Our Time…

“And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 

25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’

images-9Acts 3:24-25

I’m not sure how long I have heard certain types of comments and messages going around the church, not only the church but in politics and society, messages on ‘times of transition’. I think I can truthfully say there has rarely been a year not hurt teams such as ‘days of transition’, ‘changing seasons’, and ‘new day’ and even the buzz term of today ‘paradigms shifts’. Why is it that every New Year we feel we’ve entered into the time of transition and without playing semantics I think a better summation of what has been taking place would be to say, we’ve been caught up in the purpose that his constant change therefore you feel you are in constant transition.

Unfortunately what is meant by transition often is to move from one fixed state of existence to another. Yet with great joy we experience something better than that. We are involved in the progressive and sure emergence of God’s kingdom in life and power in the progress towards maturity of the people.

In recent years it’s become popular paint on walls or to purchase planks with pithy sayings on, I came across one recently which stated, ‘if you only do things the way you have always done them, then you only get what you’ve always got’. Progress to the fullness of Christ, showing the Father that is, is only possible if we escape the fossilized influence of the status quo, of religious acceptance.

I believe we live in a generation that is calling out for Prophets who when they prophesy it’s not insipid prophesying passionate prophets.   Those in-home everything about their life his passion. What they hate they hate absolutely, what they love the love totally. What they do knows no half measure. There is an inch to their sword, conviction and their voice, men and women deeply moved by the spirit of God, men and women carry the burden can’t…Passion.

Over the years we have all recognise passionate preachers. The non-always held, you can be loud and not passionate, and you can be passionate and not allowed. But we could tell if their heart) in one memo from speaking we knew when there was passion inside them. The men and the women believe what they were saying, they believed they carried the word of God and love to such an extent they believe they were the most important person in the building at the moment, and what they were saying was the most important thing in the world at that moment…Passion.

And let me say they were not arrogant, they were not totally sure of themselves but they were sure of the God of the call and the word of the burden. That poured outness, giveness, their abandonment to thy God propelled them.

Passion by itself is not guarantee of truth, but also the passion instead. ‘The letter kills, it is the spirit that gives life’…Passion.

We could join with those 2 disciples that pass comment when they realise that Christ had walked on the Emmaus Road with them and say ‘ did not our heart burn inside this’ when they heard the word of God. We know very well that communicating with heart must be a way forward. There are so many able people to communicate information and do it with such creativity, you when I will be much the better from hearing them, but it also deliver their heart…Passion that captures us.

Should not the things of God, the interests of the creator, the seal of the Lord that will accomplish it be that which triggers and fires a passion?

Samuel and his successors were at the forefront of the purpose of God for their time, and brought to each and burning messages of God’s word. O Lord give us a fire back in words, not empty with no substance words, but words of revelation that carry a fire of heavens throne.They spoke to kings and rulers, who in turn put pressure on them to change their throne to change their message, to change their prophesy. Yet these prophets were 1st and foremost servants of God, and despite all pressures remained such. Political engineering  and electioneering in our day shawls politicians seeking to discover through opinion polls what the people want them to say on issues. When they find this they often change the emphasis opposition accordingly. We have politics of single issues. Not so all the prophets, they know the purpose, they know the heart of God and they press the issue. They are not politicians but prophets.  Men and women who love God and deeply loved the people of God, folding after Christ the great prophet who loved people.

These never measured themselves by people’s response to the word they carried. The fulfilling release they have is knowing that they’ve been the voice of God that time. The response of the word is an issue between people and their God. The prophet is to deliver what is known to be the word of God.

Think about it…your passion, your burden, your abandonment…

 

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.

 

Asking the WHY question

images-8We all have many friends that live around our lives, some pass through for a season others stay around for longer.   I begin this blog not with friendship in mind directly buy more to ask I wonder out of all those friends or acquaintances now many helped us on our journey though life.    Who has impacted me and to what extent?    It always amazes me we have friends even that don’t help and well as those that do.     Who walked through my life and is still doing so, being the imprint of wisdom through words, actions.   Who has become the fingers of God working in my life, is this not “every joint supplying”.   I opened up a meeting on Sunday with this thought “…to join my self to any one even to be joined to a people group, a church, cannot be just to attend…” Unfortunately for far to many this is so, the Christ like life degenerate to attending rather a relational joining, a felt joining, even the language used can be ever so relational but do we feel one another?   It’s much more “you are not joined until I feel you, we have not joined until we feel one another”.

