23 November 2004

Eaton Ford - Water and stars

< 1st November 2004 | Index | 15th December 2004 >

Five of us met this evening (six if you include Donna's cat)! We spent some time chatting and sharing tea and coffee, and then settled down to see what Father would show us; he did not disappoint us, bringing pictures and prophecy that came together with a strong theme. At the end we felt we'd been encouraged, taught, filled with fresh peace, and strengthened.


Swirling water
Right at the beginning we were already thinking of old cartwheels as these had come into our conversation. It seemed that an old wheel was a picture of the church. Although we are all joined together in relationship with one another, the rim of a wheel cannot function without the hub. Yahshua himself is the hub of the wheel and we are all joined directly to him. If we are not in relationship with him as our hub, our relationships with one another are not going to be truly useful.

Next, the water of life was mentioned, and we read John 4:4-14. Val shared an amazing picture of some people splashing in a pool at the bottom of a waterfall, while others at the top looked down and worried that the water might be too cold or the jump too dangerous. The people at the bottom called out to them and encouraged them to jump. Finally they did, and were able to enjoy the water at the bottom in the 'bowl' of the waterfall. And as they splashed and enjoyed the refreshing water, some of it slopped over the sides of the bowl so that it was shared more widely and could bring life and refreshment to others.

A field of start
Father spoke to us through Gayna who prophesied that we should leave our toys and just come to him and be loved by him. And we realised that when he is there amongst us he's more important by far than anything else in our lives. The things we do when we are on our own are worthless by comparison. These things include our best efforts at work, at home, and in the church. We do need to come to him for refreshment and to receive his love and his wonderful touch.

With this still fresh in our minds, Rachael shared the idea of a hammock. Like a hammock, the Lord supports us all around. Even though the hammock moves in the wind we are still safe, held gently but securely.

And as Ken shared, our Father trims the vine to make it more fruitful. We're grafted in, we did not inherit our place as a birthright but as a gift. But if we remain in him, he cleans us and restores us, prunes away the damaged and diseased parts so that we can flourish with new growth in the springtime and bear fruit in season. But we need to let him do that for us! (See John 15:1-6)

What a rich evening it was, more and more good stuff kept flowing out for us, blessing after blessing! Thank you Father.

Next we heard from Gayna as she described how her burdens are like a heavy, leaden ball. She struggled to carry the weighty ball, struggled even to lift it! But Yahshua said, 'Give it to me, I will deal with it for you'. And when she gave it to him the leaden ball became a bubble, floated away into the air, and - popped! It was gone!

Ken was bold enough to share a picture with a meaning that was obscure to him. He saw the stars above the earth at night, but they disappeared in the sunshine on the other side of the earth. He had no idea what this picture might mean. But Val pointed us to Philippians 2:15 and 16 where we read that we 'shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the word of life'. He has placed his light within us so we shine like stars for him in the darkness, but of course when his light shines we are hidden in his brilliance, far brighter than the sun (see also Walking in the Light).

Val read several verses from this passage (Philippians 2:12-16). We are to 'do everything without complaining or arguing so that ... [we may] shine like stars in the universe'.

< 1st November 2004 | Index | 15th December 2004 >

01 November 2004

Eaton Ford - Butterfly and bird

< 14th October 2004 | Index | 23rd November 2004 >

During our meeting tonight we read 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 and were impressed by the thought that the Holy Spirit is a deposit, a guarantee of something we have yet to experience. And John 16:33 reads, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." He wants us to know that things will be far better than they are in this life.

Tortoiseshell butterflyIt's because our Father is the ultimate recycler! He takes us as he finds us - broken, worn out - and he renews us for a new and better purpose and function.

Val explained that she's been writing down her prayers and typing them up later, and she's been quite amazed to find how many of them have already been answered.

Then he showed us something truly delightful. He told us that his Spirit is like a butterfly, so beautiful. Butterflies settle on flowers, and they fly gently and gracefully through the air. He deals with us gently and very graciously, his spirit alights on us like a butterfly on a flower. He told us that when we're in turmoil he concentrates on bringing us to a place of peace, but when we're in a place of peace he concentrates on speaking to us. He told us, 'Know who you are, you are my children - it's as simple as that! You have inherited everything that is mine.'

