Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Smoky Mountains Visit

After we visited New Spring Church we headed over to check out the Great Smoky Mountains since it is Will Jr's school holidays. Sunday night we actually stayed in Hendersonville. Needless to say we felt very much at home.

Monday morning we drove Henderson County; through Bat Cave to the Chimney Rock National Park. From there we drove north to Asheville and on to Cherokee (Nerida was dying to visit the Casino) and had lunch there before driving into the Smokies.

The boys loved the fair dinkum Flint Indian Arrowheads they bought from an Indian.

We loved driving through the bush and it was amazing to see the mountain streams and waterfalls. We nearly got bogged stopping on the side of the road, lucky we grew up on dirt roads and know how to navigate mud patches.

We finally arrived at Pigeon Falls and had dinner at the Cracker Barrel (Will and Fergus' favourite). We then tried to get to sleep at the hotel, but alas, there was 10,000 teenage Christians from Alabama also staying there for a youth conference... needless to say, we did not get too much sleep. They had a good time though. I'll post on Tuesdays adventures tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Spring Church Visit

This morning the family and I drove to Anderson South Carolina to visit New Spring Church. Well we were utterly dumbfounded by what God has and is doing there. The people were so friendly, we were escorted everywhere and guided through the whole morning from kids check in to the coffee shop. The service was powerfully Jesus centered.

The big take away for Nerida and I was however the power of stopping to celebrate.

The service was simply titled "A New Spring Christmas Party" and after an amazing time of singing praise Ps Perry reminded us that the reason we often stress so much about the future is because we fail to stop and look back and relect on how He has guided and cared for us in the past. The service then walked through a year in the life of New Spring, the joys, the breakthroughs, the lives changed, decisions, baptisms and community care.

Leadership lesson : take the time to celebrate. It encourages the disheartened with a reminder of past victories, it unites the team on the common vision and it fuels hearts for the next steps into the future.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Don't miss the magic this Christmas

We visited a church this morning called 12 Stone.
It was an amazing experience. It was a special place. One of the standout things was their media ministry.
Partway through the message they paused to show a short film called "Magic" and it was awesome.
Check it out at the White Stone Motion Picture Website.
I'll just let the clip do the talking. Have a blessed and joyous Christmas and don't miss the magic that is knowing Jesus is Lord, Saviour and Friend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back from New York

I've been out of action the last few days on a trip to New York. It was the most amazing place. We flew in on Saturday, my Birthday and I didn't need any other presents, just seeing the masses and masses of people from everywhere bustling through the streets was mindboggling. Though there are a million and one things to do between meetings and appointments I simply enjoyed watching the people. A lifetime memory.

OH I also saw a mugging and two blokes tackle the thief to get the bag back on 5th Avenue walking home with the 3 boys!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sometimes God is Loud

Tonight we had our 'Merge' gathering at Mountain Lake Church. And as I sat and listened to Shawn speak from Ephesians 4 I actually felt a bit spooked. God spoke to me loudly from that passage of His Word.

I am called to lead. And that calling is one of relationally building, encouraging and preparing others for the good works Jesus is calling them to. Not trying to do it all myself (which is obviously impossible and stupid). Thanks Shawn, the fact that God is stretching you makes me fired up!! Thanks God for continuing to grow and challenge me to be a disciple maker and a world changer as I follow Jesus.

Coach or player?

I love this picture. Coach Wayne Bennett, arguably the best league coach in the world and his apprentice Darren Lockyer. Wayne was a good player but he’s the best at coaching others.

Sometimes the greatest thing stopping me from going forward in what God is calling me to is everything I’m doing.

You know what I mean – the “to do list” is two pages long and it all can get a little overwhelming. Overwhelming that is until I return to the fact that as a ‘leader’ my job isn’t to do everything that needs to be done. My job as a leader is to keep growing myself and my team and that means I must be an expert at relationally equipping and giving more and more of the tactical work away to others gifted in those areas and focus in on building into the lives of faithful men who in turn will do the same.

Now that sounds simple, but it is isn’t. In fact it’s one of the core things that separates growing leaders from ‘players’. OR to put it another way it's what separates a great coach from a great player. Great coaches don't play they coach the players, they know their best input to the game is not run with the ball... it's to coach!

Now again I’m not saying it’s easy, because it isn’t, and some people are just gifted at doing it. I’m committed to growing in this no matter what it takes.