Saturday, May 26, 2007

What is Worship?

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I led a small group the other day and we explored the idea of what is worship? Some said worship was singing music, but we know its deeper than that. We finally came up with the fact that it's about honouring God with our lives. This is a pretty good definition for now...
In the Old Testament, worship was mainly a ritualistic thing, with the Israelites observing worship rituals such as Passover, Day of Atonement, etc. When Jesus came along, he said, all these commandments are great, but the greatest two are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Deut 6:4) and to love your neighbour as yourself (Lev 19:18) (Found in Matthew, Mark and Luke).
Lets worship God with our lives. Let our love for others, our compassion for our brothers and sisters and our passion for God be evident in everything we do.
Today's thought: When you worship God, do so in the power of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Jesus Christ. Praise God!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wisdom teeth are Dumb

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Why did God create wisdom teeth? And who called them that? I have to get my 'wisdom' teeth removed next week which is not a heap of fun (especially trying to do study dosed up on pills)
Anyway, here's some of my other thoughts/questions lately:
* Why is abbreviation such a long word?
* Do we pray expecting God to answer?
* Is 'Praise and Worship' music all 'Worship'?
* Is the Salvation Army going to see revival again?
* Are we afraid to be too pentecostal?
* Do we have the integrity we preach about?
* Are some of us post post-modern?
* Why did I lose my hair at such a young age?
* 6 days creation, or a billion years?
* What about the person on the desert island that hasn't heard about Jesus?
* Are some people really born gay or not?
* Is John Howard too old to lead Australia in the next election?
* Should the period of 'elightenment' actually be called, 'endarkenment'?
* Does anyone really care about all these questions??!
Anyway, some of my thoughts... Discuss, talk and debate, so that we all come to a deeper understanding of God through this...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Red Shield Appeal

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Had a great day today. We raised about $5,000 just collecting on intersections between yesterday and today (Sat & Sun). My feet are killing me, but I feel like I've done my part the last few days...


I've been thinking a little about Salvo Corps that either support the Red Shield Appeal wholeheartedly and those that don't rally their community to get involved. Those that don't get involved argue that the money we collect goes to 'secular' welfare programs and not to support 'evangelical' work. This may be a valid argument in some instances, but is this lack of desire to support financially the social work of TSA creating a greater divide between evangelism and social? We are supporting the daily welfare of humanity through these funds, so we should support it with a great passion (as many do!) and then continue to work during the year at infiltrating the whole of our organisation with the gospel of Jesus!

If you're one of those minority that choose to neglect putting your all into the Red Shield Appeal. I say quite nicely... Repent! I mean it. Repent! We have the communities support to impact many lives. We are also part of a bigger Salvation Army. I understand you may be working your toosh off in your local Church, but TSA as a whole needs to work together for the good of humanity and for the salvation of the world. Get involved.

I had a ball today! If you were helping out too, I hope you had a great time! Jesus is alive!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Heart to God, Hand to Man

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Here's a thought: In the Salvation Army, have we let our hand for man extend beyond our heart for God? That is, have we seeked to serve others so much so, that we have gone beyond our ability to disciple and therefore people serve in TSA without a relationship with Jesus?

There's a debate to be had here. We may know the 'Good Samaritan' story, that encourages us to help those in need. Now, do we continue to expand social ministries; even if we expand without Christian influence, but knowing that humanity will be better off in the physical realm? Or do we hinder the practical support for humanity, because we don't have enough Soldiers to fulfill the 'evangelical' task? What's your thoughts?

The big question is, how does the Salvation Army seek to move forward to integrate what we have segregated as Evangelical Ministry and Social Work (Corps & Social, Heart to God & Hand to man, etc)? Is merely employing Salvo Chaplains to fill secular Social Work enough?

No easy answers.

Integrate or Die.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Skpe: Change in the Communication World

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Who wants to pay for overseas calls anymore? You simply download a program called Skype, and the other person downloads Skype and you both have a webcam and you're set. Free video calls to your friends overseas? What a Revolution?! My Uncle was recently chatting with my Dad living overseas in Michigan, USA, for one whole hour for FREE.

What about Telstra and Optus? Their whole income through Overseas calls is in jeopardy! This brings a complete change in the Communication arena...

