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Scripture says God is a good Father. Would an evil father give their child a snake when they ask for an egg — no of course not — so how much more will your Heavenly Father, who is good, give the Holy Spirit to those who ask? Luke No romance can truly succeed without trust. Is it possible to move away from the realm that always requires analysis; to let some portions of your life be impractical; to cease evaluating all things based on their utility, function or effectiveness? For now let me wish you a very happy and holy Christmas from myself and the whole Ellel Sydney team.

Last month I wrote about the passing of my Uncle Mick and how his death tapped into something deep within in me. It was a delightful season which God took me back to so He could come alongside me and reveal things I had not previously seen or understood about that season.

You see, whether we realise it or not - we have shut our hearts down. The wounds we have suffered and the lies we consequently believe have caused us to close our hearts. But sometimes in attempting to protect ourselves — we harden our hearts. It is always our fears that drive us to control things in life… and being in control of our life gives us the illusion of feeling safe. Our God is a gentleman. I need you! I do not trust you God! And so Father God will not draw near out of respect for our truer wishes… but the consequences are that we miss out on His embrace; and He misses out on cuddling His kids.

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Undoing all the root causes of that is not an easy or a swift assignment. The theme of God desiring a sacred romance with us is brilliantly unpacked in this book. If you are serious about wanting to understand this better, do yourself a favour and call the Ellel Reception and order the book! Well, Holy Spirit could surprise you in a number of ways, but it will always be very unique and special to your story, for only Father God truly knows your heart When we experience any of those above moments, we are often rattled and confused by what is surfacing in our own hearts.

In such emotional instants, when something deep in our spirit is uncovered, we usually dismiss it quickly or bury the memory or feeling… why? Because we like to control our lives, remember. So we resist and close our hearts once again. Whichever way God chooses to get our attention, whether it be songs; books; movies or in other ways… His desire is to surface a longing or yearning in our hearts, so He can address something in us today as the adult.

He wants to go deeper with us. God is in fact courting us in that moment. Why is this impacting me? What are you trying to show me or reveal to me in this moment? I hold great hope for those willing to ask such questions that they will enter the sacred romance. To gain eyes to see and understand this requires us to take a certain position. It requires a re-orientation of how we view God. It requires a shift in how we learn to recognise Abba Father reaching out to us.

I had penciled-in to go and visit him in hospital the very next day on Monday 4th September, but death is no respecter of diaries. I was deeply disappointed not to have seen my Uncle Mick one more time. I would have loved to have enjoyed a few last moments with him, laughing and reminiscing about extended family holidays and hearing some very entertaining stories none that I could repeat here!

It would have been nice to have honoured him in that way face to face. However, that was not to be. And just as disheartening was the fact that his funeral clashed with a long standing commitment I had made to run a Modular event at our Ellel Perth centre… so my disappointment was doubled when I could not attend his funeral held on the 10th September. However, I must report that God honoured that sacrifice by doing some amazing things in the lives of those who attended the WA event!

His passing represents an end of an era for my extended family. All of my older male ancestors are now gone. Admittedly there has not been much time to just stop and try to process things. But once I completed my Perth assignment and settled back into Aisle seat 28B on flight QF home-bound for Sydney, that gave me 4 hours to be still and invite Father God to reveal some missing pieces of the puzzle to me.

The Armor of God: Praying at All Times (Ephesians 6:18-20)

Here is what Father God has been showing me Perhaps even reveal something fresh that He wants us to pursue for His kingdom purpose in the future. It was a unique time in my childhood that has long since passed. Almost as though there is more healing and restoration He has yet to do in my heart or more of destiny and purpose He wants to reveal from that childhood experience. Every summer my mother, my brother and I would travel and gather with the whole extended family for about a month at my grandfather's holiday home at Narooma on the south coast of NSW.

