Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Moment in Time!!

I mentioned previously that I had an amazing prophetic word from the gym last week and have been thinking about sharing it publicly. I felt quite challenged actually that I even dare keep it to myself! Even if people read it and feel it's not of God for them - it blessed me awesomely! So here it is. I was listening to Whitney Houston's powerful rendition of "One Moment in Time". For those who don't know the song - here it is:

What God said, seemed to take the form of a sort of commentary in between the lines. I think the best way to explain it was that my heart seemed to seize on the lyrics as MY prayer to God and His answer was in between each line. Here's how it went;

"Each day I live
I want to be a day to give the best of me
I'm only one, but not alone
My finest day is yet unknown

There in your prayer is the longing of every man and woman - I see everything, I hear every ache and every moan and it is destiny that is My gift to enable My finest creation to aim for it's highest and it's greatest. I didn't create you to be introspective and to crawl on your faces like the ants. I created you to receive downloads of My glory. I created you to receive the sure and certain knowledge that I accept you as righteous. I created you to walk with shoulders back and a head held high like Enoch of old who walked with me. Your finest day IS yet unknown - I have so much to show you, so much to share with you, so much love to pour on you!

I broke my heart for every gain
To taste the sweet, I faced the pain
I rise and fall,
Yet through it all this much remains

I want one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams
Are a heart beat away
And the answers are all up to me

You want one moment? Let me tell you that one moment in time has happen. Let me take you back and show you what that moment meant from heaven's perspective. The death of My Son was never an accident. It was always going to be the pinnacle moment in history. When My Son was first pierced and blood ran down His hands all of heaven winced. For the value of the blood corresponds to the value of the life it runs through - and there is none more precious in My eyes than Him. When He spread out His arms and cried out; "It is finished!" - the divide between heaven and earth was removed FOREVER!!

Never again will angelic warriors stand between mankind and My Presence and My glory. That one moment in time changed history forever. The veil in the Temple ripping in two was but a small sign. In reality the whole of the spiritual world was rent in two. Demons were sent howling in fear and terror and mankind was re-united with Me. The way has been made open - then, now and forever. Why? Because the blood was and is powerful enough to forgive every sin, past, present and future and I - God the Just - am satisfied!

Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel, I will feel eternity
I've lived to be the very best

I will and I have and I am yet to give you the full awesome blessing of that one moment - never let it's reality leave you. Never let it's power leave you - for that moment did not end with My Son's death on the Cross. Had He remained there - your hope would be in vain. Had He remained on earth then the world would never be covered with My glory for all nations would have to come to seek Him - the Man. He has returned to My side! The moment of joy, of rapture, of ecstasy when My Son entered My glory Presence and I saw Him! The wonder of relationships re-born! Yet I knew it would never be just Him! For He brought many sons to glory with Him.

That one moment? That one moment when the Holy Spirit came to us with joy, anticipation and passion and said to us; "Is it time? Can I go?". My glorified, resurrected and exalted Son replied; "Yes - it's time". And He went - to return at the climax of the consummation of the ages. He went like a tidal wave - each wave greater than before. He went to accomplish My ultimate aim - the fame of My Name from sea to sea from shore to shore. He went freely. He went of His own - yet our love motivated Him to go. He went so that God Almighty would live with each and everyone of My children. He went to bring HEAVEN to EARTH!

You're a winner for a lifetime
If you seize that one moment in time
Make it shine

The answer to your prayers? You must seize that one moment - you must understand what happened in that one moment when eternity stoood still. Live in that moment. Let My Spirit teach you and tell you of the power of what happened in that one moment. Let it flood and lift you and compel you! My Son accomplished this - it's done - and for you! So that you and I can walk together and live together and love together in relationship forever! Never to be broken again by sin, by fear, by enemys! Hell has no voice in heaven anymore! I will never again hear the lies of the devil that your sin can seperate you from Me! For the price is paid. I'm waiting for you!

Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams
Are a heart beat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time

I will be, I will be, I will be free
I will be, I will be free".

Oh here is true freedom. Here your burdens, your aches and your broken heart will roll away. Come and live in that "one moment". Come and read and re-live it with Me. For My Son's wounds are ever fresh. My Son's sacrifice will never go "out of date". Never will it expire! Your wounds may heal and the blood is not enough. My people Israel had to constantly sacrifice animals without spot so that they could approach Me. And they couldn't even come close. Yet just that one sacrifice - just that "one moment in time" has accomplished forever what the sacrifice of bulls and goats could not. The value - the eternal immense never-ending value of just one drop of My Son's blood is far greater than any negative thing you can imagine that may grieve Me.

One moment in time! You are free My children. You are free forever to come fellowship, rejoice, love and live in My grace and in My glory".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fathers and Sons / Teachers and Disciples / ...

I've just finished reading the recently released third part in the "Inheritance Cycle" - a book called "Brisingr" and greatly enjoyed it. Briefly it's a book about a young hero called Eragon who becomes a "Dragon Rider" and his realising that his destiny is to have to fight an evil king called Galbatorix - who is also a Dragon Rider. In many senses it has many similar themes to other fantasy and fiction novels (all of which I greatly love!). But the one theme that gripped me particularly in the reading of "Brisingr" is the theme that is ever so common in many novels - and it's that of the "teacher and pupil".

Here's a few of my other favourites - that prove my point. In "Starwars" - Luke Skywalker is mentored by firstly Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi and then by the Master Yoda. In "Lord of the Rings" - Frodo Baggins is mentored and cared for by the wizard Gandalf (with input from the elves Eldrond and Galadriel. In the "Matrix Trilogy" - the One Neo receives advice from the Oracle and from Morpheus. And of course the "Harry Potter" series - the young wizard Harry is accompanied by the formidable Headmaster Albus Dumbledore right through to the penultimate book.

In the "Inheritance Cycle" - Eragon spends some considerable time with another Elf Dragon Rider called Oromis and his dragon and then again some final training in the third book; "Brisingr". I was gripped by the account of the training. Much of the final preparation before Eragon is sent into battle involves talking which perhaps isn't very dramatic - but what gripped me was the vital relaying of information and experience. At the end of the book much to Eragon's surprise, Oromis and his dragon follow him into their own battle elsewhere.

So here's some of my thoughts about how these teacher/student themes may apply to the Kingdom of God;

1. Teachers are VITAL to the continuation of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus spent just 3 years in ministry and although those who preach and teach the gospel of salvation single out Jesus Christ's death on the Cross as central to everything (the "Gospel Song" is an example) - we also cannot forget that Jesus chose 12 disciples to spend those three years with Him. At the end of those 3 years He didn't just abandon them and go back to heaven. He commissioned them with a command to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth - He empowered them with the promise of the enduement of power from the Person of the Holy Spirit. That empowerment would enable those disciples to "do the works ... and greater works". But I'm jumping ahead of myself - those disciples had their lives changed FOREVER by being called by Jesus and those 3 years with Him. What He taught them in those 3 years was more than vital. What He taught them surely ensured the first step in the "spreading flame" of the Church that would come.

2. Teachers MUST make their students go FURTHER than them in the Kingdom of God.

One of my concerns with the gospel of salvation emphasis is that we are forgetting that Jesus Christ Himself said to His disciples; "It is BETTER for you that I go away". It's not blasphemous therefore to say we are in a far better position to have the outpoured Holy Spirit - because the Son of God said it Himself! So surely our responsibility is to remain ever grateful and ever worshipful for what Jesus Christ did in that key moment on Calvary. As a matter of fact I was at the gym yesterday and was listening to Whitney Houston's incredible; "One Moment in Time" and I feel that God spoke to me very powerfully about "that moment" when the veil was torn in two. I'm just praying about it to see whether it is something to share publicly or just for me.

But the theme that goes throughout the novels. Eragon, Harry Potter, Frodo - they all spent this absolutely invaluable time with their mentors and teachers and fathers - Gandalf, Dumbledore, Oromis. But there comes a point when the teaching is done and the mentoring is over and the students have to step out on their own and all of them face a moment of loneliness and absolute vulnerability. There's a key moment in "Brisingr" where Oromis stuns Eragon even further. Eragon has just learnt that his mentor Oromis will go to war. He says;

"But if you die" said Eragon, feeling very small, "and yet we still succeed in killing Galbatorix and freeing the last dragon egg, who will train that dragon and his rider?". Oromis surprised Eragon by reaching out and clasping him by the shoulder. "If that should come to pass" said the elf, his face very grave, "Then it will be your responsibility, Eragon ... to instruct the new dragon and Rider in the ways of our order".

There comes a moment when the student must realise that the time has come for him to become a teacher or mentor or father. And surely any teacher that doesn't push their students to go further and accomplish more in the Kingdom of God than they are falling a little short of what they could be doing.

3. Teachers CANNOT simply lecture theoretical knowledge ... it MUST be impartations of power.

One of my favourite insights into the role of the apostle came from Dave Holden. He said that apostles have;

"To impart the Holy Spirit. This could be introducing people to the baptism in the Holy Spirit, or enabling a church to have fresh encounters of the Holy Spirit. It may also be signs and wonders. Apostolic ministry is far more to do with impartation than administration".

Surely any professor of theology can sit and absorb text book after text book and then re-hash it in a classroom. Surely any student of theology can sit in the said classroom and write notebook after notebook and sit an exam and then declare himself or herself "trained in theology". There is a massive difference between that and the true teachers in the Word of God - and indeed in my favourite novels. How so?

Jesus Christ "breathed upon" His disciples and said; "Receive the Holy Spirit". I realise that there are different theological views on whether anything actually was imparted when He breathed on them (I personally think something did). But that aside - Jesus is known as the "Baptizer in the Holy Spirit". It was His ascension and glorification that meant the Holy Spirit could be poured out. Jesus was a teacher who imparted power and encounter. Even Paul the great apostle to the Gentiles knew far more about spiritual life than just theoretical knowledge. He had 3rd heaven encounters, he saw miracles and signs and wonders. And any student of his would have known that and would have learnt the secrets of staying fresh in the supernatural.

In my novels? Well as I mentioned in "Brisingr" - I was gripped by reading the vital conversations that occured between Eragon and Oromis. The young Eragon learned some vital secrets that could mean the difference between success and failure. But I wasn't expecting the climax of the book. It read something like this;

"Saphira descended towards the clearing by Oromis's pinewood house, where Glaedr and Oromis stood waiting for them. Eragon was startled to see that Glaedr was wearing a saddle nestled between two of the towering spikes on his back and that Oromis was garbed in heavy travelling robes of blue and green, over which he wore a corslet of golden scale armour ... a tall, diamond-shape shield was slung across his back, an archaic helm rested in the crook of his left arm and around his waist was belted his bronze-coloured sword Naegling".

I got a shiver of excitement when I read that! The teacher is going to war. It reminds me of something Rob Rufus said;
"Let me say this - I strongly believe with many others that I have studied and investigated who have got such wonderful results - I don't listen to theologians who talk about healing and who are not seeing the sick healed. I'm not interested in them - they are not producing the fruit then I am not listening to their doctrine. Because they are eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil not from the tree of life".

I have to say that the only teacher I can really relate to in this manner was my pastor Dr Stanley Jebb - with whom I was so SO fortunate to be able to go and visit for some months a few years ago. Now Dr Jebb was and is a theologian par excellence (my big regret being that he hasn't put any of his teaching into print). And admittedly a lot of the time we spent together, he was lecturing me and teaching me. But the amazing practical impartation came from hearing him pray. What a man of prayer!

So ... for those who have been blessed to sit under teachers and fathers. Count yourselves blessed. But remember - we must go further than our teachers! Are your teachers imparting power to you? Are your teachers taking part in spiritual warfare? And above all - don't forget. The day is coming when YOU may have to teach and father others too. The Kingdom of heaven is waiting to break out on Planet Earth!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Rory and Wendy Alec on Todd Bentley (and a few other bits)

I had an email from God TV this morning and was interested to see that it was Rory and Wendy Alec and they were talking about Todd Bentley. I'm glad of this because I know public opinion that was anti-Todd generally blamed God TV (I think) for the publicity that it took to Florida. So it's suitable in a sense that the Alecs who made that decision had a say on the matter. I have to confess before-hand that I've been guilty of not thinking hugely highly of the Alecs. I've watched quite a bit of God TV since I moved to Birmingham and have watched a lot of their commentary - particularly around the Jerusalem "altar" thing.

An Apology and a Clarification ...

