Thursday, September 27, 2007

God is with us?

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Do you always hear the prayers, "God please be with us today..." "God we pray you'll go with us as we travel."

I wonder whether we've considered strongly the words of the Great Commission? Matthew 28:19-20 says, '...go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'

Did you catch that? 'Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age'. He's promised to be with us. He's promised to be there for us. He will never leave or forsake us. Do we believe it? Do we truly understand this? We don't need to pray, 'Lord please be with us...' I mean.. 'Surely!! I am with you always...' Lets just believe it! The presence of Jesus is there! Hallelujah!

Lets rather pray and say, 'Lord Jesus, thanks so much that you're with us, empower us as we go about our day!'

Maybe this is semantics. Or maybe it shows we have a deeper faith in the promise of God's Word.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Faith and what?

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The book of James has a challenge for us! No I'm not talking about James' Blog at WhollyHoly (nice plug there for a mate - I know he'll do the same for me), I'm talking about Jesus' brother James.

He says, faith without action is dead. Absolutely useless. Maybe you're an activist and this means nothing to you. Or maybe you love reading blogs and doing absolutely nothing about your faith. Then this applies to you. Or maybe you know of the guys that go to church each week, enjoy the arnott's biscuits, enjoy the fellowship and then goes home to continue to live a life with no fruit or action.

Calling all Salvationists! It's time for a vibrant faith, that believes for the impossible, expressed in action that wants to win the world for Jesus! A faith expressed in action. Fighting for the oppressed, praying for your local school, visiting the sick lady in the church, saying hello at the Salvos Store around the corner, inviting your friend over for dinner...

You wanna read of faith in action, check out some of the blogs at mercypeacegrace and of course there are many others!

Dear Jesus, I wanna take my faith to the next level. I'm sick of playing the religion game. I'm sicking of playing the theology game. I'm ready for a radical faith, expressed in daring action. Amen!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Church Planting & Evangelism

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Is Church Planting the most effective way to evangelise today?

This has been an issue to think about in some of my studies recently, and straight off the cuff we probably say, 'YES!'
I believe Church Planting can definitely inspire some new, fresh, innovative ways of evangelising, that existing churches struggle to comprehend. New church plants do have some issues that we need to be aware of though, and wary not make mistakes others have made. For instance, some church plants can emerge from a frustration with the existing structures, and just become a new hip version of church that isn't evangelising any more than the church they emerged from! Or a church plant may have been planted from a community of faith that is struggling and unhealthy, and then the new church 'does church' the same exact way, 10 km down the road, and wonders why they aren't successful either... Church planting is great, but it does not gaurantee effective evangelism and it does not gaurantee growth.

Two of the ways forward for The Salvation Army is Corps Planting, but very importantly growing healthy corps. How can we ignite the missional potential of local corps? Local corps that have a group of committed Christians, local corps that are talking about wanting to make a difference... Corps planting needs to be encouraged, and so does unleasing the latent potential that exists within every congregation that exists in the Salvation Army. If only every corps saw themselves as a passionate, soldout community of people working together to change the world, then using all the wisdom God gives them to change the world for Jesus' sake!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Yearn for more.

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Jo and I have realised so strongly that people have been praying for us recently. It has been an awakening from the desert experience we have found ourselves in. Only very recently Jo and I have had a close relative die, and it quickly helps you to appreciate the life you have and to take stock of where you are and what you are doing. We love the time we spend with other Cadets in college and the moments of influence and blessing at Packenham Corps.

I wrote recently about 'my heart' in ministry. My passion to see lives touched with the power of the gospel of Jesus... My heart will always yearn for something more. I remember running a Youth Event in Werribee about 4 years ago now, called the Mega Vibe!! It was an exciting night. God had nudged me to preach that night, so I did, and towards about 30 people responded to the gospel that night and were inspired in some way from God. Why do I share this? I remember afterwards, the excitement from the night. The exhiliration! The passion! The presence of the Holy Spirit! I felt all this... Yet a big part of me, still yearned for more. Maybe, I'm too hard to please, or I'm never satisfied, or I never celebrate the victories enough... But all I can say is, amongst my laughter and reflection, my heart yearned for more. It still does. It probably always will.

See folks, we've sung the songs for a long time. We've had the funny dramas, the nice preach, and the flashy announcements on powerpoint. We've attracted the same crowd, with their nice uniforms, and their friendly cliches, and the edible 'Scotch Finger Biscuit'. But my heart yearns for more. So much more. So Much Much more. Lets yearn for more... Ohh yeah. I'm beginning to get excited now! Lets yearn for a Salvation Army of warriors, fighting against sin and injustice. Lets pray for a Holy Spirit anointing so strong even our political leaders need to bow their knees. Lets inspire an inner passion so vibrant that our friends, are no longer our gossip buddies, but our comrades in the mission we have before us. The World WILL turn to Jesus. The Church WILL be a place of equipping and arming up and not a spiritual ghetto. Our communities WILL connect with the God of the Bible and lives WILL be transformed. Hallelujah!!!

Lets go friends. Lets yearn for more...

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