Saturday, 30 October 2010

Pray For The Persecuted Church

Sunday, November 7th is International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.  Please everyone, take some time on that day (at the very least) and pray for our brothers and sisters all over the world who are persecuted for their faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Apostle Paul, talking about how we are all members of the Body of Christ, writes in 1Cor 12.26...

And if one member [of the Body] suffers,
all the members [of the Body] suffer with it....
Now you are the Body of Christ, and members individually.

So let's stand together with our brothers and sisters in prayer.  We as a fellowship at Calvary Wellington will set aside lunchtime on 7.Nov to pray for persecuted believers.  But let us all be challenged to pray - not just on Nov. 7, but let's remember them throughout the year and be praying for them constantly.

Here's a short video from the IDOP website that gives a few personal testimonies of those who are persecuted.  You can also go to and download this video, the prayer resources and spread the news!  And be praying for the Body of Christ!

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Thursday, 28 October 2010

Burma's IDP (Part 2)

Here's another video of what is happening in Burma.  You can also check out for more info and how to help.

Burma's IDP

Please be praying for my pastor from SoCal - he is hiking 3 days into the jungles of Thailand & Burma to teach God's Word and share His love with the refugees at their hidden camps. Below is a video from Partners Relief (Christian organization that is trying to help the Internally Displaced People - IDP of Burma). It tells a bit of the story of what has been happening in Burma for over 50 years!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Operation Christmas Child

This past week, we got our kids some shoe-boxes so that they could take part in the Operation Christmas Child.  For those who don't know what that is - it is an outreach of Samaritan's Purse (click here to go to their website) that brings the unconditional love of God to needy children in Third World countries by giving them a shoe-box full of gifts.

This is the first year that our kids did it individually and it was quite moving.  We received from Samaritan's Purse a DVD detailing the outreach and as we watched a few clips of children receiving their shoe-boxes, you could see it impacting our kids, especially the two older ones - they had tears in their eyes, but were trying hard not to show it.  Afterwards, we talked about how blessed we are that we have such abundance.  And how some children have nothing and this shoebox might be the only present they receive their whole life!

In any case, we went out the next day after school and the kids were able to buy small gifts to put in their shoe-boxes.  And get this, they used their own money to buy everything.  The two older kids wanted to do 2 boxes each - one for a boy and one for a girl.  Sweet.  And the church is doing it too - it's a great outreach.  Think - an hour out of your week (even year) and you could bless a child for a lifetime!

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Lost Art Of Waiting On The Lord (Part 4)

The past few days has seen some mighty powerful winds in the Wellington region, with gusts up to 60-80 km per hour - the strong nor'westerlies.  I was watching some of the birds, especially the seagulls down by the stop-bank the other day, just heading into the wind, using the wind to just effortlessly glide through the air and to seemingly 'float' in mid-air.

It reminds me of that passage in Isaiah 40.31 that we looked at in the previous post...

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

That is exactly what the eagle does as he soars through the air.  See, instead of turning and flying away from the wind, instead of lamenting the strong gusty winds, the eagle faces into the wind and uses it to climb ever higher and higher.  And as it rises above the earth and closer to the Sun, it gains a totally different perspective and scope on life on earth.

And that is what happens to us spiritually as we wait upon the Lord.  Instead of turning and running away FROM the contrary winds in our lives, let us turn INTO them as we wait upon the Lord to renew our strength.  I know many who are at this very moment struggling through some pretty fierce headwinds - in careers, family relationships and marriages, major health issues and all I can do is encourage them to turn into those contrary winds and allow God to use the winds to lift them above the trying life situations they face at the moment.  And as they soar higher and higher and come closer and closer to the SON, they will gain a new perspective and scope on life on earth.  And especially their immediate life situation.

So as we wait upon the Lord, our strength will be renewed - in fact the word 'renew' in the verse above means to 'change or exchange', like taking off old clothes and exchanging them for new clothes.  In context here, it means that as we wait upon God, we 'exchange' our weakness for His strength.  We take off our frail, inadequate and limited strength and we exchange it for God's all-sufficient, unlimited and life-changing power and strength.  Strength to soar like eagles.  Strength to run the race and not be weary.  Strength to walk by faith and not faint.  Strength for whatever life circumstances we find ourselves in - whether it be cancer or loss of income or family problems or persecution.