Before I copy what they had to say (and I think it's good and sensible and balanced and non-judgemental and full of hope) - I just wanted to make a correction to something I said in my previous post and may have unwittingly caused a bit of offence to my fave Florida blogger Janelle. I'd never ever want to do that as she's a great friend so wanted to set the record straight. I mentioned in passing the "Gospel Song" that SGM sing and didn't perhaps make the most flattering of comments about it. I want to make it clear that I wasn't against the song. It's a pretty simple song and can be quite powerful when used appropriately in worship. Although "Draw Me Close to You" still wins in my book ...

What I had a problem with was the DVD showing of a sketch that they performed at Covenant Life Church in which the performance of the "Gospel Song" was the climax. I have looked for the sketch on You-Tube but can't seem to find it. As I recall it was performed as part of CLC's 30th year anniversary or 25 years. It began with various people being introduced and singing different expressions of the Gospel and of the Kingdom. The only one I really remember (because it's probably the expression of my background deep in Ern Baxter and the Dales Bible Bible) was one where a man comes on stage and sings; "I'll build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail". Each person keeps singing and singing until the whole chorus sounds a bit loud.

Then a lady comes on and sings the Gospel Song and everyone else falls silent. The message seemed to me to be that all these other expressions are simply that - noise and they are inferior to the simple message that Jesus Christ died for our sins. And as I tried to say perhaps badly before - it's not that I disagree with the song itself. It's the suggestion that all other aspects of the Gospel are inferior. Why do we have to strip the Gospel down to it's bare bones? To the bones of salvation? That's my problem with the sketch. Hope that clears it up!

Lakeland ...

Now onto Rory and Wendy Alec and their comments on Lakeland;

"Beloved GOD TV viewer,

In the light of many statements having been released about the LAKELAND OUTPOURING and concerning Todd Bentley’s marital situation, we sensed that the Lord has released us to write concerning this situation, so that you, our viewers would know our heart concerning this matter.

The first thing we feel led to do is to state unequivocally that in the same manner as the Lord instructed us to broadcast and serve TheCall gatherings with Lou Engle; to broadcast what was happening at the International House of Prayer with Mike Bickle; Rick Joyner and MorningStar; the Solemn assembly in San Francisco; BattleCry and Teen Mania with Ron Luce; Focus on the Family’s prayer event for America; the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem; and hundreds of other anointed events over the past three years, we believe that the Lord instructed us to broadcast the Outpouring services at Lakeland with Todd Bentley.

It was not a mistake.
It was not by mistake.

We believe it was a clear instruction from the Lord.

Over the past twelve years, but especially since our launch in America, we have in obedience to the Lord searched through the earth for those events and anointings that the Lord has laid on our hearts – to amplify their message and anointing to the Body of Christ in this crucial endtime hour that we live in.

The Lakeland Outpouring with Todd Bentley was one of those events. We received over 45 000 e-mails many, many of these heart rending, powerful testimonies from viewers across the earth of their bodies or their families bodies healed, their lives transformed and their hearts revived.
None of us have ever seen such significant fruit in all the years of broadcast.

Far more profound than that were the desperate cries for help. I (Wendy), would go through the live inbox and see the desperate cries from mothers, wives, sons and daughters, so many with TERMINALLY ILL husbands, wives, children, sometimes babies in arms – sensing HOPE in their situation that for so long had been without hope.

Just reading these prayer requests would bring one to tears –
We are often so cloistered from the agony of peoples day by day real life agonies - and their agonies were written there.

So much so - that we both sensed that would need the word of the Lord under the fear of God to stop these broadcasts with the life changing impact they were having in homes not only in the UK and America but all across the world. And the Glory of the Living God that was being imparted.

We both kept a very close pulse on the revival since the start of its broadcast - we had first hand knowledge of the enormous criticism, persecution and reviling that Todd Bentley was receiving (often we were second contenders for it) but it was Todd Bentley and the Fresh Fire team who received the terrible weight of this.

Todd ministered each day as the revival continued but was consistently and unrelentingly criticized, maligned, persecuted - the attacks grew increasingly violent - and the heartbreaking thing was that so much of it came from the Church.

At the same time, Todd was facing a second wave of attack. This was from the covens, the warlocks - we heard firsthand concerning some of these assignments. The enemy had heard of the great honoring of the Lamb and was determined to destroy it - BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE AND AT ANY COST.

And the cost was Todd Bentley.

Was it because Todd was vulnerable and certain areas of his life were not surrendered wholly? Yes – like so many of us - in all probability.

Was it because the character of Christ was not yet formed in him in the equivalent measure to his gifting? Yes - like so many of us - in all probability.

Could it be the case that there by the grace of God go YOU AND I… Yes - In all probability.
Some of the areas in our lives are watertight and have been honed and refined and polished by the Lord while still other areas in our lives are often still in desperate need of attention. We are an ongoing work and we work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Well - all ministers who preach should ensure their lives are in order, you may be saying.
Yes - we and our board and our minister peers across the globe agree wholeheartedly.
And yet, beloved - unfortunately, THERE ARE TIMES when satan comes unawares and targets a vulnerable area whose weaknesses only become apparent under the most enormous and unrelenting pressure brought to bear.

We believe and of course this is just our personal opinion, that the revival stirred up the satanic realms in a manner that has rarely been seen and with a violent wrath.
It is difficult to understand the degree of spiritual battle that comes against a leader. We have learned we need to protect the move of God with greater prayer for leaders, including ourselves. The body of Christ is growing in greater transparency and accountability, and this too should be a subject of prayer.

Should all of us wait till we are as perfect and as watertight as can be and mature in every area - that of course, would be the safest course of action, but the truth is that most of us would be 90 years old!

The Lord who made us and knows that we are as dust and yet looks on us with His great mercies and compassions knows this and He the sovereign God of heaven and earth still chooses to take a GOD-risk on you and I every day of our lives.
That even under the most intense pressure that we would choose HIM.
That we would love HIM.
That in times of intense duress and temptation that we would follow HIM.

And let it be so - even more in all our lives, but beloved - let us not forget so many of those who walk in ministry across the earth today with such COURAGE and FERVOR and lay their lives down for HIS CAUSE at great cost to themselves - Todd and Shonnah sowed their lives to sow the seeds of revival and we believe became a supreme target of the enemy.

On the June 23rd, Todd actually spoke openly and with great vulnerability of his and Shonnah’s previous marriage challenges and how they had faced those challenges and the Lord had begun His work. He did not try to hide their struggle but shared their ongoing journey.
As Rick Joyner so wisely put it –
"In marriage, I have learned there are those who admit they have been through times when they wondered if their marriage would make it, and then there are liars. Relationships are hard, and the closer they are, the harder they can be. I tell everyone that I give premarital counseling to that the Lord has ordained their marriage in order to kill both of them! That is true. It is also worth it! The greatest gift He gave to man was marriage and family. However, to have a marriage that is good, both will have to die to themselves. If either one does not make the commitment to lay down their life for their mate and their family, then what was meant to be heaven can be hell."

It is an ongoing walk - and we all are ongoing works. But the Lord said something to us some years ago - He said - When you hate sin because it HURTS ME - then it will lose its grip on you. When you hate sin because it displeases ME - its hold diminishes.

The Lord also shared with us that someone can be deceived in an AREA of sin but it does not necessarily mean that in every area of his or her life or ministry, they were walking in deception as some critics of the revival may lean to believe.

And who is to judge that the Lord does not hold the violent unleashing of criticism and faultfinding and tearing down and divisiveness of the heresy hunters, as severe a sin as separation in a marriage?

We will find out before the judgement seat in eternity.

One of our greatest grievings has been to see how many in the church backtracked to protect their own reputations. We have been truly refreshed by several close ministry friends with their uncompromising love of truth and lack of a man pleasing spirit that has arisen in the church in the light of the Lakeland aftermath. They have given us fresh courage when we grew weary.

So beloved friend –

Do we at GOD TV refute the Outpouring? NO.

We are presently planning to broadcast other offshoots of Lakeland in both the United Kingdom and America, including revival meetings in Dudley, England.

We have determined in our hearts to follow the Lord with all our might as courageously and as boldly as we can, to reject the pressures to bow to a man pleasing spirit but instead to humble ourselves under the Fathers leading.

For HE is our all in all.
He is our great desire.

Finally, dear friends, while we defend and rejoice in the many ten thousands that God lifted and healed, we also know that there were dear souls, sheep, who were scattered as a result of Todd’s personal choices. The Bible says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick” and this is the last thing GODTV would want to see happen. We arepraying for any that stumbled and believing that the Lord will restore them to Himself.

Remember: this was never about Todd Bentley. It was always about the Holy Spirit and the fact that God loved you and I. It was GOD who touched our lives.
One thing, we felt impressed upon our hearts thirteen years ago when we first launched this ministry. That the Father will allow none of us - whether in ministry or as a viewer to hold idolatry in our hearts for any man.

For the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit alone are to receive our worship.
We continue on the road to maturity.We continue our efforts to serve an end time spiritual army.

We continue to try each day to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of the ONLY one who is worthy of ALL adoration.

Remember also, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Let’s turn our eyes toward Him and away from our trust in man.
He who sent His only begotten Son.
The Great Father of Compassions.
To Him alone we bow.
Personally we believe that the best is yet to come.
For our King and His Kingdom".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

God Spoken About at the United Nations!!

Like Lydia, I'm not really a politics sort of person. I guess if tied down I would say I'm mildly conservative but drift towards Labour - mainly due to my nursing career. (Labour = socialism for my non-UK friends!). However I was setting myself a hour hour run on the treadmill at the gym last night and I was intrigued to see that the President of Iran - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - was speaking at the United Nations and the newscasters premised the speech by saying it would be controversial. And that it was according to what I read on the translators. However that's not the purpose of my post.

What impressed me, challenged me and irritated me was that the President was less than unashamed to state boldly his belief in God. The Name of God was mentioned in probably the most famous world political forum and it was being broadcast around the world! Except it was the Islamic version of their belief in Who God is and was and what His purposes were for the world. Here's an example from his speech in 2007;

"I will also speak to you about the need for remedying the present situation, prospects for a brighter and a more hopeful future, and about the appearance of the sublime and beauty, compassion and generosity, justice and blossoming of all the God-given human talents and the prominence of faith in God and realization of the promise of God".

Here's the thoughts that bothered me. When will the Name of God - the God we believe in - be shouted from the rooftops? We sing; "You are the Lord - the Famous One!" - but is He? And more importantly when will He become famous? Correction - when will He become more famous than He is already? When will He become so famous that the Scripture becomes true - the glory of God has covered the earth as the waters cover the sea?

I realise that many more have perhaps thrown the Florida Outpouring out the window since Todd Bentley's news spread. For example I was disappointed to read R T Kendall's dismissal of Lakeland - mind you, he similarly dismissed Toronto didn't he? But I still persist in maintaining that something HAPPENED in Lakeland. We saw something - we got a taste of something that God means to continue. Here's a video clip of when the Outpouring was meeting in the stadium - and I still get a thrill to see an 11 year old boy climb out of his wheelchair for the first time - AND give God the glory for it.

And I know what some Anonymous commentators may say - where's the proof, where's the doctors reports, where's the evidence blah, blah, blah. Yere - but what's better to be in danger of deception or to be so discerning that you risk never receiving something from God? I know the answer - we shouldn't have to choose. We should be so balanced that we recognise a genuine move of God. The problem that I'm considering is that the best way to become acquainted with the genuine supernatural of God is to actually experience it. And how can we ever experience it if we are so discerning that we never allow it into our lives or our churches?

I've grappled every now and then with the concern that Rob Rufus and the guys in Hong Kong go on too much about the supernatural. I think that song I heard Covenant Life Church perform while I was in SGM was to blame for that - the one that went something like; "Holy God in love became perfect something to bear my pain on the Cross He took my shame by His something I live again" (sorry my memory has faded although we sung it endlessly in Bristol). There's nothing wrong with the song. What I objected to was the sketch in which they seemed to mock other perspectives on the Kingdom of God such as His dominion or His healing power ("I will build My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it"). The impression was given that if you didn't build your entire theology around this salvific motif then you were to be mocked.

That being said I actually DO believe that the Gospel is the central focus of Christianity - of course it has to be! But I don't believe it should be limited to what that song made it. Rob Rufus highlighted that error - making it all about the gospel of salvation rather than the gospel of the kingdom which INCLUDES salvation. That distinction was vitally important for me! And once I grasped it in Hong Kong - I could see that it is through demonstrations of His power verifying the Gospel that His fame really will sweep across this planet.

When will the Name of God be spoken of at the United Nations? Hasten the day Lord!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Righteous Frustration!!

