28 November 2006

Another way to post a blog (SQ)

This post is my first attempt to blog using 'blogmailr', a website provided by telligent, those terribly nice guys who wrote Community Server.

It's really very clever, but like many of the best ideas it's also very, very simple. You sign up on the website, then you provide one or more e-mail addresses that you want to use to create blog posts, provide URLs and login details for any blogs you want to post to, and blogmailr provides an e-mail address for each blog. You write a mail message and sent it to the provided e-mail address and voila! - Job done.

Well we'll see, won't we. I've just typed this into my e-mail client, addressed it using the e-mail address provided by blogmailr, and now I'm going to hit the send button...

(This was my final post to the Squarespace blog. Hint - click the label 'sq' below to show only the Squarespace posts.)

27 September 2006

Rugby - Door and gorilla

< 16th September 2006 | Index | 17th January 2007 >

Only brief notes were taken this week.

We read Revelation 3:7-13. It is Yahshua who opens and closes the door, it's his place and his responsibility to do this. Sometimes there seem to be stumbling blocks in our way but we are to 'hold onto what [we] have' and be overcomers.

We were give a picture of a gorilla in a cage, pacing backwards and forwards in his confined space which was about six feet by four feet. The cage was then removed, but the gorilla carried on pacing the same small area although he was now free to go and roam much more widely. We are sometimes like the gorilla; even when the door has been opened we still behave as if we are confined.

< 16th September 2006 | Index | 17th January 2007 >

16 September 2006

Eaton Ford - Bell and bean

< 5th September 2006 | Index | 27th September 2007 >


We thought about the song which has these words... 'To be in your presence, to sit at your feet.' And this reminded us that there is nothing on the Lord's side that prevents us from being in his presence. We also thought about the sound of church bells which tends to be a warm, comforting sort of sound, not harsh or jarring. They're designed to call people to come.

Rachael shared a picture of the tears of millions of people. The Lord knows what we need, he will deliver us and will always take care of us.

Chris saw a plant growing up to the light, growing and stretching upwards leaf by leaf. Valerie confirmed this too.

Meanwhile Val explained about a bean plant she had in her kitchen. She kept cutting it back hoping it would branch out, but every time she did this it made another single, long shoot and it just kept getting longer and longer.

And then Rachael had a prophetic word. The Lord said, 'You are constrained by time, but I am not. You're like little flowers in my tapestry. I care for every seedling as it grows.

< 5th September 2006 | Index | 27th September 2007 >

05 September 2006

Eaton Ford - Wheelchair and jug

< 9th August 2006 | Index | 16th September 2006 >

Rachael said that we need to 'fall out of the wheelchair' and scrabble around on the ground. There's danger there and we need to cling to the Lord. (Rachael, can you remember more about this enigmatic thought?)

Rachael also shared a picture of an old-fashioned milk jug with a cloth over it to keep out the flies. It was one of those cloths that is weighed down with heavy beads along the margins. In the same way the Lord is our 'covering' to keep out bad things.

(We have found a brief note from the previous meeting, though we don't know when it took place. - We have faith in the Father, but he also has faith in us. That is quite an astonishing thought!)

< 9th August 2006 | Index | 16th September 2006 >

09 August 2006

Eaton Ford - Peace and glory

< 2nd August 2006 | Index | 5th September 2006 >

John thought about more peace, Chris thought about more love, and Val thought about seeing the Lord's glory. Another idea that came to the fore was that Father wants us just as we are, he's willing to work with that (and that should make us very glad).

We also read Isaiah 60 which contains such wonderful promises, how encouraging this passage is!

< 2nd August 2006 | Index | 5th September 2006 >

02 August 2006

Eaton Ford - Having fun

< 25th July 2006 | Index | 9th August 2006 >

Only brief notes were taken this week.

We talked about love, having fun, and the fact that believers don't need to be dull. There's no need to be heavy or boring, we can have a laugh together too.

< 25th July 2006 | Index | 9th August 2006 >

25 July 2006

Rugby - Hourglass and desert

< 28th June 2006 | Index | 2nd August 2006 >

We thought about the Father and about leadership, and we were shown that to hear him we need to be very, very quiet.

A flower in the desert
We spent some time at the start of the meeting talking about Father - 'Abba' in Hebrew. We also chatted about leaders and leadership. Leaders should be there to help us and guide us, not to control us.

Sometimes we try to help someone but it doesn't work out too well, but never mind! Father will sort it out like the soap on the bathroom tiles! (can anyone remember more about this?) It's so important that we help each other in every way possible, we have to make room for one another.

We read 1 Kings 19:1-13 which describes how Elijah was afraid and ran away and prayed that he would die. But an angel woke him from sleep and sent him on a journey. And then we hear about the earthquake, the strong wind, the fire, and the still, small voice.

