It was great to hear testimonies of healings last weekend at Presence Keepers. One man with a lazy eye for 70 years was able to see much more clearly after prayer… another lady reported the cloudiness in her vision from a small cataract had gone… another suffering from ringing in her ears reported it had ceased… two others unable to lift arms above shoulder height were able to reach up and praise God… Thank You Jesus for Your great love.
A few weeks ago Ian brought us a passage that seems relevent now:
MY ROAD TO LIFE
At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a referee waiting to blow the whistle…. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know Him.
But later on when I met Christ it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was on the back helping me pedal.
I don’t know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.
When I had control, I went the ways I know. It was rather boring, and predictable… It was always the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds, it was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness, He said, ‘Keep Pedalling!” I worried and was anxious and asked, ‘Where are you taking me?” He laughed and didn’t answer, and slowly I began to learn to trust.
I forgot my boring life and entered in the adventure. And when I’d say, ‘I’m scared,” He’d lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed, gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey.
And when we were off again. He said, ‘Give the gifts away; they’re extra baggage, too much weight.” so I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him at first, in control of my life. I thought He’d wreck it; but He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.
And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ!
by Jean Packer
Sunday 6th February
Pam O’Leary had been unable to attend the meeting but had sent a note encouraging us to “do something beautiful for God today – do something that you have never done before.”
Ian shared that God wants us to be in a place of grace and not bondage. He wants us to know that His finger is not pointing at us in any way. He is not judging us. We are encouraged to accept His grace and give Him praise and worship and to enter into His presence with joy. To taste and see that God is good.
Later in worship Wes continued to read the word from Pam O’Leary, ‘“God always leads us in triumph; we are in His train. Those who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but keep pushing though until the very sand becomes holy ground. We sing but do not understand the words – but listen to the sound. Sharron had a picture from ‘The Railway Children’. The girl was waiting at the train station at the end of wartime. The steam from the train hid a person coming onto the platform but as he walked towards the girl she recognised her father and ran to him shouting “My Daddy. My Daddy”. This is how God wants us to run to Him.
Another prophesy came from Penny that this was a time of surrender of things we use for self comfort. We must lay them down. A vision that as the River in Ezekiel 47 got deeper it was flowing and releasing a multitude of fish as we were allowing the river to flow into our lives as we open our eyes to it. We were exhorted to let go of control and let go of ourselves. A call to surrender and yield to the deep flow of The Holy Spirit, that would sweep through this place, community, and out into the nations.
Pastor Bill O’Leary from Tewkesbury Baptist Church was our visiting speaker and spoke from the word about finding God in the desert. Moses was looking for food for his sheep. God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground and stay there. We are to stay where we are until God moves us. Our place of strength and blessing is to stay in the arms of Jesus.
Colossians 3:3 For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. This is our place of strength and blessing. He loves us.
Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Stop making yourself secure. If we open the ‘big gates’ of our lives it can be a vulnerable thing, but our security is in the King (Jesus) coming through. Nothing is more secure than being in His arms. Step out. How vulnerable are you to allowing God to have His way in your life? Be willing to step out into the unknown.
Bill continued by sharing with us the story of the woman at the well John 4: 1-6 27-33 She was amazed at what Jesus told her and ran to tell others to ‘come and see’. People need to hear our testimony because they don’t know that God is good. First, the men believed because of what she said. Then they believed because of what Jesus Himself said.
Bill then brought out a ram’s horn that someone had given him and shared how he had seen the potential to make the handle of a shepherd’s crook with it. He then showed us one that he had made earlier out of the other horn. The rod was made out of what he called “a grotty stick that had been lovingly soaked, shaped and smoothed to make it straight and useful.
Proverbs: 29:18 Where there is no vision the people perish, but he who keeps the law, happy is he.
God sees potential in us. He wants us to be compliant so that he can straighten us out mould us, smooth us and make us useful. We might sometimes feel ‘rubbish’.but we need to know that God’s got a vision and purpose for our lives. Bill then showed us a cracked and warped block of wood and we saw drawings on it that marked out two shepherd crooks. We may also have cracks and warps but God sees the potential in us. He can get more out of us that we can see for ourselves. He can see things in us. There are people who only you can reach.
If you don’t have a vision, then other people perish. Where you live and work is no accident. When you have done what he has called you to do, he will then move you on. You are here to live for Jesus, everywhere, wherever you may be. Move from your place of safety and make yourself vulnerable.
Bill then showed us another shepherds crook that was very fancy and smart to use, but it wasn’t really functional. It would break easily and was more of a show rod. He exhorted us not to be ‘show’ christians but to see that the fields are white for harvest – pray to the Lord of the harvest for workers – us!
by Jean Packer
‘Behold! How good it is when brothers dwell together in unity. It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron. Running down on the edge of his garments’ (Psalm 133:1).
