The Patriots v’s the Giants – UPDATED

ImageA Word for America ..  

On the 3rd February, 2008, the biggest day in American football rolled around for another year. Millions across the United States were again glued to their televisions for the outcome of the NFL SuperBowl .. a televised battle-royale watched this time by more people than in the history of the game.

Within days of the result of the SuperBowl being known, I received some insight from the Lord for the United States; about a season that is coming "soon". Let me set the scene for you so you can understand how I received this insight …

Being in Australia, I did not watch the game and only heard the outcome as a passing news story on the radio. But, according to all those in the know, the outcome of the SuperBowl was going to be no surprise. The New England Patriots had been undefeated in every single game of their season. They were the clear favourites based on their past form. The New York Giants had not seen results quite as good, but their form was sufficient to see them playing in the biggest game of the year. Staggeringly, on the day, a massive upset took place .. the New York Giants, considered the underdogs, convincingly triumphed over the previously undefeated New England Patriots … and it was after hearing the outcome that the Lord gave me some unexpected insight …

Now, before we get into the specifics, allow me to preface this insight by saying a few things:

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A Report on Our Third Quiet Day

Another excellent day was experienced by ten of us at Winbourne in Mulgoa yesterday for what was our third Quiet Day, which we’re now going to be calling "Breathing Space".

As we’ve been doing, we’re using some "ancient words" reworked into a contemporary form of liturgy, corporately declaring some of the great creeds, praying the Lord’s Prayer (or Our Father), the litany of repentance and even parts of Patrick’s Breastplate.

Why are we doing this?  If you remember, the Lord spoke to me through Jeremiah 6:16 about six months ago, in response to my question about why I was being led to explore a reconnection to the ancient nature of our Christian faith:

This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

We’re discovering two things. Firstly, that there is an incredible amount of "oil" on these ancient prayers and practices for the 21st Century, and secondly, in accordance with the Wind Farm vision, the wind of the Spirit seems to be blowing stronger from this direction than any other at this time.

ImageThe practices of using the "monastic prayer book", that is, praying the Book of Psalms; pubicly reading and humbly listening to Old and New Testment Scriptures; and praying some of the great prayers of the church, all coupled with times of intentional silence designed to posture us to listen to Heaven in order to hear the voice of our Great Shepherd; these things are having a profound effect on those who attend.

I am a Protestant. Therefore, there are some ancient church prayers and practices which I have never experienced because they have been outside my tradition. Prayers like the Angelus begin safely then swing widely outside my theology. Therefore, they are prayers I cannot embrace in good conscience.

In that vein, one of the practices I thought I would never bother with was the ancient tradition of the Stations of the Cross. However, over recent weeks, God gave me some insight as to how, through some simple tweaking, this could be a very special experience for all concerned .. and it was.

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A Book Reading .. Chapter 7

ImageToday will see the reprinting of the last relevant chapter of the antique book I bought a few months ago. By now I’m sure you would have seen a pattern and a theme emerging in what the author has written. In about a week I will reveal who the author is, the actual name of the book, and I will also provide a link to a downloadable PDF of the entire book which you can read at your leisure.

In the meantime, enjoy Chapter 7 …

VII  The High Vocation Neglected

It is impossible to deny a historical fact, especially when it is explained and emphasized by our Saviour’s own solemn words: “This kind (of devil) is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.”

Do not generous souls at the present time need to be reminded that in prayer and fasting are to be found the most divine self-sacrifice and the beginning of all apostolic work? The needs of the Church are boundless, and this vocation is too much neglected because it is overlooked, and its being thus overlooked is due to a want of practical belief in its apostolic efficacy. Men have lost sight of this aspect of the contemplative life and have grown accustomed to regard it as a somewhat selfish pursuit of one’s own personal salvation. What is really its dominating idea is obscured, and for this reason generous souls no longer feel attracted towards it. It is neglected and forgotten at a time when it is more needed than ever.

The general tendency of those who wish to do good is to be active, and although activity is in itself most edifying, it becomes fraught with danger when it alone occupies men’s minds. They can form an idea of self-sacrifice manifested outwardly, and they know and appreciate those who practise it; but they are no longer capable of perceiving inward self-sacrifice, the divine virtue of secret self-renunciation.

