Saturday 23 February 2013

1000th Post - A Milestone Reflection

This the 1000th post and together with listing the all-time favorite posts as of this week, I will also describe some of my impressions of Oxford.....Thankyou very much to the readers of this blog which was conceived on the 8th August 2008 and launched with its first post in the following week.

In four and a half short years we've gone from a time where nearly nobody knew there was another distinct level to Christianity, the Father level, and back in 2007, people only shrugged their shoulders if you dared refer them to the stages St John maps out in 1 John 2.

Both in blogs and now on the social networks ,Christians have been voicing their extreme disgust at the shortfalls in evangelicalism and the charismatic realm. Some identify with this blog, others at least now fully recognise the power of grace to carry them through. The Church worldwide, contrary to the almost complete disinformation progamme of  the media and secular world, is alive and growing probably at a pace and depth unknown in all its corporate history.

These are the all time favorite posts and the number of times they have been opened. The absolute clear winner is not one of my posts at all, but one of my dear friends Ole Henrik Skjelstad (Norway)as posted by Andrea Garzon  (Equador). A great Post.

Top Post-The Real Thing - 12569 HITS incredible !

This week we have been caravanning in Oxford and these are the pictures I took with my trusty Sony Cybershot P200. Although I lived in Amersham only 35 miles away,I have only actually been to Oxford on very few occasions, since the gravitational pull of a city like London, about the same distance in the opposite direction, is infinitely greater to youngsters.
So this halfterm week we thought we'd "do" Oxford.

No.2 -A Post about the Ancient Door Of Control - 5536 HITS - My highest read post.

Top 10 things to do in Oxford. Click pics to enlarge.
It was exceedingly bitter this week, so we dived in restaurants and eating houses as well as visiting the Ashmolean Museum. I visited again on the Friday night because there were a number of free musical events and lectures taking place. These occur on the last Friday each month.
I was treated to a John Cage recital/reading, an incredible series of wellknown pieces played on violin and theremin, some adlibbed music in the stairwell on different floors, DJ's using old and new material, various hands on noise producing gadgets, and a demonstration of a 1933 top of the range gramophone playing contemporary works on 78s such as the then 16 year old Menuhin conducted by an 83 year old Elgar.

No.3 -Too Much Process As Illustrated in the lives of Jane Fonda and Derek Prince
- 2913 HITS - Do we really need to jump through so many hoops?

No. 4 - The First of Gary Sigler's series Coming Out of Darkness
- 2774 HITS - Part of a series

On the offchance I contacted Norita Roberts on Facebook, and before flying to Spain for a leader's conference Marcus and Norita kindly came to visit us in our caravan. Christine has never met them and so it was her and my chance to catch up a bit on the quarter of a century that has passed since our paths divided in 1988, when I left Emsworth Church.The next day I went to visit Roberts Pianos Workshop 

No.5 - Rich Novek's brilliant letter to a modern day Christian Pharisee
- 2612 HITS -  Check out his new book on Amazon

Ofcourse over the two days I was able to learn some of the details I knew absolutely nothing about and for me it was more than interesting, but for the reader here that knows nothing about Marcus or I I'll try to paint a quick picture.
Marcus is six years older than me, which is somehow in God's plan. Marcus's agegroup very much got swept up into the tail end of leadership in the charismatic/Jesus move that we all came in on in the early 70s. It is quite handy that , being just a tad younger, I somehow missed this, but have been able to do detective work from underneath, the results of which form the subject of this blog.
Marcus and I both never set out in life to have careers in pianos. We both fully expected to be involved in the Lord's work and as such we both found ourselves in Emsworth Bible House with Norita and some 20-25 others.

No.6 - The Nature of the One Cult that we are Leaving
- 1626 Hits
In the interim,Marcus started a student church first in Portsmouth, then he and Norita began one in Oxford when he moved his business up there. So by now Marcus and Norita are quite seasoned pastors, and their three lads are now established in their own lives being between ages 20-30.
The original Rios De Vida Argentinian church stream based in Quilmes, Buenos Aires, under Jorge Pradas and until this year Norita's brother and wife Daniel and Nellie Garcia, has since spread through all the Argentinian States and has churches in Europe and in the UK, notably this one in Oxford and one under Colin and Christine King in Bangor.
Now Oxford and Cambridge are much appreciated cities by church planters. Because , like Harvard, they are all cities which influence the future. Marcus and Norita know and meet with other pastors in the city and are aware of the Salt and Light churches which originated through Barney Coombs, and have proliferated throughout Oxfordshire. This is particularly relevant for Christine who was one of the first nine of what has become the thousands strong Derby church, also in the Salt and Light network.

