The Fire of God

Statistically, the number of people attending church each Sunday is seriously declining.

This may be the fault, in part, at least, of the Ministers, Deacons and lay preachers of every religious denomination but it cannot be denied that now that our Sabbath day (Sunday) is becoming less and less sacred and less and less holy, many people find an excuse not to go to church because, for example, they prefer to watch a football match!

We have allowed our churches to become empty because the world has taken its focus away from the Word of God and we are not being obedient to reading His word and teaching our children the ways of the Lord.

We need to be baptised by the Holy Spirit, so that we can worship in Spirit and in truth. The church fire has been dimmed and will go out if we do not take immediate action!

The fire of God needs to come down upon each one of us so that we can once again put God first in our lives. In Matthew 6:33 we read:-

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

John Wesley (the founder of the Methodist Church) in the eighteenth century often preached at outdoor meetings when many thousands of people gathered to listen to what he had to day – and many of those people had walked miles and miles to get to the place where Wesley was preaching.

How many people would be prepared to walk 10+ miles to church every Sunday? Very few I would expect!

God will never leave, nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31: 6) but He is very disappointed when we ignore Him because we cannot find time to attend Church on Sunday and seldom talk to Him in prayer.

In my humble experience, God always listens to my prayers and, on many occasions, He will answer them in a positive way.

And I am sure that He will listen to your prayers too. You just need to set aside some time every day, no matter how busy you may be.

Praise be the Lord. Hallelujah.

Happy New Year to you all

God Bless

Geoffrey

The Philatelic Wesley

I have a large number of books about John and Charles Wesley and about some of the early lay preachers,   But in my researches for this book I have discovered a lot of information of which I was previously unaware.

Each stamped envelope – most of which have been specially produced and created by the Methodist Philatelic Society –  has a card inside with appropriate information about the commemorative anniversary being celebrated.

In many instances I have added relevant information to that which was already included on the card insert.

I know that some of the material relating to the Wesleys will be fairly well known to many people reading this book but I suspect that there will be various Ministers and Lay Preachers of the 18th and 19th centuries, of which you may never have heard.

‘The Philatelic Wesley’ includes 136 pages of fascinating information and 25,000+ words and provides a very interesting snapshot of life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

‘The Philatelic Wesley’ costs £10.95 (including postage) and copies may be obtained by sending a cheque for £10.95 to: –

Geoffrey Keyte
The Hafod Cottage
Blackrock
Clydach
Abergavenny
NP7 0LW

All copies will be signed by me personally.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Listening to the Holy Spirit

Even in your busy daily life, set aside some time in which to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Don’t expect to hear an audible voice, but listen as He transmits ideas, thoughts and visions into your mind.

The Holy Spirit loves you to talk to Him. And He will eagerly respond to you in ways that you will find very unexpected.

I talk to the Holy Spirit every day – often several times in the day – and I am often absolutely amazed at the thoughts and ideas that flow through my mind!

I find that first thing in the morning – as soon as I awake – is a wonderfully peaceful time in which to pray and talk with God/the Holy Spirit.

Although I am actually having a conversation with the Holy Spirit I know that it is also very important for me to stop talking to Him, so that I am able to hear what it is He is saying to me.

In the quiet and stillness of the early morning light I often receive dynamic ideas from the Holy Spirit; ideas that have never previously occurred to me.

On May 24th, 1738, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, felt that his heart was ‘strangely warmed’.

And as you listen to the Holy Spirit you, like John Wesley and myself, may also feel your heart becoming strangely warmed.

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

Geoffrey

 

The Prophetic Wesley – my new kindle book

For me personally this book has definitely been a labour of love. Although I am a relative newcomer to Methodism, I have become deeply immersed in the historical aspect of Methodism, especially in the days of John Wesley (18th century) to the end of the 19th century.

I have a large number of books about John and Charles Wesley and about many of the early lay preachers, many of whom were itinerant. But none of the Wesley books include commemorative stamp covers!

Each stamped envelope has a card inside with appropriate information about the commemorative anniversary being celebrated.

In many instances I have added relevant information in my book to that which was already included on the original card insert.

I know that some of the material relating to the Wesleys will be fairly well known to many people reading this book but I suspect that there will be various Ministers and Lay Preachers of the 18th and 19th centuries, of which you may never have heard.

The Methodist Stamped Covers included in this book are only a relative small percentage of those now in my possession. And as time permits I hope to use many of them on the Methodist Philatelic Society web site. And, perhaps, in further kindle books too.

As far as I know this is the first (and, indeed, only) book to be published in any format about John Wesley based upon Commemorative stamp covers.

The Philatelic Wesley costs only $6.95 in kindle format.

For more information and to download your copy of our new kindle book please go to: –

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CJRGOWO

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Listening to the Holy Spirit

Even in your busy daily life, set aside some time in which to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Don’t expect to hear an audible voice, but listen as He transmits ideas, thoughts and visions into your mind.

The Holy Spirit loves you to talk to Him. And He will eagerly respond to you in ways that you will find very unexpected.

I talk to the Holy Spirit every day – often several times in the day – and I am often absolutely amazed at the thoughts and ideas that flow through my mind!

