September - October 2007

Linda and I spent a total of seven weeks in Australia, the longest time we have been away from home.

We spent two weeks at Ellel Australia at Gilbulla, outside Sydney, two weeks at Ellel Australia at Springhill, outside Perth, and nearly a fortnight having the holiday of a lifetime in the Kimberley region at the very top of western Australia - an area very few Australians have ever been to!

Our daughter Joanne flew out to meet us at Perth and stayed with us for two weeks before flying home again.

A trip out of the ordinary!

August 3rd - 5th  'Father heart of God'

A full house, as seems the case for nearly all Father heart of God courses. God graciously continues to work powerfully through this teaching and the testimonies at the end of the nine teaching sessions were amongst the most moving I have heard.  Below are a few pictures from the nature walk session when we see God's glory and heart revealed through the things that are made. Romans 1:20

August 5th evening..

Last year pyrotechnic expert Damien Armstrong put on a fabulous firework display as way of saying thank you for what God had done in his life through the Men of God course a two years earlier.

It was such a blessing to all at the end of last year's Father heart of God course that he returned and repeated the performance for the delegates again this year.

The night sky was lit up with a spectacular display that was simply awesome. Thank you Damien!

August 7th -9th 'Moving on with God'

Wonderful people, all hungry to move on with God. Subjects covered included understanding the Lordship of Jesus, the power of the Blood covenant, God's testings, the journey from Egypt to the promised land, discipleship and building a disciplined prayer life. Testimony time during the final session showed that God had been moving amongst His people.

August 10th - 12th 'Sons of God'

This was a major 'quiver' event for young men. Though always well attended overall, the number of young men who attend quiver events is relatively low, so it was a wonderful surprise to find some 50 young men (18 - 35) attending this course. The course was an outright challenge to committed discipleship.  One delegate emailed me one week after the event to say that it was only after the event did revelation hit him and he was radically changed. Here is a brief extract from the two page email..

"You may be reading this thinking it is drivel, but it is a revelation to me! In taking these series of small steps I am already feeling like a new man. My hardness of heart and heaviness of spirit is gone. I feel it (and my wife confirms it - she says I sound like a new man) so I just wanted to say thanks!"

On August 15th we flew to Ellel Springhill outside Perth to teach on two weekend courses and our daughter Joanne flew out to join us for the two weeks.

Here Joanne meets some of the kangaroos that live on the 85 acre property.

These were the first kangaroos she had ever seen and her excitement was obvious!

August 17th - 19th  'Men of God'

A very well attended weekend where the men were challenged regarding their walk with Jesus. Men's issues are talked about openly and looked at through scripture. Ministry on the Saturday evening session was a very powerful time when many men made renewed commitments.  I continue to find that Aussie Christian men are more than ready to step into the front line. The testimonies speak of how deeply God's Spirit was at work within these men hungry for more of God.

"Challenged me to be more obedient and gain an understanding of the fear of God and how that fits with God's grace"

"This event has brought me closer to God"

"In a God fearing way this has reinforced my role as a man / husband / father "

"Opened my eyes . Convinced me to get off the fence and follow God"

"This event has been everything I expected and therefore was not 'surprised' by the ministry, but it certainly challenged me and confronted specific issues that the Lord needed to deal with before He can move me on to the higher destiny He has in store"

"I had to deal with pornography in my life!

Professor Charles Kraft, Sun-Hee Kwak Professor of Anthropology and Intercultural Communication at Fuller Theological Seminary, and his wife were speaking at a conference in Perth and came out to Ellel Springhill for a day when we had a good Aussie barbie and some great discussions. It is good to meet some of the great saints of God along the way. Here we are pictured with some of the Ellel Springhill team.

One of the delegates on the Men of God course very kindly paid for Linda Joanne and I to have an overnight break on the beautiful island of Rottnest, some miles off the City of Perth. Being the Australian winter the island was nearly deserted and we had a wonderful time in this mini paradise!

August 24th - 26th 'Moving on with God'

Again a group of men and women eager to move on with God and wanting to deal with issues that would hold them back. Many travelled a long way to attend this weekend course. Two men drove for around five hours while a woman in her sixties travelled more than 1000 miles. I find such hunger and passion both humbling and encouraging.

A selection of the written testimonies showed that God had touched these hungry hearts..

"Reignited my faith"

"This course has presented a very clear, direct, emphatic teaching on the scriptural picture of a Christian, our call, the father heart, the covenant and what it means to move on with God. Eliminated shadow areas and making this very clear. I am grateful for this clarity. I feel strengthened, confirmed, and equipped to move on"

"God's truth delivered so gently with a powerful punch"

"Fabulous. Put you on the spot, makes you assess where you really are (without condemnation) and helps you really move on. Yet all this in a gentle way"

"Great solid Biblical teaching, a lot of ground covered"

"I was blessed. There is more than enough food, Biblically based for me to feast on for some time. My prayer will be to savour each pearl of truth as it sinks into my spirit. Covenant teaching was enlightening. Thank you"

Holiday time!

I have wanted to go to the vast and remote Kimberley and Northern Territory regions of Australia for many years but the distances and time needed, not to mention the finances needed were always prohibitive. However when I was in a coma in the Newcastle upon Tyne heart unit two years ago, Linda spoke into my spirit again and again telling me that if I got better we would go and see the Kimberley. As this year is my 60th (December 18th 2007) we decided that this would be the year to go for it, and go for it we did. It exceeded even my best expectations. I think the pictures will tell the story best. I took nearly one thousand photographs so showing nine does not do the wilderness holiday the justice it deserves!

How Great Thou art Lord!

  What's on in October?

In October I will be spending a week with Lifeline in Dublin teaching Kingdom leadership principles and skills to young men whom God has wonderfully saved from lives of crime and serious drug addiction. These young men have proven to be some of the best quality disciples I have encountered and they are ready to help the work in the city expand.

The Cri team continues to work alongside Green pastures church in Ballymena as it establishes itself within the community. The new 900 seater building opens in a couple of months and the weekly prayer ministry school is helping to train up a ministry team.

Our annual 14 week (one night a week) prayer ministry school starts this month also and is one of the most popular events in the teams calendar.

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