15 July 2003

Eaton Ford - Fallen and lifted up

< 23rd June 2003 | Index | 6th August 2003 >

Rachael brought some verses from Revelation (Rev 2:5). It was striking that the church at Ephesus was told, 'You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen.'



Somehow this seemed very relevant to the church today, we need to recover 'our first love', we need to see how far we have fallen. Only then will we have things properly in perspective. We belong in a high place, we belong with Him!

We were also aware of our need for fellowship with other people. We can't do anything alone, we want others around us, we need them to be there.

Father spoke through the Spirit, he said, 'Step onto my hand, I'll lift you up, there's no need for you to learn to climb or fly.' So we felt we can relax in him and let him do the work. He will lift us up and we will see him face to face. He told us to rest in him, to rest in his love, he said, 'I will do the doing'.

He also reminded us that our place is to encourage one another, not to criticise people, not to disagree with them, but to build one another up. We felt that when we meet with others it's often the differences that spring out and appear to become important. But this is a trap for the unwary, the differences are often less important than they seem and they're less important than the things we share - salvation, blessings from above, communication with Him and with one another.

If there was a theme to this meeting it was 'connectedness'. Once again he reinforced for us a sense that we are to be connected strongly to him but we are also to be connected to one another. This seems very important and something we should remember.

< 23rd June 2003 | Index | 6th August 2003 >

23 June 2003

Eaton Ford - Reflected in nature

< 4th June 2003 | Index | 15th July 2003 >

This evening we decided, quite spontaneously, to take a walk along the river bank. And although we spent very little time in prayer (after we arrived back from the walk) we saw many things that reminded us of our heavenly Father, and we were encouraged and guided as we thought and talked together along the way. Here are a few of the highlights.

A young frog
Church life seems to go through seasons, just like those of the year. There are times of spring growth when renewed life appears and small, vigorous, green shoots grow towards the light. There are times like summer, when church life is warm and full and blossoms most wonderfully. There are 'autumn' times of fruitfulness and mellowness. And there are wintry times when branches are bare; life is still there but it's not always easy to identify.

We saw white water crashing over the weir in great, glassy curves, then bubbling furiously downstream with dangerous undercurrents to catch the unwary. What power is in the river! It seems to flow slowly, but the weir shows that there's plenty of energy hidden even in the quiet stretches. How like the rivers of living water that flow from the Son through his people! (Jn 4:10, 7:38, Ez 47:9)

We saw terns flying along the river looking for fish, and one dived into the water while we watched. Life is so wonderful, so varied, so graceful, how marvellous is the One who created the universe!

We saw dozens of baby frogs on the footpath, each no larger than a thumbnail. They were wandering about, every one in its own space, not ever seeming to meet although often not far from one another and probably all making similar journeys. Are we like that? Do we also rarely meet, do we each stay in our own space, even though we're on similar journeys?

We felt that it's important for us to see our Father, not in creation (for the maker is not part of what is made), but reflected by it. For we have to use our minds, we must think as well as see if we are to grasp what he is like.

And finally, we remembered again that we're made in his image. He is creative, so are we. He is love, so should we be.

< 4th June 2003 | Index | 15th July 2003 >

04 June 2003

Eaton Ford - Walk with the King

< 13th May 2003 | Index | 23rd June 2003 >

The Holy Spirit reminded us that we are just to love, not to manipulate. We are called simply to rest in him and to relax, he will do all the work. We can do nothing, only he is able to do it.

Walk with meWe received a word along the lines of, 'I will never forsake you or leave you. I will not leave any child of mine. Walk with me in my garden and see what I see, appreciate what I appreciate'. It seemed very striking when a blackbird began to sing in the evening air outside, such a beatiful song to listen to. The blackbird isn't anxious about what will happen tomorrow, he just sings for today.

Roger read Job 38:1-7 and 42:1-6 and spoke about how Job understood in the end that striving is no good, only the Almighty is capable of bringing his plans to fruition. He answers us 'out of the storm' and reminds us that we know nothing; eventually we, like Job, must understand that he, Yahweh, is the King and his plans will bear fruit.

At the end of the evening I was just left with a sense of peace, I felt surrounded by peace, supported by peace. It was a calming and encouraging experience; he knows what we need!

