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We are in the midst of a great awakening in the Church where the children of God are waking up to “who they really are.” Part of the foundation of this awakening is a deepened revelation of the love and goodness of God that is giving birth to a “Love Revolution,” now sweeping the earth. The Church is learning how to live loved and, as a result, is becoming “living love” – pouring out love in ways that is causing transformation to come to thousands daily. You are called to be a part of that revolution, and it starts with knowing that you are loved – unconditionally and irrevocably.

Let Father God love you, really love you, and through the transformational effect on your life, you will not be able to do anything but love as He does. As a result, you too will transform the lives of those you come in contact with.

The One Word That Is At the Heart of the Good News of the Gospel

One of the amazing things Jesus accomplished through both His life and death was to reintroduce a reality that had not existed since the fall of mankind – a loving close relationship with God.

With one word Jesus changed everything. He declared the end of religion and proclaimed the restoration of relationship. He changed forever the way man would see God (if they really looked). That one word is at the heart of the Good News of the Gospel. It’s not the word “forgiveness,” or even the word “grace.” Those are powerful words, but the one word Jesus used to change everything is “Abba.” Abba is the word for “Father” or “Daddy.” It may not sound like much of a revolution-starting word when you first hear it, but that word “Father” changed everything and assaulted every religious belief in existence, both outside and inside Israel.

Knowing “Father” Changes Everything

Jesus came not only as the Savior, but also as a Son. He came to reveal the Father and to provide a way for us to return to relationship with Him. Knowing God as “Father” changes everything because it reveals our reason for being created – to be in a loving, cared-for, protected and provided-for relationship with Father God. We were never meant to have to strive in order to know God, or have to earn a relationship with Him. We were meant to be “children” to the Father – a Father who loves us with 100% pure, untainted, undiluted love and goodness.

Jesus came not only as the way back to the Father but as a model of how we were created to be in relationship with the Father. That’s why He came as a child, as a Son, because only a Son could reveal God as Father. A servant cannot reveal God as the Father – he can only reveal God as “master” or “boss.” Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”(John 14:9). In Jesus we see the Father’s love revealed and expressed. And once we see the Father, something in us wakes up and remembers that we were made to be in loving relationship with Him!

Experience His Daddy Love

God wants to lavish us with His love. He wants the experiential knowledge of His love to be the very foundation of our lives. He wants all that we do – all the decisions we make and our revelation of who He is and who we are – to be a result of knowing and dwelling in His glorious love. The apostle Paul understood how important it is to have this revelation of God the Father’s love and to experience it. That’s why he prayed, “That you, being rooted and grounded in love…may comprehend what is the breadth, length, height and depth and to know the love of God that surpasses understanding, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

He’s a Good Dad. God is Love. Everything He does is motivated by love. He has no ulterior motives, no agendas except to love. Love is not just something He does; it’s who He is! He doesn’t love you because He wants something from you. He’s not looking for servants. He’s not expecting people to try hard to please Him. He is looking for someone to lavish His love upon. That is the type of Father He is. Yes, we will serve and we will obey, but those are the results of knowing His love, not the means of gaining it.

Some of us never knew our fathers. Or maybe we had fathers who were absent emotionally even if they were there in person. Some of our fathers were abusive. Others demanded perfection of us. Earthly fathers have let many of us down, but we can’t afford to judge God the Father by what our experiences tell us a father is like. I used to, and because of my relationship with my dad I didn’t want to know God as Father. In my mind, fathers weren’t nice; they abused their children. Thankfully those hurts have been healed and I am set free from those lies. Now my relationship with Abba, Daddy God, is so precious to me. I know He will never abuse me, that He only has good things for me. And I know He is the same for you.

His Treasure

Daddy God has chosen us as His special treasure. He IS love and His love melts away our performance-oriented mentality. God does not want to treat us like a servant/slave but as a son/daughter. He’ll let us be a servant if we insist, but it’s not what He wants from the relationship. And if we insist in seeing Him just as master and not Daddy, Abba God, we miss out on so much.

You are a son or daughter of your heavenly Father, the One who is Love and who is forever good through and through. There are no hidden agendas in His love. You now live under a new and everlasting covenant based on Daddy’s promise that He will never stop loving you or doing good for you (see Romans 8:38-39, Jeremiah 32:40)!

