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!
I’ve been thinking about the matter of time recently. And distractions. Because I read this article over on CopyBlogger which talked a little about how there are so many things on the internet that can distract us from the main point (this is all in the context of content marketing). And how we as internet users are becoming so used to browsing and skimming websites for the information we want, that our attention span is decreasing.
Oh no, is that me?
Just thought I’d write a quick post about something I learnt today…
Well, I was having a particular inward dilemma. What should I do? Should I go or not go? What are the reasons I should go, and what are the reasons that I should not go? Why was I so quick to say I shouldn’t go? Maybe I should go? Am I only thinking this because others are going? Why am I so bothered by making this decision?
I don’t know if you experience such conflicting thoughts often. Actually the last time I had a similar thought was yesterday! Do I buy it or don’t I? Do I give up and go home, or keep trying? Is it becoming so complicated because the Lord doesn’t want me to buy it? Is this the sense of life and peace within me, telling me I shouldn’t buy it? Am I just being silly and I should go ahead and get it?
Thinking so much is tiring. (Here’s an interesting article about decision fatigue.) But praise the Lord, I received some help!
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…
Throughout the entire blending trip I enjoyed having my time with the Lord each morning. The Lord was always so fresh and available, ready to energise and supply me for the whole day. Sometimes we go away on a ‘holiday’ and come back feeling like we need another one! But after this blending trip (and the summer training), I came back feeling so rested and refreshed, and I really think it was because of all the normal days, simply touching the Lord!
It is Jehovah’s lovingkindness that we are not consumed,
For His compassions do not fail;
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Day 9 (Thursday 30th June 2011)
It was no different on Day 9 in San Francisco, where I was able to get up early enough to take a shower, spend some time with the Lord, and even touch base with the saints I serve with in London. I actually had to do some work remotely at this point, but thank You Lord for computers, phones (and particularly Tâ€™s phone), free wifi at Starbucks and Mc Donaldâ€™s, and the patient saints who allowed me the few minutes I needed to connect!
And then, it was time to hit the road again. The brothers picked us up, and then we headed off to Berkeley to join the rest of the group. The vans were loaded up, and we were off! Destination: Unknown!