Thursday 27 August 2009

Illustration of the faith life to a poor Left-brain Brit

Watching ITV tonight, thinking..........

what a perfect illustration to a Brit of the life of faith and how it works. Your brain screams it's impossible. Richard Dawkins has already gone home. There's no possible way that that can work. We have nothing like it in England for that reason!!!Yet every day thousands do it thus proving us once again WRONG!!!! Poor sad Brits.

Griff Rhys Jones encounters driving round the L'etoile star shaped roundabout in Paris.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

The Tree and The River and

The Tree and the River

While I was pausing from this blog earlier this month, I was writing on other's blogs and also commenting on Facebook. Lydia of a Joy to be me wrote this great Norman Grubb statement:
"The usual thing we say when a crisis hits us is, “God permitted it”. That means that God is up there and we are underneath. But God isn’t up there at all! He is within. I never lift my eyes one single time to heaven to try to find Him up there, do you? I don’t waste my breath, my sight, or anything else. Why should I waste my time trying to get a Person to come down when He lives within me? I can see Him where He is, in a common bit of human flesh redeemed in His precious blood, packed full of the Holy Spirit.

This makes my whole attitude to life different. Once I recognize that God is joined as one with me, I no longer try to find him or get him to come and rescue me." ~ Norman Grubb
"Friends, the cross is not the objective. Union is the objective. The cross is the gateway. It’s not the end. The Christ is the end and He is joined to me forever and I joined to Him forever." ~ Norman Grubb

This my reply:

Can I just share my honest feelings here? When I first encountered Norman's group and they were sharing along these lines, I had been in a church (Emsworth) where He had Presenced us in some powerful ways...along the line of some outstanding miraculous occurrences in and amongst worship and prayer together in meetings.So I wasn't going to backtrack on any of this. Rather I wanted to "fill out" what I already knew about approaching God in a corporate setting, with much more revelation of how His life works in in and around us all day long.The fact remains that Norman's group were so much on this side of things that their corporate worship was ...well to say the least....pretty non-existant. A few 1940s timewarp Anglican campstyle songs at best, with great Norman lyrics. As a published songster of the 80s this all seemed pretty naff.While I've been away, I've been ploughing further through Frank Viola's From Eternity to Here and I've got to the bit where he is describing God's need for a home, and comparing the Garden of Eden with Revelation, in particular The Tree of Life and The River of Life.And it was like a light went on again!!! It's like this.In God there is a dry Life and wet Life, side by side. There is a Tree and there is a River.The Tree always was the inworked Life of God. The Cross has become our tree which annhihilates the Old, and but also at the same time gives us access to God's very own imperishable Life.Christ in our form. Him living His Life as us.But there is a wet life as well! And in all our internal wranglings over the true meaning of Romans and what God has done for us, we must not go back on the new things that God has been bringing into His Body again particularly in the last 100 years, which is more akin to the manifestation before people's very eyes of the River of God. When you put believing believer's in a room together, all focussed and moving from and in their Saviour, in love and praise and faith and victory, and declaration.... well things get very wet indeed!As I've said to Lydia and Shawna several times, it seems like up to now you get either Spirit or Word.Either Tree or River. Either Exchanged Life or River Life of the experience of the outpoured Spirit.Well in 1950 something changed. And as well as the healing revival which broke out at this time, there was also this other man- this American missionary in Argentina, who being so discouraged by not making any headway stubbornly refused to do another thing until he had met God. This was Ed Miller (book Thy God Reigneth, see book section in my blog).He was one of the first men, like Norman, to press through in a rendering of the Psalm 24 verse of seek the Face of the God of Jacob...this generation who are to seek God's Presence as did Jacob wrestling at Peniel, where he had his name changed.The charismatic Jacob, who could faith in speckled sheep and striped sheep, was finally irreparably damaged...and for the rest of history there has existed an ISRAEL. Which is the final God version 3.0 of Man connecting with His Father. Abraham v1.0, Isaac v2.0 then Jacob,now Israel v3.0!!But what Ed Miller uncovered, and through a kind of quiet backdoor, this has now seeped right through the Body....was a new understanding of WET LIFE...of how the RIVER functions in practice. This is the understanding of how our Key of David meetings work...and to a greater and greater extent since Florida, how our main meetings now work.(See the links in This is Huuuuuge) It is certainly how Rob Rufus seeks to move, especially when he introduces people like Josh Mills. It is also how Rolland and Heidi Baker seek to move in their meetings.The tabernacle is both a picture for us of how spiritual Life manifests...both in Tree format and in River format. In Spirit and in Word. But all in Truth!!There's a brazen altar (dry) and a Laver (wet) there's the shewbread (dry) and the oil and lampstand(wet) and there's the hidden manna inside the Ark of the Covenant (dry) and the real Presence of God overhead between the Cherubim on top of the Ark (very definitely wet).For centuries the devil has divided the wet from the dry, Tree huggers, from the River splashers. And in the same way that a battery does not work if the dry plates are not immersed in the wet acid...we've had a representation of Christ in the earth that is pretty poor and unconvincing. Neither the plates nor the acid were wrong....but they need to be in proximity to work!!!!Norman Grubb needs to be right next to Rolland and Heidi Baker. Rob Rufus needs to be right up against Paul Anderson Walsh!!So do you understand where I am coming from?And we know this stuff is powerful because in the 50s straight after Ed Miller's encounter, evangelist Tommy Hicks stormed into Peron’s office, prayed for his family, and out of that boldness was then given the freedom of every major stadium in Argentina....which were each piled high with crutches of those healed. And in a few short years Argentina went from being mostly Catholic to much nearer 50-50 Protestant and Catholic.But the behind the scenes transactions had been done as Ed sought the face of the Lord and prevailed.
July 26, 2009 10:14 PM

