Thursday, 31 July 2008
Only a foolish person thinks he can make it on his own and never needs advice or the help of others. Some think they have it all but they don't. God wired us for community and we need the input of others in our lives to bring balance, wisdom and success.
The Bible says in Proverbs 11:14 "Where there is no counsel people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety".
So what do I look for in others who advice and help me?
1. Creative people
2. Loyal people
3. People who share a similar vision
4. Wise and intelligent people
5. People with complementary gifts
6. People with Influence
7. People of faith
8. People with Integrity
9. People who love and value people
10. Leaders with a proven track record
I challenge you to look for people like this and build them into your life. Also, why not seek to become a person with some of these qualities and offer them to others around you.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Wow, this is a brilliant quote and really got me thinking.
Let me ask you a question: How do people feel around you? Do they feel small and insignificant, or do they believe in themselves and have great hope of what they can become?
Seriously sit and think about this: start with your family, then your work colleagues, then your boss, then your friends etc. Be honest! write down your thoughts and seek to implement a few changes.
The key to how you treat people lies in how you think about them. It is a matter of attitude. What you believe is always revealed by how you act. Think about it.
Johanne Wolfgang von Geothe said: "Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be." Hope is one of the greatest gifts we can give to someone.
I want people to walk away from me feeling inspired, encouraged, hopefully wiser, empowered to go after their dreams and committed to fulfilling God's purposes for their lives. Especially my own family! What about you?
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
I shared this in our services yesterday…but wanted to share it here.
Last Sunday after a meeting I walked into my assistants office to read through the things she thought I needed to see. On top of all of the mail was a cash envelope from a bank with a note written on it. Trish (my assistant) said, “You REALLY need to read that!”
Like I said…it was a bank cash envelope with a note written on it…BUT…what was written on the note absolutely blew me away and caused me to be completely overwhelmed. Inside the envelope was a cash gift to our church for $1,000 (which had already been removed!) Here is what was written…
“I am a rising senior in high school. I have saved up all of my job, birthday and Christmas money from the past 3 or 4 years, in this envelope. God has laid it on my heart to surrender these earnings into His hands. Thought it may seem a meager amount to the world, it is all that I have. I give this gift freely and with a light heart; after all, this money isn’t really ‘mine’ to begin with. God can and will provide for me far better than I ever could. And it is an honor to know this money may help even just one person take even just a single step closer to God. That is a gift worth any price.” (It was unsigned…so I have no idea who this was!)
I have a few thoughts on this…
#1 - I literally prayed for this person to become a multi-millionaire. Seriously, several times this week I paused and asked God to radically bless this person in the future financially. Why? Because they have proven that they can be faithful with the little things! (See Luke 16:10-13) If God can trust them with thousands now…He can trust them with millions in the future. This person knows that God has blessed them so they can give!
#2 - Though they thought this gift was “meager,” it actually falls into the “generous” category. I read a few years ago (although the numbers are probably around the same today) that only around 6% of people who call themselves evangelical Christians tithe. AND…the average gift given to a church by an adult is around $600 for a year. (Compared to the fact that each adult also spends and average of $900 per year on coffee drinks…and $1,000 a year taking care of their pets!)
Whoever you are…this gift was generous!!! Thank you!
#3 - God will use people like this to change the world! This gift reminded me of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in John 6:1-14. The part I always focus on in this miracle is John 6:8-9, I believe the miracle actually took place here…where a young boy gave his entire lunch and gave it to Jesus. You see, in his hands it was nothing more than a meal…but in the hands of Jesus it was a miracle. AND…because he was completely unselfish…around 15-20k people received food!
I’ve said it before…and I will say it again…God’s Kingdom’s biggest problem isn’t the evil one…it’s greedy Christians! BUT…when people overcome greed and begin to get generous…amazing things happen. Here at NewSpring Church I am so grateful for the generous giving of our people…because of it we have been able to see thousands of lives changed for Christ…and our best days are yet to come.
