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, 30 November 2012
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
"O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered too long."
What an incredible prayer! I came across this on Tuesday and have committed to praying it each morning for the rest of the week (at least). I feel God has used it to open my eyes even further to His love for me. His love is so great that He earnestly desires for me to love Him. We know this because it was His love that caused Jesus to come and die on the cross for us—opening the way for us to be free and have a relationship with Him. But there is nothing we can do, apart from Jesus, to make ourselves right with Him. Even as Christians we still need to ask God to continually draw us to him, because our sinful nature continues to drive us away.
Psalms 4:7-8 says; “You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new win abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” So no matter how good the world looks, how much better off people seem to be in their worldly ways, we know that even when their material wealth abounds, and ours may not, that God fills our hearts with a joy (from his love) that is of such greater worth! It is that peace with God that makes everything else pale in comparison. And Romans 5:1 tells us that this peace only comes through Jesus Christ.
I think Tozer had come to a realisation of this peace when he knew he needed God’s help to continually want more and more of him. Our human lives still wear us down, but God will help us if we continue to ask it of him. The more we know of His love, the more we will desire it. Tozer was brutally honest and humble in his understanding of himself, and that drove him to depend on God all the more. I am trying to get to a point when I can be that honest about myself before God—it is a tough process of giving up much of myself. But I have felt the example of Tozer has guided me in the right direction.
I hope it may do the same for you.
Monday, 26 November 2012
Friday, 23 November 2012
What Scriptures have you read this morning. Share them so we can get a good dose of it today.
Thursday, 22 November 2012
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Monday, 19 November 2012
That seems strange to us here in the western world, but the whole idea is to raise awareness to the fact that the majority of the world do not have access to the same kind of facilities we take for granted.
One World Vision Facebook post I saw today said this;
Diarrhoeal diseases are the second most common cause of death among young children in developing countries, killing more than HIV/AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
That's just shocking, the fact that something so easily combated is such a gigantic killer. The fact that 2.5 billion people do not have access to safe and sanitary toilets is just silly, when a lot of those people do have access to social media like Facebook. Where is our focus?
There is more we can all do to help fight poverty... but this has to be one of the easiest things we can fix worldwide!
Read this article on The Resurgence this morning. I think it ties in nicely with both the preaching series and the Bible studies I am doing with the young adults. Don't get a wishy-washy, soft view of who Jesus is. Understand who he is and what he said... don't try and smooth it over to make it easier. Jesus is who he is, and we can't change that.
The article refers to C.S Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where a reference to Aslan states he is not safe, but he is good. That's a great understanding of who Jesus is too.
Jesus didn't say that if we wanted to follow him, we needed to take up our mattress, but rather take up our cross! If you are going to follow Jesus:
- You are going to upset some people (Matthew 10:34-36).
- He will bring out changes in you (Luke 19:1-10).
- We cannot meet him and stay the same! He is going to challenge you to look straight ahead and not behind, no matter how good or bad it may have been (Luke 9:62).
- You are going to have to lay some things aside (Mark 1:18).
- He will impact every area of your life (Romans 12:1), and you cannot pick and choose your areas of surrender when you are abiding in him.
- You are going to hear his voice clearly and accurately (John 10:4).
- You are going to experience abundant life, and your life will not be wasted (John 10:10).
- You are going to have to stop messing around—literally (1 Corinthians 6:18-20). In fact, following Jesus may make your dating life seem quite “boring” to others.
- You are going to have to surrender your wallet (Matthew 6:19-24, Luke 16:10-13).
- It is going to take a willingness to change the way you think (Romans 12:1-2).
- It is going to move your heart to care about and reach out to people that he deeply cares for (Matthew 28:18-20). I cannot say I am a follower of Christ and be unconcerned with the things that concern him.
Friday, 16 November 2012
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
What do you do that shows it? Shows it to him, to yourself and to others?
I'd love to see some practical ideas - especially for the benefit of young people who are still trying to figure it all out.
Monday, 12 November 2012
Hopefully this week's reading started to rebuild your ideas and hopes. The ideas of love and faithfulness in these two chapters should encourage you all the more after studying chapter 5 last week.
Here's the week 6 video, and I'll post the chapter 7 video on Wednesday as it's a good challenge to be sent out with after we do the study tomorrow night.
In so many cases the church in the West is just a hapless social club - if we're honest can we really say we are impacting and changing the local community around us? I think every church may on a small scale - certain groups or ministries within a local church do a good job, but on the whole we could be having such a bigger impact.
This song "Asleep in the Light" has the most challenging lyrics of any song I think I've ever listened too. The truth about the church Keith Green saw around him (and in some cases it is still very true today) sinks to the core of who I am, and wanting to make sure that I am never like that.
It really has made me think, what is the true impact the church is having right at this time in Australia?
It's not legalism, or works based salvation; it is a clear indicator of someone who has put their full faith in the one who saved them and proclaims him as Lord.
I used the following Keith Green clip to do the reading and intro the sermon. Love it!
Friday, 9 November 2012
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
I'm happy to say I was, and found the entire experience quite affirming. I couldn't deny God's call on my life, so felt that the whole process must affirm that (who are the Baptists to tell God what to do eh?), yet to actually go through and find that was just one more level of seeing the call God has placed on my life.
How then should we pray regarding physical illness? Certainly it is right to ask God for healing, for Jesus tells us to pray. "Deliver us from evil" (Matt 6:13), and the apostle John writes to Gaius, "I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health:" (3 John 2). Moreover, Jesus frequently healed all who were brought to him, and he never sent people away, telling them it would be good for them to remain ill for a longer time! In addition to this, whenever we take any kind of medicine or seek medical help for an illness, by those actions we admit that we think it to be God's will that we seek to be well. If we thought that God wanted us to continue in our illness, we would never seek medical means for healing! So when we pray it seems right that our first assumption, unless we have specific reason to think otherwise, should be that God would be pleased to heal the person we are praying for - as far as we can tell from Scripture, this is God's revealed will...
How then should we pray Certainly it is right to ask God for healing, and we should go to him with the simple request that he give physical healing in time of need. James warns us that simple unbelief can lead to prayerlessness and failure to receive answers from God: "You do not have, because you do not ask" (James 4:2). But when we pray for healing we should remember that we must pray for God to be glorified in the situation, whether he chooses to heal or not. And we also ought to pray out of the same compassion of heart that Jesus felt for those whom he healed. When we pray this way, God will sometimes - and perhaps often - gran answers to our prayers.The thing I like about this quote is that when we are praying that God be glorified we are acknowledging that even if someone's physical body fails God's glory is much greater... his gift of forgiveness is enough, and our physical well being is an added blessing.Wayne Grudem "Systematic Theology" p 10066-1067
Monday, 5 November 2012
Remember it's not about legalism, and having to do something for our salvation. Instead it's about understanding the crazy love God has for us, and what he did so we can relate to him, because then our response should be with our own crazy love; leaving no room for luke-warmness.
Saturday, 3 November 2012
Initially I think both the youth and some of the parents felt a little uncomfortable when left to come up with what they'd do on their own. Actually some of the parents kind of tried to lay down some structure, yet once we were able to move past that I think we had a good and comfortable time together - and it didn't feel forced.
I'm all up for doing more of that... I just hope people don't think I'm being slack for not planning huge 'events' - I just think fellowship happens better naturally.