How do you enter God’s presence?

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This question… “How do you enter God’s presence?”,  is so beautiful and has been asked of me many times lately. The answer from God’s Word is so refreshing…

1. Be still. Get quiet to allow Him to lead you.

Ps 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Ps 23
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,
and you refresh my life…
You are with me…
Your kindness and love
will always be with me
each day of my life,
and I will live forever
in your house, Lord.

2. Enter His gates by giving thanks, giving praise to Him, singing for joy!

Psalm 100:1,2,4

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs…
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

(Helpful hint: Try this… Get alone somewhere quiet. Start by listing 3 things you are thankful for. Say ‘thank you’ to God. “Thank you God for…”)

Do Leaders Need to Repent?

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Do leaders need to repent …or can they sweep things under the carpet?

When leaders fail to repent for idolatry and do not make heart change, not only do they cut off blessing in their own lives, but also in the lives of the people that they lead.

When a person walks in idolatry (bowing down to money, to other people out of fear, intimidation, lust, etc), they can expect the opposite of a blessing – a curse onto their children to the third and fourth generations. Idolatry in the lives of parents, grandparents, great, and great-great grandparents opens the door for this.

Sweeping sin under the carpet only makes your kids and grandkids pay more for it later. Is that really the inheritance you want to leave behind? The reason why your children, your flock are suffering, or walking away from you, cutting off all ties with you, etc…could be …you. And you could be a parent, a church leader, a business leader, a city leader…

And if you are calling your people to repent first, this is not love. This is control and manipulation. Leaders must repent first. (Otherwise, they are not leading. Leadership requires example, not hiding.)

Thankfully, repentance breaks this.

Jesus’ shed blood covers our sin when we repent.

God is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands.

Ask the Lord:

What is blocking me from receiving blessing for me and my children, my church, my business, my city etc? Whatever He brings to mind, repent of, and be set free! 🙂 This in turn will set your family line, your church, your city …free! 🙂 

Read: Exodus 20:5,6; Deuteronomy 7:9,10; Romans 8
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When They Don’t Change?

What do you do when a person in your life doesn’t change…? What if it’s your leadership, your employee, a friend, a client, a date, etc…?

Here’s a great refresh from a message I heard long ago and again from a book I read a year ago. Thankfully, there are things you can do before it comes down to walking away or swimming away from a sinking ship. Some boats are repairable still longing for the wind to fill their sails.

Brief overview with video link below…

3 Types of People (Dr Henry Cloud):

There are three types of people you encounter in your life, and when you deal with them, you can’t always take the same approach. Research reveals 3 basic categories and we all can behave in these at times in our growth. They are wise, foolish and evil.

Here they are:

  1. Wise people: Resource them. Give them more input, knowledge, training, teaching, and whatever you have, because they tend to use it. They’re good people to invest in. You don’t have to do much with these folks except have a good tone, be specific and listen well, and you’ll get great results. They are people of good character. 
  1. Foolish (defensive) people: Remember, more feedback usually does not help. So, why continue to do what doesn’t help? You’re wasting your breath trying to continually talk about a problem that the person is not owning. This is when you have to focus on consequences. If they do A, then it will result in B happening. Sometimes using consequences will get a turnaround, and other times they will go away, as they do not like to be held accountable. 
  1. Evil (destructive) people: With them, not only is there no talking, there is also usually no hope. Get serious about protecting yourself and others from their agenda, and take appropriate action. While group #1 needs input, and group #2 needs consequences, with the third group, you have to go into protective mode. They are out to harm, so make sure your strongest boundaries are intact. 

To learn more tools, I urge you to read Henry’s book, Necessary Endings

Enjoy this clip too!

Life After ‘Church’?

Since stepping away from traditional church and pastoral ministry, my journey has taken me on a sweet adventure. God has led my family away, not to find membership at another institutional church, though we had visited many and were warmly invited by many, but rather to take note of what God is up to… outside of the box.

He is doing a new thing…!

(Resource below…)

God is amazing.

We are enjoying a rich time. My family and I are involved in a growing disciple-making movement it appears. I’ve got 4 discipleship groups right now I’m leading or co-leading. We are also enjoying street ministry (simply offering to pray for people) and feeding the homeless. We have seen people come to Christ and getting physically healed of various illnesses. My favourite was an older man healed of serious back pain in Jesus’ name. The look on his face! Or the conversation I had about Jesus’ view of women (using the story of the Samaritan woman at the well) after I was asked about being a female pastor. 😀

(Just had a thought… Being a woman sharing hope on the street is somehow a more acceptable thing in some circles than being a woman sharing hope on a stage behind a pulpit. Strange…? Yet, I’m having more fun on the street these days!)