I find that first thing in the morning – as soon as I awake – is a wonderfully peaceful time in which to pray and talk with God/the Holy Spirit.

Although I am actually having a conversation with the Holy Spirit I know that it is also very important for me to stop talking to Him, so that I am able to hear what it is He is saying to me.

In the quiet and stillness of the early morning light I often receive dynamic ideas from the Holy Spirit; ideas that have never previously occurred to me.

On May 24th, 1738, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, felt that his heart was ‘strangely warmed’.

And as you listen to the Holy Spirit you, like John Wesley and myself, may also feel your heart becoming strangely warmed.

With many peaceful  blessings

Geoffrey

Rev Steve Wild is the new President of the Methodist Conference

The newly elected President of the Methodist Conference  has urged the Church to ‘take God seriously’ and put evangelism back on the agenda.

In his inaugural address at the Conference in Southport, the Revd Steve Wild challenged each Methodist church in Britain to aim to bring just one person to faith in the coming year, saying: “Let’s take God seriously. I want to help us in the task of evangelism, to put mission on the agenda and give our churches an aim to win a person for Christ.”

“We cannot sit back in complacency,” he added. “We have a massive Kingdom of God task.  I’m wanting this year to challenge each church to bring one person to faith – to make one new member this next year, let’s make bringing people to faith the main point, we don’t do it alone. The unconditional love of Jesus is our motivation.”

He told those gathered at the Conference that John Wesley only had ten guineas to his name when he died. Wesley’s will directed that four of these guineas should pay four unemployed men to carry his coffin and the remainder be distributed among his poorest preachers.

“What else did he leave behind?” Steve asked. “Changed lives hundreds of them, Christian communities dotted all over this country and in other parts of the world, fellowships seeking to take God seriously. Oh that we may all draw to the foot of the cross and experience this powerful love and make this our legacy one of transformed lives and communities!

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Steve Wild has been one of my Facebook friends for a long time and I know that he is going to be a very effective evangelistic President of the Methodist Conference during 2015/2016.

May our Father God bless Steve mightily in everything he says and in everything he does.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Do All The Good You Can

John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of Methodism.

During his lifetime it was estimated that he had travelled more than 250,000 miles, riding on horseback, throughout England, Wales and Scotland – and he even ventured over the seas to Northern Ireland.

And not only that but he often read books whilst riding on his horse to his next preaching engagement!

Most people – even experienced riders – would content themselves with just being able to ride, but reading a book as they rode would be a challenge beyond most people’s abilities.

One of his best known quotes is:-

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

John Wesley, of course, also travelled quite extensively in other countries, especially America. If Wesley had been alive today I wonder what he would have made of Youtube? I am sure that he would have found many innovative ways of using today’s electronic technology.

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Susanna Wesley’s Home Teaching Methods

Susanna Wesley was the mother of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.

She gave birth to 19 children, 10 of which survived beyond childhood.

She taught all her children herself. As soon as they were all one year old (and some even younger), they were taught to fear the cane and only to cry softly.

Susanna believed that to create the right thinking minds in her children she first had to conquer their will, and make them obedient in all things.

She believed that if this did not occur then the children would become stubborn and full of obstinacy.

She often spoke of parents as being cruel if they allow their children to develop bad habits which they know must afterwards be broken if the child is to be able to lead a goodly life.

As soon as Susanna’s children had learnt to speak they were taught to say The Lord’s Prayer, which had to be said by them every day as soon as they awoke and at night before they went to bed.

As they grew older they were expected to say short prayers for their parents and recite some pieces of scripture.

Susanna taught them that if they cried they would receive nothing.

Her children were never allowed to talk loudly and were expected to study for six hours every day.

She wrote that it is almost incredible what a child may be taught in a quarter of a year, by vigorous application, if they have a tolerable capacity and good health.

In a letter to John Wesley dated 24th July 1732 Susanna Wesley wrote:-

There were several by-laws observed among us…..

  1. It had been observed that cowardice and fear of punishment often led children into lying, till they get a custom of it, which they cannot leave. To prevent this a law was made, that whoever was charged with a fault, of which they were guilty, if they would ingenuously confess it, and promise to amend, they should not be beaten. This rule prevented a great deal of lying.
  2. That no sinful action, as lying, pilfering, playing at church, or on the Lord’s day, disobedience, quarrelling, etc. should ever pass unpunished.
  3. That no child should ever be chid or beat twice for the same fault; and that, if they amended, they should never be upbraided with it afterwards.
  4. That every signal act of obedience, especially when it crossed upon their own inclinations, should always be commended, and frequently rewarded, according to the merits of the cause.
  5. That if ever any child performed an act of obedience, or did anything with an intention to please, though the performance was not well, yet the obedience and intention should be kindly accepted; and the child with sweetness directed how to do better for the future.
  6. That propriety be inviolably preserved, and none suffered to invade the property of another in the smallest matter, though it were but of the value of a farthing or a pin…
  7. That promises be strictly observed; and a gift one bestowed, and so the right passed away from the donor, be not resumed, but left to the disposal of him to whom it was given…..
  8. That no girl be taught to work till she can read very well.