RiverCamp 2009

River Camp 2009 begins this Friday through Monday.Day tickets are still available on the gate I believe. For more details click on the side link section of this blog.

RiverCamp is not beside a literal river. It is on a hilltop at Lenchworth near Evesham.The grounds have been used for decades as a healing centre, though really all they are is farmer's fields. Remember that is where the angels showed up to announce the birth of Jesus. And it was in Harrogate Cow Sheds that God literally birthed the new move in the UK in the Dales Bible Weeks 1976 and after.

Any blogreaders in the UK can come to our caravan and make themselves known. Havant Church are closing down for the weekend and as many as can make it are camping together up there, or the woossy, staying in Evesham bed and breakfasts.

Corporate worship is outstanding. Messages are key, cutting edge stuff, as well as reports about what is going on worldwide. And the general fellowship that happens all round the campsite is , as bloggers have found both in Atlanta and Hong Kong, as key as anything anywhere.Unlike other large conferences, there is really little agenda. That is why we like it. It's a bit like key of David. It's about God. It's about finding the flow about how He wants to relate to His people.

And the children's meetings...far from being also ran "babysitting" meetings...NOPE...some of them are better in activity, and cutting edge God stuff than the main meetings.CDs of the worship and messages are always available after the event.

Becca's quote

I conclude with Becca's quote at the top.You would have thought the Tree Experience and the River Experience would be a given in the Body of Christ as she has written.

Why then is Smith Wiggleworth's (almost parting) 1940s prophecy so significant: that in the last great move of God there would be a twinning together of Spirit and Word. The reason it is so significant is that up until the time of writing this blog in the last one and a half years...and let this blog be a tool towards it...

There is a very real split right through the worldwide manifestBody of Christ over this precise issue. When the Florida Outpouring was ongoing I could sense the first real signs of a marriage between the two just waiting in the wings to appear and this prompted the Parable of the Shekinah Construction Company

As I've written time and again: You get networks that preach who we are in Christ. Faithful Word preaching. But they have no clue how to approach God corporately and experience the manifest outpoured Presence of God. Or you get the most incredible manifestations of gifts and worship, but absolutely no concept that it is not a network that is being built around a group of charismatic men, it's about what Jesus called a "laying of the axe to the root"...and this did not mean Jewish worship and the Old Covenant...the root means : untying the knot where the knot first occurred in Genesis 3. And the full clarity of how Jesus did this has come through faithful servants such as Norman Grubb, that at the time of writing the larger Body of Christ are deaf to.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Cuckoos Eggs and Corinthian Elders

Christine and I had a special treat today. Paul Noble felt specifically to come all the way over to pray and share with us.

This was buzzing around in my thoughts and heart today.
Cuckoos eggs.
As I remember back, the only meetings I can really function in are meetings like The Key of David meetings here in Havant. People come from miles around to these and the next one is on Sunday 6th September at 7pm. More info about what they are here

I remember visiting my old church (Old Town baptist Church,Amersham) and prophesying something similar to what I am going to share below but 30 years ago. It was for the newly converted youth who came in on the next wave after our 1972 wave.

The reason the word was not really fact it was heftily modified!!! was the fact that it cut like a knife to the core of how leaders relate with flock.

Today I received the same type of thing but using a different example.

God has been busy laying His kingdom eggs like a cuckoo all over the show in the last decades.

In Elim networks. AOG networks. Baptist churches. Methodist Churches. Pioneer Network. Terry Virgo's New Frontiers. Barney Coombs Salt and Light network. Alan Vincents' setups. and so on and so on.