I go through pangs of guilt every now and then that I don't feel happier with my Christian life. The last couple of Sundays I have been at the gym when "Songs of Praise" has been on and I've felt guilty at the unnerving spectacle of the row upon row of Christians singing wonderful songs but with dead-pan faces. Why aren't we as Christians happier? Or more joyful? Of course I cannot judge those who appear on "Songs of Praise" on their expressions alone. To be sure some of them may have joy inexpressible in their hearts - but the Bible does seem to suggest that out of the mouth will flow the affairs of the heart. If we had that genuine joy inexpressible in response to the touch of a divine God then the world would know.

I earnestly believe that. The problem then with a miserable Church is not God - but us. We haven't encountered Him and the revelation of His grace as we should. John Piper talked about the way to get white-hot for God is to get near to His white-hot heart! I don't think the problem is getting orthodoxy right but getting zeal for His house right and allowing it to consume us. To be sure Todd Bentley had problems with matters of orthodoxy but no one can deny his zeal and the impact he had and I believe will continue to have.

All that said, I still feel guilty and think should I heed my parents counsel and "settle"? I was thrilled therefore to find the following in my new book that I am enjoying; "The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind".

"I have come to see that the normal Christian life means miracles, spiritual intervention and revelation. It means peace, joy, love, a sense of well-being and purpose - all these traits that ellude so many Christians. Written into the spiritual DNA of every believer is an appetite for the impossible that cannot be ignored or wished away. The Holy Spirit, the very Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, making it impossible for us to be content with what we can only see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Our hearts know there is much more to life than what we perceive with our senses; we are spiritually agitated by the lack of connection with the realm of the supernatural".

What a sense of freedom! What a sense of joy and relief! Suddenly I see a diagnosis that the problem is not that I and many others are just miserable and frustrated - but that it is within our spiritual DNA! Bill Johnson mentioned again this theme that seems to keep coming up and up - that the SAME Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is WITHIN us! How can we then not expect signs and wonders and miracles and interventions in our lives?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Simple Gospel of Power!!

I indulged myself in two books from the St Andrews Christian bookshop the other day because I found that I was re-reading some of my favourites again for the third time this month! So I brought Heidi and Rolland Baker's "The Hungry Always Get Fed" and Bill Johnson's; "The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind". I was reading Heidi and Rolland Baker's book last night and was really impressed with a concept that I had thought of before but had never really conceptualised. It was this;

"The power of God, the Presence of God, the multiplication of the Gospel is as simple as this; a physical demonstration of the love of God. We have overcomplicated our message, thinking we were being wise. We have analyzed the Gospel to death until it doesn't work anymore! We have made it so intensely difficult to understand that we have theologized, theorized and strategized ourselves into a corner. We have not understood that the Gospel is as simple as this; love, love, love, love love!".

I must admit the first time I really came across the word "Gospel" was when I attended Birmingham University Evangelical Christian Union. It wasn't that Stanley Jebb's lifetime of ministry at my home church didn't preach the Gospel - of course he did. It was just that the word "Gospel" became prominent in that ecumenical environment. And I must admit it became prominent and abused. For example, the "Gospel" was used as the excuse as to why the President wouldn't allow the wonderful song "Let Your Glory Fall" to be sung at CU meetings! It cannot be denied that the apostle Paul uses the word "Gospel" with power quite a bit.

And it is in Third World countries that power of the Gospel is being demonstrated and seen. To me the problem we face in the UK, Europe and the America's is simple and Heidi and Rolland Baker spoke of it here;

"We realize we are in a different place. This is not church as usual! The people will not be denied. They cannot passively wait on God. In their extremity they know Jesus is their only hope. They can do only one thing; cry out with every ounce of life remaining in their souls. Existence in this world has been so cruel to these people that they don't look for relief anywhere but the Creator and Redeemer Himself. Without any effort on our part ... we watch the Holy Spirit release these hearts passionately reaching out for life ....".

As I was walking back to my car I reflected on that lack of need for God being THE problem. Why is it that I cannot remember the last time that God manifestly intervened in my life in signs, wonders and power with a demonstration of His awesome authority? Yes - I have spoken about dreams a bit here - but the Word of God doesn't limit our living the Gospel to just dreams! There's so much more! I walk among sick children every night and have yet to see them begin to be healed from my touch! But there's a few questions that we Westerners MUST ask ourselves;

Are we "church as usual"? Will we be denied the power of God? Will nothing else do or do we recline back on God's sovereignity and shrug our shoulders and leave it for another generation? Can we really passively wait on God? Or will we kick in the very gates of heaven to move His hand?

I love one comment in their book. To speak that way is often to mistakenly make God out to be passive Himself and a reluctant provider for His people - but that isn't so! God is so much more passionate that we can ever dream of being! Listen to this;

"The Holy Spirit is emotional and passionate and often very physical. He is intense, burning up with love, anxious to break out and overcome people with supernatural life. He knows how to respond to each persons cries and how each needs to be loved ... The Gospel is about passion. Do you understand that when you are a passionate lover of God, He will do anything for you?".

May that be our attitude this weekend! Nothing less than the very most of God will do!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Self Harm and the Wounds of Christ

A bit of a warning - this post is going to deal with some issues that some may not be comfortable with. But I remember when I used to go to West Birmingham Family Church, a prophecy was made over me that my honesty would be used by God to act in releasing spiritual bombs that unlock secrets that have bound many for years. So I want to write and share what I am about to - in the hope that someone somewhere may read this and be heartened by the fact that they are not alone in struggling as they am. That there are others! And that Jesus Christ DOES care and there is an answer and it doesn't lie in cliched Christian answers or in over-bearing church discipline.

I was at the gym today (it's become my new spiritual escape - there aren't many mountains around Birmingham to get away to as Rob Rufus suggested). I find it quite helpful blocking out the world and find that God often speaks to me because I am stuck on a treadmill or on a rower and there's nowhere else I can go! I was startled to see a young lad come in (maybe about 15 or 16) and sit down next to me on the rower and all down his arm were vivid cuts which were clearly self-inflicted. Self-harm. We don't talk about it in church much do we? But what distressed me was the feelings and emotions that arose in response to seeing this lad's arm. I may have mentioned (but I don't think I did publicly) that a few years ago when I was in Bristol I used to regularly self-harm as a coping mechanism to deal with depression.

I should mention it was one of the things I asked for help about from my parent's church (and didn't receive any) but went on to deal with it pretty much through gradually exposing myself to the grace of God through Terry Virgo and Rob Rufus's teaching.

It was rather startling and distressing to see this lad's arm and have the thought flash through my mind that how releasing and relieving it would be to also self-harm again and feel the pain and the anxiety of work go away just for a moment. I left the gym and drove home struggling with the temptation a bit but saw this rather as an opportunity to see whether the message of grace and glory really REALLY does work! And I want to testify that it does. It really, really does. I was driving home crying out to God that I have allowed working at a children's hospice to distress me and upset me enough that I should want to physically harm the temple of the Holy Spirit and there was absolutely NO condemnation or guilt or judgement from heaven!

There was only everlasting love - everlasting arms. A verse came unbidden to my mind.

"I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders, a Lamb standing as if slain ...".

It occured to me that if the Lamb was standing there as if slain then He most probably had blood and wounds on Him. Many researchers agree that people who self-harm do so because; "Some feel as if they are not good enough and they might not want to take it out on the person who harmed them. It's often difficult for them to open up and tell about their "secret shame". Yet the body is remarkable in the fact that it heals - hence self-harmers have to keep on and on harming.

But the wounds of Christ are ever-fresh. They are an ever-reminder of the ever-present work of the Cross! Jesus didn't just die so that we can be assured of an eternal future when we die - although that's part of it. "Salvation" is a word that carries with it a connotation of complete life change. When He died on the Cross He stretched out His arms and He died for us ALL. The Cross is far more than a historical event that's something to weep over every now and then. The empty Cross and empty grave (as Rob Rufus says) are the source of all spiritual power! He Himself said that His mission when He came to earth was;

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives - And freedom to prisoners".

So those wounds that are ever fresh are there to bring good news to the afflicted. To bind up the broken-hearted. To proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. And these - may I add - are all emotions and feelings that contribute to people self-harming. Am I the only Christian who has struggled in the past with harming themselves? I suspect not. And if my suspicion is correct - then I wanted this post desperately so much to be a message of hope to them. The wounds of Christ are as though freshly slain! There's no need to bleed yourself because Christ bled for us. And in those drops of precious blood, every need, every desire, every pain, every hope of mankind can be met by a loving eternally gracious God who wants to see His people embraced in ever-lasting arms.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Do Something Unexpected!!

I have a confession - I am a major "Heroes" fan. I love everything about it - the drama, the superpowers and the character development of the various people coming to terms with their powers - such as learning they can fly, learning they are invulnerable, learning they can paint the future, learning they can freeze time or time-travel - but most interestingly (and the character I am fascinated with the most - Peter Petrelli) learning that he can absorb the abilities of anyone else that he is around - or in other words an empath. In Series 1 of "Heroes" Peter Petrelli goes through some training with another character who can make himself invisible. He realises he has numerous abilities but does not know how to control them.

Watch this video clip to give you an idea of what the training involves;

I was gripped by that phrase; "Do something unexpected!". I have just been typing up Rob Rufus's sermon; "The Administration Of Healing Authority" and was again impacted by something that he said during the course of the sermon;

"I believe I am releasing the faith that you have already got. When you come to pray for the sick, don't have an Old Covenant mindset. Old Covenant mindsets always think; "I haven't got enough or I need more or I'm not ready or I'm not prepared". New Covenant mindsets - you are ready! You are in Christ! The Spirit of life is in you! He knows what to do - you have ENOUGH! You are ready! Don't let the devil say to you; "You have got to fast to get this demon out". You do NOT need to fast to get that demon out!".

I must admit, despite my years of being a Christian - this is a new concept for me. I've come from the more traditional revivalist belief that we should be constantly praying that He would "rend the heavens and come down" and earnestly be seeking to be "filled with the Spirit" like a leaky cup! While I still believe that has it's place and there most definately are climates where God falls on a community, a church or on people (such as at Lakeland) - this shouldn't become an excuse for us to not pray for the sick but to sit back waiting for some "power" to fall on us and boot us out to go and do the job that God called us to!

So where does "Heroes" and Rob's quote come together? That comment; "Do something unexpected!". The invisible man forced Peter Petrelli into a state where he HAD to do something - where he HAD to demonstrate a power or an ability to stop himself from being beaten by that stick. I think when I heard that quote of Rob's, I suddenly began to walk with a new awareness about myself. And it's my prayer that everyone who reads this blog will begin to do the same. It's this truth;

" ... what is the surprassing greatness of His power towards us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places far above all rule amd authority and power and dominion , and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put ALL THINGS in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church".

When we are presented with that absolute power and authority then suddenly the truth of sickness or cancer or blindness or deafness or paralysis or even death itself doesn't seem to be much of an obstacle at all. Yet that "surpassing great power" is towards US! Who believe! And we have that very Holy Spirit within US who raised Jesus from the dead! It's there already. Within us. And every prayer we utter to God pleading for "more" surely is grieving to the wonderful precious Person of the Holy Spirit.

Like Peter Petrelli off "Heroes" - it seems to me all that is waiting for us to do is "something unexpected"! Who knows - the next blind person we pass, the next cripple we come across, the next cancer victim we encounter just could be the one that stands up healed and praising the power of God!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dr Lloyd-Jones on Word and Spirit

A telling reminder from Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones in these days of obsession with intellectual doctrine and theology;

"These two; "the Holy Spirit"; "the Word of God". We must never seperate them and if we ever do we shall go astray. Some people put their emphasis only on the word. These are the intellectuals. "Ah" they say, "nothing matters but the ties on theology and doctrine". As a result they may become proud of their own great knowledge. They may get the admiration of others who join in with them, but this is nothing but a little mutual admiration society. Nobody is converted, nobody is convicted. Heads packed with knowledge and understanding - useless! "Word only" you see".

Why settle for one or the other when we can have both? Or more appropriately SHOULD have both?

Which Gospel Are We Preaching (and Believing)?

I got back into transcribing with a vengance last night! The motivator was two-fold. While I was at the gym I was watching quite a prolonged interview with Sir Alex Ferguson - the manager of Manchester United Football Club. I remember being in a pub watching Ferguson's triumph in 1999 when Manchester United won the treble and yet has his vision and focused waned? Never. He is over 60 and still as focused as ever for triumph and glory. Secondly at the beginning of my night shift I watched a documentary about the famous "Belle de Jour" and the subsequent TV programme "Diary of a Call Girl". I didn't realise that the whole phenomenon of that series evolved from an anonymous woman blogging about her experiences with men. I was stunned by the popularity of the following of her blog.

