15 December 2004

Eaton Ford - Cogs and a gift

< 23rd November 2004 | Index | 7th January 2005 >

We're always so busy, rushing around as the holiday season approaches, last minute shopping, getting everything ready for Christmas.

Old cogwheelsRachael saw us on Father's conveyor belt. We travel without effort and are always moving in the right direction, but sometimes we fall off and get stuck in the cogs! When that happens we do not make any progress and of course we may also be hurt. Isn't it true that sometimes we can be misled and become caught up in the mechanics of life? But our place is really to be carried along by the Almighty in the way we should go, without fuss or anxiety.

We read Jeremiah 29:10-14, where we see that Yahweh had plans for his people, Israel. He has plans for us too, he always wants to restore us to the place where we should be (especially if we've just fallen off his conveyor belt!) It's essential that we follow his plans, not our own. His plan guarantees success! Our own plans guarantee nothing but failure and disappointment.

Stained glass sunriseWe asked ourselves what sorts of things Yahshua plans for us in our lives. Does he plan to include plenty of rushing about? Does he include a good helping of last-minute shopping? What about gifts? We have a tradition of giving one another presents at Christmas, but the truth is that he himself was the gift! How we need to seize hold of this fundamental truth.

Rachael imagined herself in her car. And she realised that Father was speaking to her about this. He told her, 'If you look in your rear-view mirror you see me. If you look in the wing mirror I am there. If you look in front I'm there. And I am the engine producing the power. I am all around you'.

Next we were led to read John 1:1-12, such a wonderful and familiar passage. John writes about the Word of the Almighty, that he is the light of humanity, that the light shines in the darkness but the darkness doesn't understand it. These verses tell us that the Messiah is the light, he is the one John the Baptist testified about. They reveal that the word became human but was not received. But to those that did receive him he gave the right to become Yahweh's children!

If Christmas is about anything, it is about light and peace and joy, it's about the coming of the Word in person, and it's about his gift to us all. And of course his gift to us is himself, no more, no less.

< 23rd November 2004 | Index | 7th January 2005 >

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

08 October 2004

A handy Bible tool (KN)

Q - When you want to look up a Bible passage and you don't have a Bible with you, what do you do?The Bible Gateway website

A - Find an internet connection and browse to the Bible Gateway!


There you will find the entire Bible in a number of versions. You can display a verse or a whole chapter just by entering the details in a search box. Easy!

But you can do so much more than that with this well-designed tool...

If you've already used the Bible Gateway you'll know exactly what I mean, but if you're a newbie to this clever website - read on.

Keyword lookup - A second search box is provided for looking up words, type in 'fish bread' for example and click 'Search' and up pop those gospel passages about the feeding of the thousands, along with several other verses containing the same two words.

Changing versions - Once you've found the passage you need in one translation, you can read it straight away in another. It's easy to look at the same passage again and again in different versions; and there are lots to choose from.

Sometimes it helps to search in the King James Version (perhaps you remember that version of the verses you need), then, having found it, swap to a modern translation to read it.

If you've already used the Bible Gateway you'll know exactly what I mean, but if you're a newbie to this clever website - read on.

Audio versions - There are also audio versions in a variety of languages. This gives a different kind of experience and may be helpful.

Other materials - There are some study guides here too. Not as comprehensive or easy to use as some of the Bible software available on CD or traditional print, but very useful when nothing else is to hand (when you're travelling away from home, perhaps).

Foreign languages - There are versions of the Bible here in all kinds of languages. So whether you are from Albania or Vietnam you will be able to read and search online in your native tongue.

This mini review should be enough to get you started. Visit the Bible gateway website and hunt around to see what other features are available. And watch out for the new, improved version coming soon.

Happy reading, and happy searching! Why not bookmark the website now? - There are also audio versions in a variety of languages. This gives a different kind of experience and may be helpful.

07 October 2004

Everything I have (KN)

'Everything I have, was given to me.'

This simple line came to me today in an e-mail from a friend. It referred to something quite specific, but it's so true in a general way too.A young plant The more I've thought about it during the day, the more its meaning has become rooted in my heart, like a seed planted there. It seems right to share these thoughts more widely.

When I was first conceived I was no more than a tiny bead of protoplasm carrying a copy of the DNA that spelled my potential. As I grew, the meaning of the code worked out in detail until the day I was born and took my first breath.

