Monday, February 18, 2008

Where The Love Lasts Forever

Precious Saints!!!!!

I’m gonna make an attempt at trying to convey to you some of what took place this past Alpha weekend.

Yes it was another Alpha Holy Spirit weekend away. Now you might quickly say, “Oh well that’s just another Alpha weekend, you know we have so many of them these days, just boring humdrum kinda stuff, yeah I suppose you’all (say that with a real Texan drawl) will have a mighty fine time with God.” Thank GOoDness God’s ways and thoughts are so way above ours and that He is new every morning.

So first up was the training for the team and the pilgrims in the week leading up to the weekend, training overseen by God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirt. So God allowed a car engine to catch on fire, arguments with crabby neighbours, family tensions, some of the team members were all over the place putting their foots in their mouths and oh yes how about a good dose of physical ailments that suddenly cropped up, tummy bugs and mysterious pains that doctors could not identify and I’m sure there were others that I have not heard of yet.

Of course this is to get us all to the point were we will stop trying to do things in our own strength and start leaning on our Almighty God’s limitless strength. So that we would cry out to Him in prayer and say “Please, please……Jesus…..we don’t have the answer.” You’d think some of us would have gotten the point by now but hey we’re sheep, we are oftentimes just so stoooopid.

Eventually we all ended up at Manyano Centre, Paarl to spend time with God to seek His face and to try our best to be in the centre of His will. When I got to Manyano I could almost tangibly feel the prayers of the Saints. Those there at the centre and those praying at home for us it was kinda like walking into a cloud of God’s love, you could at first kinda feel it but not see it. However if you started to look with your heart you would see it in the acts and ways of the people there.

For me personally I was totally blown away and humbled at how God used me, to encourage, teach, facilitate and to shine His light of love. During the Holy Spirit ministry session on Saturday afternoon, His Holy Spirit just let me know and feel the hurts of those I prayed for. It was surreal, it was almost as if I wasn’t really there but at the same time I was so focused. Actually it’s impossible to explain. I still tried to manipulate who to pray for as the people stood awaiting their turn. I of course wanted to pray for the people in my group, people that I’d gotten to know and felt responsible for but God kept on giving me all these other people. I could almost imagine Him stroking me on my head and saying, “There there my little lamb, no this is the one to whom I want to extend my invitation of grace, mercy and unfailing love through you.”

After this intense period of prayer and ministry I was totally drained, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was literally prayed out. I gave everything that I had. This was not that I was doing it in my own strength but ‘cause I was just so trying my best to open my heart to Him and do things His way and not my own way. This can sometimes be a huge battle . After supper I just went for a walk to be on my own and to speak to Allie on my cell. After that I had a fifteen minute power nap and was revitalised enough to go to the one hour praise and worship session which continued my revitalisation. It is such a blessing to worship God in song, even with my broken and mostly out of tune voice. After that I was involved in some prayer but I realised then that I was still ‘prayed out’. So I asked for and received some wonderful prayer then I knew it was time to take a shower and get to bed. After the shower I just sat and chatted to a good friend of mine, we don’t get too many opportunities to speak to each other so we made the most of it. Then off to bed at about 12.30am. Much earlier then my previous bedtime of 4.30am.
Of course the weekend had to come to an end. And we all went home on Sunday afternoon. Most of us just wanted it to last forever. This special time of God’s love. One of our team members said that God bows heaven down to us when we pray; it really felt like that this weekend. However Jesus is coming again and then the love will last forever for all His children just like the song below.

Sooooo much else happened it is really quite easy to write a book about it, yep just another weekend of God changing lives for all eternity.


Where The Love Lasts Forever - Hillsong United




Your mercy found me,
Upon the broken road,
And lifted me beyond my failing,
Into Your glory,
My sin and shame dissolved,
And now forever Yours I'll stand

(Pre-Chorus)
In love never to end,
To call You more than Lord,
Glorious friend.

(Chorus)
So I throw my life upon all that You are,
'Cause I know you gave it all for me.
And when all else fades,
My soul will dance with You,
Where the love lasts forever.

Your mercy found me,
Upon the broken road,
And lifted me beyond my failing,
Into Your glory,
My sin and shame dissolved,
And now forever Yours I'll stand

(Chorus)

(Bridge)
And forever I will sing,
Lord forever I will sing,
Of how You gave Your life away,
Just to save me,
Lord You saved me.