A mallard duckVal then described just what his touch is like. He takes so much care in creating us. She saw him at work constructing a bird, showing the level of care he uses in making and re-making us. He applied each feather individually in its proper place, he even dealt individually with all those very tiny, fluffy pieces, crafting and attaching them individually using a specially fine pair of tweezers, until they were perfectly in position.

The tweezers are important, he doesn't work on us with a sledgehammer; that's just not possible. You cannot build with a sledgehammer, you can only knock down, destroy. The same hand cannot use both those tools!

Val was really on a roll tonight! She also pictured the process of knitting a large pullover. She explained how the work proceeds, row after row after row, with seemingly little progress. Eventually you have half a pullover front, but it still seems there's a long, long way to go. But then, you suddenly realise you have reached the arm holes, then the neck, and it's done! Our lives can be just like that, in the middle it can sometimes seem there's no real progress, we're just as bad as we always were. But, our Father promises the work will be completed, and it will!

He leaves his peace with us ('my peace I give to you' - John 14:27). His peace descends on us like a dove. He wants us to experience peace with the Father and peace with one another. This is central to his purpose, it comes as the result of loving Yahweh and loving one another.

< 14th October 2004 | Index | 23rd November 2004 >

29 October 2004

Mr Mole shows the way! (KN)

Walking back from town, crossing a patch of grass in the park, A mole at workI spotted some molehills. Fresh soil, pushed up from below, looking for all the world like miniature volcanoes; they were dotted about here and there, apparently at random.

But Mr Mole's little piles of earth are just the visible evidence of something going on out of sight. Are you a mole?

Moles work away underground, they're hardly ever seen and most of the time they live their lives quietly, out of sight, and not having any real impact on the world above ground. We should all be like moles! Just think about it.

Moles are active - For a start, moles are always busy. Their main purpose in life from day to day, like all animals, is finding food to sustain themselves. They must feed themselves, and they must feed their young. In the case of a mole this means finding earthworms and other small prey, and to do this they dig tunnels. Lots of tunnels.

They're always at it, digging, scurrying, digging some more. And they patrol their tunnels relentlessly, searching for food and repairing any damage to the tunnel. You won't find a mole with his feet up, watching TV, smoking a pipe and nursing a pint of ale. Mr Mole is far too busy for that!

Now I'm not suggesting we should not have time for leisure or watching TV, but I am suggesting we should be busy and active about our Father's work. Like the mole we should always be building new, or repairing what already exists. And that doesn't mean church buildings, it means church relationships!

The mole's work is hidden - Although Mr Mole is always busy below ground, most of the time we don't even know he's there, let A mole in his tunnelalone the fact that's he's working hard and never gives up.

Except for those molehills, his work goes on unnoticed. Shouldn't we be like that too? Not that we should hide our light from the world, quite the opposite, let it shine! But our work in the church is one of quiet industry, smoothing a difference of opinion here, helping a brother or sister with a problem there, visiting a sick friend, praying faithfully for someone. These things are mostly hidden, we don't need to draw attention to them, it's enough that our Father in heaven notices.

So, what about those molehills? - Yes, I wondered about those too, those are certainly visible! But then I asked myself, why are they there? The mole doesn't build molehills to draw attention to himself, it's not a case of, 'Look at my hills, aren't they great!'

Building tunnels involves getting rid of the unwanted soil. It gets in the way, it's not needed. If left underground it would prevent the tunnel being extended. As we work quietly and hidden, sometimes there will be things that need to be ejected, things that get in the way, things that we don't need.

From a mole's perspective those hills are not visible. Moles know that if they have unwanted soil, they must push it upwards and it will just disappear from view, it will no longer be in the tunnel creating a blockage, it will be gone and can be forgotten.

And that is exactly what we should do when we find the way blocked by stuff we don't need. We are always finding such things in our lives, things we're ashamed of, things that prevent us moving forward, things that reduce our effectiveness in the church. Push those things upwards and they'll vanish from our view. Give those things to our Father above and he will deal with them. Don't cling to them as then they'll just continue to block progress. Let them go!

That's all I have to say about Mr Mole right now, but I'm sure we are like moles in many other ways too. Maybe you can think of more Mr Mole parallels; if you can, do please leave a comment below.

Thanks!

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.
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Comment from: Terry Craig [Visitor] · http://www.wildflowerpress.biz
Hi!

Did you take the photo? I LOVE it.

Other than what you wrote, I know that moles can't "see" what they're doing in the dark of the soil. They have to feel their way around. While I'm not endorsing a life led by "feelings," I DO know that faith is pushing on even when we can't see the thing God promises.

We don't have moles here in South Florida as far as I know. We do, however, have crabs that burrow all over in some neighborhoods, filling the lawns with holes and soft spots, just like moles! Years ago we lived in a neighborhood with them and they drove our neighbor--who wanted a picture-perfect lawn--crazy. There's probably a parallel there as well, as life is messy sometimes. As much as we want to cultivate and control it (especially when others are watcing!)... we need to realize we aren't the masters of it. . . we are partakers of it, in all it's unexpected turns.
31/12/04 @ 19:31

17 October 2004

Walking in the light (KN)

That's what this blog is all about, I've been trying to catch those special moments when something is clearly illuminated for me and, if I can, explain them in mere words.The River Great Ouse

Of course words are just not up to the job, but they're a start. A picture here and there helps, images are like short-cuts to the heart, worth a thousand words as the old adage has it.

But best of all is for each of us to walk in his light so that we all receive it fresh and first hand. You don't need my stale, second-hand light, you need your own, straight from the source.

I was walking along the riverbank yesterday, the sky was cloudy but with blue patches dotted around. The air was chilly and a light mist was starting to rise from the river. And then I was dazzled by the light...

A bend in the footpath brought me into full view of the river, and low above the trees on the opposite bank the full strength of the sun hit me full in the face. Not only that! Reflected by the calm water surface, there was a second beam of golden light, it caught me full in my face as well.

Light on the waterThis was seriously bright light, the light of two suns! The photo doesn't even come close; you can't properly illustrate something like that. (To get a photo at all I had to move to one side and take the picture with the sun filtering through the leaves of the trees to reduce its strength.)

So what did I discover from this experience?

* The first thing I noticed is that when I looked straight at the light I saw... Light! I couldn't see the real sun, nor could I see the sun reflected in the water. They were far too bright. All I could see was the light, not the source of the light.
* Secondly I noticed that although I could see the opposite bank of the river, and some trees, everything was indistinct. Details were difficult to make out in the glare, close to the source of the light it was hard to see anything.
* Thirdly I noticed that when I turned around, the fields and trees illuminated by the light were very distinct and clear. Looking back at the world, back where I'd come from, things were clearly and brightly illuminated. I could see everything!

Do you think this is true of the light from heaven too? I think it is!

The source of the light is the Mighty One himself, who among us can look on him and see his face? Perhaps it's good for us to remember that although we can see the light of his glory, we cannot see any detail; he is too bright for us. He is more wonderful than we can yet understand. Our senses and our imagination are just not up to the job.

Can you imagine a light twice as bright as the sun? A thousand times as bright? A billion times as bright? Neither can I, yet the Almighty is far, far brighter than that!

Do you know what heaven is like? In part, yes, but only in part. You won't have full knowledge in this life, just hints, bits and pieces of information. Do you know what is in another person's mind? Only in part, even if you know someone well there is not complete knowledge. You can't fully know because you can't stand in that friend's place. Neither can you know heaven because you do not stand there, the detail is lost in the glare streaming from the face of the Holy One.

But when I turn around and look at the world, what do I see? I see more clearly now than before I believed. I see more fully than I did a year ago. Why? because I'm learning more and more to see in the light that shines out from heaven. Yahshua said, 'I'm the light of the world'. It's true, seen in his light the details of the world become clear. What was hidden is now plainly visible, what was lost can now be rediscovered, instead of stumbling in the dark we are now able to walk in the light! I was blind, but now I see!

I'm still just beginning to learn to walk in his glorious light. But every day he shows me more precious truths. Praise him! HalleluYah!

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.
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Comment from: Steph [Member] Email · http://www.es-creative.com
What a peaceful scene.

