A Book Reading .. Chapter 2

ImageWe continue reading an antique book I recently acquired, printed in 1910. If you “have an ear to hear”, it is one of the most insightful and almost prophetic books I have ever read; speaking to us today from nearly a century ago …

II.   Our Spiritual Foes

All the powers of hell are in league to deprive souls of their faith. This has ever been the case and will continue to be so, as long as there is in this world a soul to deceive. Our life on earth is a constant warfare (Job 7:1). A warfare, not against creatures of flesh and blood, but against spiritual principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places (Eph 6:12). The great force capable of resisting the assaults of the evil one is faith (1 Peter 5:9), but not every form of faith suffices to repel every kind of evil spirit, there are some against whom special weapons must be used, as our Lord Himself taught us.

One day He saw a man in the midst of the multitude, who fell down on his knees before Him saying, “Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffereth much, for he falleth often into the fire and often into the water, and I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not heal him.” Jesus exclaimed: “O, unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me.”

He commanded the devil to come out of him, and the child was cured from that hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said, “Why could not we cast him out?” Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from hence thither, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:14-20).

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A Book Reading .. Chapter 1

ImageA little over a week ago, I took delivery of an antique book from the United States. It was printed in the UK back in 1910. It is now out of copyright and out of print, but I decided to do the honourable thing and request permission from the publishers to reprint the book here on the Wind Farm .. which they have granted.

I have not yet finished reading the whole book, but the half of it that I’ve read so far has been leaving me open-mouthed from its insightfulness and its prophetic relevence to the hour we find ourselves in today .. and to think, it was written just short of a century ago!

I may, or may not, reprint the entire book, but what I will do is commit to you that any chapters I choose to reprint, will be reprinted in their entirety to maintain as much context as possible. You’ll also note that while the chapters are short they are succinct in their message and their power.

At this stage, I do not intend to tell you the title of the book nor its author. I want the content to speak for itself so that you will read it with no preconceptions. Either at the end, or near the end, I’ll be sure to divulge that information .. and I’m sure you’ll be as surprised as me.

So here, for your edification and exhortation, is chapter 1, both in print and as a podcast which you can either download or stream at the end of the text. I hope it effects you in a similar way to how it has me …

I.   The Decay of Faith

Faith is passing away, and it is the most terrible of all misfortunes. No other disaster can be compared with it, for no possession is so precious as faith, which is the foundation and root of all good. What is a nation deprived of faith? What is a man whose faith is wavering? Every nation, like every individual possessing faith in his own destiny, succeeds in accomplishing something that is useful but without faith of some kind, nothing is done; life without faith is barren, and this is true with regard to the supernatural even more than to the natural. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 10:6).

Every man and every nation who has done anything for God, has done so in proportion to the faith within him.

Faith is passing away! Such is the triumphant cry of the wicked and the complaint of the good; and the number of the former is ever increasing, whilst believers are becoming more rare. Agnostics boast of their scientific knowledge, the faithful seem to know nothing. The enemies of God redouble their audacity whilst even His friends allow themselves to waver. Evil grows bold and goodness becomes lukewarm. Blasphemy and atheism proclaim themselves with triumphant audacity and strong, deep convictions give way.

There are, it is true, some faithful souls still left, but how few they are! What is the faith of the great majority of those who are called Christians? Is it anything but an ignorant kind of assent, a superficial religion, a piety that is chiefly external, consisting of some shreds of truth and a confused mass of outward observances? The shadow remains, but there is very little substance, and it is precisely because the substance is passing away that good and evil alike, with very different feelings, utter the cry: “Faith is becoming extinct.”

It is indeed passing; will it leave us altogether? The duty of reviving the divine flame rests with those in whom some spark of it still glimmers.

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Important Info About the Next Quiet Day

It has just recently come to my attention that the new commenting system I installed on the Wind Farm, may well have "broken" the internal mailing system of the site.

What that means is, if you have tried to inform me of your intention to come to the next Quiet Day, I may not have received what you thought you’d sent.

I’m so sorry for the inconvenience, but I have now managed to fix the problem and would ask that, if you’re coming to the next Quiet Day, would you mind resending your intention to be with us?

I know, I know. It’s a pain and it’s inconvenient, but it will help immensely now that we have the problem solved.

Click Here to resend your intention to attend the next Quiet Day on 8th December.

Thanks so much.


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From Compline for Wednesday 14th November …

ImageI read these words from Thomas Aquinas while praying compline using Phyllis Tickle’s "The Divine Hours". May these same words be our hearts’ cry …

Grant me, O Lord my God,
a mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perserverence in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you.


