Showing posts with label Great Doddington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Doddington. Show all posts

23 March 2010

Great Doddington - Hard to find the way

Sean was away so Jim and I decided to visit Great Doddington this evening. The way is not always clearWe chatted over hot drinks and shared news until Jody encouraged us to focus more intentionally on the Lord.

I had a picture of a large sheet of paper rolled up tightly. It was a map, but instead of being rolled with the map on the inside, it was rolled so that part of the map showed on the outside. The Spirit said, 'This is a picture of the plan I have for your lives, it is hard to unroll and mostly you can only see a small strip of the map. However, the plan is complete even though you don't yet see it all.

Jody pictured a winding and twisty path and was walking with a hole in her shoe. She realised that sometimes we need a rest on the journey. When we're not sure of the way he picks us up or he lets us take his hand. Sometimes it's misty, sometimes the way forward is unclear, like the rolled-up map. We need to hear from him, he knows the way even when we don't.

Jim read Luke 12:22-34 and then spoke about the importance of wearing the right kind of shoes. What we have on our feet when we walk is rather important. he also mentioned the disappointments we face in life, like a failed house sale. But verse 31 tells us that we must seek the Kingdom first and everything else will be OK, even when it's not what we wanted. We aim to arrive at the mountain top, but sometimes we just end up in a valley of despair.

I pointed out that our treasure is the thing above all that we're not prepared to lose. It might be money, it might be Yahshua, it might be anything, but where our treasure is, there our heart will be too.

Jim added a story he'd heard about a vicar and a taxi driver who arrived together at the gates of Heaven. The taxi driver was put in a seat at the front, much to the surprise of the vicar. Then the vicar was given a seat at the back and felt he had to complain, or at least ask for an explanation. Peter said, 'Well, it's like this. You bored people with your sermons and instead of being saved they simply dozed off. But the taxi driver frightened people so much by his driving that many of them prayed fervently.'

Jody shared a prophecy, that people are like embers. If they are glowing you can be certain that they're hot and still on fire. If they're grey and dusty it's hard to tell, but you may still feel some warmth. I added a few thoughts about faith, hope and love. Love is the source of faith because the Almighty is love! If we think faith is the most important thing we're badly mistaken. Paul compares them and tells us that love is greater than both faith and hope.

Peter read Hebrews 12:1-13 (especially verse 12) and reminded us that we really need to help one another. It's often a simple thing to encourage and lift one another up, we should always do this.

Looking back we all agreed that this was an exceptional meeting in which there had been a very clear and sustained thread. Yahshua had been present and had guided us by his Spirit. We all felt uplifted, strengthened, and encouraged.

23 February 2010

Great Doddington - Knowledge and wisdom

Jim, Sean and I decided to visit the Great Doddington meeting this week, so Peter and Jody's living room was pretty full. A street riotIt was a rich meeting, I haven't captured everything in this account.

We began by standing in a circle in prayer, then Peter read James 4. Peter went on to say that we need to seek the Lord's guidance in everything, not set our hearts on some goal and then drive for it. We have to remember who is in charge here! Jim mentioned that James is very direct. Sue felt that in some ways he is a little bit scary and not her favourite New Testament writer.

Rachael explained that the difference between knowledge and wisdom is critical. It's the difference between knowing that a tomato is a fruit and not putting it in a fruit salad. This made us laugh. Jim and Jody both talked about the fact that some things that are legal to do in man's eyes are not acceptable in the Lord's eyes. But we are not called to judge, we are called to love. I mentioned that although James seems hard, he writes that 'mercy triumphs over judgement' (2:13) We also considered how the church seems to thrive under persecution, for example in China, Korea, or North India.

Sean shared a prophecy, 'Jesus goes to church! Sometimes he stands just outside and says, "I'm here." He goes wherever people are hurting.' Glenn told us two stories, one about prayer for healing in the market place, and one about another healing experience.

Jody also prophesied, 'My word will not return to me empty. It's not just about social reforms, it's a matter of depending on the Lord.' Sean descibed a vision of a small girl. Jesus went to comfort her and told Sean to do the same. He doesn't believe he has seen this girl yet (other than in the vision). This prompted Glenn to share another story, this time of a small girl who woke in the middle of the night and left the house with her Bible. In the park she saw a man sleeping on a bench and called to him, 'Wakey-wakey, rise and shine.' The man awoke and told her that he'd been sleeping for a very long time, waiting for someone to wake him, and that he was the Angel of the North. The angel of Revival. Sean found some surprising parallels between Glenn's story and his own life.

Rachael also had a picture to share. The first part had been given to her three weeks ago and she had seen crowds of aggressive people in the streets rioting and shouting. Now tonight she has seen more. The people were running towards a second mob who were also running, there was going to be a clash. And then she saw that there was a huge mirror between the two, it was only one mob intent on fighting it's own reflection. They were being aggressive towards themselves! And she understood that Jesus removes the mirror and frees people from fighting against themselves.

Jim told us that we are drawing nearer to God and he is drawing nearer to us. We are approaching a meeting place with God, but we tend to run in fear. When we wake up to the truth we'll see that we have a most amazing future in him. And then I had a picture to share too. I saw an inky black night and knew that in the darkness nobody can work because nobody can see. But as the rising sun reached closer to the horizon a glow developed and got brighter and brighter as daylight came. And Father said, 'In you my Son will find his completeness - in him you will find yours.' I also saw a tomato with deep splits in its skin, but as I watched the splits narrowed, healed, and left the skin smooth and undamaged. And Father said, 'You can't do that - but I can.'

19 January 2010

Great Doddington - a broken world

We began by chatting about work, and how staff cuts have made life harder - even for those who have retained a job.

