Boot Up!

…I hope that we will be together in the UK for Pilgrimage 17!

Over 50 people from around the world are coming to the UK, hosted by friends in LifeLine Church. If you are still awaiting your visa, be assured that we are praying for God’s favour to see you travel.

We want you to arrive excited and ‘ready for action’. To help in this we are going to email you every week with an excellent little video and thought-provoking reflection.

Our prayer is that God will speak to you and prepare you for Pilgrimage17.

We want to encourage dialogue around these sessions. Use the comments section to share your thoughts, ask questions and to look at what others are saying. Here’s the first session…Time to Boot Up!

INTRODUCTION

WEEK ONE – Welcome to the first week in our ‘Boot up’ series designed to help us prepare for Pilgrimage 17 in the UK.

Psalm 84:5 says “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”

A pilgrim is someone who isn’t content to settle for what they have or where they are if they know God has more for them.  God is challenging us to keep moving.  We need to Boot up because the time has come to move again.

Watch this video…

Here are our questions for the week:

  1. Write down a couple of the values that you hold dear
  2. How are these values expressed?
  3. Do you have someone in your life who helps you reflect on your accurate expression of your values?
  4. Over the next few weeks is there someone who can help you explore these questions?

What do you think? Write your thoughts, comments and questions below…

Week Two – Are you willing to give up your crown?

Welcome to Session 2 of the ‘Boot Up’: Pilgrimage 17 preparation.

All humanity has been given a crown (power of free will, control, power to please).

In the beginning, God created mankind in His image with the purpose of multiplying and spreading this image throughout the planet. He gave mankind authority to rule.

We have the opportunity to use this power to please ourselves. We can make sure we are protected and provided for, above all else. We like to be in control. We like to be the driver of our lives. We like having our little crowns.

But what if someone else has a right to your crown?…

Join the conversation via the comments below…

WEEK THREE – Money on My Mind

People say ‘money makes the world go round’. Some of us are focused on making money, others on saving it. Then there are those who enjoy spending it. The popular prosperity doctrine suggests you can calculate someone’s faithfulness by the amount of money they have. Meanwhile, to some Christians, money is a dirty word. Interestingly, money was one of Jesus’ favourite topics.

The way I use money and my attitude towards it reveals a lot about me.

Money is a temperature gauge to the heart.

What do you think? Write your thoughts and questions in the comments section below…

WEEK FOUR: The Radical Servant


Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.

Let’s be clear. Serving is really radical. Totally transforming. For us, as well as those we serve. Serving isn’t something we do when we feel like it, when we have the time or the money. If we think of serving as just a set of actions – we’ve missed the point.

The point? Serving is a lifestyle. Let me explain….

WEEK FIVE: I’ve got the Power

God has all authority.

God’s intention was to have sons and daughters He could trust with His authority to achieve His purpose.

Satan didn’t have power to sabotage God’s plan for humanity. The serpent had to convince mankind to use their power in the way Satan wanted, thus corrupting all humanity. We gave that authority to sin, but Jesus came to win back that authority for humanity. (See Romans 6:16)

In order for us to use our authority effectively, we need to be under God’s authority.

How do we submit to God’s authority?

WEEK SIX: Company of World Changers

We are called to change the world. We are the active ingredient which brings change to the lives we touch and the systems within which we work. But to be world changers we need to be rightly aligned to the pipeline God is using to channel His grace to us.

Let us explore those two points…

    1. What does it mean to change our world?

God always wanted earth to be like heaven. Like heaven, He wanted earth filled with His image. Therefore, He put His image on mankind and told them to fill the earth.

Jesus taught us to pray, ‘May your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven’.

Now, wherever sin has seeped, salvation must follow and turn what is bad back into good again.

God is pouring down heaven onto earth and He has chosen to use the church as the touchdown point. (Eph 3:10)

The problem is much of the church is trying to get to heaven instead of calling heaven down to earth.