And I reflected - do we not carry a far more glorious vision that Alex Ferguson ever could? This is not just about kicking a ball full of air around a pitch! Do we not have FAR more to talk about than a call girl in London? This is not just about reflecting on the emptiness of meaningless sex! We have experienced the revelation of the glory of the New Covenant! We are recipients of the grace and the glory of God! We have felt His touch upon our lives! We have heard the Holy Spirit within us testifying with our spirits (when we take the time to listen) that we ARE children of God! So I felt suitably chastisted that I have let problems at work and problems with my health silence me. Begone doubt! Begone fear!

Where am I in terms of blogging Rob Rufus? I've finished writing up his remarkable sermon: "The Administration Of Healing Authority" and have almost finished typing it up and have got into writing out; "The Blood - Substance or Shadow?". Rob said something before he had even got into the bulk of his message on the blood of Christ that gripped my attention. Here it is;

"Then He (Jesus Christ) said; "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers and cast out devils".

By the way - the statement about lepers caught my attention. If we are to take this statement as a command from Jesus Christ then where are the lepers requiring cleansing? Not many around these days. So I wondered whether the lepers of our day could be those people afflicted with AIDS and HIV. I've watched another friend of mine going through the agonising procedure of having to book into a clinic on Thursday to see whether he is positive or negative. It breaks my heart. I've said before that I am getting to know more and more people with AIDS. Would any of them dream of walking into churches to ask for healing? Never in a million years. That's wrong surely! That demonstrates that the church is disobeying this command of Jesus! I stand to be corrected - would someone with AIDS be welcome in your church? Tell me about it! (Actually having said that - I know of at least two churches I would go to if I ever suffered with AIDS - here and here).

I digress - back to Rob;

"Yet sadly and tragically for the last 100's of years much of the church has not been preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. It has been preaching the gospel of salvation. There is a big difference. The gospel of the Kingdom includes the gospel of salvation but it is much more. The gospel of salvation is primarily focused on going to heaven. The gospel of the Kingdom is primarily focused on bringing heaven into the earth realm.

So we must not confuse our assignment with our destiny. Our destiny is to go to heaven. Our assignment is to bring heaven to earth".

When I get swallowed up in despair and frustration at the experiences at work then surely I am forgetting my assignment? I went to see a staff support counsellor yesterday because it was recommended by human resources. The counsellor was busy telling me that my feelings of anger and frustration are all valid feelings and should be channelled. I just came out with the same sense of unease I've always had when I have gone to see counsellors before about self-harm and various other things. These feelings are not matching up (in my book) with bringing heaven to earth! The difference this time is that I am NOT going to get condemned about why I am not matching up to my assignment at the moment! The difference this time is that I want to learn and grow and become more like Christ changing from glory to glory until people in the said work place cannot help but speak about how their evil gossip and malicious slanders and lies don't see to have an effect anymore because like Jonathan Edwards - I long to have this description made of me;

"I never saw the least symptoms of displeasure in his countenance the whole week but heappeared like a man of God, whose happiness was out of the reach of hisenemies and whose treasure was not only a future but a present good… even to the astonishment of many who could not be at rest without his dismission."

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Importance of Witnesses ...

I've been thinking about how absolutely VITAL witnesses are these last couple of weeks. Many of you will know that I've hinted at some serious stuff going on at my place of work. I'd really appreciate your prayers by the way - I've got to go for a test in the next few weeks because I've discovered a lump somewhere where there shouldn't be one. My doctor thinks it may be linked to work stress but it may also be malignant as well so got to rule all things out. Thanks to all for your love and support and particularly the lovely emails - they mean so much!

I've had to take witnesses to the recent work meetings and suddenly have realised why every union advises them and why employers are forced by law to allow them. Meetings tend to go very differently when there are witnesses on both sides. It got me thinking back to previous meetings that I have been involved in - and I reflected that the meetings that went very badly were usually when I was told that I wasn't allowed a witness. The most obvious one I remember was the final interview when I was asked to leave my parent's church. I actually came with a witness - a close friend of mine - but wasn't allowed to take them into the meeting. As a result there were two interpretations of what happened at the meeting and my family had to choose who to believe - they chose the church obviously and as a result I haven't seen them for almost 4 months - (Which is rather ironic seeing how that particular church maintains it is passionate about families). All because there was no witness.

On the more positive side I did take a witness to these meetings with my work and the meetings went very differently. The law allowed my witness to speak up for me and say things that I may have forgotten or was (at times) too upset to speak or think coherently. I am fairly certain that the managers spoke more carefully as well because they knew that there was someone acting as a witness for me. I felt far more confident in the meeting with the witness by my side. In the church meeting where I was on my own, I felt extremely defensive and I am sure spoke more directly and angrily than perhaps I should have - had there been someone there supporting me and speaking for me.

So why I am I recollecting this and drawing paralells between grievance procedures at work and church? Because through these experiences I think I have been given fresh insight into a verse that is familiar to me but haven't really read before.

Romans 8:16; "The Spirit itself BEARETH WITNESS with our spirit, that we are the children of God".

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones commented powerfully on the verse by saying;

"It is the witness and testimony of the Holy Spirit Himself confirming the witness of our own spirits. Our own spirits cry "Abba, Father" and they thereby witness to the fact that we are the children of God. We have a child-like spirit, a filial spirit within us. My own spirit tells me that I am a child of God, and I feel towards God as a child feels towards his father. But here, the Spirit Himself comes alongside the witness of my Spirit and Himself bears His witness and His testimony. In other words, the perculiar characteristic of what is described here is that it is a direct and immediate witness of the Spirit Himself".

So it seems that there is some kind of similarity between the truth of this text and my experiences of various meetings. An issue - an important issue - is under discussion. And we may be protesting our position and arguing our case. My examples were of issues such as church membership or positions at work - but Romans 8:16 deals with one of the most important states of mind that can ever face a Christian - that of assurance of salvation. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones goes on;

"I suggest that this is part of the "baptism with the Holy Ghost", or if you prefer it, "the baptism of the Holy Spirit" ... Indeed I go further and say that what Paul is describing is the most essential aspect of the baptism of the Holy Ghost ... We cannot be baptised with the Holy Ghost without having the Spirit of adoption but we can have the Spirit of adoption without knowing this further experience. That is why I say that the most vital and essential part, the essence of being baptised with the Holy Ghost is that we have this particular form of assurance of our sonship of God".

