The launch of LifeChangers Church was today, the 28th of October, Two Thousand and Seven.
Hu - uge.
I arrived early around 8:45 for the 10am start and was blown away by the state the Browns Bay Primary School hall was in. Yesterday (while I was at work) a brave bunch of hearty workers steadily set up the hall in preparation for today, a lengthy 4 hour set up.
Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the hall as of yet - my camera decided it was going to die of battery power after the first photo. Love it. However, photos WILL come, and that's a promise. I don't want to steal or kill the intense excitement already building within you for those photos, but what I can say is that we had the new logo on huge banners hanging either side of the stage, balloons and more banners.
What stoked me out the most was the packs that everybody recieved at the door. It was awesome. They had a vision booklet, upcoming events, a fridge magnet complete with out new logo and line saying "JESUS changes lives!", a bumper sticker and a wicked rubber bracelet.
We had new signs on the road which were extremely confusing to the eye because the arrow pointing to "Parking" to the left conflicted largely with the arrow pointing to the right from the logo. I'm not suprised some people had no idea where to go or park, they ended up down at Rothesay Bay.
Our band played "Beautiful Day" by U2, which I must say, we rocked. It was phat. Phaaaat. with a huge P.
Ian Wright spoke well and we had a huge BBQ afterwards, full of 200+ sausages and numerous amounts of steak, bread, potato salad mmmmmmmmmmmm.
Bays Apostolic Church redesigned and renamed into LifeChangers Church - north shore.
Bring it on.
Check out the website: www.lifechangerschurch.co.nz
Euan asked a fantastic question in my last post which has prompted some deep thinking on behalf of myself over the last few days. Amongst the intelligent and well thought through other parts of his comment he posed the question of what the info was on Mandy Moore. Or more specifically, Mandy Moore and I.
The truth is, Mandy Moore and I have been in a relationship for quite some time now. I've tried to keep it on the downlow for a while but unfortunately, due to my lack of controlling my mouth I've let the cat out of the bag. It first started when I was touring the Central US for the latest release of my line of toothpaste. Obviously, my new line of toothpaste attracted a large amount of interest, including some high profile celebrities. It seems to me that the importance of white, healthy teeth is now a priority for many celebs.
While I was standing on my home build podium (made of rimu, pohutikawa branches and used toothpaste packets) I spotted Mandy near the edge of the crowd, slightly to the right. She seemed to be engrossed in my speech about the need to look after our teeth and that the world's decieved theory that teeth do grow back 3 times is in fact, wrong. It must've been somewhere between my wink and my shimmering smile that she fell, for me.
She caught me after my speech, and as I was leaving the packed stadium she smiled, at me.
From there the rest, as they say, is history.
One difficulty, obviously, is the travel between here and the U.S. I do have to be honest here, it has caused difficulty amongst our relationship and has had to be something we've needed to work through. But, thanks to Technology and the royalties from selling my multi-ten dollar company we've made sure we've kept communication at the centre. Whether it be by skype, email, webcam or by me taking the long flight over to the U.S., our relationship has flourished.
Although we've only been seeing each other for a medium period of time, the future really does have some potential.
I'm thinking the best way to start this post off is by apologising to my many readers who have been close to personal emotional breakdowns after the numerous times of turning up to my blog to see that I haven't done a post in near on 3 months. That's near depressing. But, I am hoping to redeem myself through this post.
Alot has happened since I last post, most of which I can't remember, but, I did go to the Luge in Silverdale with my mate Mike, who, by the way, I wasted.
That wasn't really of any suprise to be honest. I mean, lets understand one thing here - yes, I am short. However, it does mean that my feet are in fact closer to the front and I am also sitting lower in the Luge seat. Which, in effect, logically means that my wind resistance is decisively lower to that of a tall, long armed friend like Michael.
