Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What I found today.

But if from thence ye shall seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou search after him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.~Deut4:29

When we moved to the island we came from a well established fundamental Presbyterian church that taught strongly from the word to a very small, very eclectic, very struggling church that didn't always have a Pastor.  We learnt early that if we were going to continue to walk with the Lord & grow in grace then much of the responsibility for that growth was going to fall on our shoulders.  There was no *church* church.  There was no minister.  There were no regular services, no bible studies, no prayer nights.

It has taken 20 years to shake of the expectations of a lifetime of establishment church but we have learnt we are the church & the responsibility for our relationship with God is ours alone.  Ours were the only children in church Sunday after Sunday, year after year ~ when we did have a service. 

We devised a collection of *helps*: tapes & CDs, commentaries, radio programmes, Christian literature.  For years I rose at 6am, parked my car just so, so I could pick up the only Christian broadcast preaching that reached the island & for an hour & a half I sat in my car listening to some of the best preaching available anywhere!  Denomination ceased to matter.  A starving man does not question the source of the food before him.  Often it was the only outside input I received for weeks on end & I meditated on it from day to day.  Fellowship was irregular at best.  We were thrown back onto the family ~ as the Lord Himself warned Dearest we would be.  It has made us a little odd.  It has made us extremely critical of any preaching we hear.  We have had to survive a spiritually hostile environment unsupported by strong church structure & we do not tolerate poor preaching well.  It weakens the people of God.  It destroys congregations.  It blasphemes the name of God.

At first our choices were very traditional: the hymns we knew & loved; a few stray choruses we felt were biblically sound.  Later Liddy bought contemporary Christian music.  As  I reverted more & more to my natural inclination towards meditative prayer, I often chose Celtic Praise & worship music.  Then, picking a CD at random on one of our rare trips into Koorong I found Messianic worship music.  That first CD, Ancient Words, changed my perception of worship music forever.  There is something about it that speaks profoundly to my condition.  It is scriptually sound, quoting scripture, the psalms, traditional Jewish prayer & song.  It naturally turns the heart towards God.  So each time we've been into Koorong I've looked for something similar ~ with no luck.  Miles of contemporary stuff.  Miles of traditional stuff.  Hip Hop.  Screamo.  Heavy Metal. Messianic?  I might as well have asked for the moon.

Then today, on the off chance, I scanned the racks of music & voila!  I Am.  And it is as wonderful as the first CD I got. It is a double CD & I have been plugged into the most glorious music all evening.  And preparation of the heart is the first step.  I have been looking for a good book on the practice of holiness for some time.  Holiness, without which none of us will see God.  The most charismatic of Christian disciplines.  So I picked up Francis Frangipane's book Holiness, Truth & the Presence of God.  Not sure.  Don't know Frangipane but scanning the contents I think this will be good.  Will let you know.  And to help along on the journey I got Jentezen Franklin's Fasting

See, there's a number of things going on.  Of course there's Liddy & prayer, closeness to God, is becoming more important the further she goes geographically.  Prayer is the lifeline but there are Spiritual principles that hinder prayer & spiritual principles that aide prayer.  Holiness is an aide.  Then, spiritually I've sort of been on hold.  Things have still been happening but not so intensely.  Now Liddy is almost gone & I sense a shifting of the Spirit.  It is time for the next thing to evolve.  Then I have a son I am disciplining.  This is not teaching the fundamentals.  Those he has but as the Lord begins to work deeply in his life he needs deeper teaching & my vague, well the Lord led me like this, isn't quite going to cut the ice.  I need to be able to formulate my thoughts & ideas better & get a better grip on the scriptural foundations that undergird my thinking. Sharing I'm not so good at.  I waft along going where I think the Spirit is directing & I can get a terrible shock when someone asks me to stop & explain what's going on.

Fasting is a key element also & although I have practised it irregularly on & off for years I feel the need to get a better grip on how to explain why I do it, how it works, why it works as it does.  Yeah, I am excited.  Journeying with God is always full of unexpected surprises.  No idea why we are going where we are but I am looking forward to the journey ~ difficult bits & all because the end result will be so worth it!  So I have something to occupy my mind & get my teeth into besides Liddy's imminent departure!


seekingmyLord said...

Fasting is definitely one of my favorite subjects of the spiritual disciplines, as you know...and I just wrote a post on my latest.

Liddy's leaving is very close, too close. I saw it coming and can it be so soon? Ganieda, I feel your heart. (You know what I mean.)

Ganeida said...

Seeking: I have a great deal on my plate just now, spiritually speaking, & need to sharpen the tools I need for the journey.

I cannot think about Liddy. In some ways it will be easier once she has actually gone; we have things in place to close the gap. Just now it is painfull. ♥ Will chat soon ~ but probably not until after she's actually gone & I have a better grip on myself. Thoughts & prayers with you.

Gerry Snape said...

Well Ganeida we definitely need prayer on this little island at the moment...thanks for the post. It's good to know that we are both part of this church though so0 far apart.

Ganeida said...

Gerry: the net has been a huge blessing for me. I have travelled so far outside the mainstream it can get a little lonely & finding others who connect at various points along the way tells me something very reassuring about the way the Spirit works & the way God leads His people. Lovely to share the journey! ☺ Poor old England. I loved my time there & to see her ripping hersellf apart is heartbreaking.

The HoJo's said...

Someone who I am fairly sure meant well, asked me recently, if I don't go to my local church, how can I be sure I am fellowshipping with the right sort of people. I swear I almost managed to not roll my eyes, Ghandi was spot on, he liked our Christ but I agree about a lot of our Christians! pompous twit. I described my idea of fellowship and how much I enjoyed learning from you and that just because you are a long way away doesn't make it less worthy. Probably shut him up for all of 30 seconds, a personal best :o)

Every cloud......again

Happy Elf Mom said...

Ahhh... I just thought YOU were eclectic an kinda odd and that is why you weren't in a four-walls-and-a-roof kind of place each week. But wow, God is leading you on a different journey. :)

Ganeida said...

Mrs Hojo: You made me laugh. The Ghandi quote is one of my very favourites. It pretty much sums up how I feel a lot of the time. Then I go grizzle to the Lord that His people are a stiff necked people & He points out that I am one of His people too & that he loves them just as much as He loves me so not only had I better get used to it, I better start practising that lovin' feelin'! Oh yeah! I have more to say but I think I will e~mail you. I am planning in my head, if the Lord allows, a trip to visit all my English friends because it's not fair you all live over there! lol

HEM: You've known me a while. Surely it didn't escape your attention that I am a little odd? ☺ Interesting journey indeed! I am so happy some of you accept me oddities & all!

MamaOlive said...

ooo, I've "always" enjoyed good Messianic music.
Once I read a book that mentioned the history of the Scots mirrored that of the Hebrews. So it makes sense that their music is equally enjoyable. :-)