THEBUZZ (May 15, 2016)

GLEANINGS:

  • PENNSYLVANIA – spiritual boldness
  • USA – Atheists don’t have no songs!
  • HIGHTON, Vic, Australia – Different kind of Pentecost Sunday emphasis
  • UK – London’s first Muslim Mayor

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PENNSYLVANIA
Boldness for ministry

 Hope

Author Hope Flinchbaugh shares how the Holy Spirit changed ministries …

In the book of Acts we read how the Holy Spirit came in wonderful power and filled his people with boldness – enabling them to minister the gospel ‘with signs following.’

  • Acts 4:31 – ‘After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled   with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
  • Acts 9:28 – ‘So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.’
  • Acts 14:3 – ‘So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to perform signs and wonders.’

Hope 201605aReading about the wonderful things that the Spirit did through those first Christians, you may wonder how this works for us today.

Searching for meaningful ‘fulness’
Now, I know for some readers a big red flag went up inside and you immediately considered ‘unfollowing’ this! Believe me, I understand. For years I considered ‘tongue talkers’ heretics – at worst, the enemies of Christ and at best the most deceived people on the planet.

I am so grateful for my Baptist/Evangelical upbringing and wouldn’t trade it for the world. No one told a Bible story or missionary story better than my mother, and no one I ever knew had a greater compassion for people than my father.

My search for the greater fulness of God started when I was a teenager and my dad handed a little booklet titled, How Great Soul Winners Were Filled with the Holy Spirit by Dr John Rice.  It was small in size and page number. On the cover were the faces of great men of God like R A Torrey, D L Moody, and Charles Finney.  Inside, Dr Rice wrote how each man had a great encounter with the power of God – sometime after their born again experience.

I was so against speaking in tongues as a teenager that I sincerely worried that my father was going off the deep end. But with names like Moody, Finney and Torrey, how could I argue?  I must have read that book three times while still helping my parents with their inner city church and three more times in a prayer room at Liberty Baptist College (now Liberty University).

I knew that Dwight L Moody was the great initiator of the Sunday School Movement which began in Chicago in the 1870s. At that time, no one in America was used more of God in winning souls than Moody. I want to share from Moody’s testimony…

Hunger of the soul
1871 was a critical year in Mr Moody’s career. He realised more and more how little he was fired by personal acquirements for his work. An intense hunger and thirst for spiritual power were aroused in him by two women who used to attend the meetings and sit on the front seat. He could see by the expression on their faces that they were praying. At the close of services they would say to him: ‘We have been praying for you.’

‘Why don’t you pray for the people?’ Moody would ask. ‘Because you need the power of the Spirit,’ they would say.

I need the power! Why,’ said Mr. Moody, in relating the incident years after, ‘I thought I had power. I had the largest congregations in Chicago, and there were many conversions. I was in a sense satisfied. But right along those two godly women kept praying for me, and their earnest talk about anointing for special service set me to thinking. I asked them to come and talk with me, and they poured out their hearts in prayer that I might receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. There came a great hunger into my soul. I did not know what it was. I began to cry out as I never did before. I really felt that I did not want to live if I could not have this power for service.’

Hope 201605bLonging for fire or satisfied with fume?
Do you feel that way today? Is there a hunger inside of you for the Holy Spirit to fill you with his mighty power from on high?

I was! I was surely hungry as a teenager. I’d led hundreds of children to Jesus in my teen years both at an inner city camp and at an inner city church. I loved God and I loved people, but at times I was ministering on ‘fumes.’ I tried to imagine how my life and ministry to the children in York City might change if I was ‘endued with power from on high’ like D L Moody.

For the hungry one reading this message right now, I want to finish this story of Dwight L Moody. Later he wrote concerning his experience with God:

I was crying all the time that God would fill me with his Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York — oh, what a day! — I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed himself to me, and I had such an experience of his love that I had to ask him to stay his hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world — it would be as the small dust of the balance.’

Hope 201605c


George Verner quote left

Are you hungry for more? Cry out to God as did D L Moody and countless others that God has used mightily. Seek him! You will find him and his glorious power that will enable you too to serve Jesus – however he wishes to engage you in the kingdom.

Hope Flinchbaugh has a heart for the kingdom and China. She is an author, freelance writer, ghostwriter and editor. Link: seehope@comcast.net / http://liftjesuscross.com / www.HopeEditors.com  / Hope4nk@gmail.com

 Hope Book 1DAUGHTER OF CHINA (Daughter of China Series, Novel 1)

Like young women everywhere, Mei Lin longs for an education, a career—even love. But the system she lives in doesn’t tolerate religious belief, and Mei Lin’s faith is as profound as it is simple.  Must she abandon her beliefs to have the life she’s dreamed of? This Catherine Marshall Christy Award of Excellence in 2003 will linger in the mind long after the last page has been read.

Link: http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-China-C-Hope-Flinchbaugh/dp/0991462408

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WORLDWIDE PENTECOST SUNDAY CELEBRATION TODAY!
Churches both Pentecostal and mainstream celebrate the fulfilment of Jesus’ Luke 24:49 promise.

In traditional ways or pentecostal expectant supernatural visitations, many will be remembering the coming of the Holy Spirit as detailed in Acts 2. It was a joyous time when that prayer group of 120 believers ‘tarried’ as Jesus had directed.

A new day began! God was worshipped in new tongues (glossolalia) and the great harvest unleashed (and is still going on https://connectingwithyou.net/2016/05/11/the-pentecost-harvest-that-has-continued-for-over-2000-years/).

No doubt some great old Holy Spirit-centred hymns – such as Dr Edward Hatch’s Breathe on me, breath of God (1886) and Chris Tomlin’s Holy Spirit Fall (2011) type modern choruses – will be echo around churches today.

And that  recalls the fact that Christians of every denomination who love Jesus have something to sing about! Unlike atheists who – as comedian Steve Martin, along with the Steep Canyon Rangers suggest – have nothing to sing about… . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmwAD7nHqaY/#q=atheist+don’t+have+no+songs.

steve-martin-atheists_std.original

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HIGHTON, Victoria
Pentecost Sunday service with a difference

Today St John’s Anglican held a Pentecost Sunday that was indeed quite different! Not only was there a mixture of hymns and choruses of the type mentioned above, and meaningful appreciation given to God  for sending his Holy Spirit as highlighted in Acts 2, but the service was centred on prayer!

Even the children were encouraged by the vicar, Will Orpwood, to understand how real effective prayer is. His Acts 2:1-21 message to the adults was structured, short, sharp and straight-to-the-point. Using the inductive method he clearly taught three observations that are worth noting (outlining only) here –

  • Observation – Strange occurrence … What happened? (v 1-4)
    a) Sound – rushing wind
    b) Sight – tongues
    c) Speech – declaring the wonders of God in other languages.
  • Interpretation – Strange conclusions … What are we to make of it? (v5-13)
    a) Amazed
    and confused!
    b) Under the influence?
    c) What are we to make of it – God had given his Spirit)!
  • Application – Reality (v14-31)
    a) The kindness of God
    – After salvation, what is the best thing God could give us?
  • b) The mission of God to/for all people (‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ v21).
  • c) The mission of God through all / any people.

When asked at different intervals to lift up different prayer points, attendees and visitors didn’t hesitate to join other around, promptly and earnestly praying for our nation in general, the church itself and the world at large for which Christ died for.

Pentecost Sunday PrayerLike the prayer meeting of Acts 2, this too was a different Pentecost Sunday indeed.

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LONDON, UK
London has elected its first Muslim mayor

Dan Wooding 2015Dan Wooding, ASSIST founder/director, reports: On May 7 after a bitter battle, Sadiq Khan, the son of a Pakistan-born bus driver, became London’s first Muslim mayor, beating a Conservative challenger who attempted to link him to extremism and securing a much-needed win for his opposition Labour Party.

According to Reuters, Khan’s victory, which also makes him the first Muslim to head a major Western capital, was confirmed shortly after midnight inside London’s futuristic glass and steel city hall following a day of mixed news for Labour in elections elsewhere in the country. The big prize was the London mayor vote, which pitted Khan (45) who grew up in public housing in inner city London, against Conservative Zac Goldsmith (41) the son of a billionaire financier.

Choosing hope over fear
Sadiq Khan  said in a short speech after the results were announced, ‘This election was not without controversy and I am so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division. I hope that we will never be offered such a stark choice again. Fear does not make us safer, it only makes us weaker and the politics of fear is simply not welcome in our city.’

Dan Wooding - Sadiq
Khan (left – AFP/Getty Images) had a 13.6 percent margin of victory over Goldsmith, the widest in a London mayoral election in 16 years, showing that an acrimonious campaign marred by accusations that Khan had links to extremists, and charges of antisemitism within Labour ranks, had failed to deter his voters.

As he was sworn in as London mayor in a ceremony in Southwark Cathedral, Mr Khan said: ‘I’m only here today because of the opportunities and helping hand that our city gave to me and my family. My burning ambition for our city, that will guide my mayoralty, is to ensure that all Londoners get the opportunities that my city gave to me. I promise you I will always do everything in my power to make our city better. I will be a mayor for all Londoners,’ he added, pledging to lead ‘the most transparent, engaged and accessible administration London has ever seen.’

Firm resolve defies the odds
A BBC Radio 4 Today report mentioned that the new mayor did not have a privileged start in life. He was one of eight children born to Pakistani immigrants, a bus driver and a seamstress, on a south London housing estate.

From an early age, he showed a firm resolve to defy the odds in order to win success for himself and the causes important to him. That resolve has won him the biggest personal mandate in the UK, a job with wide-ranging powers over London and with enormous emotional significance for him.
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Disclaimer: Articles, as well as the sources linked to, do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ConnectingwithYou! Our thanks mainly to Dan Wooding, ASSIST (www.assistnews.net) and other news sources for timely gleanings
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