Thursday, February 10, 2011

For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philiosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing.

Where is the wise man (the philiosopher)? where is the scribe (the scholar)? where is the investigator (the logician, the debater)? of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of the world's wisdom?

For when the world with all its worldly wisdom failed to perceive and recognise and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured through Christ and to be had through Him] to save those who believed (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him.

1 Corinthians 1:19-21 (Amplified Bible)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What gives?



However we choose to label it, collection, offering, tithe...when it comes to giving God our money this is a question that I believe we in the Body need to ask ourselves: "what gives, selfish ambition or selfless gratitude"?
Recently I was at a church service where there was a message given just for the offering. This is not at all uncommon, in fact, many churches choose to devote a good portion of the time to giving a 'mini' message in preparation for the offering. It seems this time is devoted to enticing the congregation to give, an attempt to convince people to be generous. I know people who label those who give these talks 'professional beggars', and personally, it's not hard to see why that is the opinion of some.
My question is, should people need convincing in order to give, and what is the motive of those who are making the plea?
I believe the act of giving money is a very important part of worship, money generally is what people hold onto the tightest, it can certainly be a master, and so to give to the Lord can be a sincere and powerful method of exspressing love, gratitude, adoration and trust to our God. However, if one is needed to be convinced to give or to give more by some preacher, is it a true offering? Can an offering or worship be genuine if it takes a preacher to play on peoples emotions (particularly guilt or shame) rather then coming from ones heart. Should we not come prepared to give, and if not, then does it impress the Lord to give becasue some person in a suit told us to?
I genuinly belive that if we give to the Lord he will bless us, in abudance, for what is given. I may even go as far to say that it is a spiritual law that if we give we will recieve what is given in return in increase, we simply cannot out - give God! However, the problem with the prosperity doctrine is not the principle, but the heart behind it. Although I belive if we give we will get, we should NEVER give to get. Unfortuanly this line has been blurred and very often we are told to 'sow in', to give that we may be blessed or recieve a greater abundance. This is ridiculous, evil, and the antithesis of the Gospel. Freely we have recieved, freely give.
Although we should not give to recieve, it is easy to see how many people choose to give at such a temptation. Is the God who gave His Son impressed when we empty our wallets so that He will refill them again? We should be on our knees in gratitude for His person and generousity, He owes us nothing and we owe Him everything! And He gives to us DESPITE of us.
Motive of the heart is so important, and I hope peoplel will prayfully consider when paying a huge sum to see some preacher come by; even if it is a conference, I simply don't belive in paying to go to church! Surely a homeless person has the right to attend a church conference? If preachers have faith for our finances when we give where is there faith for there finances rather then begging the people for it? Perhaps some people are happy to pay for a word or experience but in my unprofessional opinion this is lunacy!!
Why I am ranting, I understand itinarant ministers need support, but love offerings should be the essence of that they preach. Further, why is it that we must give to a particlar ministriy or church alone when we are in there services, that God will bless us if we give to them alone? Give your offering to aids research or to human trafficking instead, and give what is on your heart, even if it hurts.
Ask youself...'what gives?!"

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pain

"If I am lifted up (on a cross), I will draw all men unto me" - Jesus Christ (John 12:32)

Has anyone ever stubbed a toe, or had an accident and cursed the physical pain that is felt? There is actually a rare disorder called 'congenital insensitivity' where the connection between the nerves that sense pain and the brain's recognition of pain is missing - essentially pain cannot be felt. At first this condition may seem wonderful - after all, who likes to feel pain? However in reality this condition is actually a devastating nightmare, because injury can occur without the knowledge of it, and subsequently much worse things can happen. Imagine looking at your body only to discover you are bleeding or have been burnt without realizing it - it could be a really serious and life threatening thing. Pain is a warning - it is our body telling us that something is wrong and needs healing and fixing. Spiritual trauma? Mental anguish? Emotional hurt? These are all symptoms that, although by no means pleasant, can be a revelation that something is wrong and an opportunity to be made whole. It is Jesus who makes us whole and we remember at this Easter period the pain He felt in every way that we may be made whole in Him.

