Abiding Life Discoveries Australia - May 2016
Welcome to our Newsletter
Thank you for taking the time to drop by and read our Newsletter. The words of Scripture spoken by Job across three to four millenniums, "My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle," are even more apt today!
The Lodge has been busy. We have hosted church groups, pastors' groups, and craft groups (church craft groups love us!) for both weekend and mid-week activities. We also have been able to assist those who want time out - people who may just want to escape, carers who need a break, and individuals who are stressed and searching for guidance through their storm. Geoff also spends a lot of time on the phone, chatting with and encouraging people on their journey. Many of these connections find us on the internet.
The abiding message, "Breaking Free", is expanding. Many people comment on sharing this in their Church, home groups and individually. The May seminar at Mount Alford Lodge is booked out by a group of people from NSW coming for an extended weekend.
These activities are the reason for our existence. Would you pray with us as we seek more avenues to share this message of abiding in Christ? Believers throughout the world are facing difficult days ahead. Regardless, "those who wait on Him ..... will rise up on wings like eagles".
God is Alive and Active!
We are excited to welcome the Batterham family to our district.
Stuart, Rachel and their children Asher, Alyssa, Lilla and Elena, have recently moved from Taree NSW to Aratula, just 14 klms down the road from Mount Alford Lodge. For them this move has been the answer to prayer and God has provided all their needs including the peace that they are following His call on their lives.
Stuart was a student at Capernwray Torchbearers in Moss Vale, before moving into a staff position there. To be better equipped, he gained a degree in Theology and spent 4 years in ministry. Like others before them, God has used Mike Well's Abiding Life Ministry to rekindle a light in Stuart's and Rachel's Christian journey and witness.
God has provided Stuart with local employment that allows him to meet his family's financial obligations, as well as flexibility to actively contribute to ministry opportunities. Recently Stuart returned to Capernwray in Moss Vale to journey with the students for a week in both Biblical text and concepts of Abiding Life discoveries.
Both Stuart and Rachel are excited by the opportunity to be more involved with the Abiding Life ministry at Mount Alford Lodge. Of course we are over the moon to have them living locally and therefore in our lives.
God is faithful and we give Him thanks.
The emphasis today seems to be in knowing and gaining knowledge. However, the chasm between mere awareness and intensive participation in the understanding can be poles apart. I may know you: but an awareness of your existence is a far cry from my participating in your life. This level of knowing involves a very strong commitment for both of us.
How well do I know God? To what extent am I prepared to commit myself to know Him? If I am married - or would like to be married - to what extent do I, have I, or would I commit myself to the marriage? This level of commitment is determined by my level of love for that person ... and the final result is in proportion to that commitment.
The words of the author of Philippians (Paul) 3:10 are emphatic: "That I may know Him (Jesus) and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering ..." To know Him would expose the power of His resurrection. Every believer would love that power. The crunch comes with the final clause, "The fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death ..." What does it mean?
There is the suffering of physical pain. Those who have been the recipient of extreme pain would know something of fellowship and participation in Calvary. It was a brutal, inhuman form of execution causing excruciating pain, so preposterous that even pagan Rome abandoned it by the end of the first century. We think we know what it would be like but only reality could verify it.
There is suffering in rejection. To be ignored and rejected by someone you don't know is bearable. It is far worse to be rejected by those you know. Probably the hardest reception is to be rejected by family - especially your own kids. You created them. These are bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh. Jesus came to His own people; they did not want Him. They heckled, ridiculed, abused, ignored Him. They said He was of the devil. He pleaded with them, prayed for them, wept over them, fed them, healed them, warned them and died for them .... for nothing. He said they would do the same to us, and they do. When it happens, we can sense the magnitude of His suffering from rejection - especially when we were one of those rejecting Him.
