Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I have just come from an awesome time at our home group. Worship, teaching, prophetic words being spoken and TRUE community - WOW!!
It reminds me of the portion of scripture found in Acts 2:42: "All the believers devoted themselves to the apostle's teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer...A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders"
When believers meet together, God works in a different way - by meeting together, you meet with a common goal - to grow together. It's intentional. When we devote ourselves to something or someone, we give it value. Once we give something value, we have an expectation... When we have an expectation for God to work - he DOES! And everyone experiences it and is a part of it!
I am excited, inspired and more committed than ever in pursuing God and what he has called me to! I am also aware that this is only possible if you are rooted in community - and so I am super stoked to share life, grow and experience the things of God with such an awesome group of people!
May you too experience this expression of community as you serve Jesus!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take.
I was writing this long blogpost, but then deleted it and decided to leave this passage above instead.
3 Words with a comment or two:
1. Trust (that God is who he says he is),
2. Seek (Discover who Jesus is - get to know him well)
3.Surrender (to his process for your life - you're not always going to understand it, but you cannot be in better hands than those of Jesus!)
Decisions/Choices do not have to be difficult to make - the question is: "are you prepared to do what's necessary to listen to God and respond in obedience? Remember, scripture give us a promise in Proverbs that He will show us which path to take - when we seek Him. So let's seek!
Saturday, November 6, 2010
I have laid in bed...waiting for it
...waiting and then BAM! You “whack” yourself in the face trying to kill it, but it doesn’t work! It’s so frustrating! No matter what you try and do they just keep coming back ‘till eventually you switch on the light to track it down... It’s YOU against THE MUSQUITO!!!! (and in the distance you hear the soundtrack of some lame thriller movie playing)
In all honesty, while i’m sitting here, waiting, observing...luring the mosquito to my only piece of uncovered skin (arms and face) I am thinking about how this relates to our walk as Christ followers. Sometimes we tolerate the ‘little’ things in our lives, the things that are annoying, yet these are the very things that come back time and time again to bite us! Yes, we give these things the occasional swot, but they’re not very effective, until we come to the place that you HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM!! It’s keeping us from experiencing peace and joy – and in my case precious SLEEP!
In the book of Hebrews 12:1-2 it puts it this way:“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven.”
We’re called to:
1) Face the problem
2) Deal with it – no matter what
3) Fix our eyes on Jesus who helps us endure (and helps us do step 1 and 2 time and again)
I’m gonna try and get some more sleep … The world has one less mosquito to worry about tonight!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This last weekend I had the privilege of doing some leadership training with the 2011 prefect group at Birchleigh High School in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.
From the start to the end of the weekend this group showed so much potential in not only leading well, but also that they will be agents of change not only in their school, but our country!
I am excited to see their progress!
I am again reminded of a statement Andy Stanley makes: "Leadership is a Stewardship, it’s temporary – and you’re accountable".
This applies to all of us - no matter what area we are called to lead in. We are called to be good stewards of those we lead, but we have to be aware that our leadership positions are only temporary - we will not have them forever - and so we're accountable for how well we lead, and also how well we coach and mentor the next generation into the roles we currently hold and beyond! They go hand-in-hand.
If we are called to lead, we're called to equip and coach those we lead to replace us. This may at times be scary, but it is necessary! The worst leader possible (in my opinion) is the leader who holds on to their position, guards it, and NEVER equips anyone to do what they are doing. This not only stunts organizational growth, but is a very dangerous place for the leader and those they lead - and will ultimately decrease the effectiveness of the team they are leading
So, we have to be good stewards of what God has given us (gifts and people), but we also have to help others "fly" and reach their full potential... Remember - YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
It’s been a while since a movie has inspired me so much and reminded me of the importance of living sold-out for Jesus no matter what the circumstance. “To save a life” is a must see for every young person, youth leader, teacher, pastor and parent.
Our young people are faced with so much nowadays – from peer pressure, loneliness, pregnancy, violence, substance abuse and so much more. The odds are pretty much stacked against them from an earthly perspective, but there is a loving, awesome God who desires a personal relationship with each one of them, and he has chosen ordinary individuals – you and me – to be His hands and feet in reaching this generation and the one to come. So often times as Christ-followers, we try to be nice, be relevant, but we are not living it sold out for Jesus. We are only as relevant as our personal walk with Jesus is – if that’s not in place, guess what...we’re faking it! Makes me think a lot about my walk! I believe we need to stop being so ‘politically correct’ and start living our walk as Christ-followers totally unashamed – wherever we find ourselves. It means doing what is right, no matter what the cost – standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Being inconvenienced enough to lay aside your own agenda, and take up God’s agenda.
