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Are you busy? Busy doing what? December 17, 2014

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“Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?” Michael Hyatt

In the search for excellence, we need to ask ourselves some important questions. Is our activity;
1) Useful
2) Fruitful
3) Necessary
4) Helpful
5) Worthwhile
6) Valuable

You may be busy but busy is not always the answer!

Your desires? December 16, 2014

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Another short reflection for the Facebook devotions of Emmanuel Beach Team

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17

The ‘Black Friday’ deals were a revelation in the UK this year, the clamour for belongings and the desire to have more ‘stuff’, yet despite this, there will then be the boxing day sales and the new year extravagance. The opulence of the super wealthy against the world’s poorest people is beyond comprehension, yet we continually see the tension for the people that love Jesus – how much ‘stuff’ is necessary? Jesus was born in a borrowed stable, died in a risen tomb but now sits at the right hand of the Father. It is not worldly wealth and possessions that will sustain us, it is a heart set on Jesus. There is nothing wrong with having possessions, it is how we view them and how we use them that matter. What are the important things in our lives?

Do you love Him? Will you obey His commands? Do you walk like Jesus walked? One thing that money cannot buy – eternal life. However, it is freely given. Where are your desires placed? In the will of the Father? Get it right and true life will be yours.

Walk as Jesus Did December 12, 2014

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Another reflection for the facebook wall of Emmanuel Beach Team:

“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6 NIV)

People copy others all the time, don’t they? The latest fashions, the latest trends, the latest styles – the flavours tend to change with the seasons but it is amazing how much we love to be a copy of others. The book of 1John has started with a pronouncement of witnessing to Jesus, the need to walk a Holy life and then mentions that “if we love Him, we will obey His commands”. Then we have the modern day conundrum – copy someone, but make it Jesus. Walk as Jesus walked – in close communion with the Father, in the light of His goodness knowing freedom from sin because of Christ.

We need to live our lives as Jesus did, abandoned to the Father and pointing to Him with our lives. It is no easy task but we have Jesus and we have each other – this is the community of faith, this is the Church.

Alison Levine Quote December 8, 2014

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“Toxic leadership can come in a variety of forms, but basically when leadership is bad, it’s because the leaders aren’t putting themselves in the shoes of the people they’re leading. People want to know that their leaders have as much skin in the game as they do……There are many factors that influence the success of a leader, but leaders that put their people first will build the trust and loyalty that is required to effectively lead.”

The Message we declare December 4, 2014

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A Facebook devotion for Emmanuel Beach Mission

1 John 1:5 (NIV)
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all”

The quest for perfection is so real for many people, whether that is body image, emotional health, ability to perform or whatever else comes to mind. However, the gospel tells us that we can know the one who is perfect – it is not these things that we strive for that will show perfection, it is the light of God. If we walk with Him, we too can be purified from sin (v7) – we too can be pure!

What is the message that we declare? It is one that points to God and says something of His very nature and that all people can share in that too. We can know Christ and the power of his resurrection, live in purity and in fellowship with each other. We can have life – an abundant life. Fabulous!

A Living Testimony November 30, 2014

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This was a short reflection written for Emmanuel Beach Missions:

1 John 1:1 (NIV) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

When we talk about Jesus, it is not some fantasy or fairy story, it is evidenced by people who have met personally with Jesus, people who have touched Him as well as seeing Him. When we share about Jesus on the beach in Saundersfoot, we can share in the testimony of the early believers as well as our own story of a relationship with the ‘Word of Life’. Like the early believers, we can know Jesus, we can testify to Him and we can celebrate His abundant goodness.
Our testimonies are important, that is why it is a key part of our programme each afternoon, our testimony will enable others to see Jesus, what a wonderful thought….we are living testimonies to the Risen Christ!

Love…. November 13, 2014

Posted by thehutch in personal, Uncategorized.
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Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” Leo Tolstoy

Unlike the song, loving is not easy. In fact it is hard, painful, messy, costly but it is also joyous, wonderful and exhilarating. I never forget being accused of ‘loving too much’ in reference to a team that I was leading. They meant this negatively but thankfully, I received it in a positive light. It was meant in a negative form as they believed that by loving my team, the hard questions would not be asked.
They missed the point – the hard questions were asked BECAUSE I loved the team. It was a necessary part of loving. Love is a two sided coin, hurt and pain on one side, joy and hope on the other. The good news is that love is a special gift and one that can be experienced by all people.
If you lead a team – love them and recognise that love can be costly but it will also be most rewarding.

What happened to our missionary vision? September 26, 2014

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Have we lost our missionary vision? In the Evangelical world, it can sometimes feel that we have lost the same heart and passion for seeing ‘souls saved’ in order that we can see ‘communities transformed’. It is true that one can lead to the other but the reversal of priority order is problematic for the evangelical movement.
It is exciting to see the people fed, sanitation restored, lifestyles improved, the poor cared for and these things should be mightily applauded but if the cost is an eternity in hell rather than heaven, are we selling ourselves and our faith short? Are we becoming satisfied with 2nd best?
In Numbers 32, we see the Reubenites and the Gadites seeking land that was not a part of the promise. Yes, they helped the promised land to be taken but they settled in an area on the wrong side of the Jordan – they forsook the promise for 2nd best.
As evangelicals it is my contention that we get the order right in our mission – souls saved and communities transformed. The former must take priority and the consequences will benefit all of society, otherwise we may fail to take hold of all that God has promised….that would be a shame.

Adaptability September 25, 2014

Posted by thehutch in ponderings.
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As a follow up to my recent post on flexibility, there is a need to talk about adaptability too. Adaptability is different but also exceedingly important.
Adaptability is a gift that allows some individuals to respond with their changing environment. Plans may take a different shape and alter at a moments notice, this is when the team leader requires the skill of adapting. It is not every leader who has this ability but every good team has an individual with this ability. It prevents the project from grinding to a halt, it stops hurdles remaining as a permanent stumbling block and it is the ability to ‘find a way’.
If you are on a route for which there are no roadmaps, you need someone on your team who is adaptable….if you do not have that individual, then it may be wise to find them, before it is too late.

Influence….you just never know… September 24, 2014

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We may never know the influence that we really have, we may never know what impact the words we have uttered will bring into the lives of other individuals. There is something extraordinary in the way we can bring influence to bear, even better when that influence is for good.
A few years back, I was privileged to hear the story of a young man who had grown in wisdom and stature with his home church. Now a leader, he sought me out to share a few things about his life and the direction that he was now pursuing. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. At the end of a bible study programme, he had spoken with me and apparently the words I said, long since forgotten by me (but not him), challenged him to action and a course that would enable his creativity to live. I had no idea….
This week, I spoke with a former work colleague. He shared that I had been influential in his life and that he had considered me to be a mentor during his time in the organisation. I had no idea….
The life you live, the words that you say, the influence you may have may be powerful beyond your lifetime. You just never know the influence that you may be having on the people around you, the changes people are making because you are present….your life, your ways….they are influential, you need to start believing it and acting on it. Make your words a tool for the good, a positive force for others and as you do so, change the world!
Influence…you just never know…

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