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Practising, Freedom and Upsidedown Triangles

January 28, 2012 Leave a comment
Practising, Freedom and Upsidedown Triangles“And whenever anyone of them will be turned to THE LORD JEHOVAH, the veil is taken away from him. But The Spirit is THE LORD JEHOVAH, and wherever The Spirit of THE LORD JEHOVAH is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 Seehttp://bible.cc/2_corinthians/3-17.htm for parallel translated verses and parallel  commentaries
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NLT34 Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave.35 A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house.36 So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through  John 8 The MessageIt occurred to me the other night during a chat with one of my prayer triplet friends (actually we are four) that creativity, fulfilling potential, ambition, etc in the secular world, at it’s worst, is triangular in shape for everyone, ie some are crushed, some are abusers at times, etc most don’t ‘make it’. The Christian ‘world’, at it’s best is also triangular, but, an upside down triangle. You enter at the bottom, and because we are one body, always striving to be worshipping God above mankind, we can all have the freedom to grow and rise to the top of our potential! These are the consequences of being able to  ‘ . .see and reflect the glory of the Lord’. We are ‘being changed into His glorious image’! So even though everyone in the world is made in His image and sometimes reflects that in their actions, we can look God in the face and reflect back to the world His glorious image in what we do, more brightly, more consistently, with a one true hope, knowing we are journeying toward a life ever more connected to Him, a life and reflection that lasts forever! Amen!

And how can we do this? Well, we need to practise the presence of God. That is, be experiencing and knowing (that is a feeling, by the way!) the Spirit of the Lord all day long in whatever we are doing. When we become less connected we start behaving like we are in a triangle again. I did it at work the other day when I berated someone from the Apple store on the phone because an iPad hadn’t arrived on time. In fact I must have been somewhat distant form the Lord for some time ‘cos I wasn’t nice, it wasn’t the Andy Harper I recognise! (or like). We become distant from our Father without realising it, so the only answer is to practise the presence of God all the time, how practically to do this? (study note: Brother Lawrence from the 1600’s learnt how to this see here )
These are some of the ways I know, let me know how you find yourself doing this
1.      On the stairs or corridor at work, I speak short prayers, like, ‘Hi Jesus, thank you . . or Hi Jesus please help me with this immediate situation. Or I speak in tongues . .The stairs and corridor become a place of prayer and joy. For you this could be the kitchen, walking back from school, driving to somewhere
2.      Play Worship music everywhere you can! Tip: be determined whatever mood you are in. Simples!
3.      There is a method of reading scripture called ‘Lectio divina’, (Google search here) to do with reading through one time, then a second slowly, if a verse suddenly catches your spirit or eye as it were, go back to that, speak it out, take a part, let the Holy Spirit speak to you. Go quietly with the Lord to laughter, tears, quiet reflection, confession, reassurance of His love and acceptance . .   where ever . . For some of us learning to quiet our minds is tricky, it’s about receiving and we have to be quiet for that, so at some point stop reading and be quiet . . Don’t worry if you practise the Lord will teach you!
4.      If you are with other Christians, speak about the Lord in an integrated way about your day and experiences . .just cos the service is over or it’s not your quiet time or housegroup doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be bringing the Lord into our conversation. I’m told African Christians talk like this all the time . . again a question of practising and can be a bit awkward at times ( and ignore that whispering voice that says, people don’t want to hear you talking like this, it’s embarrassing, etc)

OK enough for now, go listen to some worship music or something!

Blessings in Jesus name!
Andy

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Practice the Presence of God

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

http://www.practicegodspresence.com/

Drink wine, eat bread, get drunk, get full!

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment
Psalm 104 – 14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth,15 And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens mans heart Great Commentaries hereDrink wine, eat bread, get drunk, get full!
Eat the bread of peace, drink the cup of joy

I got this word at communion, `eat the bread of peace`. As I got this word, I felt my jaws move like I was tasting something and I thought of garlic bread, tasty! Then the Lord said, `swallow`, SWALLOW! This got me thinking what is stopping us tasting and swallowing? I also thought about drinking the cup of joy, the wine. Too much wine makes you tipsy, more than that, you can get happy, drunk even, and that`s ok!

And I got this word:

You are still the child who brings God, you are walking in His will right now. Where you are today is exactly where He wants you to be, He knows your heart is for Him and how passionate you are for Him. He wants you to know He knows this. He wants you, knowing this, deep in your heart, as well as your mind, to be released into joy and peace. He wants you to say to Him, `I take joy`, and He says to you, `TAKE JOY, TAKE JOY, go on take it, eat it, swallow it, open your mouth and put it in (like chocolate) and the same for peace!

My suggestion to you today is to do this and mime eating and drinking actions as you say the words! Imagine a plate in front of you with bread on it. Take a piece put it in your mouth, chew, taste, swallow and say to yourself, `Lord I take and eat peace`. Then take a glass of the imaginary wine, lift it to your lips, take some, taste and swallow. As you do so, say to yourself, `Lord, I take and drink joy`. Repeat until you are full! BE FULL in Jesus name!