Haitian earthquake 2010Barbara read from Isaiah 40:31 about how those who hope in the Lord will be renewed like eagles, soaring on wings. It seemed all the more significant because she had read it and then heard it again as the basis of a sermon on TV. Humble yourself and I will raise you up and honour you.

Jody mentioned Nehemiah. Although circumstances can bring us low, she still searches out the Lord. We do need to be humble. She also mentioned Haiti and the recent earthquake and the subject of prophecy came up. Why would the Lord not warn us about a disaster like that? Why does he allow us to be brought low? Some people have said that the earthquake was because of the presence of occult practices in Haiti.

I suggested that we live in a broken world and we must expect disasters to happen sometimes. When the tower in Siloam fell and killed people, it wasn't because they were more guilty than others (Luke 13:4). We must be prepared to follow Yahshua regardless of disasters. Rachael thought that trouble, if we face it in the right way, helps us grow to know him and understand him. And Peter pointed out that Jesus suffered and died in fulfillment of a great promise. We need to learn to see things through - come what may.

Glenn reminded us about the manna in the desert which was provision but also brought an important lesson (man does not live by bread alone). He told us the story of an island that escaped damage in the Tsunami. Pentecostals living there had prayed for safety for the people, not knowing what was coming. Everyone was saved while neighbouring islands had big death tolls.

Jody spoke about William Wiberforce and his portrayal in the film 'Amazing Grace'. He had some humbling experiences and difficulties in his life, but he honoured God. Rachael referred to Joel 2:28-29 where we read that the Lord will pour out his Spirit on everyone. What an amazing prophecy, he will pour himself into us! And Glenn reminded us that Jesus said, 'When you see these things happen, don't let your hearts be troubled.' (Matthew 24:6) Rachael said we should focus on him, listen to him and his voice.

I spoke in a tongue which Glenn interpreted. He saw a lion released from a heavily barred cage. The lion came bounding out, it had a big mane. He realised that Jesus has been released and his roar goes out to the nations and also reaches the church. 'Are you there? Are you listening? Are you coming?'

At this point Barbara saw the words 'Maple Leaf', and Jody described a picture of the aftermath of a forest fire. She saw a huge tree with charred debris all around it. She realised that charcoal can be used as fuel; even in the aftermath of disaster there will be something left in our hearts that is useful for our development. He can turn any disaster into something of value. Jesus is the light and the energy, he tells us not to focus on the problems. Instead we should focus on Jesus himself.

Rachael saw a bolt of lightning hitting a tree. And the Lord told her, 'This is my power, this is who I am. The lightning can destroy a tree but it can also light up the sky all around.

We spent a few minutes learning more about Church of Two (CO2) and testing it for ourselves.

01 December 2009

Great Doddington - What is church?

As we chatted over coffee and biscuits the conversation turned to thoughts about faith, healing, and salvation. What is church?Healing in particular seems to be quite common at some times and in some places, but not all the time and everywhere. So what should we expect in our own lives and those of people we know? What should we expect in our own towns, villages, and workplaces?

Glenn shared about events in Argentina that he'd read about in a book years ago. Extraordinary events with strong evidence. And this prompted Barbara to tell us how she'd been praying for someone's health and had felt overwhelmed by a sense of peace, certainty, and faith. She'd been able to prayer in a different way as a result, knowing that her prayer was heard and answered.

We also chewed over some of the great mysteries that are presented in the Bible. In particular Jody wondered how it could be that the Almighty would instruct Israel to utterly destroy defeated enemies like the ancient city of Jericho. To our human understandings there is a disconnect here. How can it be right to put  men, women and children to the sword? How can it be just? Obedience demanded it, but it seems a very odd instruction. Today it would be declared genocide and the UN would intervene.

It's a good question and not easy to answer. It seems barely sufficient to argue that those were the days of the Law and today we live under a dispensation of grace. I pointed out that Old Testament events of this kind translate very powerfully into our own lives. Have I 'killed' all the dark and wrong things in my own heart? Am I clinging to remnants of my past, unsaved life? If so, they will surely come back to bite me. Yet there will be a kind of suffering (or at least discomfort) in giving them up. But the reason must be far deeper, something to do with the nature of Yahweh himself. He is love, but he is also jealous and just and pure and holy. He is gentle but also terrible.

Another topic we considered was 'What is church?' We agreed that we need to grow into fellowship on an altogether different level. Are we really closely enough involved in one another's lives? If one of us feels lonely, or far from the Lord - how can we help one another? And are we reaching out into a lost world as we should?

I recounted Floyd McClung's story about the young lady who asked for prayer. She said she wanted patience. He began praying for tribulation in her life - not at all what she had expected to hear. Some of us thought that asking for tribulation in someone's life was a dreadful thing to do, and I do understand why we might think so. But Floyd was not being unkind, he was encouraging her to understand the basis for the growth of patience in a person's life. It's not that our Father is being cruel to his children, he is actually working hard and at great cost to dig us out of the pit that we are in - but he didn't put us into that pit in the first place.

We read Psalm 107 from verse 4.

And finally we linked arms in a circle and prayed for one another.

03 November 2009

Great Doddington - Letting go

Jody spoke about the shrewd manager described in Luke 16:1-15. He was about to lose his job, so let his master's debtors off with part payment. A clenched fistThat way he was sure to have friends when he needed them. This was dishonest, but the master was impressed by his ingenuity.

She also reminded us of the widow in Luke 18, we should keep praying and never give up. I added that we need to have a right understanding about Yahshua. In all the varied circumstances of life concerning people and events, we need to know he's always with us and is more than able to do whatever he thinks we need.

Jody thought that we need to 'let go'. There's a temptation to, as it were, ball up our fists. But we mustn't do this, he wants us to relax. We are in Christ and he is in us so we can certainly have peace!

Rachael remembered the old Batman TV series. Batman and Robin were sometimes shown climbing up the side of a skyscraper but what they were really doing in the studio was crawling along the floor! Sometimes life seems such a struggle, it's as if Jesus want us to scale a high building. But our perspective is wrong. When we adjust and see it from his point of view, what seemed hard is really easy - all we have to do is crawl along the floor.

We spent some time in prayer for people we know, including one who has to undergo a rather difficult procedure in hospital. We also prayed for Jody and Peter's house and that it would be a place of blessing and peace for the people who move into it in future.

I commented on the still quietness that enveloped the meeting, it was not an uneasy quietness but seemed to me to be evidence of the peace and love of Yahshua in our hearts.

Rachael read Proverbs 27:9-10 which reminds us of the importance and value of local community.

06 October 2009

Great Doddington - A deep well

It was good to meet again, I hadn't seen these friends since before the trip to the USA.

We began by chatting over a coffee. One of the subjects that came up was how people are often dissatisfied with church life. A well of waterSometimes they stay, sometimes they move to another church. We thought that it's not a matter of the size of the group, but more to do with the way people treat one another. Large groups (more than about 15 or 20) are inevitably less intimate and personal so problems may go unnoticed. At the end of the evening this discussion continued, Glenn wondered how the structures and traditions of big church originated. I must lend him a copy of 'Pagan Christianity' as it covers this in detail.

We realise that we all have a part to play when we meet together. As Paul wrote, everyone can contribute something, we are even called to admonish one another when necessary - though with grace, wisdom, and love (Colossians 3:16).

Jody mentioned the Darwin film, 'Creation', which she had seen. Darwin was portrayed as wrestling with the disconnect between his twenty years of careful observation and the religion he had been taught. She read Hebrews 2:11. We have been made holy and are all of the one family, Jesus himself is our brother.

Chris mentioned how yesterday's meeting at work had been a reminder that we grow and encourage one another and this informs and empowers us in taking Jesus out to everyone we meet in our daily lives.

Jody read Isaiah 9:1-7 and then Rachael shared a picture of a deep well with a rope and bucket. She understood that the well in the picture is not external but represents a well within our hearts. We need to allow what's already in us to come out. This is the living water from Christ, who is the source.

Sue mentioned that it would be truly hard work winding up the heavy bucket and she saw that Jesus comes and pulls it up and splashes the water all over us! I added that we need to make a start and then he takes the strain, doing what we can't. Reaching out a hand and starting to wind is just having faith that he will do the work. We begin the task already knowing that he'll do it - and he does! He also gave Chris the words, 'I will never leave you'. Wherever you go, whatever you do in life, he is always going to be there for us. In him we live and move and exist.

Rachael had a second picture, this time a tree which had blood instead of sap. She could see the blood coursing through all the veins in the leaves.

Glenn explained that there is a link between the well and the tree. Water is for refreshing, it's fun, but it's also cleansing, it prepares us for service, and it irrigates. Water from the well can be poured from the bucket into the furrows in a field, and he saw plants spring up and burst into flower. They were like potatoes, the tops would die back but there was a harvest hidden underground. We have to wait for the hidden fruit to become ready. The tree has Jesus' blood in it, there is a time of increase, of harvest.

Jody challenged us with the idea that our culture has no understanding of blood, but she believes we are coming to a place where we will need to understand it clearly. Some time ago her son had needed surgery and she imagined seeing this being done (though of course in reality she has only seen the scars of the healed incision). She has no real idea of the intricate things the surgeons must have undertaken. And somehow she knows that we need to trust the Lord for what we don't see and don't understand, not just for the things we do see.

18 May 2009

Great Doddington - Can't see me!

We read Exodus 20:1-21 which concerns the law. As believers we are free from having to meet all the conditions of the law, Hiding her eyesfree providing we don't cause a weaker one to stumble in some way. So our freedom is constrained by love.

Jesus told us that loving the Almighty and loving your neighbour actually fulfils the law. Matthew 5:17-20 also discusses the law. It is not abolished, and unless our righteousness is greater than that of the Pharisees and law teachers we are certain to be barred from the Kingdom. How can we ever have this kind of righteousness? Only because of Christ, for he is our righteousness.

We considered the fruit of the Spirit as this seem to have a great deal to do with how we relate to other people, in other words how we love our neighbour.

Barbara read Psalm 106:1-3, the Lord's love endures forever! We are blessed if we are constant in doing right, but again Christ himself is our righteousness. We also thought of Zechariah 14:9 where we read that there will one Lord and his name will be holy.

Chris prophesied, 'You are struggling, aren't you! You are heavyily loaded. Come to me and I will give you rest. I didn't call you to great faith or love or power but to walk with me day by day and speak the words I give you and confort one another. You are my children.'

Rachael described three visions. In the first she saw a woman bound in chains.

In the second vision she saw a little girl with here hands covering her eyes, and she was thinking, 'If I can't see, nobody can see me!' But Father says, 'Just because you can't see me doesn't mean you're not in my mind'.

And thirdly, she saw a large boat with sails caught up in a great storm. And she knew that no matter what the world does, this boat was not going to sink! Instead it will stay afloat and it will arrive at its destination no matter how big the storm.

Then Jody prophesied, 'I will release you from those chains. You are not invisible, I'll carry you through like a small child. I'll be your protector. You are like golden beams of light shining across a golden land. Like beams of light you will get past the darkness. I have shone beams of light for you so you will certainly get past the obstacles.'

'You just need to focus on being in me. You are not standing still, you are walking along the path, you will get through and you will be triumphant.

Rachael spoke another word from the Lord, 'I'd encourage each one of you to raise your head and see my face. I'd encourage each one to raise your eyes and see my eyes and know that I am here.'

Finally, we read Psalm 45, especially noting the verses about the bride, the princess (9-16).

11 May 2009

Great Doddington - Tiny buds

There were many people on our hearts for prayer today, family and friends.

Sherrelea spoke about the judge and the nagging widow and how we should never give up in prayer. Buds on a grapevineJody mentioned Lamentations 3:22-25. The Lord's compassion and grace are 'new every morning', that is how faithful he is!

Then Jody saw a dead-looking branch of vine, but when she looked closely she noticed that there were tiny buds. And she prophesied, 'When things seem to be dead in the winter, there is still life. It may look dead to you, but it's not dead to me. So don't be anxious. Enjoy the sunshine and the clouds in the sky above, rest in me, have no fear or doubt.'

Chris shared a picture of a tethered goat. And Father said, 'You are not goats, you are the sheep of my flock. You're not tethered to a stake by a rope, but you are tethered to me by my love for you and by your love for me. You are free to wander within the range of my love, and my love reaches you everywhere. You are never beyond reach, you are safe wherever you go, whatever you do - for you are mine.'

In connection with someone Sherrelea knows, Sue said, 'J is going down a corridor, and the doors are closing as he passes by. he is being guided into the truth.'

Glenn read proverbs 31 about the wife of noble character and he felt this was especially relevant for one of us in the meeting. He also shared an experience he'd had many years ago when he'd been afraid of financial failure and was reluctant to pay some bills because there was no income to cover them. But the Lord took away this fear and he went ahead and wrote cheques to cover all the bills (though the funds were not in the bank). On his way home the following day he had a call from a client to say that a large and unexpected cheque was on the point of going out to him. This unexpected amount covered all the outstanding bills.

And finally Sherrelea read Ecclesiastes 3:9-11

05 May 2009

Great Doddington - Forest bridge

We talked about Canada for a while, and Jody wondered whether it's right in principle to go or not. We often know what we would like to happen in our lives, Woodland sceneand obstacles and difficulties often get in the way, but how do we discern what is right?

Glenn referred to Jeremiah 32 in which Jeremiah buys a field. He has to follow the right process and there is a due process we must go through in everything we do. There's a promise of restoration here, nothing is too hard for the Lord to do.

Jody had a vision of a forest. She saw how the light changes, and there were so very many different shades of green. Looking deeper into the wood she saw a bridge made of the materials produced by the woodland itself. Trunks of trees, rough-cut branches, but with a wire mesh on the footway to prevent people from slipping. She felt that Father wants us to see that the walk we are on encompasses the whole wood, not just one little part of it.

Rachael saw a picture too, this time of people going both ways along a road. Some of them seemed to be on fire, and this seemed to suggest the Holy Spirit. She prayed, 'We want to be on fire for you, burned up by you'.

Chris brought a prophecy. The Lord said, 'I have a throne-room, and it's in your heart. But who will you place upon that throne? Will you put my Son in that place, will you enthrone him in your heart. Or will you put yourself in that place?

We spent some time praying for various people and situations.

27 April 2009

Great Doddington - Unexpected life

This was another great meeting, full of rich thoughts and the touch of the Spirit. What a privilege to be present!Flowers on bare wood

At first we drank tea or coffee and shared news of family and friends. As we talked and prayed, several Bible texts were mentioned, in particular Psalm 31 ('let your face shine on me' - verse 16), Numbers 6 ('the Lord make his face shine upon you' - verse 25), and Psalm 37 ('he will make your righteousness shine like the dawn' - verse 6).

Sherrelea prophesied, 'Do you not know? Have you not heard? You will soar on wings like eagles, you will walk and not be faint.'

Chris had a picture of a tree and shared it. So many trees lose their leaves in the autumn and are bare all through the winter period, then in the spring they produce fresh, new leaves. But the tree in the vision remained bare after all the other trees had come into leaf. It looked dead. But then beautiful flowers burst out of the dead wood and the branches were smothered in pink blossom. And only then did the new leaves begin to grow. Sometimes when nothing seems to be happening the Lord can touch us just like the barren tree and a new season starts unexpectedly in our lives.

Rachael saw an old water mill though it wasn't turning because the water had been blocked off. It was flowing along the river, but not to the wheel. Father said that the wheel on its own is nothing and produces nothing, and the same is true of the water. But he said, 'When my water of life reaches people, my power reaches them and fills them'.

Barbara read Mark 11:22-26 and then prayed for salvation for one of the people we have had in mind. We must ask and believe, and have hearts filled with forgiveness.

Jody had seen a TV program about Nepalese tribespeople collecting honey from wild bee colonies on the sheer face of a forest cliff. These bee colonies were enormous. The method used was to lower someone on a rope to get them close to the nest, and then they would use a knife on a long pole to cut out part of the honeycomb. The idea was to catch the falling honeycomb in a basket suspended from a second rope.

The people know to take no more honey than the bees can cope with so that the bees will be able to survive the winter and collect honey again the following year. In the same way God has given us all we need in our current position. Father reminded us, 'Don't worry about the supply, don't worry about tomorrow'.

Glenn expanded on this idea, the bees coming back are like the next stage in our life. We have no children, later we have children, and eventually grandchildren. Glenn read Lam 2:11,19, and he thought that whatever we go through we have to defeat it because of our children. Our attitude should be, 'How dare the enemy attack my children?'

