Abiding Life Discoveries Australia - November 2012
Welcome to our Newsletter
I don't know about you, but for us it seems that we are accelerating towards the end of 2012. Less than eight weeks to go! Wow! It is a good thing none of us is getting any older! Ha! Ha!
So how has your year been?
As we look back on 2012, yes there have been challenges, but there is so much for which we can give thanks to God. As we look forward to 2013, our wish is that we will all grow a little more in our understanding of what it means to Abide in Him and how that might positively influence our daily life and the challenges that a day may bring.
Place some date claimers in your 2013 organizer so that you can join us at Mount Alford Lodge for one or more of our weekends of Christian fellowship and learning (see opposite). All of our weekend events are designed to draw us even closer to Jesus.
The Mount Alford Team
Michael Wells' Successor?
It is almost a year since Dr Michael Wells died. Many asked, "Who will be his successor?"
The answer is simple: I AM!
Please don't think that the I AM is this pathetic creature attempting to write this article! I am referring to the One who led the tribes of Judah back to their land of promise: the I AM who is the door of the sheepfold, the Bread of Life, the Vine, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is Jesus, Son of the Most High, King of kings and Lord of lords.
God gave Mike Wells some amazing revelations; we who hear these revelations are inspired. Consider that, in hearing this revelation, we can react in at least three different ways.
1. Inspiration grabs my attention, but the wonder soon fades. Life goes on the same.
2. I am motivated in my flesh and make the revelation an organization.
3. I respond in my spirit and seek God with all of my heart, that these words spoken to me by another, will grow in me to become my revelation from the "I AM."
I marvel at Mike's wisdom in not wanting to leave a successor. Christendom is littered with many such organizations resulting from a revelation that God gave to the person. The longer they exist, the more they struggle for survival, moving successfully further into legalism with each succeeding generation and diminishing empathy towards the original revelation.
The human response is usually, "What did he do?" We then try to copy what he did. We pursue his works and study his words. We copy the mechanics .... and end in disaster.
As Mike said, "This is God's ministry!" Anything that happens must be of God. Then the dominion of darkness will be dazzled by The Light.
And that Light will continue to shine.
Hilary Conquers the Mountain!
Mount Alford that is! We were delighted to partner with Capernwray Torchbearers in Queensland to host Hilary Price at Mount Alford Lodge for a special ladies' weekend. The weekend commenced with a half hour interview on Rim Radio (our local community radio station) where listeners heard a little about Hilary and what had brought her all the way from Canada to the Scenic Rim. But more importantly listeners learnt of the part that Jesus plays in Hilary's life.
The main theme for the weekend was "When God Moves In". There were six sessions in the series including one session held on Saturday night at Boonah Church of Christ. This was open to members of the community (no gender restrictions) who could attend and enjoy free coffee and cake with Hilary. Close to a hundred people came together for a fabulous evening. The weekend's session titles included (1) Testimony (Hilary's Story), (2) The Hidden Story (God's Story), (3) The Hidden Relationship (Jesus' Story), (4) The Hidden Life (Living Temples), (5) The Hidden Place (In Secret) and (6) The Hidden Power (Abide in the Vine).
From all reports (yours truly wasn't allowed in) the "closed" sessions at Mount Alford Lodge were really appreciated by the ladies who attended. If you would like a set of CD's or DVD's from this weekend they can be purchased from Capernwray in Queensland by contacting Bruce & Beverley Tulloch email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 07 5597 7219.
The Cabbage Lady Syndrome
She walked into our delicatessen in the early afternoon: well-dressed, solid family, with the children now at university. When greeting her, her opening comment startled me, "I just feel like a cabbage!"
I had nothing to offer. I felt like a turnip... more like a piece of dry crusty bread - a burnt out pastor on the scrap heap trying to run a business to make a living.
"I don't know what I want" she said looking around. "I want something different, something exotic! It's not the same with the family gone! It's empty! I have no purpose! I feel .... well, I just feel like a cabbage!"
So has experienced every man since Adam. Life is empty. There is little purpose in living. Something is missing. There seems to be a mysterious "more" to come .... but it never arrives!
Like many believers living today, Paul wrote to such a group living in Colossae in the first century regarding this "Cabbage Lady Syndrome". "God has revealed to me this "mystery" that has been hidden from past generations .... it is Christ in you, the hope of glory1" (Paraphrase mine). This hope (anticipated expectation) of the glory (God Himself) is Christ Himself dwelling in the born again Christian, thus fulfilling God's purpose in creating man.
This is the foundation of the Christian life. Every believer knows it; tragically most don't know that they don't know who they really are! We spend our lives begging from God what we already have. We blame the devil for the journey God wants us to take. We suffer from burnout, rejection and live in defeat when, living within our human body (the temple of God), we already have everything that God has to offer.
This is the "Cabbage Lady Syndrome!"
How then do I live? Paul again gives some valuable insights.
1. Don't be deluded by the persuasive arguments of other people2. In Jesus are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Listen to Him! The creative plan of God is that we have limited intelligence enabling us to search for and link into the infinite intelligence of God. So we live and so we grow. The believer has a much greater understanding of the origin of man and the creation of the universe than the most educated atheistic evolution scientist and big-bang-theory exponents. Conversely, untold carnage and division has been caused in the Christian Church by the persuasive arguments of radical Pentecostalism and dogmatic eschatology theorists. Don't be deluded: Christ within is the source of all wisdom and knowledge. Abide in Him, not the priority arguments of human exponents.
2. Don't be taken captive through a man's philosophy and empty deception3. Philosophy is the "use of reason and argument in seeking truth and knowledge of reality (Oxford Dict.). Ultimate Reality is God Himself. In Jesus dwells all the "fullness" of God. We are complete (full) in Him. Reality, rather than cabbage-existence, is in my abiding relationship with Jesus. I have been crucified, buried and raised from spiritual death and made alive in Him. My sins, past, present and future, are forgiven. The certificate (written code) of my debt has been cancelled and is nailed to the cross. The enemy, Satan, has been defeated. This is reality, obtained by revelation; not by human reason and argument.
3. Therefore, don't let anyone stand in judgement of you 4.
4. Don't be sucked in by people who try and make you behave in petty activities such as false humility, worship generated by human focus, and compliance with visions generated from the flesh. Our focus must be on Jesus 5.
5. Don't submit to the false ordinances of men and human-based principles of religious living. They have an appearance of wisdom but are no value against fleshly indulgence 7.
These five warnings are given by God to His people to stand against the "Cabbage Lady Syndrome". Jesus is the answer to this "mystery". Every believer already has everything God has to offer in Jesus. God then allows and uses all that the unholy trinity (sin, satan and the world) would throw against us, that we would search for Him. It is only as we take our focus off the cabbage-garbage and focus on the risen-Christ-within that we can share in His Life and rise up in victory.
Bible References: 1Col 1:24-27; 2Col 2:3,4; 3Col 2:8-15; 4Col 2:16; 5Col 2:18,19; 6 1 Cor 5:17; 7Col 2:20-23
Dates for 2013
31 May - 2 June 2013
13-15 September 2013
8-10 November 2013
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
A Touch of Heaven on Earth!
How do you describe a taste of heaven on earth? It's impossible - but that is the only way I can describe our recent Breaking Free seminar. The week before was an unprecedented experience of last-minute cancellations. Our spirits dropped. But from Sydney, western NSW and SE Queensland God brought together a group of people whose diversity and complexity became the integral basis of oneness and acceptance seldom experienced. Friday night was a casual meal in the lounge room. Saturday night we sat and chatted for hours around the fire pit at Mount Alford Lodge. The food was great, The environment was delightful.
The weekend included six hours of presented teaching, viewing the Christian Life as an alternate lifestyle; and Jesus being The Way through Whom we can break free from all the baggage inherited from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
In all, it was about 42 hours. The acceptance, the joy, the oneness, the openness and the understanding is something that no human can organize. It could only be of God.
How then does it happen?
He told us the answer in The Book. When Jesus is uplifted, He will draw all the people together (John 12:32). Maybe we would do better to spend less time in organizing our activities and more time in focusing on, and uplifting Him!
And On The Personal Front .....
Since our last newsletter:
Phil and Wendy Bell Some possible work changes ahead for Phil. Wendy is as busy as ever running the Mt Alford school tuckshop, producing end of year 7 video for the school presentation night, School P&C, private taxi to multiple activities for Mitch and Makarla and in her spare time running the Lodge. Phew!
Makarla has recently received sport and academic awards for year 9 at Boonah High. She has also just started guitar lessons - Ouch! Sore fingers!
Mitchell earned the right to compete at the Regional Sports at QE2 in Brisbane where he did a personal best in high jump. He is on his last few weeks at Mt Alford Primary School and next year will be at Boonah High. He has already been interviewed by the Boonah Head Teacher, let's hope there aren't too many interviews with the Head Teacher next year!! Sorry Mitch! Actually I believe the Head Teacher was impressed!
Don and Wendy Rea A bit boring this month - no startling news but certainly keeping themselves out of trouble with things around the Lodge.
Geoff and Beryl Hopson have recently been to the Sunshine Coast for a few days where Geoff attended a seniors event at the Caloundra Church of Christ. He was not there because of age but to share! Geoff is about to head to Mt Isa where he will present "Breaking Free" to the local Christian community. This is in cooperation with the Baptist Church.
What is Abiding?
Michael Francis was a believer and a law student in India who developed leprosy. His wife took the kids and abandoned him. He died a homeless beggar. Before he died, Alex Matthews (a real man of God in India) asked him, "Michael, what is abiding?"
As he sat on the concrete platform, ears, fingers and toes eaten away, Michael moved his palm over the cement on which he laid. He said, "See this cement that I sleep on? It is a soft velvet to me, for it is the very lap of Jesus. Every night He holds me here. That is abiding!"
He didn't have much, but he knew Jesus.
From ALMI LifeLines
The Presence of God
God's presence is not generated; it is accepted.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.1" His presence does not change. There are not to be great highs and lows. We don't have to pray in His presence and then do a task. He is the same to me while I am sleeping as He is while I am speaking. He doesn't shift! "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 2" Why, then, do we look for highs in emotion to give us confidence that He is there? In certain circles it is called an anointing. He is always there! Our confidence is in Him not in an anointing.
Scripture references: 1 James 1:17; 2 Heb 12:8