Other thoughts from this meeting had to do with sand in the hourglass, pebbles with jewels amongst them, a pen amongst the knives and forks, and a green leaf in the desert. And the Lord told us, 'Look for the thing that seems out of place - I am in that thing!'

And Valerie shared a prophecy with us. 'Listen to my voice, be very quiet and listen.

< 28th June 2006 | Index | 2nd August 2006 >

28 June 2006

Rugby - Hill and pathway

< 21st June 2006 | Index | 25th July 2006 >

This was another wonderful evening together as Father opened up his heart to us again.

HillValerie shared a picture of a green hill with a stream of clear water at the bottom. She understood that we could be there in perfect peace and could drink the cool, refreshing water. And when we asked her what was on top of the hill she told us, 'Just a light'. Later, Val read Psalm 23, and Valerie read out Psalm 27 which also seemed completely relevant.


Chris said that we are walking along a pathway with him, and because we are there with him we are completely safe on the journey. We don't need to worry about where we will be going next, and we don't need to be anxious about what lies ahead, we just need to take the next step. One step, than another one, and then later another one as he shows us the way forward.

PathwayVal became aware of a large hand, then she noticed that the hand was wearing a glove, and finally realised that the Lord is like a policeman directing the traffic with his hands. She explained that without his guidance there would be accidents and injuries and damage, but that because he is in charge everything works together smoothly. One line of traffic has to wait, another line can move forward, then they swap over. It's efficient and it's safe because he guides us as he knows best.

There was also the thought of buds opening up into beautiful flowers. It's a process.

But perhaps the best thing this evening was that he told us through Rachael that when we meet together he is not divided amongst us and made less, but in fact he is magnified so that we each receive more of him, not less! We are so, so blessed by being together in a meeting. He was speaking the truth when he said, 'Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am amongst them' (Matt 18:20).

< 21st June 2006 | Index | 25th July 2006 >

21 June 2006

Eaton Ford - Dragonfly and pot

< 13th June 2006 | Index | 28th June 2006 >

We heard about the Bromsgrove meeting, some family news, life after death, a broken pot, and a geyser.

A dragonflyChris shared some details of the previous weekend's conference at Bromsgrove, and especially Andy White's little cards which he gives out to people when he buys them coffee or pays their parking fee. These form a point of contact, they break the British reserve and allow people to get in touch with Andy later if they want to. What a wonderful idea!

Rachael shared some exciting news from her son Tom. He'd dreamed that he was in heaven and was greatly struck by the bright light, great joy, and a sense of purity. He'd texted the details to Rachael and then later texted her again to ask how he should go about finding forgiveness. This is just amazing! We prayed for Tom, something is clearly happening in his life!

Di wondered if people who've died can speak to us in our dreams. Chris was sure they could not, but that there are reasons why we might think that they do. In the end this question was left open, although we noted that the Bible strongly opposes deliberate attempts to 'contact' the dead.

Pottery bowlJohn shared a delightful illustration of the principal of our present earthly lives and future heavenly ones, told to him long ago but never forgotten. Dragonfly nymphs live under water until they pupate and finally emerge, climb a reed or stem, wait for their wings to expand and dry, and then fly off as graceful adult dragonflies.

The story involves two dragonfly nymphs who wonder where fully grown nymphs go. They made a pact, whichever of them matured first would come back and get a message to the other one explaining what happened, where they went, and what it was like.

Time passed until one of the nymphs was mature and nature took its course. The nymph pupated and re-emerged as an adult dragonfly. Flying above the water he was able to see his old friend below, but realised there was no way he could get a message back to the old world below the water. And his old friend below didn't even seem to be aware of him flying by above the water.

Chris had a picture of a broken pot and said that there are two ways of mending it. The way we would try is to find the right kind of adhesive (does it need to be waterproof, withstand heat, etc), buy the adhesive and then glue the pieces back together. But in the vision the pot was not just glued back together, it was actually made new, it was turned back into an unbroken pot. Like the pot, we were broken people, but have not just been mended, we have been made totally new.

Rachael saw a picture too, a huge, hot geyser with the water falling down; so large that droplets were landing as far as hundreds of miles away, and falling onto people and making them wet. She also saw a spiritual 'earthquake' in which a mighty slab of brilliant light collided with a slab of darkness and overcame it. There were loud and continuing earthquakes during the collision.

< 13th June 2006 | Index | 28th June 2006 >

13 June 2006

Rugby - House and garden

< 7th June 2006 | Index | 21st June 2006 >

We talked for a while about houses, partly because the roof next door is still being built and we could see it through the window. Chris wondered what sort of house is implied by the Greek word translated 'mansion' in the New testament (Jn 14:2 - in my Father's house are many mansions). To us it sounds like a rather grand home, almost a small palace, but it seems it might just be a word for a room within a house.

