This week’s blog is the second part of our Working from Home / Leading from Home series with a twist. It is in video format. Trust you’ll enjoy our reflections this week. Connect to the video from Leading From Home
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
You could be forgiven for forgetting that Easter is just around the corner and we are still in the period of Lent. Lent is traditionally a period of time when Christians retreat a little from the pressures of the world to focus their attention more closely on Jesus and the sacrifice he made.
It is a time when we should be stiller than normal, spending time either in solitude or at least less time being rushed off our feet by the chaos of the whirlwind world, meditating on God’s Word and Way. It is interesting that a small virus that we cannot even see has reshaped the planet with less rushing, less noise and more solitude.
Jesus, in this passage, which is part of His sermon on the Mount, states that we need to actually take time alone or in the quiet to be able to really connect with God. The ancient Desert Fathers were very much focussed on this and would spend weeks, months or in some cases years in the desert alone speak with and listen to God.
We have now a God given opportunity to pause and listen. C.S Lewis in his book The Problem with Pain states
We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Eagles Rest Ministries
The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Psalm 28:8
Life causes many issues and problems to spring up and attack us, sometimes it can cause us to loose heart and wonder why God appears to have abandoned us. Sometimes instead of blaming God we should look at what we are holding onto. This short story illustrates this –
A person was sitting on his veranda and noticed how the vine that was growing across it had reached out its tendrils and wrapped them around the branch of a tree. During the night a storm raged and the next morning the vine was looking very battered and in a sorry state. The problem was that the vine had wrapped its tendrils around a rotten branch which had broken off in the storm, if it had wrapped around the trunk it would have been safe.
Too often we fasten ourselves to something other than Christ our Rock and Fortress, for example a denomination, a religious rite, a custom or even a person. This is a recipe for disaster and we can blame only ourselves when we find ourselves battered and broken. We need to focus on and attach ourselves to Christ and Christ alone, when we do this we become stronger under adversity.
Rev Steve Neuhaus
Eagles Rest Ministries
It Is Well
In November, 1873, Horatio Spafford sent his wife and four daughters on the French ship Ville du Havre from their home in Chicago to a vacation in France, planning to set out a few days later himself. Somewhere in the Atlantic, the Ville du Havre collided with a British ship coming the other way, and sank in just 12 minutes. Of his family, only Spafford’s wife survived. Spafford took the next boat over, and as he passed the spot where the ship went down, began to write, “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll,” and continued until he had the text, “It is well with my soul.” His good friend, Philip Bliss, composed the tune for his words, naming it after the ship, VILLE DU HAVRE. In this hymn, Spafford has given all of us words of comfort and assurance in times of physical and spiritual crisis, paraphrasing those familiar words of Julian of Norwich: “And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” From Hymnary.org
Yet Not I, But through Christ in Me
Sometimes there is criticism of modern music as being non-scriptural.
This particular song, and the group who wrote it show that there are gifted and grounded musicians still writing today. For a look at the depth of this song please read through “The Berean Test”
Hope you enjoy this modern Hymn
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16
One of the interesting things about the fledgling Christian movement is the strong belief that we were all one in Christ. That the differences of race, nationality, gender all start to fade when we focus on Christ and share a common belief in Him and His way.
John Donne (1572-1631), one of my favourite poets, he was an English scholar, poet, soldier and secretary born into a Catholic family, a remnant of the Catholic Revival (believed in Salvation through Christ), who reluctantly became a clergyman in the Church of England because he was ordered to by the King. He was Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London (1621-1631). He is considered one of the pre-eminent metaphysical poets. John Donne was also known for his sermons and writings which are very dense and require you to pause and work your way through them.
John Donne wrote Devotions upon Emergent Conditions when he was particularly ill and this covers a wide range of topics particularly relating to illness and death. Meditation XVII (17) speaks very eloquently on how we are all connected and we are all part of the Body of Christ particularly through baptism.
We need to see the current situation as an opportunity to remind people of why we have Easter and the need to repent and turn to Him. It is an opportunity for all Christians to take the extra time they have to spend it in prayer and reading the Bible.
‘No Man is an Island’
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
MEDITATION XVII, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne
Rev Steve Neuhaus
Eagles Rest Ministries
Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you.” Isaiah 35:4
It is easy to have an anxious heart at this time and there is fear of all people being infected dying from the current flu-like virus. What we are not hearing at the moment is the numbers who have recovered, we are told of how many have died, how many are infected however the number of those recovering is on the increase a figure that is not readily revealed in the media.
In Italy a 101 year old man has recovered, tens of thousands have recovered, the advice is that most people who contract it will feel no worst off than a ‘normal’ bad case of a cold or flu. This does not mean that we don’t need to abide by the advice from the Government but that we can take courage and fear not as God will save us.
Some time ago I wrote the following poem, which I share with you to encourage you to Fear Not – God is in control.
The fall of Fear
Fear, that tyranny, from the bowels of hell,
Exacerbated by the tolling worrisome bell.
Fear, the soulmate of despondent anxiety,
The worry of all things with no proprietary.
Fear, that brings cavernous darkness into ones heart.
Striving to snuff out the Hope spark,
Of life, love and all things spiritual,
Fear that focusses ones mind on things temporal.
The castle giant of despair and doom,
With club and chains and dungeons of gloom.
Binds the spirit and strives to restrain the soul,
Wrestling it towards the deep black hole.
But wait, a thin ray of light,
Rapier like pierces the darkness and deep night.
Hope glimmers weak then stronger still,
The shadow of the Cross looms from across the crucifixion hill.
A flash of light and with thunderous voice clear,
The King on his white horse rides in to conquer fear.
A flaming two edged sword slices the darkened place,
Fear falls before the Heavenly onslaught of Grace.
The sinner falls, repentant to his knees,
Cries out ‘Lord, save me please’!
A pierced Heavenly Hand reaches out,
And lifts the penitent to stand about.
The rescued soul is stood on the Rock,
Fear banished from heart to sock.
Replaced with love, hope and charity,
Feet firmly placed on the Way with clarity.
originally from Apr 2018
Eagles Rest Ministries
Here is a great social- distancing approved scavenger bear hunt on Facebook for Yass and surrounds based on the much loved book.
Checkout your own area if you are not a local
There are challenges that are being faced by every day Australians who may now be required to work from home – something with which you / they are not familiar.
We are prayerful for your influence, helping those around you to be hopeful during this unusual season.
The following article comes from the Arrow Leadership team… hope it helps
“How to Find Working from Home Productive“.
Here’s the first of our Sessions … all about the body. Bring a scarf or a tea towel or even a napkin. AND … your body. It’ll be available for two weeks from today.