Archive for relationships

Authentic Relationships!

Posted in apologetics, relationships with tags , , on August 15, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

How many times in your life could you say that you have felt a genuine sense of oneness and unity in your relationships?

Unfortunately, when it comes to the church, there are too many people who carry with them a negative report of broken relationships and wounded souls. Yet, the church is called to be the greatest apologetic of the gospel the world has ever seen.

Why is it the Church struggles to cultivate authentic relationships at times? Let me suggest 4 reasons among others:

  1. Reality of Spiritual Warfare – We have an enemy who hates the church and all it stands for.
  2. Our Sinful Nature – When our flesh can’t get what it wants it pollutes our relationships.
  3. Pressure to Perform – Salvation by works manifests as pharisaical moralism.
  4. Busyness of life in western culture – Busyness skims through life and produces shallow relationships.

Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17:1-26 has some incredible insight into the source of unity, the benefits of unity and why unity is important. We will unpack the insights in this passage over the next week.

Lead the Change!

Love People, Don’t Use Them!

Posted in community, relationships with tags , , , , on May 22, 2010 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

Matthew 22:39 “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”

Too many people in this day and age use people for what they can get out of them for their own personal gain. I think God is horrified at the way we treat each other at times and he must feel incredible pity for us. Too many of us only relate to certain people based on what they can do for us rather than their inherent value as human beings.

People are precious and most important to God. Jesus didn’t die for success, wealth and power and yet we as a race sacrifice people on the altar of these goals all the time. Jesus lived and died for people – period! People are the greatest resource on planet earth. The environment is important but people are more important. You say, “Save the whales”. What about, “Save the people”.

You cannot take anything with you when you die but you can leave a legacy of lives changed by your influence and investment into people. I value people over task, even though I acknowledge the reality that we all have to complete tasks at times. Just don’t treat people as a task to endure but a treasure to enjoy.

Erwin McManus is one of the people on planet earth I admire because he appears to value what God values. Even through his writings and teachings, you can feel the love he has for people bleed through. What about you? When people meet you, do they sense “life” in you and “love” for people bleeding through you. I’ve never met Erwin but I can see it and sense it. I hope that we all want to be people that others want to be around because we really value people and see the importance of investing into them.

The Great Commandment is made up of 2 parts: Love God and secondly Love people. You can’t truly embrace the vertical, if you don’t embrace the horizontal. Some people who love God treat people as imposters on their own self-importance. We need to understand that God views our spirituality through the lens of our relationships and how we treat God’s greatest creative achievement – humanity.

Lead the Change@

Missing out on something?

Posted in Intimacy with God, relationships, time management with tags , , , on August 6, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3383642994_a95935d317_tYesterday I carved out time in my schedule to invest into my relationship with God. I booked into a Prayer Retreat Centre for the day and prayed, fasted and read God’s Word. I haven’t had a full day like this for a while and I really connected with Jesus in a raw and powerful way. 

As I prayed and reflected on Scripture I thought about the things I had missed out on over the past couple of months because I hadn’t made time to just BE with Jesus. I meet with Jesus everyday and spend time with Him but there is nothing like focusing completely on Him for an entire day. As a result of this time with Jesus, He gave me future message themes and insights into decisions needed to be made that I never would have had if I hadn’t created space in my diary. 

What about you? What are you potentially missing out on that is available to you, if only you would stop and be still with Jesus for a day? My guess is there are several important things God wants to download to you right now in your life but if you don’t carve out time and invest into your relationship with Him, you will miss out on them. 

Do you ever get the feeling that something is missing in your life? Don’t ignore that feeling or thought but do something about it and create space for at least 1 day and meet with Jesus in prayer, Scripture reading and reflection and you will get the answers you are looking for.

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!

New series on RELATIONSHIPS starting soon

Posted in activate church, Family, relationships, Sexuality, Theology with tags , , , , , , on May 2, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

3256391_e5a975328d_m1We are starting a new series on relationships starting on Mothers Day (May 10, 09).

The topics we will be covering include:

  • Family/parenting from a mothers perspective (May 10 10am service)
  • Family/parenting from a fathers perspective (May 10 6pm service)
  • Marriage and women (May 17 10am service)
  • Marriage and men (May 17 6pm service)
  • Singles & Dating (May 24 10am & 6pm service) 

The teaching team is looking for feedback on what you would like to hear about relationships throughout the series. If you have any suggestions or questions or ideas for us then could you please send them into me making sure they are related to the topics outlined. Title your comments with “Relationships Series”.

We will be sending out study and discussion notes for all life groups so make sure you connect with a life group asap. If you would like a copy of the discussion notes of the series and you are not connected to Activate Church, let me know and I will make sure we make them available online.

Lead the Change!

Kingdom Culture Pt8 – Community

Posted in activate church, church, global issues, Leadership, mission, Spirituality, Theology with tags , , , on April 17, 2009 by Corey Turner #ironprophet

368053190_08ea16f46c1At our ministry leadership team meeting on Tuesday we had a former staff member of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago come and share with us about his experiences on staff in Bill Hybels team.

One of the key things that our guest kept emphasizing was the need for community within the life of the church – a place to belong. People are hungering for connection and relationship.

The Christian Church is positioned uniquely within the wider community to provide exactly what people are searching for – a place to belong. When churches don’t build this we are a false representation of Christ and his mission in the world.

Acts 2:42-47 gives us a brief but detailed snapshot of what community in the early church looked like. “All who believed were together and had all things in common, and they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”  

As a result of the community within the early church God added blessing and fruit to it. We can experience the same today. It doesn’t matter the size of the church, what matters is the heart of the church. Leaders within a church set the pace and example for community. Cold leaders ultimately breed cold congregations. But if the leadership is warm and interested in people, then the after effect will be reproduced in the church community.

At Activate Church we are seeking to build this community through life groups that meet regularly each week throughout the city of Melbourne. It is our hope to connect many disconnected people within the church community and outside the church community into authentic relationship with Christ and his followers.

Lead the Change!