A dilapidated buildingRachael immediately said, 'Funny you should mention that...' She explained that she'd had a dream in the last few days in which she was inside a dilapidated house. Some of the tiles were missing from the roof and the window frames were rotten. She said to Father, 'Shall I repair this house and make it usable again?' But he said to her, 'No. This is man's house and it has to fall down before things can move forward. Look! Where the tiles are missing you can see the blue sky - and that is mine.'

Chris thought that the dream referred to the Church, which men and women keep trying to build but which may get in the way of what the Almighty is trying to do.

In the gardenJohn explained that for him it spoke of an individual's life, that we can indeed construct it by our own efforts, but that what we really need is for him to make our lives the way he wants them to be.

Something else that came out in conversation was that a house in good condition prevents us from sensing the natural world outside, but once we stop repairing the house it begins to deteriorate, slowly at first but then faster and faster as the weather gets inside. Once tiles are missing from the roof the rain brings down ceilings and the timbers start to decay, and in just a few years the house can go from essentially usable to a complete ruin. We were not created to live in houses, we were created to live in the Garden and walk with Yahweh. He wants to bring down the shelters we have made and restore to us that simple, trusting life with him in the Garden.

< 7th June 2006 | Index | 21st June 2006 >

07 June 2006

Eaton Ford - Shops and balloon

< 31st May 2006 | Index | 13th June 2006 >

We talked for a long time this evening, and the topics were wide ranging and apparently not particularly 'spiritual', yet it turned out in the end that the Holy Spirit had guided us to cover a particular area of life in some depth and we took away his insight on the topic.

Inside a shopWe began by talking about shopping and supermarkets, and how the little shops in town have been closing in the face of competition from Tesco, Lidl, Waitrose, Rainbow etc. We realised that people's needs change over the years and they might use Tesco when they have a young family, but a smaller shop when they're older.

The idea of one little lie getting out of control also came up in conversation, and we considered how people sometimes construct a bigger untruth to hide the first, and then a third, and how this process can cascade out of control. It's human nature to hide what is unpleasant and ignore what is dangerous. This is reflected in today's dreadful news story about motorists driving round a child injured in a hit and run road accident. people don't want to get involved. But how do they explain themselves later? This event was almost like the Good Samaritan parable where they all passed by on the other side.

Hot air balloonWe thought about the story of the lion and the lamb in the new creation, lying down together. In all of these things the Spirit of Christ seemed to be telling us to look beyond the outside and be concerned with the inside. he wants us to recognise that there's a process going on, but it's what is inside or underlying the outward events that is important. There are actions but there are also motives, and the motives are more important.

John's fishtank is beautiful; it contains fish, corals, a shrimp, hermit crabs, a complete ecosystem. But it's small and needs pumps and filters and care to keep it healthy and stable. But natural systems are so much larger, for example coral reefs or forests. They keep themselves clean and balanced.

As the conversation moved towards seeing the application of these things in the spiritual realm, we understood that we need to do things like prayer and Bible reading as a result of knowing Father and wanting to know him better. Doing them as a chore or a ritual is no good and is certainly not what Father requires. Even good things like these are empty (Ecclesiastes) if the reason for doing them doesn't spring from Father. The motives for everything must be our love for him and for one another, that's where the life is. There is no life in anything or anyone else.

We saw our need to be open to the possibility (certainty?) that we are wrong about things, but also realised that we're very good at kidding ourselves!

Val asked Chris to share the waterfall picture that he'd sent to the Koinonia Life list. John pointed out that people standing nearby will get damp even if they're not directly in the falling water, particularly if they're there for a long time. This is a very good point, the water spreads out as a drifting mist and affects anyone in the vicinity.

Val interpreted a tongue. The Spirit said, 'Rest in me, you are safe, don't be afraid'. His words to us through Val were comforting and reassuring, but once again there was the sense that he does everything necessary and we just stay in the right place.

And right at the end of the evening Rachael shared a picture of a hot air balloon. This really summed up the thrust of the meeting. We were in the balloon and as we moved along through the air we were able to look down at the other people being busy on the ground. We just floated along peacefully with no effort. We are guided and moved by his Spirit; but we must be in the right place if this is to happen (for example, in the basket of the balloon).

< 31st May 2006 | Index | 13th June 2006 >

31 May 2006

Rugby - Slaves and children

< 23rd May 2006 | Index | 7th June 2006 >

We talked about adopting children, and the Spirit showed us that we are adopted children, but this is not our natural state. However, because we are adopted we inherit from our adoptive parent (Father) instead of from our natural parents. This is a total replacement of everything we once had, we inherit the heavenly possessions, not the earthly ones!