For us, it has been life on life led by Holy Spirit. No pressure, no rush… I just wake up in the morning, ask God what He has planned, linger with Him in the Word and in prayer, and then go. (I work on the side as a Life Coach and Spiritual Director and have recently been invited to partner with another ministry.)

There are eleven people I only met this year just walking my dog, or going to a coffee shop, or brought to meet me with a friend. God is on the move, on the street, and in our homes. The running joke at home is that I take forever to get a few groceries. I keep having some incredible conversations with people. 😀

Below is another resource that helped me digest, reflect, and embrace this new chapter for ourselves of intentionally being the living church (which takes less energy then we were used to in the past. Although, when I look at the list above of what we are doing, it’s much bigger somehow! That’s totally God. Not us!)

We love the Church! And God uses institutional churches. But, if you’re struggling with confusion within an institutional church, church politics, meetings and meetings and a lack of fruit, and you’ve wandered from institutional church to institutional church, but you love Jesus perhaps more than ever, this help may be like a breath of fresh air…!

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Life After Church (Audio Download)
We are in one of the most dramatic reorganizations of the structure of THE Church ever in human history. That is because the King is on the move and there is a dramatic next chapter coming. This album is one perspective from researcher Arthur Burk on where the King is going and how we can live this transition season for fullest effect. You ARE in a transition. The question is whether you will transition well and be part of the new move of God, or will be caught short…?  ***Sneak peek:

5 basic reasons people leave the church:

  1. Abusive authority.
  2. Community is found outside church. Church then became just a ritual.
  3. Leadership was hired on credentials rather than anointing and gifting.
  4. Money going to consumer comforts and an old building rather than outreach. 
  5. No clue why you left?? You just did and don’t know why.

God is raising up a new army. We are seeing the merging of the Fathering Movement and Church in the Marketplace coming together, merging into one stream. As we head into multiple ticking time bombs, God is getting ready for it.

In the light of church history, we are getting ready for something really big.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A MOBILIZATION OF THIS MAGNITUDE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST EVER IN CHURCH HISTORY.

The Life ‘After Church’ signs are:

·         Decentralization- there is no human leader.

·         Design based, as each one of us dominates a small niche in our area of expertise.

·         People have learned to hear God directly for themselves (not relying on a pastor).

·         You don’t need structures, you can move NIMBLY, as Holy Spirit leads.

We are privileged to be in this season, to be a part of something so big it will rewrite human and church history. Each of us have been designed for this season, for such a time as this…  Learn more…

Unlearn in Order to Learn how to Disciple?

13 million people in 12 years through a disciple making movement?!!! (A few people in the Word started it all.)

This morning, I got to group Skype with a missionary on the other side of the world and hear how fast the Gospel is spreading. He had to unlearn things in order to learn how to truly make disciples.

I loved that he said some of his best leaders are women! 😀

What is a disciple making movement? Here’s one way to explain… 🙂 

Jesus Longs for His Church to Come Alive

I loved reading a book over the weekend written by a pastor who was told he needed to leave his institutional church in order to protect his health. Today, he leads a movement that has reached multiple countries.

Below is a quote from his wife excerpted from his book:

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“The Revolution is happening – it’s happening all over the world.

We are in a Reformation.
Acknowledge it or not.
Be a part of it or not.

Jesus longs for his church to come alive, to become a living, breathing organism. He longs for us to be in a real, live, intimate relationship with Him, regardless of others – and then in real, live relationship with our families – earthly and spiritual.

And, He’s begging us to come alive, be who we are as individuals, alive and free in Him, telling the world who and what He has done for us…

The enemy accepts that Christianity is in the world… but if he can just contain us, keep us from contaminating others, there’s little to worry about. If he can contain us in buildings, then the world will not know the truth and few will be set free. But what I saw in Kenya, I also see in America and other parts of the world.

The virus is leaking.

The Reformation of the 21st Century, led by the Holy Spirit, is taking Christianity out of containers into the open spaces of the neighborhoods and nations of the world.”

(Brooks & Roger Thoman. Simple/House Church Revolution (Kindle Locations 137-141). Download and read for free at: https://www.simplechurchrevolution.com)

He writes on his website: 

“In time, we began to see that this ‘paradigm shift’ (from institutional church to disciple making movement) was preparing us to train leaders in the multiplication of disciples, simple churches, and leaders.  …we saw tremendous fruit as disciples could quickly reproduce disciples and churches…

God used a dark season of our life to birth new purposes that were far above and beyond anything we might have dreamed on our own!”