Jesus says in Matthew 22: 37 – 39 “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
We’ve heard it many times – let’s start acting on it... Let put our faith into action. I pray that God also grabs your heart, as he did mine, and gives it a good “shake-up”. And let’s continue to pray for young people and let’s also get involved in “being” the difference in their lives.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Often, when this question is posed to people, the response is that they’ll do what God has asked them to do – however, as many of us know, our ACTUAL response if often times far different to what one can call the ‘Christian answer’. It’s daunting – we in fact try to reason it away, act like it was just by chance that we read ‘that’ scripture, that it was by chance that we met ‘that’ person – and so often times we give up altogether!
In many ways, I have asked all these question of myself lately – did I hear God? Did I act in the right way? Did I follow my own desires or did I obey God?
The last nine months have been a profound journey of discovery. God gave me this oversized vision…and in once sense no idea how to achieve it…
A few months ago, I listened to a sermon on our capacity and call. The picture that was given was that of an oversized raincoat. When we try it on – we realize it’s too big! We are in a sense ‘drowning’ in the sheer size of the raincoat!
So we say:”…this is too big for me!”
God responds: “I made it just for you!”
We say: “But Lord, that’s impossible – look at me I don’t fit in it AT ALL!”
God says: “Well…you have to grow into it!”
What a beautiful picture! God gives vision way bigger than ourselves, but we have to grow into it! We have to allow God to grow us into whom HE wants us to be. When we start praying and walking like this, it takes us out of our place of comfort to a place where you HAVE to be TOTALLY reliant on Him – but isn’t that exactly the point!?!
God has given me a vision…God has given you a vision – but it may not come immediately – sometimes we have to go back to school – learn from the master himself as to what should be done and how it should be done. When God is doing heart-work, there is no time frame. When God gives you vision, you have to position yourself in Him to see the vision come to fruition.
Andy Stanley says: “Direction, not intention – determines your destination”.
If you want to go from Durban to Jo’burg, you are not going to drive to Cape Town first. Yet some of us are heading to Cape Town – we’re on our way there. We have all the INTENTION to get to Jo’burg, but our direction does not line up with our intention – hence we will never reach our destination!
We need to position ourselves – reset the GPS, point it to the place and go in that DIRECTION! By setting your direction to fit the vision, fit the goal God has for you – you will reach the destination!
Unfortunately we sometimes have the intention, but not the direction. Let’s realize that we need to grow into God’s vision for our lives, but let’s also step out in obedience to his call and position ourselves to reach the destination God has for us!
Personally, I am loving the journey… God has proved himself faithful again and again. From transport to finances, to the most amazing friendships this side of eternity. God has also set me in a wonderful Church community (Hillcrest Christian Fellowship) for which I am truly thankful and blessed!
When you are walking in the will of God, you see things you have never seen before, experience things you haven’t experienced before, do things you have never done before and experience HIS peace like never before!
THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I'm sitting in my cubicle at work having been convicted about something I should have done differently. It wasn't the wrong course of action, but the WAY I approached the situation did not honour others and I also believe, did not honour the Lord. When I became aware of this situation – it left me with a sick feeling on the stomach. I can't believe I did that!?! Am I that self-absorbed?
I suppose our initial reaction is to beat ourselves up over the situation...yet this doesn't seem to help much – no, IT DOES NOT HELP! I know I am forgiven by God, yet as Christ Followers we are called to repent, but not only to God, but to the people we have offended – even IF they might not even realise the situation – THAT'S the challenging part! We don't live in condemnation (Rom8:1) , but we do live in grace, and so we need be quick to own up to our mistakes and move forward...doing the RIGHT thing! It may not have offended others, but if you have been convicted of something – you better start to listen and move to action. God is prompting you – are you obedient?
Psalms 73:26 reads: "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever"
I failed this time – but by God's strength I won't next time! Put differently, God is my strength, and I will put my pride in my pocket and admit my mistake – ask forgiveness! This is after all NOT about me – but about HIM!
To end with a quote that I am putting on my wall:
"I am humbly aware of how much I've already been forgiven, and I will continue owning up to my mistakes!"
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Isaiah 43:18 – 19
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland"
God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His truth endures through the ages and will continue to do so, but God still does new things! We live in a world and society that can be considered as a "spiritual desert or wasteland". We read about all that's 'wrong' in the world...poverty, suffering, crime, corruption – the list is endless, yet amongst all this there's hope. A hope that is greater than what we can ever imagine – the hope of Jesus! He is our stream of LIVING water in the desert – and in our day and age HE is doing a new thing!
We know that familiar portion of scripture in John 3:16 that says: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life". Jesus' heart is for all people to know him! And his chosen vehicle to tell the world about this hope is the Church, and as the Church he has commissioned through the power of the Holy Spirit to continue the work he began – to be HIS hands and feet in this broken world – to make a difference, to teach people and equip them for serve Him – to be the hope visible in this day and age.