But what God said today is that some of these leaders...not necessarily the ones I've mentioned per se, who are dear dear brothers...but some of the network leaders are going to be disappointed. They have been labouring hard for decades but have been unaware that these eggs or now young birds are Kingdom birds. They belong to the Lord. They will have nothing to do with the nests and networks that they grew up in. They are called to build the Kingdom. Nothing less than the Kingdom. Not a network version of the Kingdom. They will be building expressions of the Kingdom that are absolutely not recognisable to these former works. And that's OK. Because God has a world to reach.

Some of the phrases in the following 1990 word are totally applicable at this point: It begins like this and you can read it here:Prophecy - with special reference to Singers and MusiciansI have opened a new door in Heaven. The way to this door is very difficult It is difficult because of the pride of man. But in fact it is a very simpleway. A way of faith. A way of humility...

Corinthian Elders.

At this point I want to mention this book by Jack Fortenberry. Click the picture to purchase at Amazon. I read it, took it on holiday with me, and we've not seen it since. The good thing about this is I cannot give too much away. It is a small book.

Originally I thought it was going to be a book about shifting the chairs on the Titanic. A rather grumpy book about how churches need to change their structure in order for God to move. Which for me is cart about horse!!

But it turns out this book is vital to the current dialogue about changes in how we do church.

As the prophecy above shows, church is about building Christ into the believer, not about building Christians into networks. I'll say that again. Church is about building Christ into the believer and not about building Christians into networks.

One of the amazing cause and effect things Jack writes about is this, using the Corinthian example. Paul wrote a Spirit inspired sword-dividing spirit from soul Word about the way they were relating to "star leaders". Jack pinpoints the fact that if we build around "stars", we should not be surprised that we are just sowing in the soil of dissension, jealousy and disunity. From which ofcourse, we reap discord, jealousy, envy and surprise surprise disunity. This is everywhere in the church today. But who has seen the link, the simple clear link between this and one man ministry? This was just one of a whole host of impacting scriptural challenges. Those of you who are listening closely to the Spirit of God should find this book a real confirmation of some of the behavioural choices you have had to make as churches. I want to commend Havant Church and the ministries of Peter and Mariette Stott , and John and Wendy (remember Christine and I didn't know that John and Wendy were the pastors for about 9 months of going there). There's laid back and there's John and Wendy. But even saying all this, there are still some slicing points in the book for our church.

Monday 24 August 2009

Christ 'in' me -versus- Christ 'as' me: by Nancy Fitzpatrick Gilmore

Her communal Post
Yesterday at 23:44
I’ve had this wonderful revelation, and I’m wondering if you also have had it. For a number of years I’m been telling folks; Christ is our life; as Jesus said, “I am the life”. I’ve found it’s fairly easy at times to convince believers to agree that Christ is their life; even when I’m meaning a much deeper concept than the one they are relating. So a few years ago I began to show believers they needed to change their ‘in’ to ‘as’ when they related to their union with Christ. Some would agree as the Apostle John said; as He was in this world now so are we. But they would not say Christ lives ‘as’ me. They would only say Christ is ‘in’ me with no recognition of who is doing the living. I attempted to show them the difference in Christ ‘in’ me –vs.- Christ ‘as’ me, by saying when we only relate to Christ ‘in’ me; we have Christ, and we have me; two! Not one. A gap exists between me and Christ. But in reality there is no gap; no separation of Christ with Him being our life; except the separation be in consciousness. However, when we say Christ ‘as’ me it closes the gap! And by faith I have an inner-recognition of Christ living as me. I have not disappeared, and I am not separated from Him. I have begun to recognize I am spirit in union with the Spirit of Christ. And this is my inner-recognition of abiding in the Lord, and the Lord abiding in me. Jesus said, if you abide in me, and I abide in you; you bear much fruit. Christ living ‘as’ me is our Vine-branch union-recognition of abiding in Christ. However, I’ve not been all that successful in convincing others to say Christ lives His Life “AS’ me. Some will say; that’s blasphemy. Others will say; you’re trying to be God! Others may agree that YOU can say it that way if you like, but it’s not for them! Still others will even say it’s just semantics! Even some will say, you can’t teach others to say, “Christ as me” when they are still sinning; and they bring up all the sin passages in the bible as though this replaces any reality of Christ living ‘as’ us, and they continue with their ‘teachings’ of law and grace.But I find this reasoning is not the real reason why they don’t want to say, Christ lives His life ‘as’ me. I find a deeper reason. I find the real reason being- …they like to be themselves, thinking this is true freedom and independence!I ask you, is this not the deception of the fall? Independence! Actually this deception is a license TO sin. This is the reason why it is affirmed by some; I’m just a sinner saved by grace, but God is not through with me yet. This dear friend is a deception! Deception is to believe a lie about our selves! And deception is dangerous.The fact is to be born again eliminates the sin issue! To be born again eliminates independent self! To be born again creates a new life! To be born again creates the reality of Christ being in us as our life, desiring for us to know Him as the one living as us; and with Him getting the recognition! You can know nothing apart from yourself and Paul makes this plain when he says; “It God who is at work in you ‘both’ to will and to do of HIS good pleasure”! In moving from little children, to young men, to Fathers as described in 1stJohn 2:12-14 there comes a time when we move by faith from Christ in me to Christ as me. Paul said when it pleased the Lord to reveal His Son in me, and Jesus said I will show him all the things that he must suffer for my sake. No separation there. This is union with God. This is oneness. This is Christ living “as’ Paul. This is eliminating the sin issue completely! And this is what the Apostle John was meaning when he said; “He that is born again sinneth not, for he is begotten of God, and keeps himself” 1stJohn 5:18. In reality our inner recognition is Almighty God in us by the Living Spirit of our Resurrected Lord making us one in Christ with God! And God continuing His work of redemption ‘as’ us.I have found when we say Christ lives His life ‘as me’ we are saying He is the Authority in me, and I am not an independent which is the source of all sin. Sin originated in and ‘as’ Satan deception when he made his declaration of “I will be like God!” “I will ascend!” The five “I will” that he announced and is recorded for us in Isaiah 14, and described in Ezekiel 28. To be born again is the inner-recognition that Christ has redeemed us from this lying spirit of Satan operating by us, and Christ has taken His own rightful place in us to operate and live “as’ us.For some reason it is not understood that ‘abiding’ is the prerequisite for bearing fruit. And the first step of abiding faith is my inner-recognition that Christ is living His life in me- ‘as me. Then; we can live being ourselves knowing it is Christ LIVING AS US as described in Galatians 2:20