A world changer engages with the world around them. They are empowered by God to turn bad into good. They fill the world with the image of God by demonstrating what He is like. They love the rejected, comfort those mourning, they defend the downtrodden, they heal and strengthen the weak.

    2. What does it mean to be rightly aligned?

WEEK SEVEN: Commitment – Will you go down with the ship?

In the UK, we use the saying that ‘the captain goes down with the ship’. As the top authority on a ship, if the ship is sinking, it is the captain’s responsibility to rescue all his passengers or die trying.

This is commitment.

Jesus demonstrated ultimate commitment to us by dying on the cross for us. Like a good captain, Jesus went down with His ship to the grave. However, because of His death and resurrection, we have been set free from the shackles of sin and death. Which means we are now free to reciprocate our commitment back to Jesus and shackle our lives to Him.

We express our commitment to Jesus by the way we stand with people through the storms of life.

WEEK EIGHT: Integrity, Why is it so difficult?

Integrity means harmony in our words, deeds and beliefs.

James E. Faust says, “Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving.”

C.S. Lewis says, “honesty is doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching.”

However, we will never tell or live the truth on the outside if we aren’t nurturing the truth on the inside.

Derek Landy says, “The lies we tell other people are nothing to the lies we tell ourselves.”

The most common lies I am trapped in are those I tell myself. I end up lying through my words and deeds because of self-deception.

Joyce Meyer says, “[The] Hardest thing we have to do is face the truth about ourselves.”

     

When we choose to take a long hard look in the mirror, we are likely to see ugly attitudes and acts.

The great news is God promises the truth will set us free (John 8:32). And we will begin to see ourselves as He see us.

Humans have mixed feelings towards integrity. We all claim we want it but we are uncomfortable with the cost and inconvenience of it.

Integrity opens the door to truth and truth always brings freedom.

Where will you release freedom today by standing in integrity?

WEEK NINE: Forgiveness

Hurt people end up hurting people. Everyone has a wound to lick. These scars we carry around affect our daily decisions. Sometimes we see those in positions of great power and responsibility making bad decisions based on personal hurt. This shouldn’t surprise us because anyone can carry around emotional baggage. It’s only natural.

Can you think of a time when you have been hurt and someone has advised you to ‘let it go’?

How do you let it go? What if you can’t? What if the pain clings to you like chewing gum on your shoe?

There are countless revenge movies. We all want to see the bad guys get what they deserve. We want to ‘get’ justice. But does this really set us free?

How many movies can you name about redemption? Restoration? Forgiveness?

Imagine how outrageous and attractive those who stand for forgiveness will seem in this world?

WEEK TEN: Love and Acceptance

Jesus was accused of being “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Matt 11:19). It was a label I think He would happily wear.

Jesus modeled friendship. His love set people free. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector who would have been hated by his village. Jesus publicly threw a cloak of friendship around his shoulders. It was this love and acceptance, which led to a miraculous confession and repentance of Zacchaeus.

We see again and again Jesus reach out to the outcasts of society. So many bruised reeds and smouldering wicks found gentle protection and restoration in His presence. People felt accepted.

But Jesus never ignored sin. He was very clear on calling sin out. He told the woman caught in adultery to leave her life of sin. He didn’t turn a blind eye to the trespasses of the woman he met at the well.

We are called to accept, but not to accommodate. Accommodation excuses sin but doesn’t love enough to see the person set free from the sin that is doing them great harm.

The most effective way to show Jesus to this world is by loving it (John 13:35).

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18 comments for “Boot Up!

  1. Lawrence
    April 24, 2017 at 11:14 am

    WE ARE CALLED TO SOMETHING PRACTICAL

    Going through the boot up series with my wife, Portia, one thing that stands out bold for us is the emphasis on practicing what we believe than just knowing what we believe. While knowing comes before doing, the reverse is not always true. So much stands in the way of our transformation into a people that live by the word; traditions, culture, previous knowledge, fixed mindsets, comfort zones, sin etc. God says, “If you love me obey my commands.” Without a radical spirit of love and obedience, we are sure to miss out greatly on the real significance of what we hold as priceless.