I think Silverdale has the potential now to become the next RotoVegas, a few years ago we would have said Silverdale was almost equal to the potential of Dargaville, but, with the introduction of the Luge, Snowplanet, a fair rip off Go-Karting, oh and we can't forget Silverdale's pride and joy the Silverdale Plant Barn - a must see for all those international tourists, Silverdale's potential has increased phenomenally. Phenomenally.
But, no matter how far Silverdale comes up the 'Must see' list on NZ's tourist brochure, honestly, it will never get near the number one spot. HamilTRON - "City of the Future".
I visited HamilTRON a few weeks ago, and well, it took my breath away.
The scenery. The bridges. The Waikato river. The roads. The tree. Beautiful. Breathless. I officially want that t-shirt. The guy one, obviously.
In other news, Mandy Moore is my new favourite girl.
At this moment in time, it is exactly 4:55pm. Exactly 95 minutes until I start work and approximately finishing around 1am. Now although 1am doesn't sound too late for some of you reading (I am aware of the many all nighters some of you have recently accomplished), but, I am currently lying in my warm spa and listening to some quality music. Life is great.
I often seem to come back to this point, but for me and I know for alot of you reading, it is a vital thing to continue being reminded of. So often I struggle to find the balance between working really hard and being concerned about making things the best I can make them, with enjoying life. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day work that is needed, losing at times the love and excitement God planned life to be like.
I want to get to the end of my life and be so excited about the fact that I not only did incredible things with my life and changed people's lives, but that I loved living it the whole way along!
I agree wholeheartedly with the need to work hard and to be committed with all you are to things becoming awesome, but don't let that be all you're about. Let yourself loose when you can and do something crazy - we weren't created to live life boring; but explosive, exciting, fun and fulfilling.
Don't think when you're having the best time, that you don't deserve it or that it's "too good to be true". That's the kind of life God's planned for you since the beginning of time! It's a mindset that God wants to replace with the expectation and love of living life with enthusiasm and incredible levels of fun.
Don't let the enemy rob you of the joy of living an incredible life.
Don't think that God doesn't want you to laugh, love, or live! Jesus gave up his own life because He was that committed to giving you that kind of life.
Try writing down all the things you love about your life. Then write down all the things you want to do that are going to help you love your life more.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been thinking heaps about what I want to do with my life. A week or so ago, on a thursday to be exact, I went out for coffee. By myself.
Now although this may sound like the start of a sad story about a guy who was so bored he had to go out for coffee, and then didn't even have enough friends to go out with someone else, BUT, that's not true.
As I was sitting outside in the mildly warm sunshine, overlooking the eyecatching and beautiful Torbay carpark I began to write. I began to write down the things I am good at, things I love doing, things I get my greatest satisfaction, things that annoy me, and things I would never want to do.
As I wrote these things and contemplated on the frustration of having a "mint chocolate" in a mug which goes cold after 3 minutes, God began to reveal to me more of himself, more of who I am and what makes me tick, and more of the plan He has for my life. I wrote a total of 3 pages of a whole bunch of things that were life changing for my life and direction.
I ended up toning most of what I wrote into one, heart gripping, mind tripping (not on drugs by the way), knucklebone flipping vision for my life. This sentence doesn't box my life into one course, one way of living or one way of doing something - that's where God's leadership kicks in - but allows me to direct myself into things and away from things to help accomplish this vision for my life.
"I want to release people into knowing more of God, themselves, and the plan that He has for their lives."
As I realised this, a massive light went on in my heart, my "mint chocolate" suddenly became warm and the carpark became something of a beauty to Torbay. So much of what I have been contemplating in my life, things I've struggled with and deep goings on in my head began to be answered.
I understand that this one sentence may not have that same effect on you as you read this but the point of this post is that God wants to release to you a understanding of why He's placed you on this earth. People who walk around who although may work hard and get paid well, have a fantastic house and kids etc etc who don't have a vision and direction for their lives can be blown by the storms of life easily and lose the reason for doing the things they do.
Be challenged, think about things you're good at, things you love doing, things you get my greatest satisfaction from, things that annoy you, and things you would never want to do.