(Chorus)

Lord, where the love lasts forever.
I will be with You,where the love lasts forever.
I will sing to you, where the love lasts forever.
I will dance with you, where the love lasts forever.

LoCTY!!!!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Dog Day Morning, Afternoon, Evening and Late Evening

Precious Saints !!!!!!

It must have been roughly about seven months ago one Saturday morning when Allie bought home a little ‘bundle of joy’. The bundle of joy in question was a four month old female puppy who is a cross between a dachshund and some kinda terrier. I was not impressed! This really put a major damper on my weekend, my sinusitis had been playing up again and I was not a happy chappie. Of course I loved animals……as long as they did not permanently live in MY home.

I had on numerous prior occasions laid out a very careful and thoughtful explanation as to why we couldn’t get a dog. It went something like this. Allie would ask, “Do you think we could get a dog for Matthew?” I would answer, “No!” Allie again, “Why not?” I would answer, “Don’t want to!” This would go on for a little while until Allie would give up. See a perfectly logical argument from me. Fellow men you would understand and agree to this line of reasoning.

This puppy then totally baffled me with her self promotion/marketing strategy. She proceeded to poo and wee all over the place and chew up our telephone cable, slippers and anything else that was within reach of her jaws. She also howled right throughout the night and kept us all awake. At one stage I tossed her in the bathroom and closed the bathroom door. She then proceeded to tear up the bath mat into shreds while howling even louder then before. I mean didn’t she know that she had to impress me and win me over. Eventually Allie put her in the bed with us. I was horrified, but at least she stopped howling and we could all get some much needed sleep. The next day Allie was in tears ‘cause no one wanted this little puppy. She was going to take her back to the Animal Welfare. I though GREAAAAT! Now we can get rid of her and life will return to normal. But when I opened my mouth to speak these words came out, “Just give her a chance, let’s just keep her for a little longer and see what happens.” Aaaaargh what was I saying? Then Matthew who had not shown much interest in the little doggy also asked his mom to keep her.

Well we kept her and Allie named her Pixie and then I woke up to the fact that our Lord was teaching me a huge lesson through this little puppy. She seemed to ‘scratch’ in the areas of my life which I try to keep hidden. Through her I had to take another look at who I am, my selfishness and my heart condition (no not the physical but the emotional) and my relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and my relationships with everyone else. You know when you take a long hard look deep inside your soul you find a whole lotta garbage there. The thing is God already knows exactly who you are but He wants you to have the courage to tell Him, honestly and openly. So He will continuously work in your life refining you and making you more available and more teachable so that you can be used by Him which ultimately gives Him glory.

So as I type this Pixie is sitting at my feet, all content as she gives me her unconditional love. And boy you must see the welcome I get whenever I walk in through the front door, her tail knocks against the skirting board and sounds like a machine gun going off, she is so excited she shakes all over. I tell you something I feel like a king when I get a greeting like that. And ja at some time in the early hours of the morning she climbs into bed with us and crawls down to sleep at our feet.

So how is God teaching you in your life at the moment? Mebbe you haven’t even noticed. Mebbe He’s using that crabby neighbour of yours, possibly that irritating work colleague, your financial situation which currently stinks, Eskom(!!!!???), a relationship that has fallen apart………there are a myriad of ways…..just open the eyes of your heart! The eyes of your heart are your spiritual eyes.

3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:3-5)

My Desire Lyrics
Artist(Band):Jeremy Camp

You want to be real, you want to be empty inside
You want to be someone laying down your pride
You want to be someone someday
Then lay it all down before the king

You want to be whole, you want to have purpose inside
You want to have virtue and purify your mind

You want to be set free today
Then lay it all down before the King

This is my desire, this is my return
This is my desire to be used by You

You want to be real, you want to be empty inside
And I know my heart is to feel You near
And I know my life
It's to do Your will
It's to do Your will

This is my desire, this is my return
This is my desire, to be used by You
Oo yea
This is my desire, this is my desire
To be used by You

All my life I have seen
Where You've taken me
Beyond all I have hoped
And there's more left unseen

There's not much I can do to repay all You've done
So I give my hands to use

This is my desire, this is my return
This is my desire, to be used by You
Oo yea
This is my desire, this is my desire
To be used by You

LoCTY!!!!!




NB. Thank you all so much for your prayers, support and encouragement in response to my last email ‘God’s Hug’. Adam is doing well now and appears to be fully recovered. What a blessing it is to be part of the Body of Christ!
 

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