Abiding Life Discoveries Australia - May 2013

Welcome to our Newsletter

As I collated this Newsletter I began to ponder, why do we send out Newsletters? The dictionary I consulted defined a newsletter as "a printed letter giving news or details about a group or society ". Personally I would like to think our newsletter can be more than that. I would hope that through articles we can inspire, support and stimulate our readers in their journey of discovery with Christ. But my dream is that we can also create reader interaction. We would love to receive feedback and comments on the newsletter or specifically on an article. Or if you are using Abiding Life resources for your personal or group study, perhaps you would like to share some of the "zingers" you identify i.e. impacting thoughts or concepts that bring a new appreciation of God's truths. We may be able to share them with others and in this way pass the "torch" and perhaps positively impact the life of someone else. If through a "zinger" you personally receive an answer to a question, then it is most likely there are others out there with the same question, or going through similar experiences and to whom your "zinger" will be a blessing.
Enjoy this Newsletter and we look forward to hearing from you.        

The Curse of Self-Centredness!

Who among us has not experienced self-centredness? By the very nature of man, we were created to be other-centred, but we are self-centred. As we look at the creation of the world and God's desire for man as a bride of His Son, we see selflessness. We are made in His image, and nothing but selflessness will suit us.

I remember a frightening experience in Malaysia when I went for a walk and a pray, and the "pray" was to play much more into the day than the walk itself. I went close to the shipyards and stumbled across over thirty dogs that encircled me with the intent to attack me. As I slowly backed out of the place and surrounded myself with people, the dogs retreated. The point is that though there is nothing positive in the Bible said about dogs or men most people love a dog, but it is only a blessing when it gives itself to something greater. Dogs are made to give themselves to man and thus become a blessing. Man is made to give himself to God and in that way be a blessing. Man is simply not made to be self-centred which causes him to shrink and become animal-like; he is meant to be God-centred. 

Often I have challenged the oppressed to go find someone in great need and help him. The results have been consistent: The helper grows happy! The world says that there is a way, and Jesus says that He is the Way, a Way of giving, of sacrifice, of loving. Those who follow Him on the Way can become so happy as to feel that they might explode. There is no happiness in building for one's self. We need to realize that we will die, and so for what will we live? Our life can be given to something greater than ourselves, to our loving Father and His people, not exalting self-centredness, but preferring to despise it.

Michael Wells

Battling Believers
The longer I live, the more I realize how others can control me. It may not be their intention, but it is the intention of my flesh - the flesh being that part of me inherited from Adam still operating through the law of sin in my human body.1 

The flesh automatically compares me with others, and I come up losing. My physical appearance (height, weight, hair - or no hair! etc.), my age (I'm either too old or too young), my possessions (my house, my car, my suburb, my stuff), my intelligence (lack of schooling, uni degrees or other qualifications), my status (married, single, divorced) all come under scrutiny. 
The more I dwell on this, the more I slide into a depressed state of thinking. My thoughts become an obsession, and the obsession becomes my lifestyle. I now know I am such a hopeless failure that even God has no use for me. 

There are but two steps for victory:

  1. Learn to judge your thinking. It is the enemy that puts these thoughts in the mind. My emotions follow my mind. I then start to believe how I feel. Recognize the source, and refuse to accept that thought.
  2. Dwell on who I am in Christ. God tells me that I am a child of God.2 I am a son of the Most High. The real issue I must face is this: Do I believe what God says, or do I believe how the enemy has made me feel?
"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he"3 wrote Solomon in all of his wisdom. Don't let the enemy convince you that you are anyone less than who God says you are! When I receive Jesus, I am a child of God. Amen!

1Romans 7, 2John 1:12, 3Prov 23:7 (NASV) 

On The Personal Front .....

Since our last newsletter:
Phil and Wendy Bell As reported last time, Phil's change of work has eventuated. So instead of farming Phil is now ?????; Sorry Phil can't clearly define it but it is still involving dirt, big boys toys, plumbing (his trade from a past life) and has resulted in a title of Manager. Unfortunately he is away a lot but has some interesting stories when he is home! 
While waiting in the car most evenings at her children's extra curricular sport training and cultural pursuits, Wendy tries in vain to clear her nails of paint. After completing the interior and exterior painting of their house, the units are in her sites. Cabin 5 was slow to duck, and is now completed. Cabin 4 is hiding behind the bushes! She tells us she hates painting, but we suspect that she is a frustrated Michael Angelo of the female variety.     
Makarla is now in year 10 and is doing really well. She is still committed to soccer and futsal and recently went to Districts for cross country. These days the piano keys are often silent but that is because her guitar is now her preferred, and much enjoyed instrument. Her music teacher recently recorded her playing and singing - watch out Taylor Swift! 
Mitchell has started high school. He is also doing really well and is fully committed to avoiding homework! He also represented the school at District cross country. Tennis is his sport of choice this year, playing three times a week and so far this season winning all his matches. The high school tournament is coming up so we wish him luck and will report the results in the next newsletter.  
Purdy (the cat) is still as cute as ever, according to its biased primary servant! Other unidentified observers have been heard to comment that the cats under carriage is hanging much lower and in danger of scraping on the ground. This along with the fact that Purdy has been seen lying in the sun as it watched nearby mice playing would suggest that the cat is excessively loved.
Don and Wendy Rea have enjoyed a trip to Melbourne to attend their daughter Amanda's graduation with first class honours in Interior Design. Of course they had to visit their grand daughter Emily while there and of course Emily's favourite parents Debbie and Stretch. The big news is that grand child number two is due late September.
Wendy seems to have had an extraordinary attraction to her not so favourite reptiles of the snake variety over the past summer. I am not so sure who was getting the biggest fright, but it has been said that there were increased sightings of snakes visiting their local clinic for counselling. With our much appreciated wet summer, Don has been chained to the mower and other weed eating implements. Fortunately autumn has arrived and the grass is no longer chasing the mower.   
Geoff and Beryl Hopson: Geoff's mum passed away in early December; she was 97 and still in independent living until less than two weeks before her death. She lived in Dungog, NSW. As Geoff said, "She walked with God for most of her life, but she kept us running! Now she can rest." Beryl is still enjoying croquet in Boonah and faithfully attends to all the Lodge laundry. We have a busy time ahead, so think of Beryl surrounded in laundry as some groups are back to back with one group departing as another arrives - oops! I hope I didn't let the cat out of the bag! Geoff has some busy months ahead with speaking opportunities: Qld Christian Venues Association in June, Katanning Men's Convention in WA in August; Seniors Convention in Caloundra in October, and after some very popular electives he presented at Easter Convention at Mount Tamborine this year, he has been invited to be a key speaker Easter 2014. This of course on top of his local speaking commitments.        



Dates for 2013

"Breaking Free"

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

An Amazing Weekend ...

Recently we were privileged to share a weekend at Mount Alford Lodge with four families plus another via skype. Over recent months each had independently shared with Geoff their desire to understand more of the Abiding Life Ministry, its application to their lives and how they may become more involved in sharing with others. So we brought them all together.
What a rich experience it was! There is no question that God is touching each one's life in a special way. They were all at different points in their journey, but as they shared it quickly became apparent that each had something to share that helped another. They were not alone in their feelings - others had been there too! We believe that God has brought them together for a special reason. We wait on God's perfect timing!
Perhaps there are other readers who also have a desire to seek "answers" through this ministry. Let us know and perhaps we can slot in another weekend where God can work in the lives of His people.

Is He Always With Me?

And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 
Matthew 28:20
I often say that I am preaching my own funeral, and this article will be one such time! I am always confronted by my own unbelief and inability to get the first things right. There are so many passages that need believing before we go on asking for more and attempting to understand more. We obsess over our past. We remember the hurts. We are "dealing" with them. We are struggling. We wish for a different past. Millions are spent on various coping mechanisms for the aforementioned, but in all of it we are avoiding a fact of faith: "If any person be in Christ, he is a new creation." We do not believe that we are new creations. We want the feeling of it, the absence of memory, and something special. We want the fact of it without faith! Again, all that a believer wants, he has already been given, for the Lord has given us EVERYTHING pertaining to life and godliness. However, if we work for what we have by faith, we lose it. God is with us always, and yet often a busy mother, missing her quiet time, believes He is not with her. Many have not read their Bibles, attended church lately, or perhaps have fallen into the bad deeds of the flesh - or worse yet, the good deeds - and these all believe that He has left them. Is He with us always? Where do we stand in these things? So many spectacular meetings take place to convince us in the flesh of what only faith can assure us, that He is always with us!
from the book "My Weakness for His Strength" by Michael Wells


Website Upgrades ...

Our website www.mountalfordlodge.com.au is currently being upgraded with "shopping cart" technology. This will make the purchase of resources far more user-friendly. We are also hopeful that we may soon have CD's available as MP3. We will advise the progress in our next newsletter.

ALDA ... 

You will be aware that for some time now we have operated our ministry at Mount Alford Lodge as Life Discoveries. With Mike's passing and our passion for his ministry, we wanted to more formally and visually entwine Abiding Life Ministries International with Life Discoveries. Geoff communicated with Betty Wells and sought permission to register the name Abiding Life Discoveries Australia. Betty was very enthusiastic about the idea and encouraged us to do so. So we have proceeded and are now using that name, or the acronym ALDA. 

 There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.
Pascal, 17th Century Philosopher.