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
Thursday, 28 February 2013
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
However... the thing that grabbed my attention the most was the swirling crowd of teenager pressed into the tight area waiting for guy to start playing. They were jumping around, screaming (crying in some cases :-s) and just a movement of anticipation and excitement.
Now I admit with things like Facebook and Instagram I like to grab a snapshot of something I am doing to post it up and remember it, or share it with friends, but I have become aware not to let that cause me to experience what's happening right in front of me. The live experience is the best experience... not the video reviewing on a tiny screen hours later.
Plus the fact that the live experience was lessened because the vibe of a live performance died when everyone stopped to stand still and video. Sometimes the best part of a music concert experience is the energy and interaction of the crowd. Even if there was some there this morning, most missed it because they were watching their phone not the stage.
Sometimes it's best to put the phone, camera, iPad or whatever away - just envelope yourself in the experience, and use your involvement to create a meaningful memory. I was reminded this morning of some of my favourite experiences - and to be honest even with the recent ones they were experiences where I either specifically decided to live the experience, or I had been so swept up in it that I forgot completely to even try pulling my phone out.
Monday, 25 February 2013
Sinful responses to sin are so numerous that an exhaustible list is impossible. Nonetheless, an examination of ten particular sinful responses to sin can be helpful in aiding us to not respond sinfully but repentantly. These kinds of insights are practically helpful because sinners are often also sinful in how they speak about their sin and respond to their sin, and if we love them we need to be aware of their tactics. Furthermore, we also need to continually examine our own responses to sin in an effort to uncover our sin.Driscoll goes on to explain his ten particular sinful responses... I will paraphrase them as points. If you feel you want a greater understanding then make sure you grab his book Doctrine.
- There is a propensity to minimise sin
- The is the delusional belief that my sin is different from anyone else's because I have good reasons that legitimise my sin
- There is the common error of rationalising sin as acceptable because of extenuating circumstances
- There is blame shifting, where someone is blamed for the sin of another
- There is diversion, where we try and avoid our sin by, for example, saying we were just joking or someone misunderstood us.
- There is partial confession, where we tell only a part of our sin.
- There is what Paul calls "worldly grief," where we merely regret the consequences of our sin.
- There is victimisation, where I appear helplessly pitiful and unable to have done otherwise by naming someone else as responsible for my sin.
- There is mere confession, where I name the sin but do not repent of it and put it to death by God's grace.
- There is a growing tendency to speak of sin in secular counselling circles as more of a disease than an evil offense.
Sunday, 24 February 2013
Parents should be aware of and care for their kids needs. Christian parents should be striving to help their kids meet their spiritual needs. But I am finding that some parents can be very selfish, and they make it very hard for me to minister to their kids. My heart aches because I see the hurt that impacts their kids. I meet up with or talk on the phone with these kids right after something has happened and it is very raw emotion which surfaces when they have been let down by a parent.
It makes me angry, and I think that is because I am so helpless to help resolve the situation... who am I as an outsider to come and try and sort out family dynamics?
Sometimes it is just education that's needed, it might be cultural or generational issues causing the problem... but I still struggle to communicate to a difficult parent how what they are doing is hurting their child.
I know most of the parents who follow this blog are ones that do care for their kids in a way that strives to develope their faith, but maybe in reading this you can be aware that not all kids are as lucky as yours. And it might be the case that education on striving to build the faith of teens would be better received from a fellow parent than the youth pastor.
Friday, 22 February 2013
I had many ideas for blog posts this week... but I was always too busy to post them. I had two different meetings with Baptist Queensland, ran a training course for KidsHope, had a deacon's meeting, was called out to help with a family situation and then sometime else have tried to find time to plan the Sunday evening service and my sermon. I stopped and blogged this morning, a thought captured by a moment reading the news... and it made me reflect on my busy week, and how much of it was aimed towards the mission of the church. In truth quite a bit was - but it get's lost in the hecticness. The union meetings were looking at how the church state wide could continue working wider to extend God's kingdom. KidsHope is a great program we run in the local primary school. But these meetings didn't 'feel' like I was working on the mission, they just felt draining.
I think if we remember the mission, and the goal of what we are setting out to do - and that it is all part of Jesus 'building his church' then it may just give us that little bit more motivation in our busy times - because we realise the mission is not forgotten, just that maybe the current connection is hard to find.
(Romans 1:20 ESV
We become complacent about the amazingness of God's creation. We take for granted the size and intensity of the world we live in, made for us by God.
Then we read a story like this...
Russian ghost ship discovered off Ireland
That's a big ship yet it can disappear into the ocean... coasting for months with no one coming across it. Our oceans are BIG! The World is BIG! God had his hand in creating every little detail, yet us humans can't even find a gigantic cruise liner.
Friday, 15 February 2013
Not one to ever polish over the truth I really admire his point in this article .. and think it's the first decent view on single life given by someone in a long time. I often find people who talk about 'singleness' really don't have much of a clue what it's really like. Don obviously does.
Have a look here
Today, I value my sweetheart so much more because of all the confusion and hardship I had to endure being single. I don’t talk about my romantic life much because it’s hard to read gossip about yourself on the internet. But I will say, all the hardship was worth it. She’s like me, indeed.
On Valentine’s Day, when the hard feelings come, just know they came to Adam. And they only ended up blessing him in the end.
Monday, 11 February 2013
Now where can I find a Mariachi trumpet player??
...did you think of something??
I am fairly confident that most people will have thought of something that impacts them personally. It may have been a material object (if I could win the lotto this week) or maybe relief from suffering (if this asthma would leave me alone), but I am pretty sure nearly all the things you thought of would have been something that effected just you.
Why isn't our natural thought process geared to first think of others??? Why didn't we think; 'It would make my week if that person could stop suffering from asthma' or 'It would make my week if that family had enough money to buy decent meals for their kids'. Now when you see those things I am sure you agree they would make you happy, and you're not wishing that kids would go hungry or anything like that. But I just wonder at how our initial, our very first, thoughts always seem to be self seeking.
There's the solution - but it's a solution we have to remind ourselves of time and time again.
Is it surprising that God encourages us to feel 'wretched', to 'mourn and weep'? How can the loving God be telling us to turn joy into gloom? But that is the answer... because the weight of our sin should drive us to mourn and weep. Our sin hurts God so much that we (even as those saved through forgiveness) need to be so sorry of our actions, and that offense we cause God, that it drives us to weep. It's in that understanding that we find the motivation for true repentance.
A time of gloom is well served if it assists in our understanding of our relationship with God. Because as the final verse says there, He will lift us back up, he will 'exalt' us if we humble ourselves and truly realise, repent, believe and follow Him.
When was the last time you wept because of your sin?
Thursday, 7 February 2013
This Sunday night we are starting a new series at dBay Baptist. We will work our way through the book of Malachi, the final book in the Old Testament. In Malachi God makes true observations (such as “I Have Loved You" [Mal 1:2]) and the people question Him with the inference being that they do not actually believe this is true, and it shows through their actions.
So the reality is on the surface they are the people of God, but beneath (what they really are) has nothing to do with the covenant or love that God has given to them. To bridge to today’s context we see this books as giving us, as a church, the occasion to look at the ‘non-public’ parts of our life - specifically what happens in our minds and hearts.
We may look like proper Christians on the surface, but beneath we truly don’t have very much to do with Jesus and his will at all.
Just like the picture of the iceberg above... it is what is beneath the surface that does the most damage. We need to clean up what is beneath the surface of our lives, because even though those sitting beside us every Sunday may not see it... Jesus sure can.
Wednesday, 6 February 2013
"The most stately cities on earth, however magnificent their buildings, yet have their foundations in the dust, and their streets are dirty and defiled, and made to be trodden under foot; but the very streets of this heavenly city are of pure gold, like unto transparent glass, and its foundations are of precious stones, and its gates are pearls... There are many principles contrary to love, that make this world like a tempestuous sea. Selfishness, and envy, and revenge, and jealousy, and kindred passions keep life on earth in a constant tumult... But oh! what rest is there in that world which the God of peace and love fills with his own precious presence, and in which the Lamb of God lives and reigns, filling it with the brightest and sweetest beams of his love; where there is nothing to disturb or offend, and no being or object to be seen that is not surrounded with perfect amiableness and sweetness... where in no enemy or enmity; but perfect love in every heart and to every being; where there is perfect harmony among all the inhabitants, no one envying another, but everyone rejoicing in the happiness of every other... where love is always mutual and reciprocated to the full; where there is no hypocrisy or dissembling, but perfect simplicity and sincerity; where there is no treachery or unfaithfulness or inconstancy or jealousy in any form... where there is no division through different opinions or interests, but where all in that glorious and loving society shall be most nearly and divinely related, and each shall belong to honor, without any sickness, or grief, or persecution, or sorrow, or any enemy to molest them, or any busybody to create jealousy or misunderstanding, or mar the perfect, and holy, and blessed peace that reigns in heaven!"
Saturday, 2 February 2013
I just wish I could move like that... without the whole face-plant into the wall bit.
Enjoy - have a good weekend.
Friday, 1 February 2013
As a church we need to be real with ourselves. Jesus was never slow in pointing out issues with the religious organisation - and sometimes I wish I had the courage to do so more poignantly as well. Mark Driscoll in his book Doctrine writes this about the church.
The church obeys the Great Commission to evangelize and make disciples. The church is an evangelistic community where the gospel of Jesus is constantly made visible through its proclamation of the gospel, the witness of the members' lives, and its Spirit-empowered life of live. From the first day, "the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved" because they took Jesus' command seriously; "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
The church is to be an evangelistic people on mission in the world, passionate to see lost people meet Jesus Christ as Savior, God, and Lord. Any church submitting to the Holy Spirit and obedient to Scripture wants fewer divorces, addictions, thefts, and abuses and knows the only way to see that happen is to make more disciples. The church loves people and is continually and painfully aware of the devastation that is wrought in this life and in the life to come for those who are not reconciled to God. Therefore, while not imposing religion on anyone, the church of Jesus Christ is to constantly be proposing reconciliation with God to everyone.Before we point fingers at the like of Mundine, Thompson and Armstrong we need to take stock of how we are living up to the mission and object of our faith. Are we following Jesus' commands? In Deception Bay alone we have not even half the Religious Education teachers we need to cover the three primary schools. One person is teaching eight classes a week to attempt to see the junior grades covered, and she is worked to exhaustion. In our church of over 100, we struggle to get more than four leaders to any of the children or youth ministries... Kids Club, Youth Group, Kids Time are all floundering because no one puts their hand up to help. When you add the other churches in the area we should have more than enough people to cover the R.E teaching, plus within dBay Baptist we have more than enough to cover every one of our ministries. So why are we lacking?
Unfortunately the people still reading at this stage are probably those who are committed enough to actually help out, but I just wish we are a Church (worldwide) would see that the Gospel is the only answer to the world's problems, and Christ followers are the only people who can deliver the Gospel. We need to stop focusing on ourselves and get back to the mission the Church was called to. When we see public figures fall, maybe instead of pointing the finger and feeling good about ourselves, we should see the same flaws in us and turn to Jesus in repentance... asking Him to renew the passion for his mission in our hearts and show us how we can forward His Gospel once again.