Friday, December 18, 2009

Have a blessed Christmas

Merry Christmas ANIMATION from Ascending Productions on Vimeo.

Not sure who may actually get to see this but I just want to thank each of you for taking time out on a regular basis to peer into the thoughts I've had over this past year.
I want to pray that each of you would have a blessed Christmas season that is saturated with the presence of Jesus our Saviour. Enjoy the break and let yourself truly cherish this season that is a beautiful reminder of God's stunning initiative to reconcile all of reality to ultimate beauty.

May 2010 bring glorious favour to you. May it be filled with the grace and peace of Jesus Christ.

In Him

Monday, December 14, 2009

Burn Out

You know about it - if you don't you should - but it is that distinct 'weariness' that comes over you that cannot be rectified by any amount of sleep. It is that Spiritual Apathy that you can try dissect and conquer but which you have to take stock of and halt its destructive path immediately.
What am I talking about? BURN OUT! And it is something I have read about, heard about, and received strong instruction to be aware of and to halt with any Spiritual Aggression necessary.
I fear it is something that has recently started to knock on my door.

It has been a stunningly divine, yet seriously demanding year of ministry over here in Watford. There have been so many joys that it is difficult to recollect them all with clarity, but alongside of those, sometimes even within those, joys have been some heart wrenching difficulties. The magnitude of the emotional demands of a church replant - implanting and inspiring not only vision but NEW (different - 'O no not change!') vision has been remarkable to me. As has been confirmed by men far more appropriate to the task, and for greater than me - this is no calling for sissys! As a result of that I have noted a certain apathy in my desire for God, a certain inability to maintain fervency of any level in prayer, and a lack of FEAR for the Lord and His holiness.

Last Thursday this become so obvious to me and I realized that the axe had to be laid to the root of this 'slide.' Well at least the motion of bringing the axe up and placing the force within the strike to destroy the root had to be initiated. So that's what I did - I actually just rested and tried to pray only for me, my soul and the restoration of the desire, the hunger, the thirst for God and the resetting of my mind and affections. The process continues, but I hope the most important thing has taken place: the Recognition of this deadly enemy to passionate discipleship.

We must watch ourselves and guard our hearts.


Advocate or Witness

Reading some simply stunning thoughts by Dr. Lloyd Jones at the moment. His most recent of which relate to the Baptism of the Spirit and the Filling of the Spirit. They have been helpful and provocative, a necessary mix for good theology I think. I sensed I needed to share these in particular as he discusses our effectiveness as beleivers bearing testimony to Christ without the filling of the Spirit:

"Let me put it like this: There is all the difference in the world between being a witness and being an advocate. Men and women can be advocates of these things without the Holy Spirit. I mean that they can have an understanding of the doctrine; they can receive the truth, and can present it, argue for it and defend it. Yes they are acting as advocates. But primarily, as Christians, we are called upon to be witnesses, to be witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as the Saviour of the world, as our own Saviour, as the Saviour of all who put their faith and trust in Him. And it is only the Holy Spirit who can enable us to do that. You can address people and act as advocates for the truth but you will not convince anybody. If, however, you are filled with the Spirit, and are witnessing to the truth, which is true in your life, by the Power of the Spirit that is made efficacious. So this filling is essential to all our Christian service."

More of You Holy Spirit, fill me for bold, dynamic, effective service!