Monday, January 31, 2005


To The Precious Saints !!!!

Max Lucado tells the story about when he was a little boy and he went fishing with his dad. They rowed out quite far and Max couldn't see the shoreline. Suddenly a storm came up and the water become really rough and the wind was howling. Whenever Max looked out at the water he felt terribly afraid but when he looked at his big strong dad he felt assured and unafraid. You see his dad was big and strong and he knew exactly what to do and where he was going as he rowed their little boat to shore. Max decided that he'd rather just continue to look at his dad and feel confident that his dad would save them then look at the swirling water around them and be afraid.
We must be like that. We must focus on God the Father in all we do and all we go through. This life is full of distractions that will blur our focus and many times shift it totally away. That is the work of Satan who plays on our weak and sinful nature. We must know this that we are in a battle every day of our lives and the outcome of this battle has eternal consequences.
However God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ (the Lamb of God) and Jesus has left us with the helper, His Holy Spirit and Jesus is constantly interceding for us to His Father.
This focus on God was so important that it is the first of the ten commandments for the Jewish nation in the wilderness. This first commandment was summed up in Deuteronomy 6:4 & 5 "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength." When Jesus was here on earth he said that this first law and that you love your neighbour as yourself summed up and encompassed the whole law.
Today whatever you are going through, whatever you are doing keep your focus on God. Know all that He has already done for you, what He is doing for you now and what He will do for you in the future. And then more then that in this battle fight for your family, your friends your church because God wants you to stand firm and fight. But not in your own strength He wants you to draw your strength from Him.
Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the leaders and the people and said to them, "Don't be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your friends, your families and your homes!" (Nehemiah 4:14)
So never cease praying and encouraging each other and I leave you with this prayer from Paul to the church at Ephesus. When I first read this again three years ago(the last time I'd read it was 12 years before that as a JW, it did not have the same impact on me then) on the bus I wanted to shout it out to everyone on the bus, it just blew me away(and still does).
When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father the creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvellous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we could ever dare to ask or hope. May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Can we get an Amen? Or are you too busy, too under pressure, going through something, couldn't really be bothered, somebody has hurt you, angry with someone, angry with the church or angry with God. Just adjust your focus back to the Father and fight to keep it there. He knows you better than you know yourself!


Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Reminder From Stanley

To The Saints !!!!!

Last night saw the start of Alpha. It is always with mixed feelings/emotions that one approaches serving on team for the start of the first Alpha course for the year. There is excitement, passion, apprehension, fear, doubt and often (but not always) there is something that happens in your life in the week leading up to Alpha that brings out and highlights our weak and sinful nature. During this week we have have been subjected again to family tension and Allie has borne the brunt of this from her son Adam.
So on to the first night and Allie initially did not much feel like going but eventually she decided to go with me. Things went okay and we were enjoying the evening. While sitting in the small group Kevin came walking up to me and said he had a message from Mandy(who was looking after Matthew) that our car had been stolen and was in Delft and that we should phone her to get the number for the police there.
Of course I would like to tell you that I stayed calm and made all the right Christian responses and called an immediate prayer meeting or whateva but I flipped, I panicked, my heart came up in my throat, then sank down to my shoes (and then continued with this yo yo motion). Allie and myself hurried to the office, on the way there I looked out to where our car was parked (what was I looking for? It wasn't there!) and I said to Allie that its gone! By this time I was doing the good husband thing and trying to blame Allie "you see I told you to put a gear lock on the car, or get an immobiliser fitted but you wouldn't listen" (haaa, can you see Christ in me). Allie phoned Mandy and got the number of the police in Delft, Mandy also told Allie that the car was damaged. Allie was so upset at this time and she was crying she said "I told you I should not have come tonight....." I phoned the cops. While I was dialling their number I suddenly felt a calmness come over me and in my heart I said Lord whateva, I'll still love you and serve you. It was a strange feeling because I wanted to panic, I was enjoying it, I wanted to vent my frustration at the world, tell everyone who cared to listen how unfair life is(so wots new).
Eventually the cops answered the phone and the sergeant who I had to speak to took forever to come to the phone. When he eventually got there he asked if I was Mrs D White (ke ching! the penny dropped) it was Stanley (our old Mazda) who had been stolen. We had sold the car through a dealer friend when we bought our new car and the new owner had not yet registered it in his name. What a relief.
But then where is our car? I went to have another look (carefully this time) I was so blinded by my panic that I did not even see that our car was exactly in the same spot where Allie had parked it. Nope it had not moved at all. Of course I now had to put up with some good natured comments from the rest of the team about my eyesight, about immediate answered pray from the prayer team but it was all done in love.
Its just a reminder to us all as to how grateful we must be for every blessing and how grateful we must be that we have the truth and that we serve a God that loves us so much that He came down and died for us, so that we could be with Him forever. Sounds contrite, too good to be true, well my friends it is the TRUTH and you have it, it has been revealed to you. As Josh McDowell said the plain things are the main things and the main things are the plain things.

Mystery of mysteries
That you could love someone like me
In your hands eternity
And yet you have the time for me
A love so undeserved
You held nothing in reserve
Heaven played its symphony
I took your hand and you rescued me
Grace like a river
Is flowing down, is flowing down
It's flowing down to me
Staring at my history
Was all alone but never free
The sands of time have let me see
Your faithful shadow next to me
A love so unreserved
I did nothing to deserve
Love so free but what's the cost
To carry this old rugged cross
I love you, I thank you
I'm nothing without your Grace like a river
(Grace Like A River by Delirious?)

This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10)

LoCTY !!!!

PS Thanks Michelle you really handled the group fantastically well last night despite the distraction.

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