Oxygen to breathe

Over these last few months, I have heard a number of people offering their thoughts around prayer, what it is and means to them, how it happens and what we need to learn.

Someone recently related it to the ability to breathe and got us thinking around that point in an aeroplane journey when you are told to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping someone else.

Part of me has always thought of this a little differently because I would always want to help others first, believed I should put them before me and somehow should be thinking about how to save others rather than myself.

But the question was put, that how can we save others if we are not looking after ourselves? If I do not have my own oxygen mask on, how can I help others put theirs on?

The same is true about prayer and our relationship with God, how can we help others with theirs if we are not sorting our own relationship out? How can we encourage others to grow in their relationship with God if we are not doing things to grow ourselves?

A lot of this comes back to the old phrase that we can only give out of what we receive, and we have a God who is able and wanting to give so much. The challenge is whether we are in a place to receive. Do we put ourselves in that place? Or do we think we are doing ok and we can just help others?

This has changed my way of thinking about prayer and my ability to help others. I for one, will be doing a lot more to look after myself so that I can help others, as I want to be able to be in the place that I can help as many people as possible,

Mentoring leaders 

It is great to be able to announce a new project that we are involved in, which will be launching later this year.

Through a partnership between the Bible Society in Australia, YFC International and ourselves, a new app is being launched this year, where young people can go to ask questions about faith and life.

There will be a variety of ways that this will work within the app, but what is exciting for us, is that young people can ask questions in a safe environment and young leaders will respond to those questions.

So what part are we playing?
To start with, there will be 24 young leaders under the age of 30 from across the world, responding to the questions sent in. Our role is to mentor them to ensure they have the space and time to grow as leaders, but also to explore any issues that may come up through this process.

As soon as this app is officially launched, we will send out information for young people to engage with it, but it is exciting to know that all the appropriate safe-guarding will be in place and there will be space available for young people to work things out, ask those questions and have help to process them. For us, it will be great to support young leaders, help them grow and enable them to work through their own questions, as they in turn support and enable others do the same.

So, we ask for your prayers for the following, please:
1: An increase of young leaders to support and answer questions that the young people send in.

2: That young people will engage with this and ask the questions.

3: That we will be able to raise up other mentors to support the young leaders.

4: That extra support, particularly in terms of finance, comes our way to enable us to take on this project and mentor these young leaders appropriately.

Removing the obstacles 

Easter is always an interesting time for us at RolltheRock as it is where we get our name from!! The rock was rolled away, Jesus came out of the tomb, back to life, revealed himself again to people.
Jesus arguably may not have come out of the tomb without the rock being removed, the obstacle to his revelation being removed!!
In writing this, I wonder how many obstacles/rocks we create, putting them in the way of our relationship with Jesus, or even being able to see him, or allow him to reveal himself to us?
Jesus is never the one to create or place the obstacles, it is only us who do that. But there is a challenge to what those obstacles are, and why do we put them there, after all, all that Jesus wants to do is reveal himself to us, have that life-giving relaitonship with us, and enable us to have all that he has to give us.
RolltheRock is all about removing obstacles, bringing freedom, releasing people into all that god has for them, we are not about placing obstacles, putting rocks in the way. If Jesus didn’t put obstacles in the way then we shouldn’t either!!
So the rock was rolled away, an active movement on behalf of God to enable his son to rise from the dead, and reveal himself to people again.  What active movements do we have to make to encounter the living God, to build that relationship. Not only has god removed the physical rock to enable his son to rise from the dead, but in doing this God has removed all the obstacles from his side to that loving relationship with us, so we shouldn’t put any in to replace the one’s that god has removed.
This Easter time, as well as thanking god for removing the rock, to enable his son to rise form the dead, let’s also ensure were people who move any obstacles we create, so we can encounter the living god.

Freedom 

In a recent U2 song, the lyric says: “free yourself to be yourself, if only you cold see yourself!”
To be ourselves we need to rid ourselves of restraints and constraints that either we place upon ourselves, or others place upon us. As the song says, we need to  free ourselves, to be ourselves!  But many, find it hard to free themselves to be themselves, for various reasons, illness, job, social constraints, experiences from our past. But part of freeing ourselves, comes in the last line, of the earlier lyric, “if only you could see yourself!” If only we could see ourselves as God sees us! Some of the restraints and constraints placed by others, and by oursleves could well be removed if we actually lived our lives, and understood, more fully, how god looks at us, and loves us, values us, forgives us, enables us! And if we lived our knowing, believing the truth of how god sees us, we would indeed live much more freer lives.  In Galatians 5.1 Paul states that it was for freedom that Christ died for us. For our freedom, for each persons freedom, and so if Christ has died for our freedom, freedom is there to be taken in the lives that we lead, with the boundaries that exist for each of us.
I know that i want to live a free life, and so have determined, and am also believing in the freedom that Christ offers me, and am determined more than ever now to live a freed life, and enable others around me to live that freed life also.

Andy