Chris saw treasure lying on a path, and Father said, 'Some people trip on the treasure and curse it, some step over it without even noticing that it's there, and yet others see it but think that it's worthless. They think if it was real treasure it wouldn't be lying there on the path. But you, my people, have seen the treasure, recognised its worth, and have made it your own. You have found the treasure.'

20 April 2009

Great Doddington - We're nothing special

Right at the start we talked about friends and family who needed prayer. We also discussed the need Britain's Got Talentto help our neighbours without neglecting one another in order to do it.

Chris mentioned that it's not really about us at all, it's all about Christ. And although we know how grubby and ugly we really are, even so - he loves us!

Jody explained how they'd visited Fountains Abbey as a family and although the foundations and much of the walls remain, the whole place is being reclaimed by nature. Grass is growing between the pillars, and it's absolutely glorious! She said that it's just like Christ in us, we are becoming absorbed into him. We need to allow his living nature to overtake and overwhelm our dead nature.

She also mentioned Susan Boyle, the newly discovered singer made famous by the TV show 'Britain Has Talent'. This amazing woman has no great natural beauty, but when she sings it really does come from the heart. In this she is a picture of us as believers, we are nothing special in our ordinary day-to-day lives, but there is something very special in our hearts.

Jody shared a picture of something that looked like blueberry jam with a slice of white bread floating in the middle. But instead of jam it turned out to be black tar! Sherrelea was reminded of a bird floating on an oil slick, unless somebody rescues it it will eventually sink. She felt that the Lord has brought us together in this little group to support one another and rescue one another from the blackness. And like the bird in oil, the rescue demands more than just picking us out from danger, it also requires patient, gentle, careful cleaning, feather by feather. And we need protecting while we recover and regain our strength before we can be set free.

Jody prophesied, 'You are new wine to be poured out for a new purpose to show the world who I am and what I will do. Despite the credit crunch, and war, and distress of all kinds, I have come to bring you (and them) to be in the light and love - to share - to take and share. Don't put it in a cupboard or under a blanket, take my joy forward. Be my servants.

We listened to a track from Nicky Roger's first CD, 'Colour Scheme'. The song 'One Thing' reminded us that Jesus is the 'One and Only', and he is the one, the only one who matters in our lives.

06 April 2009

Great Doddington - Fresh bread

As we met and chatted over coffee, foremost in our thoughts were our children and the urgent need for employment in one family in particular.
Fresh bread in the morning
Glenn told us about meeting people during a church outreach on the streets of Rugby, offering to pray for needs and talking about the hope we have in Jesus. There were some difficulties with the town centre security staff who tried to stop the street work going ahead.

Barbara shared her concerns for elderly folk with various degrees of loss of sight who have been suffering frightening hallucinations. We talked about this for some time as well as praying both for the old folk and for Barbara herself in reassuring and encouraging them.

Then our thoughts turned to the attitudes that sometimes exist in church organisations. It's incumbent on all of us to deal very humbly with one another, to accept and not reject, to comfort and not to frustrate, to encourage and not to criticise. Chris mentioned how he'd listened to online audio of Wolfgang Simson saying very clearly that the church does not belong to us, it belongs to Christ. We can do things our way if we want to, but we cannot expect the Lord to bless it. To see success we must follow the King.

Sherrelea read from 2 Cor 10 and reminded us that we all belong to Christ whoever we are and whatever our gifts and abilities may be. How badly we need to get our priorities the right way round! It's not enough to be pleased with ourselves, the only thing that counts is whether Jesus is pleased with us!

Chris shared a picture of still water in the form of a very murky pond. The water was very dirty, stagnant and filthy. But because it was still it provided a faithful reflection of the sky above, blue with puffy, white clouds and the sun shining brightly. And the Lord said that when we look at the pond we can see the murky filth or we can see the beautiful sky. It is simply up to us to focus on whichever we choose.

Jody prophesied, 'You are like the aroma of fresh bread in the morning or the fresh greenery in the garden. Look and listen! You can hear the birds singing, children's laughter. Know that I am in these precious moments with you, remember that I am the Lord. Remember the scents, smells, and sounds and know that I've placed these things in your hearts as memories. Memories to remind you that I am with you.'

She continued by reminding us how Moses mother had given up everything (her son) by placing him in the water amongst the reeds (Exodus 2:1-10). She had to take the risk in order to have any hope of his survival. And the Lord said, 'You have felt like that mother too, and just as I delivered the child into a place of safety and wealth, so I will also take those things you give up that were precious to you, and I will put them into a place of safety also. The things that are most precious to you are precious to me too. But you are the one who has to let go.'

Sherrelea also prophesied, 'I will give you rest and help. Trust me, come to me, rest with me, trust me. My burden is light, my yoke is easy.' Then she described a picture the Spirit showed her of a person lying in the road, unable to get up. And she knew that, like the man in the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus will always pick us up in our helplessness. He says, 'I will carry you.' He will not leave you lying in the road.

Glenn pictured Jesus speaking to Nicodemus (John 3:1-21). We've often heard the words Jesus spoke to him, '...[so] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.'

On the one hand we are reaching up to the Lord, but with the other hand we are to reach out to the others around us. Jesus has accepted us, we have received his non-condemnation (forgiveness).

He said to us, 'Let go of the anchor that holds you down. Let go! You will no longer feel the weight and dragging of that anchor. You are not condemned, you are accepted. So reach out with both hands, not just with one.'

16 March 2009

Great Doddington - Rebuilding the walls

What a wonderful meeting. It was so full of good things, isn't Yahshua great!

