Kids In God’s Living Room!

We sat in a circle...kids in God's living room

We sat in a circle…kids in God’s living room

The following is most  of a letter from Jonathan Friz, the founder and Director of Wisdom Way.  I collaborate with them for the 10 Days of Prayer and other Prayer Initiatives in New England and beyond. Last week many from across New England met in Northfield, MA where DL Moody founded a school. There is a strong sense that God is in the process of bringing it back to life. I’ll let Jonathan say more:

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It was great to be together last Thursday!  Here’s a brief report on our gathering and on where we’re headed from here.

Discovery…

 Arriving early at the campus, which is quite large (40 major buildings/200+ acres), we took time to reconfigure the room and wipe down the chairs that had been out of use for some years.  As people started to arrive, I enjoyed hearing people’s first reactions to the campus.  Usually, something along the lines of “wow” or “I had no idea this was here” or “I had no idea it was this big”.  I pointed out Moody’s grave 150 feet away to someone and they were shocked—“Really?”  The view from our meeting room in Hibbard Hall, one of the highest points of the campus, was stunning. The property has not been in regular use since 2005 but does not appear old or worn down.

I was pleased that we had about 60 folks show up [from across New England], especially considering the distance and the fact that we had the gathering in mid-August.

We sat in a circle…kids in God’s living room!

Worship and Prayer…then Sharing and Casting Vision

As we worshiped and prayed together, the presence of God was strong and it was accompanied by that sense of “family” that is I think one of the most precious characteristics of what God is doing here in New England.

We were all just kids in God’s living room.

We had prepared to hear from several people, sharing about Northfield’s history, some key “words from the Lord” that had defined the journey, and just catching people up on the story that had been unfolding behind the scenes.  However, as I tried to transition us into this more formal time, there was an overflow from the heart as person after person shared moving testimonies of what that moment in prayer at that place meant to them. It was powerful seeing how significant the moment was for many who had gathered and sometimes traveled great distances to be there.

We wrapped up this time of sharing with 10 minutes of prayer and worship “Korean style”, consciously submitting and giving ourselves over to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Yes!

Roberto [Miranda – Pastor of Congregation Lion de Judah, Boston] shared the vision for this fall [to host RESTORE, a New England Convocation, on the Northfield campus] and several of the other planners shared some of the ways God had been explicitly guiding the journey thus-far through visions, dreams, and confirming signs.

There’s definitely that sense of being “on track” with something God is doing, even if we don’t see the full extent of it yet.  Our morning session finally wrapped up at about 1:30 and we shared a meal and ongoing fellowship together.

What’s Next?

I was blessed by the tangible sense of excitement over what God is doing this fall.  As was shared in the meeting, we’re doing this.  There’s no outside group putting this on—we’re doing this as the New England Church and for the New England Church.  

So, we’re open to your insights and ideas for the event.

We’d also value your participation and help in spreading the word. 

I’ve attached the basic flyer below and will follow up in the next several days with other promotional materials that can be printed and distributed as you see fit or used as online images.  I’ll be sending an email with info on how to help out early next week!

Yours,

Jonathan Friz

[My readers can keep up through http://www.10days.net/restore And I am sure to mention it again.]

RESTORE

Hangin’ Around

These workers give new definition to hangin’ around!

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I am learning to take a photo of anything interesting the first time I see it. I have learned the hard way it may not be there again or you may not ever get back to it. I even bought a new phone last year with that idea in mind. When I saw these fellas hanging off the side of a very large glass building I had to capture it.

Hangin’ around may sound like not much is happening, but often times in life it is all we have left in us for a season. Maybe we have come up against so many obstacles that we are tempted to give up all together. But deep down inside we know better than to give up on God.

Then it happens. We were on the edge of hopelessness and ‘all of a sudden’ there is a shift. We hung on long enough for God to break through! Maybe it is a small thing to others, but it was an unspoken prayer we were afraid to voice because we did not want to be disappointed …again.

But we hung around. Perhaps a friend we have not heard from in months or years reaches out. They listen, understand and do not try to fix us or our circumstances. We “know” God prompted them. We both are greatly encouraged!

Maybe after a season of blocks, barriers and barrages full of lies that we are not worthy, we finally muster up the courage to step out in faith. Instead of more failure, that we hoped would not come but we braced ourselves for, we are blessed with break through that surpasses our expectations.

Hangin’ around can serve as a season of rest. We may feel we are hanging by a thread…but take a breath. Take a few breaths. Watch, wait, listen and do not lose hope. This too shall pass! It always does….

If You Are Looking Back….

…you’ll miss what’s up ahead.

 

Looking back

There are times in all our lives when we question “What happened to get me in this place?” Sometimes it is a question of gratitude. For most it is a question of dismay and regret. Looking back for answers is normal. Looking back is even necessary, for a while.

There comes a point in our growth and healing that we stop looking behind. There is very little we can do with the past. What is behind us is part of our history, but it does not have to define us in the present. It is only a part of who we are becoming.

When we stop looking back it is good to assess what is true about us now.

We are redeemed!  Isaiah 44:22 “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

We have been bought with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

We are chosen by our Creator to be fruitful. John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

We are called to walk humbly with Him.

Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?”

All of these point us forward, along with the many promises that we are not alone! Just as God promised Joshua 1:5 “I will never leave you or forsake you,” He has promised to be with us always.” Matt 28:20

I am well in to the second half of my life. My parents have passed along with one of my brothers. These loses, along with other life events can make us hard. Or they can make us soft, yet with an inner strength Only God can provide.

I am grateful Our Creator lives outside of time. He knows the end from the beginning. It is too easy for us finite people to live our lives looking behind us. It’s easy to cooperate with regret, fears of repeating our mistakes and shame that we are not able to reach the dreams we had as a child, or in some cases the dreams we held up last week.

Let’s look forward to the One who made us and the myriad of promises from the only One who is truly faithful. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 

 

Abubaka And The Jesus Film App

jesus-film-app-640360When I visited my son in Washington, DC last week I stayed in a hotel. I went downstairs for breakfast and was directed to speak with Abubaka if I was interested in an omelet. I love omelets, so I went to see him.

Noticing he was tall, slender and had obsidian black skin made me suspect he was from a part of West Africa I know well. Since I lived in that area of the world for 13 years I inquired  where he was from originally. A little surprised that a tall, blonde, American woman would ask, he looked at me and replied “The Gambia.” His air implied there was no way I would know where that was.

He was totally surprised and smiled ear to ear when I told him I have been to his country. He began working on my omelet while we talked about why I visited this small part of Africa along the Gambia river, surrounded by Senegal. We even swapped a few short greetings in his mother tongue, “Wolof.” I quickly assured him I had forgotten the rest I once learned over 25 years ago.

Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Jesus Film Media App! It is downloadable to any smart phone. Instantly one has access to the Gospel of Luke in film, available in 1,400 languages, including Wolof! It also has several other films that share the Good News. I knew Wolof was one of the languages because we helped get it dubbed and distributed while we lived in Senegal in the late 1980’s.

Imagine the broad white smile and wide eyes against the dark skin when he learned I had been to The Gambia. You can multiply that several times when he learned of a full length film in his mother tongue!

As soon as my omelet was cooked he pulled out his phone and began to download the Jesus Film Media App from Google Play Store. (It is also available for Apple users at the App Store in itunes ) He told me he was going to The Gambia in a few months. He was excited to share the App and the film with his family when he arrives.

Please pray for Abubaka, his friends and family in the USA and in The Gambia. I did not have the opportunity to share more about Jesus with Abubaka. However, from my years of experience with The Jesus Film I know it will say so much more than I ever could! I also know he will share it with others to touch lives I never could reach on my own.

Have you seen the Jesus Film? Or any of the other feature-length films and shorts offered through jesusfilm.org? Please check them out! Just click on any of the links on this page to find it on the web.

Do you know people whose primary or mother tongue is not English? With over 1,400 languages to choose from, please give them the opportunity to watch!