God is love; and Daddy God loves you with an everlasting, 100% pure, unfailing love! Revel in His love; soak it up! You are not being greedy; you are not being somehow less spiritually mature by reveling in that love. In fact, really knowing His love is a mark of maturing in childlike faith and trust. Enjoy it – go on, really enjoy it. There are no catches here, no tricks, just pure undefiled love. God, your good Father in Heaven, wants you to know that glorious love, to be set free by it, to make your home in it, to be comfortable in it, and to find the full expression of who you are in it.

 

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It’s almost Christmas and every year Christians around the world get upset with the whole Santa thing, the commercialism of Christmas and how to live in this world while not taking it’s standards as their own. When my kids were growing up I worried about the same things and in the end chose the route of teaching my children how to discern for themselves instead of using blanket “no’s” to many things.

When our kids got to an age where they could understand (about two – three years old) we explained Santa to them. They grew up understanding that he was make-believe yet fun and we didn’t feel it compromised our Christianity by allowing our children to partake in make-believe. After all God gave us our imagination to use not only to dream with him and see into the spiritual realms but to imagine – to make things up – thats where CS Lewis dreamed up Narnia and his other wonderful stories – in his imagination. (The world would be a very sad place if all imagination was removed – we would be automatons without dreams or vision and nothing that man has dreamed up would have been created yet)

The other day I was checking out some craft blogs and came across this wonderful example of explaining the whole Jesus & Santa thing. The explanation doesn’t kick in until a little bit down the page but I loved what they have chosen to do to explain it all. The couple in the blog are also learning to walk in grace-based parenting and share a couple of great books in the link that I’m sure would be well worth the read. Here’s the amazon link for them as well as another one called “Grace based parenting” which is on the same page.

I hope it gives you some ideas of how you can approach this whole subject with your family. I am certainly going to share it with my kids and hopefully we can incorporate something like it into their Christmas family traditions.

Over the last year or so I have noticed something heartbreakingly pathetic happening in the Body of Christ and that is this – the body is in self destruct mode, tearing each other apart over what we believe or don’t believe as the case may be.

It’s crazy how as Christians we divide ourselves into streams of belief or denominations – the prophetic stream, the grace stream, the glory stream, the charismatic stream, this denomination, that denomination etc. To label yourself and put yourself in one camp or another is to divide the body and set up divisions and oppositions. And make no mistake – to say you are from “this” stream or “that” one is to put yourself into the modern version of a denomination – a man made structure to house your beliefs!

It’s puzzling to me that when a person receives fresh revelation they say things like “I used to be a part of this stream but now I’ve moved on” and they then embrace the new beliefs as if none of what they believed before had any truth in it. For some reason people often move on – into an ungodly extreme! (Unfortunately with this some people also ditch their old friends because their friends don’t have the same revelations they now have)

Is it right that the church divides itself according to our beliefs and by that dividing itself, declare that one is right and another wrong? I’m not talking here about cults that obviously believe against what scripture teaches but about the subtle divisive beliefs that happen within the Body of Christ. But do be careful, because deception and cults form out of believing you have somehow come into truth that others have missed.

God doesn’t want lots of little streams – they are man-made wineskins – whether it is the grace movement, the prophetic movement, the glory movement or any other! God simply has one body, there is just one river that flows from the throne; and there are just sons and daughters in God’s eyes not this or that stream or denomination.

In the coming days the Lord will join the truths in the prophetic stream, the charismatic stream, the grace stream, the glory stream and all the other streams until we have a full picture of truth. He will not simply welcome home a part of the body but the whole body. So you better get used to loving each other and living with each other now because you are going to be doing that for all eternity. When you get to eternity you will see all your differences for what they are – ploys of the enemy that you bought into, that brought division into the Body of Christ.

