The Holy Spirit – now on Kindle

Since I had a near death experience in January 2013, the Holy Spirit has been very close to me. And when God spoke to me, He told me that it was very important that I write this book – which 185 pages and 51,000 words later – I have done!

If you have a kindle I warmly invite you to take a look at:-

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017A1L7P8

for further information and to purchase a copy which you may then download onto your computer.

If you have your own kindle this is most definitely a book which you need to read.

May our Father God bless you mightily in everything you say and in everything you do

Geoffrey

Dream-Weaver

I have a great friend who describes himself as a ‘dream weaver’. By this he communicates that his call in life is to steward other people’s dreams, something I can testify to having witnessed in many different contexts. However, talking together recently, I had to confess that I don’t think I have ever carried a dream. When at school I always listened with amazement as others spoke compellingly about all they wanted to do once they grew up. I never felt such stirrings. I enjoyed people and reading, and that was about the size of it.

It was only at university where I encountered Jesus for the first time that I knew that I had a clear call to serve God, whatever that might entail. After exploring teaching and the law, I was asked to join a team on the road with Youth for Christ, and discovered the joy of sharing in the lives of everyday people, often in crisis, and all looking for God, whether they knew it or not.

When Jesus commanded his disciples to ‘Go into all the world’ there was no great clarification. I hadn’t a dream since God intended me to love my life going where he required me and putting my hands to whatever tasks were appropriate in that space. I have entered many diverse spaces and found myself engaged in a myriad different activities. I have no one speciality, yet have learned to be a friend and servant of all in glad service of my God.

My final prayer each morning before I slide out of bed is to offer my hands and feet to Jesus and to allow God though his spirit to take me wherever it is I need to go.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Watch Your Tongue

The Bible reminds us that the tongue, albeit small, is one of the most troublesome parts of our bodies. In an instant it can cause mayhem.

I have grown up as one of those swift to speak and have offended others as a result, as well as shaming myself. Somehow, when I feel something intensely I cannot help but speak; right or wrong, my mouth takes over and all too easily runs ahead of both wisdom and discretion. I have wounded far too many people in this way, and it’s something I regret.

We are invited by God to use our tongues to worship him, build up one another in faith, and make sense of the gospel in a disbelieving world. Road rage and other irritations show that everyone has a hard time controlling their mouth. However, am I, as a follower of Jesus, simply to ape the declining public standards all around me? Yet, recovering control is a difficult exercise and requires strict discipline. We adopted a Missions Box, which received cash donations every time any one of us in the household swore. This actually worked over a month to make us more aware of our slippage into bad language, language which greatly improved and has retained that improvement.

It’s so easy to speak out of an immediate defensive reaction, or sense of self-righteousness. You are not to justify yourself; pause to think before responding. Let the sense of accusation subside and reflect on what you are trying to achieve in any conversation. It is as you adopt a step-by-step approach that you will begin to tame the tongue and discover a richer everyday life as a consequence, one that reflects the grace and kindness of God.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Ask God To Speak

I count myself fortunate in that I’ve always loved mornings. I always wake up early and find it easy to spring from my bed and engage the day. However, now I pause to take a moment to pray very specifically ahead of entering a new day of opportunity. Having prayed for my mind, I move my hands first to my ears and then to my eyes.

I am so often influenced by what I hear. Many times in the past I have drawn assumptions from what I have heard, and acted upon such assumptions. They have frequently proved to be wrong, by which stage it is often too late. My ears also love to twitch at any sound of gossip, and before I know it I am either listening intently to a character assassination or participating in one myself.

Eyes, too, have a habit of wandering. I recently facilitated a breakfast discussion with some older guys in a local coffee house, and it was pointed out to me that these men’s eyes had a tendency to follow the path of every pretty girl who entered. We reflected upon how we waged a constant battle to manage the ‘eye-gate’ as we navigate our way through life.

Ears and eyes, sounds and sights can be incidental, yet once we give them house room they quickly develop and establish a life of their own within our head and heart. Our life can become subject to the control of such sounds and sights once they have dropped roots within us.

Now is the time to acknowledge these and declare that you would be free from their control. Sadly, these things seldom disappear in a moment. They are addressed through a disciplined pattern of fleeing to God the moment they surface within you. Each time pause, place your hands on ears and eyes and ask God to speak and reveal his path of freedom. In time, you will establish a habit of fleeing from such fantasies, and their hold will progressively reduce.

