Special Moments

Every relationship needs special moments.

That first moment when you meet your special someone. That moment when you try and pluck up the courage to talk to her, especially awkward when there is plenty of ‘setting up’ going on by others. The exchange of numbers. The phone call to check they are alright. The next time you are together. A walk around the lake. Holding hands. Talking and talking (and I mean talking).

Special moments. Daft stuff really but when you look back you can recognise them as pivotal moments. Those times that make the journey worthwhile and that now, after nearly 21 years of marriage, bring a happy smile to my face.

The same is true for my relationship with God. From the moment of realisation that I needed to accept Him for myself and not just because my dad and mum had. Getting baptised. Being filled with the Holy Spirit. Finding myself leaning up against the church organ after coming round from having been overwhelmed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Just learning to appreciate and have an awareness of God’s presence. Incredible moments when the Word of God hits you between the eyes, like they are speaking just to you.

Moments. Many moments. Special God encounter moments. You can’t necessarily build a relationship on them alone but they definitely make the journey what it is. Highlights and marker experiences along the way. Proof of someones love for me. Proof to me of God and His interest in me, plain little me.

Last Sunday was one of those moments. Unexpected in some sense. A Sunday night service hijacked by the power of God. An awareness of His presence. His peace that goes beyond all understanding. His power moving by the Holy Spirit and working in people’s lives. That never gets old.

Here’s the thing I have discovered about such moments. You have to put yourself in the place where they might happen. You have to step out and ask the girl, you have to pursue her, learn to appreciate her and understand how she ticks. There is often a little bit of inconvenience, a little bit of risk, some faith maybe.

It’s true with God too. When His people gather together as family, in His House, then anything can happen. You just have to be there to experience it though. I know that God can move in your living room but there is something powerful when Church is filled with believers. That atmosphere of faith, a determined focus on God, without distraction, time set aside to lift up His name and then allowing Him to have His way. Amazing.

I can’t make you be there, all I can do is encourage you to position yourself in the place where God encounter moments can take place. It may be difficult, inconvenient or a little bit risk but the step of faith on your part will be so worth it.

Hearing God

I’m not sure about you but I cannot survive in my Christian walk without hearing from God. If I am not getting any whispers or gentle nudges from God then after a while I begin to get antsy, a bit fidgety.

There are plenty of voices in my world shouting for my attention but there is only one that really counts (even more than the wife’s) and that’s Gods voice.

How do I make sure I can hear from God? I determine to.

I clear the clutter. If needs be,  I will leave the rest of the family, remove distractions and just grab a few moments with God.

I read the Word, every day. Some days I read huge chunks, others days just a few verses. Either way, it is always done with an ear to hear what God is saying to me through it.

I pray, every day. To hear God speak you have to be in conversation with Him. You have to nurture the relationship. Get past the ‘bless me’ prayers and allow the Holy Spirit to lead your prayer time.

I position myself right. Now I’m not perfect, just ask my kids, but I do know this, if I want to be a person who hears from God I have to put myself in the right places. Therefore, going to Church is not just a habit, it’s a non-negotiable for me. It’s one of the prime places I go to where I know I’ll hear from God.

How about you – where is your place to hear from God? What was the last thing that God said to you?

Desperate For God

Yesterday we had no water. There was a broken pipe in the locality which meant when we woke up there was nothing coming out of the taps.

It’s amazing how you take something like water forgranted. It’s easy it is to forget how incredible it is that water is pumped into our houses everyday, something we need to remain thankful for. It’s part of being a civilian of the westernised world. It is still something many others don’t enjoy the privilege of without greater inconvenience.

My girls were horrified that they would have to go to school still. After all, they hadn’t had a shower. We hadn’t had an opportunity to get refreshed and ready for the day. With the last water from the pipe we filled a sink and we splashed our faces, cleaned our teeth. The house was full of the haze of body spray for some time.

Later in the day, I had a thought. Maybe it was God, but it was definitely a gentle nudge…
Don’t take me forgranted.
Would you notice if I’m not there in the same way you did when there was no water?
Be as desperate for me in your life as you were about having water.

The beauty with God…there is no broken pipes. His love, mercy & grace are new every morning. His forgiveness of sins knows no bounds and I for one am thankful for that. Maybe we put stops in the pipe. Maybe we put other supposedly more important things in the way of God moving in our life.

My prayer…Lord, never let me take you forgranted. Let me acknowledge your greatness ALL the time. Help me to be aware of your presence in ALL situations. Please show me what I’m putting in the way. Change me if you need to God because I NEED to be as close to YOU as I can be. Life without you would be like LIFE without water. Amen

What Do Winning Teams Have?

In this final part of TEAM CHURCH series I spoke about 2 qualities that winning teams have. Qualities that are not special skills, not just found in world-class players, qualities that can be the difference between winning or losing. Qualities that are more easily caught than taught.

HUNGER

It’s a craving
It’s something inside of you
You have to fill it
It can make you feel uncomfortable
If you are hungry & not able to fill that hunger you can get agitated
you were created to meet your hunger

If you have a big enough passion for something it’s amazing how you will find a way to do it. How is your hunger/passion for God? Is it strong enough to keep you going when others say stop?

The right hunger…

Is powerful
Makes you do things that you might not normally do
It’s attractive
It’s contagious
It’s inspirational
It requires faith

You need the Holy Spirit in your life to create a hunger for God that can help you be ALL these things.

Hunger/Passion creates MOMENTUM

The trouble with momentum…
It’s difficult to actually get some
You have to start doing something first to create any
It’s easily lost if you don’t keep control of it

Was really concerned that I didn’t overdo the emphasis on Massive March and the focus on growth too much. After all, in my opinion growth is the by-product of you & I living out a God-filled life – one that is hungry for the things of God, not the trappings of the world, one that is moving forward in God and not stagnant. If we live this way – we are attractive, contagious and inspirational – who wouldnt want to find out why our life is like that?

For more thoughts check here, here, here and here. Tell me what you think.