This scripture has been with me since becoming so refreshed during the past two Sundays at Golden Valley Church, especially through the worship, led by Bex and Colin one week and Paul and Helen the next. Their varied styles have brought enrichment to us. The worship has been wonderfully liberating and potent. We are constantly brought under an open Heaven and invited into the throne room to receive more of God’s presence into our hearts. The fire has fallen powerfully on both Sundays and we have been liberated to receive more of God’s touch as, one week a healing pool opened up and the second, we went through a fire tunnel individually and in family groups. Testimonies were shared firstly by Sue, of how the ladies on the Alpha Course are receiving God’s touch and through Jo showing us the miracle of diamonds appearing to her and Matt! The children also received, and were joyfully dancing and playing together. We have been blessed with such a kaleidoscope of colour and diversity!
Over these two weeks, great words have been brought to us, firstly through Penny, who shared what God has been laying on her heart through Acts 18. Paul was provoked to have compassion on people. He saw the value of a soul. He was positioned by God and spoke out whenever he could. Paul saw that ‘the fields are white and ready for harvest’. He was focussed on bringing light to the lost people around him and he gave his life for many souls. He didn’t concentrate on the difficulties and hardships that he suffered but glorified God with his life. The motivation of his heart was to this purpose. He was not alone and God positioned Aquilla and Priscilla to come alongside him and help him in his work when he needed them. He went to the Jews first and was rejected, so he went to the Gentiles. He didn’t get hung up on the rejection of others. Paul was prepared to roll up his sleeves. He was a tent-maker. His pay was in knowing he was serving God and reaching the lost.
Likewise, God gets us pointing in the right direction and He is positioning us to bring light to others. Because we have life, we can bring life to the situations that we encounter. No matter what difficulties, hardships and disappointments we are going through we are never alone. He brings us help when we need it. He can even use the devil’s agents to help us! ‘ ‘If God is for us, who can be against us!’.(Romans 8:31). We were exhorted to ask God for a download of the value of a soul because He loves each person so much wherever we are or whoever we are talking to. They are a soul-searching for God. Keep moving forward and to keep taking ground and ask ourselves the question of how can we encourage others to keep moving forward with us. The saints of England wouldn’t give up! Neither should we! Keep sowing, keep reaping and enjoy tasting the fruit! Changes happen around the seed and this will change the atmosphere. Enjoy the journey!
We then received prayer as we stood in God’s presence and individually asked “Where is my specific place to move into and take ground for our family, friends and workplaces”?
Last week Ian spoke from Acts 20: 1 -25. He shared how it was the love of God that constrained Paul to walk the path that he did. He ran the race with joy! He gave himself to serve others. When God speaks it does something in us. We become constrained. God’s will is for us to love Him first and then one another. We are urged to look after, and watch out for one another . He has made us overseers for one another. Yes. There is a cost that may be painful to us but as we raise our eyes to Him we see that it is worthwhile. Ian reminded us that we are justified by faith.
Ian specified four things that Paul gave and received and that the church cannot exist without:-
The church is not a building, it is a body. It is not an organisation but an organism.
The twelve disciples are the blueprint for God’s living body and we are one body related by the blood of Jesus and must love the Church as Christ does. ‘By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ ( John 13:35). We must build around what can I give? and not what I need. It’s not about me but about Him. We are to be interdependent with one another. Submission and friendship. Worship is a lifestyle and unity is the building block, being one in harmony and agreement. Paul took on the status of a slave.
Ian concluded his message by quoting scripture from ‘The Message’.
Philippians 2:1-3 (The Message)
“If you’ve gotten anything out of following Christ. If His love has made any difference in your life, if being a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart,if you care – then do me a favour. Agree with each another,love each other, be deep-spirited friends, Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”
The venue didn’t work out like it had been hoped as it was difficult darkening the many windows and the sound tended to echo… but it didn’t stop the message of ‘Faith Like Potatoes’ getting through to people’s hearts. And the fantastic shared lunch together part-way through the film, turned out to be a real feast and important church-family ocassion, as we sought God together.
Angus Buchan’s testimony of how his life was changed and given new purpose and direction by his encounter with Jesus Christ is faithfully told throughout the film. As we watched him experience miracles, and tragedy which God brought him through, and as we saw his willingness to step in obedience to the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit, we were challenged again to leave unbelief and complacency behind… and prove God in new ways.
Thank God for this great man and his wonderful story. For those who missed it, or want to watch it again, we’ll be arranging other opportunities.
Next Sunday, 12th September, at Golden Valley Church we will be screening the movie ‘Faith Like Potatoes’ which tells the true story of rugged South African farmer Angus Buchan.
“Frank Rautenbach leads a strong cast as Angus Buchan, who leaves his farm in the midst of political unrest and racially charged land reclaims and travels south with his family to start a better life in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. With nothing more than a caravan on a patch of land, and help from his foreman, Simeon Bhengu, the Buchan family struggle to settle in a new country. Faced with ever mounting challenges, hardships and personal turmoil Angus’ manic quest for material success is slowly transformed into a wild love for God and people, as he wrestles with faith, hope, natural disasters and tragic personal loss.”
The first part of the film will be shown during our Sunday morning service, which will be followed by a shared lunch, and the second part of the movie being screened about 2:30pm. If there’s time we will also show a documentary which includes interviews with Angus Buchan himself.
Come along and get your faith stirred! Our God is a great God who loves us with an everlasting love and in His kindness draws us to Himself and works wonders. Glory to Him!
Angus himself is still preaching the gospel throughout Africa. His website is http://www.shalomtrust.co.za/
Please note: as this film is certificated as a 12/12A due to one incident of bloody injury, no children will be allowed to present without their parent or responsible adult with them.
Report by Jean Packer: ‘FEATHERS AND FIRE’ Conference with Sandy Zondervan 6th March 2010 –
The conference was named ‘Feathers and Fire’ because it is a call to rise up like an eagle and soar into the Heavenly Glory realm, riding smoothly on the power of the Holy Spirit and be on Fire for God to reach out with His love into community and to the nations..
Powerful worship led us into the throne room of God. Hearts were opened up to the prophetic utterance of word and song. A cry of freedom was given that the Lion of Judah is roaring over us to leave behind the winter time. A new song came that we have been strengthened by God. He has made us conquers. Our victory is sure because the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. Prophecy continued that God wants to bring us into resurrection life. That this is our time to thrive, inside this time. God wants to bring forth the things that we have buried in our lives, into fullness of life.
The afternoon focused upon ‘Feather’s’. Through using an amusing, yet wonderful allegory of her pet birds Stanley and Beauty, Sandy showed us how God is marrying his beauty into us. She shared with us three areas that God wants to restore and establish in our lives in order for us to be able to ‘soar like an eagle’. These were: Realignment, Identity and Protection. We were encouraged to ask God to show us any walls that we have erected around us that may be keeping us isolated from God or from one another. People were healed as God ministered gently to them. Many found release and freedom from areas that had been holding them captive.
The evening meeting centered on ‘Fire’. Sandy shared how God is passionately in love with us and how His radiant presence is Fire! His illuminating fire brings us salvation and life. His refining fire burns up the dross in us and replaces it with the fire of His love. But ultimately He wants to bring us into the consuming fire. She prayed that we would have revelation and a hunger in our hearts to seek Him first. Ministry time included getting into pairs and receiving prayer for impartation of fire like the foxes in the story of Samson, that caught the enemy’s harvest on fire and destroyed it as they passed through. The meeting concluded with a ‘fire tunnel’ and people were impacted by the fiery presence of God as they went through. Many chose to trust God and move into action. Breakthrough! With the warring Angels.
“I enjoyed the worship and during it, I had a vision of the roof opening up as in a stadium. The shutters were removed and the light of the Lord flooded in giving free access to an open Heaven.” Jean B
“I had a sense of freedom in the worship and the ministry was very powerful. God put His finger on several issues, and in particular He set me free from three false identities. Sandy spoke resurrection life over me and I believe that was very powerful and significant.”
“When I looked for a wall in my heart, I saw a sea wall. This caused me to remember things told about me when I was very small, just about three years old. My family and I were on holiday and we were walking along the sea wall when I drifted away from them and got lost and my mother was frantically looking for me. I found myself recalling a forgotten memory of being on top of the wall and I was terrified! I hid back into a gateway and felt that I would never see my parents again. Suddenly, I saw a huge Angel by my side. Then I saw another behind me and also one on the other side of me. God showed me that they had been there all of the time, protecting me. God told me that He will never leave me or forsake me. This is greatly comforting to me and now most of the wall is gone and I just have little bits left at the bottom. They will soon be gone completely”’
“During the ministry time Wes spoke God’s words over me about my true identity. The Lord confirmed these truths in my heart” M W
“When I looked, I saw a wall of fear around me. God showed me that it was a fear of confrontation and that I allowed myself to become intimidated. I was gently led to repent of some heart attitudes that I still held and God showed me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that I am called to be who He has made me to be and to find my confidence in Him.” Jean P
“I did not realise that I still had some walls of ice from my childhood whereI had frozen some emotions. I allowed the Lord to melt these areas with His love and healing fire.” W B
“God met with me. During the meeting He took some things that I had been carrying off me and I felt my spirit become lighter. Previously, when going through a fire tunnel I would have a sense of ‘missing something’. This time I felt strongly impacted by the power of God and knew that I had received from Him. I could just rest in His love.” J B
“A thick castle wall had built up due to a situation I was witness to concernig my parents at the age of 8. I went for outside help but Dad brought me back before I reached the Police Station. Jesus came with His sword and broke down the wall and Father poured in His love and protection.” Rachel
“We really felt blessed by the time at the conference on Sat. and were so glad we were able to come along. I felt stuck with a wall at the afternoon meeting but once I got through the fire tunnel everything was full of loads of light! Looks like the light hitting my head shows in the photo too!!! It is the first time I have ever had something change that dramatically, without actually spending time praying into the situation. I felt very sad about being left with the darkness and the wall after the afternoon session but by the end of the fire tunnel in the evening, I suddenly realised that the door in the picture had swung open and the whole room was full of very bright light! I’m so grateful that I was not left with the wall and darkness and it has been a great encouragement to me and shown me how God’s presence can dramatically change things.” C S