We often think of birth as the beginning of life, but by the time I'd taken that first lungful and tested out my new voice with an ear-splitting wail, I'd already received so much.

First, the DNA code itself, donated by my parents but specifying a new, unique creature. And then all that realised potential - a heart that beats, lungs that fill with air, bones and muscles, fingers and toes, and all those amazing internal organs working away to keep me alive and healthy until adulthood. I earned none of these things. They are rich and wonderful gifts bestowed on me even before I was born!

Throughout my life from the morning of my birth to the evening of my old age I'll have received so much. The air I breathe, the water I drink, the food I eat and the clothes that keep me warm, I earned none of these things.Mature growth and abundant flowers I used my gifts of mind and body to 'earn' my way in the world, but I could create nothing without the means to do so, and the means came to me as generous gifts.

It seems to me that I have nothing at all to boast of, and absolutely everything to be grateful for. And look around at the world we inhabit! See the beauty of the sky, sun shining on leaves, the frost on twigs. Smell the fragrant orange blossom, the wonderful aroma of freshly cut grass, or bread straight from the oven. Ah, what a wonderful, wonderful world. And what a wonderful Creator who brought it all into being and planted me here amongst it for a season. I earned none of this!

And friends, family, just a smiling face in the local shop or at the bank, a kind word from someone who cares. Did I earn these blessings? No, I did not. All are gifts.

How true then it is to say...

'Everything I have, was given to me.'

Praise the King of Kings who has blessed me with so much. Honour and glory and power are yours, for ever and ever. Amen.

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.
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Comment from: Steph [Member] Email · http://www.es-creative.com
Oh yes -- just look around at the world we inhabit; it *is* amazing. Unfortunately, so many of us miss the little joys that are at our fingertips each day. Sometimes a simple glance, lingering on a thing of beauty or taking an extra moment to smile at a passerby is enough to remind us that there is more to this world than what we see, handle and touch. Just a glance can mean so much!

What I especially enjoy is when someone has the gift - an "eye" really -- to capture some of these glorious things and share them with others. Whether it's a melody, a phrase well turned, or a beautiful moment captured by photography. I appreciate these gifts so much. They inspire people like me to look higher, deeper, and live more meaningfully.

Thank you, Chris, for sharing these awesome photographs. I'm in love with this last one of purple heather and a dogwood bending low. At least that's what they look like from this vantage point.
08/10/04 @ 14:29

06 October 2004

Whose house am I building? (KN)

Quite soon I'll shake heaven and the earth, the sea and the land. I'll shake every country, the treasures of every land will come in, and I'll fill up this house with glory. (Haggai 2:6-7)

These are the words of Yahweh Elohim, the Mighty One of Israel, to the remnant of his people. He spoke through the prophet Haggai at a time when they had returned from captivity, they had built houses for themselves, but the Temple still lay in ruins.

The people had been saying to themselves, 'The time isn't right yet to rebuild Yahweh's house'. But his word to them through Haggai was, 'Is it then the right time for you to be living in your own, panelled homes while this house is a ruin?' (Haggai 1:2-3)

They'd built their own lavish homes, but done nothing to restore the Temple, the home of the Almighty himself!

And then he told them this...

Think about it! You've done a lot of planting, but there's not been much to harvest. You eat but you are never full. You drink but you're still thirsty. You wear clothes but they don't keep you warm. You earn money but you put it into a purse with holes!

Think about it! Go up to the mountains, fetch wood, and build the house so that I can enjoy it and be honoured. You expected a great deal but it turned out to be very little. You brought it home, A very fine house, I blew it away - why? Because my house lies in ruins while you're all busy with your own houses. (Haggai 1:5-9)

Does this sound familiar? We are his called-out people, we are his living Temple. But instead of building the one living Temple we've been so busy building a meeting here, a gathering there, a stream of churches, a denomination, an abomination. My friends, for almost 2000 years we have been building our own homes. We have been released from captivity and we have been building our own homes - and very nicely panelled some of them are! Expensive buildings, full-time paid staff, glossy publications, radio and TV broadcasts.

But it's not just the big names and the great denominations, we are all just as bad. My friends, until now we have almost completely ignored our Father's house, this living Temple of which we are all indispensable parts.