There is also suffering in separation - being cut off from all of those we know and love. Imagine the Creator of all Creation leaving the magnitude of heaven and waking up in the body of a baby. Imagine the restriction of being submitted into a growing child. Yet even at 12 years of age He knew He must be about His Father's business. In Gethsemane He expressed His longing to be restored to his pre-existent glory. But it was on Calvary He experienced the real separation. Never, never in the splendour of timelessness before creation was He separated from His Father. It only happened in the eradication of sin for us when He took upon Himself all the sins of humanity. It was the anticipation of this that caused Him to sweat blood in Gethsemane. When the mantle of sin enveloped Him in the three hours of darkness, He experienced the abhorrence of separation from His Father. Those standing near the cross heard His loud cry "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
It was the one and only time He was alone. That is suffering!
"That I may know Him!" Surely, this must be the desire of every believer. "To know Him and the power of His resurrection" adds another dimension to discipleship.
To "participate in His suffering?" Amen! This is a commitment in pursuing our knowledge of Him!
Remaining Dates for 2016!
Breaking Free: Freedom from my Humanity
22 - 24 July 2016
$175.00 per person twin share
The events in the Garden of Eden really created havoc with humanity. What is humanity? Is this what God planned? Is it possible to ever get on top of the hassles of life? Find some amazing answers in a friendly, non-threatening environment over a great weekend.
Breaking Free: God and Man in Relationship
11 to 13 Nov 2016
$175.00 per person twin share
We want a relationship with other people, and God wants a relationship with us. Why do we grow cold with both? How do I approach God? Does God really care? This weekend is for real!
Price includes: All meals from dinner on Friday to lunch on Sunday, all sessions with notes, plus accommodation in twin rooms with private facilities (all bed linen, blankets and towels etc provided)
Check-in: From 2.00pm Friday and in time for dinner at 6.45pm.
WOW! WOW! WOW!
He was about to leave for home, but he sought us out to share his reflections.
"If I was asked to describe the weekend in one word, I would say, WOW! The facility is WOW! The people who live here are WOW! The accommodation and food is WOW! The ministry and what I have heard and gleaned is WOW!"
This was one person's comments regarding our recent Breaking Free seminar here at Mount Alford Lodge. He was one of a group of people who made a round trip of over 1,100kms to attend. It was a great weekend. We learned together - and from each other, ate together, and spent time in fellowship together. They filled the place - not only with their presence, but with their laughter, their collectiveness, their joy, and that intrinsic "something" that is unique among a group of people united in the oneness of Jesus.
We live in a world of critics both inside and outside the Christian Collection. To find even one person so excited about God makes everything worthwhile.
What a privilege it is to travel the journey of life knowing that, in Christ, I have freedom.
Easter Convention 2016 at Tamborine
Mount Alford Lodge was again one of the Mission supporters at the recent Easter Convention on Mount Tamborine, Qld. This is a great privilege as it enables us to connect with a very wide range of 600-700 folk who attend the convention.
It is very encouraging to hear the response of those who, in previous years, have been exposed to the concept of "abiding ministries" through Easter convention. Comments such as, "That book was a great help to me" or " I gave the CD to a friend and they wanted to keep it!" were readily expressed. Last year complimentary copies of the CD Introducing Dr Michael Wells (a CD from one of his series) were handed out. This year many wanted more of these to hand out to their friends.
The Convention also provides a great opportunity to share this dimension of Abiding in Christ among believers who are struggling under the pressures of living. Many Christians, even though born again, are tragically ignorant that Jesus came to set us free from the hell of day-by-day living.
Easter Convention at Tamborine is a mountain-top experience for those who mean business with God. It's a great place for the whole family. All ages are catered for. Speakers are chosen for their sound Bible teaching; music is a great balance of contemporary and traditional. It's alive, fresh, relaxing all set in a mountain environment that only God can create!
It is very worthwhile considering. This year it was packed out - all house-party accommodation was booked as was every caravan/camping space. The day-visitor car park was also well used.
If you want to come, make contact soon - mtcc.org.au . Next year's speakers are Stuart and Jill Briscoe, USA. It will be huge! See you there.