What are people looking for in us?

So what are people looking for in Christians and the Christian community?

1) People are looking for authenticity and not hypocrisy
2) People are looking to be loved for who they are and not what they can provide
3) People are looking for holiness and not a holier than thou attitude
4) People are looking to belong to a community who will embrace them and not a clique that will exclude them
5) People are looking for us to remember their name and find out about them and not to be treated as a number who just makes up the numbers
6) People are looking for their shepherd and their shepherd is looking for them

“Worth Quoting 11”

Two powerful and unnerving quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

There was a time when the church was very powerful—in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society

If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century

Jesus is Lord

Here is a wonderful video from Alan Hirsch on the centrality and authenticity of faith in Jesus, summed up in three small words – Jesus is Lord.

A timely reminder of the simplicity and radical nature of the call to follow Jesus in the midst of our consumer drenched world.

Well worth the time to watch and meditate on.

Enjoy

Alan Hirsch: Jesus Is Lord [VERGE video] from Verge Network on Vimeo.

“Worth Quoting 10”

One of the glories of the Christian gospel is its ability not only to deliver a man from sin but to orient him, to place him on a peak from which he can see yesterday and today in their relation to tomorrow. The truth cleanses his mind so that he can recognize things that matter and see time and space and kings and cabbages in their true perspective.
A.W.Tozer – Man the dwelling place of God

Prophecy for City Edge

Prophecy for City Edge
Wednesday November 23, 2011

Isaiah 54:1-5 MSG
“Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth! You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so! “Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family. You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities. Don’t be afraid-you’re not going to be embarrassed. Don’t hold back-you’re not going to come up short. You’ll forget all about the humiliations of your youth, and the indignities of being a widow will fade from memory. For your Maker is your bridegroom, his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth.

“Worth Quoting 9”

Right thinking about God exists to serve right feelings for God. Logic exists for the sake of love. Reasoning exists for the sake of rejoicing. Doctrine exists for the sake of delight. Reflection about God exists for the sake of affection for God. The head is meant serve the heart.

John Piper
The Pastor as Scholar and The Scholar as Pastor. Reflections on Life and Ministry with D.A. Carson

“Worth Quoting 8”

I am regularly bursting to say something about the most precious things in the universe – and not in any disinterested, dispassionate, composed, detached, unemotional, so-called scholarly way, but rather with total interest, warm passion, discomposure, utter attachment, and fully emotional, and I hope always, true.

John Piper
The Pastor as Scholar and The Scholar as Pastor. Reflections on Life and Ministry with D.A. Carson

Maintaining Our Spiritual Health

Some notes from the message on Maintaining Our Spiritual Health – Sunday April 17, 2011

Preach the Gospel to yourself regularly
At Easter Jesus was condemned. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. http://bible.us/Rom8.1.ESV

The gospel or good news is not just the grace of God that saves us but it is also the grace of God that sustains us. We don’t start with the spirit and seek to perfect ourselves in the flesh – it begins and ends with the Holy Spirit leading, guiding and showing us the way.
Study Romans for the most complete understanding of the Gospel and Galatians for Paul’s personal and impassioned plea to never loose what was gained by Jesus for our benefit – the good news.

Read and study the Bible regularly
Listen to worship or uplifting music
Pray
Fast
Fellowship

– Simply being in a room with people is not fellowship.
– Find out about each other by asking questions.
– Pray for each other
Get over offenses quickly
– Forgive those who hurt you
– Pray for them
– Do good to them even if it is not returned
– Speak with them and do your best to get things cleared up
Guard your heart against all forms of pride
– Overt
– Covert
– Spiritual
Keep in good physical shape
– Rest
– Recreate
– Keep active
– Keep hydrated
http://health.ninemsn.com.au/menshealth/healthandfitness/8236039/do-you-know-the-health-benefits-of-water
Keep in good financial shape
– Prepare a budget
– Stick to your budget
– Live without a credit card if you can or keep a very small limit and try not to be tempted to increase it
– Save for your future and regular holidays
http://blog.mybudget.com.au/2011/04/manage-good-debt-minimise-bad-debt.html
Be an encourager
– Be genuine
– Initiate and don’t always wait to be encouraged
– When you think of people pray for them or txt, call or inbox them

“Worth Quoting 7”

I think people want to be magnificent. It is the job of the leader to bring out that magnificence in people and to create an environment where they feel safe and supported and ready to do the best job possible in accomplishing key goals. This responsibility is a sacred trust that should not be violated. The opportunity to guide others to their fullest potential is an honor and one that should not be taken lightly. As leaders, we hold the lives of others in our hands. These hands need to be gentle and caring and always available for support.
Ken Blanchard (Author of the One Minute Manager 1982)

Advice to Pastors

This is a great video interview between Rick Mckinley, pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland Oregon and Eugene Peterson, author of “The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language”.

In this interview we see a man who has learned over time that he was a pastor by gifting, ability and eventually calling, who then had to learn how to actually be a pastor.

There is some heartfelt, wise, and timely advice along with a warning or two for all of those called to pastor as well as giving those who are being pastored an insight into the challenges of this vocation.