Ask yourself this…

UnknownIt’s quite amazing as you read through the scriptures how the bible is tied together and flows together considering so many people put pen to paper over so many years. When we see the authority of the Scripture as being something to hold to it’s still amazing of where we find certain passages situated.

It’s interesting as you read 1 Corinthians 13, as it turns our mind towards love where it is rested. I am told a diamond truly only comes into its own when it’s in its correct setting.      Perhaps 1 Corinthians 13 sits in its correct setting?      The passage is sandwiched between two chapters one having to do with spiritual gifts and the other to do with the speaking in tongues.     I know that most of us have either read or heard it read at weddings, but I’m suggesting that we regain its significance and took this very same passage and applied it to our influence, leadership, common conduct for the common good.  I would even suggest I am struggling to see its relevance at weddings really, it was around a table, at gathering of the church family this was to be effectively encountered This LOVE…

I really do think that this passage was not return for wedding ceremonies, although can be used and is good but it really was more written for the church family life and for those that were taking responsibility and leadership and mature in the body of Christ. So let’s consider…

“Love is patient”
Do I give others the same room that I want them to give me? When mistakes are made, advances are taken?

“Love this kind”
Do the people I hang out with actually like being around me? Is appointed thought ask yourself how much do people asked to be with me outside of my work, outside of responsibility?

“It does not envy”
when that great idea is suggested, when someone gets promoted what my inner attitude like? Do I find a jealous streak arising when a great ideas shared, constantly perceiving others threatening me. Some people find themselves unable to live in their current condition because those who suggests their mature, project the superiority perceive you as a threat.

“It does not boast”
Am I the kind of person that always wants to tell people of my previous achievements, that I almost had gone what I’ve done to every comment. If we are so obsessed with what I’ve done in the past then to be honest would really not advancing towards anything at all.

“It is not proud”
I got it, “you need to come to me to see how it’s done” I was once told. I’m the one that knows how to do it, I am the one in the church/organisations that has the answer, you need to worship like me, think like me, preach like me?

“It is not rude”
As soon as I hear an idea I don’t like to I cut them off mid-sentence. Am I the one that blanks people, do people get a calm cold response from me? Is my insecurity so great I’m sharp with people?

“It’s not self-seeking”
What I give my time to, how I invest myself always and really about?

“Is not easily angered”
People afraid to bring me information that is true about me because they know I will lose my cool. Is my life cultivated from being constantly angry?

“It keeps no record of wrongs”
“that’s the… time you’ve done that said that”, “how many times… I remember the last time, and the time before”. Why tell them and remind people of their failures of past constantly, I mind the epitome of forgiveness.

“ love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truths”
Can people be honest and open with any one of us? it’s lonely influencers/leaders who do not have people around them will open up their hearts and share correctly and accurately truth. For this kind of person becomes the dominant that sits on top. Why can’t a bit the truth is celebrated so that people will enjoy truth at all times.

“It always protects”
Am I the kind of person that people will feel my kindness, graciousness, forgiveness, do they know I will always have their best in mind. It always difficult to flow with people will demand loyalty but never extended in any way.

“Always trusts”
Do I come from a trusting position of distrust in. As my years of life and experiences around me produced a distrusting starting point. Can I be one the trusts, and trusts and only when you are constantly showed that I cannot trust I begin to change. Is my world made up of trust or caution?

“Always hopes”
I half empty or half full pot kind of person? Do I assume or how bad it is or how poor the people are. Can I find inside me a way of believing others.

“Always perseveres”
How long will I stay in with people, once it made a mistake am I out of the, my quick to give up on people? And I’m the one that stays in and is a faithful as a friend.

“Love never fails”
Can people feel and sense my love always it quite often displayed in those that stay around. Is the atmosphere that people draw from me that love winds through?

Therefore as an influencer or a leader, as a parent a mother or father, as a friend and brother or sister IVs the qualities of my influence. Ask yourself when I honestly like. I would even suggest that spiritual gifts or speaking in tongues love will always be. To flow in gifts at a time added to root, and its foundation love must be a love that is patient, kind….