In coming into a place of fresh revelation you need to look at what you have believed and simply get rid of what is clearly scripturally inaccurate, ask God to give you clarity on what you are unsure of and embrace what you are sure of. But in doing so, do not swing like a pendulum from one extreme to another. People who swing from one extreme to another simply make sideways movements but never gain any forward progress really. Instead move forward in a consistent manner into the truth of who God is and who you are in him. Remember also that not everyone is in the same place you are in your journey in Christ. In remembering this don’t look down on them as if they are somehow inferior because they don’t believe what you do. The reality is they are quite possibly looking at you the way you are at them and they may possibly have revelation of truth is some area that you don’t yet. You can share what you now believe to be a more accurate and scriptural belief with others but you cannot and must not rubbish what others believe in a way that puts them down.

All to often I see people saying childish things like “I puke on that belief” or referring to something another Christian believes as “superstitious old covenant nonsense” or something similar. While it is good to be passionate and to passionately share what you believe we are never called to belittle our brothers and sisters and where they are in their journey into truth.

Yes, God is bringing back into focus long forgotten or overlooked truths that have been plainly written in scripture all along. But God is not and does not look down on, rubbish people or write them off because they don’t see what He knows to be truth. If He did that none of us would stand because we all (at this moment in our truth journey) only have partial truth and are growing in our revelation of truth.

When you rubbish others you set yourself up as a judge and allow the sin of pride to gain a foothold in your lives. That is not God’s heart and should not be yours. We talk about growing up into truth but maybe it is also time to just “grow up”. Endless debates about who is right and who is wrong will not advance the Kingdom of Heaven nor release heaven into earth as the Lord wants. All it does is play into the enemy’s hand and cause us to become a tool of his. Yes truth is important and we should all be on a journey into greater revelation of truth but taking pot-shots at your brothers and sisters reveals both immaturity and a lack of truth in your life.

It’s time to grow up Church, it’s time to stop tearing the Body apart limb from limb. Its time to stop creating self afflicted wounds. If a person did to themselves what we do to the body of Christ we would say that they are mentally sick and in serious need of help. Hmm…

Let’s stop the nonsense, start to honour & respect each other and see that our brother or sister, while not believing what we currently do, is in no way inferior or less than we are. Maybe then we will begin to love one another and the world will see a true representation of Jesus in the earth.

by Rob Packer

We are living in a time of significant upheaval. The earth itself is groaning, but we as people are groaning as well. We know that we were born for more than we are experiencing. It is a time of ‘stretch and grow’ and growing pains are always uncomfortable. God is increasing and expanding the realms of revelation and understanding but the challenge is that we are not all seeing the same things at the same time. There will always be difference of perspective in the Body of Christ but as we are coming into a greater awareness of our identity, and starting to live from that position, we pose a huge threat to the kingdom of darkness. The differences in perspective that we have are a potential point of vulnerability that the enemy will exploit to divide and conquer if we let him.

How do we handle the differences of perspective between us?

I have found from experience that most of the major points of conflict that I have had in my Christian walk have been because I forgot some of the basics of what the Bible teaches, not because I didn’t understand some obscure point of theology. Here are some basic things that I believe we need to keep in focus as we ‘stretch and grow’ in these times:

  • None of us has 360 degree perspective. We all have our blind spots. Paul says in 1 Cor 13:12  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
  • No part of the Body can say to another “I don’t need you.” 1 Cor 12:21  And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” Whether we agree about this or not, we actually do need each other. I need to hear the things that God is showing you. What you see from your perspective may well cover one of my blind spots. I need the gifts that you have been entrusted with. The moment that I think that I don’t need you I will open myself up to the possibility of pride, independence, criticism and unrighteous judgement.
  • Love is a non-negotiable value, from God’s perspective. It doesn’t matter how ‘right’ my theology is, if I withdraw love from you then the enemy has won. If I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but do not love you, I have nothing. If I know all mysteries but do not love you, I have nothing. Does love sometimes need to be tough? Yes it does. Does love need to confront issues? Yes it does, but it looks at the issue while still loving the person. Its goal is always redemptive, not condemning and judgmental. Love refuses to break relationship because of difference of perspective, because of hurt or offense. Love’s default setting is to believe the best of the other person until forced to do otherwise. Love celebrates the uniqueness of each person, freeing them to be themselves, rejoicing in the diversity of what God has created. Love is not blind to fault but it’s focus is not there – it focuses on what a person is, not on what they are not.