< 13th May 2003 | Index | 23rd June 2003 >

13 May 2003

Eaton Ford - Tree of life

< 21st April 2003 | Index | 4th June 2003 >

For some time I've been feeling that I want everything to happen right now, that I want to 'get on with it', whatever 'it' is. This leads to frustration, of course, and above all we have to wait for the King to move. Our place is to follow.

Trees on the riverbankThis meeting helped me a lot. We talked about Matthew 24:36 where we are told to keep watch and learn that even the Son himself doesn't know when. So why should I be impatient!

We also talked about the way things that once seemed important to us, such as reading the newspaper each week, are really not important at all. Our lives are full of such things, few of them matter.

We were drawn to two passages about a river. In Ezekiel and in Revelation we read about this river, and the passages seemed to be very relevant to what we were being shown. Ez 47:1-12 shows that the river flows from the temple (Yahweh's dwelling place) and brings abundant life. Rev 22:1-6 tells us that the same river waters the trees, and their leaves are for the healing of the nations. We also read about the valley of dry bones in Ez 37, one of my favourite passages.

Clearly, we can do nothing by our own strength or abilities. But when the Almighty acts, he acts decisively! Let's not worry or be fustrated, instead let's recognise that many things we hold dear are unimportant, and that life and renewal flow like a river from the throne of the Almighty and of the Lamb. Only when he breathes into us will we truly come alive.

< 21st April 2003 | Index | 4th June 2003 >

21 April 2003

Eaton Ford - Weak and strong

< 17th March 2003 | Index | 13th May 2003 >

Once again this was a meeting of just two people (three if you count Yahshua himself!) Even before we met, the Holy Spirit gave me the verses Psalm 81:6-7 and reminded me that we don't have to struggle; we've been set free. HalleluYah!

And in verse 12 it's clear that we do have an alternative. Instead of doing it his way we can 'follow our own devices', we can do it our way. But that's not a good idea.

Concrete foundation title=I'd been mixing concrete most of the afternoon, and pouring the foundations for some garden steps; concrete was on my mind. So I wasn't surprised when the Spirit told me that people mix concrete which is wet and weak and can support nothing, but they pour it into the trench knowing that by the following day it will be set and within a week will have become strong enough to support a tall building.

He said, 'So it is with you - you are weak but I am patient and I know you will become strong enough for the task I've given you'.

While we were meeting together he said to us, 'I am like a beating heart in the body of my church, and I will lead you'.

This was so precious, and so relevant to our needs. For years I've been struggling with the issues of leadership. It seems very clear to me that the church shouldn't appoint leaders to tell us what we should do. I had concluded that the only alternative was to have no leaders at all because we all share one leader, our saviour and king, Yahshua.

But now he was showing us that we should all lead, and we should all follow. A third alternative that I'd failed even to notice! How simple, how elegant, how revolutionary, how obvious!

So now, instead of agonising over every issue in the church, if something seems right to me I will simply do it. We all have permission to act providing we do so in love, guided by the Holy Spirit, and under the kingship and headship of Yahshua.

Psalm 81:6-7 is right; we don't have to struggle; we have been set free.

< 17th March 2003 | Index | 13th May 2003 >

17 March 2003

Eaton Ford - Small and great

< 18th February 2011 | Index | 21st April 2003 >

There were only two of us tonight, but Father is so gracious. Yahshua told us that he'd be there where two or three are gathered together - and so it proved to be.

Stonecrop flowersThe meeting was just as blessed as usual, with plenty of encouragement and a sense of his close, caring presence. Praise him!

We heard that the tiny stonecrop and the great cedar, and the mighty oak tree were all planted by his hand. The important thing is not to be big or stong, but to be planted by the master.

He reminded us that two or three is enough, that he cares for us and we are precious in his sight.

There was another mention of the boat in the storm, if we have faith we will make it across to the shore. And we have faith, not because we are strong or able, but because he has told us we'll arrive safely on the other side.

He showed us once again that he has provided a banquet for us and we can enjoy everything he has provided, even in the sight of our enemies.

< 18th February 2011 | Index | 21st April 2003 >

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