Sunday 23 August 2009

BBC News and Philippians 4:8

Basically I may not be as funny as I used to be but I don't care. I'm getting bored of smart-alec,cynical comedy. I'm now trying to do things that are a bit more life-affirming.The default response these days is to curl your lip up at everything whereas the radical choice is to say something non-cynical. Doing something with genuine sentiment is the most avant-garde thing you can do at the moment.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. Lord Reith's directive for the BBC on its inception.
Note 1. Fix on the positive in general
Note 2. Fix on the specific lead I, Paul am modelling.

Newscaster Mission Statement

We at the BBC News commit ourselves to using Our Left-brain frontal lobe articulation skills trained to the highest level at both Oxford and Cambridge Universities

To provide you the tax-payer with accurate factual unemotional unprejudiced reporting of both national and world news

of the subjects that are most horrific, most repulsive, negative, devoid of any charity,hope or common decency.

We will report these things to fulfil our symbiotic relationship with the viewer's hunger for depravity, secularism and low vision of both man and government, such that after our half hour or full hour programmes none have any inspiration to continue to work faithfully and pursue honest lives of vision and purpose.

We promise to relent in the last minute of our programmes and provide one lighter moment involving a cat , dog, or funny but meaningless incident in order that no one accuse us of being one-sided.

We accept no responsibility for any destruction our continual reporting of rape ,murder ,incest, cheating, and poor government that our programmes may cause. As a primarily unemotional left-brain format we seek to address this small portion of the public that can retain endless negative facts listed unapologetically in quick succession. We are totally unaware of those others who respond emotionally in a burden-bearing capacity to each individual act of bloody agression and injustice towards the normal man in the street , to the poor and defenceless; so we will continue with our list of the day's worst events undeterred.Without comment. Without soul. Without the faintest reference to the existence of any moral code whatever.

We hope by our actions to so lower the expectations of the public that life be in any way peaceful, positive, and filled with hope, in order by this means to spread our cynical secular gospel: Indeed that there is no hope. This is how life is. And you were foolish to ever think that any other form of existence is possible.

This last 12 months we have sought to crown our achievements by reporting the very worst aspects of Britain and the whole world's economy and by it to have severely worsened the market here and abroad. Success has bought us further time on air to continue the downward spiral. As public paid servants providing what you the tax-payer wish for, ofcourse we can accept no part of the responsibility for any further damage that our one-sided negative financial reporting may have caused. The tax-payer bears the brunt of this for asking for negative news in the first place. We are here only to provide what is requested.

This has been a spoof. AC Welch 23rd August 09

Penny Haslam on Money Box (BBC Radio 4) discusses the relationship between news reporting and the recession.
This report was inspired by some words Paul Butcher preached today at Havant Church.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

Abba's Love Song To His children - via Geraldine Williams

Geraldine Williams is nearly ninety.
As she handed over her house as she says "lock stock and barrel" for use by the fledgling Emsworth Church as a Bible House in the 1970s, she prayed this prayer:

"Lord ,Let this be the match that strikes a light for this country."

