See this picture? It shows a new preaching point in Western France, and you were praying for us while we were there last Saturday! Continue reading
Take a look at the image to the right… What do you see?
Most people would see or notice 3 things:
- A bunch of words… and with the exception of “La” and “Le”, most of them are illegible.
- The dominant colours are three shades of blue and green.
- The font resembles a casual handwritten script.
If you said any or all of these, you’d be entirely correct. That’s really about all that one could say with any degree of certainty for the text size is too small to derive any meaning from what’s written.
From a Distance
In fact, what you are looking at is a word cloud which shows the names of 94 towns and villages that lie within a short drive of the city of Châtellerault. La is associated with La Roche-Posay and Le is part of the name Le Rigny. These will be place names that we will be seeing on a regular basis… on road signs, maps, etc.
I realize that it is small and difficult to read, so as you get to the bottom of this post, you will see a larger version of the same image, and will perhaps be able to pick out the names of places that you might be familiar with.
Why do I place emphasis on what could appear to be a random collection of place names? …Simple, it’s a question of…
If you recall, on Wednesday I referred you back to a post that I wrote last year about a vision the Lord had given me concerning Châtellerault: there would be a crown around the city and that crown would actually be a number of Home Bible Studies, Preaching Points and one day Daughter Works that would surround the city. Well dear reader, it’s entirely possible, indeed probable, that some of the places named in this photo could be ripe for revival. Certainly every one of these towns and villages house individuals and families that are looking for something to fill a void in their life. They just don’t realize that only Jesus can fill the deepest void.
Today, would you pray over these 94 towns and villages. You may not be able to read each place name, but the LORD knows them intimately. Would you pray a circle around the city of Châtellerault… that God would pour out the light of Jesus, preparing people now for the revival that is already on its way.
In Jesus’ name!
Thank you readers, for partnering with us in prayer!
By doing so, you are part of #Revival_inFrance !
For today’s post, I’m reaching back to an experience that happened earlier this year.
I was in Montreal doing some administrative things in preparation for France and the person I was working with had no connection to the church. In the course of making small talk while filling out paperwork, the individual asked a pointed question and it opened up an incredible opportunity to talk about the LORD.
It got me thinking….
(video length 2:44)
It reminds me of Matthew 16:13-15
13 …Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, and he asked his disciples, …Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
What answer do you give?
If someone were to ask us honestly… “Who is Jesus?” …how would we respond?
If someone were to ask why they should give up their Sunday morning and spend it in church… how would we respond?
I know there’s a risk that this video may come across as preachy a bit, that’s really not my intention. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t get it right 100% of the time either. The conversation that prompted this was as much an eye-opener to me as to anyone… a wake-up call to the opportunities that we may regularly let slide by.
Not this either. It’s as much about trying to vary up the format of the blog as anything else. Since the launch of this blog, the most-viewed post was the introduction video back in January. It’s also no secret that web-surfers engage with video content better than many other formats. This post is less about me getting a kick from talking in front of my iPhone than it is about presenting an idea in a different format.
This next chapter is arguably one of the most important things happening in our life and it takes the help of many other people to make that happen. In order for them to help, they need to see a compelling reason to help.
Would you help us find fertile soil and plant seed in France?
Click here to see how you can.
Thanks for coming back today!
What do you think of the video format? I’d love to know your thoughts.
Time and again I’ve sat near the seashore and watched the scene unfold, and this time was no different.
Diligent Little Plover
A small flock of sand plovers glided low over the sand before us, landed within several feet of each other and proceeded to begin foraging through the sand in between waves flooding the sand beneath their fast moving feet.
I watched one in particular which, as soon as a wave receded, would scurry out, begin foraging for food and work it’s way back in, hurried along by the next wave coming behind. It repeatedly stuck its beak into the saturated sand feeling around for something to snack on; quickly and diligently, only stopping briefly to watch for any sign of danger, gradually working it’s way up the beach.
Then, it took to the air, flew back down the beach, landing close to where it started from and begin the whole process again. It did this several times, and I was amazed at this little bird’s pragmatic approach to its day… to survival. Being a nice day, there were no storms on the horizon nor any imminent danger… so all it needed to occupy itself with was finding food.
It also reminded me of something else.
