He Leads Me

“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.” [‭‭Psalms‬ ‭43:3-4‬ ESV] 

Knowing God has to be more than just knowing about Him. There has to be a willingness to follow, a desire to learn and to want to grow as a disciple. 

When we place our lives in Gods hands there is some faith involved, after all, we can’t see God. An exchange takes place:

  • We draw near to God and He draws near to us. 
  • We choose to walk with Him, He never leaves us and is always with us. 
  • We give up leading ourselves and instead give permission to God through His Holy Spirit to lead us. 

I make it sound easy but I know it is not. Stuff distracts us and gets in the way. Yet we must remember, in letting Him lead us we are in the best and safest hands. 

His light guides our path. 

His truth speaks to our hearts with direction. 

His presence and our opportunity to praise Him awaits. 

May today be one of those ‘He leads me’ days. May we be aware of His presence and give thanks for knowing Him and for all He has led us through. Amen

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God Knows & God Hears

I can remember climbing Helvellyn. You start out full of energy, you climb the first part excited that you are on the way. The summit can’t be far now. Yet it is. In fact I can’t even see it. 

Tiredness begins to creep in. Walking across striding edge now I can see the summit, what I long to reach is before me. But my legs are aching, I am tired, my breathing is laboured, I am sighing from exhaustion. 

You look, you wait, you rest, you feel overwhelmed, unsure if you can continue.   I know for me walking and climbing that last but was hard work but I kept going and made it to the top. 

Perhaps life can be like this at times too. 

We see where we want to go but it still seems so far off. We get tired, exhausted even, unsure if we will make it through. 

  • What are you hoping in God for?
  • What burden are you carrying?
  • What is weighing heavy on you today?

Don’t know about you but right now I am waiting on God for some breakthroughs, some things to change. I am hopeful, looking ahead to a preferred future, exercising my faith, trusting and expectant for a good outcome. I am determined to not allow the enemy, circumstances or thoughts to defeat me. 

“O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭38:9‬ ‭ESV

“But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭38:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The Word of God is so full of encouragement. Like the people around me when I was climbing kept telling me to keep going, so God is always with me. 

I am so glad God sees what I long for, that the sigh of my heart is not hidden from Him. 

I am so glad that as I wait on God, it is Him who will answer.

I am so glad that He will not let anything defeat me and that my future in Him is safe and secure. 

I just need to keep on walking. I pray that you would be able to do the same.

Psalms: Encourage Your Soul

I love reading the Psalms. If I am ever feeling disheartened, frustrated, maybe even a little lost in my relationship with God, myself or others, then I read a few Psalms.

For me, Psalm 28 was not a complicated read. The beauty with most Psalms, is the simplicity of them. Most times you can understand what the writer was trying to convey without the need for great study or commentaries. Just spend a moment waiting on God and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what God wants you to receive.

 

I wrote this one in my own words, to capture what I felt the Psalm was saying to me…

Call on God. He is not deaf. If He was then we would be no better than those who don’t know Him. Bring your pleas to Him. Trust Him. Know that He hears us, He answers us and He helps us. When we see what He has done, we must thank Him. Know that He is the leader of our life, in all things, our strength and shield, He saves us. 

The challenge for me as Christians is to remain consistent in my relationship with God , just as He remains consistent with me. He hasn’t moved, I have. He hasn’t stopped speaking, I have stopped listening.

As I wrote yesterday about how the secular can squeeze God out, I have a renewed focus to be more deliberate in using my time wisely. If God is important then what I do should evidence that.

Why not take a moment, read Psalm 28 and then share what you think it says to you. 

Influence 2016 Has Begun

Great first night for Influence 2016. We are off and running and expectant for some life changing moments. 

 

The message from Vicki Simpson was about recalibration to position you to embrace the future. 

Daniel 6:10 – tells of a gutsy move by Daniel to open the windows and pray facing Jerusalem that lay in ruins. 

We all have a Jerusalem? An area that is not how we want it to be? God wants to give us a key to reconcile the why / the unreconcilable. 