#4 - This is radical and extreme obedience in action. Jesus said it in Matthew 6:21, that where our treasure is…that is where our hearts will be…and this young person took a tangible step to demonstrate to the Lord that they fully belong to Him. I once heard Ron Lewis, a friend of mine, say, “Until we surrender our wallet to God–our walk with Him will always contain a limp!”
God asked this young person to cash out…and they did! That’s amazing! Question…has God ever asked you to do something amazingly generous? Do you have the courage to ask Him if He wants you to?
#5 - God changes the world with people like this! Let me say it one more time–generous givers are a key in advancing God’s Kingdom. This gift went WAY beyond a tithe! In Acts 4:36-37 we see the church growing like crazy…and Barnabas comes forward and gives an incredibly generous gift to allow the church to continue to do ministry! AMAZING!
For the person who may say, “Well yeah, this person is a teenager. They obviously have parents who will provide for their needs…so they CAN give like this. But you see…I have blah blah blah…”
Um, here’s the deal…this person probably does have earthly parents who will take care of them. BUT…the Scripture says that we have a heavenly Father who will take care of us!!! Malachi 3:10-12 is a promise from Him, will you trust Him?
I can’t say “thank you” enough to whoever you are (and to all of the generous givers around here!) God is changing lives…and all of you are part of it!
Monday, 28 July 2008
Whilst in Uganda, Ian and I traveled for two days with our LightForce International Ugandan workers. Our destination was schools deep in the bush and we were to deliver school uniforms and stationary items to the children and special equipment to the teachers for the school.
Yep.. you guessed it, we bounced around in the back of an open back truck for around 4-5 hrs return trip. It was a ride I will not forget for a long time. In the infamous words of Elvis Presley, I felt 'all shook up'. It took a good hour or so for my insides to slot back into their normal position. The road was so dusty and the journey at times was very uncomfortable to say the least.
But what a blast! As rolled along we sang songs, clapped, told jokes and really got to know the team. As you can image, Ian was a complete hit as the great white comedian.
I will never forget the faces of the children when we arrived at the schools. The journey was worth it all! We saw hundreds of children overwhelmed by all that they were receiving and it was great to see them put on new clothes.
LightForce is doing a great job in helping the Ugandan people to resettle back into their home land after years of war and heartache.
Please continue to pray for George and the team as they are busy working hard to help as many people as possible.
Sunday, 27 July 2008
2. The worship was excellent and the band did a great set. Thanks guys for all the effort you put into it.
3. In our second service we had 8 people say I will follow Jesus for the first time - Awesome!
4. I am so pumped about people bringing their friends along to our church services, it was great to meet several new people today who by the way really enjoyed our services.
5. Today we saw that people unlike Jesus actually liked Jesus and the shocking thing was that Jesus actually liked people who were not like him. This ought to be the truth in our daily lives.
6. I want to say a huge thanks to all who serve on a team on Sunday so faithfully and who really make Sundays happen. You guys are awesome and I really value and appreciate you.
7. Let's keep on working hard and believing for increase every Sunday in attendance in our services. Every week should be getting larger as we gather momentum and believe that God can use us to reach this city for him.
8. Please pray for Nicola Ritchie and her team as they take many of our children away on Summer Camp for one week. Make God do something really special in the lives of our children. I love our Kidz workers and believe we have one of the best programmes in the nation. I am so proud of you all.
9. I am so excited we have Ayiesha Woods and her band with us in all of our services next week, it's going to be amazing. Invite as many people as you can. To see the video of Ayiesha go to www.mkcc.org.uk
10. Ensure you guys book onto the next Discovering My Life Mission Course coming soon. I know this will help you to share the gospel and your personal story clearly to the people in your world who don't know Jesus.
11. If you have not yet become apart of giving into the T2Build fund, 'the vision of our new facilities', than I challenge you to do so and become a history maker with us.
12. I am so excited that we have 27 people complete our recent 'Partnership Course' and have committed themselves to become Partners at MKCC with us. This fires me up!
I can't wait to see what God will do tomorrow. I love this sacred journey with Jesus more and more and cry out to God may he use us to bring glory and honour to his name.
Saturday, 26 July 2008
This leaves Alison and I together 'alone' for a whole week. We will miss the boys but I have to say, it is a wonderful opportunity for us to take the time together. It is good to talk without interruptions, do what we want, go where we want, watch what we want, eat what we want and of course bring on the romance. It's brilliant! Hhhmm... what should it be tonight babe? I actually feel like a free man! Shall we eat out at a nice restaurant, go to the cinema, rent a movie, go for a walk, work in our garden, plan for a future holiday.....etc. The list is endless and it's fantastic!
It's in those moments when we are focused on each other I tell her again just how much I love her and reiterate that she is my best friend and I enjoy her company and wouldn't choose to share my life with anyone else. It's going to be a fab week, although we are both working, we are going to make the most of it.
It is not until we spend quality time together like this that I realize that this is time well spent. I think it is a good thing for all couples with children to intentionally create time in our diaries just for us.
For many years we have always had a week together like this. Sometimes we have gone on a weeks holiday but often we have stayed at home. (It doesn't have to cost a fortune!). I think we would both say that doing this has given us the space and time needed for 'us.'
Remember this quote well, 'The grass isn't greener on the otherside of the fence, it's greener where you water it'. Think about this for a while and ask yourself the question, 'What are you doing in your marriage to keep it well watered?'
If you have never done something like this do it, I know you will benefit from it. By the way, your kids just might appreciate you a little bit more in the process!
Friday, 25 July 2008
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Do you remember the old song, 'when the going gets tough the tough get going? There will be many tough decision in life we have to make and we need to be courageous. I read something from John Maxwell some time ago that has helped me understand a few truths about courage: (I quote)
1. Courage begins with and inward battle, Courage isn't the absence of fear. It is doing what you are afraid to do.
2. Courage is making things right, not just smoothing them over. martin Luther King, Jr. said, 'The ultimate measures of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.'
3. Courage in a leader inspires commitment from followers. 'Courage is contagious,' says evangelist Billy Graham. 'When a brave man takes a stand. the spines of others are stiffened.'
4. Your life expands in proportion to your courage. Roman historian Tacitus said, 'The desire for safety stands against every noble enterprise.' But courage opens doors, and that one of it's most wonderful benefits.
I have personally been inspired by these comments By John Maxwell as I have had to make difficult decisions in my own life and as a leader here at MKCC. The final decision to go after the land adjacent to our existing property and to build new facilities on it was a huge decision that kept me awake for several nights. Then one day I read form Joshua 1 how God commanded him to 'be strong and courageous because the Lord was with him. ' The Holy Spirit quickened my spirit and I knew we were to move forward with our plans. I believe that the courageous decisions as a leadership we have made has inspired all at MKCC to be courageous with us and together I know that we will make history for Jesus in this city.
We will continue to be strong and courageous!
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
As he is reading this he will be thinking, 'o no, don't do this Sherratt!' Sorry mate but today I must. Sit back with a strong Americano coffee and let me say thanks for who you are and all you do.
In his heart he wouldn't want me to bring attention to him but today I want to honour him before you and also ask you to learn a few things from his comittment to Jesus, to me and to MKCC.
Time does not permit for me to write all the things I feel about him and I don't think that he would appreciate me telling you everything anyway! Our journey together over the past 18 years or so has been filled with every kind of high and low in christian leadership. Throughout that time I have always known him to be a valient armourbearer with me who is ready for anything when it comes to making Jesus name great in our city.
I appreciate and value his faithfulness and commitment to me, our staff and to our church. Why? There are many things really but let me list a few:
1. He has a heart for God. This is evident and I know he puts God first and upholds God's values and aspires to be more like Jesus. That's my kind of guy.
2. He has complementary gifts to me. God placed us together and our diverse gifts make us more effective.
3. He is objective. He sees the pros and cons of issues that I can often miss.
4. He has a love for people more than things and he desires to help them grow in their faith.
5. He has great experience. He has been down the road of life and understands one or two things.
6. He is passionate about God's amazing grace. He has a tender heart and is continually moved by Gods love and its affects as it touches, forgives, restores and empowers lives.
7. He knows that it takes hard work, diligence and leadership to grow a significant city church and always seeks to give his best.
