Build Church: Know Your Comfort Zone

Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace [Matthew 28:29 Message]

There’s a lot of talk about getting out of your comfort zone and I get that. We fill our days with so much stuff which in reality is of no eternal purpose, both individually in our Christian life and corporately as the body of Christ. We are very comfortable in our faith.

A better focus might be to know our comfort zone. To learn the unforced rhythms of grace Jesus wants to walk and work with us in. To find our best fit. To discover our unique calling and to then ride this wave with all of our effort and determination.

Anyone who know me well enough should know that after Jesus, other than my family, there are two main things which have my heart – raising the next generation of leaders and building local church. I am on the journey of discovery still, even after so many years that to be fruitful for God in both of these will no doubt involve the following…

To get into my zone I first have to get out of my comfort.

I have to give the Holy Spirit permission to convict me to move me.

Once I am in the zone, only I am the one responsible for putting the right kind of effort in to it.

To bear the best kind of fruit, the God-given destiny kind of fruit, my life has to be about more than just the fruit of my own labours.

I am not there yet. Let’s be honest, there have been good days and not so good days. I have frustrations. Yet the only person getting in the way of me building anything of eternal significance with my life is me. So best get over myself, repent, remind myself that my preferences are for laying down and just get on doing what it is I feel God is asking me to do.

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Lead Well: 10 Steps Towards Gods Future For Us

 

 

 

 


We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps [Prov 16:9 NLT]
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. [Prov 16:9 Message]

When I was younger I don’t remember having any great ambition to be something or someone in the future. Maybe you did. I would have loved to have been a sportsman of some sort as I was pretty good at a few. I can complain about lack of opportunity but I lacked the discipline needed when the opportunity came along.

Since then I have discovered that leading well is less about the destination and more about the steps along the way. It is less about what I achieve and more about who I become along the way.

Don’t get me wrong, we need the big dreams and a vision of a preferred future but it is the steps we take along the way which determine where we get to. And then we need to happy that when we get ‘there’ the preferred future may doubtless look different to what we anticipated.

Dreams are exciting and in reality, quite easy. We can all imagine great things. Steps though are more tricky, they represent where the rubber hits the road.

Steps take courage.
Steps involve action.
Steps are time consuming.
Steps demonstrate our faith in God.
Steps will grow us.
Steps can be hard work.
Steps can be quick sometimes or slow at other times.
Steps are often lonely.
Steps take us somewhere.

Steps are Gods to determine. After all, He wants to get us to where we ‘need’ to be more than we want to get to where we ‘think’ we should be.

At the age of 47 I never imagined I would be where I am, doing what I do, but I am. God’s plans have worked out how He saw best. To say I have faith in Him means trusting where I am and the journey I am walking are the steps He is wanting me to take.

My responsibility is simple ~ keep walking, one step at a time, with God very much in the lead position.

Why not take a moment to thank God for where He is brought you to?
Then pray and give Him permission to keep ordering your future steps.

 

 

Influence 2017: Session 1


So the first session last night was just a phenomenal start to Conference. 
An incredible opener declaring God as Sovereign, which led to a beautiful time of worship and the Dr Robi speaking. And what a message. 

From Tragedy to Triumph, helping people truly come out the other side of trauma stronger. 

Hope. In something with substance. 

Faith. That substance is having a faith in God who actually cares. 

Thankfulness. Look for 5 things every day to say thank you for. 

Kindness. Doing good things for people consistently. 

Courage. To do whatever you know needs to be done. 

And above all – why not give God a try. 

Lead Well: Fight for the Right Things

 

One thing is true, if we want to make progress then we will, at times, have to be willing and able to fight for it. Most things don’t just land in our laps, we have to work for them. Opportunities are said to come to those who are busy.

To lead well in life then we have to be prepared for a battle, to stand strong, to fight.

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.  Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. [1 Timothy 6:11b-12]

Let’s not waste our energy fighting for the wrong things.

Let’s fight for our faith, our family and for our future.

Let’s determine to not surrender to our circumstances

Instead, let’s battle and fight in pursuit of the right kind of godly living. For righteousness, for godliness, for faith, for love, for steadfastness and for gentleness.

When we fight and battle for these things we stand out of the crowd, most of whom are in pursuit of their own way and of their rights. It takes courage. The good news is we are not alone in fighting this great fight, God is on our side, and the same power which raised Christ from the dead lives within us. We are fully equipped and enabled to live through the ‘whatevers’ of life. So…

…let’s battle through and not give up.

…let’s battle the situations and not the people involved in the situations.

…let’s battle selfishness and not worry about our own reputation. God is perfectly able to protect us.

…let’s take hold of the life to which we have been called. To be filled with the fullness of God. To know Him better, personally and intimately. To comprehend the full dimensions of His love for us. To live out the life of abundance Jesus promised us.

What’s the alternative? A life of defeat, giving up, loss, unfulfillment, regret and missed opportunity. And surely nobody really wants that kind of life.

Tell me what you think to this thought, I’d love to hear. Thanks.

Is God On Your Case?

Are you ready for being in God’s house tomorrow?

Are you ready for God to whisper?

Are you ready for God to speak into your heart?

Is God on your case? I have been reading (for the second time) the book by Bill Hybels called ‘The Power of a Whisper’. I am definitely challenged to put myself in the position where I hear from God. He is on my case, and I love it. I need that. A nudge from God is worth more to me than anything else.

There is no clear given way that God will speak to me. Through His written word, through the preached word, through the Holy Spirit. I have learned to just keep myself alert to hearing what He wants to say. Then having heard, I need the courage to respond.

I feel an urgency towards a greater sense of holiness. I have no clue what that means for me but I am excited. My desire is to live a life that is wholly devoted to my God, to be led by Him, guided through each day and to know His presence more. As the Apostle Paul wrote, ‘ to be filled with the fullness of God’.

What is God saying to you? How is God prompting you ? Listen, hear and have a willingness to respond. I think it will be worth it.

How To Walk Into Your Future – Pt2

Continuing the FlashForward series at Xcel Church, here goes with some additional ways we should be walking into our future with God at the centre of that future…check out Pt1

Compassionately
Jesus was always thinking about his future. Amidst the busyness of being Jesus – he still had time for people, he was moved with compassion, he saw need, he met that need. The same must be true for us. We need to not only profess our faith but it must possess us so that we put it to use.

James 2:14-19
‘Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup – where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.” Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them?’

Make sure that as you journey throughout this year that you walk with compassion and make a difference

Courageously
If you live with Jesus at the centre of your life then you can become one of the most courageous people other people come into contact.

To be courageous requires no special skill
To be courageous requires only to be available
To be courageous requires you to be ready & willing
To be courageous as a Christian – just stay close to Jesus

I love that Joshua was told to be of good courage but he was always reminded that God would be with him. He could be full of courage though becuase he had stayed in the word, meditated on it. Same is true for us today.

Acts 4:13
‘When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus’.

Ordinary people. Their only qualification for changing the world was time spent with Jesus. Here’s the challenge as you step into your future: Get some backbone. Improve your mettle. Add something to who you are so you can withstand whatever heads your way.

Change Takes Courage

You may have great character which makes you stand out but unless you leverage that with some acts of courage change may be slow in coming. Whatever you want in life – what you want to see in your world or want to become, it will take courage to move towards it.

I see a problem which many of us face, a dilemma to deal with. We love stability too much. Stability is important, it gives us that solid foundation on which to stand strong, its our safety. I guess you could say its our good character we have taken time to build. Courage however, conjours up a sense of danger, we think because it takes courage it must be risky. We therefore holdback and allow ourselves to miss out and blend in.

Courage is required for leaders especially to seize a hold of the opportunities that come our way! It is not the absence of fear, its not foolishness but if you wait for no fear, then you will probably wait a long time.

Too have great character and convictions gets you so far – you must as a leader have the courage to stand on you convictions. Don’t compromise….

Learn to say NO when its necessary
Be willing to stand your ground
Take a punt from time to time
Be ready

Don’t allow the negative ‘what ifs’ make you forget about the positive ‘what ifs’ and go for it!