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.

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

Self – Sharpening…

images-7I wonder if  there is any one on the planet that has not heard of Nelson Mandela, if you had not known much of him and where near world media along with following the recent events in South Africa, the cerebration of his life and the “world funeral”.   He was a man who became a principled man, willing to allow his own desires and emotions to be adjusted by the principles he held, willing to live and die for an ideal. Through this he has impacted millions of people across our  world.   One value he encouraged and by all accounts practised diligently each day while imprisoned on Robbin Island and continued following his release, which actually explains something about him.   He longed that ever man and woman would self examine for 15 mins each day, considering how they forgave, how they spoke to others, how they loved, etc., a self-examination people in order that our world would be a better place.

Now let me take that though and extend it to our blog.   If we  are to serve effectively we must sharpen ourselves diligently.

Look at yourself – your mental abilities, emotional responses, character qualities, attitudes and skills.   determine to sharpen every aspect to become productive in either redeeming or influencing mankind.

Sharpen your emotions to respond adequately to the working of God in your human experiences.   Be a thanks-giver, not just a thanks feeler.   Train emotions so that when God is excited you are too, when God is at rest you are at rest.

Develop your powers of discernment.  learn to differentiate between the important and the unimportant, the open door and the close door, the door to push and the door to stop pushing.

Sharpen your mind by reading, study, learning and questioning.   Surround yourself with sharp-thinking people.   Get with sharp people, because sharp people will keep you sharp.   Sharp people will not agree with you all the time.   If you only love the people who are agreeing with you, it is only yourself you are loving.   Get with people who get you thinking ‘that is a good thought’, and that it did not come from you.   Get with people who can add to you.   You share the best revelation and they top it…

i can learn from people who see more than me.     Get with sharp people.   Don’t get with those that are gossiping, backbiting or pulling down, or even tell you they or you can do better that those around.   Don’t get with miseries and especially meanes, not with pessimists, get with faithful men and women, those who talk faith and know what it is to be involved with the Work of faith, those who stir faith who loves people, loves God, is reaching towards people.   that is where we want to go Hebrews 10:24, 25

Know when to switch off the computer, TV, Xbox…   Keep sharp by praying in the Holy Spirit.   Abide in the word of God, dig deep in the word, see things that you have not seen before, buy a markable bible, mark, mark, mark until the word is sharp in you John 8:31, John 14:23, John 15:7, Col 3:16

Perform good works.    Good works are full of faith and love.   Look for opportunities to do good Hebrews 10:24, Ephesians 2:10

Link up with apostles, prophets and let them know your fields of expertise Ephesians 4:11-13, Ephesians 2:19,20

Next whatever you are in already, if you are convinced that is where you should be as a sphere of influence, next step is then to establish yourself in it, succeed in it and excel.   Do not settle for mediocrity 1 Cor. 10:31.

Speak confidently to yourself saying I believe God has placed me here, I will establish myself, hone my skills until I excel and gain the high ground of influence.   In order that we become a people on the cutting edge to our life and story.   A radical people.   A people deeply conscious of our heritage and our destiny.   A people bent on discipling the nations. A people ready to meet the challenge of our times and change the world, we are not born to journey through a trackless wilderness in life.   We are to follow the Spirits directions the steps of a journey of faith towards the destiny of the Father as we do the will of God.  We are intended to impact our age and world en route…

Move…Move…what?

images-7Considering a move – From time to time there comes a moment when we see that repositioning is required to advance all we hold dear.   A new job, a new home all to do with taking steps forward and making a difference although possibly for many it is about their own lives.    Some today are discovering they are in the wrong job, enduring permanent frustration.    The greater part of everyone’s (awaken) day is spent at work, so what I do, my job choice is important.   You will never influence people effectively if you are unhappy, unfulfilled and feeling undervalued.

“Well”, you say “what do I switch to?”.   It does not matter, as along as you occupy the ground that affords its greatest opportunity for influencing people and situations towards righteousness and justice in your time, as you seek to pursue Godlikeness.

You might be a social worker, teacher, engineer, IT, dinner lady, secretary or mother and father, it really does not matter what it is, others of you might be a driver, refuse collector, postman, newspaper deliverer or a student, it does not make a difference  as long as whatever you do, you are committed to it.   Position yourself in life where there is an opportunity to extend the Kingdom, and be happy.   I find more people just survive in work as they have not aligned who they are in their passion with what they do, (that may be another topic we may look at that some other time)

In thinking about changing what I do, we have to face the broader issue of our priorities.   We are to seek the Kingdom first, making it our first thought in life and making it foremost.    If we are to exercise influence for the Kingdom we must be governed by the Kingdom not the  local currency.

Some have come to the realisation ‘I need to relocate’, my home, flat.. is in cosy-ville, comfort-town, settled settlement where nothing is happening.   Nothing about it sharpens you any more.   You are in a rut, with no more sense of challenge.   but you have been around there so long that you don’t even recognise an open door when you see one.   Start to think actively about relocating!    Some live in places where they are really struggling to believe God for anything, it starts with being unable to believe for little things that we push aside, then before we see it they are not stretching to believe for anything.   it is time to reposition yourself along side men and women who are believing beyond, bigger and have a wider reach.    Some live where there are too many relatives taking a bite of your time and not allowing a reaching wider.

Some are too close to other people’s responsibilities.   If you were to move, you would be amazed how people could take up for themselves what they have been dumping on you.

I can hear some saying do you know the condition of the economy, the housing or job market, well what about believing God in all that, tapping into the life of God and going out to live that life….

Here is a challenge some are in a church that is too large for you.   it has 100’s and some 1000’s like you…you are just one in a long line, O yes its progressive, the music the programmes, the facilities but it’s not radical, cost but no challenge you know this week to week what goes on.   but we are to fill the earth with Jesus, Kingdom communities, we are to enlarge the family of God, we are to GO… constantly.   Lets make families, God-families, filling the earth with the family of God in every street, village, town and city by going rather than staying.

Ask yourself ‘Am I in the right work. right place, amongst the right church/people?”  determine to do whatever may be necessary to play your part to the full in touching and changing the world.   Jesus said that the grace and anointing was to do something (Luke 4:18) to set freedom first.

Be what you are, men and women, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters brothers and sisters, people of God, children of God the ecclesia.