Friday, August 25, 2006

Letting the Side Down

It just occurred to me that this post's title would make a good Just A Minute topic, although that could be due to lack of sleep :-p

Anyway, the reason I could be letting the side down is that my good friend Helen has started a blog to record the ravings of a mad woman who, for reasons best left to her to explain, has decided to leave our shores for Keane State College, New Hampshire until just before Christmas (the mad woman in question is of course Helen herself). I know it's not spelt K-E-A-N-E, but it amuses me to think that it could be Keane the band's college.

Meanwhile, my wife has also started a blog, which I was pleasantly surprised to find out this morning because it means we might be able to keep more of a handle on each other's lives for a change ;-)

So, I need to stop letting the side down and get posting and here's my first post for several months. It's been eventful, but just not on here!

Yesterday we got back from Momentum where it sluiced down with rain on more than one occasion. Coupled with the fact that I was still getting over (man?) flu it's a good job we shelled out on a caravan for the week, and very helpful the hire people were too. It was particularly inspiring to hear Brother Andrew speak at this year's festival. Now 78, it's quite possible I will never get the chance to see him again this side of heaven, and it was an enormous priviledge to hear from someone who has put his faith into practice by following The Great Commission to the letter and just going without feeling the need to be trained up for years beforehand - or deal with this or that issue in his life before he's ready to go.

Last year he was in Afghanistan and I know he's been to Iraq too, but I'm not sure when. He's also lectured at a Hamas university on "What is Real Christianity?":

"Hamas I contacted direct when they were deported to the mountains in Lebanon, December '92. And we made not only contact; we made friendships with them. And that continued by me visiting their families at their request. We gave them Scriptures and we prayed for them. We witnessed and made pictures. We went back to the mountains, gave the pictures to the sons, to the fathers, and then when it came to the close of their time, I invited them to have a meal with me. When they came back, it was still not in liberty. They were still under city arrest, and they were still unemployed. They couldn't go anywhere, but they came, and I invited them for a meal. That's why I got to know hundreds of them. And out of that contact came the invitation to lecture at a local university on the subject, "What is Real Christianity?"

"So it goes on and on. It is a never-ending story. I call it friendship because it's a form of friendship evangelism. How can they ever love my Savior if they cannot first love me? I have to get close to them. And the easiest, quickest way to get close to anybody is [to help] a person in need. So, that's what I do." Christianity Today

Mike Pilavachi also spoke in his usual down-to-earth style, but what struck me most about him was his bold yet gentle way of waiting for the Holy Spirit to come and do his stuff in the main meetings. Bold because he was prepared to wait for longer than was comfortable, and gentle in that he was at great pains to point out whenever possible that he didn't want to whip anything up or force anything on anyone. He rightly pointed out that the Holy Spirit doesn't need us to wear a white suit or use mood music before he'll turn up. Even better was his insistence on watching to see what the Father's doing, just as Jesus did, and then trying your best to join in, rather than forging ahead on your own and asking God to bless your mess.

If we have the Word without the Spirit we'll dry up
If we have the Spirit without the Word we'll blow up
If we have the Word and the Spirit we'll grow up

Finally, here's a funny video of Mike "singing" at Soul Survivor a couple of weeks back...

Follow this url if you can't see the video: