Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Shack

The Shack 339 Pictures, Images and Photos

Has anyone else read this book?

I just put it down and I'm absolutely gobsmacked. It has changed me forever. It has changed how I relate with God forever - in a good way! I can't tell you what it's about, because it will ruin it for you, but if you like a good book, with simple truths, with amazing imagery and you are ready to have your conception of God blown out of the water - then this book is for you. I literally laughed and cried my way through this whole book. Not many people have the ability to do that to me with written words. I finished it in 3 days - which for me to finish a book in that time with three children and a very packed schedule is a miracle.

Read it. Be introduced to God as he really is, not how YOU think he is! You won't be sorry.

THE SHACK BOOK WEBSITE

Sunday, March 14, 2010

God sent me an email.

Ok Ok OK! I get the picture. God is certainly making it very clear. VERY clear.

I was going through my email account and going to delete a heap of emails that I subscribe to. I have stuff I need to do, I won't have time to read all these now. So I began to delete. I selected "THE FIRST REQUIREMENT OF MINISTRY" and was about to delete the lot when I felt in my spirit "HOLD IT!! Read that email. Read it." I tried to reason and argue but the nagging was strong. Read that email. The title didn't really appeal to me, it didn't speak to me... but that voice certainly did! So I opened it up and this is what I read.

The First Requirement of Ministry
(Taken from TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman 03-14-2010

"The priests are in mourning, those who minister before the Lord." - Joel 1:9b

The first requirement for being used by God in the life of others is to mourn on their behalf. We must identify with their pain and suffering. Each of us must be broken for others first.

In order to be fully used by God in the workplace, we need to understand what breaks God's heart. When we understand what breaks God's heart, we are able to mourn on behalf of a grieving person, or a nation we are called to serve. What breaks God's heart? When we begin to answer this question, we begin the first step to becoming instruments of change for those things that are important to God. Perhaps it is an overemphasis in our own talent and abilities, or lack of complete trust in Jesus. Perhaps it is the lack of respect for human life that leads to the killing of innocent babies. Perhaps it is the deceit and pride that often rule the workplace of commerce. Or perhaps it is the strife and divisions among His own Body that grieve Him most. When we begin to mourn over our own sins in these areas, God begins to use us as instruments of righteousness to affect these things. It was only when God let me see my own sins in the workplace and how they broke His heart that I began to be an instrument for His purposes.

Today, ask God to show you what things in your world are breaking His heart. Then see how He might want you to be the priest to affect for Him. The first step is identification with what breaks God's heart.



Today - God sent me an email. :)

MY PRAYER


Break my heart for what breaks yours.
Show me how to love like you have loved me.
Everything I am for your Kingdom's cause.

Keep revealing to me the things that are hurting you. That are breaking your heart. Make me cry for the things that make you cry. I want to feel your heart. I want to feel what you feel when you look at your beloved creation.

New direction.

A few weeks ago, I felt a shift in my thinking and in my spirit. While having home group, we were brain storming about what we would like to see in the church. I suggested community action - actually leaving the church pews to go and make a difference in the community. Its all well and good to say we need to, but someone needs to actually make it happen! I was surprised at the passionate words that roared from my spirit. Not long afterwards, I became aware of some gross social injustice that made me sick. Me lecturer made some reference to the exploited children in the cocoa trade. My spirit lurched - so I immediately fired up Google and began to read and research.

What is the cost of real chocolate?

I felt considerable compassion for the poor children who are worked and worked, starved, beaten and exploited. I mourned for their lack of freedom and education. I thanked God my own children were safe and free with me and protected from monstrosities like that. After considerable discussion and research with my husband, we made the decision that we were not going to support the companies that purchased cocoa beans from non-fairtrade farms or other ethically run cocoa farms. I thought that my spirit would rest after that, we are doing all we can, we are only 5 people but we are going to make a difference... however small.

But no. God didn't allow me to get away with that. Over the last few weeks he has injected my spirit with a fire and a passion for the social injustice in this world. Not just overseas but in my own country. My spirit is stirring like a whirlpool. My husband said: "The church needs education about these gross injustices. What they need is someone with good strong leadership skills, and the ability to teach to raise awareness. Someone like you maybe?"
I was stunned - but something resonated in my spirit.
I then spoke to my Mum about this chocolate issue, and she stood with me and is refusing to support the companies that turn a blind eye to the children that are being exploited. She said to me: "You should be making this known to the church, God has given you the ability to speak and boldness..."
Hmmm... so I prayed. "God if this is the direction you want me to take, you need to tell me, because this is not something I know a great deal about."

That Sunday the sermon was about being an influence. God spoke loud and clear. It is not enough for me to merely stop supporting non-fair trade companies. It's not enough to stand on my soap box and tutt and say, "that's terrible." God wants me to take it further. The Pastor made reference to Matthew 25:35-40 Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why: I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.'

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'


I heard a whisper in my spirit: "Who is going to speak for me?"

God plainly said, it's not enough - YOU are the church. If 300 people hear what you have to say, and 300 people write letters and fire off emails to the companies who are at fault and start making a roar about it, they are going to listen. But what if those 300 people told 5 people each? Told 5 other people that this is going on in this world, and it's not acceptable. What if those other 5 people began emailing and writing letters to the company? 1500 emails/letters. 1500 voices crying out on behalf on the many children will make it known to the company and share holders are going to hear. That is 1500 voices from 1 church - what if you spoke to 10 churches.
It's time for the church to stop spectating - it's time for them to rise and make their voices heard and known. They need to stop leaving it to the Christian political groups and the crazy religious fanatics.

Joshua did not yell by himself when he was at Jericho. One little voice would sound so piddly and so useless - I bet the army tucked away inside Jericho wouldn't have even heard him. But they sure did hear when the entire army let out a roar. The unethical companies WILL hear if we are persistant and loud enough. They need to hear the voices of the godly to help them make godly discisions. We cannot influence our world by keeping our salt in the salt shaker - we need to sprinkle it in all the areas we need to influence.

God has equipped me with the gift of teaching. God has equipped me with motivational skills. God has equipped me with boldness and I will not skirt around the issues delicately. God wants me to speak for those who can't speak for themselves. God wants me to bring the issues that are in the world into the church so instead of thinking about possibly making a difference in their world, they have to the opportunity to rise and do it!

MY PRAYER
I'm ready God. I'll do anything you say and go anywhere you lead. Please show me how to do this, and show me who to talk to and what to say. Fill me with your spirit - annoint my words and lips. I'm scared at this new calling, but I know you are with me. Help me. Help!!!!
Keep this fire burning in my spirit, fuel it, flame it so that your people will know that I am your ambassador. Please start opening doors for me as well as equipping me to go forward from here.
Amen.

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