And his word is true, isn't it? Look how hard we have struggled to build and sustain our own efforts. Look at the ploughing and sowing and watering we have done, hoping for a good crop. How many exhausted pastors and worn-out preachers there are!

And where is the harvest? Oh, it's there all right, enough to survive, enough new people to keep our meetings ticking over, but where is the massive harvest that we looked for? We can all agree on one thing - we're not satisfied.

Why? Because our Father's house still lies in ruins while we have been building houses for ourselves. He tells us that he blew away what we brought home! Our Father did that to us! He will never accept our houses in place of his house. He will not bless our work, only his work in us.

What are we to do? We are to learn that building his house is the only goal that counts. Yahshua said, 'I will build my house'. We need to come to him, stand in his presence, repent of building our own houses, and become his labourers. We must follow him, do what he tells us, stop planning the work on his behalf, and allow him to surprise us with his plans and his way of doing things. Where will we find the materials for this work? 'Go', he said, 'to the mountains and bring wood', we must go to the holy mountain, only in his presence will we find the material to build! And we need to stick at it until the work is complete.

And what does our Father say about all this?

The silver is mine and so is the gold. The glory of this new house will be greater than the glory of the previous house. And in this place I will grant peace. (Haggai 2:8-9)

05 October 2004

Why not come and join us? (KN)

A Small Town CommunityIf you are enjoying the items on this blog, maybe you'd also enjoy discussing matters of relationship on the Koinonia Life Discussion Forum.

The list centres on how we share our lives as believers, how we relate to one another, and how together and individually, we relate to the Messiah. These are interesting topics and are at the heart of what it means to be a part of his body here on earth.

Of course, talking about these things in itself gets us nowhere. We must live the life, not just chat about it! But for those who are living the life (or trying to), a chance to bounce ideas around and hear the opinions and experiences of others can be liberating and helpful.

The group is a friendly and encouraging place where people try to help one another. The objective is to avoid argument and confrontation, but focus on building one another up in love.

If you want to know more, why not read the main information page at Koinonia Life and see what you think. If you want to join the list just click the 'Join This Group!' button at the top of the page to start the process.

Come on in and share with us, you'll be made very welcome!

04 October 2004

Leaves in the autumn (KN)

Autumn is here in Europe. Autumn leavesThe leaves are beginning to change colour and fall from the trees.

Walking across the car park at work this morning I watched the wind pick up some leaves and whisk them along the ground beside me. They looked alive, scurrying and hurrying, almost as if they were on an important errand, or playing a vigorous game.

But of course autumn leaves are not alive! They appeared active only because the wind moved them.

These autumn leaves reminded me that there's a huge, unfathomable gap between human life in the here and now, and the spiritual life we have in the Messiah. Just as a dead leaf is immobile, but a leaf whisked by the breeze is in vigorous motion, so it is for us.

This current existence in which we can so struggle with life and sometimes feel tired, frustrated, and disappointed; is being transformed daily by Yahweh's involvement, through the gift of life in the Son, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

In him we are refreshed and invigorated, as different from our old selves as the wind-borne leaves are from those lying limply on the ground. If we let him change us, we can all become creatures blown by the wind, we can all become active and mobile, like leaves on a mission!

So when you feel dejected or hurt or useless, remember that you are like an autumn leaf. You can achieve nothing on your own for you are lifeless, but if you will let him lift you and carry you along like a leaf in the wind, you will achieve much for he will be the power that moves you!

03 October 2004

Creation speaks of the Creator (KN)

Science, art, music, poetry, The Orion Nebulaand every human endeavour can illuminate the truth about the Almighty, even when that was not the original intention.

I've been reading a book called 'The Bit and the Pendulum' by Tom Siegfried, science editor for the Dallas Morning News. He discusses the ways in which scientists are discovering that information lies at the heart of existence.

Here's a short extract...

Siegfried writes

'There are many hints from the frontiers of research that the information viewpoint will allow scientists to see truths about existence that were obscured from other angles. Using a microscopeSuch new truths may someday offer the explanation for existence that visionary scientists like [John Archibald] Wheeler have long sought.'

'Wheeler, for one, has faith that the quest to understand existence will not be futile: "Surely someday, we can believe, we will grasp the central idea of it all as so simple, so beautiful, so compelling that we will all say to each other, 'Oh, how could it have been otherwise! How could we all have been so blind so long!'" It could just be that the compelling clue that Wheeler seeks is as simple as the realisation that information is real.'


