Archive for May, 2009

Angels and Demons!

Posted in apologetics, global issues, Pop Culture with tags , on May 30, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Last night I saw the new movie inspired by Dan Brown’s Davinci Code, Angels and Demons. It was an intense journey of conspiracy, investigation and corruption.

Tom Hanks plays the lead role as Professor Langdon who is summoned by the Vatican to help them solve a kidnapping of 4 cardinals who are in line for the top job as Pope after the former had died. It is presumed the Illuminati is involved. 

This movie explores the issues of science vs faith, the will of the Holy Spirit, the integrity of church leadership and the role of secret societies like the illuminati. 

The ending has a great twist to it and will keep you guessing until the last few frames. Worth the watch!

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Strike the Shepherd and the sheep scatter!

Posted in Ecclesiology, Leadership, ministry with tags , , , on May 29, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2260639712_b787a37af7_mZechariah 13:7 says, “Strike the Shepherd and the sheep scatter.” It’s a prophecy about what was going to happen to Jesus and his disciples and Jesus himself uses it in the context of Matthew 26:30-35 to describe what was about to unfold as he was arrested and crucified.

Ephesians 4:8, 11 tells us that when Christ ascended to heaven, he gave gifts to men. Christ has given to the church the gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 gives us insight into the qualifications for elder-pastors of a local church. These qualifications are stringent and emphasize character above competency.

The devil targets church leaders because he knows that if he can destroy church leaders, he can destroy churches. Ten years ago when I was studying at Bible College we were informed of a stat that has increased since then but there were approximately 10,000 former pastors in Australia at the time, whom for various reasons had quit the ministry or were forced to step back because of extenuating circumstances.

The condition of the leader affects the condition of the church. Burnt out leaders fatigue a congregation and cause the sheep to weary. Immoral leaders weaken the purity and holiness of the church and bring the church into disrepute. When a leader is distant from Jesus the temptation is to live and minister in the flesh. When a leader is impurely motivated, the potential for corruption and compromise is heightened.

Protect your shepherd by praying for them, supporting them, serving Jesus with them and submitting to them (Hebrews 13:7, 17). This isn’t popular in Australia but it’s Bible. Don’t be conformed to the  pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2).

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Staying Fresh!

Posted in Leadership, ministry, Spirituality, Stress management, time management with tags , , , on May 27, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

2152673496_42081e74ef_mIf we’re not careful we can allow circumstances to rob us of the divine spark that we need to live the life God has called us to. Weariness, fatigue, exhaustion and bitterness can easily creep into our hearts and steal our life force if we’re not paying close attention to ourselves and our teaching (1 Tim 4:16).

There are fundamentals to staying fresh. The former Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi was famous for how he drilled his players. While other teams would have 20-50 plays, Vince only had 8 plays but he drilled his team so intensely on those 8 plays that when it came to game time, no one could compete with the Green Bays incredible execution of their fundamental plays. 

The same can be said for staying fresh and avoiding burnout or rust-out. I have read many books but after a while most of them say the same thing but in different ways. Out of all of my reading, observation and application I have found 6 core fundamentals to staying fresh that I want to share with you today.

  1. Sleep in before midnight, not after midnight: The hours before midnight really do make a difference to your sleep patterns than the hours after midnight. It all has to do with your REM sleep patterns and 90min cycles of deep sleep and light sleep. Rather than sleeping in after midnight and waking up groggy, sleep in before midnight and wake up fresh and ready to go.
  2. Do some form of exercise regularly: Modern lifestyle doesn’t help our physical bodies but our bodies were created to move. Exercising for 20-30mins 3-5 times per week will detoxify your body, release endorphins and improve your strength and cardio. Eat plenty of salad and drink plenty of water.
  3. Do activities that fill your tank back up: Imagine yourself as a water tank that gets drained by certain activities on a weekly basis. It’s important to discover what fills your tank back up. For me reading, movies, exercise, family and friends fills my tank back up. I have just recently purchased a new bodyboard to go catch some waves with and so this will be a de-stressor for me.
  4. Refocus your devotions on re-discovering your friendship with God: Forget the formula’s and come into God’s presence with no agenda but an open heart, your bible and a willingness to be real with God. Life flows far easier from friendship with God.
  5. Plan your week around your greatest priorities: I have read many time management books and the bottom line is organise and execute your life around your top priorities. Time is your greatest currency and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Every night take 10mins to review your day, preview tomorrow, check appointments and prioritize what’s most important.
  6. Re-focus on what you love about your life, work & ministry: It’s so easy to get distracted by what you don’t like to do or what you are not strong in but everyone of us has a strength zone where our gifts can be used to make a difference. In this sweet spot we feel alive and full of energy. Don’t let passion be sucked out of you but refocus on what you love to do.

Lead the Change!