 

Where has today’s society gone wrong?

Nearly 283 years ago the methods adopted by Susanna Wesley when educating her children had many positive results. Her children, of course, included John Wesley, who founded the Methodist Church and one of his brothers, Charles Wesley, who wrote more than 3,000 hymns.

Perhaps we should introduce Susanna Wesley’s teaching methods into the present educational curriculum!!!!

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Thomas Coke (1747-1814)

 

From Brecon to the World

Thomas Coke was one of the founders of Methodism and a major contributor to the globalisation of the movement. Born in Brecon, is travelled widely and initiated the sending of missions to many countries.

Brecon in the 18th Century

When Coke was born, Brecon was one of the most important towns in Wales. It was on the route to Ireland and the final stop for the first regular coach service into Wales from London.

It held one of the four Welsh Courts of Great Sessions of a prominent market town and administrative centre. It was also an important social centre for the local gentry and landowners who built many fine houses in the town.

Early Life

Born close to St Mary’s Church in Brecon, where he  was baptised, Coke was the son of a well-to-do apothecary (early pharmacist), Bartholomew Coke, and his wife, Anne. He was educated at Christ College in Brecon and at Jesus College, Oxford and he graduated from University in 1768.

In 1775 he became a doctor of Civil Law. In Brecon he was deeply involved in town life, serving first as a councillor and then as the Bailiff in 1770.

Early Methodism

The Methodist movement began in the 18th century with the teachings of John Wesley, who believed in bringing faith back into people’s everyday lives and that salvation was available to all. He was a charismatic speaker and often preached in the open air. Methodism became popular amongst the working class, although members of all social classes at the time became involved.

Early Ministry

In 1771 Coke was ordained as a priest and became curated in the parish of South Petherton, in Somerset. He first met John Wesley in 1776 and later became an important assistant to him, beginning his lifelong commitment to the newly developing Methodist Church. On Easter Sunday in 1777, to the sound of church bells, Coke was driven from his parish because the local Rector disapproved of his Methodist ways.

Profile and Personality

At only 5’1”, Coke was a short man but he had a youthful appearance that stayed with him throughout his life. He was described as volatile and impulsive but also quick to admit when he was at fault, warm-hearted and honest. John Wesley said of Coke in 1788: ’I creep like Laos and the ground I get I keep; but the doctor (Coke) leaps like a flea and is sometimes obliged to leap back again.’

In America

In 1784, Coke was ordained Superintendent and sailed for the newly formed United States with orders to organise an independent American Methodist Church. In Baltimore, Coke met with Methodist preachers and ordained their chosen leader, Francis Asbury, as a fellow Superintendent; though they were both later styled ‘Bishop’ by the Americans, much to John Wesley’s displeasure.

Coke made nine journeys across the Atlantic Ocean, meeting with the President, George Washington, speaking out against slavery and addressing the US Congress.

Father of the Methodist Missions

In 1786, Coke landed on Antigua in the Caribbean. Impressed by the devotion and quiet endurance of the slaves he found there, he was inspired to organise and encourage Methodist missions throughout the West Indies and elsewhere.

The costs were high and Coke often financed them from his own pocket. His marriages, late in life, to Penelope Goulding Smith, from Bradford-on-Avon, in 1805, and Anne Loxdale, of Liverpool, in 1811, she died less than a year later, helped fund his work: both women were strong supporters of their husband’s ideals, before their untimely deaths.

Death and Commemoration

Coke made his final voyage in 1814, at the age of 67, leading a team of missionaries to the Indian sub-continent. On Tuesday May 3rd, he was found dead in his cabin and was buried at sea.

His loss was greatly felt by the Methodist Church and many memorials were created to commemorate his life’s achievements. In Brecon, a memorial chapel was built in 1835, to which a school was later added. Churches bearing his name can be found in the United States, Jamaica, Sri Lanka and even South Petherton, his first parish.

Methodism in the World Today

Since Coke’s day, Methodism has continued to spread across the globe and today claims over 70 million members.

Modern day Methodists, such as the late Nelson Mandela, continue Coke’s legacy of ’a life of faith in God lived in service to others.’

In December 2013, the Methodist Church of South Africa said: ’Mandela’s life demonstrated the finest characteristics of the Methodist faith: integrity tempered with graciousness; a strong ethic of industriousness; and honesty with reconciliation.’

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

PS For more information about Thomas Coke I would greatly recommend that you obtain a copy of the book by Cyril Davey entitled ‘Mad About Mission’

John Wesley’s Rule About Wealth

John Wesley’s rule about wealth which he gave to his followers was, “earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.”

When he was at Oxford he had an income of £30 per year. He lived on £28 and gave the rest away, and so, too, when he received £90 and  £120.

The taxman became suspicious and asked for a statement of the silver plate he was sure that Wesley must possess. The preacher wrote to the tax office, “I have two silver spoons in Bristol and two in London; this is all the plate I have at present and I shall not buy any more while so many around me lack bread.”

The really happy people those who are more concerned with giving than with getting and having.

Wealth is not measured by its amount, but by the good it can do.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey