focus

AVOIDING SPIRITUAL FAINTING SPELLS

(May 14, 2018) Ben Godwin brings a friendly encouragement …

My first hospital visit was a fiasco!

I was a teenage preacher and had never been in an Intensive Care Unit. The man I visited had open heart surgery and was on a ventilator. As I prayed for him, I was overcome by the sights, sounds and smells and became dizzy.

The room started spinning so I stepped into the hall to gather myself. I saw his wife, called her name, tried to shake her hand but blacked out and hit the floor!

Moments later, I regained my senses via smelling salts. So much for being God’s man of faith and power!

Fainting is ‘a loss of consciousness due to abnormal blood circulation.’ In a spiritual sense, to faint means ‘to lose heart or courage, to give up, or to quit.’ Many believers today suffer from spiritual fainting spells –they abandon their faith and give up on God.

 

 

 

 

Here are six main culprits: (more…)

LETTING GO OF ‘SELFIE’

(January 20) Carol shares a revelation that leads to reaching out beyond ourselves…

In 2013, the word ‘selfie’ gained international recognition when it was named the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.

Their definition follows: ‘A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Selfies abound on social media, especially Facebook. Although the younger generation is more likely to post self-portraits, I’ve seen others, from their 50s on up, post photos, not of their faces necessarily, but of wounds they’ve accrued through accidents or after surgery.

The first ‘selfie,’ according to different websites I checked out, was posted on Facebook by a 22-year-old Australian man who had suffered a busted lip after tripping and falling face-first at a party. The man apologised for the somewhat blurry photo of his lower lip when he said, ‘Sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.’ (more…)

STANDING IN THE GAP

(October 17, 2017) Tim Edwards brings another timely challenge

Sometimes in church services we can end up creating an environment which can appear to be a little insincere if we are not careful.

‘How?’ you ask.

Because although it can be a moment in time where we see people with smiles on their faces and even singing happy up-tempo songs, many may not feeling that way at all in their hearts. Some may be truly feeling really flat, miserable or unloved and need encouragement!

Life’s reality
The reality of life is that we all walk through difficulties in our lives at various times – and we must recognise this, acknowledge it and be honest about it. But not give in to it.

Despite how we may feel on any given Sunday when we gather together we do so to worship, sing and celebrate God, pray, learn – and be encouraged.

But it is also a time for us to help each other to look to God! Our togetherness can, if we will allow it, be an opportunity to serve by reminding those we sense are troubled to keep their eyes fixed on him and not on the challenges.

Stay focused no matter what!
We see this focus as we read the prophet Jeremiah’s heart-breaking, sorrow-filled writings in his book of Lamentations.
(more…)

THE MAKING OF A MISSIONARY CHURCH

George Forbes 2010(March 6, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares from experience on a successful mission’s strategy…

Missionary churches do not just happen!

They are born of a vision, founded by a pastor who has heard from God and grow to become a missionary church over a good period of time. They do not simply or suddenly appear. They are the outcome of multiple factors in the plan and purposes of God for the extension of his kingdom. (more…)

BEING DEFINITELY COMMITTED, DEFIANTLY RESISTANT AND PRAYERFULLY OUTREACHING (June 11, 2016)

James Boyd
James Boyd encourages Christian character commitment and community caring:

I was struck when I misspelled the word ‘definitely’ the other day and the auto-correct tried to get me to use ‘defiantly!’

The difference between these two words is immense – definitely ‘being certain of something’ and defiantly ‘being resistant of something.’

Certainty and resistance
There’s a lesson here: As we walk the Christian path often these two words meet in our journey. Having faith means that we can be… (more…)

CONFUSION IN THE CHURCH – PART 4

Jim McClureDr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares more current church dangers…

‘When I came to proclaim to you God’s secret purpose, I did not come equipped with any brilliance of speech or intellect. You may as well know now that it was my secret determination to concentrate entirely on Jesus Christ and the fact of his death upon the cross. As a matter of fact, in myself I was feeling far from strong; I was nervous and rather shaky. What I said and preached had none of the attractiveness of the clever mind, but it was a demonstration of the power of the Spirit! Plainly God’s purpose was that your faith should not rest upon man’s cleverness but upon the power of God’ (1Corinthians 2:1 1-5 JB Phillips). (more…)

LEADERSHIP

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW HOW TO WORK THE CROWD!
Dick Hardy

Dick Hardy, pastoral leadership consultant, writes:
It is important for pastors and church leaders to know how to work a crowd.

Oh my goodness! You now think I have slipped a cog. How in the world can anyone in ministry possibly think about ‘working the crowd’? That is so phoney. Further, it must be as far away from godliness as one can get. What’s up with that? (more…)

THE FOCUS OF TRUE WORSHIP

Jim McClure
‘Where is the best place to worship?’ asks a concerned Christian.

Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, responds:

There is a sense in which worship of God should be central to our lives as Christians regardless wherever we are or whatever we are doing. However, in this article I want to address what we do when we formally come together to worship God. (more…)

LEADERSHIP

LEADERS’ HARD TIMES

Tim Jack
Tim Jack, former Apostolic Church Australia national leader, writes…

Hebrews 2:10 is very relevant for leaders today. The writer says that Jesus passed through suffering so that he might become perfect.

What an amazing statement about Jesus walking through life’s inequities – the injustice and lack of fairness of life – with his integrity intact. His passing through the worst of temptation and abuse gave him a complete experiential understanding of what church leaders endure.
In simple terms Jesus understands all the aspects of the ‘hard times’ we go though. He himself has ‘been there, done that!’ (more…)