I still believe that God is about answering this prayer.
Certainly the third level is more than such a match. For decades Britons have been praying for a revival, and as the last major one was in Wales and was very much the crucible of Pentecostalism, people are still thinking in those terms, or in terms of Billy Graham and Moody and Sankey.

I think what God is about is huge. And some of this is described here.

Geraldine is losing her near term memory, so when she ran across me in the street the other day she did not remember me. I am also fatter. But she arranged for me to come and tune the piano which I had done for many years.

When I arrived for the appointment Geraldine was still getting herself ready so I set to with the piano. But you know something. Even in the 30 years I have known her she has changed. I am not talking older. Actually her face doesn't really look that much older.

First change. Sitting in the sitting room on my own I felt an incredibly strong Presence of the Lord.
Second change. When she came through I found her much less impulsive.Pushy.Annoying.We always use to say "Geraldine" as an adjective. She is a lot more "ooozy". This fragrant oil of Jesus. Time spent with Him.
Third change. I would say her face is kind of radiant. Certainly when she smiles. Lovely, lovely soft cheerful eyes.

Like a lot of people who wish to remain in their homes, she has infrastructure. People and family that come to visit and help. But otherwise, apart from the (Anglican)church there is not too much social interaction. She told me that the night before she was chatting with Abba and asked if she could meet someone when she went out for a walk.
Well she did. And that other person had prayed the very same prayer. So they had a great time. They'd never met before.

So forget networking sites folks. This is the inauguration of the Melchizedek Social Networking Organization that runs on very similar lines to how believers in Communist countries used to run their secret underground meetings in Russia and China. By listening to the voice of the Lord.
I tuned her piano and Geraldine shared the details of this song that she has just been given.I was so sure that some of you out there would really like this that I asked if I could film her playing the music for it.

"Stay here close and let My love flow over you!

Stay quietly close, let it sink into your soul -

There you may be waiting quietly, near to me....."

So this is how the Holy Spirit guided me:-

A s he got older, my beloved (earthly) Father came to live with our family. We had lived in a much larger house. Dear Pa paid the rent bless him! out of the funds in his pension easing the tax he had to pay. So- now, after six years with us, he needed to go into a Rest Home; and we had to find a new and smaller dwelling. Two of our five sons had gone to further education. So we numbered Cledwyn and me, and three sons. But where?

As a guide , Pa "saw" a large window. Ah- good. There were five houses to choose from, nearer to their school. So off I went with an elderly friend who had had a lot of experience this way and a list to visit. We passed by four of them - not what we wanted- so along , quite near to our big house, a delightful estate of bungalows; one where the boys had friends.

Through the front door, into the hall; old Audrey danced a little jig of joy at what she saw that delighted her! I, with the window in mind, went into the sitting room - THERE IT WAS! "This is the house Audrey!" It had a large room upstairs, and three downstairs, a large dining room/sitting room with a view into a large square garden.(Bathroom,kitchen ofcourse). We were detached from our two neighbours. A previous viewer was busy getting three mortgages. But we had enough - Praise God - to pay cash- He organised a gift of £8000 - you see He wanted a large house for people in His Plan!!
for the Emsworth Christian Church (now New Life Church fellowship);He'd said to me audibly - "I want you to give me "Alpenrose", lock,stock and barrel!" When we had chosen our new home, I could go prayerfully round Alpenrose and choose what we could have! And it was so.
Picture:Alpenrose became the first UK Bible House

You remember the window? In the sitting room? Beside it one morning for my Quiet Time - sitting quietly - Abba sang this song to me. I quickly wrote the words as He sang, and little jottings for the tune too. Then to the piano to find the tune and memorize it and the words. But I don't have the manuscript of the tune - It needs taping and the manuscript - On we go!
I arrived within a day or so of Geraldine writing this and actually made a film of her playing the music using my Samsung D900 mobile. Below is the full song:

Stay close to ME and let My love flow over you!

Stay quietly close, let it sink into your soul;

There you may be, waiting quietly near to ME,

Drinking from the Cup that I am giving you.

Moment by moment let this quiet waiting be

Quiet and undisturbed, resting near My heart.

Leave all to Me, how well I know your deepest longings,

No other heart can understand like Mine.

Just like a book your life lies open to Me

How well I know what's written on each page;

Heart's desires and longings, fears and strong imaginings;

Nothing goes unseen - The Light of love sees all!

How dear you are, My dear one, you will come to know

When you see my Son dying on that Cross for you;

Only His Blood can touch and cleanse away all sin

for He has lived in a body - just like yours;

And He knows the rugged pathway,

He knows the hard frustrations,

There's no place of sorrows

He doesn't know them too.

So my dear one, stay here close

And know the Love I have for you,

Comfort sweet and sure! Your own place in My heart"

(God's own gift to all who want to share in this treasure - for you too!" )

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Did you come here to Play Jesus?

