Remember 'Remember the Titans'?
Culture change is tough - but it is worth it!!! I was reminded of this as I watched the movie Remember the Titans. A coach dropped into a chaotic situation must bring culture change for the team to survive... but he doesn't just want it to survive he wants it to succeed, and to dominate. In a way we want our ministries to do likewise so what ideas for culture change can we take from Coach Boon?
Thinking about sacrifice
If Jesus is King, what does that mean for what we want to do with out lives? [Image by Chris Bellerophon Dotson on flickr]
Back to the Mission
Reminded again and again about what we are created for. We are created for worship! But because there are some people who do not worship, we have been given a mission... to go and show people they were created to worship! - photo on Flickr by llamatofu
Appeasement verses Satisfaction
Do we look to appease our emotions, troubles, discomforts with earthy things that may provide some release temporarily, or do we look to God who is the source of complete satisfaction? [Image by donald_palansky_photography on flickr]
Prayer = Dependence
Even in the confidence I have in my own abilities - I am learning that I still need to be dependent on God if the outcome is going to be worthwhile for the Kingdom. Prayer is the key consideration in this! ~photo credit: wiedmaier on flickr
Friday, 29 June 2012
"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."Deuteronomy 10:12
Share your personal Bible readings...
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Haven't we all prayed the following prayer? Lord, we pray for safety as we travel. We ask no one gets hurt on this trip. Please keep everyone safe until we return, and bring us back safely. In Jesus' name we pray, amen. The exact wording may vary a bit, but that is the standard prayer we recite before leaving on mission trips, retreats, vacations and business trips.
We are consumed by safety. Obsessed with it actually. Now, I'm not saying it is wrong to pray for God's protection, but I am questioning how we've made safety our highest priority. We've elevated safety to the neglect of whatever God's best is, whatever would bring God the most glory, or whatever would accomplish His purposes in our lives and in the world.
Would you be willing to pray this prayer? God, bring me closer to You during this trip, whatever it takes...
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
He is jealous for me loves like a hurricane
I am a tree bending beneath
The weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of
These afflictions eclipsed by glory
I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me
Oh how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us so
(Yeah) He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking
So Heaven meets earth
Like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way that
He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves
Monday, 25 June 2012
Saturday, 23 June 2012
I have had a couple of opportunities to do that these past few weeks and thought I would share one. This is Coolangatta, looking over Rainbow Bay - the southern most coast point of Queensland. The other side of the point is NSW.
It was a beautiful sunrise
Friday, 22 June 2012
Depending on how we end up branding the church online we might change the name of the Facebook page. But for now it's the best place online to find out what is happening with the church.
If you are a member then go and 'like' the page so you can keep up to date with all that is happening in the church. If you're just interested in seeing what we get up to then feel free to check it out as well.
The church is now God's holy people. Not because we are better than others, or smarter, or more worthy... but because he loves us. We've been freed from the slavery of sin and now need to live a righteous life worthy of the sacrifice Jesus made.
Anyone else reading stuff from the Old Testament that speaks the Gospel boldly?
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
"Every human being has been hardwired by God to live in daily awe of him. This means the awe of God was designed to be the deepest, most life-shaping practical daily motivation of every human being. This is the calling of every person. This is the umbrella of protection over every person. This is the reality that defines and gives shape to every other reality."Basing on Psalm 145, Paul Trip gives you a very succinct interpretation of the motivation for the mission of the Church - and the essence of our very lives.
Go have a look.
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
I have come to use Facebook quite intentionally. I still have the random status update about how good my coffee was this morning, but I do stop and think before anything I post. As a youth pastor I know that the majority of my youth group and other ministries are all on Facebook, and will most probably see everything that goes up on my 'timeline'. One of the benefits of Facebook is that people can get an insight into my life. I'm not just the 'pastor' - that figure who is somewhat disconnected in a leadership role.
Yet as I said, even my personal posts have become more 'intentional', giving an insight into a specific part of my life, or beginning a thought process I might be able to delve into later by showing a snippet of what's going on with me.
The key tool I use though is the 'chat' feature. As a youth pastor I keep that online nearly all the time. It's an instant, easy and accessible means of communication for the youth of today. They know that if Dean has that little green circle next to his name they can send a message and I will see it and respond - I'm not saying it's an overly meaningful form of communication, or is equivalent to face to face conversations or even phone contact. But it is immediate and a comfortable form of initial contact - and in that it is invaluable!
The private group feature allows you to build your own online community. For youth groups it's best to have private and closed groups - taking into account risk assessments and Child Safe stuff. Photos, events, invitations, ads... can all be seen in one focused centre for the entire group. You can get quick feedback through comments - and even 'likes' may give you an idea of how well certain events or even sermons were accepted.
Finally I have numerous other websites and tools that link into my Facebook. This blog posts an automatic link to both my timeline and the dBay Baptist Group timeline. I've found that though few people comment on this actual blog, it can generate some discussion over on Facebook.
I think as pastors we should be thinking about how we can utalise Facebook better. It not only connects us to our church, but to the whole world. Somehow we must use it to forward the Kingdom of God.
Monday, 18 June 2012
When you are given much and the people around you have so little it is a sin to keep it to yourself and not help those worse off than you. This man had plenty, and he'd gained it through righteous means, he wasn't a crook, he wasn't a dodgy business man... his fields had simply produced a bumper crop. Where this guy goes wrong is that he sees the wealth and think only about how it can assist him. The communal communities of the period would have meant the people hearing the story would have instantly understood this man was probably the land keeper while an entire village lived on his land, worked on his land, and made their living working for him. Not for a second does this man think of blessing those who live and work for him - who probably did most of the work collecting his bumper crop.
We are given so much in Australia. We cannot deny that we are rich (even if we're not driving a Mercedes). And these days we live in a global community. The majority of our goods are made by people in third world countries who live in poverty. Yet it seems we exploit them more than we help or bless them. Our materialism contributes to the continuation of poverty in other countries.
I used this following illustration in a sermon yesterday. I had one of the young boys sit up on stage with me, and I asked him if he liked M&Ms - you can safely assume the correct answer I am sure. Now the children had been quite involved in the service that morning so I asked him if he thought he deserved some M&Ms for his contributions (again you are already assuming the correct answer). So I told him I thought he was a pretty top bloke, and he'd worked hard - so I put this bowl of M&Ms in front of him.
Friday, 15 June 2012
Have you had a Psalm encourage, challenge or lift you up this week?
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
"WHEN GOD DOESN'T DO WHAT WE WANT, IT'S NOT EASY. NEVER HAS BEEN. NEVER WILL BE. BUT FAITH IS THE CONVICTION THAT GOD KNOWS MORE THAN WE DO ABOUT THIS LIFE AND HE WILL GET US THROUGH IT."
"Remember, disappointing is cured by revamped expectations. I like the story about the fellow who went to the pet store in search of a singing parakeet. Seems he was a bachelor and his house was too quiet. The store owner had just the bird for him, so the man bought it.
The next day the bachelor came home from work to a house full of music. He went to the cage to feed the bird and noticed for the first time that the parakeet had only one leg. He felt cheated that he'd been sold a one-legged bird so he called and complained.
"What do you want," the store owner responded, "a bird who can sing or a bird who can dance?"
(Max Ludo - Let the Journey Begin)When we feel we've gotten the rough end of the deal from God I can pretty much guarantee that it is us who needs to reevaluate our expectations. God's plan is good. And we know that he works for the good of those who love him (Rom 8:28). So we should think carefully when we feel disappointed with God. This should also play into the way we look at some of the governing of our church, it's finances, our roles, ministries and work. God may be doing things in our church which we are uncomfortable with. Before we try and change that back to what we want we should see if it's our expectations that might need a revamp.
Monday, 11 June 2012
Friday, 8 June 2012
Share something you've read today.
Wednesday, 6 June 2012
And the Jews here react differently. They go to the Scriptures to test what Paul is saying. I think this is one of the only accounts where the Jews take the Gospel and think "if this is the Word of God then it will line up with the Word we already have, if it does we should listen to God." Usually the Jews have looked at their own traditions first and not cared about what God might actually be doing. I'm thinking that's why Luke refers to them as "of more noble character".
We need to be the same with the church. Examining the Scriptures every day to see if what the people in our churches and denominations and cities are saying is true. If it is then we should receive it 'with great eagerness'. If not we need to then be preaching a truer Gospel.
But also to note - we should be of noble character and not dismissing something that's different because it's not the way we usually do things. That's what all the other Jews had been doing, that's why the Thessalonian Jews came and caused trouble in Berea. Let's always examine the Scriptures, even if we think it may change the way we have always done something.
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
When I think of sin I shouldn't b moved 2 judge others. I must look 2 the kindness of God & b moved 2 repentance (Rom 2:1-11) #gospelatdepth (Joe Khan)See more tweets about #gospelatdepth
Some good tweets to make you think on this hash tag. Check it out.
Monday, 4 June 2012
"Sitting here, I feel so small - and small feels surprisingly good. So good I begin to wonder why it's so surprising that feeling small feels so good.
The truth is, feeling small may not be so bad if in recognising our smallness we come to realise the wonder of God - a God who is beyond our ability to fully describe or imagine, yet someone we are privileged to know, love, and embrace. Looking up from our tiny estate we are faced with the supremacy of a God who not only is fully capable of running the entire cosmos today - a task that doesn't tax Him in the slightest - but of sustaining the affairs of our lives as well.
You would think getting a glimpse of God's true size would have us happily lining up to embrace our little-bitty lives, especially given we are loved so dearly by the One who gives them to us in the first place. But then again, human history is not exactly the record of man's unquenchable quest for smallness. More accurately, our history is a stark reminder of our insatiable quest to make our names, our fortunes, our fame and our kingdom as vast and enduring as possible."
That's a humbling read, yet it's also a reassuring read. It's humbling to realise that I'm suppose to act small - that I'm not suppose to be exalting myself in a quest for fame or fortune.
But it is also reassuring that we don't have to be big. Being small is ok, because we are loved so much by the one who's bigness we will never completely comprehend.
Friday, 1 June 2012
What's something you read?