ is, one thing is true ~ something needs to change! The challenge is you just don’t know what that change needs to be or how to make the change a reality.

This Sunday at the United @ Five service we will include a panel. If you have a question that relates to this topic then please drop us a line and if its appropriate, we will do our very best to answer it.

Leave your question as a comment or email info@xcelchurch.com and then be with us this Sunday for ‘UNITED @ FIVE’

God Encounters

I don’t know what your opinion is but I need God encounters. Living life from a ME based perspective has it limits. Living from the point of view ‘I know best’ could be considered a little arrogant, especially if I call myself a Christian. A better view as a believer is to live life more from a ‘God knows best’ standpoint.

Such change happens when we desire and experience God encounters. Imagine that the creator of the world is always ready and waiting to meet with us.

God encounters change me. My vision, my habits, my decisions, the way I hear Gods voice, my attitude and so much more.

God encounters prepare me. Through my every day life God can reveal Himself and be at work changing me. Gods presence is preparing me for moments I don’t even know about.

God encounters should be desired. To want an encounter with God is a prerequisite for having one. If you’re not bothered then whats the problem with never hearing from God. We cannot make them happen but we can be available to God. Ready with an open heart – to participate when we gather, to receive, to respond.

When God is looking to do something He looks for people who come before Him in prayer, with a willingness to allow Him to lay His heart over theirs. He is looking for those who will not let the moment go by.

Are we ready? Or better still, get ready. God is on the move and looking for those who want to encounter Him. Don’t know about you….but I’m in and I’m ready!

Flip

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.

Have a Clear Out

Christmas and a New Year are great opportunities for a clear out. A chance to get rid of some of the clutter from around the house, to make room for the new clutter we are expecting to receive.

Maybe take the time for a clear out in life too.

I do say this with caution though. We often clear out things that are easy when it comes to life. Perhaps we find it easier to ignore it, brush it under the carpet, rationalise it, put the problem on to someone else. The nagging concern I have is this – if we don’t clear out the right stuff, if we can’t be honest with ourselves and with God then in reality aren’t we just moving stuff around but that ‘thing’ we think has been cleaned up is actually still there.

God sent Jesus to help with the clean up. The clean up of our sin, hurt, offence, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, issues – anything I guess that stops us from living life in the freedom that Jesus won for us.

Having a proper clean up can be an uncomfortable process though. We like to feel in control of our own lives, even the painful aspects. If we have control then we know what people see or don’t see. As a result, we learn to cover stuff up, put on a good face and convince others that all is well.

To have a clean out with God involves giving control away and that kind of freaks us out. What if people see? What if the mess becomes too visible? Bit like having to empty the garage out and everyone seeing the rubbish we actually have.

Well, here is the good news. God is more than capable of handling our mess. He is all about the clean up business. That is very much His speciality. Andy Stanley in his book Grace of God puts it something like this, ‘God waded in knee-deep to begin the clean up process’. We think it’s too big, but our God is bigger.

It’s what Christmas is all about. The plan of redemption heading to its climax. The clean up process for all of humanity was reaching its final play. The birth of Jesus was the beginning of the end. This Christmas take courage. Allow the Saviour to do what He does best and give Him permission to clean up some stuff. Put it out there. See what He can do and start 2015 totally free, ready for whatever God has for you, with full confidence that you are able because of His power living in you.

Audacity

Enjoyed an evening with some of the men from Xcel Church tonight.

Pastor John reminded me tonight about the need to show a bit of audacity from time to time. Audacity is important to overcome apathy because it involved faith and faith is the antidote to apathy. Audacious faith is about speaking to situations and not just talking about it.

Joshua showed audacious faith when he asked God to stop the sun. That’s definitely out there. Who would even dare ask for such a thing? Yet the encouragement is for me to have my own audacious prayers – relational, spiritual, physical and financial.

There is victory in audacity.

Actually it doesn’t just work in faith, sometimes it works in other areas of life as it’s about doing something that sometimes doesn’t make sense. Start a new business. Change your financial habits. Turn the TV off. Go for the dream job. Marry that special someone. Join a gym. Love your spouse the right way. Or whatever it might be for you.

Where will you put your audacious faith to work? What could you do different that might just change your life?

 

Why We Don’t See It?

You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place [Galatians 5:7-8 MSG]

I get sad when I see a persons life take a turn for what I would consider the worse. A turn that is not accidental or unfortunate, instead it is one of their own choosing. They were running the race. They were going for God. Now, it’s not so clear.

They haven’t really done anything wrong. Not much is illegal these days anyway. Yet when you look you find yourself grieving as you read that status update or see those recent pictures. If you’re like me, you just wonder, what went wrong? Why didn’t they see it coming? Why don’t they see it now? Come on, make the right move and get back in the race.