Happy Easter!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sign and Wonder

'Every good and perfect gift comes frm above' (James 1:17). After worshipping on the piano, Melissa Sullivan (www.myspace.com/mdrsullivan) received golden glory on her hands...The following is a short clip of the manifestation, praise be to HIS name!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2008 - for such a time as this

A be-lated happy new year to everyone! Has anyone noticed that the local gym is full of people because of new years resolutions to get fit? What are some spiritual resolutions (perhaps more bible reading, worship, intercession for others?) that you could make this year - it’s not too late!

I'm digging a post made on ArmyBarmy.com recently:
"We've said this many times in the past but we'll repeat it here. We want to get people saved, discipled, and sanctified. But it is very difficult to do that. and, if we are highly committed to the mission, it really takes it out of you and weighs on you when it isn't working very well.

So in the midst of all of this struggling it is easier to feed, clothe, and bed people in need than to save, disciple, and sanctify them. If you can remind yourself that you fed 150 people, clothed 28, and bedded 72 that day, it is easier to sleep at night.

Do you get that? When it is easier to sleep at night because you justify your efforts by secondary results, it isn't surprising that sometimes the secondary results supercede and even replace the 'main thing' (saving, discipling, and saving)(not to suggest that feeding and bedding and so on is easy, just that it is easier and more easily measurable).

Let's be aware of the temptation. As difficult as saving, discipling, and sanctifying process is, let's not be distracted."

Also, before I forget, last night a friend of mine from Adelaide Congress Hall, following heartfelt worship to God on the piano, received ALOT of the glory manifestations of heavenly oil and gold sparkle on her hands! Some was on her clothes and some passed to myself and another friend also! We were able to capture parts of this sign and wonder on video and I will hopefully post it soon to the glory of God!

Grace, Paul

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hi all, I would like to start with two famous quotes of Jesus:

Jesus said "As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:7-8).

Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened "(Matthew 7:7-8)

In Matthew 10 Jesus gives us a command, one that requires much faith, a whole lot of Holy Spirit, humility, and courage! Such a command as to 'raise the dead' seems to put believers in two camps: 'Amen, lets Go!' or 'Give me proof that this can or does happen today'.

To the first camp I would say this: GO! DO IT! Heal the sick, see the fruit!!! To see people emotionally and physically healed by the Gracious hand of God is something that I personally find to me an amazing way of testifying to who God is, pointing to His reality in a manner that sees Him glorified. DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED by unbelievers, but pray for them, respect there belief, understand that we are all on different stages of different journey's. I have many times felt sick in my heart and spirit in people unwilling or unable to believe in such things, but be the change you want to see - who can argue with the fruit? Be humble, don't even consider operating in these things to prove some point, God doesn't need your help! If you desire these things, ask for the heart of Christ for His people, and the Power to do something about it! Partner with Him and enter into a realm of the supernatural that will leave you and sinners in awe at the goodness of God.

To the second camp I would say this: Keep praying, searching, and studying! If you are happy with your beliefs then may God bless you, for in the end of the day theological difference is inconsequential to the fact that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Matthew 7:7:8 is important here, for what you seek you will find. If you seek lies, false prophets, false apostles, false healers, YOU WILL find them. I ask all people in this camp to not come to a conclusion or belief that is set in stone, and then ask for 'evidence' or 'proof' - YOU WILL FIND WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR - NOTHING; and if you were to see it, you still would not believe it. It is similarly foolish to believe in things such as miracles because of hearsay or someone else believes. However, SEARCHING MUST BE A GENUINE, UNBIASED SEARCH FOR TRUTH. Do not seek truth from a place of skepticism, for only when you seek in faith will you find…This is not 'blind faith' but saying something like "I am uncomfortable with the concept of the supernatural, or the attitude of those who claim to operate in it, but I will seek if there is substance to the testimony that is being heard". The testimony that is being heard by the Church in this hour is large indeed, he who has ears let him hear!

A great starting place may be simply finding and reading 'Mega Shift' (cover below) by James Rutz. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE ALL PEOPLE TO DO THIS. Rutz details why the dead being raises is not on TV or in the papers on a regular basis, does not shy away from the fact that some of the testimonies he pursued in his diligent study did turn out to be fake, yet offers credible and verifiable testimony to the very command Jesus gives in Matthew 10, and what God is doing at this time.



