9th Month check up, Questions to ponder again!

 

Just some simple questions to ponder, take up do what ever you will with they will impact your life if your honest, be free and liberate your self through them, these are meant to empower and make life an adventure.

What’s one way you could utilise time to increase your enjoyment of God?

What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do right now?

What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your life and your family life?

In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress, and what will you do about it?

Who are three people you can disciple more intentionally?

What is the most helpful way you can build community with a few other followers of Jesus?

For whose salvation will you pray most fervently?

Who is the person you most want to encourage and how could you do it right now?

What one thing could you do to deepen your conversation with the Father?

What single thing can you plan to do that will matter most in ten years?  Then as the opening scene of the Gladiator film says whats will echo in eternity?

 

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Trends of the Spirit – Servant – Leader – Influencer

Today the Spirit is re engaging our theology and consideration to realise that our God is a Trinitarian God and not a hierarchical God, as we have so often been instructed.   This simple change in understanding has major ramifications on all thinking and practice within our world.  We realise that theology is at the base of every decision and action in each society – it is time to review and adjust to the instructions of the Spirit and allow the impact to  stretch across our world.

There has never been so much debate regarding the way forward as there is today, with markets changing, people changing, with the needs and requirements of modern men and women.

We actually say that everyone is a leader in some way or another, whether a parent at home discipline, schooling, empowering their children or as a successful business entrepreneur.   You are influencing someone!

Leadership in most people’s’ mind would be thought to be seen, in the charismatic decisive directive goal filled person, with every one else listening and doing as they are told, yet over the years we have seen that this is so far from the servant leadership model, we are all called to.   Willing to pour oneself out for the advance and empowerment of others.

We live in a season where leaders are to be honoured yet Christ poured himself out; this was his style of leadership and influence.    I would even step out and say for true, lasting and worthwhile leadership it has to be “servant style” to be lasting.   As a matter of fact it is in vogue to talk generational in church settings and in mentoring business settings, yet lasting success can only be achieved through servant style leaderships or influence!    It is about time we discovered that once again.

In times of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists”.

Eric Hoffer

The only way to avoid control or domineering of people’s identity, is to rediscover our call to servanthood once again.

As you read through the Psalm’s you can come across gems of thoughts on all emotions and experiences of life, one recently caught my attention “…Finish what you started in me, God.    Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now…”(138:8), we are reminded that we have a God-given purpose, The Father has begun something in us and through us.        We are told in Paul’s writing each one has been given a destiny that has been for ordained, that was placed before the beginning of time.  Then in Philippians we are told that “… he who began a good work in you will complete it…” you see there is no shadow of turning on his behalf, when it comes to his will towards us and towards his purpose.

Each one of us are given the opportunity to imprison, empower, liberate others around you we can entrap friends and employees or bring them into the “… wide open spaces…” the liberty of God. It does not matter whether it is in the work arena or our faith arena, each one of us should be looking to enlarge others.

“The most immediate risk in your present way of operating may be that you could not be replaced, it there should be a need of that”

Robert Greenleaf, Servant Leadership

Decades ago a new book arrived on the shelves called ‘Servant Leadership’ written by Robert Greenleaf it has always amazed me how few books have taken on this focus, although I do believe for lasting impact we are beginning now to realise the distraction we have been brought into.    The term Servanthood, Servant, has been part of our vocabulary for many years and yet we still seem to struggle with its’ full implication in leadership and influence but subtle distractions come our way.   We seem to be still much more comfortable with a dominant leadership style, rather than one the soul reflects the Godhead and the modeling of Christ in pouring oneself out. Perhaps if we considered a different vantage point we could see a change, and move from the idea of being the chief to being a builder.

The servant leader is not the center of attention but the one that matures, releases and promotes others into their position. The servant becomes the stepping stool for others.

It is time that the church becomes aware of their lasting effect and become the leaders and influencers to bring about maturity.

“Servant leaders want to see the company even more successful in the next generation, comfortable with the idea that most people won’t even know that the roots of that success trace back to their efforts” 

Jim Collins, Good to Great

This “servant leadership” will be built on integrity and therefore will attract trust, people will enable men and women to sleep at night as they pulled out their lives for others. There will come a time with the using of others step is to achieve power will cease only as the impact of servant leadership is allowed to be seen.

To lead with the desire to become a successful as you aim to succeed in the very process, servant leadership it is our day greatest cover our call and vocation to evolve into Servant Leaders, to follow the Christ and explain the Fathers ways.

As we move more and more into the day of the saints, advancing from the priesthood of all believers to the ministry of all believers it is the lasting hand of the servant leader that will bring about a lasting impact for the Kingdom of God and his King.

This Kingdom will fill the whole of creation, and the joy of God, the church, will cause Christ to be seen in our world, by being the exact representation of his style in every way.   To love and empower, to free and give course for life, to be the incarnation in our generation through servants of Christ and leaders who are servants of all creation.

