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.

Amen!

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From the News Corporation Website Today …

A Note from Kerry:  This is clearly a matter for serious prayer. Both my friend Robert Holmes and I have been saying prophetically that a terrorist attack is coming to Australia. This confirms our concerns to some degree.

You can read Robert’s predictive prophecy about a coming terrorist attack at the Australian Prophetic Round Table website.

Be aware that there is some "colorful" language in the article, but it is a direct reprint of the article in The Australian.

 

AUSTRALIA faces a "London-type bombing" if relations between Muslims and the intelligence and police authorities do not improve, an influential Islamic youth leader has warned.

Fadi Rahman, who runs one of Sydney’s biggest youth centres at Lidcombe in the city’s southwest, said overseas Islamic elements were attempting to radicalise Muslim youth with their hardline ideologies.

But in a warning that will resonate with Australian authorities, Mr Rahman said Muslims did not trust ASIO or the Australian Federal Police and that the bungled terror case against Gold Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef had worsened the situation.

"The biggest problem ASIO and the federal police have is that no one in the Islamic community trusts them enough to give them a heads-up about anything," Mr Rahman told The Australian.

"Look at the Haneef thing – why would we trust these guys when all you see is one fumble after another? People are afraid."

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Willow Creek is Waking Up …


Please allow me to preface the reprinting of "Guitar Priest’s" incredibly encouraging blog post by saying that, for many who know me personally and who are readers of the Wind Farm, I know one of the most difficult things for you to do is to reconcile who you’ve known me to be with the things I am presently researching and exploring at the leading of God. How is it that an otherwise gregarious prophet could be exploring monastic wisdom, principles and values, for example? It doesn’t make sense .. or does it?

You see, underlying all of this "research" and "exploration" has been a hunger in my heart for a deeper, richer and more authentic experience in my relationship with God; the same God who founded the Christian faith some 2000 years ago. I have longed to find spiritual practices that I could maintain on a daily basis that would develop consistent fruit in my life; practices that were more fulfilling than just a quiet time squeezed into the busyness of the day that left no other time for regular encounters with God.

The Apostle Paul said in {bible }Colossians 1:9-10{/bible} (as translated in the New Century Version):

We pray that you’ll have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things so that you’ll live the kind of life that honours and pleases the Lord in every way…

I have been desperate to find the kind of relationship with God that so many of the ancients knew, but that seems to have become so elusive to many 21st century Christians. Put simply, I need to at least have an awareness of God in a moment-by-moment, day-by-day experience. But more than that. I need to encounter and know God in such a way that my relationship with Him is deepened every day of what’s left of my life, because I feel as though I have wasted so much of my life to this point with involvement in useless things, such as a multitude of programs, services and conferences that generally do not produce fruit.

Please be clear, I love the church; spiritual Israel; the mystical body of Christ, but I do not love much of what we as Pentecostals and Charismatics presently call church. As leaders, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves otherwise, programs will never satisfy. Volunteering (or being conscripted) on a work crew in the church will never cause ongoing spiritual growth. And attendance of services will never be sufficient to produce anything more than spectators.

We are not teaching our people how to pray .. and we ought to be. We are not teaching them how to read the Bible so that they have a vital encounter with the living Word of God, that is, the person of Jesus Christ .. and we really ought to be. We’re not teaching our people how to order their lives according to Kingdom values .. and we absolutely ought to be.

By way of illustration, the mere mention of the word "poverty" causes us as leaders to kick and squeal. But, to the ancients, the idea of poverty had nothing to do with being a pauper. Rather, it was and is a matter of being willing to lay aside everything in order that, together with my brother, we might live a common life in Christ. That’s what Jesus was trying to say to the rich, young ruler. "Unless you lay aside everything that is presently important to you, sure you’ll come and follow me, but you’ll still be the rich, young ruler .. not a true disciple."

So, whether we like it or not, we must be willing to see that much of what we "Pente-matics" here in Australia (and in many parts of the world) call the Christian church, is in fact an adoption of American church culture which only seems capable of producing a vicarious faith rather than the vital faith of our apostolic fathers. And, whether you agree with these statements or not is irrelevant. The fact is, I believe they’re true.

