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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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….

Do I have a theme song – what is Gods song?

images-7As we walk our faiths journey becoming more and more like the Christ of God, we find, on occasions, that the precise quality of our faith and journey are difficult to determine.   Many of our experiences are subjective and therefore difficult to pass on to others, as they pertain to my own personal walk,  we can even create a sense of lack in others if they are led to feel unable to enter into these experiences that our worlds are often filled with.

However we have many life stories and recording of experiences of men and women, who have displayed their closeness to the Father which in no doubt become a provocation on our journeys.

Our lives must have these signs and helps to those who w ear still to encourage in their walk towards God.    One of these constant experiences outlined by the saints gone by,  is to sing of mercy and to be redesigned by judgments, these to would appear to most Christians a suitable expression of their feelings.   David seems to express in a review of his life that both mercy and judgements are proper grounds for praise and thanksgiving, along with the determination given by the Holy Spirit  to praise God for them.

Psalm 101:1 has in its opening lines this declaration “My theme song is God’s love and justice… this  started me thinking down a number of avenues, the first being, what is my theme song?

is it of the Fathers love, the magnificent justice of a creator that has the ability to rule in my life?

A theme in my view captures a life, it sums up a whole life, it’s the overarching bias and constant experience of a life.   I wonder what theme my life has caught or is under girded with?

The phrase theme song or may be, more popularly said, a signature tune may be used to refer to a song that has become especially associated with a particular performer or dignitary; often used as they make an entrance. Examples of this association include: the President of the United States with “Hail to the Chief”; the Queen with our national anthem, a song or tune directly associated with a person.   The purpose of the music is to connect a person with some truth, aspect of their lives or their status in life then.  It  is also used to establish a mood for an event or show.   In terms of a show I it provides an audible cue that a particular show is beginning, the lyrics of the theme song provide some necessary exposition for people unfamiliar with the show or event.

So what is your theme song?    What does your life sing of?    What song will be associated to you and used to herald your entrance.   Will it be a positive of negative theme, are we those who are looking to communicate the great love of God, or the challenge of the walk, being near to depression with  the weight of responsibility?    What theme proceeds us as we enter a room, live life, is there a running and hiding from us?  a people saying o here comes pressure?   On the other hand it could be such a theme of overwhelming joy that all want to be in your company, for the theme to rub off?    The mood we create by the theme of our inner life?

Before you go away thinking well I do not create a mood, I wanted this simple opening stanza to assist us in realising how we can change the theme of our song, to create an opening and heralding an arrival that all would wish to create.    Rather than give up, consider what your inner life dwells upon.

“My theme song is God’s love and justice the song that I should take hold of inside and allow to be the song that precedes me, is the love of God,  being overwhelmed,  revelling in his love for me, never mind how unlovely I see me, He loves me unreservedly.   This is the beginning of the rewriting of my inner theme, allowing  the nature and theme of God’s Love and justice to be my constant thought of him.

The dealings of the Father with us as his people, display the wisdom and goodness of God.

Consider the mix of these two foundations for a theme song, love and justice, mercy and judgments.   Mercies, if unmixed, would “exalt us above measure;” and judgments, if unmixed, would sink us into despondency. A ship needs both sails and ballast, to carry it forward in safety: and so the Christian needs a diversity, in order to accomplish in them the purposes of God’s grace. God sends them to his people to

–       Form them into the divine image. So that the perfection of a Christian consists not in one grace, or even in one set of graces, but in a combination of all the graces which are suited to a redeemed soul, and calculated to advance the honour of our God.

–       Stimulate them on their way to glory.    Mercies have a tendency to fill the soul with love to God, and to make it pant for the full enjoyment of God in heaven. Judgments also operate to the same end, by weaning the soul from present things, and causing it to long for that rest which is in Christ

The saints in every age have acknowledged the goodness of God in them

Now let me ask again “What theme song do you have?”    Bathe your mind and heart in his love and mercy revel in his judgments and justice so that our theme can be as one song sung in heaven!

Lord appear again!

images-11appear
əˈpɪə/
verb.
Come into sight; become visible or noticeable, especially without apparent cause.
  1. “smoke appeared on the horizon”
    synonyms: become visible, come into view, come into sight, materialize, take shape;

The Lord appeared again” (1 Samuel 3:21),  never try to live your life on a once given word, and then try to establish your life, once given vision. If what you see has been birthed in the courtrooms of heaven and has been spoken forth by the voice of God you will find God affirming it,  and surely adding more detail to it, God will reveal his word from different angles and speak to you about it again and again. You are to be sustained by fresh encounters, fresh revelation, affirming, affirming, affirming whenever it is needed. Consider how many times God came face-to-face with Abraham’s life to talk to him about his seed and the promise. Clearly this man of faith needed an encouragement of affirmation, affirmation, affirmation of what he has heard and seen.

The word that came to Abraham was that the seed of Abraham would be a blessing to all the families of the Earth, through his seed the earth would  be blessed. Why again, the Father had told him once.   God knows that in the advance, the progress, the process of living, this adventure of life with God  will have seasons of pressure that require the ‘ again I say to you’.   Abraham had to see that God was as much involved in Sarah’s inability to conceive, through their long years as well as when the cry of the 1st child happened. What Abraham had heard needed to be stated again and again. You do not need a new vision, but we certainly need to a word again frequently. I need a burning fire on the inside.  If I who have been commissioned, entrusted with or been given a direction, a word to carry I do need the Lord to appear again.  This is how the prophets of old in the face of a declining moral condition kept the flame of their prophetic conviction alive, by the continuous revelation of the Father.

Lord help us to receive your ministries and enable their hearing, if the word of God had not some to prophets such as Samuel personally Samuel would not of have  had a word for Israel. Far too frequently we are trying to sustain people by preaching, don’t get me wrong preaching to inspire and impart is part of life for us.   Like it or not there is a difference between a prophet prophesying Gods word into a situation and a person preaching the word to a congregation, these are two very different things.

Let me give you a picture, have you ever driven down a clear road and coming to overtake a car, you put your foot  on the pedal but there is nothing there, no power, nor force that pushes you back on the seat.   It is so different overtaking when there is great power in the pedal, as you press down you are surged for the kick down and away you go. Every revelation from God does that to you, you have been challenged, you felt held back and then you see it, you hear it again and…… you’re away one of God’s surges.

When the prophetic word comes it gives you what you need, both power and wisdom to continue.

The prophetic is about securing and advancing God’s purpose in creation, it establishes the house, abode, the dwelling place of God this is the prophetic heart. God will always establish a word, a goal then press on to add to what has been gained.   Prophets are so convinced of the word they carry, the efficacy of the word, the creativity of the word, the power of the breath of God in the word,  the circumstances around them are not their lead, they often prophesy in contradiction to what is  seen around.

We are living in an incredible moment with the Gospel progressing in the realms of the spirit at every hand, with demonstration and manifestation, you could say the wave of experiential Christianity has come alongside revealing truth, we have revivals reported from all around the world, great gatherings of people groups in China, South America, Africa, India its exciting.

Here is our challenge, with all that God is doing we can get so quickly frustrated and disappointed, I am quite challenged and often unimpressed with the caliber of Christianity inside our very communities inside the very communities that are experiencing this blessing.   We could say that the disappointment is that with such a blowing of the wind of God, with the Spirit moving so strongly  yet this has not been met with the corresponding depth of response from us.  The longing is that with hearts being changed we all become ready kindling for the fire of the Word.

Will we discover that our cooperation with the Spirit is of the depth of the same givenness God is to us, our experience of the power of God is balanced by our perception, our knowledge of the Will of God, that we who are to disciple the nations, we preach, teach, pray and are faithful to this end

“eyes of the peoples’ understanding the open that they may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance of God in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power to us all believe”.Ephesians 1:18.

Paul said my work is that he would “…proclaim him, admonishing everyman, teaching everyman, with oral wisdom, that we may present everyman complete in Christ…” Colossians 1:28.    Catch the passionate heart of this apostle offloading his prophetic mantle  “…for this purpose I also Labour, striving according to his power that mightily works within me, for I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, but their hearts maybe encouraged having been knit together in love and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is Christ himself…” Colossians 2:2. 

Here is  the goal for every teacher or budding preacher, not to have the most creative and colourful delivery, but all that we do, is to  result “in actual knowledge of God’s mystery, that is Christ”.

If we do not sustain a prophetic passion we will end up with the Gospel of trivia, Christianity that splashes around in the trivial. Little and troubled leaders occupied with the  busyness of barrenness, we will become occupied with peripheral activities, becoming students and ultimately controlled by statistics, bottoms on seats and budget lines rather a people with the knowledge of God mystery.

I have a passion, I have a cry to see an effective dynamic testimony of the life of Christ in every major city, town and Street and house-to-house, then let our cry be to see apostles and prophets with passion would only build to Gods purpose. Become those who are sons of the prophets, of the covenant and be aflame!

“…Lord appear again…” refresh your word, your will and purpose to the nations. 

 

 

“You Won…”

images-9Subtitled “You won Arthur!”

We recently directed some guests of ours from overseas to Kings Cross station London as they wanted to see platform 9 ¾, I wondered what they wanted, 9 ¾ never heard of such a platform, cannot be really?  I had no idea what they were talking about, never heard of it, thought they are not from UK.    However I found out that they knew better than me, the platform was made famous through Harry Potter’s book, you go to the platform quite simply to get your photo opportunity… just in case you wish to see it take the Underground to Kings Cross / St. Pancras, (two main line stations that share the same Underground Station).        Follow the signs into Kings Cross Station when you get to the surface walk along Platform 8 (it’s totally free access).     When you see a sign directing you left to Platforms 9 to 11 keep going on along Platform 8 and the Platform 9 3/4 photo opportunity is a few yards further along on your left. There is normally a conspicuous sign on the platform pointing to the small alcove and out of the wall projects half a baggage trolley.   You have arrived at your destination.

I had no idea of how to get there or how to help others arrive there then the thought came to me, it is a real challenge for us all to answer the question   “where are we going and how can we help each other get there?”.    It is a timely question in the hour we live, with so many changes in society, politics and the economic world , in the business world and in the world of faith, the church change is coming at us as a fast speeding train, whether we want it or not.    Where is it taking us and how can we help each other get  there?

It  is a day for the prophetic people of God to come to the forth, a day in the midst of much noise and debate, to take hold of the word of God.     Gods’ words when uttered in the past created, they also sustained people who took them up.    These spoken words gave direction and knowledge to those who listen and heard them, those who listened  did not find themselves with out understanding.

Clearly we are in a day of discovering a deeper trust of the Father a new listening and obedience that will lead us into freedom and to the land of promise.    We have to grasp the idea that we are on journey,  that in itself  will empower, challenge and  mature all who embark.

Today as people of God in the west, we find ourselves so much part of societies thinking at large, that it has invaded the church and they way we think, becoming consumers in every way.   Seeking ever-increasing experiences for our emotions, listening to the word of God to consume that which we believe that will give us a quick advance, an edge on life or even fix?    Making decisions on that which we can get hold of immediately, the NOW rules us.    Yet the Journey men and women of old, the pictures of lives of people between the covers of the scriptures walked a journey, not a quick dash with immediate consumer gratification.    Consider the lesson of one of these journey men, Abraham, here is a man who had promise upon promise spoken to him, of people’s, fathering, sons, nation and land, God promises to bless all nations through Abraham, yet Abraham received none of these in his day, but  even 1000’s of years on the promises are still coming to pass.

Even more than that Abraham had a 644 Kilometer journey, once he was willing to entertain the promise.   A 644 Kilometer journey and a 4000+ year, time frame, to get the promises.   Now that is a challenge once he become obedient to the promise words of God it was a long haul walk and a massive time frame to content with.    Now don’t get me wrong on the journey there where evidences, victories of the promise but its fullness took walking on investing time, he become wealthy in his day, he had influence and did finally get a true son of promise, but certainly one son does not constitute a nation!   Once Abraham believed and entered the journey it was counted as righteousness to him, that is keeping in right line with the journey, and keeping it foundational to life’s actions and decisions.   The words of God are living, but how living are they ?  They require movement, obedience, a change of vicinity, a change of surroundings, a departure and a step in front of you.    Actually the words of promise to us all are to bring about sons of God who are led by the Spirit, to bring maturity in light of eternal promise.

I think its time to discover not only the joy of the immediate but the eternal will of the Father, knowing that we have been called to an eternal purpose, to depart from the tent of  the immediate and become the tent of meeting for our life and then our world around us.     We are, the people of God, the ecclesia, the church are to be the place where people will meet the love of God along with a people who are a prophetic journeying people

Let me encourage you to find others people who will also ask, where is all this taking us?  where are we going and how can i help you get there rather than making sure i can get there.

Traveling in a plane has its challenges, but no more for me than the initial film or safety demonstration, we are all shown, there is one difficult line there to listen  to, it goes something like this …make sure your mask when it drops from the roof goes on you first before you see to children or others… that is so against the journey of prophetic people,  firstly seeing to ourselves before others, so that we can all arrive together.    Many years ago  we were taught to play croquet by a great Godly man called Arthur Wallis some 15 or so of us, in a retreat centre in Sheffield.   As we came to the end of our game and lesson Arthur being the master crossed the line, won the game and a shout of “…you have won Arthur…” went up from all,  with this he turned and said “…no I only cross the line when all my brothers cross…” and with that he went to  be with the Lord.   What a line to enter eternity with, to depart this expression of life with, what a way to live, asking more how can i help you get to the destination of the will of God rather than consuming, to get there myself.

So find journey men and women, young people, children sojourners who are pursuing the will of the Father in eternal promise and plan and seek to help each other fulfill the prophetic purpose of God.