Paul

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Salvation Army is not changing its name - so let's live up to it!

Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military generals who ever lived, conquered almost the entire known world with his vast army. One night during a campaign, he couldn't sleep and left his tent to walk around the campgrounds. As he was walking he came across a soldier asleep on guard duty - a serious offense. The penalty for falling asleep on guard duty was, in some cases, instant death; the commanding officer sometimes poured kerosene on the sleeping soldier and lit it.
The soldier began to wake up as Alexander the Great approached him. Recognizing who was standing in front of him, the young man feared for his life. "Do you know what the penalty is for falling asleep on guard duty?" Alexander the Great asked the soldier.
"Yes, sir," the soldier responded in a quivering voice.
"Soldier, what's your name?" demanded Alexander the Great.
"Alexander, sir."
Alexander the Great repeated the question: "What is your name?"
"My name is Alexander, sir," the soldier repeated.
A third time and more loudly Alexander the Great asked, "What is your name?"
A third time the soldier meekly said, "My name is Alexander, sir."
Alexander the Great then looked the young soldier straight in the eye. "Soldier," he said with intensity, "either change your name or change your conduct."

We who call ourselves 'Christian' or 'Soldier' have a much greater responsibility!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Breathe

Come from the four winds
Breathe into me
Make these bones live
Lord this valley is dry
Yet you are here
Make my heart sing

There's a spirit in me
There's a destiny
Filling these dry bones with your life
There's a promise to see
There's a hope longing to
Be echoed in each breathe of life
Breathing you
Come from the four winds
See our great need
Settle in this land
Now the dust gives way
To prophecy
Your army will stand

Open the graves of our exile
We cry out from the valley floor
Oh resurrection life... Oh resurrection life
Come to me

There's a spirit in me
There's a destiny
Filling these dry bones with your life
There's a promise to see
There's a hope longing to
Be echoed in each breathe of life
Breathing you

(Aliki, House Of I AM)

Lets pray for God to breathe his life into The Salvation Army and to bring the dry bones back to life!

Colin.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Phone Booth



Hey all! Just watched 'Phone Booth', a flick about a man called Stu Sheppard, a publicist whom is held hostage in a phone booth by a sniper wielding caller on the other end. The premise is simple: The caller does not desire a ransom or money but to rather see Stu transform his life - removing his mask and being honest with himself...and others. Sometimes I think God would like to have us alone in a phone booth - with Himself on the other end. There He could talk, we could listen - and not run away or let ourselves be distracted. Certainly God would never hold us at gun point - His invitation is Grace and Love. It takes Stu Sheppard a good few hours - at gun point - to look inside himself and have the courage to see what is there, I wonder what we would find? What fear, insecurities and hostilities to we need to let go of? God is always listening.
This is the confession of Stu:
"I have never done anything for anybody who couldn't do something for me. I string along an eager kid with promises I'll pay him money. I only keep him around because he looks up to me. Adam, if you're watching, don't be a publicist. You're too good for it. I lie in person and on the phone. I lie to my friends. I lie to newspapers and magazines who, who sell my lies to more and more people. I am just a part of a big cycle of lies, I should be president. I wear all this Italian because underneath I still feel like the Bronx. I think I need these clothes and this watch. My Two thousand dollar watch is a fake and so am I. I've neglected the things I should have valued most. I valued this junk. I take off my wedding ring to call Pam. Kelly, that's Pam. Don't blame her. I never told her I was married. And if I did she, she would have told me to go home. Kelly, looking at you now, I'm ashamed of myself. Allright? I mean, work so hard on this image, on Stu Shepherd, the one who refers to himself in the third person that I only proved I should be alone. I have just been dressing up as something I'm not for so long, I'm so afraid no one will like what's underneath. But here I am, just flesh and blood and weakness, and uh and I love you so much. And, um, I take off this ring because it only reminds me of how I've failed you, and I don't, don't want to give you up. I want to make things better, but it may not be my choice anymore. You deserve better."

-Paul