Life on the front porch

Faith, life, kids & bikes

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The Community We’re Building

I get really excited about Vineyard Brussels when I see the quality of people coming in to our church. People are encountering Jesus, making friends, getting healed and they’re scattering globally with testimonies that God is doing a good thing in Brussels. When I think of what’s at stake, we need the best people in the places where they can do the most good. I know that some of our needs are very urgent, God will help us.

Some of our best workers are right beside us, just waiting to be asked personally. Some need a friend more than a task – help people make some new friends. You’re not imposing on people to ask them to help – if you love this church, they will want to be part of making it great. Let’s show people that we really mean it when we say that here, “everyone can play.”

“If I were running a company today, I would have one priority above all others: to acquire as many of the best people as I could [because] the single biggest constraint on the success of my organization is the ability to get and to hang on to enough of the right people.”
Jim Collins

Building on Friendshipo

Quotes About Hiring People

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The church I would join: values in the story of Pentecost

 I grew up in a family that loved our church.  Many of our best friends were also in our church community and I loved my friends and the way I was grown and encouraged to become a man who could follow after God.  For me, church was not a once-a-week gathering, it was my extended family and support network.  Even now, when I go home, I consider these friends as my family and I always make a point to connect with them. Continue reading

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Top tips for fasting well #1

I am reminded of the rewards that come by fasting and praying for this understanding:
  1. Fasting leads to tenderizing our hearts so that we feel God’s presence more.
  2. Fasting leads to changing our desires and enlarging our desire for righteousness (Heb. 1:9).
  3. Fasting leads to increasing our understanding of the Word and receiving prophetic dreams.
  4. Fasting leads to making our body healthier and changing what we desire to eat and drink
  5. Fasting leads to strengthening our sense of identity as sons of God before the Father and as a bride before the Son. Our identity is rooted in the knowledge of God’s affection for us.
The grace of fasting is God’s answer to our cry for “more.”  Fasting enlarges our capacity to receive truth, and accelerates the process of God’s truths taking root in our own hearts.  It is the God given way to make room for more of God and therefore, is an essential component to the age-old question of “How do I grow in love for God?”
– The Rewards of Fasting, Mike Bickle & Dana Candler

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3 Key Activities For A Church In Transition (or, how to survive your time between pastors)

This summer has given me a personal view of what happens when transition lingers or seems to have no end.  When I arrived here in Rosenort I just put my head down and worked on what I needed to.  I wrote letters, blogs and spent time with closest family.  This was transition time, transition space and I didn’t need to worry about anyone else.  The people around me had all sorts of plans for my life and I successfully brushed most of that aside too.  Now 9 weeks into a 2 week transition, I think I’m starting to see the light of day and seeing others around me

The Number 1 casualty of a church in transition

People.  A pastor leaves and people get funny, leave, stop working, open old wounds and fight for power.  None of this helps the witness of the church.

In my work with Alpha, I have found that transition is the one overriding reason that churches are not sharing the gospel in their neighbourhoods or with their friends.   Continue reading

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Get ready for Alpha in August, 3 Key Activities

It’s August, nearly the middle of the month, and in spite of waiting to move our family overseas, my mind goes into “Get Ready for Alpha” mode. I’m thinking of who I’d like to invite, who’d be on my team and anticipating the joy of seeing community form around seeking God and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

If you’re thinking of running Alpha this fall, here are 3 key activities that I’d do this month.

1. Gather the team: Continue reading

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What will the church look like on the day Jesus returns?

God’s vision for the church is found in the story of Rebekah

I was excited to bring encouragement to a local congregation recently because the scripture from the Old Testament was the story of Rebekah. I knew that this woman was an example for the Jewish people, of service and hospitality. Rabbis, pastors & scholars have used this woman’s story to describe God’s people on the day of the return of the Lord. In the generation that sees God’s messiah return, a faithful people will be found that reflect the story of this mother of our faith.

Perhaps you look at the churches in your city or at the people of faith in your social circles and, like me, you wonder, “Is this really what Jesus had in mind when he came preaching, healing & loving? Is this what Jesus died for?” The current reality seems bleak, the church weak and many people of faith can’t be distinguished from everyone else by their life and entertainment choices. Two voices come to my mind:

I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ.” – Ghandi
The best money has never been on the church. Yet the church has outlasted every economic and political system.” Gary Best


God, in the story of Rebekah, is telling us our story. You’ll find this gem in Genesis 24 and it’s the longest story told in the book of Genesis (longer than Noah, creation or Joseph). There a number of perspectives on this, but today let’s just look at this story as a shadow of our story. Continue reading

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Is going to pray like going to funeral?

This summer I’ve been invited to 7 weddings (but because of moving continents we’ll only make it to 3). What I enjoy about weddings is that I remember my own wedding and I’m reminded about what a wedding is really about. Now some people will try to tell you that “It’s all about the dress,” and others will try to convince you that a good wedding is the only way to start a good marriage. As I was packing and shredding old documents, I recently came across the budget for our wedding. Somehow we spent $309 on our whole honeymoon, including $89 for our first night in the hotel and $25 for gas to get to Edmonton. I have no idea how that happened! (But this is also why I council young couples to get married when they’re poor – they don’t have to spend as much on the rings and wedding!)

What do you think about at a wedding?

What do you think about at a wedding?

There’s so much going on at a wedding that it’s easy to get distracted by the real purpose – to find joy in the wrong things or to be frustrated by things that don’t matter. Continue reading