Who is in control of my life?

27 11 2010

This is part of what I shared in a recent sermon from James 4:13-5:11.

This week I had some bad news about my health. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and the specialist has been telling me that because we caught the disease early and I am on medication which has shut down the symptoms that the future is good. This week he told me that one of my fingers is deformed even though he said that wouldn’t happen. Also my liver tests are showing signs of my liver being intolerant to the medication that is keeping the symptoms under control. That was a major blow for me. How foolish of me to entrust myself to the specialist. Yes he may know more about my health than I do but he is no more in control of my body than I am. It is God who is in control of my body and so I should entrust myself to him. It has been another oppurtunity to be reminded that my life is in God’s hand not mine and so I need to be constantly dependant upon Him.

It is possible for us as Christians to fall into practical atheism, we say we believe in God but we act as though we don’t. And what has James been saying through the whole book? Belief must be seen in actions.

What have you planned lately? Did you consider whether it was God’s will for you? Did you examine the Bible as you planned? Did you submit the plans to God in prayer? Did you take time out to pray about it?

What action have you taken lately? Did you consider whether it was God’s will? Did you take time out to pray?

God is in control and we are not. We must submit all of our lives to him. I have freshly learnt this lesson.


“Do something; do something; do something” – Spurgeon

8 11 2010

 “We must be done with daydreams, and get to work. I believe in eggs, but we must get chickens out of them. I do not mind how big your egg is; it may be an ostrich egg if you like, but if there is nothing in it, pray clear away the shells. …… We want facts –  deeds done, souls saved. It is all very well to write essays, but what souls  have you saved from going down to hell? Your excellent management of your school interests me, but how many children have been brought into the church by it?  Are sinners converted? To swing to and fro on a five-barred gate is not progress, yet some seem to think so. ……

Brethren, do something; do something; do something. While committees waste their time, over resolutions, do something. While Societies and Unions are making constitutions,  let us win souls. Too often we discuss, and discuss and discuss, and Satan laughs in his sleeve. It is time we had done planning and sought something to plan. I pray, be men of action all of your Get to work and quit yourselves like men. “

C.H. Spurgeon. “Lectures to my students.” 1875 – Delivered to Students at his Pastor’s College

Tips from Rod Irvine on how to spend time in the week

8 11 2010

4 areas to spend time on each weel as the lead pastor:-
1. Vision
2. Money
3. Staff
4. Elders

Others tips on how and where to lead and care for people:
1. Peretto Principle of Pastoral Leadership – 80% of advances come from 20% of time. So make sure you spend time with people who will be or are leaders.
2. Birthdays – know everyone’s birthdays. Call them on their birthdays and pray for them.
3. Time after church – spend time with people you wouldn’t or couldn’t otherwise through the week and pray for them.
4. Thankyou notes – write thankyou notes to anyone you see serving.
5. Phone calls – a 10 minute phone call is a long phone and so phone calls are a good use of time with people. Whereas a 30 minute visit is a short visit. Make lots of phone calls.
6. De facto leader – there is always at least one ‘de facto’ leader in a church. Look out for who it is and spend time with them.
5. First 5 years – As the lead pastor you are on trial for the the first 5 years so make everything you do count. Or in other words make sure anything you do works.

George Orwell’s writing tips – helpful for sermon writing

8 11 2010

George Orwell’s writing tips:

1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

1. Could I put it more shortly?
2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? One can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails.

I think the following rules will cover most cases:
1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

We’re not a cruise ship

4 11 2010

Great quote from Dan Reiland:- “At 12Stone I often say, “We’re not a Christian cruise ship.” We’re not here to bring you all the great programming you can think of. If we did everything we were asked to do we’d have dozens of programs from baseball leagues to classes in CPR. It’s all good and worthy stuff, but the church not only shouldn’t do all of it, it can’t. All these things and more exist in the surrounding communities. Encourage your people to go out and join in. Cast vision for your people to make a positive contribution in the community and take Jesus with them.”