If I close my eyes I can remember the smell of the freshly caught fish cooking with lemon-pepper seasoning on the open wood barbecue in the backyard or a big sizzling steak hitting the hotplate! I can still picture the intricate sand castles we kids erected on the beach whilst all the adults lazed around like beached whales sun-tanning on their beach towels. Back then sun protection consisted of a beach umbrella and zinc cream which only came in one colour — humiliating white! I can remember the smell of high octane V8-engined water-ski boats thundering across the water pulling us along.

It was like a series of mini rite-of-passages for me… learning to ski on knee boards; then two skis; two skis to one ski; one ski to no skies ie barefooting! There was a significant sense of value and worth imparted to me from those men during that era. That is an investment I will be forever thankful for! Over the years, I have come to appreci ate more and more just what a staggering gift and dramatic rescue those summers were for me.

Thank you Father God! Oh how I wish everyone could have been as blessed as me during those fun-filled family Christmas holidays. What was it for you in your childhood? Did you chase grasshoppers; visit the old library with a grandparent; read favorite books? Was it your first snow trip; roasting marshmallows over an open fire; secret tree houses built high up in a tree? What fond memories of your childhood does God keep bringing to mind? And what is He trying to communicate to you through re-visiting that time? What God may speak into our hearts during that process could be profound.

My own five sons and daughter have benefitted greatly — because they are now receiving what was poured into me during that season. I pray that I am half the patriarch you all were. And I want to also say a huge thank you to my Heavenly Father, who for so many years I believed had abandoned me during those early formative years just as my own earthly dad had done. But in fact God was right there during that turbulent period of my youth weaving and orchestrating His rescue plan for me!

Ever had a day when everyone seems to get a look-in except you? Let's quickly re-visit the story of Korah's rebellion from last month in Numbers Chapter A Levite priest wants to usurp Aaron and take over the priesthood, and at the same time remove Moses from leadership! The key person at the centre of this story, Korah, was a descendant of the Kohathites. They were Levite priests granted high duties in the service of the Lord at the Tabernacle. But for Korah, this high honour was not enough. He desired more. His ultimate ambition was to assume the role of High Priest.

He wanted to replace Aaron. So he manipulatively rallied others to his cause in an attempt to achieve that ambition. But to achieve that goal, he would also have to depose Moses as Leader! Korah rallied a large group of prominent men to come alongside him. The text describes how the disgruntled men who stood against Moses and Aaron were challenged to come to the Tent of Meeting with fire in their censers. This trial was now to be decided by fire! The men aligned with Korah came arrogantly to stand against Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

The Almighty spoke with words of impending doom for this rebellious group vs Their punishment was fittingly ironic: The men who dared to present themselves as priests before the Lord with fire in their censors were themselves put to death by fire vs 35 sent from the Lord, after they had been swallowed by the earth! Interestingly, it was the true Priests who were asked to collect the censers of the deceased impostors. Back to my opening question!

Ever feel like everyone else seems to be getting a look-in except you? Ever had days where you feel like you should be getting a lot more recognition offered to you? Perhaps it has even crossed your mind to whine to others about your plight in the hope of gaining a following that supports you in your cause…. The temptation is often to take things into your own hands and try to manipulate to get the result you want.

Sadly, just as Lucifer was not satisfied with the key position he had been given in heaven, so too Korah and his followers were clearly unhappy with the high position given to them. The similarities are too many to discard! The outcome for both Lucifer and his fallen angels and similarly Korah and his rebellious priests — is not something I particularly want to experience! But those who keep their heart right and choose to put their trust in the Lord like Moses and Aaron are often vindicated in due course.

I do not hold much hope for those who insist on the path of self-promotion and I certainly do not want to be standing next to them when the fire falls! However, I hold great hope for those who are humble enough and courageous enough to ask God those above-mentioned questions! Have you ever felt like you are owed something, or deserve better or even feel like you are being overlooked? You might recall the outcome involved Lucifer and about one-third of the angels being thrown out of heaven see Rev Scripture reveals similar stories from time to time where something unholy surfaces in the heart of a person and the consequences that outwork are disastrous!