(Dr Michha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessngs

Geoffrey

Developing the Mind of Christ

Waking up in the morning can be challenging. Sometimes the alarm is a shrill intrusion, and on other occasions I awake long before the alarm and my head fills with unresolved issues that I know I have to deal with. However we wake up, one thing is for sure: we stand at the threshold of a fresh opportunity to serve God.

I have begun a habit of prayerfully preparing myself for that day of opportunity, opportunities which may disguise themselves as challenges and irritations, before I set one foot over the side of my bed. First, I pray for my mind.

In an oversexualised society, the mind processes inappropriate sexual imagery. In a fast-paced world, my mind adopts attitudes of anger and criticism in equal measure towards others, even on occasion entertaining overwhelming thoughts of violence. Disappointments can create a sense of melancholy, leading to depression. Happiness can lead to an overindulgence in irresponsibility. My mind ceaselessly changes videos – and my mind exercises control over my whole approach to life, my mood and therefore my behaviour.

So, as I wake I place my hands upon my head and offer a prayer asking for the mind of Christ, to think as Jesus thinks, that I might take every thought captive, as I serve God in all the forthcoming opportunities in my day ahead. I want to lead my mind and not allow my mind to lead me.

We are invited to develop the mind of Christ – and Jesus tells us that we are to love God with all of our mind. Love is a commitment and not simply a feeling. Serving God is a rational activity – God, who is both first cause and final end of all things.

(DR Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Wonderful Philosophy

A journalist was being taken around a care home, and he stopped in front of  an elderly man sitting in a reclining chair.

“How old are you? he asked.

Eighty-four, the elderly man replied, his blue eyes twinkling merrily.

“An what puts that sparkle in your eyes?”

“Every morning when I wake up, I say to myself, “Today I can choose to be happy or sad”. Of course, I always choose to be happy!”

What a wonderful philosophy for the start of this new week……………………

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

What a Difference……………..

Everybody like George, but everyone thought what a great shame it was that he didn’t look after himself in retirement and neither cooked proper meals nor drssed smartly as he’d always done when working.

Then, quite suddenly, he married Jean, who had been a widow for many years. She was always so much in control of everything and very self-reliant.

Gradually, it became noticeable that there was a distinct difference in George. He was now dressed as neatly as a new pin and where he used to hang about the house, he now had lots of new interests, hobbies and friends. And he and Jean even flew out to Canada to visit relatives.

What a difference it makes when we share our lives with others – it is not only enriching for us, but for those who know us, too.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

‘The Source You Have Given to Us Is Never Finished’ – Gospel for Asia

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Families all over South Asia didn’t receive perfume or ties last Christmas. Instead, they received gifts that changed their lives.

Nothing Temporary Here
Pranjal had no way of providing medical treatment for his ailing wife, Sukthi. A witch doctor told them she should have surgery to fix her decaying rib, but the cost of the operation was more than Pranjal could afford.

As a day labourer, Pranjal barely made enough to feed his family. In desperation, he went to the local Gospel for Asia-supported church and asked for financial help. But Pranjal received something even better than money. Instead of the church giving him money that could only temporarily fix what would be a prolonged problem, they gave him a cycle rickshaw so he could earn an income, provide for his family and get the medical treatments his wife needed.

'The Source You Have Given to Us Is Never Finished'

Pranjal was given a new cycle rickshaw. Now he can earn enough money to provide for his wife and four children.

The local GFA-supported pastor also began visiting the family and prayed for Sukthi’s healing.

A few months after receiving the gift, Pranjal took his wife to the hospital for a check up. Miraculously, the doctors told them regular medicine could help cure Sukthi’s sickness and no surgery was needed.

Pranjal and his wife knew it was the Lord Jesus working in their lives.

“If I had received financial help then that money would have been gone within a few days,” Pranjal said. “But the source you have given to us is never finished. It still helps us exist. Now I am earning a good amount through the cycle rickshaw by carrying passengers. I am taking my wife also for treatment in my vehicle, and I’m able to buy medicines for my wife. I am happy with the help provided to me by the church.”

New Carpenter in Town
Surviving was tough for Mahir and his family. He was scarcely able to provide for his family’s needs because he wasn’t able to find a job. However, GFA-supported pastors in the area took notice of his great need.

They invited Mahir and his family to attend their Christmas gift distribution program, and to Mahir’s surprise, he was gifted with carpentry tools.

Even though Mahir had no experience or knowledge in carpentry work, he began doing small repair jobs in his village. Slowly, his carpentry skills developed to the point where he was able to build furniture and even houses. Now, through this gift, Mahir is able to earn 1,500-2,000 rupees ($30-$40 US) a month, which is enough for him to take care of his family.