We began by chatting over coffee and biscuits, Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalemsharing things that had happened at home, at work, with friends and relatives. Life is filled with experiences of all kinds, some good, some not so good, some just plain hard and painful.

As the focus shifted from us towards the Lord, Glenn shared verse 9 from 1 Chronicles 22 where David explains that the Lord has told him, 'You will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon.' As Glenn reminded us, Solomon later spoke to the Queen of Sheba about natural life in the garden, he was interested in such details, a man of learning and wide learning, wise, quiet, peaceful. This was indeed his nature.

We thought about other leaders - like Moses who was not a powerful speaker, but he was obedient. Jim pointed out how he was told to throw down his staff and it became a snake, then he was to pick it up by the tail. How scary is that? Would you or I obey a command like that? That's faith and trust in action!

Wolfgang Simson has suggested that right now gentle, humble, peaceful leaders are being raised up in the church, not people of power or fame but quiet, modest, often unnoticed people.

Sherrelea shared some verses from Isaiah 30 that fitted right in, although they'd been on her heart before the previous conversation. 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength ... Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."'

Chris mentioned that we are called to a relationship with the Almighty, not to any kind of religion. As Bruxy Cavey explains in his book 'The End of Religion', we pray, meet, and read the Bible not to become worthy of access to our Father, but because we already are close and want to know him ever better. Chris mentioned that someone had recently seen the truth of this in terms of worship music - we are not here to celebrate the musicians but to worship the King. Once this penny drops, our hearts and minds are flooded with new light and we see everything in a new way.

Jody told us that as a sixteen-year-old she had debated with some Jehovah's Witnesses and had been so very much on fire for the Lord. She still remembers the intensity of that enthusiasm, an enthusiasm the JWs couldn't match with their belief that salvation could only come through right doctrine, understanding, and practice.

Jim reminded us of the need to be satisfied with whatever the Lord has given us. He told us about the sadness and grief of a mother who lost her daughter in a road accident. By comparison, most of the things that trouble us in life seem insignificant. We mustn't let our circumstances spoil what we have in him. We are still on our way to eternity with him, come what may.

Barbara added that even when we're aware of him in our lives we are still sometimes pulled down by circumstances. Sherrelea shared how she and her daughter Jessie both suffer from asthma. She described one particular morning which had been a real nightmare and how low she had felt until she suddenly decided that should would choose to get on with life despite the circumstances. And she achieved so much that day! We can (and need to) put the word into action by standing on the truth. This is a choice we make.

Barbara also told us how her son's wedding had seemed to be spoiled by circumstances but she remembers standing at the window and saying to herself, 'I choose to not let this affect me'. The feelings of heaviness just vanished and she felt it was a holy moment. We can feel peace despite the storms around us. It was like the time when Jesus said to the disciples, 'Don't be afraid!'

Jody shared the thought that choice is so very important but sometimes we just forget that we have a choice. We have a friend fighting cancer, he has no choice in his battle and he will go wherever it takes him. But he (and we) need these moments of assurance and affirmation more often!

Chris read Ephesians 1:15-23 which seems to sum up so much of what we've shared. Sherrelea added that, 'Rejoice in the Lord always ... in everything present your requests to God' (Philippians 4:4) also fits in with it. What a wonderful meeting. It was so full of good things, isn't Yahshua great?

Barbara asked us to pray for her daughter and son-in-law, they are living apart but still good friends. At this point Sherrelea had a picture of a lorry with gravel which she saw as a promise that some work was going to be done. In the vision she prayed and two more people arrived to help and everything went faster as a result. But she also realised that there are good and bad ways of going about the work.

Jody pictured a beautiful silk robe or gown, it was exceedingly beautiful, richly patterned, and sewn with golden thread. But nobody felt good enough to put it on. And the Lord said, 'It's meant to be put on now! I have made it for you, put it on!' Chris then prophesied that the coat is Joseph's coat, and that it is also therefore Yahshua's coat. It's a coat of many-colours. Jacob gave such a coat to his most favoured son, Joseph. And Yahweh has given such a coat to his most favoured Son, Yahshua. This is the coat in Jody's vision. Christ dwells in each of us and the Almighty is calling us to put on his coat because we, too, are his children and his heirs. Just as Joseph suffered severely at the hands of his brothers, so must we expect to be criticised and disliked. But it was all for the purpose of gathering the harvest into the barns ready for the coming time of severe shortage. There is a harvest ready, the grain is in the fields. We need to ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers and we need to get out there and be gathering.

Jody described how cement binds the stones together in a building. Jesus binds us together. We're all part of the structure – the cement is essential. Sherrelea referred to the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah 3. Each group built a section, they were not professional masons but priests, goldsmiths, perfume makers, and others.

Glenn spoke about 'walking in the way'. The way forward isn't difficult, and it's not concealed. The word of the Lord is near you, it's in your mouth! We can take any salient scripture and utter it in each situation we face. The Lord says, 'My word will not fail, it won't come back back empty'. (In other words it won't come back without fulfilling its purpose.

He also explained about understanding disagreement and dissent. Jeremiah 3 mentions this in terms of Israel and Judah.

09 March 2009

Great Doddington - Changing direction

We were a large group this evening even though Rachael was away. Jim and Sean came with me as we're not able to meet on Thursday this week.

One of us explained that there'd been some difficulty at work recently, An ocean going passenger shipand then Jody posed an interesting question. She was thinking about the people of Israel in captivity in Egypt and asked us, 'At what point did they finally come to leave?'

Glenn and Chris offered a few suggestions, and Jim pointed out that in our lives it's not so much a question of whether we should go left or right (ie whether we 'do' the right thing), but whether we are really worshipping the Lord in our situation.

Glenn explained from Exodus 12:1-36 that Yahweh himself entered the houses of the Israelites. We often think in terms of Passover as if he 'passed over' their houses but not the houses of the Egyptians. But he didn't pass over (literally 'jump over') their homes, he jumped over the doorstep and the blood and into their homes (verse 23)!

Indeed it was Yahweh's presence in the home that restrained the destroyer. And it's the same with us today - he comes right inside and shares the meal with us (Revelation 3:20).

When we began to listen for him together, fresh ideas came thick and fast.

Sherellea described how we sometimes just have to take the time to be ready. The final result is often the end of a long process. She explained how a huge ocean liner takes a long time and several miles to stop or change direction.

Sometimes our lives seem to be on hold, we need to grow mellow and be willing to wait for the Lord's timing. It's always good to ask in times of doubt, 'What would Jesus have done in this situation?'

Sherrelea also read from Isaiah 48 where Israel was stubborn but was set free (the NIV has section headings 'Stubborn Israel' and 'Israel Freed'). And the Lord said to them, 'I am the Lord your God who teaches you the way to go'.

Chris shared a picture of a merry-go-round and imagined being on it and seeing a favourite family member waving each time it went round. Our lives sometimes seem like being on that ride, round and round we go. We glimpse Father briefly, then lose sight of him - time after time! But at the right time the ride will stop and we can get off and he'll give us a big hug. But until the time is right we can do nothing.

Psalm 100 reminds us that he made us and we belong to him. We can come into his presence and praise him, he loves us and is eternally faithful.

In another picture there was a long line of people (as in the Conga) but the people were on rollerskates. The one at the front was slow, the one at the back was fast. We need him to keep us moving at the right pace. To do this we need to keep our minds set on him.

Jody saw a field with a great, beautiful, white flower growing in it. There were other flowers all around, but this one stood out. And she knew that each one of us would reach perfection in that flower which was yet to be.

Chris thought that the beautiful, white flower represents the Bride of Christ, and he read from Isaiah 48:12-13 again. We thought about the way a man and woman are perfect for one another when they fall in love. Any blemishes in appearance or personality are utterly insignificant. Love is blind! This is the way Yahshua loves us and it's the same sort of adoration we should feel towards him. We are his Bride, and one day we will be presented to him, perfect in every way.

02 March 2009

Great Doddington - A giant oak

We talked for a while over coffee, sharing our thoughts about topics including prophecy, banking and the economy, and how society may come under judgement when we are disobedient as a nation.A very large oak tree

Rachael read us the story of the long-handled spoon, an amusing little tale which you may have heard before. The moral of the story is clear!

Jody read Psalm 139:1-24 and we thought about light and darkness in our own lives. How we need to live in the light (of Christ, not of the world). Sherrelea told us about an interesting incident when she'd only been following Jesus for a week or two. She'd been in conversation with a friend and had felt a little nervous about talking about her new found faith. Afterwards she had prayed for the friend with an interesting and faith-building result.

Barbara told us how she has been led to invite family members for a meal. This has become a regular opportunity and they even plan to book a place in Swansea for a short break together. There have been great opportunities to share her faith in ordinary, natural conversation. We prayed for her and for the people who meet with her. Chris had a picture of an old fashioned metal funnel and felt that Barbara has the same function as a funnel. Through her the Lord is pouring all kinds of good things and they are being focused into a particular place, the funnel ensures it all goes into the place Father intends for it.

Rachael also had a picture. She saw a very large oak tree. There were all kinds of creatures living in it - squirrels, spiders, birds, beetles. All were different and all were valid. They were all connected because they gained their life from the tree and lived in the tree. In the same way, we are all different yet we are all connected because Christ is our source and our dwelling.

Jody brought a word. The Lord said, 'You are my servants as well as my children, You are not to judge but to stand and act. You are to be gracious. I will judge, that is my role, not yours. The things you say and do are good and people will see that. They are good because they come, not from you, but from a deeper source within you.

Jody interpreted a tongue from Chris. The Lord said, 'Go where I go, walk where I walk. Just go - be obedient and go. I haven't called you to worry but to walk. The light is upon you.'

Several of us shared encouraging verses that were on our minds, for example 'If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm' (Psalm 37:23).

Finally, Sherrelea shared a problem with us and we prayed for her, asking for guidance, clarity, and help.

23 February 2009

Great Doddington - the Jewel

Glenn joined us again this evening. Chris and Peter spent some time trying to copy video files to a DVD, while Jody taked about how life is just under the surface. In particular she was impressed by the fact that under the recent snow there was no visible sign of activity, Sparkling diamondyet life was there below ready to break through and become gloriously visible.

We read a passage from Luke 18 which focuses on the importance of being consistent and not giving up.

Glenn shared a thought for Jody and Peter, the word was 'jewel' which is a thing of great worth, but it sounds the same as 'joule' which is a measure of energy. He had the word, 'You are so precious, like a jewel my light is reflected in so many directions'.

We prayed for people and situations we are aware of, our children, job interviews, and more.

Chris shared a picture of Jesus and his Bride, we look into his eyes and say of Christ, 'It's not about us, it's all about you'. And he looks into our eyes and says exactly the same. This is intimate relationship, this is love - we love him and he also loves us.

Jody also mentioned how blotchy and even unattractive some fruit can be, pomegranates or figs for example. But Father says, 'Taste it, try it, there is nourishment and sweetness in these fruit - waiting for you with my blessing'.

We shared bread and wine together, and finished the bread with some fine cheese.

