Eager or Lazy?

‘Stay alert, be in prayer, so you don’t enter the danger zone without even knowing it. Don’t be naive. Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God; but another part is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire’. [Mark 14:38]

Stuck thinking about how God doesn’t want us to play it safe.
Interesting how I can show eagerness but still be lazy.
Challenged that my spirit is willing but the flesh is often weaker.
Good intentions v actual actions.

God never asked anyone to play it safe. [Just check out your Bible for more information]
Yes, He calls us to a place of safety.
Yes, He is our refuge.
Yes, we can be rescued.
However, that is not an invitation to settle down. It is an opportunity to refresh, to be put back on track. We are then sent back into the world, with a new message, one of hope for people who are overwhelmed, distracted, lost, confused by all that life can throw at them. That is not a safe option.

God’s danger zone is by the fire where the lazy dog sleeps.
We avoid it by praying.
We avoid it by staying alert.
We avoid it by not being naive.

Eager or lazy? Make sure you are not both. You will never accomplish much if you are eager but lazy. What do you think?

We Shouldn’t Play it Safe

We do all we can to stay safe.
We are extremely risk averse.
Culture is shaping us this way.
You are more likely to injure yourself from a paper cut filling out the risk assessment forms for your events than from any event itself.

This is a challenge then to any Christian. I don’t think that safe is in God’s dictionary.
Safe is comfortable.
Safe is familiar.
Safe is easy.
Safe keeps me still.
Safe sees me contained.
Safe says no.
Safe doesn’t change anything.

Safe is dangerous. It can keep me on the fringe of where God really needs me. It can push me to the outer edge of where the real action is. In Matthew 26:58 it says that ‘Peter followed at a safe distance’. It was in the safety of distance that he was able to compromise, to disassociate himself from Jesus, from what he knew was right.

When you read through the Acts of the Apostles you don’t read about people playing it safe. In fact, they seemed to head to where the danger was. The individuals, many unnamed in Hebrews 11 who endured immense hardship, pain and trials for a prize that they didn’t see. Paul headed to places where he knew he would be arrested.Now, I’m not saying we need to go and deliberately put ourselves in danger but that maybe there are some things we could do if we were only a little bit more willing to let go of our ‘safe’ places and put our toes in the water of risk more often. If I’m honest, I have a low pain threshold in comparison to these legends of the faith…maybe that’s why we consider them legends.

You may have some suggestions but here are some of mine…
…get involved in a community project
…go on an overseas missions trip
…downsize your house to give financially into the kingdom
…sacrifice some time to serve somewhere – not just on a Sunday (although thats a good place to start)
…take some young people under your wing and invest in their lives (and not just the good ones)
…spend less so you can give more
…have some people round for a meal (and not just people who are like you) – expand our worlds a little bit more
…investigate whats going on in the world (follow amnesty on twitter) and do what you can – pray, give, support

Again – these are not things I’m necessarily doing either. It’s part of the journey that I am on too. All I’m recognising is this…moving into a lovely new building is not the prize, there’s not much danger in that. Stepping up into a new larger room as we will be doing in Darlington soon is not the prize. What I do to help fill it, pay for it, grow it…that’s where I need to play it safe a little less often. How about you?

What Can I Give Back?

What can I give back?
What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me?

Psalm 116…gives a simple answer…
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation – a toast to God.
I’ll pray in the name of God.
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do.
I’ll complete it together with his people.

My opinions must be put to one side.
Time for me can be given up.
Remember what God has done, celebrate that and live the best life I can…that must be made important, given time and honoured in the right manner.
Keep my promise.
Do my best to get along with God’s people.

I pray that I can do these well!!

Xcel Darlington: Easter Sunday

Yesterday was how Church should be every week. The atmosphere was fantastic, there was a real celebration feel to the praise & worship and we sang our hearts out, praising God for the resurrection.

I noticed on my twitter feeds that Brian Houston commented why can’t it be Easter every Sunday. To which he obviously got the reply ‘IT IS’. Maybe the challenge for us as Christians is to remember that and live life with the realisation of that fact.

It is incredible that the same power that raised Christ from the dead, lives in us.
If I’m honest, I don’t always live that out. I will always do my best…but contrary to many peoples understanding just because I’m a Pastor doesn’t make me perfect.

My challenge all week has been to do Jesus justice. For all he has done for us. That we would live out the life worthy of the life Jesus gave for me. Yesterday was a great opportunity to remember that, and take up that challenge fresh once more!

Xcel Team…you were incredible.
Great numbers…people bringing people…people taking up the challenge of the Christian faith and committing their lives to him.
There was a lot of emotion in the room as we talked about ALL that Jesus did for us on the CROSS.

Plus…for fun, we collected over 100 Easter Eggs to giveaway to a local hospice.

How was Easter Sunday for you?