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….

Things no one told me

2012 will be my 28th year of serving the people of God, when I was 28 years old I was asked to consider leaving the building industry, laying brick and mortar down, to give my focus into building a dwelling through people’s lives.   It has been an amazing adventure to date and it is not over yet.  Myself, Sandra and our family have served in so many ways.  I was once told ”try everything” to discover the grace on your life, which we did with eager abandonment.   Serving in different capacities of influence and leadership, being administrators, running children’s ministry to 1000’s, leading outreach teams across the UK from cities and towns, serving in a mission environment, teaching, preaching, imparting,  painting, digging trenches, carrying bags, repairing cars, caring for and loving the ministers of God,  leading congregations, envisioning people, being known as prophets and laying our lives down as apostolic servants of the body.  The list is quite endless when we think of it.

In our journey we have been schooled by some wonderful men and women, been imparted to, impacted by and had understanding laid down in us over the years, some things we learned no one could have taught us or prepared us for.   Here are some of these lessons we hope will empower and advance you in your journey.

People told me about loving God and loving people, but they did not teach me how to love. That came through experience, joys and often challenge.

I had not fully understood how complicated the lives of people were, I learned the need to engage with people in the long journey as well as immediate situations with constant love

I was surprised at how judgmental and cruel Christian people could be.  I was not warned or perhaps I did not listen at the time.

It would have been helpful to have more insight into problem solving, and crisis management.

I thank God for my business training, as not much attention or training was given to financial management.

Although we began more than 20 years ago we heard much about family integrity, we still have many that did not listen as within families of leadership much pain is left to one-side, I recall some saying, “You just go out and serve the church. God will take care of your family.” Many families fractured through it.

There is no way anyone can prepare you for the loneliness of leadership.  The importance of friendship with colleagues should have been reinforced.  We have to help each other, aloneness is a necessary skill to learn and occupy.   To understand aloneness is empowerment but loneliness is a killer.

Another problem that is on ongoing for us all to learn on the hoof was that the church was God’s church … not mine. I was an under-shepherd.   We all subscribe to the notion that the church is His church, but the practicality of that comes into focus when we deal with vision, competitiveness, pressure to conform etc.

I had to learn how to be myself and build on my own strengths.  People, ministry and peer-pressure can make us conform and be as the USA would say “cookie-cutter” copies.

Loving and caring is not for the faint of heart.  Probably, if I had been told everything, I would not have completed the course, perhaps not even begun, but discovering my love for God and for His people enabled me to continue the course. I am so glad no one told me everything, and I am so glad I am pursuing.

Here’s A Though

Here is one of my early morning musings.    Most of us want a peaceful and quiet life, being left alone, however in these days of economic turmoil producing future insecurity, not knowing what will happen next or what turn of events will affect our lives, changes that i have no control over.    Often we find ourselves longing for a life removed from the reality around us, a place where we would not have responsibility or accountability.

Let me lay down a morning musing to suggest some things that will bring peace, from Psalm 119. The longest Psalm that deals with the love of Gods word, verse 119:41 says “Let your love, God, shape my life with salvation, exactly as you promised; Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word”.  

The way to begin our days is set out right here.   Allowing myself at the dawning of my day to be overwhelmed by your love, the knowledge of your love, the experience of your love.   This love that is everlasting, unchanging love, this love that is so vast and covers all creation, creation itself being a manifestation of the love of God.     The love of God was manifested in creating a provision for humanity in providing a place and time, gifts from the Father, gifts to live in this is love being manifested.                              

Its time to chase after Gods essence LOVE and realize that all things, such as, creation, signs, events and experiences are simply manifestations of the LOVE of God.     We become passionate about His LOVE with the knowledge that we will become the expression of His LOVE as we love one another John 13:34–35 “Let me give you a new command: Love one another.    In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

This love becomes so real in us and about us, that this love is manifested towards others through us, we are recognized as Jesus followers as we become of the same stuff, the same love, love becoming the indicator of who we are like.  Actually we become this LOVE in our world and manifest its out working to the world around us.

People of God let us become those who deepen our love and let God manifest that love in healing, signs and wonders, miracles and like, it is our responsibility to be LOVE, desire LOVE, chase after LOVE this essence of who our Father God is, LOVE that we might be like HIM.

Asking such questions of us, “how have I loved to-day? ”       Start each day asking, “who shall I love today – ALL? ”    How much more can I fill my heart with his LOVE? 

It is said that God poured into hearts the very essences of who he is, this LOVE he gave through the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit came to pour our the essence of God into the hearts of mankind.   That is why the Holy Spirit always directs us and makes known the Christ of God, as the days of Jesus become the manifestation of God’s LOVE to us.    That Jesus being the “…exact representation of God…” he was and is a LOVE revolution, a LOVE out pouring, a manifestation of LOVE, “…for God so loved the cosmos he gave…”

I have a personal conviction that everything we see in the seen world, and the unseen is just a manifestation of the LOVE of God.   That which we see with the eye is that which was once in another place – the unseen now made known and that unseen place is God himself.   He took from within himself and brought out what we see, therefore all creation was in him.   Every resource every provision is inside the essence of the Father and it becomes manifest through who he is, God is LOVE!

“Let your Love” the writer says, may I know your love, may I peruse your love on life’s journey, may my focus be your love, may I be your love in the cosmos.    May I chase your love, deepen in your intimate love.

“Let your love” may it fully overwhelm me, may your love ravage me inside and outside and may I see my daily walk founded in your love!

For the Love of God is generously, freely given to us that our hearts become the very gift we are given.    Consider the free giving of God in who he is God is Love.

Romans 5:5 “…And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

This gift of love, this gift of God himself, this gift of the manifestation of the Father, the love his Son is not to be put in a book or on a bookshelf, or in a decorative setting so that it is displayed as prized ornament in our homes and lives.   Far from it, this LOVE has a work to do and a task to advance.   The primary and first is “let your LOVE, God, shape my life…” with LOVES tool begin and continue.

We are to have shaped lives, sculpted lives, lives that have had the hands of the Father applied to us, as a great artist shaping us out of dust and clay, a form that is LOVE shaped.  The final work will be God shaped that way we will testify and explain the Father (John 1:18 (NASB) Jesus came to “explain the Father” so do we) as we are God shaped by his very essence LOVE and become the shape of LOVE and LOVE shaped.

We pursue LOVE and are LOVE shaped by the tools of salvation and promises.

This love shaping allows me to stand through all that comes and helps me to fully trust the God of creation.    A love shaped life is a trusting life.     

Loves shaping does not come in ways we might welcome, some times we have to realize that his love allows, discipline, all being freely outpoured.     Salvation, trust overcoming are the practical tools and skills developed as we live a love shaped life.     We are not called to avoid things in life but have the love of God in us to face life’s shaping.      We find the wisdom of knowing his inner voice and Holy Spirit, which is nothing more than a love manifestation, giving us the ability to hear God and to know when to overcome, when to step over and when to withstand.

Love brings to us situations to temper and enlarge our trust of the Father, when we do not see him at work so to speak, when he is slowly working and so little change is apparent, yet love is shaping my life, so I shall TRUST.

Let you love, God, shape my life – with the tools of salvation, promises that I might trust, stand, overcome and be of your very essence, Let your LOVE be in my life and heart that the Cosmos may know you.