09 February 2009

Great Doddington - Candy floss

It was great to welcome two new people this evening, Glenn and Sherrelea, both of them friends of Jody and Peter.Spinning candyfloss

We talked about the various 'streams' of church that exist today, and how really there is only one body. We need to be careful not to become another division of the body, remaining fully open to experience rich fellowship with our brothers and sisters whatever their background and style of meeting.

Jody passed round a Telegraph article about a woman who had fostered a Muslim girl. She was 16 years old and independently became interested in Christianity, visited a church, and was eventually baptised. As a result the foster carer has been struck off the local authority's list and is now considering legal action.

Rachael shared a picture of a circular throne. We were all sitting in it and around it and no matter how many people there were, there was always room for more to sit with the Lord. He was sitting amongst us.

Jody commented on the 'white stuff'. The recent heavy snow has slowed us down so much and in some ways this is no bad thing. This week Jody has met many people in the village that she had never met before. People have time to talk because they are not able to dash to work, collect kids from school, or get the shopping done.

The tiny, fragile flakes of snow mount up and eventually bring us to a halt. The snow melts and cleans and refreshes. We have a choice; we can enjoy it or we can hate it but it's here and we just can't avoid it!

Sherrelea shared the thought that snow is just like the Lord's people. One snowflake on its own melts on your hand, but en masse snow is truly powerful. Jody added that this thing (snow/his Church) is not of us. It is beyond us, the power and the authority are his.

Glenn used to sell popcorn and candyfloss, an amazing range of flavours of both. Sometimes he and his family experienced times of difficulty caused by the uncertain income earned. He spoke about Abraham's testing described in Genesis 22:3. Just as Abraham needed to cut wood, travel to a particular place, and be willing to sacrifice something he cherished, so we too need to be prepared for service.

We need to move away from just conserving what we have (like money in the bank) and to become providers, a blessing for others who are in desperate need. Glen shared how he'd had to lay down a twelve year project (a shop) in order to do the Lord's bidding. But in the end the sacrifice may not be required (like Abraham's son Isaac). Now Glen has plenty of work and is praising the Lord for it.

We must never withold something just because we consider it precious.

We ended by watching part of a DVD of Paul Young (the author of 'The Shack') speaking on how tradition can sap the life out of our experience of church; and how Jesus depended on every word that came from the Father, living literally moment by moment (which is about as far from tradition as it's possible to get).

26 January 2009

Great Doddington - The Rock

We chatted for a while, then Jody shared something about walking through the mud and how their children had got stuck and got their clothes muddy in trying to take a step forward.Mossy woodland

Rachael described an image of a dark path, we were guided by little pots along the way, each one with a candle burning in it. We were also guided by windchimes hanging in the trees close to the path, even if it's too dark to see we can still hear the sound. Father said,

'Trust me, trust me, trust me, you will get through. I'm there with you. You're not going along this path alone and you are not in danger unless I lead you there. If I do, I'll take you out as well.'

Rachael also prophesied, 'I tell you this, there is no time in my experience. I know you as you are, as you were, as you will be in completeness.'

Rose referred to the verse about the word being a lamp to our feet (Psalm 119:105). And there was a picture of a paper decoration, the sort that is packed flat but stretches out a long way when you pull it out, eventually it's long enough to hang up right across the room. The Lord said, 'I am like that, I stretch out and I can go an awfully long way.'

Jody prophesied, 'Let go of the haystack, just get on with your life and don't worry about the one little thing that someone does that bugs you. I can see the haystack and the needle in that haystack. You don't need to dive in to try and find it. You think you have a metal detector that will help you find the needle - don't do it! You don't need to deal with it - I will. Just let go.'

He also told us, 'Look, I'm like a surgeon. I cut you open, remove the diseased parts, and then I stitch you up again to heal you.'

Chris realised that it's as though we are walking along a dark path carrying torches, the source of the light moves along with us because we are carrying it. So although everything around is is in darkness, the place where we put our feet is always clearly lit.

Finally, Jody described a rock in a woodland. It was covered with moss but however deeply it's covered it's still a rock and in centuries from now it will still be a rock. If a great forest fire comes, it will still be a rock. If it's covered over by deep layers of leaves and soil you'll still be able to dig down and the rock will still be there.'

'No matter what happens in your life, I'm still here. Take heart, don't worry, I am your Rock.

19 January 2009

Great Doddington - Abuse

Rachael has been studying recently (which is why we're meeting on Mondays now - she is not free on Tuesday evenings). She's been reading a book about helping people who suffered abuse as children, and this evening she read a letter from the book.

The person had written to his mother, laying out very clearly and unemotionally the damage that her abuse had caused. The letter was quite stark, but perhaps the most impressive thing about it was its matter-of-fact-ness. This is what you have done to me, to me you were two different people - my Mum, and 'scary lady'. At one point she had slashed him with a knife and left him alone for hours afterwards. He bled profusely, he might have died.

The book might have been called 'Seeds of forgiveness', I'll have to check. We all need to forgive and we all need to be forgiven, our meeting focused on these issues.

23 December 2008

Great Doddington - Forks in the road

After reading Genesis 42 we thought about forks in the road. Joseph had a great future given to him through his dreams, but his road forked and he unexpectedly ended up in Egypt. Which way now?

Joseph's brothers were not favoured sons, but they were nonetheless sons of Jacob - wealthy, and special. And there was a fork in their road too.

We listened to a Glen Campbell song. Then we considered how we have to come to a point of surrender in our lives. We really do need to 'let go and let God' as they say.

Like Joseph, our present circumstances don't matter, the Lord's grace is sufficient for us. He told us, 'Your life and mine are like two strands being spun into one yarn that can never be undone'.

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