Flood Defences

Men's Ministry Comments Off on Flood Defences

SandBagsAt one of the prayer meetings last month God gave me a picture or illustration relating to the flooding over Christmas and spiritual blessings or spiritual floods. I often hear people praying for God to rain down blessings, for His Holy Spirit to come like a flood. However when it comes to actual flooding we don’t pray for more rain, we don’t ask for the flood to bless our houses; people protect themselves from the flood. The picture that came to me was that I can, build up defences to keep out the flood of God’s blessing. Obviously I don’t pray, “God strengthen my defences against your blessing,” but if I’m honest my default setting is to grab some sandbags and get ready for the uncertainty of whether I would be flooded or not. Now don’t get me wrong I would happily go down to the river and look in wonder at the rising water levels, at the force and expanse of the flood waters. However it would be challenging for me to willing want my home to be flooded, because of the destruction that it would cause. I might pray for blessing, but what I really mean is I want God to bless me without disrupting my life too much. I want God to be okay with me building a sandbag wall around my home to protect it while I head out to marvel at the flood of His blessing down by the river. Except God is good all the time, why would I feel the need to build a wall of protection around my home, why would I only want to receive God’s blessing at a church meeting? I know for myself that I don’t always welcome change. I like to think that if something needs changing then I’ll make a change when I’m ready. Floods are destructive and disruptive. When God floods my life it can be disruptive as well, except His flooding usually washes away the things I don’t really need in life, the items that I can live without, the attitudes that I would actually be glad to let go of and the addictions that I have been wanting to be free of for years. When God floods your life it will be destructive and disruptive, you can’t expect God to flood your life and for nothing to change. But the result once the flood waters recede will be good; there will be blessing. The challenge for me is what prayers am I actually willing to pray? Should I pray for God’s blessing in my life, for His blessing to come like a flood? The simple answer, yes. I should also pray that God would help me to understand His will and goodness in my life, that when He brings blessings He would also help me to let down my defences and allow Him to bless me. Will it mean change, will it mean disruption? Probably. Will it be good? Yes, because God is good all the time and that is a truth I can rely on, even when my feet are getting wet from rising flood waters.
ENABLE CONFERENCE Saturday 27th February

Testimony is powerful…what’s your story?

Men's Ministry Comments Off on Testimony is powerful…what’s your story?

notepadI heard Andy Hawthorne speak at a conference a while ago and one thing in particular that he said has stuck with me; that testimony is powerful. Over the last two years I have been sharing testimony with you, my story with you through these bulletin articles. I have written over 11,500 words, all of which have been intended to encourage you to live out your Christian faith. God challenged me to be open, honest and authentic in what I write. This has certainly been challenging at times; there are things I’ve shared that have been hard to put into print. But I believe what Andy Hawthorne spoke about, that telling your story, sharing your testimony is powerful.
It’s mostly women who make comments about my articles and who stop and chat for a few minutes about what I’ve written. This has intrigued me as I always set out to write to encourage men. But the comments reveal how when we peal back the spotless cover we all like to live under and let someone else see how life is actually going it is encouraging. When people see others work though difficulties and share their own problems it gives others hope. I believe God takes my simple, honest words and does something powerful with them.
And now I invite you men to do the same. I want other men in Elim Ryedale Church to start speaking out; to start writing here in this space in the bulletin. Each month there is the opportunity for you to share the highs, lows, the incredible and the ordinary of your Christian life. My words are not the only ones that should appear here. It’s time for you to share, for you to write; for God to take your story and do something incredible.
So there are a few simple rules: 1. This is a space for men to write, as part of the bigger picture of MPower, Elim’s Men’s Ministry. 2. You must write with honesty and openness.

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