Here’s what we do, like Daniel…

Open the window

Pray

Give thanks in the face of your desolation

Daniel 6:28 follows by telling us that this Daniel prospered. The one taken from his family. The one who had suffered. Inspite of circumstances he prospered. 

Prosper = to advance, to accomplish, to have success, to cause to go on well. 

We have to be willing to give God permission to work on the unresolved ruins. He wants to bring blessing where we least expect it. Where and what is it for me?

Looking forward to day 2. 

Time to Get Planning

We have had a busy 3 days so far traveling from one side of the city to the other meeting people, looking for furniture and getting a feel for where Xcel Bangalore can be most effective. We’ve tried plenty of the local foods too and not just curry.

One of the key reasons for coming was to help Immy set his plans for the future in line with the vision of Xcel.  

Planning is important for a few reasons…

1. It shows people that want to be a part of Xcel in Bangalore that we know what we are doing. 

2. It creates a simple track for Immy to travel along which in turn keeps him focused and making the right kind of progress. 

3. It provides accountability, alignment and an action plan for Immy and the team he will grow. 

Check out this quick video from Immy which gives you a little more insight into the city…

Time to Get Praying

Chatting with Immy today over coffee and getting excited about the future for Xcel in Bangalore as work on laying out a plan for the next 6 months. 

As we talked we encouraged ourselves about how the word of God says that ‘a mans makes his plans but God ordains his steps’. 

That is why we are here and we will share the timeline with you in the future so you can continue to pray. In the meantime here’s what Immy would ask you to pray for:

Connections with Pastors & leaders in Bangalore. This is important to show other leaders that we are here to work alongside them for the good of the city and not just ourselves. 

Connections with people. Making friends, and meeting those in Bangalore who are looking for a church. 

Connections and conversations. Immy wants to meet with some local people to see how we can help practically within the community. 

A new Xcel Group. This will be starting in a local coffee shop in March and we want to see it grow. 

The right job. One which gives Immy some flexibility and some cash too. It’s also a great way to meet people. 

Favour. For Gods lead in all the things we do in Bangalore especially in preparation for the mission trip in August and the official launch of this location. 

These are exciting times but we recognise that as much as we make our own preparations, God playing His part is way more important. We work like it depends on us and pray like it depends on God. 

Thank you to the amazing Xcel family for being on the journey with us. Watch our video from today to hear more…

(I was a little distracted by people watching me and probably wondering what I was doing)

Going With It

The word for the day can sometimes be very apt…

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬ ‭ESV

Not that my day has been overly challenging but maybe for you it has been. You know, some days you just find yourself having to go with it.

A quiet, simple, normal day gets filled with noise, complication and the peculiar.

Which ever way your day went the important things is to remember those words of Jesus and not be anxious. It’s not easy but it is the best thing to do. Each day brings its own endeavours, best just trust God for what’s happening today.

I pray that in the midst of ‘whatever’ came your way today your walk with God stay strong.

Loving What You Do

To be honest I’m stuck in the whole ‘are we in?‘ thinking at moment. Together, fully committed and engaged in what God is doing, we can be a part of something great.

We can put our energies in to building many things but there is no greater reward than to put our energies in to what God is building. I am a firm believer that if we are about building Gods House, He will build our house.

It’s not just about being on a team, although it might be.

It’s not just about being in church every moment. although it might be.

It’s not just about giving everything, although it might be.

Jesus served. So I will serve. Jesus identified with the church. So I will identify myself with the church. Jesus gave. So I will give.

I am always mindful that this can seem a very simplistic approach, especially amidst all the challenges of life. We need to put our energies into some things. I am not saying that we shouldn’t do that. Of course we should. Family. Work. Friends. Space. It’s when those take our best and our first that we may have to consider our priorities are skewed.

Seek first the kingdom…and all these things will be added to you [Matthew 6:33]

Here’s a Monday challenge….don’t think it won’t work. Don’t dismiss what God is up to by trying to work it out in your own mind. Instead, lets learn to trust Him.

Think about this…what if it did work? 

Think about this…what if it did work and we chose not to be a part of it?

Are you in?