This is not a style of leadership but it is a leadership that endures and therefore brings about true lasting enduring advance

It Starts Here.

I recently listened a quote attributed to Nelson Mandela in the film ‘Invictus‘.   An enjoyable film with some really good thoughts and many one liners, worth watching and mulling over.
The quote “The Rainbow Nation starts here. Reconciliation starts here…Forgiveness starts here too”.    Too long and too many times we expect every one else to do the changing, this  quote brings home to me the responsibility for a nation, a people group, it  is not with the politician, or its business people or its educators but it starts RIGHT HERE,   that is,  in my heart, the new nation will not happen unless we as individual contribute to the advance and take responsibility beyond ourselves.
This is not an appeal for individualism but for a together understanding, that it is each one playing their part corporately that will bring about change and transformation.    It is in the process of forgiveness we find true humanity and responsibility and bring advance and change.
Well what more do I need to say it is a time when the church the ‘ecclesia’ of God, the lovers of the Christ, realise that we too need to take responsibility.     It is  a baptism of WE, and an experience of Together, a move from me myself and I to  “We”.      We have been born to become sons of God, into sonship,  we are to learn to live from inheritance rather than just live and draw on the grace of God, gaining an understanding of how the Father distributes and uses his stuff, as we mature we can be entrusted with inheritance, being the extension of the Father, doing what he would do?   The trouble is, in grace people get healed, delivered  and raised from the dead but Jesus lived his 30 years not simply from grace but from a sonship inheritance position.     Rather than us seeing our world from our own personal feelings we should begin to see  it from a corporate perspective, as this serves the Christ.      The Father has always only had one son in view, and will only always have the one son in view.    The people of God are to be the image and likeness of the Father and display the practices of the Father, as I have outlined in other writings the “…explain the Father…” as Christ came and did rather than us having our own trip and encounter, we are here to explain the father and encounter  him in the explanation.    Anything less than this is simply just about my trip in God, which means my next encounter needs to be a bigger buzz or greater impact than the last one to keep me in and believing God is there?   Gods’ purpose is much more, we have been invited  into an authentic relationship, to be his explanation,  authentically in our world.
The people of God seem to fallout and divide over experience, with irretrievable break downs, yet we are to be the model of reconciliation, being firstly reconciled to the Father then displaying and becoming that attitude in our world.   We are to develop an attitude of forgiveness, not just forgiving by numbers, first if my brother has anything against me, go to him, secondly and thirdly….  Forgiveness is seen as lives touch each other without needing to rely on a system of actions, but when a disposition of forgiveness, that explains the Father is displayed, “…forgive them Father they know not…” was Christs’ ultimate cry before he was crucified.      We are to be the LOVE of the Father in our world, not only being loved by the Father but we are to be the exact love in our world, so that the world might know….
In the film Nelson Mandela when asked about who his family was, says  “My family is very large. 42 million”.    Let us be baptised into a corporate experience that takes away individuality and allows us to be ourselves while also realising my family is ……millions?
Baptise us O God into a WE understanding and life style, a RECONCILIATION experience and life style,  a disposition of FORGIVENESS  “…it starts here…”   YOU, not one of us is an island or self-made, we are so interwoven into each other, a collage of many, it is supposed to be that way.   Self made is from another place,  it is certainly  not God and Christ Centred,  God is never singular,  yet our world tries to make the single the individual higher, God is always in more than one, God is never alone!

He Stole My Bible again…

I am not sure how you read your scriptures and what you draw from the arranged letters that are offered to us.    A number of years ago I was presented with a new translation of the scriptures every year, it was a planned and purposeful exchange, so i would change the way i read and listened to what I read.  It took me a few years to realize what was going on, I was a little slow, rather funny really, every year the question came “What bible are you reading?” I offered my translation and by the end of our conversation, in those first days of each new year my old bible walked out of the room and  a new translation was let in return.   Excuse me I said but my notations are in that bible, the reply was “Yes” my comment was  “Hmmm” and his “that’s exactly why I am taking it”.   But it instructed me to read from different a different vantage point the same word, it brought the scriptures alive again as I saw the different angles of the diamond of this book.   It was a challenging lesson initially, then every first of the year meeting I learned to present my old 1-year-old bible and open my hand for the new one to be exchanged.

One of the lessons of reading the Scripture is to grasp the fuller story, the panoramic view of Gods dealings with his people, some times we get so caught up with this and that little thing, and  we have not understood the over all panorama of Gods working, cause and purpose.   I long for more people to catch what God is doing from a distance rather than getting into the minutiae, when we don’t understand the wide aims of his purpose.   For instance You can look at the book of Joshua and see all the in’s and outs – all good stuff walls falling, inheritance gaining, conquering armies, trust and obedience, establishing a people etc.   But one thing that encourages me in the narrative is simple when we get across from the deliverance from Egypt the victory of transferring from supply upon supply, that is food, water, clothes never wearing out etc., to a place, as we enter the promise and realize there is still unfinished business!    The book is the story of unfinished business, the settlement in the land is the account of unfinished business. We often wish it was not so, why did God not do it all?     Perhaps its the issue of God making us partners with him in everything, he has done his bit, now we have to take hold of the unfinished business and bring it to pass “earth becoming like heaven, his likeness and image in you and me.   That’s another blog.