No.7 - Why Havant Church is in such a significant position....PIVOTAL even
- 1187 HITS
Tomb wall - Ashmolean Museum
Second to pursuing unity among Christians in the town, it was immediately obvious to me that their business Roberts Pianos  is quite a tree of life for the birds nesting thereupon! It supports ten or more fulltime and part time staff, which in the rather niche world of piano restoration is no small deal.
As a business owner, obviously you are paying salary rates, but you have to support those staffmembers through thick and thin. And therein lies the skill. Can you get those employees to earn you more than what they are paid?  If you do, you are running a profitable business. If then you plough back those profits into fresh expansion, or Christian projects, you may or may not ever become wealthy yourself, but you will be able to cast your eyes back down some long furrows.
 These then are all the different aspects to running churches and businesses over decades.

No.8 - Mark Stibbe always gave a prophetic Word at the start of the year. This was 2011
- 1090 HITS

I asked David, the son of the pastor who excluded me from Emsworth Church, what was it he felt was the role of Los Rios De Vida now that a lot of other churches have  caught up with the vision of praise and worship and finding the Presence of God together? In the seventies and early eighties there was nothing else quite like Emsworth Church in the UK. Some ten to fifteen years later fellow Argentinians Ed Silvoso and Claudio Freidzon were used to implant much of this vision across the Church in the UK. David replied that the Los Rios churches were still pursuing this vision but solely because it was their vision and not to seek to exclude the callings of other churches.
HMV Oxford? One of the last CD stores?

No.9 - Who is Francois DuToit, the translator behind the Mirror Version of the Bible?
- 912 HITS

So,what are my conclusions after 1000 posts? Can I point to any church or similar sized business that I have developed? Nope. And for most of those who have trekked along the same furrows as myself, we all have strikingly similar stories, yet strangely far from being despondent, we are all more confident than at any time in the past 30 years. In fact, next month, beginning in the USA, God seems to be giving us liberty to roll away the chockblocks and begin to share what we've been shut away for decades learning. In March Daniel Yordy and Rich Novek take the opportunity afforded by their recently published books to begin sharing from the same platform together into homes, small and large churches.

I find the model in Oxford interesting, because it very much traces Jorge's apostleship. Namely that people find God and are transformed by Him in meetings, then share life as a church "in the practical outworked love of the brethren".

For me,while in Emsworth that never worked. It never provided the "inner answer of Biblical revelation" I was searching for.Now, I can never speak for anyone else's path, and indeed I never followed the Los Rios path for more than 10 years, so perhaps if you do, certain other factors kick in to make it work. But for me,Rich , Daniel,Fred Pruitt,Annalize Mouton, Nancy Gilmore,Ole Henryk Skjelstad,Andrea Garzon,Chris Kimmel, Nick Cabbiness, Cathy Rheeder,Joan Reilly and so many many more who have supplied posts, we trod an individual path to come to the conclusion St Paul did at the end of Romans 7. That "independent living" is not really independent living, it is powered by the sin spirit, it is "sin in the flesh", masquerading as flesh. And that this is what makes Romans 8 work by setting our mind on the Spirit and telling ourselves repeatedly until it becomes is nolonger I that live. We have had an exchange. This lying "soul/I" that never was, has been replaced at our true spiritcentre by Christ/I. And that is the key that opens this "heaven on earth" lock.

No.10 - James A Fowler's article and diagrams on what Jesus has done
- 887 HITS

And finally, when I asked which post Joan Reilly had most enjoyed, she replied this spoof post.

Make Loadsa Cash Now From the Different Gospel


Julie said...

Hi Chris
Great to hear you had a good time in Oxford - are you still here??

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Hiya that where you are? It would have been so cool to meet up with you. Nope we're back on Hayling. But at least you know more about all my connections viz a viz Oxford.