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Holy and Happy?

January 12, 2012 Leave a comment
Hi Folks

The world wants you happy but not holy, the church (or religion) wants you holy but not happy ! 

Click Comment/reply if you are holy AND happy  or don’t bother if you are 

Andy
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Drop Your Umbrella

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s been absolutely ‘persisting it down’ in Bolton over the holidays, really chucking it down! ‘Abundant’ rain if you will. Today is sunny, which is great since it is the bank holiday and the start of a New Year. 2012 is going to be a breakthrough year, if we ‘let go and let God’.

All this rain got me thinking about getting wet and umbrella’s.

Job 36 describes the rain God sends: 27 For He draws up drops of water, Which distil as rain from the mist, 28 Which the clouds drop down And pour abundantly on man

However with the help of an Umbrella it is possible to stay dry even if it is absolutely chucking it down!

So if the rain (ie the Holy Spirit) is what we are seeking, why are we putting our umbrellas up? And if we are, what do those umbrellas look like?

DKDC?
Don’t Care or Don’t Know? Well the Holy Spirit is promised to all who commit their lives to Jesus Ephesians 1:13. And the Holy Spirit is the assurance that We belong to Jesus and that we have begun eternal life. The Holy Spirit is our comforter and a bringer of joy. The Holy Spirit is the anointing on us because of which, gifts, such as teaching, healing, faith and hospitality work through us. List of gifts here

Fear
John tells us perfect love casts out fear. Our Father is pleased with us, he is in a good mood, Jesus has taken our punishment! If you are unsure of what you are afraid, seek the Lord, seek him with trusted friends, He is above all else, gentle and never forces anything upon us. God does not want to make you cry, laugh, shake, fall over or any of those things! (though you may . .) He just wants to gently minister his healing and wholeness to you

Pride
Sometimes, perhaps because we have had some success or because we are puffed up with knowledge, we are prideful. No one likes to admit to this so I will go first! All the lovely folks in our housegroup may have seen me jumping in with ‘I know the answer’, ‘I know the answer’ . . it could be that once or twice I did know the answer, mostly, I was trying to show off! Besides there is a difference between knowing the answer and living the answer. And that’s the point with prideful knowledge, it stops us living the answer. Combined with fear, pride can really hold us back. To give an example, `impartation’ is a word I know that I and others have been very uncomfortable with (going back to around 2008). In fact, someone said to me they had studied the bible and had found that, ‘impartation’, was not in the bible and was in fact ‘unbiblical’. So what do you think? The important thing is having an open mind and the context. This issue had come up because of the Florida revival, visits by UK church leaders to Florida, visits by us to churches taken up with the revival, etc. What we find is that fear and pride come to the fore, both for protagonist and antagonist alike, so what’s the answer? Just as a by the way, 2 Timothy 4:14 and 2 Timothy 1:6 will help cast light on ‘impartation’. Of course, ‘Impartation’ wasn’t the real issue here. Often when God provides an opportunity for more of the Holy Spirit He also provides an offense or a number of offenses, and this will give us the opportunity to turn away and say, ‘no thanks’. We justify ourselves via the offense, strange that God provides this. However, we should remember that the gospel itself is an offense, as described in various places, the cross being described as an offense and Jesus being described as an offense ‘and A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense. They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed’ 1 Peter 2:8 So is it true that the gospel can continue to be an offense to us, even after we have become Christians? Definitely worth thinking about . .

Sad
Nearly 200 times the scripture bids us to rejoice, so how come we don’t? When we first become Christians a well of joy is opened and from this well joy gushes upwards, overflows as it were. However, various things come along to block the well and for Joy to break forth again these things need to be dealt with. If we can cast off fear in the knowledge of His perfect care for us, we can go to Him and ask him to reveal and deal with what’s blocking the well. Ask the Lord to awaken thirst in you again, this will drive you to pray and seek prayer with others. This could be something that is restored to you quickly or it may be the Lord is leading you out of darkness and the journey could be a little longer. Be assured though, we will arise in darkness, greet the dawn and become radiant and filled with joy, as it says in Isaiah 60.

Comfort
Having arrived, as it were, we set about making our new den nice and comfy. And we will do anything to protect our den, even pretending that we are helpless. When circumstances come to shake up our den, we just don’t like it. If Jesus called by with His army and asked you to come with Him to war, would you go or stay home? The trouble with staying home is that the war eventual comes to us anyway, and of course we are ill prepared, because all we wanted to do was stay in our comfy den.

*Unconfessed Sin
Being constantly distracted by activities that aren’t helpful or holding onto a sin is going to stop us experiencing more of the Holy Spirit. The only way is to, ‘get low’. Humble ourselves once again. Decide that we are all or nothing . .

Move Your Umbrella
Umbrella’s aren’t always entirely reliable, so why not try just moving ours a bit and see what the rain feels like? Who knows 2012 could be the year we really get drenched! And we get drenched people around us tend to get wet as well!

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