I’d recently read the following verse in Jeremiah 10:23-24
(23) Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: (24) But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercises lovingkindness, judgement and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.
We may be wise, mighty or rich… but that is of little eternal value. We shouldn’t rely on them. If we’re going to be proud of anything, be proud of these two things:
- that we know and understand God (no small feat)
- that this God we know and understand exercises lovingkindness, judgement and righteousness (not only THAT… he gives us a clue…) he delights in these things.
Do we want God to take pleasure in us? If so, I must seek to cultivate, in my life, things that He delights in.
- Lovingkindness – is exercised toward those around me. If I will cultivate this, then relationally my life will be richer and more simple.
- Judgement – is first and foremost exercised toward myself. If I will cultivate this, then my life will better reflect the gospel that I profess.
- Righteousness – is exercised toward God, but should also be visible to others. If I will cultivate this, then spiritually, my relationship with God will be rich and meaningful.
Principles are what drive rules and or behaviour, not vice-versa. Principle are overarching and rules specific to particular scenarios. The Old Testament shows us quite clearly that long lists of rules make life more complicated and are, in fact, impossible to keep flawlessly.
Jeremiah relayed to God’s people 3 simple principles in this passage. If I will concentrate on them… life really will become simpler as I won’t have the time or energy to get caught up in any number of other distractions.
My observation of the diligent plover also reminded me of John 9:4
(4) I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
He went up and down the shoreline undistracted from his task of finding food, what he needed for survival.
What do we need to do to survive? We need to not get caught up in the daily distractions; things unnecessary. We need to cultivate things in our life that will cause the Lord to take pleasure in us.
Lord, let that characterize our preparations for and our time in France.
I heard an #wowQuote, exactly one week ago today, from Missionary to France, Marcus Brainos, who was quoting 18th century German nobleman, Count Nicholas Ludwig vonZinzendorf:“…that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.”
Count vonZinzendorf (try saying THAT name 10 times fast!) was from one of the most prestigious houses in Europe; so much so that he was a guest at the coronation of King Christian VI of Denmark in 1731. Yet… his heart was not so attached to the comfort or ease that came with his position that he clung to it at the expense of his walk with God. Rather, he claimed as his home, not Germany, but that place where he could “…be most used in winning souls for Christ”.
Lord, cultivate in me a similar excellent spirit.
True, we can’t all leave our “home and native land” and set course for lands abroad but for those who stay in the land of their birth (and for me while I’m still in mine):
“Let us be well used in winning souls for you, Lord.”
“Lord, you have unmistakably called us to France, so I have no doubt that you intend to use us there to win souls for you.”
- Let that be our focus
- Let that be our prayer
- Let that be the goal toward which we press
- Let us teach our kids to so walk… not just in word, but also in deed. May we see in them a generation that seeks the supernatural as second nature.
- Don’t let us be content to “have church” but to “live the early-church experience” … daily!
That’s it, That’s All
Just a short post for today… a bit of inspiration for you, from something that inspired us! God bless you today thanks for being a faithful reader of AIMLong.ca! (If this is your first time, why not subscribe and automatically received posts as they are published.)
Is this your first time reading or hearing about vonZinzendorf?
What do you think?
You’ll recall, from my last post, that I promised to allude to the role of prayer in the incredible revival that was see on the island of Lewis-Harris in the early 1950’s. The following excerpt is taken from the transcript of a taped message, preached by Duncan Campbell (a Scottish preacher with the United Free Church of Scotland and the Faith Mission) in 1968, on the topic of the Hebrides Revival.
(formatting & emphasis mine)
Now I am sure that you will be interested to know how, in November 1949, this gracious movement began on the island of Lewis. Two old women, one of them 84 years of age and the other 82 (one of them stone blind), were greatly burdened because of the appalling state of their own parish (where) …not a single young person attended public worship. …They spent their day perhaps reading or walking but the church was left out of the picture. …Those two women were greatly concerned and they made it a special matter of prayer.
They were so burdened that both decided to spend much time in prayer, twice a week. On Tuesday they got on their knees at 10 o’clock in the evening and remained (there) until 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning–two old women in a very humble cottage.