Dating Pt2: 26 Principles!

Posted in Biblical sexuality, Family, global issues, Manhood, Pop Culture, relationships, Theology with tags , , , on May 25, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3561043864_f394967dbe_tThere are 4 types of dating relationships:

Pre-arranged marriage: Cultural & biblical expression – While not practiced in Aussie culture, it’s quite popular in certain cultural groups around the world and has ancient biblical origins. To a teenager it’s the worst idea in the world but to a parent of a 5yr old princess I think it’s a brilliant idea…hehe.

Courtship: Biblical & traditional expression – This was very popular until mid 1900’s where it was exchanged for the more casual non-Christian dating. I recommend this type of dating for teenagers because teenagers don’t even know what they want tomorrow, let alone who they want to spend the rest of their life with. Parents need to take a vested interest in their teens lives and help them navigate their experience of dating relationships. Courtship dating basically involves a potential young man who is interested in a girl to meet with the parents of the girl and express his interests and intentions with the girl. In one sense the potential suitor dates dad before he dates the girl and if he gets approval then a date is the next step in the process.

Non-Christian dating: Heathen expression – I don’t recommend this because of the devastating and un-biblical consequences of it. The English word dating was introduced into the English vernacular in 1896 as a synonym for prostitution, the transaction of money for sexual favours. The downward spiral of society over the last 100 years has reshaped our understanding and expression of dating relationships and marriage. This type of dating involves looks like, hook up, shack up, break up, repeat… The world’s idea is try before you but but God’s idea is commit before you consummate. Let’s look at the last type of dating relationship.

Christian dating: Biblical expression – The ultimate goal of this dating relationship is marriage. I recommend this for young adults or mature adults who have left home and are responsible for themselves and make their own decisions as a responsible adult. This type of dating is about building a legacy for the future and not for selfish gain.

Here are 26 principles of a dating relationship (1 Corinthians 7 & other scriptures):

  1.  Don’t have sexual intercourse until you’re married (v1)
  2. If your sexual desire is strong, get married (v2,9,36)
  3. Once married don’t deprive each other of sex (v5)
  4. Identify whether you have the gift of singleness or not (v7)
  5. Maximise your singleness for God (v35)
  6. Don’t pursue dating until you are ready for marriage
  7. Be reasonable with your expectations
  8. Don’t overlook whom God has put in front of you
  9. Remember, going on a date is not dating (1 Tim 5:1-2)
  10. Getting a date requires men to initiate the event
  11. Only date one person at a time
  12. Don;t have a dating relationship with an unbeliever (2 Cor 6:14)
  13. Only invest into dating someone you are attracted to
  14. Only marry someone who agrees with you on gender roles & family numbers
  15. Don;t give your heart away too quick (Pr 4:23)
  16. Men, is she modest? (1 Tim 2:9-10)
  17. Men, does she have character? (Pr 31)
  18. Men, does she have a negative influence on you? (Book of Pr)
  19. Men, can you provide for her? (1 Tim 5:8)
  20. Men, will she follow your leadership?
  21. Ladies, are you able to follow his lead and help him? (Gen 2:18)
  22. Ladies, do you feel safe with him?
  23. Ladies, is he tough enough to cope with pressure?
  24. Ladies, is he a 1 woman man? (Job 31:1)
  25. Ladies, do you want yours sons to be like him?
  26. Ladies, how valuable are you to him? (Eph 5:25)

Lead the Change!

 

Dating Pt1!

Posted in Biblical sexuality, Creation, Family, Pop Culture, relationships, Spirituality, Theology with tags , , on May 24, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Simone and I have been together for 15yrs and for the first 6yrs we were in a dating relationship. I can still remember the details of our first date as if it was yesterday. The topic of dating is relevant for all types of people, especially singles. It’s relevant for married people as well because marriage doesn’t mean you stop dating each other. Dating is relevant for parents of kids and teens because you’re going to be facing the reality of your son and daughter being attracted to the opposite sex very soon, or already.

Hugh Mackay has written a book titled, “Advance Australia…Where?” In this revealing book Hugh gives us a snapshot of the current demographic of Australia including, for the first time in history there are more unmarried people in Australia then married people. The marriage rate is the lowest in 100yrs. 76% of couples live together before marriage. Over 40% of all marriages end in divorce and 1/3 of all babies are born to unmarried couples. 

Our society is suffering the consequences of a distorted idea of sexuality and we need to get God’s perspective on dating. How does a Christian date righteously and what are the relevant boundaries before marriage?

To develop a theology of dating we need to begin in the book of origins and beginnings and read Genesis 1-3 thoroughly (Have a read). In Ch3 we discover the gender wars start as a result of man rebelling against God and the curse of sin falling upon both Adam and Eve. Eve’s curse is pain in childbearing and desire to control her husband. Adam’s curse is pain and sweat in the work of his hands and difficulty leading his wife.

