– new home!!

I’ve just created a great new space for my Blogs, and much more besides –

Please continue to follow me on the new site, as I won’t be updating this Blog platform any longer. Subscribe to the Website, which is being populated with updates, book reviews, excerpts of new books, links to C3 Church Global and great resources, as well as some fun things.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Please take note of the re-release of my book, Follow the Leader – The Art of Followership, on Kindle with a recommendation by @brianchouston, the leader of Hillsong.

Famous Last Words

The last thing a person says is likely of some significance. Oscar Wilde is rumoured to have said, on his deathbed, “This wallpaper is terrible – one of us will have to go!” The wallpaper may still be there.

Jesus’ last words are the most important last words ever spoken, with a gravity certainly not matched by Wilde’s levity.

Jesus said we are to go into the world – as in, not to escape from it, and to make disciples of all people’s – as in, connect and teach and influence.

His last words are our first priority, for which he sent the Holy Spirit to help us.

The making of disciples is both decision based and process oriented. Some people response to making a choice on the spot. Others respond to time and reflection – more an osmosis salvation than the spectacular. Either way growth in Christlikeness is always a journey.

Disciple making is teaching them to do the life of Christ, and as importantly modeling the faith so that they can see it – consistently and sincerely lived out before them. Our lifestyle is a powerhouse for discipleship to people on the continuum of saving faith and a knowledge of God.

If Jesus is any indication as to the format of discipleship, which we believe he is, then what he did, the things he said, and his actions are a sure guide to what it looks like for us.

He discipled by teaching. This may be the prime methodology of Christ’s discipleship. He also discipled by lifestyle, reactions to his environment, and amongst other means, confrontation.

This is our mandate, our responsibility, and our honor – to help people live like and for Jesus – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”

Instagram – What’s Not to Love?

Love it, loathe it, or ignore it; these are your options. To those who ignore it, you have already read too far. So …

What’s not to love?

It is a great way to connect with people in a way that 1000 words may not, unless you are a literary writer. I love to see my family, their smiles, their little joys, their daily lives. It is personal. It works.

It is an excellent medium (although I have never actually met one) to capture a moment, something beautiful – as attested by any number of sunrise and sunsets – or a scene worth sharing, an event from a personal perspective.

A holiday, a wedding, a meeting, a meal. Friends together.

It can be a lot of fun – silly captions and word plays.

All good harmless fun, promoting connectivity otherwise not easily available, and a chance to be a little creative. So …

What’s not to hate?

Selfies – an ugly obsession, even if you are beautiful.

The perception that everything you do is amazing, every place you go is exotic. Heaven help your friends if they can’t match your fabulous life – which I happen to know you don’t lead.

Photos of the food you are about to consume – when else would you invite the world to your table, and how big can a steak be?

Sayings as banal as they are short. Solomon would blanch.

Likes. How many did I get? They always get more! How can I boost my likes?

It has been 10 minutes since I last looked. See you later.

The Wedding

The setting was all you’d hope for: formal rooms at a London botanical garden, sunshine in May (a bonus), and family and friends gathered to celebrate with bride and groom. Wonderful.

I was invited to lead the Blessings Service, following after the Civil Ceremony, which was itself performed with appropriate dignity. Papers were signed, and the couple was duly pronounced man and wife – legally.

Civil law is of value in its demands of responsibility, and its enshrining of rights. But it seems utterly powerless in its ability to stop the rampancy of another civil right – divorce. And the words of commitment spoken at the Ceremony are as enduring (in many cases – not all) as the couple’s moral integrity, failing that, for as long as ‘love’ holds out.

The State has no mandate to sanctify or bless a marriage. In fact the question should be asked, when did the State arrogate to itself the right to even perform a marriage, or say it has the right to validate marriage, and that without the State’s authority a marriage doesn’t exist? This is the domain of the church, of the gathering of God’s people to bless, and witness to, the commitments of the vows. Marriage is not a child of the State. It has been forcibly adopted.

And the State should be called to account for saying no religious symbols or literature can be in the same room in which the Civil Ceremony takes place. What absurdity, and in the United Kingdom – a country with a profound and pervasive Christian heritage.