8. His family are in love with Jesus and are committed to serving him. You guys are awesome and I value all you do.
9. He is a loyal to me as leader and I trust him completely. I know he loves me and is always concerned for me.
Man do I feel blessed. Every leader needs a Billy Ritchie! Thanks for being you mate I love you deeply.
Monday, 21 July 2008
In my opinion true Christ followers don't gather things just for themselves but they do it in order to give to others.
How do you cultivate the quality of generosity in your life? Could I suggest you try the following:
1. Be content and grateful for whatever you have. The bible tells us that this is a mature place to live and you will gain much by remaining with this attitude.
2. Put people first in your life. Jesus did!
3. Don't allow the desire for possessions to control you.
4. See money as a tool, as resource.
5. Develop the habit of giving. Intentionally start to do it today, be creative.
I read this recently that inspired me, 'Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon 'greed'.
I want to challenge everyone at MKCC to live a life committed to generosity in everything we do. This will truly allow us to make an impact in the lives of people around us and enable us together to make an impact on this city for Jesus.
Friday, 18 July 2008
From T.D. Jakes
* The church gets its personality from the preacher.
* Success is me helping you.
* You haven't begun to preach until you are controversial.
* The cost of leadership is conflict.
* If you aren't experiencing conflict-you aren't a leader-you are a follower.
* The breaking stage is the blessing stage.
* We shouldn't give leadership to people who have never been broken.
* It's not me, but it's Christ in me that's given me another chance.
From Tommy Barnett
* If you have quality, you'll have quantity.
* Decide whats important and commit the rest of your life to it.
* Don't tell anyone you want to quit, because they may take you up on it.
From Brian Houston
* There's a balance between grace and challenge.
* Speak into the potential of people.
From Mac Richard
* You're only as accountable as you want to be.
From Ed Young
* You don't have to like someone to forgive them.
* God takes you through difficult time to break you down and lead to breakthrough.
* Are we blogging or bragging? Slandering? Self-promoting?
* When you're in the pit, don't look down and around, look up to God.
* Hang out with "ladder people"--people that lift you up and point you to God.
* Joseph had talent that could take him places but didn't have the character to keep him there.
* When the talent and the character sync up, you're going to a whole 'nother level.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
At Saddleback Church last Friday at their youth service they ran an evening dedicated to the extreme motorcycle rider Kyle Loza, who attends their church. They had a time-sequenced series of photos showing his gold medal jump at the X Games' Best Trick Contest in 2007.
Kyle's a big-time follower of Jesus and even started a ministry called Riders for Christ. You've gotta see this video of his jump...
Totally brilliant! Great to have some wild men for Jesus!
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
I think it can be summed up in John 13:4-5 (NIV) 'So he got up from the meal. took of his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel aroubd his waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet.' Every time I meditate on this scripture it just blows me away. I have often thought, where are the leaders that are really prepared to live out this Christlike leadership characteristic today.
Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. Luke 22:25-26 (NIV)
I desire to lead like Jesus with a servant heart. To do this I need to:
1. Have a genuine desire to serve others.
2. Serve out of love for people because Jesus did.
3. Initiate service to others. Set the pace and challenge the culture.
4. Posses a confidence as you serve.
5. Focus on service and not your position.
I once heard it said that the extent of your influence depends on the depth of your concern for others.' That's why is is important for leaders to be willing to serve.
Join me in the pursuit of becoming a leader like Jesus.
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
I was so excited today as Ian and I signed Section 106 of the agreement from our solicitor in relation to the planning permission for our new facility.
It was totally brilliant and it felt like a history making moment for me and was another step forward to the final releasing of the land and our future facilities into our hands. As I was signing the documents, I remembered day in early November 2006 when I led our church out of the present building and onto the grass field in faith and singing praises to God. In faith we pushed stakes into the ground in faith believing that God had given us the land and we prayed together for a miracle. Well today we can rejoice because God has fulfilled his word, the miracle has happened and the land will legally soon be ours to build upon.
I have to tell you I have been like the Joker out of Batman all day long, I couldn't stop smiling and even had to laugh out loud on a couple of occasions. Ha!
