Pastor’s Pen 29th April 2018

Shalom. May the Living Word of God reveal the truth of the written Word of God and may you find the truth will set you free as you trust in Jesus the living word.
Have you ever thought there’s a place for words somewhere in this universe? I remember from science that energy is never destroyed, it simply changes. Sound is a wave, so when we say something, that wave goes out and it hits our ears and is converted to impulses that we can interpret as sound. But somewhere, those waves go on to…? and it just made me think of Isaiah..
“Rain and snow fall from the sky. But they don’t return without watering the earth that produces seeds to plant and grain to eat. That’s how it is with my words. They don’t return to me without doing everything I send them to do.” (Isa 55:10-11)
What do your words set out to accomplish, what do mine? Have you ever wondered that when we stand at the judgment seat of Christ, all the words that we’ve said will be there echoing our lives and showing the purpose of our hearts. With the tongue we bless and curse. Certainly gives me pause to think about some of the words I say. I can think of times when I have needed to admonish and it could have been done simply, but I chose to go the expanded route like an infomercial… “But wait there’s more…”
Or at times when I’ve nagged, or been nagged.
It’s true that the tongue holds the power of life and death. That saying “sticks and stones may break my bones; but names will never hurt me”; is a nice shield, but is actually, more often than not, plain wrong. The best way to counter the impact of harsh, hurtful and wrong words are with words of life, affirmation and encouragement; these are found in abundance in the Bible and ultimately contained in the personhood of Jesus Christ. His word is true and truth. While at times his truth may sting us, ultimately it will bless us and grow us stronger. Let’s make a conscious choice to use his words with others.
I hope this week is one where words lift you and restore you. May you know that you are loved.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 22nd April 2018

Shalom. May Jesus be incarnate through you to others.

The following story reminds me of the power of being you in the little moments and reminder that often we are the first gospel people will see…
A little boy wanted to meet GOD. He knew it was a long trip to where GOD lived, so he packed his suitcase with muesli bars and a six pack of juices, and he started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase.
He was about to take a drink from his juice when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her a muesli bar.
She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him. Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a juice.
Again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat all afternoon eating smiling, but they never said a word. As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever. When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?”
He replied, “I had lunch with GOD.” But before his mother could respond, he added, “You know what? She’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”
Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?” She replied, “I ate snacks in the park with GOD.” However, before her son responded, she added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”

May you show God to someone this week.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 15th April 2018

Shalom. May the God of mission remind you why he sent his Son and encourage your living out of that.

Mission. A great little word that means so much in a Church context; after all, we’re all about God’s mission; aren’t we?
Well that can be a curly question can’t it? Because there are layers to our involvement… It begins at a personal level; after all, it’s between me and God first and foremost isn’t it? It grows to include others around me and yeah, there’s a big wide world out there, but really let’s get back to me.
So is it all about me and God
Well, yes and no. You see, our society places massive emphasis on the individual. We are an individualistic society where you rule your own patch, you’re in charge of yourself and who on earth are they to tell you what to do. If it feels good (and it’s not illegal) do it. Have now, pay later – you deserve it – Look after numero uno…

Problem is, Scripture doesn’t place me first.
What’s the greatest commandment? Matthew 22: 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

Closest it comes to mentioning ‘me’ is at the very end, but only in context with those around me! If you keep reading from Matthew 22, you’ll see Jesus defines my neighbor as anyone, especially those who need help. (Hint – Parable of the Good Samaritan.)
So, it seems to me that part of God’s mission is to encourage me to be aware it’s not about me, but that I need to realise he wants to use me. In obedience to this selfless and often sacrificial lifestyle, I will discover fulfillment as I realise God wires us to serve and help others. So by denying my self-centred and often narcissistic tendencies, I discover the very thing I’ve been searching for- ME.

God’s mission is to make us His followers, to populate his kingdom and to reach out to the least of these. Our mission is to fulfill that, because if God matters at all – He matters most.

I hope your week ahead is filled with opportunity to discover God in and around you as you listen to his voice and follow his prompting.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike

Pastor’s Pen 8th April 2018

Shalom. May you linger with the truth of resurrection promise and celebrate life around you.
Jesus calls us to come, by name, and follow him. He then reminds us… ‘as the Father sent me, so I am sending you.’ Even the term Apostle means sent one.
We are a sent people, yet we may not need to go anywhere. We have been entrusted with the Good News. HE IS RISEN!
Because this is true; death has been defeated, hope has been harnessed, faith has been fulfilled and love has been lavished. Life’s to be lived so we should live it.

I wrote this down the other day to remind me of my journey.

One life,
Lived once,
Lived well,
With eternity in mind,
For an audience of one.

There are many things that compete for our focus in life and at times we need to give them due attention, but we should never lose the bigger picture. We can live forever, but only when we respond to the call of Christ to follow Him (Matt 16:24). This call results in a relationship with the Creator of the Universe and puts us in touch with eternity.

I’m reminded that I am just one man, while there are many things I can see that need to be done I am aware that I haven’t been asked to do them all.

In “Velvet Elvis” by Rob bell, he came to a realization that “Your job is the relentless pursuit of who God has made you to be. And anything else is sin and you need to repent of it.” (page 114)

How do we pursue that person God made us to be?

Remember God loves you just the way you are. But he refuses to leave you that way; He wants you to be just like Jesus.

I need to reflect Christ as best I can while still being me. How do I reflect Him? By focusing on him.

Where we look often determines where we go.

I pray and hope you go where he calls this week.

Bless ya
Pastor Mike