CHURCH

January 15, 2010

The english language is full of a variety of interesting, exciting and challenging words that all have the power when used in the correct context to provoke a number of different emotional responses.  I love seeing the different reactions when I use the word church. Church is a word that can be met with some of the most incredible emotional fueled reactions.  It is a word that has the power to make a person smile, get a person excited, it can make a person angry or it can instill fear in a person.  The word church is an incredibly powerful word and many of us if not all of us will have an emotional attachment to it.
When I tell a person that I am employed by a church, I am usually met by a look of fear, body language changes and very often it sparks the end of our conversation.
What has happened to The Church ‘Big C’ that would make a person react in such a way?
I am all for church. I love church. I love the idea and concept of church.  I see church as a place of hope, a place where dreams are born, a community of faith building people that encourage, inspire, motivate, challenge and  support.  Jeff Lucas writes this about the church “We are part of the grace – family called the people of God. Together we cry, laugh,share our burdens, worship, grieve, pray and serve”(The Prodigal Friendly Church)
The apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians wrote “The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance”.(1Corinthians 12:25-26 The Message)
There is no other place in the world that I would rather be than at the heart of the church.  In that space where Jesus is guiding us, the Holy Spirit driving us, where both are brining us closer to the father and to each other.
In a ideal or perfect world I suppose every church would look, feel and be like this, but again the unfortunate reality is that this is not the case.   If we are to be fully engaged in spiritual and social transformation then it is vitally important that we become fully engaged in our own relationship with the one true living God.  The way that the church will grow and develop is through the everyday interactions and engagements that you and I will have with the world.  You and I may be the only church that the people in your school, on your street, in your home this city may ever meet.  We are the church! Jesus has locked his credibility into ours, placed the future of his church on our shoulders and commanded us to go to the ends of the world. If the world is to catch a glimpse of the invisible God they will do it through us.  We have a huge responsibility to reflect Jesus in a way that is true to the magnificent and wonderful deity of his character.  In doing so the world will have no choice but  to stand up and take notice, change their view of the church and open up to receive the loving, healing, transforming power of God.  I pray that we will be a church that will be judged not by what we say about Jesus but by our acts of kindness, which serve everyone indiscriminately.

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January 5, 2010

I am very fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing group of people known as cornerstone city fellowship .  At cornerstone you will find a group of people committed to expressing God’s love in a practical way, serving people in a tangible manner and who live out the teachings of the Bible in their daily lives. In cornerstone you will be inspired to dream big dreams, encouraged to live the life God has called you to live and motivated to be the man or woman of God you have created to be. As a member of cornerstone I have fully come to realise that our greatest natural resource is the potential that lies within each and every one of us. The earths greatest resource is the gifts, talents, passions, and creativity of it’s citizens; it’s you, it’s me, it’s all of us.  With this comes huge responsibility.
I believe that 2010 is going to be a great year in the life of our church and I am relying on you to make it happen.  Inside you right now is unlimited, untapped potential.  At this very moment in time you have dreams beyond your wildest dreams that are just waiting to escape.  The future is waiting inside you, ready to be released.  You are a wealth of creativity, a dynamic hero that God wants to use to bring change to the world.
In his book ‘wide awake’ Erwin Mc Manus writes “This planet is made better or worse by the people we choose to become” .  The world needs you to be at the top of your game, it needs your best, it needs all of you.  If you choose to live a life that is somewhat less than that of your potential, it’s not only you that loses out, but the world the  at large loses out also.
Make 2010 a year to remember.
Let passion, purpose and potential empower you as the holy spirit equips you so that God can release you into a world that needs you.

I LoVe YoU

As a young boy I regularly heard people say “show me your friends and I will show you the type of person you are”.
The people around us can have a profound effect on the way we see things, they can input our lives both positively and negatively.  The people we allow into our lives will determine how much we grow emotionally and spiritually.
You will hear me say this a lot ” we live in a world thats puts an increasing amount of pressure on us to make an incredible amount of choices”.  Everything we do is a choice; what clothes to wear, what music to listen to; what exams to take, what to eat or what not to eat etc etc etc …………Everything is a choice, from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep, everything is a choice.  Life is a series of choices.
Our choices are influenced by our relationships.  The people we surround ourselves with, the people we do life with, all have the potential to  influence our lives.  They have the potential to influence how we act, what we say, how we think, where we go, what we wear, what we eat, how we see the world and how we see ourselves.  The have a huge impact on our lives.
Proverbs 13:20 says ” He who walks with the wise will be wise”. Lets take this one step further,  spending time with people who inspire us, motivate us, challenge us and stretch us will raise our level of thinking and lift us to lofty new heights.  Spending time with ambitious people will in turn makes us become more ambitious.  Spending time with loving people makes us loving people. Spending time with generous people will help us to become more generous.  Spending time with God loving people will, guess what, make you a God loving person.
If you fly with eagles, you will think, feel and act like an eagle

Christmas is coming

December 16, 2009

Christmas is fast approaching and as I prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World I can’t help but think about the life we are celebrating.
Jesus was a real life walking, talking, living, breathing miracle maker. Throughout his ministry everywhere he and his disciples travelled the most remarkable things happened.  He turned water into wine! He could make five loaves and two fish feed thousands! He brought people back from death to life! He could make bling men see again! He could walk on water! He could make cripples walk! He could make the dumb talk! He died on a cross taking the punishment for your sins and my sins and then to top it all off he rose from the dead.
Jesus’ teaching was revolutionary.  He spoke about forgiveness, about love , about grace  and about mercy.  He made what the world at the time considered to be the most outlandish claims.  He called himself many things; “Son of God”, “Son of Man”,  “The Way, The Truth, The Life”.  He said things like “no one can get to the Father except through me”.  Jesus challenged people to think in new ways, he inspired them, he motivated them, he stretched  them and he guided them.  An encounter with Jesus meant that your life would be transformed forever.

