19 February 2009

Little Paxton - Summer planning

This evening we discussed plans for the Youth Camp in the summer and prayed again for the Lord of the harvest to send in more labourers. It was good to have the video and other materials from Pete and we were able to make a start on planning, sketching out our main ideas for an event in Eynesbury, perhaps in May.

The video below was made for a camp in 2007 and will be updated for this year's event.

Although we discussed some of the practical aspects this evening, we are also very aware of Father's hand on everything that has happened so far. He has put us in touch with the right people at just the right moment at every point along the way. Usually he has surprised us, sometimes we haven't even understood what he's done until afterwards. There is already an impressive array of 'coincidences' and these are encouraging us to expect more around the corner.

We praised him and thanked him for it all. All the honour and glory is his!

13 February 2009

Eaton Ford (day) - light and dark

We met at Paul's, Roger and John were both unwell so it was just Paul and Chris this time. Bright light shining behind a dark cloudWe talked about life in general and some of the issues we face, and we made a list of friends and prayer points.

We prayed for these and others, and Paul shared a thought about light. We are to take Christ's light out into the world.

We read John 9:1-34 which tells of the 'Messianic miracle' of healing a person born blind. The Pharisees had to accept Jesus as Messiah on the basis of the healing, or they had to discount the healing. They were forced to choose. Verses 35-41 show clearly that Jesus came to overthrow the status of human knowledge; the blind would see, and those who thought they could see would be shown to be blind.

12 February 2009

Eaton Ford - a DVD track

It snowed again! Sean set out and then decided it was unwise to continue, Pete didn't make it either, The DVD coverbut Jim arrived and brought Pam - a lovely surprise to share with them both.

We chatted for a while, then watched a track from one of the House Church Conference DVDs from 2008. The track we watched was Bill Hoffman talking about 'The Church at Table Number Two', a very interesting story about going out to where people are instead of drawing them in to where we are.

This was an unusual meeting because of the snow, but it was a great evening.

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).

06 February 2009

Eaton Ford (day) - Arctic conditions

We met at Paul's at 10:30, it was a really useful and encouraging time. Deep snowRoger was snowed in and couldn't come while John was feeling quite unwell; so it was just the two of us.

We chatted, we prayed for a number of friends and their situations, and we listened to the song 'Halleluia' because it seemed relevant. We were given a picture of a lone figure walking across an empty arctic landscape (not a surprise in view of the snowy weather)! The land was flat and white with no trees, no buildings, no hills - nothing but flat snow and a constant stream of icy, wind-blown particles across the surface. The lone figure was dressed for the conditions, and trudged slowly but steadily onward. Sometimes we feel so alone, but we are not alone, we are never alone! We broke bread and shared soup together,

It was an encouraging time. Paul is really excited about the Youth Camp this summer, he has already started approaching some of his contacts to see who would be willing to support it.

02 February 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT - A new mailing list

There's a new mailing list on the block, the Organic Church UK Forum (OCUF). If you live in the UK or are involved here in some way you might like to consider joining.

Visit the list's webpage for more details or to join up.

The introductory information reads...

The Organic Church UK Forum (OCUF) is a place for open discussion by anyone interested in or involved in 'organic' church life in the United Kingdom. The term 'organic' is intended to include house church, home church, simple church - whatever you prefer to call it. In essence, expect the discussions to centre around Christ. He is, after all, the Head of his church and moulds our relationships and lives. We are his people.

We therefore wish to reveal his nature to one another and to the world around us. We wish to act as he would act if he was here in bodily form. We want the world to notice that we are here, that we love Christ, one another, and our neighbours.

In this forum we aim to discuss shared life as a local expression of his love, wisdom, power, authority, gentleness and grace. The forum is also a place to announce meetings, especially regional or national meetings, to point out useful websites and other online resources, and to discuss relevant books and other materials.

Above all it is a place where we can encourage one another.


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