Because as one intelligent person one said, "The picture of your destiny is often the thing that will cause you to hold on tight through the hard times."
Decisions Determine Destiny. If you don't know what your vision is, then your decisions will take you in the wrong direction, eventually taking you to the wrong destination.
Get that vision and direct yourself into things, with God's leadership, so you can do the incredible things that God has destined for you to do.
Hey guys - I realised I haven't done a post in quite some time now so I figured I'd give ya a quick update of what's been going on in my life currently.
A few weeks ago a number of the youth leaders in our church (including myself) took around 20 of our youth to Get Smart youth conference which was held at Harbourside Church on the shore of Auckland's southern North Shore. This was an incredible time for our youth to be exposed to some world class preaching and to experience God more and more. Alot of our youth came back changed and committed to seeing God use them to see their friends saved.
I left early on the friday afternoon to shoot down to Inspire Conference in Hamilton (I'm not a conference junkie don't worry) held at Eastside Apostolic Church. This was an incredible time for me personally and for a number of other people who had the chance to attend. Pastor Danny Gugliemucci from Australia was one of the key preachers along with my Dad and Pastor Ian Wright from the deep south of Invercargill. I had the previlege of going out to lunch with Danny Gug with 4 other people, including both my parents. It was insaine just spending time with such an incredible man of God who is not only leading a church of over 5000 people, but a forefront leader of the church worldwide. I came back so inspired and challenged to go to the next level in my life. One of the most incredible things that has helped develop my vision this year is spending time with one of my greatest friends. We went on holiday for a week together along with a number of other great mates and continuing to spend time hanging out has done something incredible in my life. As through previous posts it at times does seem lonely in leadership when alot of your mates are actually guys you lead. This isn't often a problem but it does present a difficulty when you don't want to be a burden to the guys you're leading when your finding things hard.
Spending time with my mate and going out for coffee, talking life, cars (I've learnt ALOT about cars), purpose and vision etc etc has given me the opportunity to just lax out and love life.
I also preached on Sunday night just gone in our Pulse service (night youth service) which was incredible. Just the engagement and expectation that came through the congregation was amazing and the response at the altar call was awesome. It was the best thing to know that what had been on my heart and what had come bursting out in that sermon was something that not only made sense but was also something that was life giving and challenging to alot of those who were there. Coming home after the service and feeling so stoked about what had happened was so awesome. I'm so looking forward to go to Christchurch with Dad to preach in a few weeks!!
Lastly, a few days ago God renewed my vision and gave me an incredibly clear understanding of what he's gifted me at and what he's called me to do. This was a HUGE thing for me which I'm going to inspire you with in my next post.
Keep your eyes peeled for some of this very soon - keep powering on friends.
My first "vlog" aka video blog for those a little challenged with today's lingo.
I forgot to mention that God provided the best job for me possible lately. I just finished up at my Market Research job and found out I have been offered the greatest job for me at the moment. Face to face contact instead of just over the phone, great pay and awesome hours - all from just one step into a restaurant God lead me to.
Keep paying that cost - God takes care of everything else!
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Following from my last post "It's worth it", I've had some awesome feedback which was more than what I'd hoped for or expected.
One of the main things I picked up from some of the comments that were posted is that there is a very important factor within the role of being a leader.
I have recently been discovering some keys to leadership that have been life changing to the way I both live and lead. I realised, through many of the comments left on my post, that there is two different roles to leadership that can at times bind leaders up if they only see them as one.
Its incredibly important to understand that although as a leader they are responsible for the burden or vision of the ministry/cell group/team etc, that does not mean they are to be alone because of it. For a lot my life I've felt as though I never have many people to speak to because of what I feel or see that other people may not.
I realised however that although people may not be responsible for carrying the vision and burden of leadership, not letting them be involved with helping carry you takes away their role as a vital member of the team.
A classic example of this is the story of Moses and his two servants Aaron and Hur in Exodus 17:8-16:
"Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim., and Moses said to Joshua, "Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand. So Joshua did as Moses said to him and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
And so it was, when Moses held up his hand that Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hand became heavy, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword." We see here that although Moses was the one who was the leader, and therefore was entrusted the responsibility of holding his rod above the Israelite army, he still needed help. He understood that he needed people to help support him as he carried the leadership of Israel.
It's interesting to note that when his hand "became heavy", he didn't look to try and pass the rod over to Aaron or Hur. Some leaders feel the weight of leadership and decide the best thing to do is to hand around the 'rod' just to keep the burden 'equalled out'. When a leader is called to be a leader, they're the leader.
If you're in leadership and feeling the weight of the vision or burden and know that you can't pass it around, don't shrink back and think that God has called you to be someone miserable and struggling because "the weight is too heavy to carry". God never gives you things too much for you to handle. No, don't shrink back - step forward and find some people that, although won't carry the weight for you, will give you the support needed for you to continue carrying that which God has given you.
If you're under leadership - support the leader. It's tough at times to carry the things that God has entrusted to them and its vital for you as a person involved with serving them to support them and keep their 'hands lifted high'. Doing this gives them the ability and strength to continue accomplishing the incredible things God has destined. It's a win - win situation for all.
It wasn't just Moses who won the victory that day on the battlefield, it was the whole nation of Israel. This destiny not only includes blessing for them as the leader - but rewards for those who are faithful in serving.
Be the Aaron and Hur... for the sake of a nation.
Photos above are of Evermore concert, 30/6/07 - Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland
I've really struggled lately with my growth process as a leader.
It is one of the hardest things when you see things other people can't see and aren't willing to change. Being involved with leading things this year has been one the most rewarding things ever. Coming up with an idea, expanding it, making it happen and seeing people's lives changed or impacted in the end is by far one of the greatest things I have done.
Though, sometimes dealing with people or circumstances that you cannot change or are not able to do on your own is incredibly difficult. I found myself walking along the road tonight in very cold weather (mid winter), dark skies and alot of unanswered questions. It's funny how when you get to end of yourself, God shows up and says or does exactly the thing you need most.
Leadership at times can be a real lonely place and at times feels like nobody even understands what you're carrying. Amongst my emotions and full head I realised something that completely changed the way I felt.
I realised God sees what I see.
God feels what I feel.
God goes through what I go through.
My mind was immediately reminded of the anguish Jesus went through in the garden of Gethsemane. His whole emotions, physical body, mind space and spirit was in complete overload at the knowledge of the cross.
"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them.
Jesus saw what others didn't see. Yet, He powered on towards what He knew what needed to be done. He knew that although people didn't understand what He was going through at the time of Gethsemane and all the way through to His death, it was worth it.
I realised at that moment somewhere between taking one foot off the ground and putting the other down that it's worth it. Leadership at times feels lonely, unthanked and unseen... but it's worth it. Serving even when nobody sees or acknowledges you - it's worth it. Praying for your unsaved friends even when you haven't seen any results for a while - it's worth it. Staying integral in the secret or in the place of temptation - it's worth it.
Jesus understood that even though the cross was going to cost Him everything he had it was still worth it. I'm sure that even when He was hanging there slowly, loosing all strength and ability to stay alive, He saw the purpose.
It's worth it for the people around you to come to a knowledge of Jesus or to grow closer in their relationship with Him. It's worth it for the people who are one day going to look at your life and be hit with the power of pushing on. It's worth it for the church to become more effective in reaching the world. It's worth it for the chance for people to know the Creator of the world, the Saviour of mankind,
and its worth it for people to meet the One who can transform lives to a place of worth, purpose and salvation.
I recently attended the Pursuit of Excellence conference in Manukau and there were some incredible things preached at some of the sessions which I found totally revamped the way I live life.
One of these was a message preached by an English pastor Paul Scanlon.
He preached about the Will of God, which is always a controversial topic to many believers in the modern world. He used the scripture in Proverbs 20:24:
"A man's steps are directed by the LORD."
