“Then the LORD answered me and said, ‘Record the vision and inscribe [it] on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.’” – Habakkuk 2:2-3
Vision stays the same, but the timing changes…
For those of you who have been following along with our journey here in the States through various methods of communication, here on our page, email, FaceBook, Instagram, messages, or the old fashioned way of talking 😱, you may be asking yourselves, when are we going to hear about how Everyday Sydney and Iris Sydney are going? Others of you who haven’t read any of our posts or know what we’re about, I recommend you read our other posts and get caught up (there are only 3 other posts).
So, where are we at?!
We did what it says in Habakkuk 2:2 (minus the tablets), we made our plans, we set our date, we gathered a team, and we thought we had it all sorted… Then God stepped in and decided to test our plans, timing, team, and thoughts by bringing up to the surface some things that I had chosen to not deal with fully. Things like my inability to handle conflict of any type, in a healthy way; being able to communicate my feelings; being able to communicate with my wife in deeper ways; and being able to have true intimacy. And so began our journey in a journey.
An impacting and relevant topic that Papa Mark has been speaking lately of is the heart journey and that’s one we’re on continually, and in deeper ways.
Due to this interlude in our process, in April this year we gathered our team, talked to them about the process we were on, and released them from all commitments. Part of what we shared was that we were to postpone our start date from our original plan of launching in September 2016 to now looking at starting early February 2017.
As God has been dealing with these things we’ve come to realise and have accepted that all of our plans and strategies are completely living organisms that change and evolve with us as time goes on. It’s been frustrating at times but as I continue to press into God, He reveals His purposes, plans, and timing. I know that His timing is perfect and my timing needs to line up with His, not the other way around.
For the last 3 weeks of August we were able to host Mark and Cheryl Perry, our pastors, the senior leaders of Everyday Church in California and the directors of Iris Global Central Coast. We also had 3 graduates from the Iris Leaders School – Carole Crosbie, Jenny McCaffrey, and Will Harris, join us for this time.
It was a great time of ministry and fun as we spent time with 3 churches in Sydney and 1 in Melbourne.
Mark and Cheryl spoke and ministered at GracePoint, Catch The Fire Sydney, Manly Life, and also Catch the Fire Melbourne. It was such a blessing to be around pastors and people who share a passion for Kingdom growth and expansion, being both encouraged and given an opportunity to share our vision to their congregations and giving us offers of support where they can.
In Melbourne we were hosted by Catch the Fire Melbourne families and were able to take the Americans to Phillip Island wildlife park where they were able to come face-to-face with our cutest native animals.
While in Australia, Mark was able to challenge us with our vision with some direct questions and a little pushing (with a little pushing back from me) and really helped us to nail down just what our vision was.
Vision is what we hope to achieve and is something that can be visually seen when it’s been achieved, or on its way. Our vision for Everyday Sydney is, “Seeing the rich and the poor serving one another as family, in community.” The way we plan to achieve this vision is to lead by example, serving others and celebrating who they are. It’s been my experience that everyone has something to be celebrated for and are worth serving!
A verse that God has been speaking to me about is:
“Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.’” Mark 9:35
What does it look like to serve another person? It can be in countless ways, from simply opening a car door to offering to pay for someones rent. Extreme differences in options but really if we’re called to serve all, then anywhere there is a need that you can fill and do fill, is serving. Like I said, its countless the ways in which we can serve. As long as we’re prepared to listen to the Lord’s guiding and willing to look around ourselves to see areas of need we cant go wrong. “But what if it’s my last $10?” Jesus gave His life. “But I don’t have time to help.” Jesus was only around for 34 years and He always stopped for the one. Stopping for the one doesn’t mean everyone, but the one who God puts on your heart at any given time.
We walk past possibly 100s of people a day, so why is it that we notice some people and not others? Why did God cause me to notice ‘that’ person in particular? Often I find myself (and I’m sure it’s only me that does it) judging people on the first look I have of them. But (and here’s my but 😉) I’m sure the reason God caused me to notice them was to be able to be a blessing to them rather than a judge of their appearance. So I feel like God is wanting us to see the person and then immediately ask Him, “How do you see them?” Then secondly, “How are you wanting me to bless them?” Because I KNOW that He wants everyone to be blessed. So whether that looks like, just saying a quick blessing prayer for them, going and giving them a word of encouragement, meeting a physical need (food, clothes, drink), or is He giving me a word of knowledge for them? Do they need a healing? Do they need to know the fathers love for them? Do they have a loved one who needs Him in a particular way?
Basically what I’m asking is,
Is He asking me to, “Stop for the one?”
This life is fleeting in comparison to eternity but…
“Then He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, accursed ones…’Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’” – Matthew 25:41 & 45
I refuse to allow myself to be put on the left hand side of Jesus and have these words said to me. I will serve others wherever I can. Just like in a real family, I know we will disagree on a few things here and there but at the end of the day I’m going to love you and stick with you because that’s what healthy family looks like. They come together in good times, and in bad times they stay even closer. Let’s work together to build and spread the net wide and far, to the ends of the earth even, until all tribes and tongues have heard the good news of the Lord. Jesus told us no one knows when that will be but whether it’s tomorrow or after I’ve passed away, I’m going for my “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this post and hopefully it won’t be as long before the next one comes.