The Blessing Service, on the other hand, can be seen as a ‘lovely’ add on, or something quite different. And it is something quite different.

It is the main event. We, gathered in the sight of God, surrounded by believing family and friends, expectant of the presence and blessings of God we joyfully heard God’s word and promises, listened to and concurred with vows of commitment and faith, vows that have a seriousness and vitality that pales those of a Civil Ceremony, we witnessed and rejoiced in their marriage in God’s eyes.

A Civil Ceremony is required by law; therefore it is right and proper. However it doesn’t seal, empower, nor sanctify a marriage. Only the presence of God can do that. The first may be required but the second is utterly essential.

“I’m an Entrepreneur.”

“Is there a Hilton hotel in this area?” asked a young man, welldressed and bright eyed.

“Not that I am aware of,” was my reply.  I didn’t really know, but then he didn’t really want to know either.  What he really wanted was to introduce himself, which he did, as a “young entrepreneur.”

I quickly expressed my lack of interest in his sales pitch, and walked on without engaging in conversation, or parting with my money – which always was the point.

What was incongruous to me was the fact that he thought I was Venture Capital.  Secondly he was all dressed up with no where to go.  Most entrepreneurs don’t wear nice suits – they are normally more roguish by nature, less mainstream, and much less invested in their appearances so much as their product or idea. Granted they may wear a suit when approaching people for VC, but on the streets, randomly, really?

Truth is I felt a little sorry for him.  He is probably raised on Instant Fame TV shows, and thinks that if you look a certain way and say you are something then the world is your oyster.  But most pearls, in their initial stage, are little irritations, not finished products.

An entrepreneur is a different kettle of fish.  He or she isn’t fixated on money and all things instant (and therefore temporary).  They are ideas driven which is why they don’t wear a suit and stop total strangers with their well rehearsed pitch.

Wired magazine once reported some comments about universities making entrepreneurship a course, part of the curriculum.  The problem with this is that many entrepreneurs are far to ‘educationally challenged.’ They don’t like to, or want to, sit in a class room listening to a professor talk about what they have never accomplished.  They are itchy, often nerdy ( the new cool), and convention is the very thing that are working against, around of, in spite of.  They stay up late, look bleary eyed, don’t mix easily, and exhibit numerous other stereotypical traits.  This may not be true of all of them by any means, but you get the point.

You are unlikely to have an entrepreneur stop you in the streets.  And someone that tells you they are one is like someone who sings in the shower claiming to be the next pop sensation.

I wonder if we are losing the ability of being something long before claiming we are something.  Even then a wise person won’t even make the claim – they will let others do that.  Because it is only others that recognise us for what we are by what we do.  We can fool ourselves but that is all we are likely to fool.

Be all you can be – just don’t tell me about it.

‘For the Love of Violence’

Our Love of Violence


Violence is fuelled by a plethora of causes.

Oppression, borne long enough, will eventually erupt into violence. Notable exceptions do exist, but often the voices of change are themselves done away with – Gandhi is an excellent example, Jesus the best. Their calls for peaceful protest on one hand, and a different kind of love on the other, were met with a bullet and a cross. Nice.

Circumstances brutalize some people, making them violent. Jails may rid society of a temporary problem, equally they can return people to the streets well versed in more efficient means of deceit and violence.

Human nature is often expressed in violence. This may not be a popular view, but it is a true one. The appeal to kindness is laudable, but an appeal to the essential goodness of mankind surely should have died with Rousseau.

Being fed a diet of violence must affect us. It is not possible to fill our minds with violence, and continue to insist it has no material effect. Beauty begets beauty and ugliness, ugliness. The seed determines the crop; wheat grows wheat, and weeds spawn weeds. A farmer knows this, or he/she is not going to be farmer for long.

The media fuels violence.

I began watching some movies that quickly were so explicitly vicious I stopped watching them. And that is what I should have done the makers of the movie would insist. If I am offended, press stop. They have a right to make the movie – I have a right to not watch.

Fair enough?

Not really!

Nobody who actually perpetrates violence walks away from a blood bath, smiles at his family, and has a nice cup of tea and a sandwich, quite like a movie star does. And if they do they are monsters, and have become immune to suffering. Avoid them.

