Thursday 19 January 2017

More Personally, and about Lydia Joy Shatney and others

very encouraging email from John Stevens

Hi Chris,

Over the years I think it would be true to say you've spent more time outside church than I have but I'm now more than a year away from regular Sunday morning attendance and general church involvement. one time to reflect.

Was sitting down strumming my guitar the other day and realised it was a bit out of tune. A bit lazily I tuned the strings to the bass E and it was improved enough to enjoy playing but not quite perfect. Sometime soon I'll probably get fed up tuning it to the E or the A and tune each string in reference to software on my phone/tablet.

Thought then of you and pianos and then of church. Vague memories of hearing you or someone saying that you actually don't tune each string to perfect pitch as that doesn't quite give the best sound?

What's the place of the best pastors in church. Agree with you that they really don't have to be the 'leader', often they're not! The best pastors are in the congregation! But thinking that you know a pastor when you meet one because they're likely to either be in tune or know how to tune you or enable you to tune you to them. And so the effect of having a few good pastors is a church that just 'feels' in tune. There's love and reality and little social fear. The same problems as the church down the road with all the right doctrines, good teeaching, evocative prophets, but somehow not in tune. But even churches that are lucky to have a good few pastors eventually need a re-set and need to be tuned directly to Jesus.

What I'm getting at here I think is that you have a vision for the third level working on a church wide, body of Christ dimension. When we were colliding with the early charismatic leaders they preached a vision of the body of Christ...certainly my pastor/teacher did - he preached from Call to Discipleship for months just after I was converted just prior to Exeter days. We went to listen to Juan C-O up in London at the Quaker Meeting House. (I discovered that my pastor had little regard for the Highway Code but made a lot of time for honking his horn and swerving the minibus in time with the praise singing in the minibus..but we survived and thrived).

Those days and the vision for the church as taught have stayed deep inside ever since.

But he and I therefore ran aground in Rom 6 and so on. I had to leave and get that knot untied at Roffey...not that they knew there was a knot or that it was untied!

Last thought. Why are you a piano tuner? Piano tuning doesn't play the music but without the tuning the most skilled players can only make a discordant noise. Piano tuning doesn't make the piano or the strings or the pedals.

It's a bit like the piano tuner is in the background...he is an enabler. He's the unsung hero.

It's a spiritual parable.

Keep tuning the pianos. Keep the blog going. You're serving many by being an E or an A in tune. Others tuning themselves to you. They can't be you or you them but they can enjoy their faith that bit more and any ministry/gift they may have that bit more.

Your vision isn't of individual strings making the right sound but of the infinite variety of sound that can be produced when a whole body of believers is in tune. An orchestral vision in fact.

I think Is 62 is a bit like this.

I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord,
give yourselves no rest,
and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.

Keep going Chris!


2 photos of Lydia having given birth to a son in 1998 and today

Just gonna leave this right here.....
Some-freaking-how I am managing to raise four boys all on my own and I honestly don't know how -even when people ask me every day I simply say; "I just do it"
When I say on my own I mean on my own, no help from family, no help from their dad and the child support I get is a laughable joke.
But somehow I'm not completely losing my shit and somehow my kids are hanging in there too.
It certainly is a messy, hard as hell, crazy, wild situation, but as crazy as this sounds I wouldn't change it for the world!
Today I am reminded to just BREATHE!!
I've got this thing, right?!!!
writes Lydia Joy Shatney

Julie Anne Morris

Who are Lydia Joy Shatney, Julie Anne Morris and  a man called Dan Bowen who has recently died?
They may be unknown people to you but in summer 2007 I was googling Ern Baxter details, and found the blog of an English Nurse brought up in Stanley Jebb's Dunstable church called Dan Bowen.

Through Dan Bowen I learned about Ern Baxter's subsequent ministry in UK fellowships and conferences
I learned that Larry Tomczak and CJ Mahaney had established Sovereign Garace Minstries. I loved Larry and CJ when they were touring Britain in the 80s.

But things had gone a bit sour and I learned that Julie Anne and Lydia Joy were both in SGM as youngsters. Many people chatted. Sheila Atchley who is a pastor's wife in the States and is a friend on Facebook was also one of these who commented on what Dan was sharing.

We shared so much in the comments section of Dan's blog. He told us about Rob Rufus minstry in Hong Kong and we read and listened to many of the mp3s on grace. If you want to dig around in some of what we were talking about, it is still all there in Dan's blog.

It was around 2008-9 that Christian men began meeting each other big time on Facebook.A sister in Kenya said I ought to go on Facebook, some years earlier, but at that point men weren't really doing Facebook in the same way as it has now developed.

So just prior to Facebook, Julie -Anne and Lydia Joy encouraged me to start my own blog in the following summer of 2008.  The 8 Bubble LOGO to highlight the day I began and which in Hebrew numerics actually means  the THIRD GATE or ENTRANCE or PORTAL was devised by Lydia Joy for her own blog to celebrate that date.

In Christ , lives touch for a while and pollinate and when it is genuine something of lasting significance continues to grow inside us.

For others it is not so meaningful perhaps....but for one who was unable to share anything anywhere for about 20 years from the time I was chucked out of the charismatic realm in 1988 until this opportunity opened on the was so beautiful and timely....and probably necessary lest I explode!!!!   I had to share somewhere.

No comments: