Abiding Life Discoveries Australia - July 2012
 
 
 

Welcome to our Newsletter

Over the past couple of weeks we have had two groups that have each included a "Christmas in July" theme in their weekend activities. This was a very real reminder that we are on the down hill run to Christmas 2012 (So was the roast turkey and the Christmas puds - yum!). But it also caused us to reflect on the exciting events we have planned for the coming months. These are featured later in the newsletter, but we would ask that you keep them in your prayers and thoughts; Is there one weekend you might like to attend and reconnect with the ministry here at Mount Alford Lodge? Is there anyone you might like to invite to come with you? Is there someone you know who may be interested in reading this newsletter?
 
We have never thought of this as just our ministry. Rather it is firstly God's ministry and therefore as His sons and daughters it is the ministry of all who attend and to whom His truths are revealed. For we are told to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). So it is our hope that you will join with us in this ministry and invite others, so that they too might have the opportunity to be exposed to the realities of Abiding in Him!
 
Please visit us soon!
 
The Mount Alford Lodge Team    

 

Communion Re-Visited 

Many communion services are repetitious; not a criticism of the presenter but because we fail to enter into the deeper significance of what communion really is.
 
Paul writes to the church at Corinth: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in memory of me." 1
 
Much emphasis is made in memory of His death - the focus of evangelical Christianity - often with graphic descriptions of the agony and suffering of Jesus, taking us back to the cross and gazing into the suffering face of Jesus. We can never minimize this .... but the focus of communion is much, much more than this.
 
"This cup," the third cup (the cup of Redemption) of the Passover feast, was reserved for the Messiah. The drinking of "this cup" is our participation in the New Covenant. ... the new humanity of spirit beings inaugurated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He is the "life" of this New Covenant. Our focus must be on Him!
 
"For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes" 2  
 
How does communion proclaim His death?
 
"For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life"

We are not saved by His death; we are saved by His life! In His death we are reconciled to God. In communion - eating the bread and drinking the cup - we are proclaiming our reconciliation to God. 

"Reconciliation" is a business term. The Bank Statement is the authority: it is a true record of the business. What the business spends and what it receives must be "reconciled" with the Bank Statement. 

So too are we reconciled to God through Christ.

On one hand we have God: infinite intelligence; infinite love; and infinite honour in the realm of choice. On the other hand me,(you), with strictly limited intelligence, extremely limited capacity to love, and very limited capacity to choose anything of integrity and honour. Our dilemma is that we are dead in sin. 4 
 
In His death the Lord Jesus has "reconciled" us to God. Both are brought together, into a living, abiding relationship. My life is grafted into His life. Just as the branch abides in and draws its life from the vine, so to my life is placed into and draws life from the Life of Jesus.
 
I live, with Christ in me. This is my hope and glory. 5   
 
Communion, therefore, is more than a reflection on His death. It is a celebration of new life. It is my participation in the New Covenant. I remember Him. I rejoice in who I have become. Every time I walk the streets, drive the car, greet my friends, live with my family and the myriad activities of the week, I am part of His Church proclaiming His death (and my reconciliation), until He returns.
 
References: 1 - 1 Corinthians 11:25; 2 - 1 Corinthians 11:26; 3 - Romans 5:10; 4 - Ephesians 2:1-3; 5 - Colossians 1:27
 
   

 

Back to the Hub

an extract from the book "My Weakness for His Strength" - daily thoughts by Dr Mike Wells  
 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 
 
A brother in Christ told me of his experience ten years ago when he woke up after a stroke to find himself paralyzed on one side. He described his frustration, anger, and bewilderment at his condition. Next, he related the end results of his stroke: a deeper love of God, a keener awareness of His grace and power, and a renewed life of worship. He concluded by proclaiming, "I wish everyone could know the Lord this way!" I observed his countenance and thought how if I could guarantee everyone who attended a weekend seminar what this man had, I could charge a $10,000 registration fee and pack the place. However, if I had to announce that the registration fee to bring people back to the centre was not $10,000, but a stroke, I am quite sure that registration would drop off drastically. 
 
