Wednesday, January 24, 2007

David's Success

In Christianity I often find the most profound truths are also very simple. I was amazed at the simplicity of two keys to King Davids success in 1 Chronicles 14:2

"And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel and that his kingdom had been highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel."

David knew that his calling was not from man, that it was the Lord who had established him. To be successful in any God given task or any ministry position we need to realise that we are their because of the Lord.

Psalm 75:6-7
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another

How else will we ever truly endure in a particular work. Surely the only thing that enables us to hang in when the going really gets tough is the revelation that we have not been appointed because it is a good idea, we are not just fulfilling another position but the God of the universe had a plan and wants to use in a special way. Another example of a leader who knew that his ministry was of God and not man was the Apostle Paul who wrote in Galatians chapter 1

1Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead

Oh Lord help us not to be people that think we do things to impress man but let us realise that you are the one who truly calls us fourth.

However in the second half of the Chronicles text we see that David didn't just understand who he was called by, he also understood who he was called for.
He knew that the Kingdom has been made great for the sake of the people. He realised that any success he had was not for himself but success in the kingdom was for the people of God. How important it is that Christian leaders do not get caught building an empire instead of God's Kingdom. That the Holy Spirit would constantly remind us that what we are doing and any success we experience is truly for the so others can be blessed. Oh God let our ministry be strive to have something of worth to impart for the sake of others.

In short we are not called by man but we are called for man

Monday, January 15, 2007

Call of God

For a while I have been thinking about the call of God. As pentecostal churches we often focus heavily on the individual call of God for a persons life. We always need to ensure we keep the balance between what God wants us to do and what God wants us to become. I had been thinking about this then I read a fantastic part in the book Church@community by Ed Delph, which puts it far better then I could.

"Our primary purpose as Christians and churches is to be conformed to the image of Jesus(it is predestined), and secondly to fulfill calling. If your calling comes before being conformed to Jesus, you are in danger of becoming sectarian, judgemental and one-dimensional ... Your calling is never the standard, Jesus is! Every emphasis needs a context. You are a Christian first, a prayer warrior second. You are a Christian first, a theologian or church historian second ... "

Church@Community page 161

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Video store

When the man at the video store tells you not to get the film that you have picked because "just between us it iis really silly" and tells you to get American Dreamz instead DO NOT LISTEN TO HIM

Atheism scary in its sheer conceit

The New Zealand herald published an article today about an Anglican bishop who claimed himself to be an angnostic. An interesting opinion piece was written by Colomnist John Roughan (a non believer) titled "Atheism scary in its sheer conceit" here is a snippet

The bishop also noted, happily, that the parliamentary prayer is under review, as is the nature of prayer at Anzac Day services.
"As a church leader I feel uncomfortable leading prayers in public that have an exclusively Christian ending, thus excluding people of other faiths."
It should not fall to an unbeliever to say this but, God help us. This country's religious heritage is Christian; people of other faiths know it. They do not feel excluded when our ceremonies reflect our heritage.
They probably worry, as I do, that if we dilute that identity into some arid catch-all we lose a little more of our society's spiritual roots.
Possibly politicians who fear to declare themselves atheist, understand that better than today's church leaders do.
It is a tragedy the modern church has been divested of much of its ancient splendour.
Political leaders understand, I think, that though we are as secular as Mr Barrington says - most people don't admire or even like religion and turn away from its display - we find atheism just as repellent.
Atheism, humanism, rationalism, call it what you like, is a conviction that offers nothing beyond the reach of human knowledge, when their plainly are such things. Not just the obvious: the boggling infinity of the universe and its density that suggests matter we still cannot see. Or the apparently random behaviour of subatomic particles that comprises everything we see. Quantum physics sounds like metaphysics to me.
Our very brain remains largely unexplained. How do thoughts happen? Physically, what is going on in there? How do neurons compose a symphony? What makes us love?
I like mysteries in existence. I'm not religious about it but there are things I sense spiritually, for want of a better word. I want to be awed by infinite possibilities.

The full article can be viewed at

Friday, January 12, 2007

End of the first week

Well my first week as a Youth Pastor has officially ended (Friday is our day off). I have been spending mornings and early afternoons in the office doing some of the prep for the coming year and then have been catching up with some of our young people and leaders during the afternoons and evenings. It is very exciting seeing things begin to take shape!

Great quote

"To say their is no absolute right and wrong is in essence to say their is no tangible difference between the lives of Adolf Hitler and Mother Teresa" - Steve Kumar (Christian apologist)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

new beginnings

Well from tomorrow I am officially the full time Youth Pastor at Tauranga City Elim Church. I am really looking forward to a fresh start and a new challenge. It is quite a change after working for the Inland Revenue for nearly 8 years.

It is sure to be a real challenge and I am looking forward to sinking my teeth in and really growing in God over the next 12 months.

Hmmm do you suppose people would rather meet a Pastor or a Tax collector?