IMPORTANT: It's not the intentions of a step, it's not the plans of taking a step; but its theSTEPS which God directs.
So many times I know I get frustrated not knowing the next step or even knowing the direction in which God wants me to take. I realised the majority of these times I'm actually just sitting around waiting for God to put everything in place perfectly for me without having to step out abit.
It's like I'm asking God to drop some incredible vision into my lap, have some guy to immediately walk up to me and offer me a full time, paid leadership position or all the red cars on the right hand side of the road to all line up facing the direction to confirm its a sign from God before I do something.
"God uses people in motion."
- What things are you wishing were different? - What steps are you taking to allow God to use you more? - What are the things you've struggled with holding you back from fullness of life, taking a risk or from obeying God?
"If nobody in your church or your city is in motion, then sometimes God will even resort to using unsaved people to see his will accomplished."
We need to be doing something for God.
Paul Scanlon refers to the two different opinions on the will of God as being the two "Schools of Devine Guidance".
The first school of devine guidance has their mission statement as:
1. I don't move until I recieve God's guidance.
The second school of devine guidance says:
2. I don't expect God's guidance until I move.
These are two very subtle differences but two very life altering thought processes. Many times personally I've slipped into the first 'school' and just waited around for God tell me exactly where to go. I've found its only as you're taking intentional steps in different areas of life that I hear God clearly say where to go.
Please understand, I'm not saying for example, that if you're unsure about drugs, go ahead and try it and let God direct you afterwards. I'm getting at a hinderance in our personal growth - both in our relationship with God, in our effectiveness in ministry, and in receiving even more of the fulfilling life God has for us.
"The reason churches flourish are not because of their location, colour of their lights or carpet. The reason churches are growing rapidly compared to ones just down the road is the first one is doing something and the second is praying or thinking about doing something."
The challenge is to constantly be stepping out in faith, believing God to come through and to direct.
If you're unsure of where God is leading you, take a step using wisdom, and expect God to come through for you.
Common. Step out.
Do what you've wanted to see happen for such a long time. Step out.
Bethe answer to the frustration you've felt. Step out.
Let your life become one that's in movement - in motion,
taking steps that God can then use
to direct you towards ALL the things He's planned for you.
A day or two a go some of you may have read the post I put up on Atheism. Firstly, I want to thank Rob who left a comment on the Atheism post I put up a few days ago. I think blogs are a good way to discuss alot of different things ranging from sport to religion.
Religion / faith / belief, whatever you want to call it, is an incredibly huge part of life; sometimes causing splits between families or friends and even causing war between nations.
The majority of people have their own belief or decision about what is true, often being a main thing that people base their life upon.
For those of who you who haven't read Rob's comment:
"What a load of crap. Atheism uses facts to determine truths, while religion uses rumours and faith in un proveable statements. I trust peer reviewed research by educated people over a single book that was written by a bunch of story tellers."
The reason I have posted his comment is not to make him feel judged, but to allow some more thought on this topic which I know for many people is very important to discuss.
I'd love to have anyone and everyone's feedback around the idea of Atheism compared to faith in Jesus.
Keep your eyes on here and it'd be great to continue this theme as it is something very important to discuss.
This is off James MacPherson's blog which I think answers alot of why I love being a follower of Jesus - He actually gives genuine meaning to life. "Atheism has made something of a comeback in the past 12 months with people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris arguing passionately that belief in the transcendent is folly.
Atheism, the absolute belief that there is no Absolute, is the mother of ...
Materialism since without God, matter is all there is.
Hedonism since without God, now is all there is.
Relativism since without God, opinion is all there is.
Humanism since without God, we are all there is.
Nihilism since without God, random chance is all there is.
Atheism reduces human life to nothing more than random (nihilism) molecules (materialism) expressing irrelevant opinions (relativism) in the eternal now (hedonism).
It seems to me that while theism might make little sense to Dawkins, atheism makes nonsense of everything."