Something I've Never Seen Before

Paul Noble is up in Scotland at the moment for the U2 gig there. He was incredibly excited to even be able to get a ticket.


Chapter 7

They spent some time in Jericho. As Jesus was leaving town, trailed by his disciples and a parade of people, a blind beg­gar by the name of Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, was sitting alongside the road. When he heard that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by, he began to cry out, "Son of David, Jesus! Mercy, have mercy on me!" Many tried to hush him up, but he yelled all the louder, "Son of David! Mercy, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped in his tracks. "Call him over." They called him. "It's your lucky day! Get up! He's calling you to come!" Throwing off his coat, he was on his feet at once and came to Jesus. Jesus said, "What can I do for you?" The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." "On your way," said
Jesus. "Your faith has saved and healed you." In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road. (Mark 10:46-52 MSG)

THE ATMOSPHERE in the arena was thick with anticipation.It literally felt humid. My friend Mike Stewart, who also happens to be a priest, and I were waiting for the concert to start. U2's Vertigo tour had rolled into Vancouver, and we were ready to join the throngs in welcoming the band. I didn't like our seats, but I thought that instead of grumbling about it, I would take a look for Jesus in the room. With the eyes of faith, I sensed that he might be settling into some "nosebleed seats" high in the balcony, ready with joy for the worship he would receive that night. I also sensed him speaking to my heart: "Watch Bono. At some point tonight, he and I will be interchangeable." I raised my eyebrows at this. Was my love of the band's frontman and his message distorting what I heard? Nevertheless, I felt such a strong presence of God in the place that I turned to Mike and said, "There's so much power in the room that if Bono says, 'Be healed,' I'll bet ten people would get healed. You watch!"
As the concert proceeded, Mike and I sang along at the top of our lungs. So many of the songs were direct prayers and mod­ern Psalms. One song sorely missing from the set list that night was Yahweh, one in which Bono offers himself in service to God. In
twenty-first century metaphors, the lyrics echo the old hymn of consecration, Take My Life and Let It Be.
In this updated version, Bono offers God his shoes, his shirt, and his soul, recognizing that grace must do a work to fit him and cleanse him for service. He gives God his hands, prone as they are to clenching into fists. He dedicates his mouth—"so quick to criticize "—and pleads for the kiss that will fill his mouth with good news. He finishes with a plea:
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart, take this heart, Take this heart, and make it break.
He has and he will do all of these things, Bono. It's not just messiah complex or megalomania. God really has called us to "be Jesus" to others. To be his hands, his heart, his voice in this world. In fact, that night I actually saw it happen...
As the concert continued, I noticed a commotion down front. Someone had pushed a woman in a wheelchair through the mob toward the stage. She held up a large poster and kept wav­ing it toward the stage. I was able to borrow some opera glasses from a fan behind me and had a good angle from which to read the sign. The large block letters said, "If I ditch this wheelchair, will you dance with me?"
Bono took note, stopped mid-stride, and spoke: "Itpays to advertise." Then he extended his hand. The crowd actually picked up the woman and passed her from the chair over their heads to the stage. Bono pulled her up and they stood dancing fora brief time. It seemed awkward, she was wobbly, but she was dancing. Her jacket, which had been tied to her waist, fell to the floor and Bono stooped to pick it up and re-tie it. Then she stepped down off the stage, and Bono seemed to beckon the friend who had brought her. She was also passed up to the stage and danced fora bit.
Mike and I looked at each other, amazed. My first thought
was, Is this for real? Then, This can't be a scam—her dance is far too awkward. And even if... What faith for Bono to reach out his hand! Then I laughed, If this is for real, how is Bono going to deal with the stigma of becoming a faith-healer?
As always, the band left that night to the sound of the whole stadium singing acapella from Psalm 40 David's messianic
prayer—in heartful unison. The original psalm reads this way in verse 1-3 of the New International Version:
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
Then all together, the crowd sang U2's refrain,
And I will sing, sing a new song. I will sing, sing a new song.
Turning to Mike, I asked, "How do they do that? Upwards of twenty thousand people come together, most of whom would be horrified at the thought of entering a church. And these guys have us all singing with the angels."
Mike replied, "This is their gift. They can plant a prayer in our hearts—in anyone's heart."
I've been an eyewitness to enough medically verified healing miracles and silly shams that I'm neither unbelieving nor gullible. Nor am I obsessed with proving matters of faith, but still...
Hoping for verification, I tracked down my friend Pam,who confirmed that she saw the woman being wheeled in before
the show from the parking lot. She appeared truly chair-bound. Later, Simon, one of Mike's congregants, shared that he was able to meet the woman on the floor after the concert. Sure enough, she was standing without the wheelchair, claiming "It's true. Nobody believes me, but this is real."
Truth or legend? To me, it seems the better question is, "Do I have the capacity to believe that the Christ of the Gospels is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Does he continue to stop midstream, take note of the least, and stretch out his hand to heal? Could he do it through Bono? Would he? Could he do it through me? Would he do it through you?"
This I know, "He came to play Jesus... ", and so he did.
My comment is 'em or hate 'em...As my German friend Martin Franke so well described: At a time when practically all German youth were atheist...totally blown out by their parent's Lutheran and Catholic acquiescence and participation in Hitler's regime...U2 arrive on stage in Berlin and Frankfurt early 80s singing Psalm 40.Because Bono was coming from a background riven by the Protestant Catholic divide in Ireland they could hear he was coming from a real place...and they listened.Contemporary with this was the simply awful BBC Rock Gospel show which was corporate religious nonsense. The celtic bird will simply have no truck with corporate attempts to tie it down. The voice of the Holy Spirit is something the BBC wouldn't even hear if the angels came down again and sung in the night sky.They'd probably bring in Patrick Moore and ask what that strange disturbance was.
Read more on U2
Paul Noble 26 August at 00:14 Facebook
I have to say there were 2 bands on before and the difference between them and U2 was amazing. I am only a recent U2 fan but what I discern is called the annointing and I think its because they honour God's word in their lyrics. I also think that the people out there are looking for something spiritual and can sense that in the music because its honest and gut real. Its not in your face christian but it touches the heart. I have a feeling that even though they have been playing 30 yrs now they are not finished yet and God is working through them to touch a generation.
Bino posted this enlightening Youtube clip: Interview by Larry King of Bono (part of series)

