12 July, 2014
"Not in your own strength, for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you, energizing and creating in you the power and desire, both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight."
Philippians 2:13, Amp
My eleven year old niece, Christy, has been taking piano lessons for about eight months now, and really seems to have a wonderful, natural talent for music. She’s made great progress over this short period of time. Recently Christy’s piano teacher asked her to play a hymn she taught her at their school’s chapel service. Christy is very shy of public attention but courageously went ahead and ministered her song to the Lord. She’s a beginner piano student and her rendition of the hymn was simple and without frills. But then, somewhere in the middle of her performance, her piano teacher, an accomplished musician, joined her at the piano, and added a beautiful accompaniment to Christy’s simple melody. As student and teacher played this duet of praise together, it was transformed into the most beautiful, anointed music and touched the hearts of those listening, and I’m sure, God’s heart also!
As I listened to my sister telling me of this special moment in Christy’s life, I saw so clearly a picture of Father God, and the way He beautifies our simple efforts of service to Him. We often feel inadequate and unqualified to do things for Him. Our own insecurities and fear of failure cause us to hold back when His Spirit prompts us to step out in faith and to trust Him for the results. What we forget is that, because of the anointing and presence of His Holy Spirit within us, our human efforts are transformed into divine assignments as God joins us for a ‘duet’ that will touch lives and accomplish God’s purposes in and through us. When we lean on Him, and not on our own understanding or our own abilities, He’s glorified, and lives are impacted for His Kingdom! ‘Not in your own strength’, but ‘for His good pleasure, and satisfaction and delight’.
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You never leave me to do things in my own strength. Thank You that You always come alongside me and beautify my human efforts with Your divine touch and anointing. I want to trust You more than ever, and step out whenever You call me to do so! Amen.
Today's Writer : Christel Baxter Christel Baxter Christel joined the Associate team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. She is married to Gary, who serves with her on the associate team and they have 2 beautiful children, Liezl & Wesley. She is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.
24 June, 2014
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you."
John 14:27, NIV
Recently my son and I had a special day together. He took time off work to come and spend the day fishing with me. We both like coarse fishing (that’s the sort where you catch freshwater fish and then return them to the water, rather than take them away to eat!) and we went to a very unspoilt lake near me, where we could relax, chat together and hopefully catch something.
The day was glorious with hot sun and no wind. The place was beautiful with a lot of interesting wild life around for us to see, including a bright blue and orange kingfisher flying backwards and forwards over the water. At one stage we just sat in the tranquillity and enjoyed the peace. My son remarked several times how peaceful it was, such a blessing. Of course peace was relative, as there were the usual sounds of farm machinery, small aircraft, and bird noises that you get when you’re in the countryside, but especially for him it was significantly peaceful, as he lives and works in and around London.
It made me reflect on Jesus’ words in John 14:27; ‘peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives’. For us the term peace usually means an absence of sound. This can’t really be achieved in normal life, as there’s always something there to break the silence. In fact most people couldn’t cope with no sound at all for very long, as we need sounds to help us survive. Those who’re profoundly deaf struggle with more than just the lack of noise. Many people search for peace as a place of tranquillity, but something always breaks the silence.
The peace that Jesus refers to is a relational peace with God. Our human spirit longs for that sense of peace with God, and when we become believers we rejoice in the relationship restored so we are no longer in the place of inner turmoil. However, the effects of our past experiences and the constant battle from the enemy all around us can damage our sense of peace within. As God brings inner healing into our spirit and soul so our bodies can begin to relax and be at rest.
No matter how tranquil the surroundings, it’s only the inner peace from Jesus that can really bless us deeply and refresh the spirit.
Oh yes, and we did catch some nice fish that day, which was a real bonus.
Prayer: Jesus thank You for giving us Your peace through the restoration of our relationship with the Father, which You achieved for us on the cross. In the midst of a noisy world help us to find the space to be still, to reflect in the tranquillity and to know that inner peace to quieten our hearts. Amen.