(Learn more at: https://appleseedministry.com/about )

Supernatural Mothers

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God nurtures us. Image source: Today’s Christian woman

Oh, this weekend of Mother’s Day… I have always noticed that this day and Father’s Day carries with it special supernatural meaning because we are called to be family (and when that doesn’t happen, there’s deep pain.)

I pray more folks are adopted into loving community this weekend because they experience El Shaddai (“well breasted one”) because God nurtures us. I believe motherhood is a gift – whether you are a biological mom, or adopted mom, or a spiritual mom. Every woman has the potential to be like a healthy mother to others. I believe moms are created in God’s image. So, when you are rejected, unloved, that is not from God. I pray instead for healing and hope if this feels like you.

You are loved.
Love your people,
whether they are blood line or not.

Questions:

  1. What women in your life have been the hands and feet of God in His love and compassion? Take time to honour them, thank them, pray for them, remember them…
  2. What woman (or man) in your life, is God calling you to ‘mother’ (or ‘father’) on His behalf? Take time to ask Him who and what that should look like…
  3. Take the time this week to do that. Carry on the journey of Titus 2 intentional mentoring.

What Does Your Anger Look Like?

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How good are you at your anger management?
Where would you be on this scale…?

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The Anger Ladder ~ by Dr. Ross Campbell

1) Pleasant behavior;
2) Seeking resolution to the conflict;
3) Focusing anger on the source only;
4) Holding to the primary complaint, not to peripheral issues;
5) Thinking logically and constructively;
6) Unpleasant and loud behavior;
7) Cursing;
8) Becoming angry at someone else who is a bystander instead of at the source of the anger;
9) Expressing unrelated complaints;
10) Throwing objects;
11) Destroying property;
12) Verbal abuse;
13) Emotionally destructive behavior;
14) Physical abuse; and
15) Passive-aggressive behavior.

We should all strive to achieve the first 2 rungs of the Anger Ladder.
Which is ‘1’ ~ Pleasant behavior; & ‘2’ ~ Seeking resolution to the conflict; Dr Campbell suggests that we find out where we are on the Anger Ladder and move up one rung at a time.

The worst way for anyone to handle anger is through passive-aggressive (or PA) behavior. In PA behavior, a person uses indirect means to get back in anger at another person — for example, procrastinating, stubbornness, intentional inefficiency and “forgetfulness.” The person acts in these ways to provoke anger. A PA person refuses to accept responsibility for his or her own behavior.

Note that PA is at number ’15’ which is worse than ’13’ ~ Emotionally destructive behavior; & ’14’ ~ Physical abuse; because it is not easily noticed.

Note: Dr Campbell did mention a “16” which represents Homicidal attempts, homicidal threats and homicide which is worst but it’s not covered in the scope of his book  ‘How to Really Love Your Teenager’ (Amazon afflink).

After 2 unsuccessful attempts at mediation with someone who has hurt me in the past and looking at the scale above, I can see why trying yet another time is unwise. A person seeking true reconciliation should demonstrate the first two rungs on the ladder, and not 7, 9, 12, 13 and 15. I have forgiven and moved on, but see that for reconciliation to occur, honour and respect and sincere apology must happen. Forgiveness and trust restored/reconciliation are two different things. Sigh. I pray that they can also find the inner healing in order to restore their own broken relationships within their biological family.

How are you doing at expressing your anger? For deep inner healing, I recommend the following process… 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Ways to Bless Others

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UnhurriedLiving.com 

Those who know me, know that I’m intentional. 🙂 But, did you know that as you go about your day, there are a ton of ways to bless others without planning ahead?!

Here are a few very creative and simple ways to do bless people through what you are already doing!

I loved this list from an on-line mentor of mine…

Jesus didn’t say, “Love everyone at once.” Only God has the capacity to do that. We can love our neighbor—the one who is near enough to us that we can serve their good.

These little “five minute” ideas are simple.
That’s the point.
You could easily add plenty of other creative ways to bless another.
We simply encourage you to do the good that God has put in your heart for the benefit of another.

These mini-ministries can be done as you live your real, day-to-day life, including emailing, grocery shopping, driving, doing laundry and washing dishes.

Blessings to you as you live, love and serve…

Go here for the list: 17 Simple Ways to Serve Others