But my hope in these past few months has been that those who know me might have picked up on a prophetic principle at work here. Could it be that Kerry, as a prophetic ministry, might have been communicating the word of the Lord to us, even though he never "said" so? Think about Ezekial and Isaiah and remember that they lived what they had heard long before they proclaimed the word of the Lord. One of my mentors taught me long ago that "the prophets of old always put legs on what they believed before they spoke what they heard".

Truth be told, I have been researching, exploring and endeavouring to live what I believe I am hearing the Holy Spirit saying to the church at this time. The trouble is, He’s saying it in such an emphatic whisper that few, in the busyness of their schedules, seem able to hear it. Now, I’m sure He’s saying plenty of other things, but I am convicted that this is at least my "part" of a prophetic whole that God is trying to communicate to us. But sadly, in so many cases, we are failing to hear. Even worse, we are not wanting to hear, because what is being said by the Holy Spirit is so "outside our box".

Regardless, it seems that at least one church is starting to pick up on what God is saying, even though they’ve heard it from an unlikely source. I just thank God that their response to what they’ve learned seems so wise, at least at this point in the game. The church I’m talking about is Willow Creek Community Church. Yep, Bill Hybels’ church.

So, as mentioned earlier the following is a reprint of a post written by Peter Matthews, the Vicar of St Patrick’s Anglican Church in Lexington, Kentucky, better known as "Guitar Priest".

PLEASE, read on. I believe you’ll be glad you did.

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A Report on our First Quiet Day

On Saturday 20th October, six of us gathered at Winbourne in Mulgoa for the first Wind Farm Quiet Day. In the words of a few, they were pretty apprehensive about coming. They weren’t sure whether they would cope with a day of silence but more importantly, they just didn’t know what to expect from the day in general.

As circumstances would have it, we moved into the Chapel at Winbourne rather than being in the Stables .. and this was clearly in the heart of God. The Chapel is a large room with beautiful ceilings, controlled lighting and a stained glass feature piece behind a polished red gum stump that can be used as an altar. We didn’t use it as an altar, but it did work well as a table for the distribution of a very simple communion. It likewise gave a place for us to gather for prayer making for a very intimate setting .. and again, I believe this was in the heart of God.

Y’see, in the mix of the six of us, we had an evangelical Anglican, a charismatic Roman Catholic, two "Angli-costals", an Emerging Church pilgrim and me, a man who’s best known as a prophet and whose public ministry sprang out of the intensity of the Renewal (or, the Toronto Blessing). What a mix!

The use of public and corporate liturgical prayer was a new (but old) experience for me, and one that I never thought I would again participate in because of my previous experience with what I remember to be the lifeless nature of the rigid ritual from my early days in a high Anglican church. However, in putting the liturgy together, I used a blend of very "poetic" prayers, and ancient words of the church such as the Lord’s Prayer, St Patrick’s Breastplate and the Apostles Creed. In praying the psalms, I employed the call and response of the Celtic Christians and monastic choirs. Likewise I used two contemporary litanies and we drank real red wine for communion, allowing the sharpness of the alcohol to remind us of the bitter pain of Christ’s willingness to shed His blood.

At this point you might be asking yourself, "what’s the point of even bothering with a liturgy?" .. and that’s a valid question.

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Cut-Off Extended for the Quiet Day

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve managed to extend the cut-off for registrations for the Quiet Day until 4.00pm, Monday 15th October.

So far we have people registered from around the local Penrith area and as far afield as Chatwood on the north side of Sydney. Regardless, whether the final numbers are large and small, the day will prove to be highly beneficial as we intentionally gather to meet with God from a posture to listen, rather than an agenda to talk.

In the meantime, I’m going to Cootamundra this weekend for the 10th Annual Storm Harvest Gathering. Robert Holmes, the leader of Storm Harvest, is one of my closest friends and we have been in personal and ministerial relationship for almost a decade. He’s been running these events every year and their reach and fruit has been both remarkable and humbling.

I’ll check for your registration when I get back home on Sunday evening. Just let me know via e-mail by clicking here.

Grace and peace!

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A Complete Journal of My Monastic Retreat

FRIDAY NIGHT

7.30pm
So, here I am. At the Mount St Benedict’s Centre in West Pennant Hills. It is my first introduction to how non-cloistered people corporately endeavour to interpret monastic practices and traditions.

When approaching this weekend, as with preparing to watch Into Great Silence, I was a little scared. I didn’t know what to expect, but likewise, I don’t want the weekend to disappoint. However, disillusionment will only happen if my perceptions about monastic life and practices are in fact illusions, so disappointment may end up being a gift. We’ll see …

I am intrigued that we have been given permission to not be polite to anyone else attending the weekend. What I mean by that is that we have been released from the social obligations of Western society and can feel free to remain silent; to break eye contact; to not feel like I even need to say "thankyou" for someone’s help.

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Mount St Benedict Centre, West Pennant Hills, NSW

8.30pm
Compline in the Oratory

The question I am left pondering at the end of our first night of eating together, meeting one another, and praying Compline together is .. how do you form community when you are at liberty to graciously ignore everyone else in order to maintain silence?

I wonder if there will be an answer to that question before the weekend is done …

9.30pm
All lights appear to be out, and I am left fighting the urge to go hunting for a cup of tea to have with a piece of chocolate while I prayerfully read some material I have brought with me.

I decided to have a warm drink quietly and on my own in the dining room after which I went back to my room and sat up in bed reading the first part of Guigo II’s "Ladder of Monks", a letter written to a friend about the stages of spiritual experience with God.

Powerful and insightful.

From 8.30pm until 8.30am .. this is known as "the Great Silence" …..

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Monastic Retreat

Well, I’m off this weekend to Mount St Benedict’s here in Sydney for what’s being called the "2007 Benedictine Experience".

This is a weekend retreat being conducted by the Abbot of Australia’s only Anglican Benedictine Monastery, St Mark’s Abbey in Camperdown, Victoria.

Michael King and a team from the Abbey will be in Sydney for the weekend which will feature regular times of monastic prayer according to the Benedictine tradition of praying the Offices, some teaching on Lectio Divina (divine reading) and on the Rule of St Benedict. But beyond that, the entire weekend will be conducted in silence.

This will certainly be a weekend radically different from anything I’ve ever known. But I’m going with the heart of a novice, ready to learn what I can in order to glean what I can, not only for myself, but for the benefit of others. I’m also going in an effort to answer God’s deep stirring in my heart to find out how to apply monastic wisdom, values and practices into our present-day experience of church and daily life.

I’ll certainly give you a review of the weekend once I get back home.

In the meantime, could I remind you that there is only one more week for you to register your interest for the up-coming Quiet Day. Friday 12th October is the cut-off date. All the details can be found here.

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What a Prayer!

from Phyllis Tickle’s Divine Hours …

O Lord my God, to you and your service I devote myself, body, soul, and spirit.

Fill my memory with the record of your mighty works; enlighten my understanding with the light of your Holy Spirit; and make all the desires of my heart and will center in what you would have me do.

Make me an instrument of your salvation for the people entrusted to my care, and let me, by my life and speaking, set forth your true and living Word.

Be always with me in carrying out the duties of my vocation; in praises heighten my love and gratitude; in speaking of You give me readiness of thought and expression; and grant that, by the clearness and brightness of your holy Word, all the world may be drawn to your blessed kingdom.

All this I ask for the sake of your Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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You’re Invited to a Quiet Day


If life has become all too full and way too busy, here is an opportunity to unplug from the rat-race in order to still your heart and purposefully engage with God and others.

On Saturday, 20th October, 2007, you’re invited to a Quiet Day .. a day structured for prayer, worship, reading, Christian meditation and fellowship.

Initially, we’ll be meeting in "The Stables"; 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.

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"The Stables" is one of the original colonial buildings on the property.

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 does a Quiet day look like?

 

10.00  Arrival with tea and coffee

10.30  Introduction to those gathered with plans for the day

10.45  Morning Prayer, followed by a short talk, leading into silence

11.00  Quiet

12.00  Midday Prayer

12.15  BBQ Lunch with Communion prior

13.30  Guided Meditation with music leading into silence

14.00  Quiet

15.30  Simple instruction on and time for Lectio Divina (Prayerful Reading)

16.00  Sharing session with tea and coffee

16.20  (Early) Evening Prayer

16.45  Pack up and depart for home

 

You will need to bring your Bible, perhaps your journal and any devotional books you might want to use during the quiet time. 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 Thursday 11th October as I need to give final numbers to Winbourne. So, in summary …

 

WHAT:        Quiet Day

WHEN:        Saturday, 20th October, 2007 from 10am – 4.45pm

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 prolonged silence designed to facilitate a profound encounter with God and perhaps even your own heart.

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