In the Book of Numbers, Chapter 16, there is a story about a man named Korah who led a rebellion against Moses. The outcome is shocking! The key person at the centre of this story, Korah, happens to be a descendant of a man named Kohathite. The Kohathites were Levites who were granted high duties in the service of the Lord at the Tabernacle. But for Korah, this particular high honour was not enough. He desired even more. His ultimate ambition was to assume the role of the High Priest. Numbers In fact, Korah had rallied a very large group of prominent people to side with him… It states in Numbers This strategy is designed to get others to also rise up against Godly authority… do not join them!!

God is the one who ultimately appoints and removes those in leadership. Be wary of those who want to go about such things in ungodly ways… it only ever leads to pain and misery. Moses wisely chose to let God be his defender rather than squabble with this aggravated hoard. Insight No 2 :- Moses immediately recognized what was unfolding before him was unholy. Moses was confident that neither he, nor Aaron, had done anything to deserve the assault that came against them. Therefore he trusted that the Lord would defend him!

Sometimes I wonder if we act too soon to defend ourselves with rash responses and actions when situations come against us. If our hearts are truly right before God and there is no wrong doing on our part… maybe we need to have a little more faith that our Heavenly Father will come through in defending us. Do you believe that Abba Father wants to protect and defend you when you come under assault? When we look closer at what steps Moses took when he was under assault… he did offer this strong rebuke Now that is bizarre… because by some strange alchemy… in the minds of those coming against Moses, Egypt the nation that had enslaved and tortured them had somehow transformed from prison to paradise!

It truly is amazing how sin blinds us to the truth! Wounded embittered people often lose sight of the truth and buy into deception and lies. Maybe your boss is under-selling you! Did you ever wish you could just elevate yourself to the position you believe you deserve? You might recall there was once a mighty Angel in heaven named Lucifer, who also felt a sense of entitlement!

And that led to a rebellion in heaven, where Lucifer and one third of the angels who also rebelled with him — were all cast down to earth Rev Satan believed he knew better. In his pride, he exalted himself. He wanted to take the place of God! Consequently, he was brought down by the Most High. Ironically, when we feel we are owed something… that can make us dangerous too!

It never ceases to amaze me how we often want to take things into our own hands and manipulate the situation to our advantage… to get the result we believe is the right outcome. We might whine or whinge to others. It could be through gossip or possibly speaking poorly of those in leadership over us. And then do or say whatever it takes to make ourselves look better! But those who choose to trust in the Lord, who are prepared to be taken on a journey… I often see elevated in due course.

The next time you are offended and sense of entitlement begins to rise within … check your heart for any of those above sentiments … and remember -.


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  8. Perhaps instead of trying to get the result you are after via self-promotion the next time you feel overlooked, it would be far better to humbly ask a question like Yep, you thought last month's instalment was the final one In the Book of Daniel Chapter 2 we read about King Nebuchadnezzar having a dream that troubled him greatly! As they had all failed King Nebuchadnezzar, decreed that every one of the wise men in the land were to be put to death! At this point in the story, Daniel the prophet of God and his friends, who was included amongst these wise men, were also placed under this death penalty.

    However, Daniel asked the King for more time! He was granted that time. Daniel then asked his friends to intercede. Now, let me ask you this question… would you be able to sleep the night before your execution? But Daniel, appears to have rested peacefully overnight, where God came to him and gave him the needed interpretation! Then the scripture states that Daniel praised the God of heaven throughout the verse in Daniel Clearly, this man of God knew what it meant to wait upon a holy God with a thankful trusting heart… even in the midst of impending death!

    The key here is that God always had this situation under control. He has everything under control — whether we can see that or not! However, for most of us, we rarely attempt to steady our hearts in a crisis. Simply because we usually fail to trust in our God to come through for us. We usually believe it depends all on us. But if we could learn, to steady our hearts with thanks and praise… we too just might see God to display His hand in a powerful way.