Men who return from war are never the same, and they did what they did in defense of the realm, or to rid another country/region of tyrannical leadership or ethnic cleansing. They are told what they do is justified and necessary. It makes little difference to their nightmares, their inability to return normal life.

But a movie is not real. It is make believe.” Granted it doesn’t actually kill anyone, but it can only be naïve to say it doesn’t influence people, and make the rest of us just that little bit more callous. And that is all that is required to further and gradually desensitize us.

Maybe this is discernable in the alarming blood baying from men and woman alike in that most awful of sports -UFC. Men and women pulverize each other, until one submits, or is insensible. Their brains are rattled around in their skulls, like jelly in a centrifuge. It is their choice, they argue, but since when does my choice not affect others. (The idea of the good of all has been swamped in the choice of the one, and woe-betide anyone that questions the holy mantra of individual rights. Twitter is the new guillotine).


We aren’t far from the Colosseum.

Disrupt: When Heaven Meets Earth

By Valerie McIntyre

Disruptive’ is a word that is bandied about in a variety of settings today to mean something is rocking the status quo. The negative connotations are gone – disruptive is good.

In my business I’ve worked with a fair amount of disruptive groups in the past few years. For instance, we’ve represented a renewable energy company that is bringing safe, affordable energy to families living off the grid at the bottom of the pyramid. I’m on the board of a charity that provides people all over the world with clean, safe water. And I’m supporting a new network that is geared toward giving women a place to have a ‘frank discussion’ about things that really matter.

All of these groups are disruptive in their categories and in their own way. And they are all doing something good to shake up the status quo and change their areas of passion: safe energy, clean water, free speech. But please take a look at the following scripture:

Matthew 10:37-38 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

How important do you believe family was back in the days when Jesus walked the earth? Family was everything. Family was your own personal tribe. It was your seat of power; it was your retirement plan. Family literally stood between you and destitution and death. Family was everything.

Jesus came to disrupt the human race. He brought Heaven to Earth and nothing has been the same since then. He asked those that followed him – from the disciples to the crowds that gathered – to disrupt, to do things that may have literally sounded insane.

Jesus disrupted LOVE: Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22)

Jesus disrupted MONEY: Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” (Mark 12: 41-44 NLT)

Jesus disrupted REVENGE: If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. (Luke 6:29 NLT)

Jesus disrupted AMBITION: Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21 NLT)

Jesus disrupted POWER: Instead, he gave up his divine privileges he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names (Philippians 2: 7-9 NLT).

People will say that other religions are disruptive. There are those that say Buddhism and Christianity, for instance, have much in common. I believe there is a major difference: motive.

A central theme in Buddhism is Karma: Good or bad luck, viewed as resulting from one’s action. The central theme in Christianity is Love: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule is an empathetic exchange. I’ll do something good for another without the promise that it will be done for me.

Here’s the thing, Buddhist scholars see the centrality of the crucifixion in Christianity as an irreconcilable gap between the two belief systems.

Jesus disrupted DEATH: Instead, he gave up his divine privileges He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names: JESUS.

This Sunday we celebrate His death and resurrection. Easter is the crossroads of heaven and humanity. Heaven came down to the earth and shook it. And those things that could not be shaken are holding strong and firm.

Hebrews 12:26-28 says, When God spoke from Mount Sinai His voice shook the earth, but now He makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.

This is what Jesus did. He disrupted the course of human history. He gave us LIFE where there was only DEATH. He grabbed us off the edge of the abyss, for we were surely starring into it. Jesus set us free and now those whom the Son sets free are free indeed. There is not enough currency in the universe to get the thing that is life giving and FREELY given. Jesus is the ultimate disruption. He turns everything upside down.

And Jesus is disrupting today. He’s asking us as a culture to do things differently. To turn the other cheek in our workplace, to treat our bodies with love and care, to not give up coming together even when it’s more fun to head to the movies. He paid the price for us. He called us to a place of Holiness. I hope this Easter we remember His sacrifice and in our own lives carry on His legacy of disruption – for Him.


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