Here’s my observation: it was their blind spot. In fact, we all have them, we might even have a few. You know, those areas in our life that we just don’t see.

Others may be shouting at us, doing their very best to gain our attention, warning us of possible dangers, yet for some reason we just continue. We find ourselves on a detour and we never even realised we had got on to another path.

Blind spots are what they are, areas in life that we are blind too. Despite great intelligence we just don’t see what’s there. We can see them in others but not in our own life.

My hope is that it’s happened this way. The alternative is more worrying because then we are guilty of the following:

We pretend it’s not there. It may catch our eye but we carry on anyway.
We ignore it. We convince ourselves that it’s not a big deal.
We see right through it. It’s almost like it has become invisible to us.
We justify it. We explain it away. There is always a reason.
We don’t care. What happens, happens. Bit naive but it is a philosophy some people live by.

I can only encourage you to stay on the right path. Or get back on it.
To do your best to avoid your blind spots. 
Have a good 360° look at life. 
Shine some light on all the dodgy, hard to reach spots. 
Be honest about some decisions you are making that are shaping your life and your future. 
Listen to the wise words of those around you and respond accordingly. 

I really don’t want to see your life take a ‘scenic route’ that could have so easily been avoided. I don’t want to read those updates and get torn up on the inside, trying to work out how I can help you get back on track when possibly you haven’t even realised yet that you are off track.

Come back home! There’s always a way back. You may think you’ve drifted too far but you never have. God’s grace is far-reaching and never-ending. There’ll be no mention made of the detour, just one almighty cheer from me as you get back in the race and fulfil the purposes of God in your life.

Time for a Change…

September is VISION MONTH at Xcel Church. I think it happens at a lot of churches around the world. Not that we don’t look ahead at other times but it does provide a great opportunity for us to stop, reflect, think & plan for the next 12 months.

This process can work for any organisation, church or otherwise.
This process can work for YOU as an individual too.

If you don’t take time to STOP, REFLECT, THINK & PLAN then don’t complain when life gets shaped for you by other people, circumstances and events. Fresh vision doesn’t happen by chance. It comes through deliberate action.

STOP. Too many people STOP FOR NOTHING.
Pause for thought. Make time. Being busy is not necessarily a sign of accomplishment. We are all getting things done but they might not always be the right things.

REFLECT. Am I happy? Do I need to change things? What could I do to see different results? Vision isn’t always about some new idea or invention. Often vision comes from a place of discontent. Unhappiness = need for fresh vision, new insight.

‘Vision is the cure for sin. A God-given vision keeps us from decay and disorder. It energises everything we do’. [Mark Batterson, Primal]

In fact the Bible tells us that people without vision will perish. So STOP, REFLECT – take a good look at what you are doing & where you heading. Are you living? Are you perishing? Your vision (or lack of vision) might be the issue.

THINK. Dare I suggest that as a Christian – pray. Seek God. Read the Word. Allow for some spiritual insight into stuff. Make room for creative thinking time. Ask the right people the right kind of questions.

‘Prayer is the mechanism whereby God ideas are conceived and captured. And it’s our capacity for prayer that will ultimately determine our creative potential.’ [Mark Batterson, Primal]

PLAN. People think that plans & goals are unspiritual, too business like for them. Jesus had an end goal in mind & I am forever grateful that he kept it in mind. THINK about the future. Set some goals. Make a plan. Work toward those plans.

‘Ideas are worthless. Intentions have no power. Plans are nothing…unless they are followed with action’. [John Maxwell]

So, what’s the vision?
Will you make time to STOP?
Will you be honest with yourself as you REFLECT?
Will you allow God to speak to you as you take time to THINK?
Will you make a fresh PLAN for the future?

WHAT’S YOUR VISION?
Share below…

[Quick footnote: be realistic while making space for God to move. No need to be foolish]

30 Days to…

June should be the gateway to the summer. Predictably then it’s cool, gloomy and raining. This can often be how many people feel as we approach the mid-point of 2010. How is the year going for you?

How about a challenge?
Something to keep you fresh?
30 days to…

…read the Gospel of Luke
…read ALL the Gospels
…serve on team somewhere in Xcel
…pray early every morning
believe God for a specific breakthrough
…meet up with some other Christians and talk about what God is doing in your life
…invite people into your world
…be at church each Sunday
…fast one day each week
…spend less and give more
DO SOMETHING THAT CAN BUILD YOU IN YOUR WALK WITH GOD.
STRETCH YOUR FAITH.
HEIGHTEN YOUR SENSE OF EXPECTATION.

Lean in to something. Just don’t do nothing.
Let’s not just say we put God first, let’s be a people who demonstrate it as well.
From what I’ve seen in my life, when I give God a little extra part of me, He never disappoints. I may think I’m missing out on other stuff but life still feels the richer for putting Him first.

What will you do during the next 30 days?