Monthly Archives: May 2012

NCMI Aus and NZ Elders Week…

Last week we had the privilege of being a part of the Australian and New Zealand NCMI Elders Week.

Hosted by Lighthouse Church in Sydney, Paul and Monika Zanardo and their incredible team did an amazing job of hosting us all.

The NCMI Team couples gathered on Monday afternoon just to gather thoughts and ideas for the week and to pray into the rest of the time with all the elders (pastors). On Tuesday morning we met again but with all the lead couples from the churches. This was an amazing time of openess and vulnerable ministry that I have no doubt, changed many lives.

On Tuesday afternoon we kicked into full swing with the addition of many of the elders from the various represented teams (it was especially amazing for me to have David and Joanne Williams there with us this year!).

I had the privilege of speaking in the first session on recognising, raising up and releasing leaders. It was a very practical session with some very real “hands on” moments and illustrations of things that have worked well for us at Extreme Life in Warrnambool.

Matt Doty took the next session and spoke into the tasks and roles of the priesthood of all believers and deacons and elders. A very refreshing look at how they all fit together and function as a part of a significant body.

Wednesday morning was a partnership between Paul and Monika Zanardo. Paul spoke on partnering with the Holy Spirit in ministry and Monika shared some of her revelations on being an elder’s wife from the Biblical accounts of the life of Sarah.

Rudy Furlong then brought a session on the importance of having (and keeping) a pioneering spirit. Some great illustrations from the life of Joshua, one of the ultimate pioneers.

We also had our faith stirred and were greatly encouraged by an amazing teaching and perspective from Leon Van Daele. There really is nothing much like Leon in full flight at the moment.

On Thursday morning we heard from Michael Nicholas on guarding our wellspring and we rounded out with some thoughts from Bruce Benge on dealing with disappointment followed by a time of hands on prophetic and practical ministry.

We had a number of musical worship times together too lead by Matt Doty, Tim Oliver and Joseph Fa’afiu. These were truly refreshing times and the intensity as all pushed in and participated willingly and passionately just helped make them such a great time of connection with our King.

All up, it was an extremely worthwhile week that I am so glad I got to be a part of. Partnership with all of these other amazing couples is both a huge privilege and a responsibility. It is way more than just emailing or sms-ing one another now and then to say what we are doing. It is an active participating together in adminstering our part of the Kingdom. I could not think of anything worse that trying to do this amazing task if isolated and alone, but doing it together with these amazing people adds a huge dash of awesome.

Thanks again to Paul and Monika and their amazing team and to all who made it a great week by paying the price to be there and actively participating and partnering with us…You are all awesome!

A Tear Or Two Today…

This is one amazing man.

His name is Ken Peeke and he is my grandfather. Last night at nearly midnight, Grandad was, what the Salvation Army call “promoted to glory“. He was a hero in every sense of the word. He fought for his country, he taught the scriptures to many, he modeled them for all who knew him. He loved his family and everyone fortunate enough to have been a part of his life. I never heard him speak a bad word about anyone. He had a control over his emotions I have not seen in many, he lived in a peace that most will never experience and he brought it into every room he entered. He was focused, his mind was razor sharp, his wit was incredible. He was artistic and administrative and constantly put both to good use to change the world for many. He laid down his own life to serve others and served his King every day. His sense of humor…well, if you knew him, all I’ll say is “Two pounds of sausages and a packet of clisps” and you’ll be there with me.

I sincerely hope that many of Grandad’s amazing characteristics will live on in me as they do in others. He has contributed richly to who I am today and invested in me in ways most will never know.

I preached the best I could this morning mate knowing it was probably the first time you actually got to see it, and I will continue to do so every opportunity I get….I know I will have two amazing fans occasionally gracing Heaven’s balcony cheering me on. I hope I can do you proud.

We’ll miss you mate, but only for a while. Enjoy your eternal rewards you’ve sure earned them.

Two Posts In One Day!

Yes, I know, two posts in one day does not make up for my poor blogging over the last month or so…but hey, I might as well smash a couple out while I can.

The next short season ahead looks amazingly busy.  Over the next little while I will be in Sydney (for the NCMI national pastors week), then Lismore for a weekend with the awesome crew at Zest Christian Centre, then we have a Vic Equip (training weekend for all the Victorian NCMI churches leaders) here in Warrnambool, followed by my whole family heading to Cairns for a family camp with the great guys at Northpoint Church and then finally I head off to the USA with Matt Doty as we go to minister at The River Church in Kansas City and join in the USA Equip.

I am already looking forward to a few days off after all that, and I haven’t even left on the first trip yet!  It honestly amazes me as I think about all that.  What a HUGE privilege it is to be a part of something so incredible and with such amazing opportunity to partner in such real and practical ways with likeminded people around the world all doing our best to serve the King and live for His Kingdom.  This partnership is very dear to my heart and I totally appreciate everything that it involves.  The relationships that open up as we embrace the global call to make disciples of all nations is truly amazing.  I feel so blessed to have so many incredible friendships with amazing people in many different places around the globe…amazing for a guy born and bred in Adelaide, South Australia.

It would be so easy to settle down into our own region and be overwhelmed with even the task at hand here, but knowing that as we support others around the world, that support is being constantly returned in some unfathomable ways really does make this just the most exciting adventure.

Here we are in Warrnambool, Victoria and a small church like Extreme Life has had some incredible input over the last few years from the likes of Greig Garrett, Grant Crawford, Matt Doty, Ron Larson, Mike Hanchett, Leo Nicotra, Leon van Daele, Tyrone Daniel, Dudley Daniel, Ann Daniel, Steve Wimble and Ryan Matthews (and that’s just off the top of my head, there’s more!) is truly amazing.  We also have our amazing local team offering up week after week of life changing goodness.  Every Sunday I am amazed by this local church faithfully doing it’s thing and partnering with some inspiring people to make a global difference.

This is truly, the most incredible adventure!

Are you part of a local church contributing to making a global difference?  Are you contributing to that local church and making a difference?  You are gifted and talented and those gifts and talents might just find the most amazing outlet in just such a local church.

If you’re local to Warrnambool (or Portland or Ballarat where we are also getting underway) and looking for something like this, drop in and say Hi, we’d love to meet you.

If you’re in Western Victoria and not a part of something like this but would like to be, drop us a line at Extreme Life to see if we can possibly partner to make a difference in your town too.

Is The Answer “Yes!”?…

I have just finished reading an amazing book called “The Christian Atheist – believing in God but living as if He doesn’t really exist”.

All I can say is WOW! What a challenge.  The author Craig Groeschel really throws down the challenge of living a life that reflects our belief in God…and yet it is so gracious and personally real.  He shares his own life lessons and mistakes in such an open and honest way that it is truly inspiring.

One of his stories is about a man whose life was radically impacted by the church.  He was reached by a loving community and heard about and accepted the love of Christ and his life situations and circumstances were very deeply affected by his choice.  In response, he approached his pastor saying “The answer is yes…now what is the question?“.  This was a man making himself, his life and his resources radically available because of the radical change in his life (for further details of that story check out the chapter “When You Believe In God, But Not His Church).  This is just one illustration of a believer moving from what the author shares as a “first line” Christian to a “third line” believer (see P233 for a description of this).

The whole book is full of freeing truth and examples and illustrations from the lives of those who have responded rightly and embraced the incredible changes as a result and some who did not.  It is not a “Western culture friendly” read that’s for sure…but if you’re serious about living a life that reflects your Christian beliefs…get it and read it…again and again!

If you’re not a believer and want to know what Christian living is all about, this is also a great read for you.  You will be introduced to many foundational Christian beliefs and have them explained…and in absolute honesty you’ll read about some of the differences when the believers get these things right and when we unfortunately get them wrong.  A read of this may help you understand the nature of God that you desperately want to know but don’t always see in His followers.

Check it out…I dare you!

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