    Remember, the key lesson Daniel teaches us is that thankfulness steadies the heart from panic and despair! If we can learn that from Daniel… we just might see how God could move come to miraculously come through more often for us when crisis comes in our life. In Part 2, I provided an invitation to seek out family, or friends, whom God might lead you to approach and share what you are thankful about regarding the impact of their life upon you. In this 3rd instalment of learning to cultivate a grateful attitude and a thankful heart, I would like to begin by looking at this passage in Luke on the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!

    Where are the other nine? What a great shame that the other nine, who were also miraculously healed by the Saviour — failed to return and say thank you and acknowledge Him as Lord also! Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? Allow me to ask… when you have done something for someone and they fail to say thank you… do you notice their ingratitude?


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    Then recognize that the One whose image we are molded from also notices when we fail to thank Him! We often pray asking God for some favour, or healing or other request to meet our life needs at specific times. But I wonder how often we actually remember to pause and deliberately thank a holy God when He has actually answered our prayer?

    Here is my practical assignment for you Sit down quietly, ask the Lord to remind you of the things you have asked Him for in prayer over the last 12 months… either for yourself, or for someone else. Then, once you have a list of prayer requests made over the last year or so… consider which of those prayer requests have actually been answered? Once you have identified how many of those prayers have been answered…ask yourself this question: -. In Part 2 here, I would like to build towards another practical suggestion that I will offer at the end of this article, which I hope will also help improve how we relate to others around us — particularly when it comes to cultivating a grateful attitude and a thankful heart.

    The Number One Reason for the Decline in Church Attendance and Five Ways to Address It

    Let me begin by reminding you of a scripture we often use at Ellel Ministries when discussing how the words of others can affect us…. The words we speak over others can either bring blessing and encouragement, or they can bring rejection and curse! With regards to cultivating a thankful heart, one way we can show gratitude and appreciation for those God has put around us, is to actually tell them how thankful we are for their influence they bring into our life today!

    The tongue that is capable of causing incredible wounds… is also capable of speaking wonderful encouragement and life giving words over people. Each article I hope will bring some practical aspect to help overcome the negativity this world can throw us. Have a look at Psalm It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Also, did you know that it was a duty for the priests in the Old Testament to thank and praise God every morning and every evening!

    Read 1 Chron Back then it was a dutiful requirement for the priests to be thanking God at least twice a day to set a model for all the people. Clearly, God saw thankfulness as important enough to have the Levites model it regularly to the Israelites, in the hope that everyone would follow suit… and learn to live a life of thankfulness as part of their daily worship of Yahweh. Back when Moses led Israel to the edge of the Promised Land, it was here that a generation faltered, simply because they failed to recognize all God was doing for them.

    Instead of thankful hearts, they were ungrateful, complaining, hard-heartedness and rebellious. Listen to the following Scripture in Hebrews referencing that grumbling generation that were left to die in the desert because of their lack of appreciation for all God had done in rescuing them from Egyptian slavery Clearly, in that passage, God viewed that whole generation as being ungrateful for how He rescued them during the Exodus. It got me thinking about how we might allow ourselves to be blindsided in the same way.

    To the point where we fail to be thankful and appreciate what the Lord has done for us! If that occurs, we could also fail to enter His rest, courtesy of our complaints, grumbling and hardened hearts! To explore that further, I want to look at some key verses that have challenged me to become more mindful and appreciative for the things Father God has done for me. The Apostle Paul in that verse is being thankful in recognizing those people God put alongside him during his kingdom exploits.

    I am not good at remembering and being thankful for those God has brought alongside me over the years who have impacted me. And every time I pick it up when things are not going so well, God always finds a way to lift my spirit and encourage me. So, who are the people that God arranged to be alongside you during crucial moments in your story?

    How did God use them to bless you? How did Abba use them to bail you out of trouble? Or rescue you? It builds into me the faith that He will be with me in my future trials. Also, recalling how the Lord used those folks at pivotal points in my life ensures I have a far more grateful and thankful heart, not just for those people, but far more gratitude for Father God who ordered their steps.