I'd like to bring a thermos of tea and go for a walk there.

Thanks for the photos! Keep 'em coming!
21/10/04 @ 06:04

Comment from: Steph [Member] Email · http://www.es-creative.com
I keep coming back to this first photo. There is such a sense of peace on it, and in it.

It's edifying just to look at the photograph; I wonder how much more enriching it would be to be stomping up the bank, feeling the cool air of the river on my face?

Isn't it wonderful to enjoy God's great majesty of this creation?

Thank you for taking the time to post it. Not everyone gets to live so near a river and enjoy the natural beauty there.

SB
23/10/04 @ 04:20

Comment from: Kay Harvey [Visitor]
I get everyones koinonialife mail but not long after I registered yahoo began saying my address was not registered though I saw it was and after much confusion I settled for listening, not responding. I was new at the computer and in fear I'd mess up receiving, I left it alone. I read you alot after I finish others for the same reason you told us accidently, what you thought of Jay. I don't have many people left here to the richness of Him that comes from a long walk with Him that is of a similar trail as mine. I notice you notice nature,His awesome thoughts which at 5 years old made me want to find how to talk to Him. My mom didn't know, she said if I did'nt doubt and I realized I did so I left Him in the sky till 15 and He fixed her mistake. I have known Him 36 years now and have a big garden to go escape with Him in. It is spring here in Florence Alabama USA and my roses and amaryilles, and daylillies are comming out, reminders of His awesome thoughts. I thank the Lord for Him in you. In Christ, Kay Harvey
08/05/05 @ 11:55

14 October 2004

Eaton Ford - Umbrella and prism

< 22nd September 2004 | Index | 1st November 2004 >

More than anything this evening was an evening of pictures. Father showed us so many, and all of them revealed something about his nature and our relationship with him.

An umbrella

Rachael explained how she'd been thinking about staying under Father's protection. When you drive a car in a really heavy rainstorm and you pass under a bridge, for a fleeting moment the deluge stops. It's not good enough to dash under his protection and then immediately rush out again, we need to stay there. The idea of an umbrella is different. Armed with a good brolly we can be under protection but also have the freedom to move around. But the principle is the same - we need to be where we will be protected, not somewhere else!

With the umbrella we are free to go with the wind. Under his protection we can be dancing and free because the umbrella travels with us - everywhere.

A prism and spectrumThe Holy Spirit also showed us something very special about dwelling in our Father's house. His house is not some wonderful and precious palace which can only be used with great care and is unsuitable for children. No! His house is really and truly our home. We're comfortable there, and we belong there. A good home is much more than a roof and an address, and it's much more practical then any palace. A good home is warm, and welcoming, a place to bring friends, a place where we feel 'at home'! That should not be a surprise to us.

In a related thought, Val shared something special about our Father's embrace. We can (and should) rest in his embrace. Now that's not a quick hug for just half a second. It is instead something that we really do 'rest' in. We feel a hug like that, and we know that we're being hugged, and we are not shooed away but we can stay in that place of love for as long as we need or want.

Yet another picture was of a meadow. Father said to us that our life with him is like being in a beautiful meadow, full of flowers, with the sound of birds singing. He is there, sitting in the meadow, and we are always free to go to him for reassurance, for food and drink, and for comfort and mending if we have fallen over. Val took this idea further, pointing out that he doesn't just sit in the meadow. He's also interested in us and in everything we do and he comes to look and shows us things. 'Look over here', he says to us, 'Have you seen this?'

And finally, in this evening of images, we considered something optical. We were given the idea of a glass prism with a beam of white light passing through it. The light is broken into all its many brilliant colours. Red light has the least energy of all the colours and is bent the most. Violet light is bent the least with the other colours spread out between the two. It seemed he was saying we are like the different colours. Some of us are close to him and are redirected by him, others perhaps don't hear him so clearly and are moved less. But the amazing thing about a prism is that it also works in reverse! If you send in all the colours of light, each one at just the right angle, they all combine to make a beam of bright, pure, white light.

So although we're all different (like the colours of light), through the prism of his love we all meet in him. We all reflect different aspects of him, but together we can begin to reveal him. Praise him! He is love and he is here amongst his people. He is here in his people!