I believe God has an awesome plan for each of our lives.
Life was never intended to be something we just use up through work hours, worry and sleep.
As someone once said "Life is your coin, you can only spend it once". When Jesus said in John 10:10 "I have come that they may have life and life to the full", he wasn't meaning half empty or half full - but overflowing the cup.
God is into overflow. He loves to take what we have, combine it with EVERYTHING He has, and expand it into something we could have never even dreamed of.
After an incredible sermon preached today by a fellow Bible College student, I was inspired to think more about why I am here today. Why was I born in this generation? Why did God choose to create me now instead of last century or 100 years in the future from now?
After another sermon around the same topic (haha looks like God might be trying to tell me something), at our youth camp last weekend I was sucked into a old school Bible story.
It was on the life of Esther, the Queen who was previously an orphan with little confidence and personal vision.
The thing that hit me about her story was a verse in Esther 4:14 which says: For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"
Her choice whether or not to stand and defend her nation determined not only the lives of her family and friends, but the future of an entire nation.
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.
What is it about your life that made God create you for such a time as this?
It's not something that should cause you to shudder in insecurity or fear of whether or not you can accomplish what God planned for you - God will take care of that part.
What we need to decide is whether we'll say yes.
Whether we'll say yes to what it costs.
Whether we'll say yes to the things God asks of us (whether they be small or big).
Whether we'll make the choice to stand in the gap for both the lives of our friends, family.... and our nation.
This weekend just gone by we had our youth camp for church. It was awesome, games, movies, hanging out, FOOD and services encountering God. We also had both an incredible youth leader and very good mate come and speak at camp at both of our 2 services throughout the weekend.
The first night he spoke about the things we are passionate about. He used the illustration of how he is passionate about finding the right pair of jeans, and the feeling he gets after reaching the end of his complete day search to finish finding the perfect pair.
But, do we feel the same passion when we open the bible or hear God speak to us?
I think there are definite positives about comfort and familiarity but it is also definite negative if it limits our desperation for God and it numbing our motivation and passion to go deeper in our love for Him.
Personally, I struggle at times to continue reminding myself the purpose behind why I spend time with God. It is easy to slip into the mentality of wanting more of God because of requirement or because I know it helps my ability to lead etc.
But those reasons can often lead into turning our relationship with God again into religion - something that Jesus came to destroy.
We need to constantly reevaluate our love for God and our reasons behind why we do the things we do.
Do we lift our hands in worship because we know people will be wondering why we aren't or because the desperation I have for more of God can't be expressed in any other way than lifting my hands wanting more of Him? (Just an example - not wanting to start a discussion about the controversy etc over lifting of hands)
Am I living my Christian life out of things I feel I should be doing or because I want to know God deeper?
Because I want to love Him more?
Because there is no one else that even comes close to being worthy of my worship and honour?
Hey guys, I'm honestly pretty dissappointed with my lack of posting lately. Its mostly due to my lack of things I feel are interesting to write about.
However, all self pity aside, I have come to an awesome and life changing revelation / realisation.
For a long time I have struggled to find the balance between working incredibly hard (in whatever area of life) while still enjoying life and having an awesome time.
Sometimes I am afraid that my desire to enjoy and love life will overbear the importance for top success and achievement in things. I am not sure if there are many people who feel the same, and although I am still learning to find the balance / or working out how both work together, but I am beginning to understand the importance of loving life.
The name "Rhys" literally means "lover of life" which I have found gives me an even greater incentive to love the life that God has given me.
After having an awesome preacher from the deep south of Invercargill both stay and preach in our church last week, I was blown away at his ability to both exercise and work in authoritative, powerful leadership while still being relaxed and loving all that life is meant to be in God.
I know that this kind of life is the kind of life that God wants all of us to be living (John 10:10) but it does take time (for some of us slower ones) to learn and understand well.
