Saturday, 7 November 2009

"town-hall meeting" with Your children... and a good time at church in the park (or in the basement, as the case may be!)

October 25, 2009

Yesterday evening I went to the “town hall meeting” at C’s place. I think he was hoping for a crowd… but only him, his dad, R&K, R, and me turned up. It started at 5 pm … and he had to chase us out at 9 pm! No one could believe that much time had passed!

We really did share our hearts. Just before I left to go over there, I was reading the local paper, and there was this amazing article about how loving Jesus and being in relationship with Him is the most important thing! I clipped in and put it in my bag… and Papa really impressed upon me to read it to them – and it was a blessing and a confirmation to everyone. One of the guys talked about what God has been showing him from Revelation. Another really knows Your Word, and liked how he gently asked questions and stuff that brought out Your truth. Thank You! And R&K told some interesting dreams they’ve had, and W gave an interesting possible interpretation of one of them.

Then R talked about how God has been leading them in working with teens (mostly unchurched ones) in an informal youth group … at first they were just doing it themselves, meeting in parks to play ball and stuff, but then they “thought” they should be under a “church’s umbrella”, and they went to a church and joined … And then the pastor, who was helping them, resigned. He was saying that then he was asking God what to do, and God showed him a vision of a long vine growing out from God Himself, and then sprouts were growing from the vine, and leaves, and all… and he saw that God (not some “church”) is the source and that they are to follow GOD’S direction – even if it seems that no one else is there to “help.” (And now they are having the youth over to their home, since it’s getting too cold to meet outside… R didn’t know how that would work because their place is small – but God gave him a dream/picture of their living room and dining room area changed around – just as his wife had been telling him a couple months back, but he had disagreed with her idea back then! So they went ahead and did it – and it works!). Anyway, then, in the vine vision, he asked God, “Well, what about that church?” … and he saw the vine grow right OVER the church building, but it did not grow inside of it! (When I heard that, I sucked in my breath! Oh dear God, please, please, please… open that building… open those hearts! [And yes – yikes, oh dear! – if it involves me, help me to be open to be involved in Your work there… but oh, please, not in anything that is not of You! Give me wisdom and discernment, please!!!... Oh dear God… HELP! Please!!!).

Then W read a couple things he’d written that were from You – pretty amazing stuff! He also gave some wise explanation of how the OT are related – but are separate covenants – and how old win cannot be put in new wineskins. I was pretty amazed listening to his really clear explanations… and then today, I was typing away from my July journal (started yesterday… I’m up to the beginning of August now) and I read where You had explained that very thing to me in early July! Wow! Thank You! Amazing! You knew I needed that reminder – and confirmation! 

I was so happy to be able to go to that gathering (and happy hubby gave me the go-ahead…)and I came home just dancing!

Oh! Did I mention that I reached the “400 friend” level on fb? I love having friends! It is awesome! Thank You, Papa!

This morning I made a couple dozen boiled eggs and some oatmeal porridge for church-in-the-park. I have volunteered to be the coffee lady, so now I stay inside the basement, making coffee, and people come inside to get it. Some stay in, eat their breakfast inside, and chat… others just grab coffee and head back outside to hang out there. One of the guys volunteered to go out to get me French Toast (they still make breakfast outside) and when he brought it in, he put a white paper towel over his arm, and brought it to the table where I was sitting, and very formally served me, with great flourish! We all got a good laugh out of that!

Apparently last Sunday (when I went to Edmonton) 70 people turned up. There were maybe 35 or 50 this Sunday (brrr… it was a chilly morning!) but we still went through a good 10 plus pots of coffee!).

Pastor P is all excited as he as received the official “society” paperwork for Another Chance Ministries (although it could take several months to receive “charitable status”). He is especially excited that it serves as an opportunity for lots of “churches” to come together under one umbrella to do things together that they maybe couldn’t do as well separately. So while his special interest is of course still the street ministry, he can also see the “church at Penticton” coming together through this “neutral” venue to do all kinds of other things as well. “Cool!” I think!

P asked the group what they see God doing, what they hear Him speaking to them, what they are hoping for. My goodness! What a wild time! Of course, there were a couple kind of “loud” people who tended to sort of dominate the conversation, and some peoples’ “issues” kind of spilled out toward the end, and at several points there were multiple conversations going on – loudly! Not like any church “service” I’ve ever seen before, lol! Well, one thing I thought was cool, was the way Papa gave a word through D, which he wrote down in the middle of everything – and which P read to the group once he got people quiet enough to really listen. It was about listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Right on, I think! (Later, D said something else that wasn’t quite “right,” and P gently steered that into more truth, which was good.)

As for me, I said almost nothing. My sense from You, Papa, was to sit and listen at this point (for today, anyway!). One of the young folks was saying that he really needs to learn to pray… and I wanted to jump in and explain that prayer is conversation with God, and that listening is as important – well, probably more important! – than the prayers that we ourselves speak. And I wanted to mention about “practicing the Presence of God” (like Brother Lawrence)… but Papa, I believe You had me hold my tongue!

(Much as You did last night at the other gathering… where, oddly enough, what I did talk about was why I left teaching at the Christian School… of course, I have taught K&R’s kids – and W was involved with the school in some way… and I didn’t want to criticize the school… but at the same time I seemed compelled to explain about how difficult it is to follow Your guidance in the school when the curriculum – and government funding etc – is so overwhelmingly “important…”

I did feel compelled to keep silence about the church where I am working, beyond mentioning how my experience in the school systems (public and Christian schools, both) were often found in “church systems” as well (sometimes more-so!).

I also expressed about my amazing experience of discovering that YOU LOVE ME!!! And how I longed to express that to my students, yet felt so bound… (not only by the curriculum, but also by the underlying current of “not rocking the boat” – or getting fanatical! – in a “multi-denominational” setting, etc… but I did not bring that up!)

Anyway, this afternoon I have been typing more journal notes… and so much of what You spoke to me at the gatherings last night and this morning was amazingly confirmed in what I had written (and yes… forgotten about…!) 3 months or so ago!

I am really sensing that You DO have some kind of teaching ministry/ service/ outreach for me to do in the coming time… and I am longing more and more to open my home (maybe on Sunday evenings?) for soup and fellowship and maybe study in Your Word…

(Your will be done, Papa… all from You, all for You! Period! Please! Thank You! Wow, I love You!) (And please forgive me… I really haven’t been walking with You as I need to… I really have been wasting my time – I want to, need to, “redeem the time” – for sure!)

It is really getting to be fall. Gray skies, cold breezes, brilliant colored leaves (rapidly filling!), rain… and snow in the mountains, and in Alberta! Well, I need to get eggs and stuff ready for coffee time tomorrow. Maybe I’ll make cheese biscuits too… And D wants me to bring the scissors to cut his hair!

… later… Oh! I forgot! Regarding the whole teaching-the-Word thing… so last night at the gathering, that verse was kind of ringing in my head: Jeremiah 20:9 “But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.” And I was trying so hard to locate the verse in my Bible, but could not… so I decided it was not something for me to say at that time (and I wasn’t really thinking of myself then… it came to my mind when someone else was talking about how we need to speak God’s Word when He puts it on our hearts).

Anyway, I still had it on my mind this morning… and there it was in my journal, as soon as I started typing from it… from back in August! But also right beside it was Proverbs 18:2 “A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind.” - a serious warning to be sure that what I speak is actually from You, Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit – my God and Lord and Savior and King!

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