In the two examples I cited of my various meetings I was arguing and trying to defend myself in both cases against charges that were being brought against me. I don't know about anyone else but I don't find defending myself particularly easy. I don't like promoting myself or my cause and particularly don't like it if the charges are unjust as they have been in both cases. But don't we see that we face the same struggle and the same charges with the case of assurance of salvation? There is a devil - an accuser - just as there was in my meetings trying to cause us to doubt our salvation! But just as Joshua experienced a glorious moment where the witness of God Himself saved him, so do we;

"What are the characteristics of this action of the Spirit Himself? The first is that the Spirit by a direct operation on our minds and hearts and spirits gives us an absolute certainity and assurance of our sonship. That is the great reality. It is not merely that He gives us a heightening of our understanding of the truth, neither is it merely that we are unusually concious of being led in the direction of sanctification, or that the Spirit promotes our sanctification ... It is the Spirit telling us in this unusual way that we are the children of God. He lets us know in a way that we have never known before that God loves us".

In our hunger and our desperation for signs and wonders and miracles - let's not forget in a sense that this amazing witness of the Spirit IS a sign and a wonder and a miracle! Surely there can be nothing greater or more amazing or more miraculous than a Christian who "gets it" that he is LOVED by God! Surely there can be no greater miracle than the love of God being shed abroad experientially in the heart of a believer - and they KNOW that they know that they know it.

So ... I've learnt from my lessons. I won't be going to any meetings in the future of note without a witness. But are we forgetting the witness of the Holy Spirit and are we forgetting to hear Him testify with our spirits that we are children of God and that we are loved?! Let's make sure we never do again!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Benny Hinn in Harrods!!

We've just come back from a fantastic weekend in London - went to see "Wicked" the musical - as part of my best friend's birthday treat! After experiencing the incredible Hillsongs church in the morning we went shopping around Knightsbridge and of course popped into Harrods. I've wanted to wander round the renowned Food Court for years (without having my mother trying to rush me along!).

Anyhow I was intrigued to see a group of very smart men in suits come walking through the Food Court surrounding a small grey haired man who I vaguely recognised but wasn't sure where from. Then I got it. It was Benny Hinn and his security detail! I have to admit being shamelessly awestruck. We followed them down to the Wines, Spirits and Cigars section below the Food Court ... I guess I wondered what brand of wine Benny liked. Then I got a hold of myself and we went back up to the Food Court but saw the entourage come back up again and begin browsing round.

So here it is (Benny is wearing dark glasses);

My immediate thought when they had passed by was why didn't I brave the bodyguards and run up and ask Benny to lay hands on me and transfer something of his anointing to me? British pride maybe. Fear of his bodyguards bundling me away? Maybe. But I did contemplate that my desperation and hunger for the anointing definately needs to increase so that I overcome these fears and seek "touching the hem of the robe" of any gifted anointed servant of God! Then I found myself wondering and dreaming about what would have happened had Benny laid hands on me in the middle of Harrods Food Court and what I may have manifested!!

But there we go! A Christian celebrity sighting in Harrods!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's the Power that Will Bring the Young!

Another Hillsongs-inspired post. I was walking back from my last night shift at the hospice for a much needed week and a half off (but working probably at the Childrens Hospital!) and was thinking ... I do that a lot! I was incredibly moved during the night by having to wash and dress a teenager with Muscular Dystrophy (a disorder I'm coming rapidly to hate) and was so upset by his fraility and the awareness he had that he needed complete care. If he felt anything like I did when I was a teenager, he would probably be mortified at having to be washed and dressed by two adults. I did my best to laugh and joke with him but still ... my heart went out to him.

Then I happened to be listening to the awesome song "Believe" from the older Hillsongs album; "For This Cause" and I remembered that during the video - as you will see - they get hundreds of young people up and the sight of them worshipping God with all their hearts just moves me so much. Young people are getting a bad rap in the UK at the moment - what with the almost monthly news of some new stabbing. I wonder if the cry of their hearts (even if they don't realise it) is something like this;

"I'm sick of playing the game of religion - I'm tired of losing my reason for living - Where's the power? - The power of the cross in my life?".

Here's the video. Watch the teenagers carefully.

Don't we owe them the power of the Cross at the very least? Doesn't that teenager that I had to carefully wash and dress this morning for fear of breaking one of his fragile bones DESERVE the right to experience and see the power of God unveiled through His people - His Bride - the Church in signs and wonders and miracles that accompany the words from our mouths? Doesn't he (and thousands of millions of others crippled by disease) deserve the touch of power and love and compassion from us who have been changed by the awesome revelation of the New Covenant?

Still believing ... still reaching ...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Drinking from the Stream ...

Some of you may remember my previous post: "Thirsty? There is No Other Stream ...". I learnt that when you make a statement such as that it's important - no vital - to "live" what you write. To "experience" what I saw. Otherwise I'm no better than any other dry and dusty Pharisee that's a dime a dozen these days. I've been having a pretty terrible few weeks at work and have been struggling with work-related stress and it looks like I may have to work through a grievance procedure at work so things probably aren't going to get better for a while. BUT! I was walking to work on my 5th night of 6 and happened to play a selection of worship songs on my IPOD - with my favourite worship leaders; Darlene Zscech, Kate Simmonds and Lou Fellingham.
And I can only say that the power of God fell on me! The theme of all the worship songs seemed to naturally be the Cross of Christ - the amazing nature of "shuffle"! Again and again the fresh and amazing revelation of those songs came through to me again and again. That "Christ was made sin for us - Took the blame, bore the wrath—We stand forgiven at the cross"! When it got to the line; "For through Your suffering I am free. Death is crushed to death; Life is mine to live" - I found it hard to keep standing never mind walking!

It reminded me of the vital nature of drinking of the Spirit - continually. Why is it that we so quickly forget and relegate experiences of God to special occasions? If we are - then surely we are depriving ourselves of power to live by! And worship is such an awesome way to turn our attention off our problems and back to God. Thanks to Lydia for reminding me of the awesome Hillsongs resources that are available - their worship videos never fail to stir me.

Here's a few. Enjoy!

"You are My World".

"I Will Run to You".

And one of my favourites; "Mighty to Save".

Whatever life throws at us - whatever trials, whatever tribulations - let's never forget to worship the King of Kings - the Lover of our souls! Because He is worthy!