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Radical You & Me – The Radical Christ

images-2It’s easy to say, ‘We are to be like Christ’, it is RADICAL and yet it a common statement, we may also hear folk say we are to be incarnational, what does that really mean? Someone once said that ‘Jesus put a face on God’ by coming amongst people and touching, lifting, embracing and caring for them in their hurts and needs. I find the scripture in John 1:18 very important for the day in which we live, it states that Jesus “came to explain the father”. He put a face on God for all humanity and this is continuing in the family way, explaining and making people aware of God, being the image and likeness of God to our homes, streets, work and educational establishments. We embrace Christ’s radical mission, recognising that the Father sends us even as he sent Jesus, [John 20:21] then we too can wear the face of God in…

God’s intention today is to step into the cities, towns and rural areas of the nations to touch and lift the fallen, broken, hurting and dying in humanity. We must refuse to fossilize if we’re to avoid becoming a church, a called out people ‘having form without power’.[ 2 Timothy 3:5]

In reality Christ, the supreme restorer, was the most RADICAL man that ever walked the earth. Jesus’ radical actions were not moments of human weakness or intolerance, but expressions of God’s heart. The radical Christ is at all times the perfect image of God the Father. Radical Christianity will always be passionate, jealous as well as zealous, and white-hot for the divine interests involved. Being radically committed to the restoration of the church to God’s full intention brings us into inevitable conflict with custom and tradition.

Before we move on “Radical” a much used term that has often been taken to mean the way out, those who extremely different on the edge kind of people, those that don’t easily belong to cultural or norms. But RADICAL actually means “foundational”, Jesus is radical as he has always dealt with humanities foundational issues. We are radical as we carry a foundational message, life and implication.

I mentioned being radical is being committed to radical restoration, restoration challenges any misplaced sense of loyalty to religious heritage, or sentimental attachment to a religious past. Radical commitment to the restoration of God’s church keeps us moving forward in the direction of the Spirit in our day, and prevents us from falling by the wayside with the religiously comfortable. Its only by being given to a radical restoration will the progress of the church be achieved. Standing radically to break through the restraining religious walls and forces of our time, this is the radical ministry of the people of God.

Our world today and tomorrow will be affected by radical men and women who live as saints from bygone years in the light of God’s purpose.

RADICAL CHANGES

Changes are occurring at a fast pace, the world we live in is getting unrecognizable, shifts are happening, things are changing in this generation; we are growingly aware that what we have now is no longer sufficient for what presently is, or for what is coming. We cannot settle for the average, accepting conventional wisdom. We must do more than merely think of changing; we must change our thinking. We cannot just uphold the same. We cannot just drift by but the need to be foundation-ally radical is there. The kingdom of God is the reality of God’s ways, God’s order, God’s government and pattern in our “time/space” world. The kingdom of God is a very radical experience.

We are being radical when:

· We embrace the gospel that joins us to others and their need, and cuts us free from the destructive influence of our independent self-will.

· We embrace the consequences of following his direction and Spirit regardless of possible consequences, which frees us from self-preservation.

· We maintain an attitude of pioneering, journeying onward rather than settling in self-comfort zones; we are pilgrims, not settlers.

· Living free of any domination of consumer world and the passing unimportant things that try and make themselves important via group pressures. Money can enslave; decisions, actions, directions, relationships, even ministry can be controlled by the desire for the temporal or money.

· Confidently confront the powers of darkness that oppose us rather than allowing them to paralyse us in fear.

· Making things happen is our way of living It is not for others to cause something to happen but for you to make it happen.images

· We refuse to compromise the truth to accommodate religion, or cultural norms.

· We remain committed to Christ as head of the church refusing to get stuck.

Be nostalgic or Seize the NOW…

imagesAs we take stock of life and take a look towards the future and being wise looking back over the events of days gone, for this is true wisdom when we can draw from our past and now to mold the future.  As we do this I am sure we all have different thoughts of what the future holds.  Even as we consider the past we would have different thoughts about what got us to this point.

We all get asked in the light of world events what does this mean?   I have to say some times I don’t know helps us Lord in the changes that are rushing towards us all.   Several years ago I picked up a book called “The Tipping Point”, I am told it has become rather a buzz statement for many, with many taking it up to sum up their feelings of now.    The notion is that everything comes to a point of balance, one that is ready to tip and throw its weight towards a certain direction.   Many things can tip the balance, it could be  a reasoned thought, an emotional response, or a circumstance that tips the balance and takes you over an edge.    In other words the statement we often used to hear of  “its got to break” has now moved into a roller coaster a movement, beginning a direction that seemingly has its own momentum.    So many people I talk to feel as if they are either on the approach to or at the point of just starting over, on the edge of their own “tipping point.

