05 April 2011

RESPONSE - Obedience matters!

This is in response to a brief post on the Nomad Blog. By being obedient the team were able to do exactly the right thing without even knowing there was a need. Yahshua is, frankly, awesome!

A bouquet of flowersHere's an extract from the post on Nomad.

We felt God prompting us to go into a local housing estate, but we all felt a bit discouraged at how quiet things were. Two of the team felt God draw their attention to a certain house. They knocked on the door and asked the lady who answered if they could pray for her. She began crying and said that her husband had died a few weeks before. The team spent the rest of the afternoon listening to her story and praying with her.

The next day someone gave the team an undelivered bouquet of flowers to use. As we prayed a number of us felt God saying to give the flowers to the lady we’d met the day before. So two of the team went back to her house and told her that Jesus wanted to give her the bouquet. She began crying and told us that it was the day of her 40th wedding anniversary and her husband’s birthday! Again the team was able to spend the afternoon praying with her. God’s perfect timing!

There are several things to notice about this.

  • The team were prompted in a general way - to go into a housing estate. We may not get the guidance all at once. If we begin to follow, more will come as and when it's needed.
  • They felt discouraged as nothing much seemed to be happening. It's easy to feel discouraged, but it's important not to give up.
  • Two were drawn to a particular house. There's no certainty about these things, but they went prepared to see what would happen. We all need to learn to do this.
  • They knocked on the door. We have to take the initiative, we have to go for it! There's no point in wimping out; if there's a door knock on it; if someone comes smile and speak to them. People are unlikely to approach us; we must approach them.
  • They asked if they could pray. Bless people, don't discuss the Bible or tell them they are on the path to death or that they need to repent. Bless them! How simple can this be? Pray, listen, care, love - those are the things we are called to do. God is love. If Jesus lives in me love will leak out everywhere I go.
  • They listened and prayed with her. Nuff said.
  • Someone gave them a bouquet. Expect things like this to happen. Don't take the flowers home and put them into a vase. They were given for a purpose, ask Jesus to reveal it.
  • They asked Jesus what to do and he told them. How important to trust him like this. He will not let us down. He is teaching us to trust and expect.
  • Two went back and delivered the flowers from Jesus. Not from us - from him. We need to invite him to live and act and speak through us. Christ in us, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
  • More prayer, more listening, the right time. HalleluYah!
More? You want more? Good! Also read this Nomad item and then ponder a couple of questions.

Yahshua sent out the disciples in pairs and told them to share the good news, cast out demons, and heal the sick. In other words he told them to do what they had seen him do. (Luke 9:1-6)

Q1 - What does he want you to do?

Q2 - Oh, and while you're at it why not listen to some of the truly excellent stuff on the Nomad Podcast?

31 March 2011

Eaton Ford - Living in glory

< 3rd March 2011 | Index | 3rd August 2011 >

Jim, Sean and I met this evening and spent some great time together with Yahshua. We spoke to him and he spoke to us. We considered whether we are living in peace or living in glory.

A bunch of hydrogen balloonsJim told us that John Wesley, hearing that someone had just died, asked whether they had died in peace or died in glory. People often say that a person 'passed away peacefully', but it's also possible to die in glory, perhaps with a vision of angels or knowing the presence of the Lord in a very real way.

We talked about glory and how Yahshua had told his followers that he was giving them the glory that the Father had given him. What an awesome thought! I read John 17:20-26 and we were blown away by this prayer of Yahshua's immediately before his arrest. It is a prayer for us!

Later I had a prophecy. 'Don't gaze in through the window, come in through the front door. I want you to come into my house and be where I am. You are my children, I love you and you belong with me, always.'

This prompted Jim to share a picture he had of a Georgian house (in fact it was a huge and elaborate mansion). He saw angels there and was reminded that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us there. He knows the stars individually by name and knows the colour of each hair on my head. He is amazing! We can't really appreciate the size of his mansion. Jim went on to mention that if we run things man's way we will produce only man's results. Instead we need to do whatever the Holy Spirit tells us to do.

I had a picture that didn't seem to relate to anything that had gone before. I saw a large bunch of hydrogen balloons. They were brightly coloured and pulling on their strings, bobbing about in the breeze. And I realised that the balloons represented people, and when a person dies it's as though the string has broken.

People sometimes say, 'Oh dear, that bright and cheerful personality that was so full of life has gone. Now there is just the physical remains, like a piece of limp string.' Yet they fail to see that the bright, lively balloon is now floating free and rising into the sky.

Sean than drew our attention to Matthew 28 in which Jesus did the impossible and rose from the dead. Jim shared the thought that we, like Jesus before us, will also be raised to life. We have nothing to fear from death; we don't become a limp piece of string, we become a free-floating balloon.

It's good to die, not in peace, but in glory. But we first need to live, not in peace, but in glory!

< 3rd March 2011 | Index | 3rd August 2011 >

30 March 2011

An open letter to Muammar al-Gaddafi

Muammar al-GaddafiDear Mr Gaddafi,

Assalamu alaikum,

You are currently the leader of the nation of Libya, but not all the people of Libya support you. Not all of them see you as a brother. Few people have really understood you.

But there is another leader who understands you well. The King of heaven, the Most High, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe understands you because he too does not have the support of all the people in his realm. He knows what it is like to stand alone, to be despised and overlooked, to be thrown down and rejected and opposed.

He has chosen to speak with you, man to man, leader to leader. He wants to hear your answer while there is still time. He says,

I will deal with your personal problems and with your political problems in full, but I can only do this if you willingly and immediately put them into my hands. Give me your loneliness, your fear, and your shame and I will take them away and destroy them. I can see what is in your heart and I will know if you withhold anything from me. You must meet the future with me or without me, the choice is yours.