The registration fee back to the centre is different in tone and severity for every person, but might include something like the loss of a loved one, dealing with a rebellious child, exhaustion from raising small children, illness, job insecurities, or myriad other circumstances that make us realize we need God alone in His rightful place back in the hub. In Him alone we find our rest, and no emphasis, doctrine, or experience we previously looked to for producing abundant life can tempt us back to trust it. When others beckon us out by a new Jesus-plus emphasis, we think, Enjoy your detour; I am not leaving the centre. We learn that nothing is bad that follows Him or arises from our relationship with Him, but anything that goes ahead of Him, purportedly supporting Him, is to be avoided and feared. We become voices for the centre. I often ask myself the question, "Michael, what do your friends know you for? What emphasis stands out?" It prompts good reflection, for I want to be known for promoting life in Christ with nothing that must be passed through before getting to Him.  
 

      

Abiding Life Discoveries Australia

Dr Michael Wells is dead ...... but the ministry he began is alive and well. Hundreds of people all over the world are taking up the challenge to spread the message introduced by Jesus in the Upper Room, "Abide in Me ...." 1

One such ministry, "Breaking Free", started to take shape under Mike's direction in 1997 when Mike was a guest lecturer at Capernwray Torchbearers Bible School Australia. Eleven years later it became more definite under the ministry banner "Life Discoveries" at Mount Alford Lodge, Queensland Australia, when it became part of the curriculum of Mike Wells' Abiding Life Ministries International Advanced Training School.

BREAKING FREE is primarily a ministry to the body of Christ, equipping both the believers and leaders in "Heavenly Discipleship".

"Earthly Discipleship" occurs when we as humans define what is lacking in the life of a disciple, and then apply our programmes and systems to put or change something in the person. 

"Heavenly Discipleship" is the understanding that the fullness of Christ indwells every believer, and the task of the disciple-maker to reveal this great truth to the disciple, thus allowing Christ to complete the work that began at Calvary. 2

BREAKING FREE (Basics) provides tools and insights to unravel the mess and bondage every individual inherited from Adam; then introduces the person to Jesus Christ. It involves six sessions:
  1. Foundations
  2. The Real "Me!"
  3. Coping
  4. Faith
  5. Uniquely You
  6. Abiding
BREAKING FREE is founded on Scripture and the Biblical understanding of man. These truths can bring a practical reality to every sermon preached, and the the life of every Christian. It is particularly relevant to the struggling and disillusioned believer. In its simplicity, it is a great tool for evangelism.
 
BREAKING FREE (Basics) is a one weekend seminar at Mount Alford Lodge. But it's more! It can happen at your place, in your church, with your home group, at a church camp or maybe a special weekend. It can be tailored in length and content to suit the available situation.
 
For those who are seeking a greater understanding, BREAKING FREE (Expanded) is available in three weekend modules. In these modules we further develop concepts presented in Breaking Free (Basics). This will assist you to more confidently and effectively live your Christian life as you Abide in Him. 
 
We also have a vision to provide "our place" as a retreat facility for those who are incorporating Abiding Life in their ministry - a place to rest, relax and share both in what you are doing and the things God is doing in and through you. This retreat would include Bible teaching, great food and fellowship, sharing insights and learning from each other, all in the beautiful environment of Mount Alford Lodge. We are considering Monday to Friday at least every second year. Any thoughts and suggestions on this idea would be most welcome.
 
We at Mount Alford Lodge have learnt so much from Michael Wells and are fully committed to the expansion of this ministry. BREAKING FREE is directly related to, and run in co-operation with, Abiding Life Ministries International.
 
References: 1 - John 15: 1-11, 2 - Philippians 1:6
 
 
 
 
 
 

Coming Events

17-19 August 2012

Presenter: Geoff Hopson

A relaxing weekend of fellowship with other Christians and designed to refresh, renew and revive.
 
$165 per person twin share. Includes: all meals from dinner on Friday to lunch on Sunday, all sessions plus accommodation in twin ensuited rooms (all linen etc provided).

