Tuesday, 29 November 2011

When we come together

What is it that I expect when we gather for corporate praise and worship of God.  Do I expect songs and prayers? Contributions from the congregation?  Does it all have to be ‘on theme’?


Everyone has..

If this is true, why then don’t we make space for what everyone has… Have I prepared and thought about what I have to bring?  Or do I wait for last minute inspiration from the spirit?  Do I have a problem preparing to ‘lead’ by the spirit because I first don’t prepare myself?

A Hymn:

If one has a song, let him sing.  Does it matter if that song is a solo, or congregational?  Does it have to be in the language everyone understands, or can my soul just sing?  What if my heart song is different to others, in a different direction, can a place be found for that?

A Word of instruction:

I guess I expect the instruction from those with authority to preach. But is there room for others to teach?  How does the spirit inspire us to teach in a corporate setting?  How do I understand teaching to be ‘worship?’  Is the attitude of teaching one of humble service, or is it really only an attempt to encourage people to think my way, or draw attention to myself? How do I allow instructions to affect how I worship?  Am I open to responding differently to my natural inclination?

A revelation:

How is a revelation different to a word of instruction? How can revelations be incorporated into our meetings.. Do I need to say ‘Yes, I understand! The scales have been removed from my eyes and my heart is open to receive this truth or instruction I am hearing’.  Or do I need to share how the revelation changes how I will live differently?  What if I receive this revelation during the notices? Can I interrupt (as long as in an orderly way?) Or would we find it offensive if pennies dropped at different times and interrupted the flow of our co-ordinated, spirit led meeting? 

A Tongue:

Am I comfortable with tongues to edify God and ones to edify myself? those that build the church and those that speak only between ourselves and God?  Do I switch off when others bring tongues, because I don’t understand what they are saying, or am I open to the spirit to shape in me the context of their utterings?  How do I feel strengthened by a tongue?  Do I judge the speaker?  Are tongues only helpful during singing or praying? Should I expect my heart to respond to instruction or revelation with a tongue?

An interpretation:

Do I listen to the spirit for an understanding for myself? Do I feel confident to share what I understood?  Do I weigh what is presented, or give space to receive what is said?  What do I do if an interpretation seems radically different from what the spirit seemed to be saying to me?  Do I treat tongues and interpretations as authoritive?  Do I understand them to be God to us, or us to God?  What do I do with an interpretation that seems to be directive? 

To strengthen the church?

What is my motivation for participating? How is my participation both personal and corporate?  Does what I have to say, sing or bring move others towards God or away? How do I encourage someone who brings a contribution? Do I find the contributions others bring encouraging or distracting? Do I judge someone else’s contribution because it comes from a different place to where I am at, or what I want to say to God or others?  Do I recognise when I feel strengthened, or see the effects of the gathered church being strengthened?  Can I identify when a contribution has affected many of us? Am I open to be strengthened by others contributions or am I too defensive?  What does it say about my relationship with God if I remain silent ‘when we come together’? Do these contributions only have a place in our formal meeting, or should they be in evidence whenever 2 or 3 are gathered, perhaps over coffee? or walking to the car park with others?  How closed is my attitude to what’s appropriate, contemporary or relevant? Do I ensure that as a living stone, I have to play my part irrespective of my hearts state or feelings?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Please support #movember [and me too :) ]


You may not have heard about #Movember… it’s a month where men (and perhaps some very gifted ladies) grow a moustache (sans other facial hair) to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically for prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.  http://uk.movember.com/about/

I have signed up to do this, this year, and I hope to grow a rather fine specimen in the next 30 days..

To make this facial feat worthwhile, it would really help me if you would consider donating a small amount to my movember page, where I am hoping we’ll see great success in exceeding my £100 target.  Your small gift (gift aided too if you pay UK tax) could make a real difference to so many..

Here’s my page… http://uk.movember.com/mospace/1798016  just click the big DONATE button under my picture.. and check back regularly to see updates of my sproutings..

Thanks for your consideration