    If there was only one key thing to take away from the thrust of the boot up series, I would say it is the commitment to press for doing the things we know and to keep on evaluating them in order to be certain that the heart and desire of our values are coming through correctly in all that we are and all that we do.

    As you might have picked from going through the video clips, the commitment to doing what we know is far removed from doing things as a mere token of external conformity or mere token of appreciation of those through whom we would have received God’s revelation and wisdom. Such responses have no real lasting impact. Instead, real commitment to perpetually respond to what God gives in terms of direction and values is a matter of life and death if taken in its full weight. As such, I would plead that if there is anything we can pass on to each other, and indeed continue to do so unreservedly, it is THE BLESSING OF OBEDIENCE. I pray that God may grant me and my family this blessing of such loyal hearts that commit to making profoundly visible to others what we would have heard from God, and in the end compel and encourage others to live out the will of God.

    Most church culture around us that we so desperately seek to break away from is that when the word comes, people in God’s community are left to guess on what to do with the word; so they pick and choose what they want to do from the word. The difference as I see it to what God is calling us to do is to prioritize considering what He wants us to practically do with what He has revealed to us. God is calling leaders to lead mainly the outworking of direction and values than just teaching. In the end our real work as leaders will be in leading the journey not the talk, thus transforming our leading to work that mainly focuses on practice more than a primarily focus in the sharing of knowledge.

    Apparently, there is nothing for us to be afraid of, because both the revelation and the response we must pursue come from God and His divine enablement.

    So, indeed we are coming to confer with one another, expecting to jointly seek for further direction and find solutions, as we look forward to be fired up on doing the things that will get us to the next level of our journey.

  2. Lawrence
    April 21, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Deconstruction of Expressions – A Critical Unity Tool
    Again, expressions with no discussed values are dangerous, as they may carry assumed conflicting values in different people. So, I am seeing deconstruction of expressions also as a critical unity tool. We all have baggage from where we came from. So, we might be having enthusiasm for something together, but being motivated from different sources or different understandings – which might even mean having contradicting values under one expression. As such deconstruction will help see why we are doing something. One such example is loyalty to people not to the organisation. Sometimes we come from places where our primary loyalty is said to be to God alone, and that meaning, “no people in the way please! I am not loyal to my parents, I am not loyal to my brethren or leaders, I am only loyal to God, and I am the only measure to my loyalty.” Basically, coming from places were loyalty to fellow brothers and sisters was not emphasized as much as loyalty to the organisation and to the constitution, it becomes crucial to see afresh that loyalty to God is expressed in being loyal to the people God puts in one’s life – something that leads to good teamwork and healthy submission to one another.

  3. Lawrence
    April 21, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Deconstruction of Expressions – Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!

    True, there are many things we just do because that’s what we have always done. Like you say Jamie, when we deconstruct or dig for the basis of doing these things, some of them have extremely important foundations and remain crucial for us to continue doing them, but sometimes we would have lost that acute awareness of the true significance of the thing we will still be continuing to do. One of these to me is meetings; this includes our worship and teaching meetings, planning meetings, other leaders meetings and other different meetings. Hey! These can become routine and burdensome – sometimes!

    How do we keep our spirits and the spirits of everyone else sharply aware of the importance of coming together? How do we keep our meetings focused and meaningful? I know this might sound too elementary; but it might be interesting to revisit WHY WE MEET IN THE FIRST PLACE? I think this is one thing we all do in our churches, and I am thinking rediscovering the true value that should come from coming together might well benefit us all. How do we ensure there is real fruit from our meetings? How do we keep the excitement of coming together 2, 3 or so times each week? The energy dies in leaders too!

    • Lawrence
      April 22, 2017 at 3:40 am

      Actually, I feel that meetings might be one the highest expressions some of us hold!

  4. Keith
    March 20, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Jamie, love your differentiation between bread and seed! Thank you! Can you expand on that a little more…

    • Jamie Singleton
      Jamie Singleton
      March 21, 2017 at 6:13 am

      I certainly can, Keith.

      Joyce Meyer tells a story about a red dress which she bought. She hadn’t found the opportunity to wear it, so it was hanging in her wardrobe with all the labels still attached. One day she is in her bedroom praying for a friend who is in distress. She asked God, “What can I do for her…?”. She looks up and sees the red dress but she shakes the thought from her mind, telling herself ‘I’ve not even worn that dress myself yet’. Some time later she is praying for the same friend and again the red dress catches her eye. Again she tries to disregard the thought by saying to herself ‘But that’s my red dress’. It then dawned on her…the red dress was never hers. She had just been looking after it, stewarding it for this other lady. That was why she hadn’t gotten around to wearing it. It was a seed to be sown.
      When we have a mind-set of sowing seeds it helps us see that the seeds in our hands must be given away. That is their purpose.

      At other times there are things God give us for us. A long time ago my dad was at a conference where the man preaching said “in a world so full of need and poverty, how is it that I can be standing here wearing a £15,000 watch?”…
      …”Because my father gave it to me”.
      We don’t have to be ashamed of the ‘bread’ our Heavenly Father has given us. We don’t have to justify why we should have it. We don’t deserve anything but our Father loves to give to his undeserving children.

      Seed is to be invested whilst bread is to be eaten.

      But how can I know whether the resource in my hand is seed or bread?

      As a steward of God’s resources it is important you ask Him this question. How can I please You, Lord, with what you have placed in my hands?

      Money/resource is a temperature gauge to the heart. We can use questions like this to help us understand our attitude.

      I love the story about Jonathan and his armour bearer. It speaks of the power and generosity of God. Jonathan says ‘God can save by many or by few’. When I know the same God of Jonathan I realise that God can save me with “many money” or by “few money”. I don’t have to hoard up my resources and protect my ‘red dresses’. I don’t trust in by bank balance. I trust in a powerful and generous God. If I see someone in need and I’m tempted to sell my watch or give away my bread, I remember that I know a powerful and generous God. He doesn’t need me to fix the situation either for myself or someone else. He needs me to obey and when I know Him to be powerful and generous I’m only too keen to be part of His economy.

      • TIna Alexander
        March 21, 2017 at 6:23 am

        I love this Jamie, we are really chewing on this word. What about credit cards? sometimes it is easy to see these as part of life and not carrying the same obligation to pay them off as a personal loan. Even mortgages and student loans …. should we be debt free?

      • Keith
        March 21, 2017 at 10:12 pm

        Thanks Jamie! Excellent insights. Much appreciated!

      • Claudia Cavassa
        April 6, 2017 at 8:30 am

        With the recent disasters of floods in Peru, this was my question , how can I be enjoying this nice meal with my chidren, when I just saw at the news people are in so much need, children and elderly people lving in the street.. I had to understand I can only do what my Father gives me to do. Eventually we did go to affected areas and helped them, but it is this thing in ourselves that we need to understand between bread and seed.

        And yesterday I read these verses and brought life to me:

        Ephesians 2: 8-10

        8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do GOOD WORKS, which God prepared IN ADVANCE for US to DO.

        • April 6, 2017 at 9:54 am

          I struggle with the Bread and Seed issue all the time. With need all around and most people living hand to mouth so a disruption of income from a storm is really a disaster. Mostly people give us seed to plant and we try to keep it in ESCROW, separate from the bread we need to eat. It is a matter of integrity and we have noticed that when we have got it right and are not borrowing from Peter to pay Paul the resources flow. Really it is not an option for us to finance operations with borrowing. Does anyone else have a view on debt, mortgages, student and car loans, credit cards etc? is it different if you have a reliable income?

      • Lawrence
        April 22, 2017 at 11:19 am

        Jamie, I can see what you say, that “When we have a mind-set of sowing seeds it helps us see that the seeds in our hands must be given away.” Yes, the big step here is having that knowledge and expectation that God will give us seed, as He gives us bread, and the preparedness to sow it when it comes. The temptation though will always be to look at what we get only in the light of our own pressing needs.

