Tag Archive: trust


leadership

When I had my meltdown in 2009, I was a full-time elder in a local Newfrontiers church.

My time with that church came to an end soon afterwards.  My self-esteem was low, my confidence weak and I had lost courage.  All my effort was being aimed at recovering my health and being able to function again as a husband and father.  It had been a very difficult season.

Some months after the initial breakdown, I was driving down a familiar stretch of road when I sensed God ask me if I would step back into leadership again.  I wasn’t thinking about church or the past – I wasn’t looking forward to the future.  It was totally out of the blue but I had no hesitation.  Yes LORD, I thought.  I would.

Why?  Because I would do anything Jesus asked me to do.  I trust Him to lead me well.  Because my past does not determine my future.  His purposes do.

And because leadership is a gift like any other, and I don’t think that God takes away His gifts once he has given them, it seemed natural that I would be asked to step back up to the plate at some point.

I kept fairly quiet about the experience though.  It would be a long time before it became an issue in any setting other than my own heart.  But I definitely settled something that day, in that moment, and I’m so glad I did.

This week I have been welcomed into the leadership team of Jubilee, my new church.  It is a different model from my previous experience and I have no idea where it will lead.  For now, I am grateful for the love and support I have received there, for the trust that people have placed in me and for the opportunity to serve Jesus and my local church within the gifting He has given me.

It is the next chapter in a wonderful adventure with Jesus.  And I am looking forward to every step!

a season of testing

Most followers of God know what it’s like to go through a season of testing.  If you don’t, you soon will.  I don’t say that because I have some morbid view of faith but because I know that God leads us through testing times in order to mature and strengthen us.  In my view, it’s pretty difficult to read the bible and not come to this conclusion.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4.

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7.

David experienced testing times which he likened to the “valley of the shadow of death.”  Severe indeed.  And the greatest danger in such a time?  It’s not the enemy, but fear.  That’s what David learned.  “I shall not fear”.

And the reason that fear is so dangerous is that we make very different decisions if we’re frightened.

Let’s take money for example.  If you are frightened of a pay cut, reduced hours, losing your job or not receiving your benefits your decisions about what to do with your money will be very different from if you are trusting God to provide, knowing that in Him “you shall not want”.

Fear and faith tend to pull us in opposite directions.  Fear says I will suffer and must take care of myself.  Faith says God is here, caring and providing for me, protecting me, leading me.  Fear undermines faith.

So if you are walking through a season of testing, even the valley of the shadow of death, keep trusting God.  Remain faithful.  He is with you.  His rod and staff will comfort you.  And he will lead you through the valley and into the season of blessing beyond.

Go Ape

It’s funny what life throws up every now and then isn’t it?  This year on holiday one thing that all three of my children were unanimous in wanting to experience was Go Ape at Dalby Forest in the North York Moors.  Thirty metre high platforms and a 250 metre long zip wire.  Over three hours of high-flying scares and thrills.

Torture for me because I really do not like heights. 

Ever since they were young my children have been throwing themselves off drop slides which I have found too frightening to attempt and going on roller coasters I would never dream of sitting in.  Or even watching to be honest.

But at Go Ape an adult can only supervise two children under the age of sixteen.  And we have three of them.  So for all the children to be able to enjoy the experience, I had to do it too. 

Great.

But I did do it.  I’m not sure how I did it; I can’t remember much about it, but I did do it.  I know that I did because I’m still finding bits of bark chipping in my trousers.

When we sat down together at the end of the holiday, I asked everyone for their top three memories.  Go Ape was there for all of us.  So I’m glad I did it too.

What was going through my mind as I prepared to throw myself into free fall for some zip wire or to crash into a cargo net?  “Trust it.  You are safe.”

And sometimes that’s how life works isn’t it?  You can feel all sorts of things (fearful, insecure, vulnerable) but you know that if you trust God, you are safe.  You are safe, and your life and the lives of people around you, will be greatly enriched.

It isn’t always easy – He never said it would be – but the rewards are always there.  So, even when you are feeling fearful and insecure, do you trust Him?

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