Life is meant to be fun and loved - to quote a smart guy:
"Life is an adventure to be lived, not a problem to be solved"
I was thinking, when I die I might get my ushers to hand out to the thousands of guests, on little laminated white bits of paper, my URL of my blog so that people may enjoy my life as a 19 year old and beyond.
After an awesome comment on my last post from Robert M Stratchan -
"your concept of God is a little one sided, isn't it? Have you ever considered that god doesn't exist? That might help Jesus?"
- I have thought about the idea of the existence of God.
Its interesting to note that the only 'religion' that believes Jesus is the only way to heaven are the only religion to claim people can hear God. All other religions that contain some kind of belief in god admit that there is no way to hear him.
I think I would struggle spending my whole life praying and hoping god would hear me trying to keep myself convinced despite the undeniable silence. I have found that personally I wouldn't want to spend my entire life trying to do things to keep some god happy so that he wouldn't some day have a bad day and decide to send me into flames or back to the earth as a worm.
I don't think its much of a stretch for anyone to choose following a God that: Answers our call, gives us things - both materialistic and peace, love, joy etc, and takes away our wrong things and replaces them with a life that is fulfilled and worth living.
Over a someone that: Has no proof they exist, doesn't answer when we speak to him, can change their mind on our eternal destiny depending on how their feeling not on commitment to their promise and doesn't change people's lives for the better.
I know without a doubt that not only is God real, but that He also wants me to know Him personally. This is not something that I've decided on as a result of reading or hearing a convincing argument but I have experienced God for myself.
I look at where my life would be right now if I had not found God and I shudder. I know that even if I made good decisions and worked as hard as I could, scored the right job etc etc I still wouldn't be happy.
Its not just the struggling financially or emotionally people that find they need God.
Its easy to see. People who have some of the most high paying jobs or the most incredible looking wife or house are sometimes even the ones who want Him more than anyone.
I know God is real because of the moments I've felt alone and suddenly hear Him speak to me or feel His presence.
I know God is real because of the people around me whose lives were heading empty but were transformed by coming to know Him.
I know God is real because of the incredible miracles I have personally witnessed. I have seen deformed knees changed before my very eyes. I have seen broken legs made perfect. I have seen shoulders that would not move healed to complete movement.
I may not be able to have all the answers to every question a person has about God but what I do know is
Jesus gave His life so that I could have one and not be condemned (to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment) for all the wrong stuff I've done.
No matter what I do, have done or will do, God will love me.
A life without God is nothing compared one with Him.
Adventure. Excitement. Fulfillment. Perfect Love and Forgiveness.
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. Proverbs 18:24
On Saturday night I went to the Blues vs Sharks Super 14 game at North Harbour Stadium.
It was honestly one of the best nights I've had in ages. Even though the Blues almost got slaughtered at still lost by 7 points, the thing that maybe made the night for me was my mates who I got to hang out with that night.
I heard this quote once, I don't know how theological or exceptionally wise it may be but it says
"So much of your destiny / future is unlocked through other people."
It is awesome to know that we don't go through life, at times flippen awesome and others incredibly hard, on our own.
There are often people around us who are there to bring us back down to earth, spur us on, encourage us, give us the chance to vent our thoughts / frustrations and even just chucking in those few words that make our week.
The give us the ability to do what we sometimes can't do on our own -
Its often easy (for me anyway) to be mixed up with many things going on around us that we can lose sight of perspective or where we're headed and its at these times that our friends can give us the chance to release the burden.
If you're thinking you currently don't have the friends that you really want or need, try being the kind of friend you want to other people - what you sow you reap.
This is quite possibly the coolest thing I have read in a long time. By Mr John Mayer himself.
Often times when staring out into space, those around me will ask me if I am okay, or inquire as to what I am thinking about. (I've always found the question "what are you thinking about?" to be one of the most invasive moves of all time.) I usually try and avoid the truth and discourage being asked again by answering with something like "I was just thinking about what you look like with an axe through your head, Tom", but most of the time, I'm thinking about my brilliant theory.
My brilliant theory is simple in its explanation, but quickly blossoms into a flora of interpretation, much like the game Othello. By understanding my theory, we can move towards a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Its tenets will have impact not only in the area of personal growth but also that of business, athletics, and in some cases, non-violent pillaging.
This theory will spawn a book, which will be emblazoned with a two word title. These two words will be stacked one atop the other, and will use a very costly prismatic de-bossing effect to dazzle the eye. My name will share roughly the bottom half of the book cover, with a band of text at the bottom to round things out. This text will be a testimonial from a well respected peer and will read something to the effect of "a compelling and empowering page-turner that musn't be missed. - Chuck Yeager."
Because I will have blazed the trail on this theory, I will be free to name many sub-structures of my theory. Phrases like "Mind Fingering", "The 'Say, Say, Say' Effect" and "Dramastic Change" will enter the flow of our cultural lexicon, where they will stay for several months.
This theory will dramastically reconfigure our social hierarchy. Using the workbook appendix in the back of the book, Americans will redefine who they look up to; the entertainers they enjoy, and the political leaders they choose.
This theory will be in constant danger of being undermined by those who feel it is a narrow-minded and foolhearty aberration of pop psychology. I will take to the cable news discussion circuit, where upon defending my point of view I will make Nancy Grace weep. Bill O'Reilly will end production of his show after realizing that the debate has brought chapter eight of my book to life. I will unpin the microphone from my sweater and spend the remainder of the night abusing alcohol. (Chapter ten.)
I have all these plans in place; I'm just working on just what in the hell my theory is. So please don't bother me when I'm looking out into space, because you could be taking my mind off what just might save humanity as we know it.
I'm currently sitting at my desk contemplating where my life is heading.
What do I really want to achieve in my life?
Have a Toyota Alteza, twin turbo? Sure. Have a modern house overlooking the unknown and greatest surf beach? Absolutely.
Possibly have an beautiful wife who cooks well and doesn't mind, never has fights and brings the best out in me no what is going on?Haha definitely!
I think all of us want that, except if you're a girl and you'd prefer a male over a chick.
But if all of us want that, what is it that makes us different from anybody else?
I'm talking about the kind of mark we're each going to make on here within our often short and limited time.
What are you going to do with your life to make it worthwhile?
I don't want to just be known as a nice person and I don't want just to be known as incredibly good looking (already achieved that).
I'm not sure exactly what kind of "thing" or "person" I want to be remembered for (I guess that's why I'm writing this), but I know at least that I don't want to let time pass my by and just go with wherever I'm lead by circumstances.
I want to have a vision, a dream and a plan for my life that is going to not only set me apart from other people, but also see God explode in this world while I'm here.
Think about what you're doing and what kind of impact you want your life to have while you're here.
We had a youth event called "slop wars" which pretty much consisted of 120kg of flour, mixed with enough water to keep a whale afloat...
...and threw it at each other.
We had 4 teams and two areas next to each other, meaning all 4 teams could play at once.
It was mayhem.
People running from every direction slapping, hurling and thrashing paste everywhere over the other team and losing the ability to decipher specific people, they all looked the same.
Who says being a Christian isn't fun?
Saturday, 31st March.
Work. I'll leave that out. My digital camera arrived - stoking out :) Also went to Mini Golf next to the motorway in Greville Road - my mate hit his ball at me but missed and flew over the wall. I think it may have gone ON the motorway.
Sunday, 1st April.
Morning church rocked, went out for lunch and then had our night service "Pulse". God was doing some pretty awesome stuff, meeting people in incredibly real ways and filling people's needs :)
Just came home stoking out at where our youth are and how fun life is at the moment!
That pretty much does me for the weekend, let me know how your one went :)
Kia ora and welcome to my blog. I live in Auckland, New Zealand (home of the All Blacks, Middle Earth and the most beautiful country in the world). I lead LifeChangers Church: Hibiscus Coast, and love seeing God change people's lives through finding a relationship with Jesus.