Unfinished business.    Each new episode of life, each new year each new day is the account of unfinished business.

So you wake up each day with unfinished business, not procrastination on yesterday’s stuff but today is the continuation of completing the purpose, the set course that God has for humanity and creation, your story and mine is the story of unfinished business until a generation comes to see Christ filling all things.    The small reading of Scripture can so easily introduce to us a narrative of me and the immediate, yet we are about a course of direction the Father has begun and we are involved in unfinished business.   I wonder what your unfinished business looks like?

Lets’ Keep Moving Hitting the Mark

You cannot get away from Paul’s encouragement to have one goal in mind and heart as we travel through our Christian journey, the goal to become more and more like Christ untilhe fills all things’ or until he has the pre-eminence in our lives in book of Philippians he says we are to ‘press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’   It was with this in mind that we set out every year to so call Hit the Mark, to get entwined with unfinished business of the cause of God.

As ever Now in our journey we take steps forward, to grow from strength to strength, glory-to-glory, faith-to-faith and favour-to-favour, it is not the time to settle back and simply enjoy the inheritance we already have.     There is Unfinished business here.

The children of Israel had to be ready at all times to up stakes and move on whenever the cloud or the pillar moved, they moved, sometimes they stayed a month in one place other times a day, they had to be ready and willing at all times to be obedient to the call of the Lord.   As soon as they heard the trumpet sound they were to up camp and move on.    I wonder how they felt about the trumpet sound, did they wait eagerly to hear it knowing that they would be moving closer to Gods purpose for them, or did they dread the sound knowing that once again it would mean uprooting and change.     They journeyed and crossed into the inference which was full of unfinished business.

The trumpet of the Lord is certainly sounding across His church in these days calling us to wake up and step into the fullness of our calling.    It is calling us to move on and not simply camp around our experiences of the past whether good or bad, it is calling us to press on and embrace the revelation that is being birthed in this day.     Unfinished business prevents us from stopping around anything that is not the full cause of Christ.   People say this and that is the main event, the thing God is doing, this is the structure and pattern, it’s that theology and practice, it’s this experience and encounter, yet the main event has always been one thing God’s cause “Christ filling all things” and all is unfinished business until that happens.

Each generation have their own journey to walk, their own milestones to reach, and we are so aware of the continuity of the body of Christ knowing that the achievements of each generation build on the last and prepare the way for the next.   I remember once being told that God had no grandchildren, meaning that each generation will have their own encounter and task to fulfill in the great scheme of things.      It is our joy to be in the position to build on what we have received whilst knowing that we will advance a greater unfolding of what we had received – faith-to-faith.

We recognize that the children of Israel had certain milestones in their journey, and likewise we know that the Lord has given us certain milestones that we must reach towards in our journey together.   These are marks for us to hit, things for us to reach towards together and see achieved in our day and generation.

You and I have unfinished business and the grace and supply of god is there as we make his cause our unfinished business!    As you move further and further into this year may you truly finish unfinished business for this is the draw of God s work.  Complete that which is in our day to finish.

Interesting ‘New Wine’ Facts…

There is a wonderful verse found in Is 65:8 which states that “…as new wine is found in the cluster…” it is a verse that has been in my heart for many years.   We live in a world of individuality and the success of self-made people, we so often make these individuals the pinnacles of life.   This simple scripture reminds me that true newness is found not in individuality but in the many.   New wine, the wine of God is not in a single grape but in the cluster all the grapes on the vine being worked together to become the new wine of God.

Unfortunately we have been so taken with achieving at any cost we forget that God is after cluster people, relationship, people who are willing to change their shape being pressed into each other to become the “New Wine”

Here are some wine facts I came across while being in our beloved South Africa, you may find it interesting to see how it takes a cluster to produce a single glass. The cup we must drink must be the cup of a cluster!   A TOGETHER life, a corporate body and people group, not individuals we so often see in our day with individual Celebrities, but a whole people given to become the new wine of God,  the church has to become the cluster of God.

1 grape cluster = 1 glass     

75 grapes = 1 cluster

4 clusters = 1 bottle

40 clusters = 1 vine     

1 vine = 10 bottles

1200 clusters = 1 barrel

1 barrel = 60 gallons

60 gallons = 25 cases

30 vines = 1 barrel

400 vines = 1 acre

1 acre = 5 tons

5 tons = 332 cases

 Determine that in 2012 you will invest into the cluster, and not only your own ministry or status.    

Be a part of the cluster of New Wine!