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Archive for January, 2013

oh my desk!

January 31, 2013 Leave a comment

mydesk
Is that four devices and one screen? Two keyboards and mice is too much, it confused me all day yesterday. I now have a KVM, so back to one keyboard and mouse!
Thank you Lord for all (my) tech! As provided by work!

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Fat Kings and Swords

January 29, 2013 Leave a comment

or

Where’s Your Gilgal?

Judges 2:10 ‘Eventually that entire generation died and was buried. Then another generation grew up that didn’t know anything of God or the work he had done for Israel .’ or insert the work he had done for the United Kingdom (Judges 2:10 MSG)

That folks is what has happened to our country! And now just like the people of Israel in Egypt, we have become enslaved to another god! (Pharaoh was seen as the ‘son of god’). There is a strong man who thinks he is in charge of the UK, he thinks he has us in his grip and that he can’t be defeated! He gives the people no rest and just works them till they die, hoping then to feast on their flesh and become fat (just like Eglon in the story below) and send them straight to hell! Can that strong man be defeated? God calls us to rise up in an anger that won’t go away until we do something!

Click Judges 3 or read the story below

So what happened was that Ehud had a thought, he was probably scared and never believed he would actually carry out his half formed plan. He had strapped that sword there, to his inner right thigh, hiding it, and it went undiscovered. After paying the tribute to the King of the Moabites, Eglon, Ehud got back as far as Gilgal, and something happened there. He snapped, is what happened. We read earlier in Judges that the memorial stones, marking where the people had crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, had been replaced by stone idols. When Ehud saw that, he suddenly got very angry! I’m talking red hot anger, the kind that won’t go away, the kind that leaves you wondering what to do with yourself! So he went back, slaughtered the King of the Moabites, then went to the top of a mountain and blew a trumpet calling all the men to himself. Then he led those men, defeating the Moabites at the fords to the river Jordan, which they also secured against the enemy

Angry people are not popular. So we suppress our anger. In fact we are not that keen on ‘passion’, unless it’s about children in trouble or something! So what is your Gilgal? Is it when you see porn or lads mags displayed at eye level in your local news agents? Is it the hurt people you see every day? People without hope. People dying and going to Hell? What’s really getting your goat?

I would encourage us all to think of that one thing that’s getting us angry. If you can’t think of something, then ask The Lord to point it out. Then I would ask us us to strap on our swords and go out and plunge that sword deep into the enemy! Go on strike a blow!

Pray:
“Come on my soul, rise up in the name of Jesus! Let me grasp with a firm hand, that never tires, the sword Father has given me. Rise up, oh my soul! Rise up!” Amen, let it be so.

Let’s secure the fords of our Jordan, our land. And the only people we will bring in will be the captives, let’s usher in the captives, the rescued ones!

Thanks for reading and don’t be frightened about getting angry – it’s righteous, it’s sanctified!

Andy
Great website for men here

Judy Jacobs – Days of Elijah – No God like Jehovah – great song!

The Story:
There was a man called Ehood in Judea at the time of the Judges who suddenly came upon the realisation that the ‘strong man’ could be defeated. He came to this realisation at Gilgal, a red hot anger began to burn within him there. So what’s the story?
“But the People of Israel went back to doing evil in God’s sight. So God made Eglon king of Moab a power against Israel because they did evil in God’s sight. He recruited the Ammonites and Amalekites and went out and struck Israel. They took the City of Palms. The People of Israel were in servitude to Eglon fourteen years. The People of Israel cried out to God and God raised up for them a savior, Ehud son of Gera, a Benjaminite. He was left-handed. The People of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon king of Moab. Ehud made himself a short two-edged sword and strapped it on his right thigh under his clothes. He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Eglon was grossly fat. After Ehud finished presenting the tribute, he went a little way with the men who had carried it. But when he got as far as the stone images near Gilgal, he went back and said, “I have a private message for you, O king.” The king told his servants, “Leave.” They all left. Ehud approached him-the king was now quite alone in his cool rooftop room-and said, “I have a word of God for you.” Eglon stood up from his throne. Ehud reached with his left hand and took his sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s big belly. Not only the blade but the hilt went in. The fat closed in over it so he couldn’t pull it out. Ehud slipped out by way of the porch and shut and locked the doors of the rooftop room behind him. Then he was gone. When the servants came, they saw with surprise that the doors to the rooftop room were locked. They said, “He’s probably relieving himself in the restroom.” They waited. And then they worried-no one was coming out of those locked doors. Finally, they got a key and unlocked them. There was their master, fallen on the floor, dead! While they were standing around wondering what to do, Ehud was long gone. He got past the stone images and escaped to Seirah. When he got there, he sounded the trumpet on Mount Ephraim. The People of Israel came down from the hills and joined him. He took his place at their head. He said, “Follow me, for God has given your enemies-yes, Moab!-to you.” They went down after him and secured the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites. They let no one cross over. At that time, they struck down about ten companies of Moabites, all of them well-fed and robust. Not one escaped. That day Moab was subdued under the hand of Israel. The land was quiet for eighty years. (Judges 3:12-30 MSG)

