Sunday, January 11, 2009

For This I Was Born

Over the Christmas holidays, I was able to spend some time reading. Reading is one of my favourite pastimes... one that I (unfortunately) don't get to do as much of anymore these days! 

I read Brian Houston's book, For This I Was Born. Brian Houston is the founder of Hillsong. Wow! What a great read it was. It is especially relevant because of the church planting work that God has led hubby and I (and our kids!) to be involved with at the start of 2008. 

When we joined The Sanctuary Pickering one year ago, we fully embraced the vision of this church becoming a "church planting church". We envisioned ourselves planting our first daughter church in three years. Well, God had other things in mind. He always does... something bigger than us! He put in place The Sanctuary Network's newest "seed" in North York, launching at the end of this month --- in two weeks! And... we have already been presented with several opportunities to help this newest "seed". God is surely going full steam ahead... like I've said before, this is one wild ride we're on! 

So, back to Brian Houston's book... several things made real sense to and jumped out at me. Here they are:
~ We have to build the kind of church that releases people into their God-given potential.
~ Your life can impact the future. How do you want future generations to remember you?
~ The truth is that our calling is not found in the ethereal; it is found in the here and now.
~ The secret of living a life of purpose is living for something bigger than you are.
~ Your life is not meant to be a to-do list of competing priorities. We all have got one life to live, the God-life. It has God at the center and all the other aspects of your life flow from and hinge on Him.
~ God will use time to grow, enlarge, and increase your capacity, so do not ever dismiss the value of time.
"... for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." ---II Timothy 1:12 (KJV)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Looking into the New Year

Happy New Year! Five days into the New Year and I'm just logging in to tend to my blog. It's been a hectic few weeks, to say the least. Hectic? A better word to use would be... stressful! Yes, that's right. It has been a stressful past few weeks.

Over the holidays, I encountered several stressful situations where I've had to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help me "live beyond myself" --- that is to display the fruit of the Spirit in my words and in my actions.

I had to go back to my Bible study workbook, Beth Moore's Living Beyond Yourself, to review the main points... love never fails, joy cometh, peace rules, patience waits, kindness tenders, goodness does, faith fights, gentleness bows, self-control stops.

Through it all, I realized one thing: it is when I can not do it myself... when I have to ask God to help me with my words and with my actions... that the fruit of the Spirit is actually being manifested and God is fully at work within me. It is definitely in those situations when I become fully aware of my humanity!

One good thing is that as I was reviewing the character traits that the Bible calls the fruit of the Spirit and as I reflected upon this New Year, I realized that a good goal for me this year would be to allow God to work more in me so that my life can display more and more of the character traits that make up the fruit of the Spirit --- a life lived beyond myself, one moment at a time!

"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!"
---Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)