So close to the real truth, yet still so far! Indeed there is an 'explanation for existence', the quest to understand it is not futile, and the answer is indeed simple, beautiful, and compelling!

HalleluYah! We have seen the answer, and we have tasted that he is good! How privileged we are!

Rejoice, for what has been hidden from the wise is revealed to the simple heart; there's no need for scientific study.

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.
--

Comment from: Barry [Member] Email · http://koinonia.org.il/blogs/b2e/blogs/index.php?blog=2
Chris,

Interesting read. I think it was Chuck Missler who made the point:
SETI searches for evidence of extra terrestial life by looking for patterns of communication in radio signals.

yet, the DNA codes of life contains an information message system so complex that we have not figured it out. Now that we are mapping the genome, we are discovering that there is all this stuff that was referred to as junk DNA, because we thought it had no meaning. No they are starting to discover that there is another deeper message system hidden in what we thought was junk.

How ironic, our scientist think that DNA arose by random chance, and won't accept it as evidence of a creator. Yet a simple code message on radio waves would be accepted as evidence of extra terrestial life.
03/10/04 @ 23:48

02 October 2004

The wind blows (KN)

I'm sitting here this morning in the conservatory, the sun is shining, but I'm insulated from the weather outside. I can't feel the wind here; The moving clouds reveal the wind but I can still sense its effects.

The plants in the garden are waving gently to and fro. The big chestnut trees are fidgeting, rustling their leaves all the while. Even the shadows inside the conservatory are moving. The wind is not inside, but its indirect effects are.

And if I listen carefully I can hear the breeze as it gathers and whisks around the house.

Isn't the Holy Spirit just like this? I can't see him or touch him, yet he sees and touches me - constantly. He makes himself known to me, he reaches into my life and into my heart. Like the wind in the garden I know he's there because I can see the effects in my life.

Yahshua, thank you for leaving your Spirit with us, thank you for living with your people. Thank you that we have a Comforter and a Guide, that we are never alone. Thank you that, like the plants in the garden, we are always being moved by your invisible presence. Unseen but so, so real, and so welcome.

Comments copied from the original Chris Jefferies' Blog.
--
Chris,

Thanks for sharing the beautiful thoughts about the Holy Spirit.

I'm curious - why you use prefer to use the form of Christ's name Yahshua.

I had history with a communal group in the 70's and we were pretty adamant about only using the terms Yahweh & Yahshua.

Blessings my bro,

Barry
02/10/04 @ 14:55

--
Comment from: Chris [Member]
Hi Barry,

Thanks for the question, I'm glad you asked.

I like to use the Almighty's name, 'Yahweh', because it was given to Moses and it just seems odd to replace it with 'LORD', even if our Bibles do use capital letters. Since he told us his name, I feel he'd like us to use it.

And I use 'Yahshua' because it's the Aramaic form of 'Jesus', the name he would have used himself. If I had a French friend called 'Pierre' I wouldn't call him 'Peter' or 'Pete', but 'Pierre'. It just seems natural and more friendly.

But I'm happy to use 'the LORD' and 'Jesus' instead if it makes people more comfortable.

Bless you Barry,

Chris
02/10/04 @ 15:52

--
Comment from: Steph [Member] http://www.es-creative.com
"And if I listen carefully...."

What a thought!

How true, Chris Jeffries, how true.

If we but listen, the Spirit will send his song on the wind, overflow and melt our hearts with all depth and riches that are truly OURS in Him. From the gentle fragrance of summer turning to Fall or the fragile wisp of a dove-colored cloud streaking throught the sky at dusk, all is ours to breathe in and enjoy, if we but abide in Him, and listen.

May we have the reputation of John, the Beloved, who rested on the breast of Jesus, his friend and Lord.

STephanie
03/10/04 @ 09:07

01 October 2004

Meetings in Eaton Ford (KN)


Every three weeks or so we meet to praise and worship our Creator and King, to enjoy being with one another in his presence, and to listen carefully to whatever he chooses to show us.

These have been truly wonderful times. We're not making any attempt to expand because we feel (so far at least) that he wants to work in our lives first. But we welcome anyone who would like to join us, whether for just a single meeting, or more regularly.

If you live near St Neots in the UK and would like to meet with us, visit our web page and get in touch.

22 September 2004

Eaton Ford - Touch and seasons

< 11th May 2004 | Index | 14th October 2004 >

Tonight we began by chatting and sharing a coffee. And then we settled down to see what our Father would say to us, and we were not disappointed!

Teddy bearsAt first we considered Daniel, Val had been reading the book of Daniel and had been impressed by his obedience. We were shown that Father's touch is very gentle. Like Daniel we're called to obedience in the face of whatever happens to us in the world, but the Almighty's touch is a gentle touch on the shoulder. His touch is for reassurance and support, he's always there for us, like Daniel we depend upon him.

Val had brought a notelet, the sort you might use to write a short message to a close friend. She showed us the picture in the corner of the notelet - a father bear and a little bear. The simple, child-like image said it all - there was the same gentle, reassuring touch that we'd just been thinking about!

Rachael said, 'When you wobble you need his hand on your shoulder'. How true! Just a few days earlier I'd been through a time when I very much needed his loving, steadying hand on my shoulder, and the same word, 'wobbly' had been mentioned then too! He knows all the things that affect us and is always there to help and guide. Thank you Father, thank you so much.

RhododendronsRachael also shared an experience she'd had recently. In her nursing job she'd been walking along a basement corridor to visit an elderly lady who was very ill. In fact, this lady died just a few days later. As she walked, Rachael became aware that the corridor had vanished and instead she was walking on a mossy carpet between beautiful plants and flowers.

The seasons seemed to be rolled into one, and time was speeded up so she could see the flowers opening and the fruit ripening. It was a beautiful and peaceful place. Rachael became aware that this was the way the corridor would have been if had been left the way it was supposed to be, the way the Creator had made it.

We wait for the seasons to come round because we are trapped in time, but our Father experiences things as they truly are. In fact, everything does happen in season, yet all the seasons come together just as they did along the mossy pathway.

In Rachael's vision there was a soft and gentle dew on the ground, and this reminded us of the manna which was all that the children of Israel needed. It provided all their sustenance and was always there in sufficient amounts.

We also thought about the fig tree that Yahshua cursed in Mark 11. Like Israel, this tree had failed to bear fruit for him. Now its chance to do so was over. But under the new covenant, which includes not only the Jews but also the Gentile peoples, there are no seasonal rules. We are to bear fruit at all seasons!

This in turn reminded us of the verse in Habakkuk 3 about the fig tree.

'Although the fig tree doesn't flower And there are no grapes on the vines, Although the olives fail to crop And the fields produce nothing to eat, Though there are no sheep in the pen And no cattle in the stalls, Yet I'll rejoice in Yahweh, And in my Almighty Saviour.'

'Yahweh Elohim is my strength; He makes my feet like deer's feet, He enables me to go up to the highest places.'

He makes it all possible for us, doesn't he! He has made us able to leap and balance like deer, and we are able to walk on his holy mountain, in his glorious presence. HalleluYah!

< 11th May 2004 | Index | 14th October 2004 >

11 May 2004

Eaton Ford - Love and deadness

< 16th April 2004 | Index | 22nd September 2004 >

This evening was amazing, we felt we received such a revelation of Father's heart; but it was difficult to hold it clearly in our minds afterwards because the vision was so large and all-encompassing. Truth is sometimes like that, isn't it! Val wasn't able to be with us tonight, yet we felt she was included in everything we heard from the Spirit.

A spiral galaxyRight at the start while we were still chatting over coffee, Rachael explained that she'd had an image of two sieves in her mind for the past few weeks. First there was a sifter full of flour, and the fine flour was passing through, later she saw another, larger sieve with water pouring through and gold collected in it. She didn't understand what these images meant and had been puzzling over them.

And then, in the quietness as we listened, the Holy Spirit started to speak.

We received a word, 'My love is deeper than the deepest sea, wider than the universe - my love is everywhere. There's always a spark of light to hold onto'. And it occurred to us that we just don't value love enough. Love brought the universe into existence. Love welcomed back the prodigal son. Love let him go in the first place!

He spoke to us again, 'You are free! Free to run and jump in the sunshine. Don't be afraid; you are free.'

We were shown that we are being sifted, and the meaning of the two sieves suddenly became clear to us. When flour is sifted it is what passes through that is useful and the clogged lumps are thrown away. But when water passes through it is the gold that is retained and is valuable. Either way, the process separates what is pure and good from what is worthless, and that's what is happening in our lives. Either way, he is separating what will be thrown away from what is pure and holy.

Meanwhile we have a choice. We can cling to what is good and pure or we can cling to the impure and worthless in our lives, but we can't have both. And it seemed that we are to be washed in his glory and that because of the purity of his gold collected in us we may then reflect his glory - and someone else might notice the reflection and see him in us! But we must let go of the worthless stuff and cling to the pure during the sieving process.

Some people will tell us we should fear him, the Almighty who tears down strongholds, but we don't. He is our Father, when we see him we cry out, 'Abba, Daddy', he loves us and we're free! The only thing that can take away our freedom is fear; but perfect love (his love) casts out fear. Oh, thank you, Father!

A thrushThe Holy Spirit gave us another word.'Father is walking in the garden and you are like the birds, hopping and flying in the branches. You give him pleasure just as the birds in your garden give you pleasure.' But if they weren't so afraid of us, how much more pleasure the birds would bring by feeding from our hands and hopping around our feet. He wants us to realise that if we are not afraid in his presence, if we are free, we bring him the greatest pleasure.

And then he said something extraordinary, unsettling, and deeply significant. 'Don't be afraid for I will build up my church and I will cast death out from it. The church is the last place where death will be found, but it will be cast out.'

Thinking about this strange, enigmatic word, we felt that death being cast out is really much the same thing as life being poured in. Just the other side of the coin, perhaps? And we remembered Ezekiel 37 again and the valley of dry bones. Ezekiel had to prophecy that the breath would enter into the dead, and of course it did - and they came alive - a vast army (Ez 37:9-10). As with Israel in Ezekiel's day, so it is for the church in our day. We have been such dried-up bones. In the church today he's opening our graves and bringing us up from them. Verse 14 reads, 'I'll plant my Spirit within you and you'll come alive, and I'll bring you to live in your own land. And then you'll understand that I, Yahweh, have spoken, and that I've done it.'

And indeed, death is still in the church even though as individuals we have been born again and become sons and joint heirs with Yahshua. In the church are so many dead ideas, dead traditions, dead teachings, dead ways of thinking! Are we being called to prophesy that the Spirit will enter into the church (that 'dead army') and stir her up into abundant life? I think perhaps we are!

When we are sifted by him, all this deadness is removed and only what is good and pure will be kept. And when all in the church have been fully sifted, death really will have been cast out from her!

So what he told us at the start of the meeting holds true! 'My love is deeper than the deepest sea, wider than the universe - my love is everywhere. There's always a spark of light to hold onto'. Praise him!

Afterwards, Rachael wrote...
I believe what we have is real and genuine and from Him, and that puts us in a vulnerable position and makes us a target for evil to interfere. When I think about His message properly then I am not afraid, because I remember that He is woven into our being. But maybe there was also a warning at our meeting, to be vigilent, to be aware, to maintain the ultimate goal in our minds of 'His will be done' not ours.

< 16th April 2004 | Index | 22nd September 2004 >

16 April 2004

Eaton Ford - In the King's presence

< 31st March 2004 | Index | 11th May 2004 >

We are so richly blessed, Father leads us and guides us; we don't need to worry about anything - ever. Yahshua would always have known whether to follow this course or that one, he had no doubts because he had no 'baggage'. If we sometimes struggle to know what we should do it's because we carry with us a great deal that isn't necessary (ideas, habits, expectations, and so forth).
Autumn leaves
Val and Rachael both received visions at more or less the same moment this evening, and they were so complementary and reinforcing that there was no room to doubt. Both these pictures just had to be right!

Val saw an autumn leaf in the wind and explained that we are like that. We are completely free to go where the wind takes us. The Holy Spirit moves us where he wants us to be.

And Rachael saw a bird in the air, not working hard to stay aloft but carried effortlessly on a thermal of rising air.

It occurred to me that although Yahshua is the King of Kings, he's not like the modern British royal family. He's more like a king of times gone by, living amongst his family and friends in a very relaxed and ordinary way. And when a foreign ambassador called to meet such a king he would have been taken into the king's everyday life. If his little child had wanted to ask his father for something, the king would have had time for that and then continued his business with the ambassador.