'...it is the Lord's purposes that will prevail.' Prov 19:21. I encourage us all to recognise God's hand in this sacred journey that we at MKCC are on. I ask you to pray fervently that all planning, employment of contractors and building works go smoothly and we would get everything for a fair price.
Finally I challenge all those who are committed to the ongoing work of MKCC to give sacrificially to our Time2Build fund to enable the dream to be fulfilled as quickly as possible. Thanks to all those who are already giving, you are awesome!
Our future together is bright and I believe that greater things lie ahead for us to do for Jesus.
Monday, 14 July 2008
As I lay on my bed that night I remembered preaching earlier in the New Year that God's delays were not God's denials and that when things are delayed we are to trust in God because he knows best. In my opinion some great advice for all of us. King David came to the conclusion in his life that, 'As for God his way is perfect..' Ps 18:30.
I tell you a miracle has taken place! God has worked for us and I recognise his hand in bringing about the changes that will carry us forward. Stop for a moment and thank God with me for all he has done for us. Earlier this year things started to look pretty bleak for our proposed building developments. People were not favourable towards it, planning rejected it and even our reputation in the community was undermined. I felt discouraged and disappointed and yet I felt God's love, grace and strength come to my life and I knew he was with us and for us and we were on the right track.
The journey over the last six months has been amazing and God has made a way. Today we stand on the eve of greater things. I am so excited!
We are now starting to gear up for the imminent changes due to take place shortly as the building work commences. It feels like we are now on the starting blocks awaiting the starting pistol to be fired. We are living in exciting times and our future beckons us forward. Let's all be ready to seize our day and make history together for Jesus!
Friday, 11 July 2008
Anyway, my Couzin ties the knot and commits himself to his new Mexican wife who is a wonderful girl. He had a beaming smile on his face as he looked into the eyes of girl and made his promises to love and to cherish from this day forward no matter what they would face together in life. I prayed for them in that moment that that smile and that loving deisre and gaze would always be there in their marraige no matter what.
Sitting in the congregation I was reminded again that they were starting out in life together as a new family and need to chart their own course through life. The promises they were making to God and to us all as witnesses must be remembered and build upon if their marraige was going to be strong.
marraige is all about commitment and it offers us all the great challenge to be completely faithful and loyal to the person whom we love. I believe this commitment will shape our lives and with God's hand involved, builds our charater.
Five things to remember in building a healthy marraige:
(1) Work hard at communcation (Prov 13:17) (2) Show consideration to you partner (Eph 4:2) (3) Compromise - remember it's not all about you! (1 Cor 13:5) (4) Keep romance alive! (Prov 5:19) (5) Be committed to your partner no matter what. (Mal 2: 16) (6) Keep Jesus at the center of your lives - Learn from Jesus (Phil 2)
I'll raise my glass to making a life-long commitment to my wife!
Thursday, 10 July 2008
I have returned from a two week trip to Uganda and what an amazing trip it was. It was brilliant to spend time with George and Becky and to see all the projects LightForce International has achieved and is currently involved in.
As the people in the North resettle going back to their homeland after the war, much of their homes and community buildings were destroyed by rebels. There has been a great need to help the people in a very practical way. LightForce has risen to the challenge and organisations have recognised and supported their work and know that George is a man who will get the job done.
It was amazing to see the work that has been achieved and to be apart of the daily operations of mobilising around 200 staff. The journey out into the bush was often long, rough and dusty and most workers travel on the back of open backed trucks. However, we did have some fun and snag a few songs for the locals as we merrily cruised along.
Light Force is committed to make a difference and it is doing just that. It was brilliant to join in and make a contribution to what is going on out there.
Projects include: Distributing non-food Items, Working with children with special needs, Providing school clothing & distribution of educational resources to school children, Supplying mosquito nets and teaching people how to use them, Sponsoring children to attend school, School monitoring and development, Renovating health centers and providing equipment, Renovating schools and providing desks, tables & chairs, Construction of teachers’ housing, Partnering with UNICEF, Memisa Belgium. Top job George!
If you have not been out onto the field yet with George, consider going out for a couple of weeks. Seriously - I encourage you to do it!!