Projection Problem

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Recently I was setting up my MacBook for youth & attempting to project the image from the computer to the screen. A pretty normal function and one I thought would be pretty simple task. However, somehow and God only knows (or a Mac expert) that the image from my computer began to project a completely different visual. I quickly became incredibly frustrated after several failed attempts to fix the projection problem. How hard can it be to take one thing and authentically project it somewhere else without anything being different.

In this moment (if I’m honest I was über close to using some words probably not uttered by a pastor in the church walls of Heathmont Baptist Church) I felt the voice of God speak to me saying “MJ you do this in your life too.” “What are you talking about” I said to God, I should by now know better to argue or question him on things.

God was gracious with me again and explained “isn’t it frustrating when the real picture isn’t shown but rather an imposter is projected? Well in the same way their are times where who you are projecting is not who you really are.” I felt immediately convicted and repented in that moment fully aware of my sin and also my own inadequacy. I know in my life when I feel inadequate or that I believe I’m not good enough these are the moments I’m most likely to project a performance image rather than the real image. In these times I need to learn to once again lean more onto God and put more of my trust in him and not myself.

We need to be accurately projecting who we really are and who Jesus is. People can spot a fake from a mile off, and also become quickly frustrated once they realise their is a difference between the real picture and what we are projecting. Don’t be who you think others think you should, but rather project an authentic image of who you are and who Jesus is.

Where is my Value?

I’m a Performance Addict

To be honest I’ve always known it, I’ve always seemed to care too highly about what others thought and truly believed that if I succeed in things (work, radio, ministry, sport, friendships really everything) I thought it’d make me a better person & more highly valued to others and ultimately to Jesus.

During a pretty dark period in my life a few years ago I processed a lot of these thoughts and felt like God did a great work in my heart & motivations. However, as you probably know their is always MORE God wants to do.
This week after hearing a message by Peter McHugh during a Pastors Retreat I read Luke 10:38-42 in fresh eyes, it says:

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

As we look to the 10 commandments we see two very important things. The first commandment points us to intimacy with God. The second commandment speaks of involvement. The order is important. We need to find our identity in Christ not in our activity. We need to be more aware of what God is doing for us, rather than what we are doing for God. However its;

Acceptance before performance BUT not without performance.

Change your belief not just behavior. If you do it the other way you become a moralist. I must change my belief systems (by being renewed in my mind by the Gospel) about who God is and how he really truly views me and what is of greatest importance to him! Ministry to the Father comes first. What’s the father doing? That is the great question I must always ask myself.

We know all fruitfulness comes from the place of intimacy with Jesus John 15:1-17 tells us that.

Before I finish it’s important to notice one thing within the story of Mary & Martha. Jesus says “Mary has chosen the good portion” it isn’t the only portion! Doing things, leading serving are all important, it’s not the only portion, It’s just the intimacy with Jesus, finding our identity, security and value in Jesus not in what we do.

Behavior is an echo of belief.

Jesus, help me to see my value and worth is in you and that in you I am accepted and loved unconditionally And let me lead and do things from that place of acceptance.

11 Leadership Lessons

20130221-115244.jpgLast night I had a leadership training night with some of my youth leadership team. We were very lucky to be able to have Phill Brake senior minister of Compass Church share with our team.

He along with his associate Michael Salisbury shared some fantastic insights from their 15+ years of friendship and ministry together. Last night they shared about things they wish someone had told them at the start of their leadership journey. Here is just a few of the dot point notes I took from last night I found very helpful:

Don’t discount the role you can play in a young persons life.Have Fun!

You’ve gotta enjoy the ministry your doing.

Know what are your drainers & replenishes.

Be true to yourself

You reproduce after who you really are, not who you present to be.

Be servant hearted… But remember, God will do what he wanted, either with us or despite us.

You choose your attitude! You can choose how you are going respond to.

The grass is not always greener on the other side…

Believe Big, even if the last time ‘failed’. The size of your God, will determine the size of what you believe God can do!

Be accountable. Find out Godly mentors, for different areas. You’ll need to go find them.

I fast & I pray, I listen & obey.

I’m so thankful to Phill’s friendship and ministry over the years. I hope these quick 11 points help grow you in your life and leadership.

Your Life Matters.

2 Favorite Words

As your fairly aware right now I’m currently tracking through the book of Ephesians with the teens and twenties of my church. I was told this week that a number of church including Mars Hill and Discovery Church are doing, or about to do something very similar. It’s exciting to hear this, as I love the book of Ephesians  and would encourage every Christian regularly to read and meditate on, its brilliant.

