26 May 2009

Eaton Ford - Freedom?

We discussed the final details of the leaflet for the Eynesbury kids camp, and we also talked around the issues in reaching out openly when this might put our families or friends in danger. HandcuffsAlthough this is not something that is a problem for us in the UK right now, it is a severe problem in some countries. It's interesting to ask ourselves how we'd react if this happened for us. We have no idea how the political and social scene will change, wherever we may live!

Chris asked, 'What are the two most important things we can do to make the church more successful?'. The major points seem to be that we should listen to the Lord's direction and follow it, and that we should give one another the freedom to do the same. After all, we must love the Almighty with all our heart, mind and strength and we must love our neighbour the same way we love ourselves (Mark 12:28-34, Romans 13:8-10). If we have that kind of love in our hearts we cannot help following the Lord's commands and giving one another the freedom to do so too.

Yahshua set us free so that we could live free (Galatians 5:1). And if he has set us free, we really are free! (John 8:36) Does this mean we are free to follow whatever men and women tell us? No! We always had that freedom, Israel demanded a king 'like the other nations' and in modern times people have followed all sorts of leaders.

No, we were set free to follow the Lord! We are free to hear his voice, to walk as he reveals, to love, and to give that same freedom to one another.

22 May 2009

Eaton Ford (day) - Moggerhanger

We made very brief notes this week, there were only two of us as Roger and Jules were unable to join us. Bluebells at Moggerhanger ParkWe brought one another up-to-date on news from friends, prayed, and talked about a range of other topics.

Then we visited Moggerhanger Park for lunch as a change. We sat inside, ordered our meals, and later Jim come out of the kitchen and joined us for a chat. It turned out to be a useful time as Jim and Paul had not met before, but also because Paul may be able to use the Moggerhanger facilities for his Acorn Group in future.

19 May 2009

Eaton Ford - Family tragedy

We have only brief notes from this meeting.

Jim mentioned King David who was 'a man after the Lord's heart'. Despite this, he had some major issues in his life. One of his sons raped his own sister, and then another son killed the first. We thought about what a dreadful experience this must have been for David. What a tragedy to overtake a family.

We also talked about street pastors, an opportunity has come up to take part in training for this.

18 May 2009

Great Doddington - Can't see me!

We read Exodus 20:1-21 which concerns the law. As believers we are free from having to meet all the conditions of the law, Hiding her eyesfree providing we don't cause a weaker one to stumble in some way. So our freedom is constrained by love.

Jesus told us that loving the Almighty and loving your neighbour actually fulfils the law. Matthew 5:17-20 also discusses the law. It is not abolished, and unless our righteousness is greater than that of the Pharisees and law teachers we are certain to be barred from the Kingdom. How can we ever have this kind of righteousness? Only because of Christ, for he is our righteousness.

We considered the fruit of the Spirit as this seem to have a great deal to do with how we relate to other people, in other words how we love our neighbour.

Barbara read Psalm 106:1-3, the Lord's love endures forever! We are blessed if we are constant in doing right, but again Christ himself is our righteousness. We also thought of Zechariah 14:9 where we read that there will one Lord and his name will be holy.

Chris prophesied, 'You are struggling, aren't you! You are heavyily loaded. Come to me and I will give you rest. I didn't call you to great faith or love or power but to walk with me day by day and speak the words I give you and confort one another. You are my children.'

Rachael described three visions. In the first she saw a woman bound in chains.

In the second vision she saw a little girl with here hands covering her eyes, and she was thinking, 'If I can't see, nobody can see me!' But Father says, 'Just because you can't see me doesn't mean you're not in my mind'.

And thirdly, she saw a large boat with sails caught up in a great storm. And she knew that no matter what the world does, this boat was not going to sink! Instead it will stay afloat and it will arrive at its destination no matter how big the storm.

Then Jody prophesied, 'I will release you from those chains. You are not invisible, I'll carry you through like a small child. I'll be your protector. You are like golden beams of light shining across a golden land. Like beams of light you will get past the darkness. I have shone beams of light for you so you will certainly get past the obstacles.'

'You just need to focus on being in me. You are not standing still, you are walking along the path, you will get through and you will be triumphant.

Rachael spoke another word from the Lord, 'I'd encourage each one of you to raise your head and see my face. I'd encourage each one to raise your eyes and see my eyes and know that I am here.'

Finally, we read Psalm 45, especially noting the verses about the bride, the princess (9-16).

17 May 2009

Wilstead - Church in a cafe

Rupert began by reading some passages from 'The Message', Psalm 23, Isaiah 55, and Matthew 11:28-30. Church in a cafeAll of these remind us of the peace we have in his presence. When times are hard and we have to work all hours, when it seems there's a situation we'll be unable to come through, Jesus is our peace and our comfort, the Almighty is our sustainer and refreshment.

Pete described a tree with birds sitting in its branches. This was a vision that had been shared with him some fifteen years ago. At the time the vision had encouraged them that there would be provision for every need they had at that time. And everything had worked out just fine.

We talked for a while about how we 'do' church. Chris shared the story of 'The Church at Table Number Two' (meeting in a restaurant) and was amazed later to discover that Rupert and Uli had been at the American meetings where those events were originally aired!

The point of the story however is that we need to do whatever he leads us to do, not what we have planned for ourselves. And we need to do what he shows us irrespective of whether we think it is likely to work on not, safe or dangerous, foolish or wise.

Uli wanted to read Romans 9:10-13 because this carries something of the same idea. Our choices and what we think appropriate count as nothing, the Lord will have it his way. He knows what is best.

15 May 2009

Eaton Ford (day) - Not condemned

Roger was unable to make today's meeting.

Chris read parts of Romans 7:14 - 8:2 and noted that even Paul, a truly admirable apostle, suffered from issues with sin. We shouldn't be devastated when we fall, but we do need to pick ourselves up, turn back to the Lord, and continue as he gives us direction. We are not condemned because Christ has set us free. HalleluYah!

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