I believe that we are on the brink of an unprecedented move of God in this nation. There is much at stake here – much more than we may realize. The move of God will not be ‘owned’ by any one personality, church, ministry or denomination. It will be ‘owned’ by the Spirit of God. God is shifting the mindset and perspective of many from just ‘local church’, and what is happening in my local congregation, to ‘Kingdom’ and what God is doing amongst us all.

God is wanting to pour out His blessing on us. His blessing is no light thing. It is not just like a ‘Bless You’ when someone sneezes. It is not just Him thinking or saying something nice about us. His blessing is a judicial ruling from the judge of the highest court in the universe, authorizing and releasing a torrent of supernatural resources to achieve Kingdom purposes. It gives legal permission to the Holy Spirit and the angelic realm to function and give assistance to us in pushing back the kingdom of darkness, and denies permission for the demonic realm to have legal access or operation.

Israel could only defeat its enemies when the ruling in the spirit realm was in their favor. That’s why Jericho was able to be demolished when the ruling was in their favor, but Ai triumphed over Israel when Achan sinned, because his sin caused the ruling to be changed in the Spirit realm.

In Psalm 133 God shows one of the conditions which will cause Him to command blessing. It is unity. When God sees that people are living in relationship with one another in such a way that despite their differences, and the issues that they have to work through, they refuse to break rank; they refuse to withdraw love, then He personally will issue a ruling in the Spirit realm that releases supernatural resources to shift the realm of darkness.

If you are familiar with the rules of chess you will understand that different chess pieces have differing levels of power and influence. Would you be willing to lose a pawn in order to capture your opponent’s queen? Of course you would! It’s a ‘no brainer’. Many times in the Body of Christ people are relishing the capture of a ‘pawn’ – the winning of an argument; the proving that they are ‘right’; the criticizing of another person or church to make them appear in good standing; the fracture of a relationship because the other person doesn’t see things as they do, and are completely unaware that they have just lost their ‘queen’ – the ruling of the blessing of God that releases the help that they and others need from Heaven.

We don’t all have to agree on everything, church, but we desperately need each other and we desperately need the ruling in the Spirit realm changed over the Body of Christ and over the nation.

Will I love you if you think differently from me? Yes I will. I will open my heart to hear your heart, and try to understand why and how you see things from your perspective. If, in the end, I still come to a different conclusion than yours I will refuse to break rank from you because you are my brother or my sister, and I need you and you need me.

It’s time for an outpouring of the Spirit of God in our families, our churches, our cities and in our nation. Let’s contend for the blessing of God!

In these days of great harvest we need to go back to some foundational truths and values. One of which is being led by the spirit of God, and having His presence go with us. Moses cried out

Exo 33:13 “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14  And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15  Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16  “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?”

In Gods plans and purposes for man He never intended that we become Purpose Driven but rather that we be Presence Led and minister out of a place of rest.

I am not bagging Rick Warren here and actually have not even read his book “Purpose Driven Life” but God highlighted these two terms to me a couple of months ago and since then I have mulled over them thought about them and prayed into them letting them form this teaching in my heart. .

A purpose driven life -It sounds good.

We all ask the questionWhy was I born? What is my purpose in life? Where do I fit? Our life is spent searching for the answer to those questions and if we do not find that answer in relationship with God we will find it in “purpose” and our life will become a purpose driven life.

We search for happiness, we strive for that next promotion, we must get that next possession, we must find that right person, purpose, purpose, purpose.

A Purpose driven life – if we take those words and build our lives around or on them we will build a wrong foundation, a false base to our Christianity. It is a foundation built on sand, remove the purpose and we have no life, no reason for living unless we find another purpose to live for….

A Purpose driven life is (I believe) the religious spirits counterfeit to the Presence Led life.

As Christians we were never meant to live a purpose driven life. The religious spirit loves purpose and will cause our identity to become wrapped up in our purpose. Our identity is always to be found in that place of relationship with God – we are a much loved son or daughter.

Co-mission

Our service for Him must come out of a place of relationship – of teaming with Him. Yes He has commissioned us but that commission was and is supposed to be a co-mission – Him and us

Mar 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.

Let’s look at some of the things the enemy wants to accomplish by making us purpose driven …

Purpose driven says it’s all about the purpose – what’s the purpose (that’s a vision based life). You must have a vision for your life and goals so that you fulfill that vision. There can be a subtleness in this that sometimes will cause us to switch from being led by God to driven by vision and programmes.

Presence led says its all about His presence and His heart – what is his heart for this people (that’s a values based life) how does He want to show them his heart for them. That is our vision and goal. – to know Gods heart for a people and show it, leading them to come into the place of his heart for them. It is not about programmes

John 5:19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21  For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.

Purpose driven will drive you and you will end up striving…

Presence led will bring you into a place of rest Ex 33 as above with Moses

Purpose driven says I have a relationship with God – for a purpose – in other words my relationship with God is driven by purpose –what will I get out of it,  how will this help me? How can God help me get the job done?  I know only what I need to know of God in order to get the purpose fulfilled..

Presence led says I have a relationship with God – first of all it is a relationship, – it is an unfolding and revealing of who we are to each other, a love based relationship, a friendship, it is covenant therefore it will be a end up being a mutually beneficial relationship

Purpose or vision alone will drive you; it will become your master.

Rom 6:16 Rom 6:16  Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

Presence will lead you, God will be your King & Father, the Holy Spirit your counselor and guide and Jesus will walk with you – they will lead you and work with you as you co-labour with them in the harvest.

Mar 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.

Purpose driven says what are the things you’re good at? what would you like to do for God? It’s all about us and what we can do for God. Subtle yet deadly.

Presence led says what does God want to gift you in? What does He want you to do? It might be quite different to your natural gifts Eg Smith Wigglesworth – a plumber – you might mistakenly think because of this he would have a gift of helps when God had a gift of faith to give him and a miracle healing ministry for him to walk in

1Co 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. :7  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9  to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10  and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

Most Fruitful gift

There are seasons in God where one gift might be more used by God than another. Don’t think – this is my primary gift and that’s what I’ll operate forever. There is a time and a season where even your primary gift must make way to your most fruitful gift in this season. Eg Smith Wigglesworth – a plumber an evangelist and Pastor of a church with his wife Polly (The couple worked together to evangelize the lost and they opened a small church in a poor part of town. Polly would preach and Smith would make the altar calls.) His primary giftings up until that point – Evangelism and and Pastoring, – were to make way however for his most fruitful gifting – a gift of faith and a miracle healing ministry for him to walk in.

Purpose driven will lead you to possibly devalue and use people to get your vision done and if they don’t fit your vision they don’t fit and aren’t of any value. A purpose driven church will be like this too.

Presence led will always cause you to value people and place people before vision – why? You cannot be presence led without the heart of God filling you

Purpose driven says – what do I need to get the job done, what are my resources, what can I call on – people, finances etc Then when you don’t need the person any longer you drop them. – in the end if allowed it will come down to – by any means

Presence led says – How do you want to accomplish it God, what does God want to supply to get the job done – what are God’s resources for this job, where He calls He supplies, brings team to work alongside us

Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts.

No doubt there are many other examples and differences between the two but there is enough here to open Gods heart to us on this and for us to see where we have been purpose driven instead of presence led. If this is the case then we need to repent. Our lives and churches need to become presence led instead of purpose driven again so that people will always be valued and honoured and we will truly serve and be in right relationship with both God and others.

Technology Time-Thieves

Do you reach the end of the week and wonder where the time went? Do you open your emails or log on to Facebook to do a quick check and find that you are still there an hour later?

I have noticed a real trend when I log onto Facebook. So many people seem to be caught up in the world of fantasy games. Often their status will reflect a seemingly excessive amount of time spent managing a fantasy farm or playing other online games.

I’m sure many of them then later wonder where the time went and why they haven’t got anything productive done or, even worse, why their relationship with their spouse or family has become marked by distance and tension. In fact it has become a real time thief for many.