Brill Birthday Yesterday!

January 21, 2013 1 comment

Wow! I’m going to go on so much about what an ace birthday I had I think that the sick bucket will be needed!

Thank you Lord for yesterday, It was a first in that I led the 9-30 (mainly adult) service at St Peters for the first time. Man I was nervous. I wasn’t use to, well everything, including the remote mike thingy! And when I stepped up and looked out at around 300 faces with all the hub ub going on and the lights in my face, I nearly forgot what to say. People really encouraged me after and said it all was good! I interviewed three people who told their stories (NY resolution to read bible, meeting to chat and pray and go to pub in a four and meeting in a house group). Paul, our Vicar preached from Colossians 1 and 2  all about growing

Then it was off to my Dad’s and Joyce’s for lunch, we even had a cake! My bezzie mate and his wife and daughter unexpectedly popped up with a present for me and we had a real good old chat with lots of funnies

Then home, build a snowman with the kids, collapse into bed for an hour and then off to church again – and that was the highlight of the day. The worship band were just amazing, led by Eva from Ireland with her violin – so spirit filled! I just felt so warm all over with a kind of buzz going on that made me unsteady on my feet at times (thank you Holy Spirit) WOW! And a fantastic talk from Nigel, director of New English Orchestra about growth again. He was saying growth was God’s responsibility, but we can provide the right environment (soil) and the way growth happens eg Psalm 119:130, we read something in the bible or someone says something or something happens and we think YES! That was God! Also about how David Pawson said ‘operate within you faith and your faith will stretch’. We sometimes try for something too big and this can lack honesty and integrity and can result in disappointment . . so we don’t’ grow. I like that.

Then off home on a total high to a top notch steak and salad with a glass of two of Pinot Grigio, hug the kids, hug my wife, watch a great drama on TV, off to bed and the electric blanket!

Lord, I’m so grateful for life, thank you!

 

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Giant Killer Story

January 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Let’s be Front Line Giant Killers!

Well that may sound a bit scary, on the other hand it might sound exciting! (at least to say or read!)

I think I may have told this story before, here it is with some new thoughts that came to me listening to Banning Liebscher the other day. Spring before last I was in a low place, very tired, feeling weak. It was a Saturday and I was at our works’s AGM in Manchester. At lunch time I went walking through the city centre listening to some worship music, and whilst still feeling wrecked I just became overwhelmed with God’s presence. Just then I became aware of a man street preaching. So I took my phones out and listened. I then gave him the thumbs up as he looked over at me, just to kind of encourage him. He then went on to say if any brother would like to come up and testify they should do so, I hesitated. He then looked at me and started pointing at the microphone. So I went over and the whole time I was in this kind of Holy Spirit bubble, almost like being in a dream world, I just can’t describe it adequately. I then told the story of how The Lord had healed me of this severe asthma the autumn before. Then I asked if anyone wanted praying for healing from asthma and someone came up and we prayed and laughed together as well. At one point someone walked past and shouted abuse, it felt like this Holy Spirit bubble sort of shimmered in then re-established itself (himself really!), like I had some kind of shield. Yet I was totally weak in myself. Later I saw a young guy looking at me in amazement about 50 yards away, it was just as if we were looking at each other with our spirits! (again I can’t explain how this felt/was, properly) I went over and started to talk to him. His companion, a girl, started to challenge me. And I started, from my within my own strength and intellect, to defend myself. As I did, the Holy Spirit diminished, as if I had dropped the Holy Spirit as a shield/weapon and lifted my own shield/weapon. What I proceeded to say was still blessed and under grace and favour, not the same though.

