We can often get trapped in our circumstances and become blind to possibilities.

Circumstances?, seeming facts or conditions connected with or relevant to an event or action.

The problem with living under the burden of circumstances, we become tossed about like a tempestuous ocean, never feeling anchored about anything.

If circumstances are favourable, we enjoy the moment like a flowering daisy, fortunate enough to glimpse the sun for a moment or two, then it disappears.

Believing changes everything

Believing predetermines what our mental, emotional and physical circumstances become.

Believing in what?

1. What you think about yourself

2. What you think about those around you

3. Where the next opportunity opens

4. How you sleep at night guilt free

I choose to believe that the one who created the universe and it’s absolute laws doesn’t see me as an accident, a Big Bang, or anything else that is so utterly hopeless.

I choose to believe that I have been created for purpose, be it a husband, father, brother, friend. I am more than a commodity or something that has a use by date.

Refuse to be labeled

We label things. I am not a thing neither are you. We are created in the image of God. We not only breathe, eat and feel, we are conscious of our own existence. We are more than animals with survival instincts.

In any given day, our life plays many roles and we’d be crazy to give in to circumstances. Circumstances are shifting all the time and we can guide them better the more focused we are in what we believe.

Jesus said there are two types of people.

One who builds their life on a solid rock. This life is able to withstand the storms life brings.

There is the other who builds their life on shifting sand. This life is forever picking the pieces up when any struggle appears.

Jesus said about himself and his teachings that they are the ROCK that cannot be shaken.

Just believing in ourselves isn’t good enough, we’re not God.

Perhaps today is that perfect storm where you learn to let go of your current circumstances and latch on to Jesus. You will not be shaken.

We are definitely living in testing times when it comes to believing the content on all manner of platforms.

Everybody has something to say, but is anyone saying anything worthwhile?

What is GOOD NEWS?

It’s the information which gives us hope, confidence, encouragement, excitement that everything is going to be ok.

There’s way too much negative stories that do the opposite and this information is what headlines are made of.

If you want to change your complete outlook to life, switch off the 6 o’clock news. Why is it important to know minute by minute everything you have no control over, to enter your mind. Get rid of unnecessary white noise.

If it’s important enough that will effect your life, it will come knocking at your door.

Good News is everywhere if you know what you are looking for.

GOOD NEWS starts by what we put into our mind.

What content are you feeding off?

From reading can do books to surrounding yourself around can do people. What we put into our mind produces what we think of, how we feel and how we act.

What is FAKE NEWS?

Fake : not genuine; imitation or counterfeit

There’s an old saying “Fake it till you make it”, nothing could be further from the truth.

Being an imitation has no value at all. It has a short life span.

Why be impressive but not be true?

Jesus dealt with FAKE NEWS in his day when he addresses the religious leaders calling them hypocrites. He even called them White washed tombs. He implied that they looked all plush and impressive outwardly but inwardly they were just dead mens bones.

FAKE NEWS leaves you empty, disappointed and discouraged.

There is no benefit at all being a pretender.

As a person of faith, I thrive on spreading GOOD NEWS wherever I go. I’m shameless about spreading hope wherever I can.

It seems the more I give the more I receive.

You have more laughter in you than you can imagine.

You have more smiles in you than you take advantage of.

You have more generosity in you that will make you feel joy, if you only exercise it.

The world can do with some more GOOD NEWS spreaders.

Perhaps it’s time to let go of the imitation and go for everything that is true.

Perhaps pray and ask God to show you the difference.

Outreach was always a natural gift

On Sunday May 20th 1984, I had already been involved in a local church serving where I could for three years.

I joined this particular church because of its youth focus, I was seventeen years old and full of energy. The church community were very prolific in street outreach and every Saturday night they had a rock concert in a dark hall with a capacity of about 150 people.

The concerts were amateur at best and filled with the most unusual characters on the planet. From x drug dealers, hippies, back packers and me, a local Greek Macedonian who didn’t have much of a story compared to the rest of the crowd. I came from a humble migrant family that worked like dogs to survive.

Over the next three years I used the same work ethic I grew up with and gave my service to this local church, trying to be the best Christian I could be.

I always found it easy to bring visitors to this fast growing church. I loved the momentum, the creativity and the idea of seeing this church grow exponentially.

The pastor at the time recognised in me an ability to use different types of outreach programs rather than their normal method. I must admit, I have always loved extremes.

While the church continued to use their typical track pass outs in the city malls, I’d be emptying night clubs into the streets with radical drama presentations at the doors of the clubs. While the church would show films in a park or have their regular concerts in the Saturday night hall, I’d organise impact teams in the most crowded areas on New Year’s Eve in the city and have a boom box preaching at midnight.

I could go on and on about how I outreached but the point was simple, I just loved the results these outreaches created. People were added to the church and as importantly young people in the church loved the excitement of the next outreach.

Fast track that to Sunday May 20th 1894. By this time my outreach ideas were getting more extreme and the sky was the limit. I was now a mature believer, a Bible study leader and a well respected person in this local church.

On this particular Sunday we were in a revival meeting and a guest preacher. He presented messages that rocked my faith. He was a Navajo Indian.

It wasn’t what I expected from a pulpit, an Indian with long black hair and a three piece suit. He spoke with eloquence and reverence mixed with the fire 🔥 . He reminds me of a herald declaring majestic truths about a king that is greater than any other king.