Today's Writer : John Berry John Berry John Berry (JB) is Manager of the Modular Schools and part of the Leadership Support Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor. He also leads the Church Liaison Team for Glyndley which includes his wife Jennie, and was in Baptist Ministry for over 30 years before joining Ellel Ministries. His heart is for the equipping of the church for its ministry, and he sees the healing and deliverance ministry of Ellel as an essential part of this. John has travelled widely in the course of his work, and enjoys being a grandfather 7 times over.
06 July, 2014
Gifts To God That He Delights In
"Moreover because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that He delights in, for as part of God’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be His and all things happen just as He decided long ago."
Ephesians 1:11, NLB
The Lord doesn’t want us to pretend any more, either to Him or to others. In His gentleness He wants us to realise the real worth He sets on us. As Jesus said `you are of more value than many sparrows, yet he takes care of them`.
We`re so valuable that we`ve become gifts to God, because of what Christ has done for us on the cross, in making us clean. How incredibly great is His power to help those who trust in Him. He knows and understands our troubles, and so He can change and restore the real `me` deep inside. We can be transparent before Him without fear, as His gentleness and love are so great and His presence that He puts within us is a guarantee that He will give us all that He promises.
And when He becomes that precious gift to us we realise that we`re His precious jewels, and our hearts begin to praise Him. This really delights and blesses Him. It says in Zephaniah 3:17 that it causes Him to sing over us with great rejoicing. This is God`s plan for His children. Although we`re weak, poor, and sinful, and we feel worthless, yet the truth is the Lord has made us strong, rich, clean, confident, beautiful, and genuine people.
`I will change your name,
you shall no longer be called, wounded, outcast, lonely or afraid.
I will change your name,
Your new name shall be confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one, faithfulness, friend of God, one who seeks my face` (D.J.Butler).
Paul`s prayer: `I pray that your hearts be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future He has called you to share. I want you to realise that God has been made rich because we who are Christ`s have been given to Him` (Ephesians 1:18).
Today's Writer : Pam Smith Pam Smith has a background in art and nursing, has a son and two daughters and six grandchildren. She has been a friend and helper of Ellel Ministries since l992, and has been involved with Healing Through Creativity Courses. As writer of the Shepherd Love Series, she has a passion for the comfort and encouragement that leads people towards enjoying abundant Life in Jesus.
23 June, 2014
Which Way Do I Go, Lord?
"And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left."
Isaiah 30: 21, (Amp)
It has been quite a time of readjustment for me recently. My husband died just over two years ago, after forty two years of marriage, and I know the Lord has a new direction for me. Very shortly after he died, I heard the Lord say in my spirit the words of Jeremiah 29:11: ‘For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome’, so I have been waiting – and waiting!
I don’t want to give the impression that I am doing nothing, or that I am running around in all directions looking to see what I should be doing. I am learning, again, that the Lord doesn’t work in a hurry and that His time scale isn’t the same as ours. Life would be so simple if He lit up a huge neon sign over the right pathway, but it seldom happens like that. What I have been doing is waiting, trying to be patient, pushing gently at a few doors to see if they will open and then waiting some more. Nobody has come to view the house and friends keep asking if I am worried about that, but I can honestly say that I am not. Why would I want to leave this beautiful house where I have lived for 30 years in idyllic surroundings? I know that when the time comes it will be a huge wrench, but that too is in the Lord’s hands.
Is it easy being in a sort of limbo? No, it isn’t, but I am beginning to sense that things aren’t going to remain like this for much longer and there is a feeling of gradual detachment as the roots are getting ready to be pulled up.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Your plans are best and You know the right time to put them into action. Please help me to wait patiently for Your perfect timing and to be ready for the new things You are doing in my life. Thank You that I can wait in trust, knowing that You know what is right for me. Amen.
Today's Writer : Angela Weir Angela Weir has been associated with Ellel Ministries from the very beginning, first as an associate member of the ministry team and later as an associate teacher. She trained as an actress before moving to Cumbria, where she taught drama in a girls’ school. She now teaches and ministers at various Ellel Centres.