FlamesVal shared yet another picture, this time of flames dancing freely and playfully in a fireplace. Just as we can sit in front of a fire and enjoy the play of the flames and the warmth from the fire, so our Father sits at his ease and is entertained as we dance in freedom before him. He enjoys his children, we warm his heart by our freedom.

He wants us to know that he's very, very close to us. Rachael shared that his presence is woven into the fabric of our being. What a wonderful thought! If he is woven into us like that, then of course we are all woven together into one piece, held together by his strong threads. He holds us all together in love. This seems to be related to the idea that we are all parts of one body with the Messiah as the head. But in this new form, the idea seemed fresh and very powerful, we are indeed one.

So this evening he showed us that although our baggage gets in the way, we're free now, very much his children, and bringing him pleasure in our freedom. He is very, very close to us, in fact completely interwoven into us and holding us together in love.

It's so good to be reminded of these things! And there is such life and freedom in what he showed us this evening. Truly, if the Son sets us free we are free indeed!

< 31st March 2004 | Index | 11th May 2004 >

31 March 2004

Eaton Ford - Learning like a child

< 11th March 2004 | Index | 16th April 2004 >

The Holy Spirit showed us many things this evening, Father opened his loving heart to us and reminded us not to be anxious about anything. He said, 'Come to me like a child'. And how necessary that is!

Like a small childHe wants us to come in trust, expecting to receive love and comfort and his care, open and innocent like a child, bringing nothing, just accepting.


Val told us how she had helped a young child to learn to swim, he trusted her and had a simple faith in her ability and willingness not to let him sink. He was enthusiastic and looked forward to the next swim. What is faith if not putting ourselves in the path of danger without fear or worry because we know he will support us? Not recklessly, but aware that he's always there for us, always with us.

We were also shown that each of us is like a child being given a ride on Dad's bike. We don't need to worry where we're going because we're riding with him, he knows the way and he's steering.There are all kinds of bumps and potholes in the road but if we're on his bike we'll miss them all (he's a truly skillful rider). And riding with him is never tiring or exhausting because he does all the pedalling.

Val had a vivid picture of riding on the bike, down a hill and splashing through water at the bottom, throwing out great gushes of water on either side. How exhilarating, what fun! And we should have fun with our Father!

BicyclesRomans 12:2 tells us, 'Don't be moulded into this world's pattern any more, but be completely changed by your mind being renewed'. The world's way is to want a great deal for ourselves and to feel we're in control of our own destiny. But that's an empty illusion.

Father instead wants us to have a new way of thinking. We are not to expect anything of each other; for he expects nothing of us! If he did, what hope would we have? Expecting something of my brothers and sisters just ties them down and restricts them; to release them I must expect nothing. If I can't love them as they are without requiring any change, then do I truly love them or do I love myself?

This was such an encouraging, uplifting evening. By the end of it I felt I'd been reminded of much and had my eyes opened to some new truths as well. HalleluYah! Thank you, Father.

< 11th March 2004 | Index | 16th April 2004 >

14 March 2004

Time to blog?

Time to get back into blogging. Right now I can't even remember how to make a new post, OK how to get started?...

11 March 2004

Eaton Ford - Trees and leaves

< 6th August 2003 | Index | 31st March 2004 >

Trees seemed to be an important theme in this evening's meeting. We were given a picture of trees planted in a field and Father said that when they were mature, their branches would touch and intermingle.

Perhaps young, immature trees should not be too surprised if they sometimes seem to grow in isolation! True community can only come when the trees are fully grown, first they must all attain their full height and spread.

We looked at Ezek 47:1-7 and 12 where we read of the river flowing from the temple and the fruitful trees growing on its banks. These trees are watered by the river and never wither because they don't suffer drought. When we receive the living water, we too will be fruitful regularly and continually.

We had another word that trees may be shaken by the wind, but if they are firmly rooted they won't be swayed. How important it is to be 'rooted and grounded' in the things of the Master!

Matt 24:32 explains that when the fig tree buds and shoots, we know summer is coming. And Luke 13:1-9 points out that it's urgent to repent and to seize the opportunity of life right now. But then a certain amount of patience is required for growth and fruitfulness.

Other thoughts this evening were that we tend to bring the world's way of doing things into the church. But it should surely be the other way round; we should instead be taking the church's way out into the world!

And we need to be in the same place doing something differently, not in a different place still doing the same old things.

< 6th August 2003 | Index | 31st March 2004 >

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