It was in this atmosphere that I felt the finger of God pick me out of a line drafting me into His service to do the same as what this man was doing from the pulpit.

Rather than feeling excited about the call to the ministry, I felt dread. Surely God made a mistake. I was neither eloquent or had the training to speak such heavenly truths. After a few days of feeling terrible, I made an appointment to see the assistant pastor to seek clarification about being called.

As I explained how unworthy I felt, the pastor referred to the prophet Isaiah’s calling when he felt completely inadequate, saying to God ‘I am a man of unclean lips’.

The pastor affirmed that what I had experienced was very much a call from God because it didn’t appeal to my ego, rather, the calling was to lay my ego aside for something far greater.

It’s with this enthusiasm, I’ve tried to honour such a calling all these years later. To say, lay down your ego for something greater is something that is always a challenge.

The only way I’ve been able to retain the call is to trust the one who called me. Jesus is the one who has kept me from veering off track entirely, even when I went missing in action a few times over the decades. As true as His great parable, Jesus left the 99 sheep who were safe and came looking for me when I was lost.

How can I not proclaim His goodness till my last dying breath, because His promises are true. He found me, I didn’t discover Him.

Perhaps you’ve never felt the call of God to go into the world and proclaim His goodness. Perhaps it’s time to pray 🙏 and ask for God’s mercy to reveal His precious gift of salvation through Jesus the Christ. The moment you experience that, you’ll know why I am so enthused about spreading the Good News.

Perhaps this is a reminder of God’s love that you’ve missed for a season, Jesus is looking to restore your hope as He did mine.

I pray you have a brilliant day.

What would you do with $7,200,000?

There’s a classic parable that Jesus shared of a wealthy master who distributed resources to three of his servants.

It’s as though the master knew the capacity of each one of his servants and he gave them different amounts of money to invest.

To one he gave 5 talents, to another 2 talents, to another 1 talent.

A talent (Ancient Greek τάλαντον, talanton ‘scale’ and ‘balance’) was a unit of weight of approximately 80 pounds (36 kg), and when used as a unit of money, was valued for that weight of silver. As a unit of currency, a talent was worth about 6,000 denarii. A denarius was the usual payment for a day’s labour.

So today if we use the Australian average labourer’s cost of $30 an hour x 40 x 6000, one talent would equate to $7,200,000

The one who received 5 talents equates to $36,000,000

The one who received 2 talents equates to $14,400,000

The one who received 1 talent equates to $7,200,000

It’s interesting how Jesus was never afraid to talk about money and the use of it.

When the master returned from a long trip he called in his three servants and wanted to settle the accounts.

The one who was given $36,000,000, returned $36,000,000 on the master’s investment, giving him back $72,000,000 million.

The one who was given $14,400,000, returned $14,400,000 on the master’s investment, giving him back $28,800,000

Both the first and the second servant returned 100% and obviously the master was pleased, saying to them both “Well done, good and faithful servant, I’m now going to make you both in charge of much, enter into the joy of your master”

The third servant returned exactly what he was given $7,200,000 and the master was furious. The master asked why he had given back exactly what was given him?

The servant’s response was what most people that waste other people’s resources do, they blame the one that gives the opportunity.

The servant called the master harsh and knew that the master had an expectation of a return.

In the modern world, the easiest thing we can do when opportunity is presented on a platter, is do nothing. Like the unfaithful servant in the parable, they can’t see past their own slave mentality and expect someone else to foot the bill for them.

What a slave mentality fails to see,

When get have a job to do, turning up is not enough. We must show a return for the opportunity we have.

If we don’t show a significant return, what we do have, if it’s not invested, we will lose it.

Be it a marriage, family, friendships, business opportunities, mental health, physical health..

On the positive side, we have a law working for us if we are not afraid to invest our lives into everything wholesome, expect 100% return.

I hope you’re not wasting what God has given you.

I hope you’re not blaming others and hiding your ability.

I hope you’re not looking for an excuse why you can’t.

This is the day that the lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.

What’s in it for for me?

Community has all sorts of benefits and setbacks depending on the overall expectations of those who participate.

Motivation is a big part, what’s the motivation for joining?

Some join a community to take from the community. This is the person with very low interpersonal skills and has a one track mind, “What’s in it for me?”

1. They are known for taking but not giving back.

2. They tend to drain the energy of those that give without taking any consideration of what it costs to build a vibrant community.

3. They leave the community the moment they are challenged to participate.

4. They can’t see past their own unquenchable needs and miss out on the value of community.

What can I contribute?

1. This person is motivated by high interpersonal awareness.

2. This person knows the value of contribution without an expectation of an immediate return.

3. This person understands the timeless truth of sowing and reaping. You have to give in order to get a return far greater than what they give.

4. This person continues to grow the community and in turn grows their own sense of well-being.

When is it time to leave a community?

1. When the community no longer provides the opportunity to add value into another persons life.

2. When the community has lost a clear sense of purpose.

3. When the community only serves those at the top.

4. When the community stops growing not only in numbers but more importantly, it stops developing givers.

COMMUNITY IS ALL ABOUT SHARING

We all have something to give and it’s the giving that makes it all worth while.

Like any beautiful fruitful tree. After you have planted it, nurtured it, faithfully stood by it, when the fruit comes, you get the privilege of enjoying the fruit as well.

Community has its challenges, but it also has its blessings.

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