I would suggest that Jesus showed this in his own life painting pictures constantly of this, glimpses of joining’s so many times.   One story comes to mind of the woman who had bled for 12 years she came not just to be in the crowed but to join herself to him.   When she did so Jesus felt it, it was not just a healing we are told Jesus felt something leave him.   She was joined he felt it and I am sure she did, a story of order, government (number 12 is always seen as government, 12 tribes, 12 apostles of the lamb, 12 disciples etc.) her life came back into order after 12 years of disorder.    This was a relational touch in story form “she touched him”, actually her  healing came not as she just brushed past his prayer blanket, in her action she joined here self to him and Jesus announced “…who touched me…”, I felt it flow from me.   Is this not “ever joint supplying”?

Back to where I began some people touch our lives and help us to put lenses on that enable us to see bigger picture to get a balance back in life, others to see the detail of all that goes around, some more to put lenses that assist us to appreciate people and circumstance, and there are those that even help us to see with future lenses making sense of past and future along with present.   Few come along and probe strategic questions on how we see , view so that we can prioritize or respond correctly.  Questions that shake but ultimate make secure our journey and the way we live that journey.

Here is my point reading today the Psalmist viewpoint as life is lived around him and as the Message translation brings home some necessary view to consider reading today.   I read a simple word yet major in its consequence if dealt with incorrectly it could shipwreck a life but if dealt with correctly will enhanced and make authentic our faith journey and intimate relationship with the Christ of God.

Psalm 106:1-3 says “…hallelujah! Thank God! And why?   Because he’s good, because his love lasts.   But who on earth can do it — declaim God’s mighty acts, broadcast all his praises?   You’re one happy man when you do what’s right, one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.

My simple word is WHY

What a great opening and a wonderful habit to get into asking WHY?   It’s not any why being asked here, it’s why are you being God focused, why are you thankful focused and why are you both together thanking God?      Don’t just do it as the pressure of the crowed or the church you belong too expectantly expect you to conform in what we call “worship” just do it.   I think God likes the question to be able to cut through the dross of performance to the real essence of you and his relationship felt with us.

The Psalm commences with Hallelujah where does that go to, what is its meaning here.     Praise it starts with in heart and action then we have an abrupt stop WHY?

One sure thing that this WHY exposes is don’t give you self to form the anchor of things that are so emotional, soul issues, gaining ego stuff or position to be included in the inner group the things of life that change and that are insecure, find the unchanging stuff.   Find a WHY that is worthwhile and a WHY that is compelling, a WHY that brings a reason and momentum an advance, that creates a sure foundation.

Praise, thanks, WHY these three may be a good combination for life’s journey a threesome, a coupling that brings a way forward.

Praise

Thanks

WHY

Three legs of an expressive disciple, a disciple that turns his her heart to the Lord becomes one of these who God looks for!

That we have a WHY not to undermine but to engaged further, to become personally authentic, rather than to be part with this group I have to do it.    So I need to understand WHY and there is a way to ask my WHY’s even.   How can I ask an empowering WHY, not just a child’s frustrated why or we even a rebellious why, but a why so I can get to know me along with my motivations.

This WHY is to bring and understanding of

Self

My environment

The overcoming power of testimony

An encounter of God

Why I do what I do that the expression comes from an inner well.

That no religion distracts or engrosses

That no unreality destroys authenticity

That we are always aware of the inner man discovering in the wilderness of inner the challenges of motive.

WHY ASK WHY?