I want to tell you what my two favorite words are in the bible. They come after these few verses in Ephesians 2:1-3 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

What are my favorite two words in the bible?

BUT GOD

Ephesians 2:4-5 reveals “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,  even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”

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This tells me that even if your at the lowest point in yourself, feel broken, trapped and locked up in your sin and feel as though their is no way out for you, no hope for you, the bible has some amazingly good news for you… BUT GOD!

I know you can feel like sometimes your sin is so great that it cannot be forgiven. That that choice you made cannot be undone. The decision to do or act on the temptation can make you feel like you are done for and that your now stuck in a hopeless pit of sin and self destruction. I want to remind you… BUT GOD! There is a BUT GOD moment for you than can come to pass in your life.

You are never too far gone! You’ve never “done to much”! You are loved, grace, love, forgiveness and mercy are available for you… But the only answer is found in him. Not in your good deeds, your attendance, your acts of mercy. These are all good things, but the answer isn’t within yourself or what you can do. The answer to your sinfulness and mine is found in no other… BUT GOD!

BUT GOT

Knowing who you are

Where do you gain or view your identity from? We often put our identity or define our identity into:
Items
Duties
Others
Longings
Sufferings

When it comes down to it, the bible shows us we are in either one of 2 camps. Our identity is either in Christ or idolatry. Or using other biblical terminology in Adam. Idolatry is where you let anything become moe important to you than God.

The Apostle Paul (author of Ephesians) uses the phrase “in Christ” 216 times in the NT. The term “Christian” is inly used 3 times. He says it this often for two reasons: 1) It’s really important 2) we are likely to forget it.

You are either In Christ or In Adam.

1 Corinthians 15:21 -22 tell us “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” The Apostle Paul goes on and days in 1 Corinthians 15:45 “Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit.

The first Adam was naked and ashamed, Jesus was stripped naked and bore our shame.
The first Adam’s sin bought us thorns, Jesus the 2nd Adam wore a crown of thorns.
The first Adam substituted himself for God. The last Adam Jesus was God substituting himself for sinners. The first Adam sinned at a tree, the last Adam bore our sin on a tree. The first Adam died as a sinner, the last Adam Jesus died for sinners.

We are all born in Adam, born into sin and death and need to be born again in Christ.

Romans 3:23-26 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

As Christians we live from our identity not for it.

We are defined by who we are in Christ, not what we do or fail to do for Christ.
Christ defines us! You are not Defined by your possessions, who you know, what you’ve done where you have been… If you are “in christ” You are defined by him, who he is and how God views Jesus!
Being In Christ means we are viewed by God in the same way he views Jesus

From our identity comes our activity

We live the way we live because of who we are in Christ. Getting the order around the other way creates religion, legalism, moralism and a “have to” mindset. I used to believe that “doing things” and serving made God more pleased with me. The reality Is there is nothing you can ever do that will you love you

What does this book of Ephesians say about you now that you are in Christ?

I am a saint, Eph (1:1)
Grace and peace are mine (1:2)
I am blessed with every blessing (1:3)
I am chosen before the creation of the world
I am predestined (1:5)
I am adopted into God’s family (1:5)
I am redeemed (1:7)
I am forgiven (1:7)
God’s grace is lavished on me (1:8)
Wisdom and understanding are mine (1:8)
God’s will is made known to me (1:9)
I am included in Christ (1:13)
I am sealed with the Holy Spirit (1:13)
I have a guaranteed inheritance (1:14)
I am called to hope (1:18)
I have a glorious inheritance (1:18)
His incomparably great power works in me (1:19)
God has given me life (2:5)
I am seated in heavenly places (2:6)
I am saved by grace (2:8)
I am God’s workmanship (2:10)
I am brought near through Christ’s blood (2:13)
I am reconciled with others (2:16)
I have access to the Father (2:18)
I am a fellow citizen with God’s people (2:19)
I am a dwelling place for God’s spirit (2:22)
I am a member of one body (3:6)
I share in the promise of Christ (3:6)
I can approach God with freedom (3:12)

We have LIFT OFF

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“Better late than never they say.” Well, It took me long enough but I’ve finally got around to starting a blog. Yes, I know you’ve probably created 7 or 8 by now. But I did it.

Really with this blog I want to be a source of encouragement to you, a place I can share my heart and my journey and help you along the way in yours.

I will make sure this isn’t something like Days of our Lives that is predictable and doesn’t matter if you come back 6 months later and see nothing different or see nothing has changed. I’ll do my very best to be a regular blogget.

OK… Peace out, back super soon.