    Such a book reminds me of His wonderful deeds in my life… and it reminds me to be forever thankful for those individuals He used! And instead you will be thanking and praising God for His intervention in your life. It was a brilliant weekend. The testimonies gave full credit to the work Father God had done in every person who attended. When we are experiencing guilt, it is my personal conviction that we are feeling exactly what God intends us to feel after we have sinned. So if our conscience is functioning as it should, you are supposed to feel guilty after you have transgressed. Although, if you have hardened your heart and sinned in an area long enough - your conscience can become seared and shut down to the sensation of feeling guilt.

    Guilt is in fact the emotion we are designed to feel when we have done something wrong. We may need to apologise. Correct a wrong. It is meant to make us run back to God!

    From the Centre Director's Desk | Ellel Ministries Australia

    Guilt moves us to get relationships right with God and with others whom we may have hurt or failed. Guilt moves us to confess sin, to repent, to be forgiven, to be reconciled. In one of his psalms, King David expresses what he is feeling as he responds with a broken and contrite heart, speaking of how guilt affected him. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. It was destroying him not just emotionally, but also affecting him physically. I know these symptoms well when I have been burdened by guilt.

    But once David opened up to God and confessed his sin, God forgave him and released him from the weight of that burden. Another Psalm where David has to face the mess he has created is in Psalm Ps In fact, that whole Psalm is about David expressing his plea for mercy and being aware of his sin and asking God to create in him a new and clean heart, asking the Lord to deal with his sin and blot out his transgressions, to wipe it away, to cleanse him.

    In other words, remove his guilt! Guilt is designed to let you know that certain thoughts, words or actions were wrong or inappropriate. That prompts guilt, which goes away when we make amends, and do it right next time. Shame is something that goes much deeper, than guilt. Shame touches right into the core of our being. It affects how we see and feel about our self. Even worse, shame lies to us about how God sees us.

    To read how to overcome guilt and shame, click here to download a PDF of the full article. I can certainly resonate with that… as a parent you undoubtedly offer leadership to your own children and want to positively influence the direction of their lives. As a boss in the work place you obviously desire to exert influence. As a Church Pastor, you would certainly see one of your key imperatives is to guide, equip and influence your flock to be all they can be for Christ in their sphere of influence within the community.

    I can absolutely resonate with that too! In my very first role in leadership, I was a little shocked at how much just one particular decision I would make caused some people to become quite confrontational! Sadly, in leadership you can never please all of the people, all of the time. Real leadership is going to press a few buttons in those under you! In other words, to foresee a kingdom future that others cannot foresee. I read an article on a recent flight from Sydney to Melbourne where the author was summarizing the collective consensus of a secular conference in America of corporation giants and elite institutions.

    The conclusions of that conference about leadership in general came up with some startling conclusions. The summary overall included the observation that there was a serious shortage of genuine leaders across all sectors, who possessed the vision and character to take any organization into the future confidently and safely. That summary spoke of fear, uncertainty, and confusion amongst managers in the current light of world pressures with wavering financial markets, governments toppling; and terrorism rising.

    For me, it re-surfaced my questions about what exactly is leadership? And how do we go about offering real leadership to a troubled world? Most books I have read on leadership largely deal with improving leadership performance using better programs and theories for organizational structure and implementing better management technology tools. But are you in fact a good leader, simply because you are a good administrator or manager? It is possible to have a great leader, who is also a very good manager. Or even an excellent manager, who can also lead. To achieve this requires logistics, information, teams, budgets, ways to measure performance, progress reports and systems to bring corrective action when required.

    You could be gifted in one or all of the above areas - but still not be leading. Tom Marshall further states that Managers have to react to various situations as they arise, then bring remedial action to change the outcome or enhance the result. That is what defines good management. If you have all those skills… wonderful! But Tom Marshall stresses that does not necessarily make you a good leader. Gradually the answer to that prayer has been coming with an increasing sense and belief that the God will guide Ellel Ministries into becoming a significant para-church ministry that will provide hope, shelter, healing and equipping for many in the difficult days that lay ahead.

