Abiding Life Discoveries Australia - July 2015
Welcome to our Newsletter
Thank you for opening our Newsletter. Our aim is to present you with short, concise articles that bring a sense of understanding and joy to enlighten your day. If your evening TV News is much like ours, we need all the joy we can get: "Today's Bashing and Murders," "Corruption in Governments, here and overseas," and "Why we should support Gay Marriage" seem to be pushed at us with greater monotony. We live in, and are part of a community. Jesus once said that "In Me you may have peace!" In the world is chaos and mayhem - but He has overcome the world.
We trust that as you continue reading, you will experience His peace, knowing that He has overcome the world.
The Mount Alford Team
Breaking Free in Gisborne, NZ!
While in New Zealand in April 2015, it was a great privilege to spend a weekend with a church in Gisborne, the most eastern city in New Zealand. With a population of around 20,000 people, its remoteness from NZ tourist routes makes it one of the undiscovered gems of the North Island.
We at Mount Alford Lodge had been supplying this church with Abiding Life Ministries International (ALMI) materials for years. I wanted to meet them. It was quite a surprise!
The Mangapapa Church (Union Church) in Gisborne has a congregation of over 100 people. Their pastor first encountered the work of ALMI in 2009 and his passion of abiding in Christ is now the basic platform of the church.
It was a full weekend! It began with a luncheon on Saturday; invitations had been extended to every church in the city inviting them to hear of ALMI and the way this ministry can strengthen their own.
Saturday afternoon and night was a meeting (followed by a sumptuous dinner!) in a private home with folk from another denomination. This group began with four ladies (the youngest was 83,) and one excited person from the Mangapapa church sharing with them the abiding life. They are now so excited they want to know how to share this message with others. Beautiful people, beautiful place!
Sunday morning was a great service: great music, great singing, and a people very attentive and hungry for the truth. What an incredible privilege to be there.
We finished with a "Pot Luck" meal, gathering together on Sunday night. They wanted to know about Mount Alford Lodge: so I told them ..... and the "why" and the "how!" I wanted them to know that God is not selective with some special people and leave others in the lurch. His love and grace and abundance is for all. We learn from others, but we don't follow them. Our focus must be on Jesus: and then do the work He has planned for us.
The previous week the Gisborne Mangapapa Church had celebrated their 102nd Church Anniversary. For me the weekend was summed up in their ministry statement: "The Christian Church is not a company of people admiring the ideal of Jesus, or accepting the beauty of His ethical teaching; and attempting to obey it. We are those who are purchased by God, acquired by His own blood. The mystery and the marvel and the might of God being in Christ, whereby He reconciled us unto Himself, is the foundation truth concerning this Church."
Through the Eyes of a Slug!
"Life is a dirge. We spend all day getting nowhere. Every day is the same .... hoping that tomorrow is different! My "today" is yesterday's "tomorrow." It is no different, so why should I expect that today's "tomorrow" would reveal any change. I can't see where I came from and I can't see where I will finish. Life is a dirge, and I'm stuck somewhere in between!"
Many of us identify with the slug - that garden creature going nowhere and taking all day to do it! Even the most enthusiastic can slip into slug-mode. We build an expectation that God is going to do great things, maybe even through me. Riding the crest of the wave, we plan and pray .... but the wave collapses and so do we. It seems the way ahead is degenerating yet again to the way of the slug!
We want the life, and we want that life to