Wednesday 12 August 2009

Accountability - Your views please

This extract is from Stories of the Supernatural that release the power of Jesus
Kris Valotton see ibethel video 258"You have to develop accountability in your lifeAccountability is not people who are having the same struggles.That's called..... friends.How do you know if you are accountable to the right person?Well....if you fail, you'll be nervous about telling them. I'm not talking about paranoid.(Then describes the difference between telling a peer and telling someone who can affect your life)" posted on facebook
After 2 or 3 incredible chapters in Ephesians describing who we really are, and how we are to operate from this revelation, Paul gets down to the little matter of Lordship in our lives.People to whom we are accountable and it will affect us - BIG time.Family. Work. Authorities.See chapters 4 and 5.Nothing is said here particularly about in the church.Saints the whole issue of how we do church is under scrutiny.
New materials are available.
Frank Viola - Reimagining Church.
Corinthian Elders (more later) Jack Fortenberry.
Red Moon Rising - Pete Greig
The Bonsai Conspiracy - Paul Anderson Walsh.
How do we respond to them?
What are your insights?
Perhaps I'll blog the results.

Monday 10 August 2009

A Tale of Two Trees - Frank Viola

For a year and a half since I first wrote on Dan's blog I have felt to push this seemingly unique door about Christ living His life as us. I have been totally one-tracked about this. Nobody else I could see was doing it. For me this is the Key to getting your own life to changing your believing and lining it up with the Word. This is why this blog is called what it is. But we need all the other blogs which are painting the full-orbed picture of Christ, of the work of the Holy Spirit, of churches and individuals reaching out to change their environments, the whole thing......

Yesterday I put up on Facebook the words spoken by Dr SM Lockbridge about Christ Himself. Who He is .

I watch preachers getting tangled up with whether we are Christ or not. It's funny. It's just like people trying to describe a bucket being dropped into the sea and filling with sea water. So you are calling the water in the bucket the sea. Yup. Why?It has the sea in. So are you saying that's the sea! Yup. But not the whole sea.That's giant! Now let's get this straight, you're calling that water in the bucket sea? Yup. Because that's what it is! But that's only water! Nope. It's not just any water. It's the sea! But not the whole sea!......and so on and so on.

I explained this once when I began the blog, some of you need to read it again. It will make more sense now.

We are branches. Christ is the vine. But a trunk is the vine. The branches are the vine. They're all the vine. They are all vine-natured! Preachers have such a hard time with this.

All this preamble to say I am getting more relaxed. Why? Other people are saying this stuff.

I read this tonight in Frank Viola's "From Eternity To Here."

A Tale of Two Trees
Dietrich Bonhoeffer rightly pointed out that the knowledge of good and evil is the root of all religious and ethical systems. Jesus Christ, however, did not come to give us a new ethic. He came to give us a new life (John 10:10; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:4; 1 John 5:11-12).
As a Christian, you have been given God's untreated life. As such, you are not called to live by a "Christian" code of ethics. Instead, you are called to live by God's life. That life possesses divine impulses, instincts, promptings, senses, and tendencies. Yielding to them is the secret of growing up into the Head, who is Christ (Eph. 4:15). When a group of people lives by the Lord's life, the character of Jesus begins to take shape within them (Gal. 4:19).

To quote Bonhoeffer, "Jesus calls men, not to a new religion, but to life." And that life is divine life. It is the "abundant life" that Christ talked about while He was on earth (John 10:10). By contrast, to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is to govern one's life by right and wrong. It's to behave by a standard of good and evil.
The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil contains both the knowledge ofgoodas well as the knowledge of evil. Knowing good is not the equivalent of doing good. Good is a life form. Only God is good. Recall Jesus' reaction when He was addressed as "Good Teacher." He sharply replied, "'There is none good, but one, that is, God" (Matt. 19:16-17 Kjv). As for the prospect that fallen humans can do good, the verdict is clear: "There is no one who does good" (Rom. 3:12).According to Scripture, goodness is a life form. It's a Person. It is God Himself. Only God is good. Therefore, when a Christian seeks to "be good," he is eating from the wrong tree.

The Sobriety Debate

Musings about this on facebook
Paul Noble
I'm going to be a spoil sport. (but maybe I'm a prophet?) I think this stuff is excessive and boring. Personally I'm tired of the same old "fleshly manifestations". Fortunately I know my bible a little bit. 1 cor 14:20 Brothers do not be children in your thinking yet in evil be babes, but IN YOUR THINKING BE MATURE""However in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind that I might instruct others also rather than 10 thousand words with a tongue. "( or in today's parlance fall over, laugh etc etc etc.) Therefore gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.... Read moreI want to see christians DO stuff rather than just party while the world moves closer to hell.
Yesterday at 10:13 · Delete

Aida Collazo
In the past, those types of meetings were fun and exciting but there never was any real impact on my life. Once all of the hoopla was over, I needed another fix.My life is definitely more quiet now but I feel it's more real.
Yesterday at 14:08 · Delete

Tony Bellows
I think that these kind of meetings can be addictive, which shows how as Christians we must be aware that anything can become a form of idolatry. Joy Davidman once said (in Smoke on the Mountain) that it was especially dangerous for Christians because it could be so subtle.
Yesterday at 19:31 · Delete

Chris Welch
Hey all you sober guys....anyone who has read my blog knows where I am coming from, I can out- sober you all any day...but can I remind you that God began His work in a party, he instituted 3 great Feasts, the third one we haven't really seen fulfilled yet...and is the most party like after the sober Day of atonement...and lastly the fun stuff is the way the New Wine of the Spirit breaks in on tired burdened broken lives as they emerge out of the hell of sweating for secular Pharoahs who sell their existence down the drain in Stock Marketing Pits.As you sober 3rd levellers bow the knee before your Father in Intercession...don't be shocked by the Party you are unleashing the other side of the room! Watchman Nee went back to prison, got his tongue cut out and died in a prison cell in 1972. The other side of the world Christine, me and gazillions of others were swept in on a Spirit tidal wave.

I realise also this video is a reaction itself to religiosity. So it is hardly a normal representation...but an exaggeration to wind the windable!

To Aida and others like myself who have found a more long term answer to the whole root of the matter, in these days I still want to give us all a kick in the pants and say we haven't got hold of the real until we have got both The River and The Tree of Genesis and Revelation. This is what used to drive me nuts about the sober Zerubbabel group.

Here's the Biblical challenge which I put to them too : Signs and wonders follow after those who believe. My life is hardly a representation of that either. But it does contain bits which keep me encouraged.

All of us have sat through those sermons given by men who play the sobriety card because it gives them instant spiritual cred...

It makes them appear more mature.

Why? In my blog I have sought to analyse this. This is how it works.

When we are children we are incredibly balanced left-brain to right-brain. We trust. We believe. We imagine. But we also think out. We analyse. We put things together.

In a world where Satan rules, we learn to stick with what we can hear, smell, touch, taste.

So in Satan's Kingdom, the best people are chosen by their ability to categorise, enumerate, articulate what is there. They learn to do this to an incredible degree. Only one problem. This is all one-sided.

In the Spirit where we operate from is from an unseen realm, that's not yet visible, but becomes visible by our faith. To the secular people it appears childlike, because it's the bit of them they traded in the "Great Exchange" to appear more grown up in the world. It takes them back to that world they used to live in, but chose to discard.

Here is the rub.

Every real advance like Einstein,

Like the Periodic Table in chemistry

Like Mendel and genetics

Like every major resonating film, painting, TV programme

was not made using the left-brain as its initiation point. So the irony is, the people who dare to go counter the flow and actually ignore the best advice of everyone else, end up with the ultimate plaudits. Some in their lifetime . Some after. This is one of the biggest ironies of the secular world. But no one sees why. Because nobody thinks it out.