    Most of what I and my excellent leadership team around me are doing right now, involves positioning Ellel Gilbulla to be positioned and ready to be that kind of influence for the Body of Christ in our nation. I have observed that it is only restored, whole and mature Leaders that can possess spiritual foresight. So I have been asking Father God to continue honing my character when it still needs to be refined. I have seen too many wounded and insecure leaders make decisions that either appease others, or make decisions that best serve themselves.

    Those same sons and daughters being restored and raised up, will understand they need to be more conformed to the likeness of Christ if they are serious about becoming leaders of calibre. Have I become a leader that ticks all those boxes yet? Not quite. But I am growing. And Abba Father is faithfully answering my prayer day by day. My heart is not just to become such a leader with that kind of spiritual foresight and character… I want to be raising many others to become such leaders for the next generation! How about you? In short, a spiritual gift is a special ability given by the Holy Spirit through a born-again Christian to the people of God for the purpose of spreading the awareness of the glory of God throughout the earth.

    Once we realize spiritual gifts also are needed in the marketplace, we must activate the "varieties of gifts" that have been entrusted to marketplace Christians 1 Cor. Although marketplace ministry often is defined through the lens of one particular spiritual gift, the ministry has many different expressions beyond the ones that come most naturally.

    For example, one whose primary spiritual gifts are serving as a pastor and exercising compassion likely would view marketplace ministry as a calling to care for the personal needs of his employees and co-workers as a chaplain would. But this is only one expression of marketplace ministry.

    One whose primary spiritual gift as a marketplace Christian is apostleship might tend to view ministry in the marketplace as a calling to become like the Old Testament's Joseph, Daniel or Esther, rising to the upper echelons of the "seven mountains of culture" to make a transformational impact for God's kingdom. This popular emphasis of marketplace ministry is yet another unique expression of what God is doing in the business world. A marketplace Christian whose dominant spiritual gift is evangelism probably would be more inclined than most other marketplace Christians to evangelize in his workplace.

    We all are called to lead others into the saving knowledge of Jesus, but for some, this is their most prominent spiritual gift. An individual with the gifts of miracle-working and healing might say that marketplace ministry is about pursuing supernatural signs and wonders in a business setting. Andy Mason leads an organization named Heaven in Business at Bethel Church in Redding, California, which trains marketplace Christians to use these gifts in the marketplace.

    A marketplace Christian with the spiritual gift of cross-cultural ministry likely would view marketplace ministry as a calling to reach foreign lands with the gospel. The relatively new phrase, "business as mission," is the tagline for how this spiritual gift operates in the international business world. International businessman and author Ken Eldred emphasizes this aspect of marketplace ministry as he finances and builds multimillion-dollar "kingdom businesses" in India and China to transform these nations with the gospel.

    To fulfill Jesus' mandate to "make disciples of all nations," all of the church's spiritual gifts must be activated. Can you imagine the impact that could be made if every marketplace Christian identified his spiritual gifts, understood how to use them for ministry in a business setting and used them every day in the marketplace? He is the podcast host and lead blogger for Theology of Business theologyofbusiness. Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit.

    Click here to keep us strong! Rutland's training for yourself and then enroll for the full training that will change your life and ministry. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team. Gain the knowledge that will help propel your life and ministry to the next level as you implement practical lessons from Dr.

    Rutland's training. Training Dates and Details. The NICL Online is a brand new option for those church and ministry leaders who cannot attend the in-person training. Then take time to listen to Him and receive His direction. Thank You for answering every time and for giving me my heart's desires. I give You all the glory. Read a companion article. Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox!

    Click here to subscribe to our newsletter. Great Resources to help you excel in ! Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Please consider the following statements pertaining to comments posted by you and other visitors to our website:. It's a challenge for most pastors to find a way to inspire church members to develop a heart for those outside their communities.

    Please follow these guidelines before commenting on our website: Please be considerate and respectful of your fellow posters. If Jesus and your mother would not approve of your writing, you should revise your comment before submitting. Use standard writing style and punctuation.