Showing posts with label St Neots (Cornerstone). Show all posts
Showing posts with label St Neots (Cornerstone). Show all posts

10 August 2011

St Neots (Cornerstone) - Distressed by church life

< 3rd August 2011 | Index | 25th August 2011 >

I had arranged to meet a couple at Cornerstone this morning but was late arriving. In the end that was not a problem and we spent several hours together. These two lovely people shared a story of church life causing pain.
Cornerstone Cafe and BooksMuch to my shame I forgot about the meeting and was only reminded when I received a 'We're here, where are you?' text on my phone. By the time I arrived at Cornerstone they had already left.

I ordered a coffee, called them, and was relieved to discover they were just exploring St Neots High Street. Very soon we were finally in Cornerstone together sitting, drinking tea and coffee and chatting.

The conversation was encouraging. They told me about some of their history in church life, a not unusual mix of good and less good. Church life tends to be good when we are all listening to the Holy Spirit and obediently doing whatever he tells us to do. It tends to be much more difficult when we are 'doing the best we can'. Rather than doing our best (which is never good enough) we need to get out of his way and let him do his best in us and through us. Sometimes the things that other earnest, well-meaning people do to us in the name of religion is distressing and disappointing.

I felt Father nudging me to give my new friends a copy of 'The Grace Outpouring', and shortly afterwards one of them said something about 'grace pouring in'. I popped down to the book counter, Angie sold me the last copy on the shelves, I scrawled a brief note inside and passed it across the table to them.

Because we were rather late starting, we still had plenty to share with one another as lunchtime came along so we stayed together and had a light lunch - sharing food as well as thoughts and conversation.

I showed them the meeting room and the healing room and we spent a useful time praying together. Father gave me a picture and a word for them but I'm going to share it here too as I think it applies to all of us.

I saw a pathway leading slightly uphill amongst scrubby woodland. I knew it was the way we should be following despite its poor condition. There were large rocks blocking the path, potholes, nettles and brambles. And the Lord said, 'You are on The Way, it is the right way, it's the way I have planned for you. The road ahead is not going to be easy, the road I have walked wasn't easy either. You will have to move some of the rocks, pull out the nettles and thistles, and fill potholes. Move those you can and the road will be a little easier for those following behind you.

I had a sense that The Way as it originally existed was perfectly straight and flat, but two thousand years of religion and tradition have damaged it and made it unsafe. But as we pass along we all have opportunities to improve the Way. Perhaps this is a picture of church life, rough, uneven, hard and sometimes painful yet improving little by little by the action of obedient servants who hear the Spirit's murmurings and obey him.

All three of us enjoyed our few hours together and were encouraged. We will meet again for sure and we will keep in touch. And we will walk The Way in the church and in the world - wherever the Master sends us.

< 3rd August 2011 | Index | 25th August 2011 >

22 December 2010

St Neots (Cornerstone) - Being in the right place

Tonight we met at Cornerstone as there was a group using the Meeting Room and I had agreed to open the shop and lock up afterwards. We spent some time over coffee talking about the year ahead.

David Wilkerson TodayJim told us about a Derek Prince book* he's been reading about prayer and fasting, and he shared some of his thoughts about it and how it had impacted him. We prayed together for Father to have his way in our lives - the things we feel we should do, things he has for us that he has not yet shown us, as well as projects, ideas, and possible new openings we can see.

I had a picture of a waterfall coming over a cliff. It was not a particularly large waterfall (not a Niagara Falls, more like a large brook shooting over the cliff edge). But it was a very high waterfall. And the Lord told me that if we stand in front of it we can see it but we won't get wet, and if we stand behind it (between the waterfall and the cliff) we'll see it and hear it but we still won't get wet.

But if we stand in the right place we will be drenched by the water. This is what Father wants us to do, to stand in the place where the water falls and to be truly affected by it.

Sean explained that the picture confirmed for him something he had read in a David Wilkerson blog post, 'Undefiled in the Midst of Wickedness'. Like Daniel and his companions, we need to stand in the right place, a place of purity. 'Seek first the Kingdom of the Most High, and all these other things will be added.'

Sean followed up this meeting with an email to Jim and me pointing us to another David Wilkerson item and commenting that it chimed well with some things Jim had mentioned.

Isn't it encouraging when things come together and link like that!

* If you live in the St Neots area you can buy a copy of this book from Cornerstone.

04 November 2010

St Neots (Cornerstone) - Meeting at the corner

This evening we decided to meet at Cornerstone Cafe and Books because Pam was planning to do some cleaning there. We all worked for a while, had a coffee, then met, and finally did a little more work before heading home.

Cornerstone's websiteWe chatted for a while as we often do. Jim asked me what I'd been doing during the day and I mentioned waxing one of our new doors at home. Then I shared how I'd read 1 Corinthians 13 and how it is perhaps my all time favourite chapter, and how I'd read Psalm 7 today too. I read out the last verse in which David relies on Yahweh's righteousness, not his own.

Jim told us that he's been reading Hebrews and how the people seemed to be starting to drift away from Christ. The author is saying, 'Hey, get back to the truth about Jesus!' Someone he knows had spoken about Jehoshaphat who ahead of battle had spent time praising the Lord instead of preparing his weapons. We have to have the same frame of mind, the real priorities are not always the obvious ones.

Sean told us about a dream he had. He was in an old Anglican church and the vicar was going through the service. Sean became bored and began praising and worshipping loudly. The people in the church tried to stop him but couldn't. They were prevented from interfering.

Jim and Sean then discussed how, without revelation, the gospel is a mystery and may even repel people. In the end it's all about the supremacy of Jesus, not about the law, rules, and regulations.

I thought that we're just like the prodigal son, but we sometimes overlook the fact that the father in the parable was also prodigal. He poured out abundant mercy, grace and love upon the returning son. We have only to turn back towards our Father and he runs out to meet us and throws his arms around us.

I felt I should speak out the words of the old song...

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace.

Jim was surprised and encouraged by this as it was the second time today that someone had shared those words with him. And of course I found that encouraging too!

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