Emails can be another time stealer. In his book “Shrinking The World – The 4,000-year story of how email came to rule our lives” by John Freeman, he notes the first email was sent 40 years ago. By 2011 there will be 3.2 billion users with billions of emails being sent each day. He argues that email’s “so-called boon to communication and productivity has become a distracting, privacy-sapping, alienating, addicting time-suck.” While I don’t necessarily agree fully with him I do agree it can become a huge time thief. There is a rising pull and even addiction to let technology rule our lives and to constantly check Facebook or check the emails. Instead of it being a controlled urge, in many lives it has become an out of control compulsion. How do I know? Because I have struggled with it – the urgency to check the email screen as soon as the sound notifies me of a new one, check it again, then check it yet again until I have checked it many times in a day.

As with everything, technology has pros and cons and it is up to us to be the master of it and not let it become the master of us. Technology is a wonderful gift but it can also become a time thief and a demanding master. The use of our time unfortunately does often tell us where our treasure and our heart is (Matt 6:21). Let’s take back our time from the time-thief and invest it wisely.

Many of us struggle with finding time to spend with the Lord, yet we spend hours a week on our computers on social networking sites or checking emails. We find it hard to make time to read the Word and allow time for His “rhema” word to be released to us. We rush in and out of the Lord’s presence and find our relationship with Him has become like a diet of quick snacks snatched as we run from one urgent thing to another. It’s interesting that often we then get to Sunday and wonder why we don’t feel a great presence of the Lord around our lives during worship. Maybe that could be because we haven’t taken time to cultivate a lifestyle of worship and honouring God during the week.

Worship is not found just in the words we sing on a Sunday. In fact most of our lifestyle of worship is non-vocal and is instead found in our attitudes, actions and responses to the Lord during our day-to-day life. If we don’t honour Him during the week with our unhurried time and concentration we cannot expect to turn up on a Sunday and suddenly go into the deep places of wonder, mystery and His love.

For many of us the time pressures of day-to-day life are all too real leaving us tired and stressed. We all need to take time out to relax and unwind but the problems come when that time becomes an escape from reality.

So what are some practical steps we can take to reclaim our time? Limit checking your emails to a couple of times a day. Try turning off the notification sound that tells when a new email has come so you are not tempted to open it up right there and then to check it. Give yourself time limits to spend on Facebook and other such sites and stick to them. Let the farm go to seed, walk away from it, nothing bad will happen if you do – it is not real after all. Turn your computer off after using it; put your computer away if it’s a laptop, don’t leave it laying around. Make it harder for yourself to use it; and you will find the trouble it takes to turn it on will be a definite deterrent to you.

Instead of reaching for your computer, play a game with your kids, sit down and talk to your wife, ring a friend. Don’t just chat to them online pick up the phone and have a real conversation. Pick up your Bible instead of your computer and spend some time reading that instead of your latest nonsense email. Be disciplined – delete the emails that are a time waster. Don’t give in to the pressure to pass useless nonsense emails on to your friends – you are just passing on the problem.

There are many demands on our time in the world we live in and while many of them claim urgency so few of them are in fact of real importance. Let’s look again at how we spend our time and invest it wisely. ‘Spend’ and ‘invest’ are actually key words here. Will we frivolously spend our precious time or invest it wisely. There are three things that will be eternal – God, His Word and people. Let’s wisely invest the majority of our time into those. The rewards, if we do, will be infinitely greater than a fantasy harvest on a non-existent farm.

We are in our second week in England and it has been a wonderful mix of ministry and rediscovering generational roots. In 1843 Rob’s Great, great  Grandfather, Jabez Packer set sail from England to New Zealand. A seed was sown into the new land and a part of the harvest of that seed is returning to bless the land of his birth. On our way here to Gloucester we stopped in Dursley (the town he came from) and found out that Jabez’s father was a minister in that town, the Rev John Packer. How wonderful to have such a godly heritage.

We also discovered that my great, great, great, grandfather Joseph Brimmicombe lived in Dawlish, Devon. He was born there in 1834 then came out to NZ from there. Dawlish is about 5 miles from where we are based in Devon during this trip to England. So when we go back to Devon next week we will try and get there too.

There is something of God’s wonderful orchestration about this trip to England that has surprised us and blessed us immensely. Who knew when we accepted this assignment from God that He would plan in such wonderful treats for us. But how like Daddy to do so.

