Observations and Lessons
Our last post highlighted the wonderful time a group of believers shared over August in the south of France. We returned from the experience with full hearts and a fresh grasp of what Jesus is doing amongst His people.
We asked some of those friends who shared this time in Cantinergues to tell us something of their own experience over that week. We felt it would encourage those who wanted to be there but were unable to for whatever reason.
“We both felt very rested and blessed being with everyone and our Lord on this holiday. Our boys also enjoyed the company of other kids. I was challenged by the Lord the way we express ourselves to each other. To shine the joy He gives us and not to talk down. Also to stay away from gossip when it comes to meeting non-Christians. Not letting it affect me. We are to be true advertisement for the Lord.” – Simon & Nina L. (Ireland)
Refreshment and Vitality
Being away together over a period of time aids us not only in an awareness of rich and consistent fellowship but also encourages a freshness in our hearts towards the Lord of our life. It is quite unlike a meeting for a hour or two because days spent together allow us to assimilate the ‘word of the Lord’ made real in our hearts. Simon and Nina share above a couple of areas that are of key importance as we live as believers in a world that is opposed to God. Jesus is always with us and loves us so deeply! He is the Source of refreshment and vitality.
How wonderful it is to see the Holy Spirit link peoples hearts within the body of Christ. No pressure tactics or manipulation required, or needed thankfully!
“The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line but they don’t live it. They don’t take it in to their hearts and live it out in their behaviour. It’s all spit and polish veneer…………they package it in bundles or rules, loading you down like pack animals……..Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let Him tell you what to do.” Matthew 23: 1ff TMSG
Silvio and Dominique highlight a key issue within healthy relationships. Read their comments below.
“Ok. Nothing in particular, the general “ambiance” was just great. I could feel the love of all the people. Being with people with no agenda, or with nothing to prove, is so relaxing, and that plus the fellowship we were having, was just great. You know it was like we first met. We didn’t know each other, but immediately we were old buddies, brothers and sisters.” – Silvio and Dominique V. (Switzerland)
Relaxed and Unstructured Fellowship
I mentioned in our last post that one of the discussions we had centred around the Hebrew and Greek mindsets. During this time away it became obvious that all of life is spiritual. There is no separation within the Hebrew mindset between the sacred and the secular. All of life centres around the worship of our God!
Some people would define Christianity, whether in word or action as a system of ethics, a code of conduct, an ideology or a creed. To the Hebrew mind these definitions of ‘The Way’ are misleading, deficient and inaccurate. Our faith in God is a journey or pilgrimage. Raj and Lynda from Scotland share their experience of our time together below…
“Raj and I really enjoyed the informal, unstructured, unhurried fellowship, good stimulating discussions about the Lord Jesus, and getting to know likeminded, interesting people. It was lovely to have David & Nina with us, looking so well. The food was marvellous and the outings were well planned and gave us a taste of the region – its history and produce. It was a fine opportunity to meet some new believer friends as well as catch up with those we had met before.
The setting was so peaceful and the weather conducive to gentle walks and heart to heart talks. Listening to each others’ stories was rewarding and at times humbling. We had fun too, especially the music-making of Silvio, Gert and others.We feel confident that everyone went away enriched and encouraged. In summary it was a special week of quality sharing and experiencing genuine community spirit.” – Raj and Lynda S. (Scotland)
Teach them to your Children
Moses encouraged the people of Israel to teach the laws and decrees to their children. “Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
Jesus stated quite clearly, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Children have an amazing capacity to drink in discussions and copy qualities of character that are born out of healthy friendships and fellowship. Within a wholesome group of believers our children are learning all the time. This may well be in addition to our own family activities and input. Our time away was a positive example of this as Guy and Celia have commented.
“Our week was altered to what we might have expected by the injury to Emma the day before travelling. However nothing is wasted in God and we enjoyed some lovely sharing with people who came to visit her. Out of one such sharing time we were touched by one person’s revelation that it is not Jesus walking with us that makes our relationship but he is about his walk and he invites us to walk with him.
The other key aspect of the week for us was the pleasure we derived from seeing the children and young people enjoying the atmosphere as they played together. We saw much of the Lord’s delight in them and they delighted us by their presence. There was a precious level of faith in all the youngsters.” – Guy and Celia K. (Yorkshire, England)
These are just some of the observations and lessons learnt and shared while we were away. But, there is so much more to come!
See you soon…