Friday, September 30, 2011

God is Able

I love music!  Music has always stirred deep emotions within me as it is something I could not live without.  To be honest, I'm not that musically inclined and so I am thankful for those who share with the world the gift of music.

This week, I purchased the latest Hillsong recording entitled "God is Able".  I've always enjoyed the music of Hillsong and have found this latest recording an incredible encouragement and motivator.  Please know that I don't state this lightly as I understand the emotional power found in music that can lead us down paths that stray from the truth of God's word.  I state this because my favourite song off of the recording is rooted in a truth from Scripture (it has a good beat as well). 

The song is entitled "God is Able" and speaks powerfully to the greatness and might of our God.  I must confess that sometimes I get lost in the details and pressures of life and forget this truth.  There are times in both my personal life and ministry life that I lose sight of God's goodness and in His ability to do more than I could humanly dream or imagine and I stop asking and dreaming big dreams in Him and for Him. 

So... I have determined this week to be very intentional about dreaming God sized dreams on a weekly basis.  As I reflect on both the personal side of my life and the ministry side of my life (which are very much intertwined) I am going to be sure to always have one or two God sized dreams rattling around in my heart and prayer life so as to never lose sight of the greatness and power of God.  HE is ABLE!!!

So what is your God sized dream?  Have you stopped dreaming God sized dreams?  What are you trusting Him for that only He can do?

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Approaching a Throne with Confidence

Tomorrow evening, I have the privilege of speaking to the International Fellowship at the MET Bible Church in Ottawa, ON.  When they approached me to speak, they asked that I consider following their theme of "God's grace and mercy."  As I thought on this, I could not help but feel a bit overwhelmed in that this theme runs richly throughout the entirety of Scripture.  But, yesterday I found clarity and determined to speak briefly from Hebrews 4:14-16.  What a beautiful passage of Scripture that speaks powerfully to we who are in Christ and the privilege we have to daily live as recipients of His grace and mercy.

Few quick thoughts from this passage...

First, we can approach the very throne of King Jesus with confidence.  This is highly contradictory to the invitations extended by most earthly kings.  Yet, for those who have trusted Jesus (our heavenly King) to save us from our sin, we have this incredible invitation to approach His throne with confidence because we are a part of the family of God and have redeemed by the blood of Jesus our High Priest. 

Secondly, as we approach the throne we find a King/High Priest who is sympathetic.  As humans, we all long to have people understand and feel our hurts and heartaches with us.  The Bible teaches us that we find a sympathetic High Priest who understands completely the sometimes painful and hard journey we all face on earth.  How good it is to know there is one who understands the deepest feelings and longings of our heart.

Finally, it is good to know that as we approach this throne with confidence we find not only one who understands, but one who has the power to help us in our times of need.  This throne we approach is one of grace, mercy and power.  What a wonderful combination!!!

So, when I think about God's grace and mercy my mind often goes to this Hebrews passage as the very throne of God is a throne of grace where daily I can go with confidence as one of His followers to receive what is needed to navigate this life in Him and for Him.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I've been thinking quite a bit this week about "margins".  For those who know me, I absolutely love "to do" lists as they keep me on track and organized and allow me to accomplish much.  At the end of every week, I take about 15 mins to reflect on the week gone by and prepare my calendar and to do lists for the upcoming week.  With each of these items, the concept of "margin" can clearly be seen in the print out themselves.  Allow me to explain...

As I look at my calendar for any given week, well over half of it will be booked up with regularly scheduled meetings and appointments.  But on most weeks, you will also find two to three large blocks of time that are reserved for me.  I usually call them "study times" or as one of my past administrative assistants fondly called it "Tim time."  Now I understand that there is an incredible temptation to fill that time with an appointment or feel as though you need to justify what that "spare" time is really being used for.  Yet, without some of those moments in my weekly calendar, I would be taking work home with me every night as there are some things that just need to get done on a weekly basis.  I've also always wanted to keep an open door policy with my team and so there must be margin in my calendar to accommodate that.

As I look at my "to do" list, I am committed to keeping it to one sheet weekly.  I am also committed to leaving plenty of space by having somewhat large margins and white space on the print out.  I've learned to do this as I know that things will arise next week that I did not see coming which will need to be added to the to do list.  If I fill the sheet with all kinds of unrealistic goals and leave no room for the "write ins" then I have lost margin and will soon burn out.

To be honest, I am still growing in this as I have a real tendency to over commit if I am not careful and yet God continues to teach me how to utilize simple practices to help me "redeem the time".

"Be very careful, then how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:16-17) 

Friday, September 9, 2011

O Canada, Consumed and the Faithfulness of God

It has been a few weeks that will not soon be forgotten!  We all have the moments/seasons of life that permanently etch themselves into our hearts and minds and this will be one of them for me.  To summarize, we lived through an earthquake, hurricane, final Sunday at one church, a move, customs, new home, first Sunday at another church, first day of school, first day of work, first staff meeting at new church and that was week number one.  With that being said, I am home in Canada and enjoying my daily Tim Horton's.

But, I can also say that I am enjoying the faithfulness of God as well.  A few blog posts ago I spoke of my need to be a man/husband/father that walks by faith into the seasons of life whereby the only thing you know for certain is God's leading.  Having sought to do that, I now wanted to take time to reflect upon God's faithfulness even when my faith grew weak.

Jeremiah writes; "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23)

As I thought about the hectic pace of life over the past few weeks, I could not help but think of all the times I felt somewhat "consumed" by the pressures, emotions and fatigue of life as mere mortals.  It is so easy for all of us to find ourselves consumed by the temporal things/feelings/situations of life.  Yet, as Christ followers (those in Christ) we have the privilege of living in the presence of God without being consumed by His holiness.  Instead we find His faithful compassion which allows us daily to avoid being consumed by the everyday situations of life that can bring us to places of fear, hopelessness and even bitterness.

Thank you LORD for your faithful compassion which is new every morning no matter what our day entails!