Significant moments

Significant moments

Over the past 3 days I have been attending the 3dm Learning Community in Melbourne. This is the first of four immersions that takes place over the next 2 years. Already I have experienced a few ‘God moments’ which has got me thinking what my ministry would look like in the last leg of my life.  Yes the last leg of my life. If the Bible says that a person has been given 70 years of life, then I am into the final third of my life :-). Mike Breen, Rich Robinson and the team from 3dm  has given me a lot to think about and I know this is going to mould my ministry in this last leg. 

I am sitting in my hotel reflecting on my life so far. I am  amazed at the various significant moments God has brought in my life that has helped me experience the Father heart of God and understand God’s calling on my life.

The first 25 years

The significant events in my first 25 years has been my 2 births,  my physical birth that brought me into this world and my spiritual birth that brought me into Christ’s Kingdom. I was born into a godly family and my parents played a significant part of my life in this period. Even though I messed around in my teenage years, my parents never gave up on me but gave me many opportunities to get my life on track. I still have many memories of my mum in tears praying for me. When I was 16, I encountered God in a way that has left me without a shadow of doubt that He is real and  that He loves me as my heavenly Father. A short time later I got involved with Navteens (Navigators work amongst young people) and developed a passion for spiritual disciplines and discipleship. In 198o, my church got a new pastor, Arthur Tudball. He was a gifted Bible teacher and I grew in my understanding of God’s Word. In 1980, I also entered the Air Force. During my time in the Air Force, I got involved with YWAM and with their help, started a Christian work in my airbase. Towards the end of this period, God began to show me that it was time for me to move on from the Air Force and to be equipped for ministry.  Through various significant events, I knew God was calling me into a life of mission.

 

 

The second 25 years

As I sought God regarding training for missions, He led me to go to WEC Missionary Training College in Tasmania in 1987. The next 2 years were very significant for various reasons. God clearly gave me a heart for mission. I had gifted lecturers like Evan Davies, Don Barnes and Sandy Hart who played a key part in moulding my theology and my understanding of world missions. I have many fond memories of my time at college and it has prepared me for a life of mission.  Another significant moment of college life was my meeting my lovely wife Joy. She became the most significant person in my life in this period. Together we have journeyed with God and served Him in New Zealand, Philippines and Singapore. We have 3 children who played a significant part of our lives.  During this stage I led churches into mission. This was a significant  learning experience for me where God taught me the purpose of the church is to love and serve the community. My time in Singapore pastoring All Saints and being involved in the Love Singapore movement helped me develop a theology of servanthood that has become a key part of my ministry in this stage. A key conviction I developed in this stage is not about how many Christians I could attract into the church but rather the number of people I impact as I live out my faith in the world. Returning to New Zealand, I continued to learn what it meant to lead the church on mission locally and globally. As I look back over the second 25 years I have grown in my love for mission and making a difference in my local community and the world. I have been blessed by God who was willing to let me serve Him in a small way in Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal, Bolivia, and New Zealand. As this stage drew to a close, God started to lay on my heart a desire for a Kingdom movement. It was at this time that I came across the books of Mike Breen. These books revolutionised my thinking and gave me a dream to a network of communities serving the suburbs they are in.

 

The last 25 years

This is where I am at this present moment. I have just entered this final stage.  Today, as I sat and listened to Mike Breen at the Learning Community, I realise how much this past week has become a significant moment in this final stage. We were asked to reflect on our ministry, decide what we need to stop and what we need to start, and to set priorities for us to focus on over the next few months. As I reflected on what this week means to me, it dawned on me how important being part of this learning community over the next 2 years is. God has taught me so much over the last 50 years of what it meant to know God as my Father and to live as His son, and to know God as King and to serve Him as His ambassador in the world. Mike Breen and his team has taught me so much through the books I have read and over the last week. For me this last leg is about discipling others to know God as their Father and King so that their life has purpose and meaning. This is my goal for this last leg. I want to share the lessons I have learned over the years and pass these lessons on using the 3dm vehicle of huddles. My prayer is that at the end of this stage, I will hear the words of God saying “Well done good and faithful servant”.

2 Comments on “Significant moments

  1. Looking for answers now I am 84 and the end of my personal quest, I look back and see that my first 25 years was a rehearsal… We can no longer think of three score years and ten… More like four score years and ten. Up to the age of 25 when I got married there was a huge amount of rapid change, personal and political , world wars, poverty, homelessness, starvation, and loss. My father left us when I was 12 and because mother became the bread winner I left school age 13 to look after the house and my brother and sister… As the eldest I had to be responsible for both my mother and the family..I was sent out to work as a typist age 15 to an office in the City of London. At age 14 I used to attend a Catholic Church and
    I had a numinous experience where I met Jesus in a dream and he told me that I and my House would always be protected and when the time came He would tell me what to do. I was never to be afraid and I have always held to that promise. I had another experience after my first son was born of the flooding of the Holy Spirit where I was bathed in a beam of light, though at the time I did not realize what it was nor why I was babbling in a strange language.

    From 25 to 50 I was married to a good man who had itchy feet… We moved up to Cheshire, built a house where I had a baby daughter and immigrated to NZ . I was terrible homesick. My second pregnancy was spent in bed because it kept threatening to miscarriage. My son was born prematurely but has grown into a wonderful and strapping man with a beautiful wife and family. My third pregnancy was straightforward but my second son had a disfigured mouth and had to have it repaired. Then I had my first major operation to repair a prolapsed inside because of the difficult delivery. Later after many different changes of address and becoming involved in voluntary work, teaching and social work, I had another major operation to remove my womb during which I died and had an out of body experience. A few years later saw me once again having surgery to remove a benign cancer tumor from my throat. Shortly afterwards my husband and I separated and divorced.

    From 51 to 75 even more change.. My daughter went back to England and married and had children. She never came back to NZ my two sons married and had children The eldest remained in NZ and the other Is now in Australia. I went to Canterbury University and gained a BA. I developed a hillside garden, exhibited my paintings and created Te Puna Ora in the Botanic Gardens. My spirituality grew and I became a New Born Christian, joining a healing ministry. Although I knew and loved many men, I never found someone I wanted to live with. However, each person who came into my life taught me something valuable and I never lost sight of the mission to walk the extra mile and somehow heal their lives too. Another major operation removed my gall bladder. I visited my daughter and the grandchildren in England many times and went to see my brother in S.Africa. He eventually died of motor neuron disease. My sister got divorced in NZ and her partner died. My mother who immigrated to NZ when my children were small also died. At 65 I began to feel that I was needed in England to help with grandchildren there. My sons were married and had their mothers in law and their father and his wife so my job was done in NZ

    I packed up my home and sent it to England and returned after 35 years in NZ to a cottage in Dorset. My guardian angel had been sent on ahead to choose where I should live. and as if my miracle was complete there were my favorite black and white cattle in the field opposite the cottage. I was soon brought into the life of the village with my family just up the hill from me. Not long after I broke my ankle walking down a slippery path to a beach, and through that was forced to have a lump in my right breast looked at. Age 66 I had my first mastectomy. The next ten years saw me traveling to NZ to see family and them coming over to see us here. I joined the Baptist church and became useful in the village on the Women’s Institute and other activities helping in the village school. I became involved in creating heritage embroidery for Dorchester, making banners, tapestries, altar hangings and other works that will last.

    Now in my next quarter I had a stroke after visiting family in Australia age 78, had a heart operation to regulate the beat, and now age 84 had another mastectomy for breast cancer. Looking back, the cancer really developed much earlier, either in my womb or in my throat, but it is held in remission with a chemo tablet. I also have skin eruptions from sun damage that are not life threatening. I now live in a retirement apartment with a lot of other retired people. The family come regularly to visit and they have all grown up now.. The eldest of my daughters children emigrated to Australia recently. Ironic.. I have continued with wanting to understand more about Jesus and the deeper meanings of the gospels and share my wisdom with others, where in the past I kept it to myself.
    People seem to like what I write. I feel very close to Jesus as if he is one of my sons… As a child I thought of him as an older brother, then as a contemporary… Now as a son or even grand son… And if He.could survive the tortures he endured.. So can I … I am not sure what God is apart from a Spirit or that anyone understands the awesome power of what it is we speak to. The older I get the more mysterious it becomes plus the fact that this planet is the only one in our solar system capable of producing our type of life. I think of the web of life like a matrix and somewhere in the middle is this enormous Power source that sends light energy to give it life. … What I am supposed to be doing now I do not know. I have stopped doing all the things I have been doing to make way for something new……

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