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Quiet Day & the APRT Prophetic School

Tomorrow, Saturday 23rd February, is our first Quiet Day for 2008. These are now scheduled once a month across this year and we would love it if you joined us. You can check the dates here.

We’re expecting around 20 people to be with us and there are some very special things planned, including a "Protestant reworking" of the Stations of the Cross featuring thought-provoking meditations and spectacular drawings of each of the station scenes; all to be used as a tool to focus our hearts on the astonishing sacrifice of Christ and for the upcoming Easter weekend toward the end of March.

On Monday afternoon, I will be travelling to South Nowra, NSW, to participate and teach in the first of four Australian Prophetic Round Table schools to be held across Australia throughout 2008.

With that in mind, sometime tomorrow, Chapter 7 of our book reading will be published here on the Wind Farm and then, when I get back from the Australian Prophetic School run by the APRT, I will begin to sum up why I believe this antique book has so much prophetic resonance for the Church today and the hour we find ourselves in.

I trust it will be worth the wait.


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A Book Reading .. Chapter 4

ImageWe continue our reading from a 100-year-old book I felt motivated to buy some months ago. Soon, I will reveal its author and the reasons why it has touched such a chord with me … and I would love the sharing of those reasons to be a source for discussion and dialogue here on the Wind Farm. In the meantime, enjoy Chapter 4 …

IV.  Useless Lives

We have seen how the necessity, advantages and duties of the two ministries, active and contemplative may be deduced from our Lord’s own words. The world in its feverish activity now understands but half of God’s design. It appreciates action, but not contemplation. Men know and perceive and acknowledge the need of action, and they esteem highly whatever acts and agitates, and nothing else. In so doing they are only being consistent with human nature, but they are mistaken.

Activity is indeed necessary, and cannot be too highly esteemed, but it alone is not enough, or rather if it suffices in the bustle of everyday life, it does not suffice for that of a Christian, which is a union of divine and human elements. In our present century, when faith is departing, as soon as a generous soul flees from the world and seeks refuge in the solitude of the cloister, men speak of it as a cowardly act, not in keeping with the age in which we live. They assume that this outwardly inactive existence was a beautiful outgrowth, a luxury produced by faith in the days when faith reigned supreme.

But now that we have to defend every foot of our stronghold, and are losing ground day by day, we need active combatants, and have not too many or even enough of them. Under such circumstances, how can we view with approval those souls which are filled with faith and yet quit the field of battle? This is what people say, though they do not know what they are saying. They talk of battle, with out seeing what sort of battle it is; and they speak of a battle field, and do not perceive where the contest rages most fiercely. They accuse the most generous souls of abandoning the fray, when they are really engaging in the hottest part of the struggle.

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Mark Your Calendar .. Quiet Days for 2008

Because of the increased interest in the Wind Farm Quiet Days in 2007, we’ve decided to increase their frequency to once a month across 2008. So, if life has become too turbulent and "noisy", here are more opportunities for you to unplug from the rat-race for a day a month in order to intentionally still your heart and purposefully engage with God and others.

Running from 10am – 5pm, our Quiet Days are structured for prayer, worship, reading, biblical meditation and a community experience.

Each time 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.

Generally, you’ll find the Quiet Days will fall on the last Saturday of every month. However, in a couple of instances, you’ll find they fall one week earlier. We’re a week earlier in June due to another booking at Winbourne on the weekend we wanted, while the other in December will allow us to meet for a special time just prior to Christmas .. so, check the dates and mark your calendar!

23rd February

29th March

26th April

31st May

21st June

26th July

30th August

27th September

25th October

29th November

20th December


So, what are our Quiet Days like?  Well, click here to read the report and the comments from our very 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 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 Wednesday 20th February for our first Quiet Day of 2008 as I need to give final numbers to Winbourne. So, in summary …

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Keep Your Eyes on the Prize …

From Compline tonight … 

We should renew our purpose daily, and should stir up ourselves to fresh enthusiasm, as though this were the first day of our conversion, and we should say, "Help me Lord Jesus, that I may perservere in my good purpose and in Your holy service to my life’s end. Grant that I may now, this very day, perfectly begin, for what I have done in time past is as nothing."

Thomas à Kempis

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