The Sacred Space Between Us

Jen Grubb

“I am not praying for the world, but for those ones you have given me, for they are yours”.          John 17:9

Those words come from Jesus’ heartfelt prayer for his closest friends and disciples, just before he went to the cross, burdened by the sin and shame of the world. It is such a direct and specific prayer and to me, it reflects so simply the heart of the ministry of Jesus.

Jesus was for everyone; he was scandalously inclusive; his influence has shaped the world more than any other individual’s. He was the hope of the world; that was his mission, but his method was the one. The way he would ultimately reach the world was by extending love to the individual. So he prayed, not for the world, because, as he had stated just a chapter before “take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). No, he prayed for the ones that God had given him.

The power of ministry, as demonstrated by Jesus, is in personal relationships. It is in the awareness that God moves in the space between two people. When we foster a relationship with one of the ones he has given us, we create space for Him to move. The discernment of the Holy Spirit is so vital in maintaining control of this space: sometimes, we may need to create more space for God, by getting out of the way ourselves.

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. John 3:30

Sometimes we have to get our ego out of the way, sometimes we have to get our offence out of the way, sometimes we have to get our convenience out of the way to make space for God to work.

Sometimes though, we give him a little bit too much space! Sometimes we needs us to move a little closer, to close the gap a little bit, find some common ground. Sometimes we need to reach out, or take a step closer to someone. When we position ourselves according to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, that space is holy ground.

Let’s think about who the ones are that God has given us and, following in the footsteps of Jesus, let’s pray for those ones, because they are His.

 

 

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A Note From Dave: Sunday January 8

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We hear a lot of talk about living a large; most people like the idea and don’t want to  feel like they live small. However, that is the reality for so many: feeling small, the result of which is thinking and living in a small way.

We are created in the image of God who is certainly large. No one was created to be small and insignificant.

“Make your tent bigger. Spread out the curtains of your home, and do not hold back.  

Make your ropes longer and your tie-downs stronger.” Isaiah 54:2 (NLV)

So many of the prophecies, given to God’s people are about lifting their eyes and their thinking, choosing to live the way they had been created to live and stepping out and taking the opportunities that God had put in front of them.

So often our experience of growth can be that we grow and then hit a wall, a limit or a lid, finding ourselves stuck, or even retreating.

In a New Era, in which we want to live expansively, let’s focus on our ropes and tie downs. We need ropes that are long enough to allow for expansion; that means releasing control and living with some margin.

Stronger ties downs, to me, is all about our security: knowing who we are in Christ.

Paul talks about our roots being in Christ:

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7
See you in one of our services this weekend! Let’s keep praying for God to move powerfully; let’s pray that lot’s of people turn up this weekend and we see multiple salvations!

Ps. Dave

All-Terrain Faith

Everyone experiences ‘mountaintop moments’ in their spiritual lives. These are times when we feel close to God; we expect Him to move. Our faith is engaged. When we are in the midst of a mountaintop moment, we FEEL God’s presence surrounding us. Moses experienced a literal mountaintop moment when he received the law from God on behalf of the Israelites (Exodus 24:12-18).

 

Sitting on a mountain in prayer for forty days and forty nights is something you can only accomplish in the Faith Zone! Moses was literally surrounded by God’s presence, like a cloud. Undeniable.

When we are in the midst of a mountaintop moment, God’s presence, His existence, is undeniable. He is near; we are undeniably WITH the Almighty and He with us. For me, typically, these moments have happened for me on the cusp of big changes in my life. When I have felt lost or unsure, God has guided me.

The reality is that God’s presence has never left me since I invited Him into my life, so why is it in times of trial or confusion that His presence is most obvious to me? Because, when we have big choices to make, or face situations that we can’t handle, is when we seek God most desperately.

Psalm 63 was written at a time when David was desperately seeking God. As opposed to a mountain-top moment, David was alone in a desert wilderness. He was the King, but he was fleeing his son Absolom, who wanted to kill him over a whole other family drama.

The psalms are songs of worship. Although David was surrounded by desert, he didn’t praise like a man in the desert. He praised as if he was climbing a mountain, to encounter the very presence of God. His circumstances pulled him towards despair, but his heart went the opposite way: to hope, to God.

You, God, are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,

   my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

   where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1

David’s worship prayer doesn’t ignore the fact that he’s in a desert, “a dry and parched land where there is no water”, he just doesn’t allow his situation to be the defining factor on whether or not he encounters God. David knew something that we all need to remember: God is the source of all life. Without God sustaining him, the desert would get the better of him. As long as God is with us, there is hope.

Although he FELT far from God, David still praised Him.

“Because your love is better than life,

   my lips will glorify you.”

Psalm 63: 3

Alone in a desert, under threat of death from his own family, David prayed “your love is better than life”! Why was David able to understand God’s goodness in the midst of a trial?

Because He had experienced it: I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and glory. Psalm 63:2

An experience is so much more powerful than a story. David wasn’t clinging to the stories in an ancient book. He wasn’t worshiping a concept. He wasn’t following a set of rules. He had experienced God – his power and his glory. His love, better than life!To sustain our faith between mountain-top moments we need to experience God. How though?

 

Firstly, by seeking Him. I remember, as a child losing a precious possession (usually a puppy from a puppy surprise toy) and going to my mother to see if she could magically make it appear. She always said “where did you last see it?” and sent me retracing my steps. Infuriating, but reading this psalm, I see the value.

When you lose something, you go back to where you last had it. Now, David had not lost God (God is very hard to lose, one does not simply misplace the creator of the universe). What David had lost was the feeling of closeness with God.

Feelings don’t always reflect truth. Our feelings are affected by so many things that God is unaffected by: our health, other people, the weather, finances, videos of cute animals on the internet, the news.I could go on all day about things that I’ve cried about in the last week that do not change the goodness of God one little bit. But I won’t.

“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“He remembered us in our weakness.

His faithful love endures forever.

He saved us from our enemies.

His faithful love endures forever.

He gives food to every living thing.

His faithful love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven.

His faithful love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:23-26

You haven’t lost God because you FEEL distant from Him. You may have just lost the feeling of closeness, so like my mother, probably your mother and every other mother said: go back to where you last had it. Go back to a passage of scripture that deeply impacted you. Re-read your old journals. Listen to a song that led you to the presence of God before. Go to the altar, let someone prophesy over you. Sit in your favourite place and just LISTEN for His voice

SEEK Him.

Go back to where you experienced Him in the past. For David, it’s the sanctuary.

 

You will ALWAYS find life in scripture. When you seek God in His Word, you will ALWAYS find a fresh, God-breathed word for today.

I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. Proverbs 8:17

To experience God in the desert, we must SEEK HIM.

On my bed I remember you;

   I think of you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help,

   I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I cling to you;

   your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:6-8

Secondly, David committed to remembering God, even in his darkest hour. Times of darkness will come. We cannot live on the mountaintop. Our commission is to go into the darkness to bring the light. Dark times are part of this abundant life that Jesus promised us. He didn’t say, I have come that they might experience comfort and happiness at all times. He said “I have come that they might have life and have it in all its fullness”. (John 10:10)

It’s the habits that we build in the light that sustain us through the darkness. We need a reservoir of revelation.

My best friend and I live in different states now. We both have small children and are involved in our churches. Plus she is literally the most disorganised person I know. Sometimes, I don’t hear from her for months at a time.

BUT, I never doubt that she loves me.I don’t doubt she is still my friend just because I haven’t heard her voice for awhile. Why? Because of the fight we had after I laughed at her for walking into the boys toilets in grade 7. Because of the legendary practical jokes we played on our teachers at the end of grade 10. Because when I used to argue with my sister and storm out of my house I would go to hers. I could go on and on and on. I don’t doubt her, because we have years, decades of shared history. A couple of months of silence will never change our history. It’s the same with God.

I may feel as though He is silent, but when I open the Bible, the truth is still there. There are still thousands of years’ worth His love. It is still life-changing. I may feel as if He is distant, but I still remember the night at a Connect group run by ill-equipped but enthusiastic 14 year old, that I decided to take a risk on Jesus. I still remember praying for a woman in the Philippines, whose heart was failing, and seeing the colour come back into her face and hear her praise God without pain for the first time in months. I still remember seeing God move in my school when I was in year 11 and 12 at a public school and seeing three people praying once a week at lunchtime turn into a group of 80 running a service at lunchtime. I remember being called into the principal’s office to be told I was doing a great job but could I please stop because too many people were getting saved.

I remember God coming through. Again and again. When I am in the darkness, I remember what I saw in the light. That’s what it means to testify. That’s why David was able to praise in the desert.

A reservoir of revelation.

A mature faith doesn’t rely on every moment to be a mountaintop, because, if there were no valleys, there would be no mountains either. That’s geography, but it’s also life in abundance.

I cling to you, your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:8

We often hear of people who’ve been able to just hold on: hold on to hope against the odds, that sort of thing. David takes it a step further; he clings. What’s the difference between holding on to God, and CLINGING to Him?

There are two ways that I walk my dog: without her harness and with her harness. She pulls like a steam train and the harness works by putting pressure on her shoulders if she pulls too hard. When I walk her WITH the harness, I hold the lead, but when I walk her WITHOUT the harness, I CLING to the lead.

Think of a rock climber holding onto a cliff face.

imageone

He’s pretty happy. Not too far up, looks like it’s a wall he has climbed before, maybe he’s just super skilled. Whatever it is, he’s got it under control, he’s not bothered.

However, check out this guy!

imagetwo

He is clinging, not holding on. He’s not having such a great time. He really desperately doesn’t want to let go of that rock. So what is the difference between them? Other than the potential for a horrible death.

What’s the difference between walking my dog with or without her harness? What’s the difference between hanging on the a cliff face or clinging on for dear life? What’s the difference between letting your relationship God tick along comfortably and clinging to Him desperately, with all you have?

RISK.

When Saskia and I go for a walk without the harness, there is a risk that she might pull the lead out of my hand and take herself for a walk. When a climber switches the local indoor climbing wall for a real live mountain, the risk increases exponentially.

If you haven’t experienced the reality of verse 8:

“I cling to you;

   your right hand upholds me.”

Could it be that you are living a life where you don’t actually need God to uphold you?

Perhaps God is calling you today to take a risk on Him!

Climbing the same indoor climbing wall over and over again with the same group of friends might be fun and it might keep you fit, but how much more exhilarating is it to explore real mountains? Attending church every week is a good thing to do, you get to be part of an amazing community, there’s food, good music, it’s all good. BUT how much more will you get out of it if you take a risk: join a team, lead a connect group, speak prophetically into someone’s life, invite people into your world.

Putting your spare change in the offering will certainly help the offering be bigger, but if you take a risk and add some faith to your giving, if you make your generosity hurt just a little from time to time, add an element of sacrifice, you will see God move and bless you.

“I  will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;

   with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” Psalm 63:5

Sometimes, we will feel close to God, on the mountaintop and sometimes, we will feel far away. Sometimes that’s a result of seasons and circumstances and sometimes, our own sin causes us to withdraw from God. Whatever is going on, we never lose God, only our perception of His presence. He never abandons you, He never will. He promises unfailing love.

When you lose the feeling of His nearness, resist the urge to withdraw. Don’t let the enemy reduce your faith, which the Bible says can move mountains, to something as flimsy as a feeling.

Seek – go back to where you last found His presence.

Remember – Remember His goodness when you find yourself in the dark. Testify – tell yourself the stories of what he has done in the past.

Cling – take risks. Live a life that needs His right hand to uphold you.

Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.

Matthew 7:13-14 MSG

Above all, remember. He never gives up. He never abandons you. He is always faithful and His love is better than life. He is the beginning and the end; the same, yesterday, today and forever.

– Jen Grubb

 

The Magic Cupboard: A Lesson in Generosity

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:35

Just over a year ago, we moved house. As with any new abode, there were a few little adjustments we wanted to make and, for me at least, the addition of a dishwasher was top priority.

So yesterday, I got my dishwasher installed; I obviously need to work on my prioritising skills!

There is nothing more relaxing, as far as I am concerned, than the gentle hum of a magical cupboard doing the dishes for me. It is a far better use of space, IMHO, than the boring old regular cupboard that was there before. My husband is very good at a lot of things, but carpentry is not really one of them. Sadly for us and our new magic cupboard, this is also true of me.

So on Tuesday we had this dishwasher delivered, and, unsure of what to do with it and how to get it from sitting in the hallway to performing its miraculous function in the kitchen, I left it where it was. Tuesday night is the night we host Connect Group at our house and so when “the homies”, as my three year old calls them, arrived, I proudly showed off my new dishwasher to them and explained my problem of how to get it into a kitchen which had no dishwasher-shaped hole, without breaking said kitchen.

Now one of our Connect Group homies is also one of our dearest friends (they all are really, but this is a story about one in particular). Josh is the person who first went out of his way to befriend and welcome us when we first showed up at Energizer Church, close to a decade ago. He has helped me out of plenty of tight spots, from picking up children from care when I was stuck in traffic, to changing flat tyres, and many other situations. It is in his nature to be generous, and I have seen proof of that time and time again.

Without hesitation, Josh offered to come and install the dishwasher for us later in the week, which he did. He did an incredible job and, true to form, found three other things to fix in my house while he was here. “Uncle Josh has done a great job!” declared Jasper and he was right.

When we discussed how we might pay him, Josh said “in beer, but only if you drink it with me”. This says so much about him and so much about what it means to be generous. The goal of his generosity was not to get something; it was relationship. True generosity has no ulterior motive other than to love.

Josh is a skilled tradesperson and his time is valuable, but he demonstrated that relationships are more valuable by helping us out when he didn’t need to. Generosity doesn’t always mean giving large sums of money. It means being free with whatever is in your hand. For Josh, what was in his hand that day was super tradie skills and a couple of “spare” hours (let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as free time, just time we make free). He took what he was good at and was generous with it.

What I am best at is writing, so, inspired by Josh, today I am using that gift to be generous with my honour. My bank account looks pretty sad (maternity leave life!) but I have a “spare” hour, so I can donate that to write this article. Hopefully, you read it and decide to take whatever is in your hand to show some generosity today as well. That’s how it works; generosity breeds generosity.

“The world of the generous gets larger and larger;

   the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed;

   those who help others are helped.”  – Proverbs 11:24-25

 

  • Jen Grubb

From the Pit

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 40:1-3

A while ago I shared a God Story in one of our Sunday services, a snippet of the works of God in my life: how God has taken myself and my family from a complicated and unpleasant living situation to a much better one. Truthfully, there is so much more to the story. It was one of those “when it rains it pours” type scenarios. Throughout this time, I have really had to learn that waiting, exercising patience, is a verb. It’s not something you do passively all the time. As the psalmist says, “I waited patiently for God,” but, like him, I still cried, at times literally. I think the relentless crying out is what gets God’s attention. Any parents out there know there is only so much crying out a parent can bear before they act on their child’s behalf. Perhaps it’s not all about the getting what we want, or even need, as much as these experiences shape who we really are.

Not so many months ago, four to be precise, we found ourselves moving into what we thought was to be a very good home. It didn’t turn out that way, sadly. One thing about this house was that its foundations were bad. Regardless of everything else that was the matter, this particular experience seriously challeged my own foundations. As a result, I have thought and prayed long and hard about faith.

Nothing says, ‘draw near to’ or ‘lean on God’ like hard times, right? Well, not always. Life is about choices and it really can go either way. Now, I am not saying that’s how I was heading. To be honest, I am beginning to feel like I am majoring in difficult life situations, one after another. Faith is now my go-to; it’s my only life boat; it’s all that I have. Even with faith as my faithful go-to, I couldn’t seem to activate my go-go-gadget faith arms and get anything flowing. During this period, my frustration was beginning to grow very wild. We had a green light to leave this hideous house as soon as we could and yet, for the first time in our lives, finding another property was hard. At times it felt impossible. We’ve never before had to look for seven days, let alone seven of the longest weeks of my life!

Luckily for me, I have a friend named Jen. She is a storyteller and is often on the hunt for stories just like mine. She messaged me one morning and asked if I had or if I knew of any God Stories. Because I am hilarious, I half jokingly said “if we get this house we are applying for today, I will stand up and be your God story Sunday”. Well, who knew that was all that it would take to get my prayers answered and we would be approved that very day. Note to self for future reference! Funnily enough, it just so happened that I had listed Jen as a character reference for the real estate agent as well!

For my faith to be activated, I had to activate my faith, myself. I had to be willing to step out of myself: and step out I did. At that moment, just like the psalmist, my feet were totally steadied and not only was my burden lifted, I felt like I had a new song and that it would be completely true, that many would see what he has done and be amazed. I don’t know that anyone was that amazed but it is amazing and I am amazed all the time at the faithfulness of God in my life.

If you read Psalm 40 in its entirety, you will notice two parts. The first is David praising our God for pulling him out of the pit. Like every good rescue story, he went on to live hsppily ever after… not. David found himself in another pit, only this time he was strengthened by the truth he acquired in the first pit. His response is probably how we all should respond: remembering God is our helper and our saviour, as proclaimed in verse 17.

So now I know that I’m not just becoming skilled at dealing with difficult situations; God is building my faith. He’s allowed me to be wiped off my feet at times so I can find him on my knees. While I’m walking around flapping like a duck, God is using my last test to prepare me for the next one. I look forward, strangely, to the next one.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
James 1:2-4

– Tenille McNamara

The Discipline of Transformation

I really like guitars, but I also really like my wife, who really likes not being broke. Buying new guitars and staying married (or at least not being broke), can sometimes mean selling old guitars. Saying goodbye to old ones, means saying hello to new ones.

Changing into my work uniform works a lot better if I first remove my pyjamas. Being ready for a new day, means leaving behind the night before.

When I first moved to Hobart, I missed Launceston, I wanted to hold on to my life up there, but my future was in Hobart, and I couldn’t stay in Launceston and also live in Hobart. I had to leave Launceston behind.

Stepping into a new era as a church is going to mean embracing change for each of us personally. It’s going to mean leaving some things behind. Lately, I’ve been asking myself what I need to leave behind to enter a new era?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The sin that trips us up will be different for all of us, but all of us have the same decision to make: will we leave it behind to step into a new era? This isn’t something that just happens; we need to make plans and be strategic. What determines your success at throwing off the things that would hold you back is what you plan to replace them with. Deciding not to do something is much harder to stick to than deciding to do something else instead.

Throw off gossip, take up kind words.

Throw off self-medication, take up supportive friendships and healthy habits.

Throw off bitterness and take up thankfulness.

Throw off laziness and take up discipline.

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

 God transforms us from one glory to the next glory. Transformation is a process of change. If we hold on to what God did years ago, living in ‘the glory days‘, we risk holding up the process of transformation, and missing out on the ‘ever increasing glory’ God wants to bring us into. Let’s not forget what God has done for us in the past,  Rev 12:11 reminds us that “they (that’s us) have defeated him (our accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony”, but let’s always seek God for what he’s doing next. Where is the next victory? What’s the new ground to take? Where is God leading us right now?

“So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.” Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God. For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.’” Mark‬ ‭7:5-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Tradition isn’t inherently bad, but tradition for its own sake can distract us from the spiritual reality we live in; we miss the point! Some of the things I was taught growing up in a pretty conservative church environment were much more ‘man-made ideas’ than ‘commands from God’. Let’s measure everything we hear against God’s word, and throw out anything that doesn’t line up.

“This is all that I have learnt: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.” The simpler your faith in God is, the more robust and effective you will be. Don’t be weighed down!” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7:29‬ ‭

What are you leaving behind?

Simon Grubb

YA Leader

Vision Rescue: our Kingdom Foundation Focus for November

Hi church family!

June Gan-Pain here. I can’t believe we are already in November of 2016! Our Kingdom Foundation focus for November is Vision Rescue. We are raising awareness and funds for this amazing organisation in India.

Vision Rescue started off as a relatively small non-government organisation (NGO) in Mumbai, India. It grew in response to the wide range of needs for the under-privileged, and has since set up five core focuses:

Education Buses and Beacon School in the slums
Mobile Health Care in the slums

Rehabilitation Centres for those suffering from substance abuse

Training to encourage self-sustainability

Counselling and restored lives for the trafficked

We believe we each have a God-given potential, which we need to strive to achieve. While we are doing that, we are to help others achieve theirs.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

We are very passionate about what Vision Rescue is doing; our long term goal is for us to partner with Vision Rescue, to support a Community Centre in the slums of Mumbai. November is jam-packed with different ways for you to participate in our Kingdom Foundation Focus on Vision Rescue. On Sunday 6th November, we are planning to take over Connect Café with delicious curries, the proceeds will go to Vision Rescue. On Sundays the 6th and 27th of November, we will have stalls selling gifts for your Christmas shopping, including:

Salamanca Skin Care Co. – Anna Rogers Thomason’s luscious range of skincare products.
The Tea Cup Garden – Robin Ekkel’s fabulous jewellery, succulents and candles.

Sea glass and pottery for Vision Rescue with Isabelle, Rupert and June Gan-Pain selling their two year collection of sea glass and pottery. Who else but God, can turn sea shards into money?

The proceeds from these stalls will go to Vision Rescue. We are also planning to grow a bigger Vision Rescue team, if you would like to be part of our team, please see me; I will be thrilled to chat about all things Vision Rescue.

Donations more than $2 to Vision Rescue are tax deductible. If you are able to give toward our Vision Rescue goal of $8,000, you can do so by direct deposit to the Energizer Missions Account.
BSB: 037-014
Account: 278109
In the reference note ‘Vision Rescue’. We’ll keep you updated as to the progress. Thank you for being such a generous church!

Okay November, let’s GO.
June

A Note From Dave

Hi everyone,

Earlier this year we were quite concerned that here in Tasmania, we might run out of power, due to the fact that our dams, which supply the water to generate our clean, green electricity, were at a record low: apparently down to ten per cent of their capacity.
To make matters worse, we became aware that the Tasmanian Government had been selling power to Victoria, hence using up a lot of the water storage, leaving us very exposed and feeling under-resourced when the power cable connecting Tasmania to the national grid was severed somewhere across Bass Strait.
The government started bringing in expensive diesel generators to get us through. Ironically, at the 11th hour it rained and rained and rained. The dams became full, then overflowed; we had floods and after all that, the countryside became green and lush and now we all feel secure again.

In hindsight the problem doesn’t feel so large, because the resource came in the form of rain, rivers flowed and life returned.

“For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun!

Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

Rivers speak of supply, resource, refreshment and sustainability. In a new era, we will experience rivers flowing through what has previously been dry and uninhabitable. Resource in areas where previously nothing has been happening.
Unlike what happened with the Tasmanian power supply, our God does not cut our life line; He is our constant supply.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NLT)
In a new era, He will supply from His unlimited riches, which have already been given to us.
See you in church!

Ps. Dave

A God Story: Vickie’s Answered Prayer

This particular God Story took place in China, where I was in 2012. To set the scene for you, I lived on the fifth floor in an apartment building, in which I was the only foreigner and my spoken Chinese was minimal. The weather at the time had a high moisture level, causing a lot of condensation inside and outside.

On the day in question, I arrived home during the late afternoon. Thankfully, I decided not to get any cooking underway, sat my phone on the coffee table, turned the T.V. on, then went out onto the small balcony to get in my washing.

I opened one side of the double sliding doors, went to close the gap between the open door a little, just enough to have a smaller gap, but my hand slid along the wet glass. The door just slid along the track and closed, locking in two metal clips and leaving me locked outside on the balcony.

I was locked out. I was stunned, wondering what to do!I tried to open the door, tried to lift it off its track, just kept trying to open it, until I resigned myself to the fact I could not get in. I didn’t have my phone. I couldn’t get to any other apartment. I couldn’t climb down…I thought “should I call out to anyone?” but I didn’t know how to say “help me my door is locked?”.

All kinds of thoughts were crossing my mind: how long will I be out here; when will I be missed; what if a fire truck is sent to get me down…oh that would be an event!

It was getting dark and the air was damp and misty. For awhile, I sat on a small chair, watching T.V. from outside on the verandah, thinking “no sleep for me tonight, no work tomorrow”, wondering when I would be missed. All this went on for a long two hours, or more, and during this time I tried again and again to slide the door open, but it wouldn’t open. The metal locks had clicked into each other and were not budging.

After two hours or so stuck out on the small balcony, I decided that this was not where I wanted to stay for the night! I was fed up with this situation: feeling cold, hungry and tired. In all my attempts to open the door with no success, there was something I hadn’t tried: prayer!

So, I started pacing back and forth across the small balcony, speaking in tongues. Then, I placed my hands on the sliding door and said “Jesus, I can’t open this door; it’s too hard for me; I don’t have the strength, but I know you can and I demand this door be opened now in the name of Jesus”. And, do you know what? The door unlocked and I was able to slide it open!

I stood there, looking at this door now open and rushed inside, praising God! God answers prayer, and this prayer was answered very quickly!

In the days following, I retold my story, especially to my Chinese friends, who received a powerful testimony of my prayer and belief in God’s strength that He opened the door for me! There was absolutely nobody else around to do that other than God! Their response? “It must have been God!”, which of course, it was.

I leave you with this prayer from Psalm 91: 14: “Because He loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

Thank you for allowing me to share my God story.

Vickie Gracie