“It is good to have such programs in our region for needy and poor people that will uplift their living standards,” Mahir shared. “May God bless those who provided me with these carpentry tools.”

'The Source You Have Given to Us Is Never Finished'

Pranjal was given a new cycle rickshaw. Now he can earn enough money to provide for his wife and four children.

Satisfying Their Thirst
Shikar and his family were constantly getting sick from the water sources in their village.

“There was hardly a week or month in which we did not have to visit a doctor and spend our hard-earned income on medicine,” Shikar explained. “My family and I were often exposed to waterborne diseases because we had no choice but to use dirty and contaminated water from open wells for cooking and drinking.”

Shikar and his family suffered with stomach problems, jaundice, typhoid and diarrhea. And because necessity compelled them to use ponds, rivers and contaminated well water for bathing, they also suffered from skin infections.

The doctors told them they needed to use a water filter, but Shikar couldn’t afford to buy one. Fortunately, GFA-supported pastors provided for this need by giving Shikar a BioSand water filter from the Gospel for Asia Christmas Gift Catalogue. Now he, his family and even other people in his village don’t have to worry about getting sick.

'The Source You Have Given to Us Is Never Finished'

This BioSand water filter helped keep Shikar and other villagers safe from waterborne diseases.

“Since the time the water filter was installed, no one has suffered from any waterborne diseases, and we are spared from unnecessary medical expenses,” Shikar shared. “Through these BioSand water filters, not only our physical thirst has been quenched, but also our inner thirst for the love of the Lord and for one another was met very strongly.”

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Prayer is the most important work of the Church

I recently found myself writing an email carrying the simple message that ‘prayer is the most important work of the Church in the earth’. Having pressed send, I began to reflect upon the phrase. Then, having written it, I asked myself, do I believe it? I know I actually spend more time worrying about life’s untidy details than I do in actual prayer. And when it comes to that often-sung phrase of laying down my burdens at the feet of Jesus, I am embarrassed to say I know I often walk away with a rucksack hung upon my back. So what was I actually saying?

In a material world, in which so much of our value system has been built around possessions, ownership and lifestyle choices, it is perhaps unsurprising that something as apparently invisible and non-material as the work of prayer has been lost from the public consciousness.

It is worth recalling that Jesus, following his ascension, now stands and intercedes on our behalf before his Father; this same Jesus whose earthly life was marked by regular times of both personal and public prayer. Paul encourages us to ‘pray without ceasing’ (NRSV) and conveys the thought that prayer is perhaps the primary engine that fuels all kingdom endeavour upon the earth.

Prayer builds the highway along which the will and purpose of God can travel into spaces far distant from the place in which I pray. Prayer is itself a source of great power for good. Prayer might seem an insubstantial and therefore insufficient response to the many, varied, complex issues of our age. Yet prayer has the power to move mountains. Its power can only ever be released in as far as we engage in the activity of ceaseless prayer. I need to have confidence in my conviction that, ‘prayer is the most important work of the Church in the earth’!

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

An Iranian Christian’s Prayer

One aspect of my years in ministry was a period when I was engaged in working with the suffering Church. The nature of that suffering was anything from social and economic exclusion through to imprisonment and martyrdom. Perhaps, given the horrifying recent events across the Middle East, and more especially in Syria and northern Iraq, we can empathise with huge numbers of our Christian family, whose roots reach back into the soil of the New Testament age, being destroyed through brutal persecution.

I have had the privilege of meeting and worshipping alongside such oppressed communities, and never was active faith more alive than when among those for whom their very safety hung by a thread. I, of course, enjoyed the privilege of a UK passport and so was only visiting.

I recently received from a Premier listener a wonderful prayer written by an Iranian Christian who endured solitary confinement for 351 days on account of his Christian faith. In that space he crafted this, his solitary prayer:

My wilderness is painful but lovely, some parts of my wilderness are covered with thorns and hurt my feet, but I love it and that’s why I call it Lovely Pain.

My wilderness is so hot my tears disappear before falling onto the ground, but it is cool under your shadows.

My wilderness is like an endless road but short compared to eternity.

My wilderness is dry but an oasis with the Holy Spirit’s rain.

My wilderness seems to be a lonely trip, but I am not alone, for my Beloved is with me; not only him but my faithful brothers and sisters too. I carry them all in my heart.

My wilderness is dangerous but safe because I dwell between his shoulders.

So I love my wilderness because it takes me to a deeper part of you, Lord, and no one can separate me from your arms forever.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey