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!

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.

 

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.

Change Why? it’s so Difficult…

images-8Repentance, turning around, growing, maturing, taking on new ideas, new journeys, new ventures, what do they all have in common.   There is a thread that fixes these and other challenges of living together, it is called CHANGE.  If we are to move forward and live our Christian life to the full we must be able to embrace change, knowing it is imperative for us to understand the full elements of change.      Change brings about insecurity, emotionally.   I like the picture from the sporting world in the area of boxing; the unstable time for a boxer is when the boxer changes their stance it is an unstable moment; change brings instability, which we have to negotiate.   The church asks for change but very rarely helps us in the instability and emotional challenge of the change.      Wise people understand that lasting change requires them as individuals to change first before anything around them will change, in the same way influencers or leaders know if they change that which they are responsible for in their stewardship of people or organizations will also change.

Your change won’t last, or disrupt your community, unless those around you personally embrace the change first, at least at some level.    Let us try to understand why most people initially resist change.

There are processes that must be engaged in to bring and complete any change, often these are actions and thought patterns that are hidden. If we are to be Gods Change agents it is necessary that we become aware of our minds and people’s thinking.    As we become more people aware we can devise ways of helping lasting change.

Here are some change blockers, hindrances we will have to deal with:

Assume the worst.      We are wired to pick up threats and negative possibilities around us more than the positive. Before you say “I’m not like that”, 2/3’s of the brain cells are in the flight-fight part of our brain, the amygdala, are wired to pick up on the negative (Hanson, 2010).  Generally people’s initial response to change comes from these emotional centers rather than from their thinking centers.

Knowledge gaps fill with fear instead of faith.  The insecurity and instability about change does cultivate fear. The less information that people have to fill in the knowledge gaps, the greater the fear, which in turn brings about resistance to any change.

No second chances to make a good first impression.       Neuroscientists have shown it to be true (Lount et al., 2008). Poorly introduced change will always start your change on the wrong footing.

Change is emotional.                 Just presenting facts without engaging positive and hopeful emotions will seldom move your forward.    A large number of people make decisions based on emotion.

I can’t handle it.                 Trying to create too much change too quickly can engage the brain’s fear center and cause people to resist, thus hindering change (Hemp, 2009).

“Old habits die-hard” We all have a tendency to return to where we have been or what we have known, they say, as we get older we default quicker to what we know.   How easy is it for us to think about other options.   We have set up habits and it’s a tug-of-war between the familiar and easy

The nearer the change the more resistant we become.      Peoples’ response to change, changes over time.   Introduce a change a year ahead and initially the benefits are seen, the options look good. The negatives such as more work, recruiting more people more time needed don’t seem very large at that point.    Neuroscientists have discovered that when the change is far away, the positives usually outweigh the negatives (Löw et al., 2008). However, the closer we think about the implications and the personal cost. Uninformed optimism gives way to informed pessimism.

Change is interpreted as a threat.             We are told the brain is organized around a fundamental principle—minimize threat-maximize reward—that results in either resistance or openness. Change perceived as a threat produces resistance. Change brings uncertainty and we don’t like it, well our brain does not like it.

when ever change is presented keep these insights in mind so you can work out a plan to Unknownovercome them.

The bible quotes “who builds a house without first counting the cost” the counting the cost is not to prevent but to be realistic in the demands that will be put upon us, Abraham “counted his body as good as dead yet believed God” when the promise of a son was made.   That is, he saw the impossibility, the change at the age he and Sarah was, yet believed a promise, believed God, a God word over the negative emotions of “you cannot be serious”.

We are to “set our eyes on the Christ”’ Paul encouraged us to forget what has happened and press on through to the gain.   There is something so strong in seeing what God has said in all our change and holding on when the insecurity of the change comes.

Find a friend in time of need, that when we are in that place find others who are not in their negative but who have worked through the change and talk, tell of your patterns of thought and walk together learning from others who have changed and are changing.

FUNDAMENTALLY DEVELOP A CULTURE OF CHANGE, readiness to change and a willingness to constantly embrace change, some times keep flexible in making changes in your life to keep change alive, change room layouts, move your desk, change decoration, change your habit patterns, change eating try something new, try something uncommon to you, do something that demands you to say ‘I don’t know how to do this’ or ‘what I am doing’, find a new sport all these and other ways of cultivating change help us to be change agents first to us then to those we touch.

Questions to ponder:

What have you seen in others that make them averse to change?

Who around me deals well with change?

How can I make the benefits of change be big in mind and experience constantly?

How can I build a reason for change that out weights the insecurity and instability I will feel, CHANGE is part of life, it is maturing, growing up and older it will not go away it will knock on the door of your life daily, LEARN TO EMBRACE IT.