Walk With God: Repentance

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord [Acts 3:19]

A walk with God begins with repentance. In fact, it begins and then continues with repentance. It is the beginning of a journey of discovery, understanding what we have been forgiven. It is a continual process, keeping the connection between ourselves and God clear of any rubbish.

To repent is to be convicted.

Conviction leads to repentance, which leads to admittance, which leads to forgiveness, which leads to a new pathway to walk on.

To repent is to deal with stuff.

Turning away from an old life, which comes from confronting old habits, which can mean dealing with some of the awkward stuff, which empties life, making room from something new.

To repent is to be honest. 

Honesty that opens the way for God to enter our lives in a meaningful way, which leads to transformation, which leads to a life, full in the way God wants us to experience it.

The power of repentance should never be taken forgranted.

What do you think?

Why Should People Follow You? [Friday Leaders Post]

follow-me

I have learned the hard way that leadership is about more than title, it’s about more than being in a role for a long time, it’s even about more than being the oldest person in the room.

Maybe we are in a leadership role or we have a desire to be a leader in the future. Wherever we find ourselves on the leadership journey it is important that we are willing to reflect on our progress.

I have made a quick list of things that I think every leader should reflect upon., especially would-be leaders.  They may not be worded brilliantly but I hope you get the sentiment behind them. This is the kind of self-awareness I would rather discover for myself, while praying and seeking God, than have some random person come up and tell me.

Take some time to think about which side of the sentence you fall on?

You want to be a leader who others will follow but are not willing to be the follower of your own leader.

You talk about being an example but are not an example. 

You talk about giving but don’t give. 

You are happy telling others what needs to be done but not happy to do anything yourself. 

You consider your own image and reputation to be more important than that of your team. 

You say it’s all about Jesus but when people see you their opinion would be that it’s all about you. 

You talk about being teachable but are unwilling to listen to others and learn. 

You talk about a need for grace but are unforgiving towards others. 

You talk about being a leader but don’t actually lead. 

You want to be judged by your intentions while judging others based on their actions. 

You are quick to complain about others but not quick to receive the same complaints made about you. 

You see the speck as a problem in another’s eye but avoid the honking great tree in your own.

You pay attention to the level of good character and integrity in other leaders while not paying enough attention to your own character and integrity as a leader.

Leadership isn’t easy, not should it be. Like anything we want to be successful at, it takes hard work, determination, perseverance, a lot of honesty and a willingness to learn and to change.

What might you add to the list?

Half a Story

Half a story is not enough of a story.

It’s unfair on the listeners, readers or viewers. A one-sided story is not enough for people to be able to decide where they stand or what their response should be. It paints a picture coloured from only one person’s viewpoint. It is true as they saw it and in the telling of it but it’s not necessarily got the right depth, the narrative may be somewhat thin, it needs another angle.

It needs the other half of the story.

We like half, especially when the half we tell is the half that makes us look better and therein lies the danger. Better to not tell a story at all if we are not willing to be completely honest in the telling. The greatest story tellers are the ones who don’t just cover their backs but who can be open and vulnerable too.

Recently, there have been a number of occasions where I have read with interest as people recount an experience or certain circumstances to which, while I read, I am thinking of the parts that have been omitted. Then reading comments from others  that are a response based on a story that isn’t the whole story, is just frustrating.

If we are going to be tellers of a story then lets tell it all.

Honest, open and transparent. The part where we got hurt. Blame others if we want but lets also include the part where we hurt ourselves. We may have been right and they were wrong. Sometimes though, they were right and we were wrong. Lets paint the right picture so that those invited to comment can do so based on all the information.

If I only want to tell the half of a story that is best for me then here is my advice – don’t tell the story at all.

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.

The YOU That Others See [2]

Already posted about this but I just need to say that I absolutely loved this morning. Great atmosphere. Great people and great encouragement from everyone during the preach…KEEP IT UP! So much more verbal than EVER!

BIG UP to the Band: thought they did a fab job…even without the drums. It can be difficult but everyone seemed up for it and sometimes when things aren’t as easy for you naturally is when you need God more. Good job guys!

I enjoy preaching in a series. This one…WILL THE REAL ME PLEASE STAND UP…is going really well!!
Last week we spoke about the YOU THAT GOD SEES.
Today it was the YOU THAT OTHERS SEE. Less wow, more ouch!

Challenge…what people might see v what people should see

1. HYPOCRISY v HONESTY
Hey, good to be brutally honest. WE are the biggest turnover off to some when it comes to Church
Guard against giving people the chance to call you a hypocrite.
Put some alarm bells on your life
Don’t get lazy in your choices.
No one chooses to be a hypocrite you get there by drifting off course.

2. FEELINGS v FAITH
A life based purely on feelings will have the Church in trouble.
You need to demonstrate a life filled with faith…despite the circumstances.
Feelings are important but its faith that makes the difference

3. CONTROL v VULNERABILITY
What can you NOT let go of?
All addictive behaviour is a control issue. What’s your addiction & can you let it go?
We don’t like letting go because we don’t have control – we become vulnerable

BUT…other need to see YOU living an open, honest life, demonstrating your faith…even through the difficult times. Be more careful in how you live life for maximum impact.

WHY? Your story told to the right person at the right time is a powerful weapon. Suddenly their view of you may change, it will open up a discovery that you have been through what they are going through. Difference = YOU HAD GOD!

Looking forward to hearing how this message has impacted people.