One night, one of the sisters had a vision… she saw the church of her fathers crowded with young people, packed to the doors, and a strange minister standing in the pulpit… (she) said to (their) minister, “You must do something about it. And I would suggest that you call your office bearers together and that you spend, with us, at least two nights in prayer in the week. Tuesday and Friday if you gather your elders together… and as you pray there, we will pray here.”
…that continued for almost a month and a half, until one night… they were (all) kneeling there in the barn, pleading this promise,
“I will pour water on him that is thirsty, floods upon the dry ground”
…when one young man, a deacon in the church, got up and… said, “It seems to me to be so much humbug to be praying as we are praying, to be waiting as we are waiting, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God.”
…he lifted his hands and prayed, “God, are my hands clean? Is my heart pure? “ But he got no further. That young man fell to his knees… into a trance. At that moment, he and his other office bearers were gripped by the conviction that a God-sent revival must ever be related to holiness. …and an awareness of God gripped the community such as hadn’t been known for over 100 years.
I shall never forget the night that I arrived… The minister turned to me and said:
“I know Mr. Campbell that you are very tired-you have been traveling all day, …and I am sure that you are ready for your supper and ready for your bed. But I wonder if you would be prepared to address a meeting in the parish church at 9 o’clock tonight on our way home. It will be a short meeting…”
We got to the church about quarter to nine to find about 300 people gathered… Nothing really happened during the service: A sense of God, a consciousness of His Spirit moving but nothing beyond that. So I pronounced the benediction… When I went to the door of the church I saw a congregation (outside) of approximately 600 people. …Where had they come from? I believe that that very night God swept in Pentecostal power-the power of the Holy Ghost.
Where’d they come from?
Over 100 young people were at the dance in the parish hall and they weren’t thinking of God or eternity… when suddenly the power of God fell upon the dance. The music ceased and in a matter of minutes, the hall was empty. They fled from the hall and made for the church. They are now standing outside. Oh, yes–they saw lights in the church. That was a house of God and they were going to it.
Men and women who had gone to bed rose, dressed, and made for the church. Nothing in the way of publicity–no mention of a special effort… But God took the situation in hand and became His own publicity agent. A hunger and a thirst gripped the people. 600 of them now are at the church standing outside.
I recently read a short booklet entitled “The Lewis Awakening”, written by Duncan Campbell in 1954. The book traces the remarkable story of revival coming to the small island of Lewis, between 1949 – 1953. Lewis is part of the Hebrides Islands off the coast of Scotland.
Campbell dedicates Chapter 2 to describing how the revival began. Below is an excerpt.
(emphasis & formatting are mine)
“I would like first to state what I mean by revival as witnessed in the Hebrides:
- I do not mean a time of religious entertainment, with crowds gathering to enjoy an evening of bright gospel singing;
- I do not mean sensational or spectacular advertising – in a God-sent revival you do not need to spend money on advertising.
- I do not mean high-pressure methods to get men to an inquiry room – in revival every service is an inquiry room; the road and hill side become sacred spots to many when the winds of God blow.
Revival is a going of God among His people, and an awareness of God laying hold of the community.
Here we see the difference between a successful campaign and revival; in the former we may see many brough to a saving knowledge of the truth, and the church or mission experience a time of quickening, but so far as the town or district is concerned no real change is visible; the world goes on its way and the dance and picture-shows are still crowded: but in revival the fear of God lays hold upon the community, moving men and women, who until then had no concern for spiritual things, to see after God. ” (pp.14-15)
A Word of Caution
- While it could seem harsh for Campbell to draw the comparison between “a successful campaign” and “revival”, let’s be careful to not over-emphasize that distinction. Both have value and both serve a purpose; Campbell is, first and foremost, describing the way things happened in Lewis, where there were none of the elements of the “successful campaign”… no flyers printed, posters hung, or high-pressure.
- He states that “in a God-sent revival you do not need to spend money on advertising.” Once again, let’s remember:
- the context – which is rural Scotland in the 1950’s and
- that the author is speaking descriptively, not prescriptively.
Inspired for Real Change
- Lord, let it be so in our communities today!
- Let us, in our lifetime, experience such revival as was seen in Lewis.
- Let us see it in France.
Come back on Saturday when I’ll share the role that prayer played in the Lewis Awakening, according to Duncan Campbell.