Sunday, January 29, 2006

"He Who Is Able to Do More ..." - Church Today!!

Woww!! Yep, this is going to be another "Woww" entry! Maybe some who read yesterdays entry thought it might be just an emotional reaction to a great sermon. I must confess I woke up slightly cynically when my alarm went off. But God was there! And He was excited! So off we went to Bridge Community Church, Bradley Stoke (Newfrontiers) - and its just ten minutes down the road! I must admit another overdose of Kalms was required - the fear was niggling. But as soon as we entered, we just felt overwhelmed in love and acceptance. The people were glad to see us! The leaders had remembered me from last night and make a point of coming over which meant so much!

As soon as the worship started, I just knew that my fears were groundless - God by His Spirit was powerfully present, and back came the tears! Amazingly the same themes were there from last night. A lady brought an incredible prophecy that spoke of: "I am the God who walks among the crowds. I am walking among you, waiting for your touch - your look". Benign? Trivial? Not to me!! It was life changing! Once again God was saying that I was welcome among His People - the People of God! The songs were simple and so powerful - and God added to the picture that I mentioned last night concerning the wave. I saw a picture of a child sitting in the sea splashing and trying to make the tide go further up the beach. Then I saw a surfer riding a huge wave. God said that for 4 years I have been that child trying to "make" His Spirit go further. But suddenly I knew that I didn't have to - that His Spirit was moving already and my call was just to ride it.

So sometimes I didn't even sing - I couldn't for my tears! I was just so grateful to be in a place where His Spirit was so welcome! God dealt with another thing that Terry Virgo mentioned last night - that of fearing the look in the eyes of people who were running. We were flooded with people who were so kind wanting to chat to us and I suddenly realised that they weren't looking and judging! They were too taken up with being amazed with the grace of God! Suddenly I don't have to be afraid of people - and I realised I didn't have to shut my eyes tightly as soon as worship began. I wasn't being holy - I was hiding! We were quickly "drafted" into a cell - which was EXACTLY what I needed!

The sermon was just great too - they have just started a series through 1 Corinthians and we were reminded that we are a Christ-Dependent Community. That means we are i) A Holy Community. ii) A Spirit Filled Community. iii) A Persevering Community. The sum-up was simply "Be What You Are"!

I think God's final act of grace in this area was when I got home and dug out my off-duty at the hospital to see what my shifts were and for the up-coming month I have virtually every Thursday (cell) and Sunday (church) off!! How AWESOME is our God?!?!


Anonymous said...

Where have you been going before this then?!?! I'd made the assumption you were part of a local church and were fully involved in church life (and therefore had some accountability for this blog and what you write). Have we been misled? Are you a lone ranger?

Yours, interestingly & slightly disgruntled. Roger.

Anonymous said...

Found this blog post and would be interested in your thoughts:

Dan Bowen said...

Hi Rodger, thanks for your (two?) comments. I'm sorry if you felt misled - i certainly didn't mean to do that. To begin with - I am certainly NOT a lone ranger!! I think John Stott calls lone rangers "hideous" or something like that. However I have had a rocky relationship with the local church and an unfortunate experience - so I have been going to the church but not what I would call committed. Until this weekend!

I have had accountability from a number of pastors - all close friends - in terms of what I write.

As for the link - I will read it and get back to you.

Thanks for your comments!

Dan Bowen said...

The article is good - I agreed with it! Being part of a church is unquestionable.