Check-in from 2.00pm Friday!


Bookings and Inquiries:
Telephone 07 5463 0999 or




28-30 Sept, 2012
 

A weekend especially for women!
 
Hilary is married to Charles Price, Senior Pastor of The Peoples Church, Toronto, Canada. She has a busy life speaking extensively at women's conventions, working with the voiceless and marginalized,  assisting "The Friendship Club" for mentally challenged adults, and helping provide alternate employment for prostituted women in the brothels of Kolkata, India. This will be a special weekend of encouragement.  
 
$165 per person twin share. Includes: all meals from dinner on Friday to lunch on Sunday, all sessions plus accommodation in twin ensuited rooms (all linen etc provided).

Check-in from 2.00pm Friday!


Bookings and Inquiries:
Telephone 07 5463 0999 or



"Breaking Free"


 
2-4 Nov, 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.

$165 per person twin share. Includes all meals from dinner on Friday to lunch on Sunday, all sessions with notes, plus accommodation in twin ensuited rooms (all linen etc provided). 

Check-in from 2.00pm Friday!


Bookings and Inquiries:
Telephone 07 5463 0999 or


And On The Personal Front .....

Since our last newsletter:
Phil and Wendy Bell (with Makarla and Mitch) are still settling into their new home with curtains being hung and gardens taking shape.
Makarla has done well in her mid-year grade 9 school examinations.
Mitchell won the Championship Medal for under 12 Boys in the 2012 Small Schools District Sports Carnival.   
Don and Wendy Rea had a great week in Melbourne with their family - which just happened to coincide with granddaughter Emily's first birthday.
Geoff and Beryl Hopson had a memorable four weeks through Europe and England and even went to Evensong at Westminster Abbey!

The "I Can, I Can't" Process in Mission

Jesus said to His disciples at the Feeding of the Five Thousand. "You Feed Them." He said this to test them for He Himself knew what He was going to do. 
 
He took them there. He spoke to them all day. Then came the test: to check their response to Him when challenging them to use the minimum resources they had to do a job beyond those available .... "you feed them!"
 
The flesh will always jump in when such a direction is given. From the pulpit we hear, "you must love these people!" "remove those habits from your life and be a real disciple!" "Be a more worthy Christian!" Even the most noble knows that to try is to fail. 
They looked. What they found was totally inadequate and they had the audacity to tell God that what He expected was a pointless exercise.
 
The test is not to see how good we are; it is a test to see how weak we are, for in our weakness, His strength is made great.
 
In the story, Jesus did the work. The role of the disciples was to serve what God had provided.
 
In my strength, all the glory goes to me. In my weakness, the only possibility of any outcome can, and must, be to reflect the glory of God.
 
"Lord, I can't! You who began this work must bring it to completion .... and thank you for the privilege to be chosen to hand out the bread." Amen    
 

Bored!

It's a common catch-cry! The older I get the more bored I become. What I really want to do is out of my reach - I can't get there! I don't have the money! I have no one to do it with! So we lurch along in life, always hoping, rarely achieving. When valleys between doldrums and the mountain experiences become wider, discontent grows. Life becomes more boring and we become more bitter. Nothing satisfies. Life sucks!
 
The problem is that I am not content. This is an attitude. It is something for which I am responsible. No external person or experience gives me a bad attitude: they simply reveal this problem within me. "I have learned to be content (self-sufficient) in whatever circumstances I am 1" wrote Paul the apostle ..... and he wrote that while he was in jail, having been shipwrecked on the way! Contentment was an attitude he adopted. It was learned!
 
People who are bored have never learned to make Jesus part of the very essence of their lives. Whatever we are, whatever we do, we do it with Him, for Him. That is something to be learned. God's plan in allowing us to experience the times of boredom and loneliness is part of the journey He chooses that we may recognize Him. 2  
 
Does it work? One thing I do know: it makes mowing grass and washing dishes a lot more interesting.
 
References: 1 - Philippians 4:11, 2 - Romans 8:28-30