Autumn - winter 2010


Apologies for late appearance of this Newsletter.  It used to be six per year, but life is so busy that I am currently producing just three per year!


Proud mum and dad

Family news first. Our youngest son David got married on July 3rd to the daughter of our best friends. They have been dating for nearly six years now. Both had previously done the six month NETS course at Ellel Pierrepont. Our daughter and grandson flew in from Australia for the event, and stayed for three weeks. Our second son Stephen graduated in law. He is now at law school in England and should qualify as a lawyer in May. Linda and I (left) now find ourselves in the empty nest phase of our lives.  It has been harder to deal with than either of us suspected.  It is great to see the family leaving the nest and doing well, but after being a very active mum and dad for so long meant it was hard for us to suddenly have the home all to ourselves!  Two knives, two forks, two plates. Rooms staying tidy. Garden with no bare patches from football and cricket. We are getting there however, and the family are always in contact every week.  God is good!
July 20th - 23rd  Ellel Pierrepont, Surrey, England   The Father heart of God

This is my eleventh year teaching at Ellel Pierrepont and I count it a privilege to do so. The Father heart of God is still the most asked for teaching wherever I go, and I plan to have the book finished by December for publication by Sovereign World in April. It was meant to be finished in January, then April, then the summer, so I really want to get there by the end of this year.

I also taught the term four students for one day on God's testings, and taught for half an hour at the joint staff and student weekly communion (100+ people)  You can listen to that teaching here.


In early August Linda and I flew out to Australia. Normally I like to arrive several days ahead of my first teaching date, but this year that did not prove possible. However God's goodness and grace allowed me to begin teaching a Friday to Sunday course within approx. 48 hours of a straight Belfast-London-Singapore-Perth flight without the usual overnight rest half way.

August 6th - 8th Ellel Springhill, near Perth 

Reclaiming the ground I taught this at last years visit to Ellel Gilbulla near Sydney and it proved to be very popular.  I am grateful to Ellel for being able to teach these rather 'meaty' subjects that would not normally be available to Christians. 

During our one week stay we enjoyed a great fun day out with the staff, complete of course with Aussie barbeque.  (We are the sane ones on the right!) Playing badminton I forgot that I was no longer 35 years old and competitive old me ended up taking a rather heavy tumble in the grit which I confess, 'stung a bit'  

August 13 - 15 Ellel Gilbulla, Near Sydney,

Men of God. One of my favourite weekend courses and again well attended by men who were serious about doing business with God.  The testimonies at the end were amongst the best I can remember hearing for a long time. God did a great work amongst them.  Thank you men for being brave enough to come!

August 19th Ellel Gilbulla,

Associate Counsellors training day. This year I was asked to do a ministry training day and chose to teach on 'ministering into abuse'  Many were shocked at the first session when I showed twenty minutes of segments from the film 'Song for a raggy boy' - dealing with physical and sexual abuse in Ireland - but it was important as when the teaching sessions followed there was be a greater empathy and a sharpened understanding of what issues, obvious and not so obvious, that would need to be dealt with, and how we might bring the finished work of the cross to bring healing. 

August 20 - 22 Ellel Gilbulla,

The Father heart of God. I have taught this every year that I have visited Australia (that was our seventh visit) and every year it is a full house or close to it.  The need for healing of what is sometimes called 'the father wound' is immense, and year after year I see God heal that wound left by earthly fathers who were unable or unwilling to be 'a dad' to their children.  And yes, it is down for next year's visit as well. If you live in Australia and have not sat under this gentle teaching, packed with revelations about your Heavenly Father, then I would urge you to try and attend.

  Here we are all gathering for the one hour 'father heart walk' around the 35 acres of bush land.

During our time here, two great friends of ours took us for a two night break to their beautiful 1100 acre farm, a first for us in Australia. We had a wonderful time with them, yet again.  I love the outdoors, so staying at a ranch with beautifully mixed terrain was such a blessing.  Here we have stopped at the highest point on the farm.  What a country!

New Zealand

With teaching finished, Linda and I met up with the former directors of Ellel Springhill, Paul and Barbs, who are also our in-laws (Their son married our daughter) for a camper-van adventure in New Zealand's South island. This had been a dream of mine for many years, especially from a photographic point of view. We drove some 2000 kms over the two weeks.  Paul is also a keen photographer

For some reason I thought New Zealand's winter would be like the Australian winter (warm) but how wrong I was. The nights were cold, and on several occasions we were driving through torrential rain and snow storms, finally being rocked to and fro in the middle of the night by an earthquake! The night after the 7.2 earthquake we survived the worst storm I have ever experienced.  We had to move the two camper-vans several times in the dark for safety. Frightening and yet exciting!


We wanted an adventure and we certainly got an adventure! But in between these interesting and challenging blips in the graph there were beautiful days, and as we expected, stunning landscapes.  New Zealand's South Island did not disappoint.  There are many photos on my photographic web site, but here are a few (including the one at the very top of the page) to whet your appetite. 

Thank you Jesus!

Finally, we travelled back to Australia to spend a week with our daughter and her family. 

We were treated again to wonderful interaction with the local wild birds. King parrots would gradually trust us enough to come and feed out of our hands. As did Mynahs, Rainbow Lorikeets and Kookaburras.

In western thinking, Australia was the last continent to be 'discovered' but it seems that God kept the best wine until the last.  It truly is an amazing country. How anyone could live in, or visit Australia and not see The Creator's Hand is beyond me. 

Sadly, like all countries, they have their problems. Fallen man continues to behave like fallen man, and it is sad to see the seemingly increasing levels of alcohol and drug addiction and the street violence - especially among young people - that so often results from that lifestyle.  Oh for a great revival there!

Our annual Autumn Tuesday evening Prayer Ministry School is underway again, running from October through to February. This year we have added in an additional advanced Prayer Ministry School for those who have attended previous Autumn schools.  Our team continue to do prayer ministry at Green Pastures Church in Ballymena every Thursday. 

We will be visiting Lifeline Recovery in Drogheda November 12 - 14th to do a Father heart of God weekend for the young men at the centre who are seeking to come out of the dark world of drug addiction.

My health is excellent right now, after a somewhat difficult start to the year. God is faithful.

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