Whatever way we consider, the past, the present and the future I have come to one conclusion, that echoes out loudest over all my thoughts, and I have shared this in several settings over the last 3 years.  It was so loud in my thinking that it drowned out every other thought in my mind; it is “what got me here will not get me there”.   An understanding formed in me, that what ever brought me to know what I now knew, whatever had positively assisted, empowered and served me/us, was not sufficient to carry me/us into tomorrow.  A now, new moment had arrived, in every new moment there is a new encounter, which is necessary to envision and equip the day.   Moses saw God in the burning bush, Abraham met God for his journey and new pilgrim life style, even Jesus encountered the Father in the Garden to face he cross, earlier he encountered the Father at his baptism in preparation for the wilderness and the 3 ½ years of function.

Wherever you are, I think the tipping point is becoming a life-style, not just a moment but also a way of life that we are always negotiating.  There is in fact a cost to be considered in every tipping point, be it into an event, a way of life, or a life choice, that will not even allow us to return to where it all began.

A place of no return so to speak, a rub-icon crossed?, this all sounds high and mighty, but we make these kinds of decisions daily.    Decisions effecting people and relationships, how we use our money, our job/vocational choices, we even see it in the small events of life as they may be.    Please realize that most lives are a sequence of small events and we cross rub-icons daily that have no pain attached but certainly are transformational in terms of our friendships and families – people, what we do – time, and the final resource in our lives, money and how we dispose of and work our money – finance.

Can I encourage you to think out of the box before you negotiate the “tipping point” and set your roller-coaster along life’s chosen pathway. Clear the house, your life first with start by determining I QUIT!   This I Quit will help the process of going over the edge taking that step forward I will give you just 4 “I Quit”

Quit making excuses

Quit complaining

Quit living in fear

Quit complaining 

Having chosen to negotiate my “tipping points”, having then welcomed them these “tipping points”, they have in turn set up various directions of life for me over the last 8 years.   It has caused much re-evaluation of resources, hearts, and direction as events and situations continue to present themselves.   I have had to remodel my view of life and more than that, remodel my view of God himself.    Which of course allows the remodeling of how we function.  Knowing this discovering View of God that will determine how well we all live.

Following all that I am excited over the phase we have now began to live though, a phase that clearly brings multiplication in a new way into my thinking.   Seeing Apostolic networks possibly becoming Apostolic families, heavily relational rather than organizational, realizing that we should not replace the single grace that so empowered many and much in last 30 years + with another grace, endorsing a Papal system again, but seeing the release of multiplication of apostolic graces across the countries and world in this phase.    Many networks or movements are giving way to family expressions with a relationship life flowing across them and through them, which is releasing the possibilities of continual multiplication.    It must then continue to fill the world we live in with organic family expression of Christ.

It’s a time not to be  the new phase and take hold of the circumstances that now face each of us.

Keep Kissing…Art of honesty

imagesProverbs says as we have discovered “An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship” – this is our continued thinking into the art of using your lips…

Be gentle. Proverbs 15:1 contrasts the results of different approaches to honesty. A “harsh word [one lacking tact, kindness, and sensitivity] stirs up anger.” Anger can lead to a rejection. A “gentle answer [characterised by preparation, wisdom, and care] turns away wrath.” Gentleness can remove the barrier to honesty.

Since many of our relationships are not accustomed to the light of honesty, we need to move carefully and slowly. Because the truth does hurt, it only makes sense to handle it with care.

Be appropriate. Timing is crucial with the truth. If you need to confront your spouse, stay away from the loaded minutes when you first get home at the end of the day. A truthful conversation should be held in a private and quiet place.

Communication that holds potential for discomfort needs time and space. Don’t hurry. Don’t dole out a healthy portion of honesty on your way out the door in the morning. Don’t offer up a truth bomb as the last thing before you close your eyes for sleep and then defend your lack of discretion with, “I’m just being honest!”

Proverbs 25:11 compares “a word aptly spoken” to fine gems that have been set into gold and silver jewellery. That word of honesty will be true no matter where and when you share it. Put it in the right setting, and the result can be beautiful. Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!”

Build an environment of trust. Truth comes as a shock within a relationship where the norm has been denial. The resulting fallout may be devastating. Work on creating an atmosphere of acceptance and grace.