So is welcoming weakness just being defeatist?

James 1 talks about being joyful when trials come, 2 Cor 12 10 talks about welcoming and delighting in weakness. So how does this line up with faith, the character of God and fighting bad things?

Imagine back to your school days and some bully types come up to you and say, ‘hey your name here, we are gonna get you in the bike shed when school’s over’. You think oh no! I have got to get my bike, or do I? Imagine, later you remember you have an older brother. So you text him and he promises to be there when you pick up your bike. Bam! You have just defeated those bullies! So, your Father can be trusted! He is just like an older brother, only better! And He doesn’t lie, Titus 1:2, he cannot!

There is something called latent heat, which scientists came up with to describe how water can be 100 degrees and not boil, then suddenly it boils . . still all at 100 degrees. When it boils it pushes out lots of steam, it can even ‘boil over’. I believe God gives us His favour and the Holy Spirit like that. We get to 100 degrees just dying to boil over! So what makes us boil over? I believe it’s when we step into a place of weakness or through some other circumstance, are in a place of weakness. Now don’t get me wrong, you could also be praying, in faith, that you be delivered from what’s making you weak, eg an illness. The point here though is, strength comes when you step into that place where you are going to be vulnerable. God’s strength. Whether it’s to mention for the first time at work that you went to church last week or to pray with someone or to share your story with someone at church or with a neighbour . . you boil over with God’s goodness when you step out!

After you have done something like this you can feel tired. At that point don’t let the evil one suggest to you it wasn’t worth it and to get back in your comfy place. God doesn’t always reveal to us the result of our stepping out. Why? Well maybe He wants us to learn to stay vulnerable doing these things. Until we learn how to do that perhaps He holds back a bit? One thing I would suggest, however, is to share your story with other brothers and sisters, they will affirm you and help you to retain a right view of what you did. You will also encourage them!

Dear Lord, thank you that you cannot lie and that we can totally trust you in vulnerable places. Help us today to go to those vulnerable places and slay giants for you! Amen

Thanks for reading,
Andy

Categories: Uncategorized

Wisdom Fishes

January 7, 2013 Leave a comment

Fishers of Men

Any one remember this one? Click on picture above to see!

In Wisdom He made all things and in Wisdom He Redeems all Things Through us!

Lets take a look at Proverbs 11: 30 “The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men–he gathers and receives them for eternity].” In addition we see in Psalm 104:24 “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions”
God in wisdom made the earth and all the creatures in it. His plan was good and wise. It depended on us carrying it through, because satan and his gang had made earth their retreat and we were supposed to gradually redeem the earth. Except we mucked up and continue to do so! So, bearing in mind we are made in God’s image and that we are now a new person, we can say we have Wisdom. And Proverbs 11:30 tells us that the wise person captures human lives for eternity. Why is this wise? I still feel like I don’t know the full answer, though I have a feeling the Lord is saying something to me like . . . ‘because I made the world in my image it was something beautiful, I know you have questions, but, know this, I made you out of love and have sought to redeem you out of love, because you are something beautiful to me. Each person you see with my heart, I also made. And so, having the same mind (wisdom) you begin to desire strongly for that person or this person to be redeemed. Know that your worship of me and the intimate pleasure you and I take in each other, increases your desire to see them redeemed. And you are not alone, my Holy Spirit empowers you to tear down the strongholds in their lives (the things on which they rely). And then, having their eyes opened to the futility of their own strength, they begin to see me! (because you show them me) And their desire is awakened. I made you to be worshipers, I made you to be “fishers of men.””

Dear Lord, set our us on fire with a desire for you that is so strong that our hearts and minds line up right along with yours. We want to be so driven to ‘fish’ for people that we just can’t help ourselves! Amen

Thanks for reading
Andy Harper

Categories: Uncategorized