Here's my thought for the Christian community today: Are we in need of some sort of missional method (call it emerging, call it what you will), that differs from methods used years ago (methods that used to work, but no longer work) ? Do we need to work at welcoming people that aren't Christians into communities of believers, as opposed to inviting them to a Church Building? Is it more about sharing 'life' together (whatever that means) as opposed to running nice smelling 'Christian Programs'?

Telstra's mission is most likely not to provide International Phone lines so people can connect via the phone, but part of their mission statement would probably be to provide the most effective way of connecting friends from one country to another.

Our mission is not to bring people to a Church building. Our mission is for people to believe in Jesus Christ and become a Disciple of him. If there's better ways to fulfill that, then lets explore...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wash away the Pain...

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Jesus came to bring life to the fullest. He really did. If you're reading this right now, wondering why things are as they are... wondering where God is, in the midst of all your trials...

Jesus came to set you free. To set you free from oppression, from sin, from darkness, from apathy, from depression, from negativity...

If you're all good, then feel free to move on and read another blog. But right now; if you're in pain... Why don't you pray with me:

Dear God,

You created me to have love, peace and joy. You created me to be in Christ; to be living life to the full. At the moment Lord, I need you to wash away the pain... Will you send the presence of your Holy Spirit right now to fill me and comfort me. Help me to get to the other side of all I'm currently experiencing. I have faith that you will move the obstacles in my life, that stop me from living life to the full. Deliver me from pain, in the Name of JESUS! Thank you Lord, Amen!


God Bless you.


If you need info on depression, then go to www.beyondblue.org

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Birthdays are Great!

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Thanks to all those who helped celebrate my birthday yesterday! For those that want to know... I'm now 25 years old.

Birthdays are a great chance for others to show hospitality. I found that out yesterday. My wife Jo made me a chocolate cake and we sang Happy Birthday and I was made to feel very special! (I love my wife...)
My thought today relates to leadership... Rome was not built in a day and either are leaders. I'm 25 now, and I have to work at developing my skills as a leader. I have many dreams and through continually connecting with God, learning the Bible, and putting good plans into action, I may well see those dreams come to pass.
Becoming a excellent leader is determined by what you are doing about it today!


Friday, May 4, 2007

Stop working on your weaknesses!

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How often, when it comes to our skills, do we spend most of our time working on our weaknesses? Now, here's the thought that John Maxwell puts forward...
If you are at Uni and you get B's for Maths, and you get D's for English, most people would say, you need to work on your English, so you can improve. But what if, you spent your time working on your strength? All of a sudden, through hard work, you can go from B's in Maths, to A+'s!
If you have the spiritual gift of Preaching and Evangelising, then work on strengthening that gift. Work on your strength, and become an expert at it! Say, the same person, struggles with pastoring people. Why spend all your time working on being a better pastor, when you will probably only improve to the level of being an average pastor... Work on your strength and build others around you that compensate for your weaknesses!
Someone said to John Maxwell, during a Q & A time, and they said, 'Well, what about Tiger Woods? When he plays a dreadful round of golf, he goes back to the driving range and practices his swing. That is a prime example of someone working on their weakness!' John Maxwell thinks for a minute... and replies, 'With all do respect sir, Tiger Woods, is the best golfer in the World. This is a man who is spending time on his strength... Now if I had a bad round of golf... and went to the driving range... That would be definitely someone working on their weakness.'
Lets do it. Work on your strengths and become great at it, and not just good.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Sweet Potato Test

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Last night I was eating some roasted sweet potato. I thought I recognised the taste. It tasted just like roasted pumpkin!! I love roast pumpkin...

Then I had a thought... Say that being a Christian is like being a roast pumpkin. (bear with me a minute) Some people walk around as if they are roast pumpkin but are really just a copy; they are sweet potatos!

Ever wondered whether sometimes we pretend to be good Christians, we put on a front at Church, we wear the right uniform and say all the amens at all the right places? But are we really authentic?

This is a test on Integrity. Are we the same person in any situation? Are we the same God-fearing, worshipper at the local sports club, or when spending time with the family? Are you always living knowing that it's no longer you that lives, but Christ who lives in you? Be authentic. Be real. Be genuiune. Always live with holiness, passion, and with the power of the Spirit in your life.

Stop and think right now. Maybe its time to give yourself the Sweet Potato Test...

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