This is especially true when dealing with children. A parent who uses the truth like a sledgehammer, inflicting pain without grace, is an abuser.

Simon Cowell-type criticism without the safety produced by grace and love is rude, obnoxious, and malignant. It has no redeeming value. But, in a family where love is the main course on a consistent basis, a side dish of critique can be offered without fear of harm.

The honesty equation goes something like this: More honesty brings more intimacy—and more intimacy brings more honesty.

When you are in a friendship that is new or tentative, don’t unload truth all at once.

Set the stage for greater vulnerability later by sharing only a little now.

Perhaps Peter didn’t walk out on Jesus when Jesus called him “Satan” because by that point in their relationship, Peter knew that Jesus loved him. Did it hurt? Sure! But Peter trusted the giver of such forceful truth.

“In our desire to be an inspiration to one another we often veil what is true, because what is true is not always inspirational. But hurting believers whose lives are in tatters often need real help. If we were able to put aside our need for approval long enough to be authentic, then, surely, we would be living as the church.” Taken form Sheila Walsh book

Unpleasant truth is sometimes necessary. But our truth-telling needn’t be a slap in the face. Rather, it can be as gentle as a kiss that honours our relationships, demonstrates love, and confers value.

Learn the art of Kissing…. Truth telling….

Kissing honestly – a Kingdom of God reality.

An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship

Proverbs 24:26

imagesI am amazed and shocked how much influence a man can wield…   our TV has been dominated in recent years with talent shows and competitions for all types of people and animals.   Dog trainers, singers, puppeteer, acrobats, martial arts, dancers, individuals and groups alike, all trying their best, programs such as  “….got talent”, “X factor”, “The Voice”, “Idol”, the population that view seem to be oblivious to the program’s design, its aim to be exposing of the unfortunate through flattery, its staging what will be done to get viewing figures, the ridicules along with the talented in a world where we have no failures where we are not to allow any one to fail at anything. 

The voice of one man, one judge is sought on the UK and USA programs, the opinion of the daddy of talent programs Simon Cowell, a judge, it is what all take interest in receiving.   Yet he has acquired a reputation for his severe criticism of the pop-star hopefuls, talent displays. “My attitude has always been, ‘Don’t lie to people,’” Simon says. “Kids turn up unrehearsed, wearing the wrong clothes, singing out of tune, and you can either say, ‘Good job,’ and patronize them or tell them the truth, and sometimes the truth is perceived as mean.”

The real question is, why do people even show up?

Even the untrained ear can discern that many of them can’t sing. Yet they believe with miraculous sincerity that they can make it big. What has happened here?

Someone lied. In an attempt to encourage, a parent or friend or significant other told the hopeful singer that he had the right stuff. In the name of love, someone told him that he should make a CD. Out of a desire to protect the self-image of a young person, someone lied.

Cowell acknowledges that part of his job is to close that gap: “For a lot of contestants, it’s a suspension of belief. Your family and friends say you’re pretty good—and we’re here to stop you.”

 

Before you made a fool of yourself, wouldn’t you want to be stopped? As hard as it may be to hear the truth, as difficult as it may be to accept it, wouldn’t it be more loving and kind if someone said, gently and firmly, “Don’t do this. It’s not good. I like you. I love you. But you’re not a pop star”?

Of course it would. But we’ve lost the ability to tell the truth when the truth is hard.

Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips,”  it’s not an honest answer is like a slap on the face. A kiss is something to look forward to…but honesty?

How can these two be similar?

How is a kiss comparable to an honest answer?

A kiss honours relationship.

A kiss brings us close to another and builds relationship.

Risking this type of kiss, we honour one another and our relationships.

Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, took a big risk when he told Moses that he was taking on too much responsibility by acting as arbiter of all disputes for the people of Israel: “What you are doing is not good!” (Ex. 18:17 ).   Moses, who was not known for his patience when confronted with the truth, could easily have rejected this advice—and the advisor. However, “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (v. 24 ).

How many times has your wife or husband come to you honestly “I’m upset…” your children turn and say “I don’t like that…”   Often we are not excited to be told the truth about ourselves, especially when it’s contrary to our perception

We could save ourselves much hassle by letting things go.    But some times we bravely take on the task of truth telling for my sake and for the sake of better relationships in our family. Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

    Telling the truth is interior decoration for another’s character. The risk—and the relationship—is worth it.

More thoughts on these kisses next time