< 22nd September 2004 | Index | 1st November 2004 >

09 October 2004

What kind of dog would I be? (KN)

Walking along the river bank this afternoon I came across a woman exercising her dog. Some dogs collect things!The dog ran towards me along the river path, then obediently lay down at a command. As I came up behind him and walked past, his eyes didn't waver. He didn't so much as glance at me, he was watching his owner very intently, waiting for the next command. His owner said, 'Get it then! Go on!', and off he went like an arrow released from a bow, off to fetch a ball or something else she'd left behind for him.

As we passed I smiled and said, 'Very good!'. I got a big grin back as I carried on walking.

Is this dog typical? No! I don't think so! I can think of several examples of badly behaved dogs - and I'm quite sure you can too...

We are like dogs too, some of us are more obedient than others. My brother-in-law has a Boxer called Rosie, she has a mind of her own, she will obey - but only if it suits her - or if she can see a titbit waiting for good behaviour! She is wilful, and she wants to be in charge. There are other dogs that don't disobey deliberately, but they never learned the words of command, they don't understand what is wanted of them.

I doubt if any of us is totally obedient. Some of us are wilful and want our own way, others perhaps are not attuned to our Master's voice. Some make a determined attempt, but sooner or later get it wrong for one reason or another.

It seems to me that the obedience of dogs is a very good illustration of the principles. A dog needs a master and must learn to obey without hesitation, certainly a good working dog will never question an order. Think of a sheepdog, or a retriever, or a dog trained to find drugs or explosives. They are only useful if they are obedient and reliable.

So if we want to be useful to the Master we must begin by learning to hear and recognise his voice. We can't obey him unless we first know what he wants of us. And having heard, we must have a heart to do his will, not our own. We might think our own ideas and methods will do the job, but they will not; we would be no more use than a sheepdog that decided for itself where the sheep should go.

Nor should we expect a reward, we may or may not receive one; our main reward will be in heaven - eternal life with the Son in the presence of the Father and surrounded by a great host of brothers and sisters. But here and now there may be no reward that we can identify. Our motives must be pure, we obey because he is our Father and we love him.

And like the obedient dog we must fix our eyes on the Master, unwavering, undistracted, and patient. When he gives the word we will be ready and will obey instantly.

Here in this world we have a relationship, first with the Master but also with our brothers and sisters, we will do well if we keep our eyes firmly focussed on his wonderful face. We will learn so much from what we see there, is he smiling? Being one of his people means we must interact with others. If they are to be built up and encouraged we'd better be obeying orders, not just making it all up as we go along.

Where we are not sure we do well to look all the more carefully. Never take your eyes off the King! Where we are not clear we must practice listening. How does the obedient dog develop such acute powers of observation and attention? By training, by practice. Practice hearing and seeing and you will get better at it. I promise you! Practice obedience and you will get better at that too. So that is our goal, to practice and practice and become more attuned to hearing and obeying.

See! We can even learn from the behaviour of our pets. Our Master is really good, loves us well, and knows how to train us; if we are obedient we can expect to do exceptionally well.

Oh, and one last thing. A good dog must have only one master - so must we. We are not to follow teachers, or preachers, or elders, or any other man or woman. We have one Master, and our attention should be fixed unwaveringly on him. Then we won't be distracted or deflected from his purpose. And as we help and encourage one another, we do well if we remind one another always - 'Look to the King, keep your eyes on his wonderful face, see his love, hear his voice.'

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.
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Comment from: Steph [Member] Email · http://www.es-creative.com
Having "his heart," not our own, is a phrase that is resonating with me, Chris. How does that happen?

I think that some of it has to do with the 30, 60, and 100 fold story in the New Testament. A 30 fold return on investment is pretty darn good.... but it's not "all" there is to be had.

If we want his heart, we've got to give 100% of ours, with no holes barred. Unfortunately, the forces of our human nature and society's constraints around us are 100% opposite to that. Everything seems to work against that work of maturity and complete surrender.

Isn't that why we need each other? To help each other press on to the upward goal, the *prize* .....

which is "his" heart.
Thanks a terrific blog.
S.
14/10/04 @ 04:27

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