This week we also got to visit a town called Tewkesbury which is a great example of the incredible workmanship and building skills. On one hand there is Tewkesbury Abbey, an amazing example of what some would think is impractical art made for the glory of God. Towering arches, amazing carvings, three organs and of course beautifully crafted stained windows that each tell some aspect of the gospel. All this designed to show people how glorious is the God they worship. In some ways the churches and abbeys had to be very pictoral in their decoration as for many years the services in the churches were held in Latin, a language most didn’t understand. So the stained glass windows and other decoration helped tell the gospel in a way the services they attended didn’t.

Then on the other hand in the same town still stand tipsy houses and buildings built in the 14th century, with rough hewn timbers and windows that are set on an angle where they should be straight. But then I guess we would be a little tippy and worn if we were centuries old too. Ordinary houses made by ordinary people side by side with the work of incredibly gifted craftsmen as seen in the Abbey. We had a cup of tea in a delightful little tea shop called “Crumpets” in a back lane by the river with doors so low Rob almost had to bend to get in and ceiling beams blackened with age. It all reminds me of how young New Zealand is as a nation and how short a history we have.

The photos below are all of Tewkesbury, (pronounced Chooksbry by the older locals) some are of the delightful old town buildings and the others are of the Tewkesbury Abbey and it’s exquisite craftsmanship. Apparently the Abbey has the biggest Norman Tower in all of Europe.

What an amazing time we had in Newberg, Oregon at the Godsong conference “The Shift – aligning yourself with Kingdom purposes”. Rob spoke in the first session on the Thurs night on “Moving from dishonour to Honour” and God moved so deeply in peoples lives the altar was packed with people wanting ministry. The altar call was for those who held disappointment or offense against God in their hearts for the things that had happened in their lives. One after another God met them at their point of need and they received healing and release from the pain of that disappointment and freedom from bitterness and offense. The sweetness of the anointing was amazing as Daddy held them in his arms and washed away so many tears and hurts. We finally got home around midnight feeling like a huge breakthrough had happened corporately as well as for individuals in that first meeting.

I (Lyn) ministered in the next mornings session on “Moving from insignificance to significance” and again God moved powerfully. I based the session around us being called to be the glorious sons and daughters of God that creation has longed and groaned for. It became a very hands on practical session as I called people forward and got them releasing the power of God over each others lives. By the end of the session people all over the room were praying for each other and releasing the power of God. Some had never prayed for people and seen manifestations like those that happened when they had prayed before. Needless to say their paradigms were shifted and changed as God ministered through them with power. People saw visions, were prophesied over, had heavenly encounters, glory came down and invaded that church and it was good and it was so much fun. I love seeing people empowered and aligned with God’s plans and purposes for their lives like that. It is such a privilege to watch Daddy at work.

We so loved being with the team there at Godsong, it was like being with family – we felt like we had known them for a long time by the time we left. Already we are looking forward to going back to spend more time with them at some stage. Unfortunately we had to leave after that session as we had to catch a flight back to Phoenix to be there in time to minister at a one day worship conference the next day; but we can’t wait to hear what God did during the rest of the conference there at Godsong.

At lunch after my session I received sad news from home in NZ. My Mum had just died minutes before. We had thought we might possibly get that news at some stage while we were away and that morning had been told she had taken a turn for the worse so knew something was up. But I was able to concentrate on what I needed to share in the session I took as Jesus’ grace and love filled me and enabled me. It would have been much harder had I heard she had died before I ministered. Thank you Jesus for your timing in that.

Sometimes life whacks you ‘round the head and you feel yourself spinning. Everything suddenly looks upside down and round the wrong way. Then you take a deep breath and look again; and it’s what you do at that moment that determines everything else that will follow.

Just last week we learnt that my Mum has terminal lung cancer; the doctors say it is too far advanced to do anything and all they can do is make her end as easy as possible. Then today I learnt that one of my brother’s in law also has a tumor in his stomach. We don’t know more than that at the moment and are waiting for them to do more tests etc. I thought I was coping okay with Mum’s news but add today’s news to it and I feel now like my world has been definitely shaken. Neither of them are Christians so there is not just life but eternal life at stake here.