Can I encourage you that the same Jesus that lived 2000 years ago is alive and well and doing the same things right here in this city, and across this nation and beyond.
Hebrews 13:8 it states Jesus is the same today, yesterday, and forever! Even now his teaching is still revolutionary – it brings life, it brings hope and it has and will continue to inspire millions upon millions of people around the globe to seek to live and become more like him. Miracles are happening all the time,  people are being welcomed into the kingdom of God everyday, relationships are being restored, emotional and physical hurts and illnesses are being healed, sorrow turned to joy, worry turned to peace, the hopeless have hope.
Today, you too can have an encounter with Jesus that will transform your life forever.

GRAND DESIGNS

December 9, 2009

We live in a very exciting and ever changing world.  Technology is moving forward at an incredibly fast pace and we are constantly discovering new and innovative products that are being pushed in the market place.  If we look around us we can see  the development of fresh and inventive ideas, state of the art design concepts and the most impressive architecture .  Creativity and vision have become fundamental parts of everyday living in modern society.
Creativity and vision are the catalysts to change, without them things stay the same.
In his book Who You Are When No Ones’s Looking, Bill Hybels says, “Vision is the ability to catch a glimpse of what God wants to do through your life if you dedicate yourself to Him”.
King David had a vision from heaven. He said, “I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it” 1 Chronicles 28:2 NIV.  David dreamed of building a magnificent temple that would be  state of the art and innovative.  David’s temple would require new levels of creativity that would push the boundaries of the status quo to even greater heights.
We now live in the age of the new covenant where we have become a holy temple for the Lord.  Ephesians 2:21 tells us that, “we are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord”.  The spirit of the Lord lives and dwells in each of us.  He lives in you and he lives in me.
In the same way that David dreamed of building a magnificent temple, a dwelling place for the Lord, we too can dare to dream.  We can dare to dream of making ourselves a magnificent dwelling place for God.  We can dare to dream of building a magnificent life that is full of creativity and innovation.  We can dare to dream of a life that will push the boundaries of the status quo to new and greater heights.  God already has the blue print drawn up, the plan has already been made, the design feature that is uniquely you has already been created.  Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, submitting to God’s perfect will for our lives

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The Journal

November 16, 2009

Socrates once wrote ‘An unreflected life is not worth living’.  Throughout the centuries many Christians have used notebooks, diaries and journals as a way of reflecting on their personal and corporate walk with God  Many people would go as far as to say that reflective writing or ‘journalling’ actually helps them grow in their relationship with God.  Unlike a diary, a journal is not something that focuses on events and incidents, it’s for reflection, mulling, questioning and pondering.  It’s a flexible form – each journal will be totally unique to its writer.  A journal is something that can use at any time to write in, daily, weekly, monthly – whenever.  It’s up to you!
YouthStoreHow to get started?  The best way to get started is to start, jump in and realize that there is no right or wrong way to keep a journal. Remember that these are your thoughts and this is your life.  Its up to you to find the approach and style that works best for you and go with it, enjoy it and just do it.  Its something that can be a very pleasurable activity.
What to include –  Here are some suggestions of what to cover in a journal:

  • meditation on the Bible –  what is God is saying to you and what are you going to do about it
  • reflection on your life – what are you enjoying about your life/what are you struggling with in your life
  • reflection on your mood, attitude, feelings, health, dreams
  • changes happening in your life
  • how and where have you experienced God
  • you can write whatever else you feel is appropriate for you and your journal

 

GO AND WRITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

worship

November 4, 2009

Luke 7:36-50 tells the story of Jesus and how to the shock and horror of everyone he was surrounded by, allowed himself to be anointed with perfume by a sinful woman. Worship20Title20Slide The story of Jesus’ feet anointed with tears and perfume by a sinful woman is a love story, pure and simple, it cuts right through to the heart of worship.  
Most of us if we are honest associate worship with music, but the reality is that it is so much more than that.  Worship is a lifestyle, its a way of life that is in direct response to Gods amazing grace,  it’s somehow grasping the extent of his love, his grace, his mercy and letting it overflow in everything we do as we live, love and learn.  
I recently posted the question worship is?  to my facebook account and got the following responses………………. letting God know you love him…wanting God more than anything else……..a great way to connect with god and let him work in and through you……..everything we do……..”worship” is kissing God’s Face…. (one of the translations from the original)…………….declaring His worth in everything I say and do…….realising we’re the moon and He’s the sun; reflect Him in all we do!
In everything we do and in everything we say we have an opportunity to worship God and that is exactly what the sinful woman in this passage of scripture was doing. Luke 7:38 says “and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them”  in that moment she modeled to us the art of true worship, she gave Jesus everything she had, her heart, her body, her actions, her possessions.  She surrendered herself to the king of glory as she sat at the feet of Jesus.  She worshipped! Lets take this one step further.  She ignored the status quo, she paid no attention to the religious traditions of her time and disregarded everyone and everything else that was going on around her.  She went out on a limb and was not afraid of being or appearing vulnerable as she wept at the feet of Jesus. She worshipped! She positioned herself to receive the healing,restoring, loving power of God an in a moment restores the order of all things. God is Lord. God is Saviour. God is King.  She knew it and everything she did in that moment or moments reflected it. She worshipped!

Tim Shiels