So are you burdened with life?  Tired, discouraged, hopeless?  Wait upon the Lord, renew and exchange your weakness for His strength.  Give Him your burdens and exchange them for His rest.  And soar like eagles.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

PS - to those under great burdens at the moment (you know who you are), we love you and are praying for you.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Lost Art Of Waiting On The Lord (Part 3)

When we talk about waiting on the Lord, there is a passage that comes automatically to our minds - Isaiah 40.31…

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Did you know that the word ‘wait’ here has as its root, a word that means to bind together by twisting together?  In fact, the Hebrew word here - ‘qavah’ is the most common word that is translated ‘wait’ in the OT.  It has the idea of twisting strands of a rope together, to make it stronger.  Isn’t that what waiting on the Lord really means?  We are so bound up in God and His purpose and plan that the things of the world fade away.  In fact, all the words in the OT translated ‘wait’ has the focus on our daily walk and waiting on the Lord and trusting Him in the pressures of daily life.

And let's admit it, we all go through seasons in our lives that threaten to drag us down, to hold us back, to discourage us from waiting upon the Lord, from trusting Him.  It is in these very moments that we NEED to be bound up in Him!  Rather than run away, we need to run to the Lord to receive the strength to meet these circumstances head on (like the eagle turning into the wind - we'll look at that next time).  I love what Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 4.10-12 -
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone? 
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

We pastors often use this passage in wedding ceremonies and vows, but it applies to every aspect of life.  When life is tough, when we are ready to fall down from weariness, when our enemy has battered us down, when all around us are storms and it's cold and dark, we need to be like that threefold cord - twisted together with the Lord for strength.

Can God use other believers to encourage us and lift us up?  Absolutely!  But it is a THREEfold cord that is not quickly broken.  Me, you and the Lord.  Or you, a bro / sis and the Lord.  The point is we need to be bound up in the Lord, twisted together with Him - that is the idea of waiting on the Lord.  We wait on Him for strength for daily life, not just in emergencies.  So are we waiting on the Lord?  Are we bound up in Him?

Monday, 4 October 2010

The Lost Art Of Waiting On The Lord (Part 2)

Have you ever considered that part of waiting on the Lord is being content in the Lord?  That’s another principle that we don’t like to really practice in our lives, right?  I know I don’t!

I like how one person (can’t remember who) defined contentment - ‘wanting what you already have’.  That’s great isn’t it?  And so very true!  So often we don’t wait on the Lord because we are not truly content in Him.  We are wanting something we don’t have yet, rather than being content with the Lord, His plan, purposes or provision.

We see an example of this with the children of Israel in the desert.  The psalmist in Ps 106.13-14 describes it so…

They soon forgot His works;
they did not wait for His counsel,
but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
and tested God in the desert.

See what was happening?  They were lusting exceedingly!  Why?  Because they forgot God and His works and were not waiting on the Lord.  They did not wait for His counsel - here meaning His purposes, plan and also His promises of provision.

So instead of waiting on the Lord and being content with His plan and purpose, they lusted after what they did not have.  Remember, God provided manna and water for them while they were in the desert.  But they wanted the leeks, onions, garlic and meat of Egypt (Num 11).  They were not content with God but lusted after the things of the world.

By their discontent and unbelief they were testing God and basically saying

  1. God is not enough for them

  2. God is not enough for the trials they were facing

  3. God doesn’t care about their trials

  4. God doesn’t know what He is doing.

But don't we do the same thing in our lives?  When we are in the desert of testing, when we are in the wilderness of trial - don't we tend to forgot God, forget His purpose and plan for us?  And we turn to the world because we think the world can give us what God can't.  Really?  What can the world offer that is better than God?  Yet, we in our fallen humanity are more willing to reach out to the world than to take the Hand of God and say 'Lord, lead me, guide me, I trust you, I wait for your counsel'.

What trials, temptations, adversity, hardship do you face at this moment?  Can you trust God?  Can you be content that He is working in that situation?  Are you content in God alone?  Can you wait upon Him?  Or do you lust exceedingly for the things and ways of the world?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Phamily Day at the Wellington Zoo

This past Monday we enjoyed a nice Wellington spring day at the City Zoo.  It was a good Phamily outing - we all got to see our first kiwi in person.  Obviously it wasn't in the wild, but hey, most Kiwis (the human ones) haven't seen a kiwi (the bird) in the wild.  The one we saw was very special - it was a one-legged kiwi named Tahi.

Tahi unfortunately lost one of his legs in a possum trap.  The zoo then became his new home and he is now an ambassador for the endemic kiwi bird (just in case you didn't know, endemic means 'exclusively native to a certain area / region / country'.  I learned that at the zoo!).  Interesting fact about Tahi - Weta Workshop (the special effects studio that did the Lord of the Rings and Avatar movies, among others) even designed the world's first kiwi prosthetic leg for Tahi.  But by the time the prosthetic leg was completed, Tahi had already learned to get around on one leg by hopping.

Check out the video and fotos of Tahi and his prosthetic...

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