So the facts are screaming very loudly and I have to make a choice to allow or not allow the facts to set the tone for how I handle things. It would be very easy to give in to feelings and allow them to overwhelm me but I know now is the time to begin to war with the weapons of truth and praise. So what is the truth in this situation – what will be the decrees to come out of my mouth?

Will I get it right every minute and every day? Probably not, but I refuse to sit down and let the devil walk all over me and my family in this. He may have picked the fight and hoped the facts would cower me but I’m picking up the weapons of faith, decree and praise and He will be the one who wishes he’d never started this fight.

Maybe you’re facing something similar and you’re not sure how to get through it all. Why don’t you deliberately choose to pick up the weapons of faith, decree and praise. Face the facts, like Abraham did (Rom 4:19-21), but don’t let the devil steal your belief in God’s bigness and ability to bring you through this triumphantly.

Does ‘triumphant’ mean everything will turn out exactly how you want it to? No, I can’t guarantee that and God has not promised that but God will be with you through it all. God will not leave you or forsake you and He will prepare a table for you in the midst of your enemies, (Psa 23) a place of rest and trust; a place where you know His presence in ever increasing ways as you keep your heart and mind fixed on Him in the middle of the battle.

Below are some decrees based on the Word that I will be using and that may be a help to you, as well, in the situations you may be facing. Why not write your own set of decrees from Scriptures God gives you regarding your situation, because those are the ones that will cause faith to rise within you the most. Then begin to use them as a weapon of praise and decree and see yourself, like Abraham, grow strong in your faith as you give glory to God in the midst of the trial.

Decrees

  • God is far bigger than this situation and He has not been caught by surprise by it. Rev1:8 Alpha & Omega Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God
  • If that is the case He already has a plan prepared for how to handle it all. Is 53:4-5  Matt8:17 He (Jesus) took our infirmities and carried our diseases, by His wounds we are healed
  • He has a destiny, plans and purposes for both Mum and my brother in law’s lives and also for mine in this. Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.
  • He loves to heal both physically, emotionally and spiritually. Acts 10:38 Jesus – Who went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.
  • He is well able to heal and nothing is too far beyond His ability, even when the doctors say it is terminal. Jer 32:27 I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything to hard for me?
  • God desires that no one perish but that they come to know Him. John 3:16,17 For God so loved the world he sent his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
  • His promise is that I and my family will be saved. Acts 16:31 Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household
  • In this situation I will triumph and grow in Christ as I keep in faith and keep my eyes on Him. Heb10:35-36 (Amp) Do not therefore fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God and thus receive and carry away (and enjoy to the full) what is promised

It’s been a busy couple of weeks as we’ve eagerly awaited the arrival of our daughter Tanya & Phil’s baby. Being at the birth was a wonderful experience – to see a baby born without enduring the pain yourself – priceless!

For everything else to do with a baby unfortunately you really do need a mastercard! But that’s another story really.

As a parent at the birth of a grandchild, you want so much to be able to help yet at the same time feel helpless, no matter how much you actually do. You would like to be able to rescue them from going through it all on one hand and on the other you know they will come through this knowing there is more to them than they knew. You stand there and watch making small noises of encouragement and all the while your heart is bursting with pride as you see them dig deep and go that bit further and push that little bit longer than they thought they could do and then at the end of it all is this precious bundle of love all wrapped up in a baby’s skin.

I am in awe at how this precious baby was loved even before she existed in this world. While they are still within their mother’s womb you feel this overwhelming love yet they have done nothing to deserve being loved, they have not yet smiled at you, grasped your finger with their tiny hand, said their first word or taken that first tentative step. Yet you feel this overwhelming sense that you would do anything or spend everything, no matter what it costs you – you just want them to know they are loved. 

It all sounds like how God loves us really, doesn’t it, and the birth of my grandaughter has given me a fresh revelation of just how much God loves us and was willing to do whatever it took so that we would know He loved us. Im sure this journey of grandparenthood will be as much a journey of discovery for me as it is for her and I find myself looking forward to it all very much and already making plans for how to show her the preciousness of who she is to us. 

Oh yes, by the way her name is Eden and she weighed in at 9lb 2oz. 

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