My Dad

My dad in his early years was a Merchant Navy man who was torpedoed three times during the second world war. I don't know whether you would like to be on the same ship with him during those war days?

He would share tales of how before the ship got hit they would hear the sound of the torpedo heading towards them before the fatal collision. Resulting in days in a lifeboat set adrift on the tossing waves of the Atlantic before they were rescued and taken to Nova Scotia, Canada. He spent six months there lodging with a family.

As children, we would always know when we were about to receive a new addition to the family because my mother's tummy would begin to swell and then the annual visit from the midwife. We would hear the baby cry, and then the midwife would shout excitedly it's a boy! It's a boy! The midwife became part of the family. My mum gave birth to all of her children at home except the last one Diane; she was born in the hospital.
 
I don't regret being part of a large family with its positives and negatives.  You never are spoilt for choice when you need someone to play with.

How to be Effective

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How does one measure effectiveness I hear you ask? To help answer your question, we need to ask ourselves the following questions to try to come to an adequate solution that will help us evaluate the problem.

1. How is it measured?
2. How much can I do?
3. How little?
4. What can I automate?
5. What can I delegate?
6. What is the One Thing I need to set my focus on so that it moves the projects forward?

I would suggest that you try to delegate the tasks that you do not enjoy. We shall call this stage strategic elimination; then there are challenges we need to confront that hinder us making progress in being productive, things like:
1. Our Insecurity which cripples one's creativity.
2. Our Fear of failure.
3. Other people's opinions.

As you answer some of the above questions, you will find that it will help in taking you to another level, where the view comes progressively into focus.

The psalmist prayed to God to teach him how to number his days that he may apply his heart to wisdom, the core of his being may focus on fulfilling the knowledge that God has given him. 
"Help us to remember that our days are numbered, and help us how to interpret our lives correctly."  [psalm 90:12]

Strategy for Bible Study

This morning I concluded day one of my, “90 days through the New Testament.” by using the Bible app on my iPhone.  I’m so glad I took up the challenge! I have been meaning to get back into reading a portion of scripture each day with a planned schedule, and by using such a method, it helps me to measure my progress and to stay on track to achieve the targets set out in the plan.

The reward is that I can cover the New Testament,  four times a year. I have found this method invaluable when it comes to grasping the truths that Scripture teaches, and it helps when preparing a firm foundation for future assignments.

The Power of The Cross.

I remember Derick Prince a well known British author and Bible teacher coming to Liverpool in the early-mid eighties and asking the congregation to forgive him. He spoke these words, " I have come to realise that I have drifted away from the "Message of the Cross." (Being involved with what was known then as the discipleship movement, or the heavy shepherding movement.)

Wow, what a statement to make before a congregation that looked up to this man. It took a lot of grace and humility to admit he had drifted off course from his original mission. Now by making this statement he had put his reputation on the line  But isn't that what the cross does? it strips away self-righteousness and man's control to achieve by his efforts right standing with God. We have to take the time to come aside and consider the path we are treading. Occupied with the daily chores of life,' the demands it puts on us can make our whole mission confusing, and we drift from the original calling that God imparted to us.

The purpose of the Cross then is to destroy our feeble knowledge and philosophies, to bring to zero our self-righteousness that we may exchange our filthy rags for His robes of linen.

 

The Plan of God

God's Divine Plan for each one of us.

Reading 1Cor. 1:1-3 (Passion Translation) 

The words "divinely" and "appointed" projects the idea of not being in control. That seems to be the issue and the reason why we do not experience outbreaks of the Spirit in our local churches? The biggest challenge to removing the obstacle so that the Spirit of God can move freely in our congregation's is to let go of the control; We must learn to trust Him. Learning to trust is difficult and almost impossible if we don't have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. If we can't trust Him, then we end up substituting our plans and strategies in place of His manifestations. The fruit that comes from a relationship is that we learn to discern the Lord's presence in situations.

The plan of God:

1. God has a personal plan for each one of us. I look back at my experience in Toronto in 1994 when I received an intoxication of joy. Even though I could not understand it at the time, the one thing that reassured me was His presence. By the way, I am still flowing in that anointing only with a lot more understanding and depth than I had back then.