  5. Naomi
    March 10, 2017 at 11:50 am

    I can’t remember when but when a friend of mine had her bathroom redecorated she moved into my spare bedroom for three weeks with my daughter and myself until it was sorted out. In the same year another friend also had to have work done on her house, not just her but her three children as well, she could not squeeze into my spare bedroom so I moved out of my house and let her have the whole house until her house was fit to live in. I always want to be serving sacrificially and I hope I continue to do so as much as possible.

    • Claudia Cavassa
      April 6, 2017 at 8:19 am

      That is amazing Naomi, I couldn’ have think of that option, of you leaving your whole house to them. Loved the story.

    • Lawrence
      April 22, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Great desire Naomi! So inspiring to hear. God bless you indeed.

  6. Jamie Singleton
    Jamie Singleton
    March 10, 2017 at 5:51 am

    The call to have a heart set on pilgrimage is also a call to ‘no more business’. We have been asking ourselves lots of questions. Sometimes these questions may seem irritating. Some may feel overwhelming. It feels like we are starting to pick at the threads that hold us together… It can feel quite insecure. Possibly in the same way that children of Israel got settled then God called them to pack up and move on again.

    We have been asking ourselves – Is our expression relevant? Are we pleasing God through our expression of our values?

    Years back most single people in the church were connected to a family. You would expect to find them at their house. They didn’t have to make an appointment. They would do holidays together. Now we have people in the church who have nowhere to hang out. They haven’t been drawn into families. Is this ok? Is it a different time so the value of shared life is expressed differently?

    Is our Community Hub in danger of replacing friendship evangelism? One can go ‘do’ outreach and then come home. Who from the hub has been to my house for a meal? Is it ok that we switch hub off over the summer?

    Is it ok that I have spare rooms in my house whilst other families are squashed?

    Has organising meals for new mothers become systematic? Do we do it because ‘it’s what we do’? Is it flowing out of real relationship? Is it ok to employ someone to coordinate this?

    Do we honestly have all things in common? I borrow dad’s tools whenever I want. Can Andy borrow my car in the same way? Years back we would buy open insurance so anyone can borrow my car…we don’t do this anymore. Is that ok?

    Hans lent the Paisley’s his car after their car was stolen. He took the bus to work. He said – if serving isn’t sacrificial is it really serving?

    How would I feel if you just turned up on my doorstep uninvited?

    The values we hold on to are radical to those outside of us. But when was the last time they blew your hair back? Are we still really living them? Have we come too familiar or professional (devise efficient ways to avoid inconveniencing our lives)?

    What are your ‘Is it ok that…?’ questions?

    • Keith Marsh
      March 11, 2017 at 11:08 pm

      Here’s one, “Do we all have to answer the above questions the same, or can we life a life of faith and love with diversity of opinion?”

  7. March 6, 2017 at 7:25 am

    I was looking at our central value of showing mercy. Currently having social work students I am really examining the practice of our Lifeline Ministry. How are we different from the Welfare Division advocating for the protection of children? How are we also different from a simple Missionary Society giving out Pampers?

    The focus on having an empowering relationship with our beneficiaries/members. How they can be givers whilst being receivers? How they are unconscious “members” by being users of the services? More friends than clients, not by signing on the dotted line, ascribing to the values cognitively, more “absorbing” or “becoming” as they relate to us and the life blood flows between the joints formed.”Not so much a service, more a way of life!”

    • Keith
      March 6, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Always appreciate your heart of mercy Tina – evident in all you do! What struck me in reading your comment was our ability to love is what makes clients feel like family, valued partners in the current project of rebuilding their lives. Love brings hope – they are no longer alone – and we know love never fails! If we can plant a seed of it into a situation, good things begin to grow! Love cancels the guilt many feel when they face tough times. Your smiling face and heart of love immediately communicates that there is hope for them in their current situation…

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