Children feeding paraqueets'Going' to church can become nothing more than a habit, we adapt to the style and regularity in the same way people adapt to their spouse. We learn to fit, to accept one another's foibles, needs, and limitations. Church is a social thing, yet it is really much more than a social thing. We need to begin to live in the knowledge that Father will take church life and do the unexpected, the miraculous. It's not just about meeting, it's about Him dealing with us, pouring out real life, and light, and living water.

We make mistakes in life, we all make them! But we can learn from them.

SlavesVal sent an e-mail about Jesus praying for us. This is such an amazing thought! We can pray for ourselves, we can pray for one another, but Jesus himself is praying for us! We are his people, he cares about us, he knows what we need, he knows and understands the Father's plans for our lives.

Rachael told us that when she was driving to work, she pulled up at traffic lights and the car next to her was playing some loud music. As it drove away she caught a few words, 'God knows'. It was not a spiritual song, but those words certainly spoke to her. He knows all about us, his love makes us feel full, complete, joyful, peaceful, everything we could ever need is available in him.

Gal 4:1-11 - We do that, we go back to the old, familiar ways. We inherit everything but then become a slave to the old ways. These are traps, we all fall into them all the time. We can learn by listening and taking the words to heart, or like the Prodigal Son we can learn by trying our own way, finding it painful or disppointing, and then coming back to Father for a comforting welcome. Like the Prodigal we are no longer slaves, but sons! HalleluYah!

< 23rd May 2006 | Index | 7th June 2006 >

23 May 2006

Eaton Ford - Honey and lavender

< 7th January 2005 | Index | 31st May 2006 >

The idea of honey came up right at the start of the meeting, and we thought how honey is mentioned in various places in the Bible. Samuel came to mind, where Samson finds honey in the lion's carcase, and also Revelation where the scroll tastes like honey but then turns sour in the stomach. There was also a verse from Proverbs which points out that honey is sweet, but too much can make us unwell.

Rachael had a picture of a field of lavender in the breeze, all the stems swaying and moving together. Together, all the little heads of lavender filled the air with a sweet fragrance, a fragrance rising up to Father in heaven. The wind is like the Holy Spirit, only when we all respond to the Spirit can we sway and move as one.

Chris was strongly impacted at the thought of the fragmented church here in St Neots, divided, separated into denominations and other groups that occasionally work together in some ways but have no real family life together. It's only as we love one another that we'll begin to care about one another, not just as individuals but more widely as groups of his people. The sweetness of love for our brothers and sisters is the only way forward. This harmonious love in his family is the fragrance he desires. Like the heads of lavender we will only move as one if we are moving with the Father's Spirit. It's the fruit of the Spirit that makes living as family possible - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

< 7th January 2005 | Index | 31st May 2006 >

20 May 2006

A new member of the family! (SQ)

Yesterday I met Meredith, my first grandaughter, indeed my very first grandchild. What an experience!

Meredith, aged 5 daysA grandchild is such a precious gift, new life. Even if I live to a very ripe old age I'm unlikely to be here for more than another forty years, but little Meredith may still be here in a hundred years time. OK, maybe that's not entirely likely - but it is possible and an awesome thought. What will the world be like in a hundred years time? We don't know, cannot know. Oh, there'll be a blue sky. Some days the sun will shine, some days it will rain. Volcanoes will erupt and earthquakes will rattle the land. People will fall in love, fight with each other, struggle with all sorts of problems, bring up children, complain they are short of time, starve to death, get excited when their team wins, die in accidents, win prizes, become famous.

But what will the world be like? Would someone born in 1906 have guessed in their wildest dreams that people would visit the moon, that I'd be typing this into a computer, or that this blog would be visible to almost anyone in the developed world within a fraction of a second of publication?

No, Meredith lives in a world we cannot predict except in the broadest terms. So broad that we must admit our ignorance. It was a heart-warming experience to hold her in my arms, to smell her milky breath, see her yawn and stretch. Meredith knows almost nothing of this world yet, but she is learning already. Sights, sounds, touch, taste, smell, all sending a meaningless jumble of signals to her little brain. Already it will be integrating and processing the input, recognising patterns and noting responses. How amazing, a human being in construction.

Within a mere couple of years she'll be walking and talking and understanding so much. Amazing! Maybe if I'm still blogging I'll post another photo in 2008.

And, wonder of wonders, another grandchild is expected in June so I shall get to see this early stage again and wonder at another new life.

I'll keep you posted!

Copyright

Creative Commons Licence

© 2002-2014, Chris J Jefferies

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. A link to the relevant article on this site is sufficient attribution. If you print the material please include the URL. Thanks! Click through photos for larger versions. Images from Wikimedia Commons will then display the original copyright information.
Real Time Web Analytics