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You’re Invited to Our Second Quiet Day

If life has become all too full, way too busy and far too "noisy", here is another opportunity for you to unplug from the rat-race for a day in order to intentionally still your heart and purposefully engage with God and others.

On Saturday, 8th December, 2007, you’re invited to our second Quiet Day .. a day structured for prayer, worship, reading, Christian meditation and fellowship.

Initially, we’ll be meeting in "The Chapel"; a beautiful room at the Edmund Rice Retreat and Conference Centre, better known as "Winbourne", which is set on 250 acres in the Mulgoa Valley and was once the home of a notable Australian colonial family.


Winbourne’s address is 1315 Mulgoa Road, Mulgoa, NSW, and is about 15 kilometres from Penrith and 10 kilometres from the M4 Motorway. The entrance to Winbourne is directly across the road from the Settlers Restaurant.

So, what is a Quiet Day like?  Well, click here to read the report and the comments from our first Quiet Day to get an idea.

You will need to bring your Bible, perhaps your journal and any devotional books you might want to use during the times of silence. There will also be ample room for creativity, so if you would like to bring a musical instrument for your personal use or perhaps art materials, please feel free.

There is also a labyrinth on site that will be made available to us across the whole day.

Tea and coffee will be provided across the day, but you’ll need to bring some meat and whatever else you like for a BBQ lunch.

There is a small cost of $10 per person for the day and you will need to register your intention to come by Friday 30th November as I need to give final numbers to Winbourne. So, in summary …


WHAT:        Quiet Day

WHEN:        Saturday, 8th December, 2007 from 10am – 5.00pm

WHERE:      Winbourne, 1315 Mulgoa Road, Mulgoa, NSW

COST:         $10.00 per person


CLICK HERE to e-mail your intention to attend.

Come ready for times of rich fellowship, communal prayer and intentional silence designed to facilitate a profound encounter with God and perhaps even your own heart.

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Here’s the Reason Why …

In recent years, my desperate and growing desire has been to reconnect with the ancient nature of the Christian faith, to feel a genuine connection to the kind of Christianity that was expressed and experienced by the Apostles who walked with Jesus and by those who followed after the day of Pentecost when the church was born.

My reasoning has been that, for too long, I had been involved in an expression of church with only one hundred years of history. Why is that a big deal? Well, tragically, most of the history specific to the Pentecostal faith tradition was thrown out in the early 1980’s because the new generation of leaders seemed to have no capacity to carry the depth and strength of the Spirit of God at work in their midst, making it all the more shallow and causing churches and leaders to be prone to adolescent know-it-all behaviour when comparing themselves to the rest of the "church universal".

When I first became a part of a cutting-edge Pentecostal church in Western Sydney in the late 80’s, it was nothing out of the ordinary for the Spirit of God to display Himself in power through regular salvations, spontaneous healings, powerful deliverances and the genuine manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit through ordinary believers as normal expressions of a church gathering.

Oddly, or so it seemed to me at the time, over only a handful of years, all of these practices were slowly relegated to the back room or were dissuaded in public gatherings altogether. And slowly, but surely, the new generation of leaders who had no capacity to carry the depth and strength of the Spirit of God at work in their midst, lost what God had given and began to replace Him with a lot of razzle-dazzle to fool their congregations into thinking everything was still alright. 

The fact is .. it was not, and still is not, alright!

We may be seeing bums on seats en-mass in some mega-churches, but what we’re not seeing en-mass are generations of Christians who are true disciples of Christ, understanding His ways, living out the nature of His Kingdom on the earth and who are cultivating their lifetime love-affair with the One who will soon be their bridegroom.

We don’t know how to pray. We don’t know how to engage with the Scriptures so that they lead us to an encounter with the Word of God; that is, the person of Christ. We don’t know how to order our days so that we dwell in the awareness of the presence of God, making Him the priority of our lives. We have no real clue about spiritual practices that will sustain us and we are lost when it comes to the formation of intentional community because we have become so used to the sterile world of anonymous church attendance.

So, by now I’m sure you’re asking, what’s brought on this "riff"?

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Posture Yourself to Receive a Blessing …

During morning prayer I read this astounding blessing from {bible}Psalm 20:1-5{/bible}. I prayed it for myself and it is my prayer for you today too …

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from His holy place and strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice;
May He grant you your heart’s desire and prosper all your plans.
And together we will shout for joy at your victory and triumph in the Name of our God;
May the Lord grant all your requests.


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