Thursday, January 18, 2007

Get Your House in Order ...

I realise that I have posted quite a few things in the last few days so I thought I would give some time to reading what is already there and make this a short "housekeeping" sort of post. Firstly can I draw attention to the fact that I have been cleaning! The "Archive" page has been updated so all of Ern Baxter's material that I have posted thus far is referenced and available for browsing.

Some of the more up to date writing of my own has been put there and I have removed links that I feel are less than godly. Looking back and reviewing gives you the opportunity to reflect in objectivity and quite honestly I have been horrified at some of the things I wrote in anger. I've deleted what I thought God just wasn't pleased with. If revival is indeed coming like a cloud on the horizon then I can't allow myself to hold on to any bitterness for any reason. I wrote publicly and I ask forgiveness publicly. David Devenish wrote that anger is a deceitful stronghold. It makes you think that you are strong ... and it lies. Far better to admit you are hurt and be honest.

Some Blogspotting.

1. Regarding yesterdays post, I found a quote of Terry Virgo's again on the vital importance of Apostles and Prophets; "That is what the Church needs. It needs ordinary church members flooded with prophetic vision about the vital role of the church of God in the modern world, apostolically inspired, prophetically invisioned, grabbed and captivated by their understanding of what the church of God is... It takes apostolic and prophetic ministry to release people from regarding the church as a static pastoral community and to transform it into those who are charged with world mission". Amen! And "we don't need them" John MacArthur?

2. On the back of that, a prophet from CCK, Brighton writes of the power of the prophetic word spoken in season; "It would have taken months of counselling to do what God just did in a few moments!’ God is amazing! A few words, at the right time said in the right way can alter a destiny in God!". It's so awesomely true!

3. Community Church, Southampton leader Billy Kennedy writes; "Next Tuesday, I'm spending a couple of days with Terry Virgo. Terry pulls together a group of leaders from the UK once a year for fellowship and prayer. He asked if I would like to be included". Those leaders seem to be THE charismatic church leaders in the UK. They include Nicky Gumbel, Stuart Bell, David Carr, Dave Devenish, Greg Haslam, John Mumford, Dave Richards, Mark Stibbe and David Stroud. I'm so utterly thrilled to know that this is happening. Once again Greg Haslam's prophecy seems to be coming true and other filings are being added into the crucible with us. It would be so easy for Terry to remain devoted inside the Newfrontiers circles spending all his time exclusively with Newfrontiers leaders around the world. Yet Terry shows again and again that his heart is so welcoming and wide to the broader Christian church. I'd love to be a fly on the wall and hear what goes on! May God use this unity and truly pour out His blessing upon it.

4. "A Gospel Primer For Christians" by Milton Vincent. This is a 40 page booklet recommended by Mrs Mahaney. "All Christians should become expert in their knowledge and use of the gospel ... so they can speak it to themselves every day and experience it's benefits".

5. Bluefish writes; "God's people gathered by the cross are a scattered people. We have no 'land' ... and the land we seek is eternal rest". While we do indeed look forward to eternal rest, I am not sure that "the land" is the correct word to use for it.

C H Spurgeon wrote; "It has been generally considered ... that Canaan is a fitting representation of heaven ... but we do think that the allegory does not hold, and that Jordan is not a fair exhibition of death, nor the land of Canaan a fair picture of the sweet land beyond the swelling flood which the Christian gains after death. For mark you, after the children of Israel had entered into Canaan, they had to fight with their enemies. It was a land filled with foes. Every city they entered they had to take by storm, unless a miracle dismantled it ... Heaven is a place already prepared for us; out of it the evil ones have long ago been driven; there brethren shall await us with pleasing faces, kind hands shall clasp ours, and loving words shall alone be heard."

6. And finally Joel Gill begins 2007 in a similar vein but verbally more proficient than I; "The Kingdom of God is a place of excellence, it is not a place of second best, of half measures, or of incomplete promises. Let's refuse to settle for anything other than the fullness of all that God's promised us, let's be continually overflowing with His Spirit. Let's raise our faith, raise our sight, raise our expectancy and dream big dreams". Amen!


Sheila said...

Indeed (referencing your comment in your last entry)..."Church rules!" (I just made a type-O, that I had to fix. I originally typed, "Church riles." MAY IT BE SO, LORD!! ACK!)

Oh, for a message so bold and so precise as to "rile" kingdoms of darkness!

Anyway...I got so tickled at your comments on your "Purpose Driven" entry. People saying that a person oughtta cut off an eye or a hand. "Literally". Oh, that had me rollllling. Then, having "Charismatic Chaos" crammed down your throat - only to find yourself strangely drawn to all those "horrid" accounts of visions and anointing oil. I know I laughed out loud!

Bottom line: what a "goodly heritage" we have in men like Jack Hayford, and Ern Baxter - "warts and all". What a complete delight it is (or can be!) to be a stark, raving charismatic.

And what a reality it is, that we are being ever changed. How true it is that we *all* behold things "darkly" right now. Dan, I applaud your efforts to "edit" your blog.

Having said that, I have not read one thing that would make me even raise an eyebrow at you....but then again, I have not read half of your blog yet. You might have some angry comments tucked away somewhere. :-)

But you are well within your bounds, and wise to edit as the months and years roll by. You are changing from glory to glory, and part of your next glory involves "forgetting those things which are behind". Had that epistle been written as a blog, it might have said, "Deleting those things that were written in the past..."

Your words are meant to reflect both who you are, and who you are becoming. And heck - its YOUR blog. Make it a reflection of the best Dan Bowen has to offer. I see a teaching gift on your life...(and I could be wrong, since I have not met you in person. I am going by what I pick up in the Spirit just reading your writing...) you should come "here" often to work it out!

I'm out of here. How lovely it has been to actually have time to chat with anyone and everyone here today.

Baxter's Boy said...

"What a complete delight it is (or can be!) to be a stark, raving charismatic".

Oh yes ... yes indeed. At the end of his outstanding life Ern Baxter stood in the pulpit at my home church in Dunstable and said that he had enjoyed 60 years of charismatic life and wouldn't exchange it for anything!!

When I was baptised in the Holy Spirit in 1997, all heaven was let loose but all hell opened up too. I have got into more trouble since my personal Pentecost than ever before. But like the scene in the sci-fi film "Matrix", Neo asks Morpheus if he can go back and be re-plugged into the Matrix and regain the false dream. Morpheus said; "No. But would you want to if you could?". There are times when I wish that I had never been baptised in the Spirit and would still be a "safe" blue-pill Christian enjoying the social aspect of church.

But those times are few and far between.

Especially when you meet a man like Rob Rufus!!

Thanks so so much for your encouraging words about my blog. I've never ever pretended to be spiritual, perfect or any of the inbetween. I'm just ... me and I think that's what seems to upset mainly Christian leaders. What is exciting is that God is doing a work in my life and I am prepared to do anything to allow that to continue. Risk quenching the Holy Spirit just for a few angry blogs?! I don't think so.

It's amazing that you spoke about teaching. I've never told many people this but years back just after I was baptised in the Holy SPirit, I had a dream that I was walking down a country lane with a hero of mine and I turned to him and said, "I MUST preach!". The Full Faith Church that me and Mark Heath used to run gave me a few opportunities to preach to him, his wife and some teddy bears but somehow a disinterested church, an absent pastor and life in general has watered down that longing that I had to preach.

A few weeks back I was reading about one of C H Spurgeon's first pastoral students. Incredibly it was when he himself was only about 21 and was at New Park Street. The revival was moving and Spurgeon heard that some young male converts were preaching in the streets. Spurgeon called one of them in and the guy looked at him and said, "The only way you will stop me preaching is to cut off my head". So Spurgeon invited him into his home and trained him up.

It was as though the Holy Spirit had gutted me painfully. I had forgotten about that dream I had! Oh to have that "fire in my bones" that pastors wouldn't be able to stop me preaching!! Oh to have that passionate desire that I just can't be shut up!! Oh to be so insistent that a pastor just has to drag me in and train me up so I don't preach heresy!! Would I turn round to him and say, "The only way you will shut me up is to cut my head off"?!!

I was at the amazing Westminster Conference in 2001 where my pastor Dr Stanley Jebb was preaching and they had an intense discussion about theological training. Dr Jebb has always been of the opinion that it is best done "on the job" in your local church - not being sent to some Pastor's College where the lecturers don't know you.

Those amazing men of God spoke of their concern that the seminaries are empty and they said, "Where are the young men!?". Well we were sitting right there!! I don't want to just pick a seminary and go. I believe, like Dr Jebb, that it should be done in the context of the local church. It's just a shame that the local church doesn't seem to want to know.

The young men are here!! Where are the fathers who will take us on and be prepared to discipline us and train us and love us and disciple us??!

You've opened a can of worms there Sheila! But thanks for stirring me up!!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe John MacArthur wrote that. How stupid.

thebluefish said...

so where would you have gone with it?

Baxter's Boy said...


Mark Heath said...

Hi Dan,
I have to get Steph to read everything I blog first to make sure I don't write something in anger. She often makes me edit out the grumpy bits, and a few posts have never even seen the light of day. So well done for removing the posts that you felt convicted over.

As for your comments r.e. Full Faith above, I have often reflected on why when as younger men we had such a desire to preach that opportunities to learn seemed almost non-existant. When I used to hear about 20 year olds leading churches I used to be jealous, but now I thank God that he has kept me out of the pulpit for long enough to mature a bit! So like you, perhaps the dream has faded a bit, but if it is truly a dream from God, may he stir it up again in us.

Baxter's Boy said...

Thanks Mark. Oh what a blessed man you are to have such a wonderful woman to do that for you! I need that. Scott usually tends to agree with my grumpiness and encourages me rather than challenges and convicts me. Still ... I'm trying to be better at being positive. It's great that God is so powerfully on the move that there is far more exciting faith-filled positive stuff to get stuck into. And as Don advised me, just to ignore the annoying stuff!

James B said...

I don't think I like the Bluefish's phrase; "We are a scattered people". I don't think we are scattered actually. Yes there may be loads of denominations and movements, but doesn't the Bible talk about "Gathered Together as ONE Man"?

thebluefish said...

Scattered (as all over the earth), not separated (as in divided). One day, in the renewed creation we will be gathered around the throne of the slaughtered lamb.