More of Christ

The Lord has amazing plans for each one of us. There is a unique gift of God through each of our lives. Sometimes we get this, most of the time we don’t.

To live in accord with these plans simply boils down to living in accord with God.

We go after God, not the plans. For gifting and anointing is nothing more than a manifestation of the Lord’s unique love over us.

To walk in it we must walk with God.

To enter heart and soul we must enter into the Father’s heart.

The things we hold between ourselves and God we lay down and leave behind.

We give our lives over. We forgive all that has gone wrong. We surrender what makes no sense. We open the closets of our hearts. We invite Christ in.

There is an unbelieving heart within the heart of every believer. It is the part where we do not yet believe that Christ really covers over our good, bad, and ugly.

Out of that part we continue striving at holiness and righteousness, forgetting the basic principle that Jesus is our righteousness and if we want to be more righteous, we simply get more of Christ.

“God we simply want to walk with you today. We give over our efforts at coming clean before you. We simply come as we are and sit at your feet. Thank-you for loving us, thank-you for simply being beside us. We welcome you today.”

At Capturing Courage

Over at Capturing Courage we are privileged to be connecting with leaders from all over the world.

It is our task to simply bring our strength alongside their strength. Rather than a one-sided view of things, thinking we have all the answers (as those in the west are so prone to do) we are instead simply building relationships.

We are finding friends we didn’t know we had, experiencing family we’d not yet met before, and walking in ministry as partners and colleagues.

Head on over there and check out what is happening. We can always use some support for the work, that and prayer.

The good Lord is extending his touch through us, and we are simply honored.

Thank-You God for profound privileges within the body of Christ.

God’s Hands & Feet

“I have loved you with an everlasting love”

In many ways we have our understanding of God all messed up.

Because of God’s all-powerful place in our lives and our world, we forget our role in his kingdom.

We may even think God doesn’t need us, and that we are simply pawns on a large chess-board of life.

What we do doesn’t matter – so the lie is told.

But we miss the fact that God works through human beings. Always has. Always will.

That donation made – the check must be written by a human’s hand and heart.

The encouragement give – because someone chose to notice and to care.

A life valued – due to the commitment of another human being.

Believing that what we don’t matter is the easy way out. Believing God can do whatever, whenever, however, misses the human element that God in fact welcomed and established so many many years ago.

God counts on human beings.

And to those who are advocating God’s heart on behalf of the downtrodden, those who are caring for the unfortunate and neglected, to those who are stepping out of their own safe existences and reaching and risking – to those ones God says, “Thank-You”

“Thank-You for being my hands and feet and for sharing my heart.” – God –

Intimacy with God

Growing an intimate daily relationship with God is the very best thing we can do. Yet how do we do this? Many struggle to find any sense of God, let alone an intimate one.

While I can’t tell you how your particular relationship might go, I can tell you what will stand in the way of your intimacy with God.

1. Trying to prove up or come clean before God

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Not About Us

There is always a gap between what we have been called to and what we have personally known.

Those empowered to heal others often deal with unhealed disease themselves.

Those anointed to speak encouragements may often be disheartened.

Those living out the heart of God cannot always find him themselves.

This, is really normal and part of the privilege of walking with the Lord, that we can be conduits of grace and bounty by way of faith and simple service – it doesn’t depend on us.

Disease of Self-Pity

In service to the Body of Christ it is easy to sink into self-pity. We work hard, extending ourselves in long hours and in sacrifice that is rarely recognized.

This is all okay of course, until it isn’t. Self-pity is a silent disease that sneaks up on the best of us. It takes over limbs and thoughts and voice – and we barely realize something is wrong.

But there are a few tell-tale signs of self-pity.

1.Pressure for People to Grow

We put more pressure on those we are serving to ‘get it together’. Maybe, so our subconscious thinking goes, if they are proving my efforts then it will all be okay.

But this never works. It simply makes for strained relationships in the midst of what is to be joyful service one to another. Demanding that fruit grow doesn’t grow any fruit.

2. Growth spurts that don’t last. 

If there is growth coming from our subtle increased pressure on others, it won’t last. For what comes of a spurt of either panic or good-will may appear great but it has no lasting roots.

Ministering to others does not necessitate that they respond in wild maturity or deep character or profound passion for God. While ministers set the stage for growth, we do not establish it. That is God’s work.

3. We’ve lost sight of the real work.

Self-pity blinds us. There are all sorts of solutions and resources right in front of us, and yet we cannot see them because we have this filter of self-pity over our eyesight.

While it is never easy to identify the ‘real work’ in ministry, it is next to impossible when self-pity is involved.

Because self-pity is all about what isn’t going right, the results we are not seeing, the responses we are not getting, our focus gets off the mark. All of a sudden our service is polluted with results and responses and the tangibles that are not the work, merely a byproduct of the real work being done.

Ministers, more than anyone, must get off the treadmill of demanding things go our way. In case we have forgotten, ministry is not about us.

The deepest growth, the longest lasting fruit, the results of Christ in a life that will not undo at some later date, all take time to grow. Ministers are called to the long haul.

Self-pity enters us into a short-haul mentality.

If this resonates with you, I suggest you confess your self-pity today. Renounce it in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remove the smeared frames that are over your eyesight, and commit once more to the long-haul, and to trusting God with the results of your work.

You, after all, are simply called to minister to the hearts and lives of the people where they are at. Meet them there, knowing that growth comes one step at a time.

Recommit for the long haul.

Mutual Submission

It was my first trip to Uganda. I was part of a three-days Pastor’s Conference and was bringing the morning and afternoon training. And each day the same Ugandan Pastor would finish off the day with what we call in the west, a holy-rolling spiritual encounter (to the extreme).

It wasn’t really my style. I didn’t even understand it all the way. There were mixed messages, parts that made sense to me, then parts that made no sense at all. Yet I was determined to learn and simply waited on the Lord to explain the elements of which I was unsure.

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