Abiding Life Discoveries Australia - April 2012

Welcome to our Newsletter

It is certainly difficult to believe that three months have passed since our last newsletter. God has continued to bless Mount Alford Lodge and as members of the resident team, we are constantly individually blessed as we serve those who stay with us as our guests. We are all called to be a witness as we strive daily to live our lives in the sufficiency of our indwelling Lord. At Mount Alford Lodge we are privileged to meet a diversity of people throughout a year. We pray that each will be blessed by their experience with us and through all that we present, guests will have a sense of God's bountiful provision and love for His people. Our hope is that all we do will give glory to our Heavenly Father and draw our guests into a closer personal relationship with Him.
Please join with us in this mission! You can invite friends to join you in a mid-week B & B stay or by attending one or more of our advertised weekends. Perhaps you would like to bring your home-group or Bible study group for a weekend in the country. We would love to serve you and your friends. Come join us in the Scenic Rim!  
Maybe you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend or, with your friends permission, forward their email address to us and we would be happy to add them to the distribution.                  


The Two Legged Donkey

Easter signifies new life. Easter celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; in Him is life and when I am in Him, I have His life.
In His final week on earth, Jesus presented Himself to the world by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Conquering kings rode on magnificent horses, Jesus rode on a donkey. Why? Some say kings and leaders rode on a donkey as a sign of peace. Matthew describes it merely as a beast of burden. 
In our generation we are much more sophisticated. We present Him far more elaborately. Admittedly, some methods may be rather antiquated, but He is welcome as we travel together. Others? .... well, they do it in style: luxury limousine .... beautifully fitted out, highly qualified (and well paid) driver and attendants, and off we travel .... all together in there with Jesus settled in the corner. Very few of the crowds know He is there .... but our tinted windows are very comfortable .... We call it "Church!"
The jangling telephone interrupted my thinking. His voice was very familiar. He said he just had to talk to someone! His week had been very ordinary - usual routine of work, eat, sleep. No new spiritual insights or passionate prayer times .... just routine monotony!
An hour or so before he 'phoned me, he had another 'phone call. This person was desperate: lonely, two children to care for and no one to share the load, very little money, had been attending a church but still felt useless and unwanted .... and now the only viable solution of life was to terminate it. She had just smashed a bottle and, for some reason, just before she slashed her wrists, she made this 'phone call.
He talked to her for an hour. He told her of his own journey. He told her about Jesus and of His love and the life He had to offer her. He kept saying, "It wasn't me .... I'm not a counsellor .... all I was doing was pointing her to Jesus .... I was just the donkey, bringing Jesus to her!" 
I wonder what would happen if our community let Jesus out of our "church" and we had a few more two-legged donkeys! 

Geoff Hopson


Into The Deep South

by Geoff Hopson
I jump at any opportunity to share my understanding of Jesus. So, when invited back in late March to give a series of lectures at Capernwray Torchbearers Bible School, Moss Vale, NSW, I went!
For a week in this residential environment and over 10 lectures, we investigated the subject, "Abiding in the Reality of God!" It was an incredible opportunity. Capernwray Centres are located in a number of countries across the world, creating an international community of young people establishing life foundations on Christian principles. God is alive through Christ and young lives are being changed.
While I was in the Sydney - Southern Highlands - Nowra - Gosford areas, I also took the opportunity to catch up with various people who have been to Mount Alford Lodge and shared in our experiences with the late Dr Michael Wells and Abiding Life Ministries International. I value very much the friendship, love, support and hospitality of these wonderful folk. I am grateful too for the opportunity of speaking at Bowral Church of Christ ...... an amazing, go-ahead, dynamic congregation. One of the many things happening there is a Friday night street ministry extending into the early hours of Saturday morning. Bowral Police have said the crime rate in town has dropped by more than 60% since this has started.
We have a real burden to see ALMI expand in Australia. One way is through the CD ministry. When invited to a Church I want to make a complimentary CD available to those wanting to hear the ministry of Mike Wells. At Bowral, more than 80 CD's were taken during the morning tea after Church!
Since Mike's death last year, and in light of my time "In the Deep South", we are aware of the need of Mount Alford Lodge to develop as a stronger support base for those who want to be better equipped to share the ministry that Mike began. Two years ago as we were developing our ministry emphasis, we used the theme "Life Discoveries". In consultation with Betty Wells, we are extending this concept to "Abiding Life Discoveries Australia".
Our heart and our prayer is that God will raise up Australians - and others from countries in close proximity - to be equipped to share the joy and freedom of Abiding in Christ. If we can help you, or if you want to partner with us, we would love to hear from you.


When the People Decide

Queensland has had a change of government.  The massive backlash against incompetence, finance waste and arrogant leadership has created the biggest electoral landslide in Australia's political history.
So what difference will it make?  Virtually none!
It may change the community in which Queenslanders live ... for a time.  It would be so good to have a more  "Christian" community ... but we are not shaped by the community.
We are shaped by our choices.
We make the choice whether our inner needs and desires will be shaped by the community and its people, or whether these needs will be satisfied by God.  Ultimate purpose and satisfaction can only be found when we choose God, for this is how we are designed.
Joshua said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  That was his choice.
A lily can grow in the stench and slop of a pig sty ... but it is still a lily:  pristine and unblemished.  It has no choice except to be what it was created to be.  The environment only adds to the contrast.
The bottom line is, do I want to be like a lily ... or a pig!  It's my choice.

Coming Events

1-3 June 2012

Presenters: Julie Gault and Sue Patch.
"Women 2 Women" will share the principles of Abiding Life Ministries International and apply them to everyday living.
$155 per person twin share. Includes all meals from supper Friday to lunch Sunday, all sessions, accommodation in twin ensuited rooms (all linen etc provided).

Bookings and Inquiries: Telephone 07 5463 0999 or email info@mountalfordlodge.com.au 
"Breaking Free"

20-22 July 2012

Presenter: Geoff Hopson

Breaking Free is a discipleship ministry wherein the body of Christ can be effectively trained to minister to defeated believers and unbelievers. It looks at the problem, examines the cause, then points to Jesus - the Dynamic of Abundant Life.

$155 per person twin share. Includes all meals from supper on Friday to lunch on Sunday, all sessions with notes, plus accommodation in twin ensuited rooms (all linen etc provided). 

Bookings and Inquiries: Telephone 07 5463 0999 or email info@mountalfordlodge.com.au 

17-19 August 2012

Presenter: Geoff Hopson

A relaxing weekend of fellowship with other Christians and designed to refresh, renew and revive.
$155 per person twin share. Includes: all meals from supper On Friday to lunch on Sunday, all sessions plus accommodation in twin ensuited rooms (all lined etc provided). 

Bookings and Inquiries: Telephone 07 5463 0999 or email info@mountalfordlodge.com.au 


Rejoice - It is Finished (Almost)!

Phil, Wendy, Makarla and Mitch may say they are nearly "finished", but they moved into their new home at Mount Alford Lodge over Easter. Let's give thanks for His provision. More news coming when they have really finished and have the energy to put pen to paper. Just to let you into a little secret - they found living in a home almost too quite after the cramped conditions of Wendy, Phil, Makarla, Mitch, Cat, Turtle and at one stage mice all together in a cabin for nearly twelve years! We are excited for them!  


"I was nineteen and deeply discouraged .... busily and sincerely doing my best for Christ and was studying to be a missionary doctor in Africa. But nobody had told me that which Jesus tells us: "Without Me, you can do nothing." Jesus gave Himself for us so that, risen from the dead, He might give Himself to us. The only One who can live the real Christian life is Him! But you must accept this and say, "Thank you", then let Him do it."

Major Ian Thomas 
Founder, Torchbearers - Capernwray Missionary Fellowship. 


Theological Differences

by Dr Michael Wells
Over the years I have grown away from theological debates, understanding that unity could not come through agreement of a creed or doctrine, but rather from agreement on whom we recognize and trust, Him in whom we believe.
Out of that awareness has come the revelation that the purpose of the Bible is to testify about Jesus. As long as that premise is maintained, believers can have "growth discussions" on various topics. For the underlying question will always be, "How does this question testify to Christ?"
The Bible is misused when it is quoted, not to testify to Jesus, but rather to testify to an individual's belief system.
To say it another way, when the Bible is testifying to itself or to the thinking of an individual rather than to the living Word, Scripture becomes a source of division, pride and dead doctrinal disputes.