2. I can't take the credit it was nothing I deserved or had worked for It was God's sovereign will that I should find myself in the right place at the right time. Godfrey Birtill, a songwriter, wrote a song called,  "Hijacked into Paradise,"  describing what it feels like being filled with ecstasy and joy. 
I could relate to the words because it was just what I was experiencing, swept along in an ecstasy of joy that overwhelmed me at times and took me to places I did not predetermine to go.

3. The Lord told Peter that there would come a season in his life when the Spirit would lead him to places he did not plan of his own intuition.

4. Jesus proceeded out of the water after his baptism and Luke records that the Spirit "forced him into (or drove him into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil 40 days and 40 nights." (Luke 4:1-13)

The secret then to being lead by the Spirit and seeing more of His manifestations in our gatherings is to stay humble.
 Confessing our need of a Comforter, a Teacher, a Guide especially when we do not know where we are going, just like our father of faith Abraham when he received his calling from God. (Gen.12:1-3)

Prayer:
Father God thank you for your plan and your appointed times in my life, even though I don't understand the direction you are taking me at times, I submit to you. Lead me deeper in my relationship with you. I love you and praise you from the bottom of my heart. My confession today is  "there is only one God!" and you are in control and direct my paths.

PURSUING YOUR MISSION

A good practice is to take some time to consider your mission and in so doing to create a "Mission Statement." I remember during the outpouring in Toronto in the early nineties reading the Mission Statement of the then "Toronto Airport Church," exhibited on the back wall of the church,  it read, " Our Mission is to Walk in the love of God and give it away." That has always stuck with me throughout the years. In some ways you are stating what your aim is, meaning you have not quite reached it yet. A Mission is equivalent to a journey; it's a process walked out over time.

What is the value of a mission statement?
Paul was pursuing his mission with such intensity that he did not have time to visit the believers when he was in Rome. The first thing that comes to mind here is  

1. When you are pursuing something, you focus on the goal.

2.  God will give you partners to help you fulfill that mission. Something I struggled with in the early days of itinerate ministry, I did not want to manipulate people into investing into the ministry because of the excess practices when it comes to raising funds among individual T.V. Ministries.

3. The  Lord showed me that He would touch people's hearts to partner with me and that I needed to have a means by which they could invest their seed in the Kingdom of God so that people could put action with their prayers. You would not believe how it helps when you have people alongside you not only praying but giving sacrificially; it is very humbling for the one on the receiving end.

In the passion translation, it reads "he was looking for the church to help Him financially to visit Jerusalem."  It is not just looking to God to provide; there is a responsibility on believers to support ministries that have been a blessing to them, they can enable by becoming a partner in a Ministry's Mission,  after all, God gives seed to the sower.

Memories of a distant past

This track is one of my favourites T.R. Post added the music to extracts from my preaching. The track itself evokes happy memories of my dad who has since gone on to be with the Lord. He was a musician and his name was Sam, I dedicate this to his memory....

Who is in Control?

The word "Divinely" and "Appointed" convey the sense that one is not in control of their own destiny?  The biggest challenge is submitting to the will of God when you have no understanding as to why you are being lead in a certain direction. You have to learn to trust him, something which gets easier through the passage of time and by the experiences you gain by exercising  your faith muscles.

The key lies in developing one's personal relationship with The Holy Spirit, this takes time and is not a one-off action but a journey."Hijacked into Paradise," a song written by a good friend of mine Godfrey Birtill describes perfectly my experience when  I received this intoxicating joy which flowed over me and erupted deep within me, taking me to places I never dreamed existed. I was swept along in an ecstasy which overwhelmed me at times,"  The Lord said to Peter that there would come a time in his life when the Spirit would lead him in paths he did not wish to tread. Divinely appointed places according to God's plan. I can't say that I have not wanted to be lead on this path, it has turned out to be a glorious adventure over the last twenty something years.

Prayer:
father God thank you for your plan and your appointed times for my life, even though  I may not understand the direction you are leading me, I submit to you. Take me deeper in my relationship with You.

Website Renovation

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I have been wanting for some time now to update the website and have not been to happy with the present layout, but with traveling a lot and then heart surgery its one of those projects I have at to put on the back boiler. Now that I have to spend time recuperating after my surgery I have the time to work on it.

It brings to mind the phrase, "every cloud has got a silver lining, and always look on the bright side of life....." and to finish with a scripture "All things (not just some) work together for good!"