You must ask Isa to help you, this is most important. Without Isa's help and guidance you will not survive - either in this world or in the next. He is the key to seal your past and unlock your future. He will tell you what to do. He will explain everything you need to know.

I think Isa will call you to draw back your armies and allow supplies and assistance to reach the suffering people in your towns and cities. All good leaders act quickly to help their people. But these are merely my thoughts and he will tell you about these things himself.

Here is one of Isa's sayings, 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' (Matthew 11:28)

(See also: Jesus in the prison cell)

29 March 2011

ANNOUNCEMENT - Moggerhanger gathering, 10th April

The Moggerhanger meeting on 10th April will be a time for rejoicing in Jesus' presence, giving him all the glory, and listening to what he will tell us. Come in expectation!

Bluebells at Moggerhanger ParkWe announced this meeting back in February and now, with only twelve days left, this is a final reminder.

We've booked space at Moggerhanger Park between Bedford and Sandy. We plan to meet for lunch, then we'll spend the afternoon in open praise, worship, and sharing. There will be no prepared music and no invited speaker; we'll just meet in a circle (Jesus at the centre) and wait to see what he will do amongst us. We can be sure he will surprise us and delight us just as he always does.

Here are the directions to Moggerhanger Park. The approximate schedule will be...
  • 13:30 - Optionally, meet at the front of the house for a walk (if dry).
  • 14:00 - Gather in the house for a simple meal.
  • 14:45 - Spend time together as the Spirit leads. We will finish when we finish.
Jesus has told us he'll definitely be joining us provided at least two or three turn up.

What we need to know - If you plan to join us please mail me names and contact details (email address and phone number).  If you are replying on behalf of several people please include names for all of them, and for under 16s include ages as well. We will provide some materials to occupy children but you will be responsible for supervision (you may be able to share this by taking turns with other parents).

There will be no charge for the afternoon but we will provide a basket for contributions towards the costs.

You may find notes on previous meetings useful, particularly if you haven't experienced one of these gatherings before. The notes include announcements sent out and a report on each meeting.

28 March 2011

THOUGHT - Blessing or curse?

With all that's been happening in Libya recently (and in the wider Middle East and North Africa) I was deeply impressed while reading Matthew 5 this morning.

Have you ever wondered what happens if you reverse Yahshua's statements about blessing?


Church of the Beatitudes in GalileeHe had headed up the mountain because the crowd was pressing in. Yahshua always had compassion on the crowds, he saw them as lost sheep in need of a shepherd.

But he also clearly saw that it was essential to spend time teaching his closest followers. That is what he did on this particular day, leaving the crowd in order to teach the disciples (verse 1).

And what teaching it was!

Backwards beatitudes? - On this occasion he tells them what will bring blessing; it's the simple, basic, kind and loving things that are blessed. It was true then and it's still true today - a fundamental fact about the nature of the kingdom of heaven.

Looking at the opposites of these statements is instructive because it's a list of what will not, and cannot, be blessed. Here's the list...

  • The super spiritual
  • The ones who think everything's fine (so do not mourn)
  • The arrogant
  • Those who have no appetite for righteousness
  • The merciless
  • The impure in heart
  • The peace destroyers
  • Those who are not righteous enough to attract persecution
And there is no blessing in being praised, championed, and having good things said about us if Yahshua is not in us!

Salt and light - We are salt and light, in other words we need to have flavour and not be hidden away. Yahshua is clear that he is not here to abolish the Law or the Prophets, (the Old Testament). These writings speak of him over and over again and he is here to be and do and say what they have set out in words. The law cannot be set aside, it must instead be fulfilled (fully filled, fully met). This is what he came to do.

The demands of love go further than the demands of the Law. In other words anger is embryonic murder and reconciliation is more important than an offering. We have a choice, settle our accounts with Yahweh now (the Son has made that possible) or wait until we are thrown into a place from which there is no escape! Looking at a woman lustfully is embryonic adultery, we must get rid of everything that causes sin. Divorce is wrong unless the circumstances are extreme, swearing an oath comes from the evil one.

We are not to struggle with evil people, we are to love even our enemies and pray for them.

Love in action - The last verse sums it all up, we are to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. Is that a tall order or what? We are called to lives of love for Father and for those around us. It seems to me that the worst figures in history did few of the things that lead to blessing and all the things that do not. Yet still we must love our enemies.

Pray for the people suffering in Libya at the hands of Mr Gaddafi, but also pray for Muammar Gaddafi himself. Even now it's not too late for him to turn away from the things that do not bring a blessing. While there is still time, pray that he will even seize a chance to meet and honour Isa (Jesus). It may be an opportunity that is finally slipping away.

(See also: Being radical)

20 March 2011

RESPONSE - Comments on BBC News from Libya

Here are clippings from two BBC viewers writing in. They can't both be right...

Jamal, from Bradford, UK, writes: "I am originally from Libya and I am outraged that the foreign forces are bombing Libya. They say they want to protect lives but I think hundreds more will die. The rebels are nothing but a bunch of murderers, they are undisciplined and are the real threat so if you want to attack anyone it should be the rebels."

Khaled, in the UK, writes: "I just have been told (on Sunday 20 March) by my sister who lives in Misrata that Gaddafi forces are shelling residences and homes with massive force. Everyone is hysterical and there is lots of screaming. I am very worried."

See more as it happens from the BBC's Middle East page.

Continue praying for the people of Libya.

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