Because of sin there are 2 reactions to marriage and the gender wars. One reaction is to idolise independence and exalt self and what self wants over family, others and the community at large. The second reaction is to idolise family and see single people as inferior and lower value because they aren’t consumed with family or don’t have any kids.

Both reactions need to be remedied by asking the question, “How is your relationship with Jesus Christ?” Your relationship with Jesus is the no1  priority of your life and must be first before any other relationship.2nd question to ask is, “Are you listening to cultural lies?” If you are getting your relational advice more from pop culture than God’s Word, you are developing distorted ideas of dating, sex, marriage and relationships. 3rd question to ask is, “Do you understand that the purpose of marriage is holiness, not necessarily happiness. happiness is a byproduct of holiness but 2 sinful, wicked and unregenerate people coming together in marriage can actually produce more hell for each other than happiness if Christ isn’t at the centre of that relationship.

We’ll finish up this topic tomorrow.

Lead the Change!

It’s the little things!

Posted in activate church, book review, goals, Leadership, ministry, time management with tags , , , , on May 23, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

560966032_988f4d7bc4_mOne of the most fascinating things to observe is the process of change in people’s lives. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it is the BIG things that makes the biggest difference but in fact, it’s generally not true. 

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Tipping Point” the power of little things is brought into clear focus. The thesis of the book basically points to the truth that if you do enough little things towards a certain goal and you join those little things together, it all compounds to the point of tipping a brand, product or company over the edge making it viral and in demand.

For example, Malcolm shared a story about the dramatic reduction in the crime rate in New York in the early 90’s. New York in the 1980’s was crime ridden and dangerous. The mayor of New York took responsibility to change the little things that wouldn’t normally be thought of as being able to have a significant impact. These include: removing subway graffiti, placing new train cars on the subway, catching fare evaders, removing the squeegee man and creating mobile police stations on buses that were able to process offenders more quickly through the system. All of these little tweaks contributed to a 76% reduction in crime in New York. It’s the LITTLE things that make a BIG difference. 

In Aussie Rules football it’s well known that it is the 1 per centers of tackling, handballs, shielding and running that can often mean the difference in a game. The same goes for every area of our lives especially our spiritual lives. King Solomon reminds us that it’s the little foxes that spoil the vineyard and to go to the ant and consider her ways. Jesus warned us to beware of the Pharisees for a little leaven leavens the whole lump.

The same is true for church life. Activates growth has come from the little tweaks that are consistently made in all areas of the church, not for change sake but for growth’s sake. While our eyes are focused on the big picture vision, our hands need to be busy doing the 1 per centers: positive attitude, clear communication, encouraging people serving, consistent punctuality, daily devotions, neat work space, inviting somebody to a church service and reading a chapter of a book everyday.

God revealed to me one day clearly that, “Consistency is my greatest testimony.” Like Rome, God’s house won;t be built in a day but if I would posture myself week in and week out to do the little things well, over time it will compound, turn viral and spill over into a harvest. What you sow is what you reap.

Lead the Change!

Hard work is good for you!

Posted in Theology, time management with tags , on May 22, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

142887353_d5dc296795_mGrowing up, my parents gave me a great example of work ethic as they worked diligently as pastors to help build the churches they were leading. I’ve observed over the years that in Australia some people work really hard…sometimes too hard and others think they work hard but in fact they are lazy and only ever work for weekends and holidays.

Some of our attitudes towards work is not what God intended for us and we need to redeem our theology of work. Interestingly, Genesis 2 tells us that God worked and when He observed the earth there was no man to work the ground so God took Adam and put him in the ground to work it and keep it. In other words right from the very beginning, part of our purpose for being created was to work and be productive. In Genesis 3 we see that even after the Fall, God sent Adam to work the ground from which he was taken and In Exodus 34:21 when the Mosaic covenant was instituted, God commanded that work was to take place 6 days but on the 7th day of the week the Sabbath rest was commanded. All through the book of Proverbs we are warned against neglecting our work and encouraged to work hard (Proverbs 18:9; 24:12; 22:9).

God doesn’t want us to despise our work or be slack about our work. It’s not healthy to be in an environment where people are looking for ways to get out of work. Someone looks to escape work when they are lazy and slack; haven’t had hard work modeled to them; they’ve lost passion for their role; gifts don’t match position; prolonged stress in a role; they’ve reached their capacity or they lack a theology of stewardship.

God is a worker, He created Adam in part to work and he has called us to work hard today. Work helps us discover our purpose and fulfill our potential. It reveals gifts and abilities and gives us a sense of accomplishment. Work honours God and gets things done.

Have fun in your work and enjoy yourself but be diligent and work hard. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work, thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.”

Lead the Change!