What is the Church? Very simply put, ordinary men and women, who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour and now aim to do his will as contained in scripture. We don't always get it 'right', we're fallible human beings, yet we serve an extraordinary God in whom all things are possible and he has given each person a gift to build up the Church (1 Cor 12:7). Each Christ Follower is significant in the extension of God's kingdom and so he has sent us out (Matt 28:19) and promised that He will be with us!
And so, God has been leading me on a journey that stretches over 4 years to plant a local church that aims to be a passionate community of believers, who radically love God, people and impacts the community and the world. The heartbeat is to LEAD PEOPLE IN A GROWING RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS" whilst creating an environment where people do life together!
If an analogy of music can be used:
If each Christ Follower represented a music note... a note on its own does not bring out the richness of music. Add two more notes and you have a chord...already sounds a bit better, but add a whole lot of different chords in succession and arranged in a unique way and you have a beautiful melody. This is in part the design of the local church – we're all adding to God's melody, all functioning in a different way, but arranged by God to bring out the fullness of his plan for his Church.
In saying this, each of us needs to understand what our part is to play in the story – hence God places us in community...community that does not only happen once a week, but throughout the week. A community that shares and does life together! (as stated in Acts 2:42 -47)
Simply put, a community:
- Fulfilling the Great Commandments (To Love God & Love people),
- Living out the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20)
- Through being the Acts 2:42 community
God is doing a new thing. He is busy growing our faith...stretching us to see HIS will accomplished where he has placed us.
Someone once said: "It's better to be a follower who sometimes fails, than to be one who fails to follow"
I believe God is calling us to a passionate faith in Him, bringing HIS hope to the world!
Monday, March 8, 2010
If you are anything like me, you really don't like waiting. Just this morning I was at the airport, waiting to board my flight.
I stood in the queue looked around me, saw people chatting away merrily... and then...there I was...
Alone. (You can hear the crickets in the background)
So, I quickly pulled out my MP3 player to listen to music – it helps pass the time between waiting. But this got me thinking about a portion of scripture in Isaiah 40:31 that reads:
"Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary."
Waiting is a natural and essential process of God's design. We so easily get impatient, yet often times the most important work takes place while we wait. Friends of mine, Mark & Di are expecting their little girl Gabriella any day now. It's been so special to see this 9 months of WAITING come to an end. However this last few days a whole bunch of us are tired of waiting – we want to meet little Gabriella, but there is STILL work being done in the womb. In reflection, I am glad that God makes us wait. You see, if hypothetically a mother got tired of waiting 9 months for her baby's birth and delivered a child prematurely, you'll find that vital growth has not taken place which could lead to various complications and even death. Waiting is important...no it is Essential!
When God gives us a vision, it's like a baby has been conceived – however growth still needs to take place before the birth. One cannot always see the growth, but it is there! God is at work. LifeCafe is in its unique stages after conception – God is doing his work. I'm just a vessel, and it is not only me that will be part of it, God is calling other men and women to join in the work of spreading His message of salvation...but God says "wait patiently"...
So I will wait patiently for the Lord to do what HE needs to do, and do what I need to do when He tells me to do it. It's a journey of daily obedience. It's in the waiting that our strength, our character, beliefs etc get tested, developed and sharpened. It's in the waiting we discover the most about ourselves. It's in the waiting that we come face to face with the most loving Father anyone could ever have...and then when God says "Go for it!" we're ready...and waiting...
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I am sooooo passionate and excited about what Jesus is doing! What an awesome Saviour we serve! I've recently rediscovered a song written by Russell Fragar (sung by Darlene – Hillsong) entitled "CAN'T STOP TALKING". I have been grooving to this tune over the last few days – It sums up what I'm feeling about how JESUS is not A WAY....but THE WAY to the Father. Fil, my housemate and friend I'm sure thinks I'm crazy – 'cause when I hear that song I just want to jump up and down and go wild for Jesus! I'm at a place where I am struggling to contain my passion and "fire for the Messiah" (as my good friend Mark Moodie puts it) – which is brilliant! The future may be uncertain, but in Jesus Christ our hope is made real – our purpose is defined...our destiny secure and certain! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for JESUS!!!
Below is the song...read the words...make it your own... Love the TRUTH, LIVE THE TRUTH!
I can't stop talkin' 'bout, everything He's done
It's the best thing happened since the world begun
It didn't come cheap but I got it for free
It's the hope of glory, Christ in me
He helped me to see, when my spirit was blind
It's amazing, if you look, just what you'll find
Every step I took, He took two
If He did it for me, He will do it for you
Do you know Him?
Yes, I do!
Do you know what I say is true?
Do you know Him?
Yes, I do!
If He did it for me, He will do it for you
Songwriter: Russell Fragar