Tonight was the first Monday night meeting of the new FTTL term. Praise the Lord for a new beginning and a fresh start!
We enjoyed pray-reading Philippians 3:12-13, and a brother shared how the Christ we enjoy is so all-inclusive and all-extensive. He is so universally spacious and infinitely vast. His dimensions are the dimensions of the universe – the breadth and length and height and depth – always expanding! This is the Christ that we should be deeply rooted in, experiencing and enjoying!
So the encouragement for this term is to not think that we have already obtained, but to be obtaining. Not to consider we have already been perfected, but to be open to being perfected. Not to hold on to anything, even to the previous experiences of Christ, but to be forgetting the things behind. Not lingering in the past, but pressing on. And not being limited in our appreciation of Christ, but pursuing the limitless Christ!
Let the pursuit begin! Let the enjoyment of Christ begin!
(And for those of us not currently in the training, this is an encouragement to us also. Every day is a new beginning to gain more Christ!)
So quickly, a brief introduction to the four first-term and two short-term trainees, so you also can get to know them:
- JH from New Zealand: “There was a tremendous opportunity with a job. But the Lord said, ‘No, you are consecrated to Me.'”
- NH from Australia/NZ: “I gave it to the Lord, and He spoke to me. He knows what to give us when we need it.”
- SS from Norway: “This was the Lord’s sovereignty through the environment…At this time my heart was open to the Lord.”
- RE from Australia: “Are you going to work and do everything before you consecrate fully to Me?”…”Lord, You have to give me the absolute peace.”
- AT from Spain: “I was so afraid to lose the presence of the Lord.”
- D from Slovakia: “When we are willing to give ourselves to the Lord then He will remember it.”
The overall impression I had from the testimonies tonight is that although these dear brothers and sisters come from different backgrounds, their story is the same. God is sovereign, and He arranged all the details in their lives to cause each one to open to Him and to bring them to where they are today.
It is so precious that they all had many specific experiences of contacting the Lord and receiving His personal speaking and clear leading. It is also precious to hear of their fellowship and prayer with the members of the Body. As one brother mentioned, there needed to be the Lord’s leading personally, the way opened practically, and the feeling confirmed in the Body.
May each trainee, both new and returning, have many more sweet and significant experiences with the Lord this term!
The Full-Time Training in London (FTTL) term restarted in February with four first-term trainees: three sisters from Germany, Poland, and Malaysia, and one brother from Estonia. A number of saints have also been short-terming throughout the term, with the ones currently here being from the UK, France, Germany, and Taiwan.
But the striking thing about this term is that after two brothers and seven sisters graduated in December, for the first time there are more brothers in the training than sisters!
It is really a blessing for me to be around the training centre and the full-time trainees. Recently I have been making more of an effort to attend some of the 8am classes, the special church history classes, and the Wednesday night ministry meeting. Thank You Lord, for so many opportunities to hear Your speaking. May our ear be inclined to Your word (Isaiah 55:3).
Remember to pray for all the FTTL trainees in their last few weeks of term, and for the six graduating trainees (although one brother had to leave early due to his visa expiring).
This term’s graduation meeting will be on June 9th. It is always precious to see and hear the corporate testimony of the graduating trainees, and I am looking forward to it with much anticipation. The graduation marks not merely the end of two years of full-time training, but also the beginning of the rest of a normal Christian life. And unlike my university graduation, it is completely open to all… so let me know if you want to come!
I also mentioned previously that before the FTTL term restarted, the FTTA and FTT-XB came to London and then went on to other cities in Europe for a gospel trip. During this time the temperature was at record lows, and in many countries it was absolutely freezing. However, the trainees returned with hearts burning for the gospel and the good report of all that the Lord had done.
I remember joining such a gospel trip to Dublin back in 2006, and I treasure the time of being built with the team and the local saints (who I had never met before), and the privilege of spreading the word of God, one free Bible, one gospel tract, one ministry booklet, and one conversion at a time. Unforgettable. And hopefully not the last time!
Anyway, back to 2012… and I’ll have more for you tomorrow!
The FTTL Autumn 2011 term recently ended, and typically on the last Monday night the graduating trainees share a departing word of encouragement to their fellow trainees. It was a really sweet time, and I was glad I was there. For no good reason I missed it last term (doh!), but this term I made sure to remember, as did others to remind me.
To the enemy, pests; to the Body, blessings.
As an introductory word, one of the brothers shared this verse with the trainees:
For we have found this man a pest and an agitator of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the inhabited earth and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.
The people speaking in this verse were describing Paul, who along with the other apostles was “upsetting the world” (Acts 17:6). To the world, Paul and his companions seemed to be causing much trouble with their preaching and proclaiming Christ as the gospel. Yet, as a brother concluded at the end of the meeting, although to the enemy these were “pests”, to the Body they were real blessings.
Hallelujah! May each of the graduating trainees be real pests to the enemy and real blessings to Christ’s Body!
Testimonies from the fourth-termers
Two brothers and seven sisters graduated this term, and here is a summary of their sharing during the last Monday night meeting of term:
I had such an awesome day yesterday. In the morning I really enjoyed the prophesying meeting and the Lord’s table. And thank You Lord, I shared something during the prophesying meeting! It is good to practice to speak and to flow out. This is normal for Christians. Our God is a speaking God, and we are His speaking people!
And after that, I went into central London to meet up with a couple of sisters to help with the painting of the soon-to-be-opened Amana Trust Bookshop & Cafe. We went to the bookshop for the first time just over a week ago, and have been going whenever we have some time. It has been so much fun and it is great to participate by serving in this way. And I am so happy to be with the saints. Even when the journey time was extra long yesterday (because of engineering works)… it was worth it! (I’ve also been getting to catch up on my Life-study reading whilst on the Tube!)
I do intend to make a post about painting and the bookshop another time. But in this post, I wanted to share my enjoyment from last week’s Holy Word for Morning Revival. Did you know we are becoming truth?
I returned recently from the International Blending Conference in Dublin. Thank You Lord for another wonderful opportunity to be with the saints in Ireland!
It really felt like a sweet family time – there were about 100 saints there, and every meal time we were all invited to eat together at the nearby (8 minutes walk) church in Dublin meeting hall. I had hospitality with a family where there are three young people and many more at home in their home, and was very cherished by my time with them. The young people were full of life and energy, keeping me young both physically and in my spirit!
A number of saints back in London were able to watch the entire conference at the FTTL training centre via Skype, and on two occasions were able to share their enjoyment after the meetings with us in Dublin. On the Lord’s day it was a blending meeting in district 9, with a number of nearby churches, so there were probably another 100 saints who were with us virtually.
The conference was on The Revelation of Christ in God’s Economy as Presented in Psalm 2, and if you read on, I’ll share three points I enjoyed from the five messages of the conference…