The MEN evening last night was fantastic, with a focus on Health and Fitness. Lots of guys were getting into it and enjoying it, with testosterone flying around left, right and centre.
There were a few challenges to do – for example, Crossfit had a few competitions going where guys had to see how many push-ups, clean and jerks or squats they could do in 30 seconds, while Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) experts were showing how the sport works and running competitions where guys could check how many punches they could do in a minute, etc.
Meanwhile, men could also get their blood pressure checked and have some quick blood tests done, while guys could try out some health food and grab some free vitamins. In short, there was a ton of things to see and do. There was even some hip-hop dancing going down.
Marcus spoke about family, marriage and singleness – being a husband, being a father and then being a single guy. One of the Crossfit guys, who used to be a bouncer (and was involved with everything that usually comes with that lifestyle) gave his testimony on how Jesus has changed everything for him.
Marcus’ talk included this spoken word video below, which is worth a watch! I love the last line: “You don’t fall out of love as much as you fall out of repentance.”
Next weekend’s MEN LEAD event will incorporate the outdoors and all the gadgets and things we can get relating to that sort of lifestyle. If the past events are anything to go by, this one is going to be great!
From 4 – 6 May a team will be travelling to Maseru in Lesotho to minister there. The focus will be on the youth, but all are welcome and encouraged to participate. The cost for the trip is R550 and you can contact the church office or Casper Versluis to make arrangements to take part.
Dates: 4 – 6 May
Cost: R550 per person
Contact: The church office on 011 616 4073 or Casper Versluis on 072 503 0228
In my last post in this series I asked what it was exactly about David that was ‘after’ or ‘according to’ God’s heart. In answering this question we obviously need to look at both God and David and look for some similarities in their character. I believe a clue to at least a portion of the question is tucked away in the use of this phrase elsewhere in the Old Testament.
In the first 11 verses of Jeremiah 3, Israel and Judah are accused of spiritual adultery and prostituting themselves to other gods… then God calls and commissions Jeremiah:
“Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:
“Return, faithless Israel…
I will take you, one from a city and two from a family,
and I will bring you to Zion.
And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,
who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
– Jeremiah 3:12-15 ESV.
There is actually quite a lot more in the Old Testament that talks about God as a Shepherd of His people – the most famous probably being Psalm 23.
Over in the New Testament Jesus calls himself “The Good Shepherd” and dedicates a good chunk of John 10 to this teaching about himself. Jesus uses more shepherding language as he approaches Jerusalem in Luke 13:34 saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
Now, when we look at David, we know he was a shepherd as a young boy but there’s actually a lot more to it than just that. When it comes to the Bible’s teaching on worship and David’s leadership a commonly used portion of scripture is this one from Psalm 78:
“He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
from following the nursing ewes he brought him
to shepherd Jacob his people,
Israel his inheritance.
With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with his skilful hand.”
– Psalm 78:70-72 ESV
I’ve often heard and, in turn, used this portion of scripture to introduce the concept of two aspects to leadership and service in a local church: the heart and the hands of service. These are important concepts for us to understand (and we’ll come back to these in a later post) but we often get caught up on those points and miss out on something that is actually the main key to this scripture. I believe that this key is also vital to understanding the Biblical heart of “leading worship” and, in fact, to the heart of any kind of leadership and service in the church.
David is saying that from when he was a young boy right through to being the king of Israel his job description didn’t change, just who he was looking after. He went from shepherding sheep to shepherding people.
We always teach about the importance of an upright or integrous heart and skilful hands in service but miss the actual point of this verse. The integrity and skill are the ‘hows’. The ‘what’ of the scripture is shepherding!
So what makes David a man after God’s heart? I don’t believe scripture honours David with this acclaim because he was a great leader or because he was a very talented writer, poet and musician. I don’t even think it was because he had some amazing measure of desire for God. I’d like to argue that it is for this reason: from the hills and sheep pens of his childhood right through to the height of David’s illustrious political career, at heart he was a shepherd. And God likes that because that what He has in His own heart.
So this morning I began with an attempt at dreaming which may seem minimal and pathetic.
I sat in my bedroom in a small suburb of a large city with a dream that doesn’t fade.
But I have to start somewhere…. I have to know that I’m not crazy.
I have to know that even if these are words… they are a start.
A stab in the dark maybe… but within that darkness that God would reveal himself…
I dream of changing the world.
Being a history maker.
Not like the ever-famous delirious lyrics say or because it’s a line that sounds good.
I dream of changing the world because I know I carry a truth that CAN change this world.
I don’t deserve to be recognized but I know I can be recognized because HIS truth is enough to cause a tide wave of change… and I hold that truth within my heart.
I dream of being used to inspire a generation in Him.
I dream of people seeing His glory in me.
I dream of preaching till my voice and body aches.
I dream of being utterly compelled to do and say whatever and whenever the Spirit urges.
That his urges wouldn’t even have to be urges but simple utterances or whispers or notions.
I dream of praying for people and they are healed in a moment.
I dream of walking in the power of Christ in such a real way.
Not stories told about people in the book of Acts or in Hong Kong or Toronto or Kenya.
I desire it so desperately in my life.
I want to be that person bursting with stories to tell every single day.
Stories of His love. His compassion. His power.
More status’s per second than bbm, twitter or facebook can handle.
Because of HIS LOVE. His compassion.
His genuine gentleness and awe-inspiring power breaking into lives like a mighty torrent that sweeps into hearts and over our country like a revival.
Like a revival.
Like a revival.
It’s my dream.
I dream of rappers, single mom’s, homeless men, young children, famous dj’s, MD’s, students, families, foreigners, leaders, athletes, nerds, jocks, muslims, married couples, pioneers, atheists, everyone… every race… meeting Jesus.
Meeting Him as if he were face-to-face.
Being overwhelmed by His love as if it were the air being breathed.
I desire Christ being pointed to as IF my face, my body, my language, my behavior were a neon sign directing strangers and friends directly to HIM.
I dream of truly living.
I dream of doing what I am passionate about and through that – experiencing His favor to change more than just a nation.
I dream of standing on the forefront of possibility with thousands of His soldiers and shouting out what we see… and as we do… hearing echo’s of change from thousands of others around the world. I dream of encouraging people, faithing with people, standing with people I dream of my heart beating and finite flesh screaming his name with each passing day…
I dream of living with the knowledge of eternity as if it were the only thing that mattered.
I dream of being more than a girl with brown hair and blue eyes.
I dream of being someone recognized because of her love for a King who gave everything of himself for this world.
I dream of fighting for lives and seeing captives set free.
I dream of constant wonder and awe and movement as we step with His Spirit into every area and place He treads.
I dream of the impossible being absolute reality.
I dream of “celebrating” never being overrated because salvations are happening all the time.
I dream of people dreaming for more because there is constant faith within hearts for more.
I dream of passivity being unknown as hungry passion constantly grows and fires are ignited within hearts.
I dream of MORE than this.
In fact, I know there is more than this.
And I will forever dream of changing this world for Him.