5Whys  question is outlined in Wikipedia as:     The 5 Whys is an iterative question-asking technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.     The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem. (The “5” in the name derives from an empirical observation on the number of iterations typically required to resolve the problem.)    The following example demonstrates the basic process:

  • The vehicle will not start. (the problem).
  1. Why? – The battery is dead. (first why)
  2. Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (second why)
  3. Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (third why)
  4. Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (fourth why)
  5. Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (fifth why, a root cause)
  6. Why? – Replacement parts are not available because of the extreme age of the vehicle. (sixth why, optional footnote)
  • Start maintaining the vehicle according to the recommended service schedule. (possible 5th Why solution)
  • Purchase a different vehicle that is maintainable. (possible 6th Why solution)

The questioning for this example could be taken further to a sixth, seventh, or higher level: the “five” in 5 Whys is not gospel, but five iterations of asking why is generally sufficient to get to a root cause. The key is to encourage the trouble-shooter to avoid assumptions and logic traps and instead trace the chain of causality in direct increments from the effect through any layers of abstraction to a root cause that still has some connection to the original problem. Note that in this example the fifth why suggests a broken process or an alterable behaviour, which is typical of reaching the root-cause level.

It is interesting to note that the last answer points to a process. This is one of the most important aspects in the 5 Why approach – the real root cause should point toward a process that is not working well or does not exist. Untrained facilitator will often observe that answers seem to point towards classical answers such as not enough time, not enough investments, or not enough manpower. These answers may sometimes be true but in most cases they lead to answers out of our control. Therefore, instead of asking the question why?, ask why did the process fail?

A key phrase to keep in mind in any 5 Why exercise is “people do not fail, processes do”

Why Ask Why?

Should I never ask, is it productive, should it be part of my life’s cycle, do I have the ware all on managing asking the question.

WHY are you doing what you’re doing, find the answer the Father will bring it, WHY is a powerful a belonging word, it really will cause you to feel your relationship when WHY’s are asked that we will feel one another as we bring form to our WHY’s of life and faith.

Restoration of the HOUSE

“…give no rest UNTIL he has a dwelling place…” Rev 21, 22

Psalm 132:2-5

images-7I wonder what these words paint in your mind, what picture does it cultivate.    As the words are read what is sculpted in your imagination?

There is an implication for us all to do something with these words; an act of disturbance, a work of not allowing settlement, a challenge of activity with a goal of an “UNTIL” in mind.     Take all you have and all you know, all your ability and apply it to disrupting yourself, your acquaintances, deep friends, family and even God, UNTIL an end is reached.

When you are young the UNTIL must be in the fore front of your mind, it is the goal by which the Father requires us to make our focus, our first thought, our life’s ambition and longing “…seek first…”.     Don’t settle back as you get older then, as the years go by be careful not to join the status quo, be mindful not to think it is some one else’s turn or responsibility.   GIVE NO REST, it is not a time to retire or go on holiday, nothing wrong in them but keep the aim of God until our Father receives the goal of his course.   It is said of Jesus “…for the joy set before him…” of Paul “…I press on towards…”, it is too easy to make an excuse why we have done enough, it is too easy to say “this one and that one hurt me”.   To blame others, but these words sculpt in our heart’s “…GIVE NO REST…”

The Father, our God, the God who is so committed to being UNITED with you and me, that God left his abode and created a universe, so that God the Father would be one with us.   God was so given to this that God HUMBLED God to bring it about.    David in Psalms utters this, in the light of the God of grace he met, the Divine that left the Mountain and came to humanity, leaving the high abodes to join us in our ordinary lives.    David overwhelmed by this Father God and says “…give no rest UNTIL God has a dwelling place…”

God has a dwelling place in our union with God, we should take nothing else on, no other agenda, no other view,no other self-centredness or other good cause until God has a dwelling place, this is the root foundation of all true good causes and should be our only cause.   God have a dwelling pace in me,  a UNION with me, that God has a dwelling pace in the people of God, one with the bride, the ecclesia of God, that God has a dwelling place in creation, that Christ might fill all in all.   It really is about the dwelling place of God.  We understand this by the time we read Revelation 21, 22  I saw a city, that turns to a bride and a declaration “…I will be their God and they will be my people and I will dwell in their midst…” Father God has the dwelling place and the UNTIL has come.

Restoration is about the dwelling place of God.   A little personal discomfort until, my sleep, rest, my home will be realised when the Father receives the dwelling place.

There is a major “UNTIL” here, until God has a dwelling place is this not the New Testament declaration, the words of Acts 3 that Jesus will remain in heaven UNTIL a time of Restoration.   That Jesus will be held UNTIL his enemies are made a footstool, I wonder?

The “…dwelling place…” is about taking away the disgrace from the walls of the city of God, it is about building the walls of the city in Nehemiah, it’s the work of Jesus, it the prayer we pray “….let heaven come to earth…”  it is let your dwelling place be found.images-6

Even the goal of maturity in Christ is the personal maturity of Gods dwelling place, a house prepared for you O Lord.   We must not allow our eyes to be taken off finding a dwelling place for God, when we read Jesus saying “…I go and make a place for you…” let us not go away with the fairies and think of our room, house in heaven but continue for the UNTIL God has a dwelling rather than being distracted into finding ours; waiting, holding on until we get our place.   Our life and love must be to give God a dwelling place.

The joy of being about our Father’s business, we must make a place for God.  

 

Effective…Success…Maturity

Interesting coupling of words, words that are used at so many levels and in so many environments, whether in business or in church I wonder which one is used most in your world?
images-4The online dictionary says this of these three
Effective (adj) Being productive of or capable of producing a result
Success (n) The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted: The gaining of fame or prosperity
Maturity The state or quality of being fully grown or developed.
All have their place and all have their challenges for the in place in which you work and the people of God you are family with.   I wonder which one of these three would you put at the top of your priority list,  priority in your walk with God?
To be effective in your call there will be a process of growing in ministry, to be fully involved in the growing there are fundamental vital aspects that will need to be grappled with and fully grasped with both hands, I will attempt to out line what I have noticed over the last 40 years of my Christ like walk to become like Christ in every way.
There will be a need to grow and develop a burden, this is not a whimsical thought or one that changes with fashion or fad of the church, but one that overwhelms and keeps us on course.   A burden is an old term yet a requirement, it is that, which as you process on ward  you actually experience the weight of carrying it in prayer, heart and thought.      It is a burden, it something you cannot put aside but it fills your day, it fills your thinking, it fills you desire and is all-embracing.   Although it is a ‘Burden of the Lord’ it is light to the soul yet it is that which governs you, it is greater than vision as it becomes your life.
It is that which God entrusts you with, it is the will of God for your destiny.
Along with the burden must come a ‘Zeal of Conviction‘ a passion, a zeal that fires you up and keeps you burning, a zeal around the conviction of truth, a zeal around the Christ of God.   This zeal is what will put one foot in front of another when objections come.  It is this zeal that will get you to leave your homeland, your comfort zone and move towards the burden.   It is that which keeps you running, this zeal, that is like a fire deep inside you, will not let you go or you will not let it go.   It is what Paul said “I lay hold of that which has laid hold of me”  
There comes to each of us the necessity to grow in the burden and respond to our zeal by being able to communicate to the average, learning that we must add skill to ourselves to be able to communicate to the average person in the streets of life.   Why you ask simple put in-order that they
Understand the principle
See the application
Move on conviction
So that burden comes to life in the lives of others as well as you.
That we become Simple. Clear. Relevant. Practical
A call will ask of each of us to give ourselves whole heartedly to people, as a friend, as a councillor, as an example.   Unreservedly being hospitable, learning the skills to be social to be able to love people and be over joyed in it.
Many long for anointing, many look and run to the anointing but the grace and anointing moves with those who are spirit-sensitive and sensitivity too changes in the anointing.    Knowing on the inner life as the goodness of God moves and ebbs and flows.   This cannot be put in notes but it can be caught.     To be one who knows and sees the moving of the Holy Spirit, knowing that seasons and moods are to there  to be caught and demonstrated to all.   Learning in the burden what it is to sense God.   To Knowing when to teach, proclaim the prophetic and when to reach out.
Prepared at all times for the supernatural,  expectant in every place even the place you least expect, develop a life of continuous conversation with the Father, inspired to move towards the supernatural.   Become sensitive to the presence of God in the heart and make things happen.
Develop a mind that is clutter free and free of negatives, along side that to be free of personal pressures
Become men and women of burden that are freely receiving grace, the grace that God is giving so much that we enjoy the grace, living in it and through it,  grace in our life flow.