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Showing posts from August, 2016

BEYOND PILLS

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I hope you are grateful for the healing arts. Medicine, psychology, counselling and all kinds of therapy are all valuable assets of the human race. 


There can be a positive effect, relief of suffering and healing that can take place when people are given the right help.
There is certainly a meshing of physical conditions, psychological affect and attitudes associated with all forms of sickness. Pain in the body affects the mind, will and emotions. Trouble in the soul can affect the body and vice versa.
We also have a human spirit, that part of us that interfaces with God and the spiritual realm. You can be deeply influenced and affected within your spirit in ways that influence the entirety of your being.
Solomon gathered wise sayings in the Book of Proverbs including some health tips. Here are a few that speak about suffering and its affect on body, soul and spirit.

Proverbs 18:14 The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

In physical suffering people are …

REASONS TO STOP COMPLAINING

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Have you complained to anyone in the last twenty-four hours? If you did, you are in the majority. In fact research shows that most people on average complain once a minute during a conversation.

What you may not realize is that your brain actually rewires for negativity when you get into a habit of whining. Dr. Travis Bradberry is co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0. He talks in his book about how your brain loves efficiency. It doesn’t want to work harder than necessary in the transmission of information along neural pathways. He says,
Repeated complaining rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. Complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you.And here’s the kicker: complaining damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus—an area of the bra…

PREACHING WITHOUT NOTES

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The night I had to preach without notes at Hope City Church ‘coincidentally’ was about God putting Philip into an unscripted situation where he would have to improvise based on the Spirit’s leading. Here’s the version with notes.


Acts 8:26-28 Later God’s angel spoke to Philip: “At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza.” He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road. The eunuch had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.29-30 The Spirit told Philip, “Climb into the chariot.” Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, “Do you understand what you’re reading?”31-33 He answered, “How can I without some help?” and invited Philip into the chariot with him. The passage he was reading was this:As a sheep led to slaught…

PLAYING BY EAR

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Musicians often fall into two categories. There are the conservatory-trained musicians who perform with sheet music in front of them and then there are those who rely more on musical memory and improvisation and a simple lead sheet with cues to guide them.

Playing by ear means you rely more on what you hear happening with other players and fit in with what sounds good. Playing by ear requires great attentiveness to the other and a willingness to stretch what you know into new expressions.
Following Jesus is more like being a jazz player feeling their way and creating in the moment rather than sticking strictly to a script that includes every note and an expectation that you will not vary.
When the apostle Paul was mentoring Timothy in his ministry, he had these words of wisdom.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction...5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do …

LEARNING IMPROV WITH GOD

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Recently I spoke at Hope City Church in Barrie, Ontario. It is a new church meeting in a downtown theatre. They are involved in street ministries similar to what I experience at New Song Church.


Before the service, the pastor and some of his lead team met with me to discuss urban ministry and ask questions from my experiences. We swapped stories and shared guiding principles that help us focus on whom we need to be as workers with Jesus in the streets.
One of my thoughts centred on being flexible. All of our preconceived ideas of how to be effective often get sidelined by the need to be lead by the Spirit in the situations we find ourselves. I described it as doing ‘improv’.
Do you remember high school drama class where you learned to be given a hypothetical situation and then improvise your lines to create a story in that moment? You could not prepare for improvisation. You simply had to be there and respond to an unusual set of circumstances.
And then… we went to the church service whe…