Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Stand in Awe of Thee!

Yesterday evening started the New Year for Jews, Rosh Hashanah. "Rosh Hashanah" simply means "head of the year." It is year 5771 in the Hebrew calendar.

The Jews actually have four different years and four different new years, each starting at a different time. The one that started yesterday is the civil year, for people, animals, and legal contracts. Being an agricultural people, they had other years related to the planting of crops.

It is not appropriate to wish "Happy New Year" on Rosh Hashanah, as it is a solemn occasion. Instead, the Jews say "L'Shana Tova," which means "to a Good Year."

But this Jewish year begins with ten days of ‘awe’! What is this? This is nothing but a time of repentance and correction before the Presence of God!

And how the church of today needs that!

There are three powerful mentions of the word ‘awe’ in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), of course, there are more but these three really got me! Let’s look at them…and see how they speak to us at this time. These three verses are relatively well known.

The first is, “How awesome is this place. Gen 28:17

Jacob awakes from this dream, in which he saw angels ascending and descending from a ladder touching earth and heaven. These words are really prophetic because they refer to the future location of the Holy Temple. They also refer to the ‘gate of heaven’ later on in his prayer.

He was afraid…suddenly this puffed up, prideful, cheating and lying Jacob was afraid!

This is what the Lord is saying…the more we see of Him; the more there is a holy trembling before Him. When God reveals Himself to someone…there is always a clear sign of becoming low in their own eyes, as they begin to walk in the reverential fear of God.

So suddenly this place became the residence of God and His Majesty; it became the ‘gate of heaven’. To me this means that it is here that Heaven touches earth, and earth Heaven! It is here that the supernatural realm touches me in a greater way than I’ve ever known! It is here where God meets us with his special Presence and so we ought to meet Him with the most humble reverence, remembering His justice and holiness, and our own meanness and vileness.

So it is from here that I go away changed. Something happens…! It touches every dimension of my life and challenges me to live unlike the world around me.

I stand in awe of a Holy God!

More next time…

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is the earthquake at Christchurch, New Zealand, a picture and a sign of the shaking in the church of Christ?

I've just been reading...
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND—the powerful earthquake that smashed buildings, cracked roads and twisted rail lines around the New Zealand city of Christchurch also ripped a new 3.5 metre-wide fault line in the earth’s surface, a geologist said Sunday.
At least 500 buildings, including 90 downtown properties, have been designated as destroyed in the 7.1-magnitude quake that struck at 4:35 a.m. Saturday (Friday afternoon, Eastern time) near the South Island city of 400,000 people. Most other buildings sustained only minor damage.
Canterbury University geology professor Mark Quigley said what “looks to us that it could be a new fault” had ripped across the earth and pushed some surface areas up. “One side of the earth has lurched to the right ... up to 11 feet (3.5 metres) and in some places been thrust up,” Quigley told National Radio. “The long linear fracture on the earth’s surface does things like break apart houses, break apart roads. We went and saw two houses that were completely snapped in half by the earthquake,” he said.  “The whole dairy farm is like the sea now, with real (soil) waves right across the dairy farm. We don’t have physical holes (but) where the fault goes through it’s been raised a meter or meter and a half,” he told National Radio.
The state of emergency in earthquake-stricken Christchurch has been extended for a further seven days after a violent aftershock this morning.
A magnitude 5.1 aftershock, the strongest since Saturday's big quake, hit at 7.49am this morning (5.49am AEST) at a depth of six kilometres in the Lyttelton area. It was preceded by a 4.1 magnitude shock and followed by a 3.8.
People rushed from hotels and inner city businesses, and power was out in parts of Christchurch.
"It was a devastatingly, vicious sharp blow to the city," he told NewstalkZB. "This was a terrifying moment. We have just had to evacuate our Civil Defence headquarters. "We have got staff in tears, we have got fire engines going through the middle of the city, power is out and a lot of people are very, very churned up by that.
"My guts are just churning up here. When will this thing end? It is like living in a maelstrom."
"This is a hammer blow to the spirit of a lot of people."

So, is the earthquake at Christchurch, New Zealand, a picture and a sign of the shaking in the church of Christ?
Early last year the Lord spoke to us very powerfully that a great shaking was coming over the Church. This would be both worldwide as well as locally.
He said, the shaking would come for two major reasons…
  •        That the Church needed a ‘shakedown’ as the world is very much attached to her in numerous ways, and as and when the shaking came many would realise that God was doing a fresh work of calling people back to Himself. There is a call to return!
  •      As the time of the end is drawing near, the hearts of leaders (and those that had any kind of leadership roles in the church), would be exposed. All that ‘man’ had built and established would fall, revealing its emptiness and fallacies.

Have you noticed in the news…many ‘old’ buildings in Christ church, were devastated and rendered unfit for use, and will be pulled down later! Hmm…think about it!
Also, have you noticed that just today, a few hours ago, serious aftershocks continue? I believe the shaking is continuing so that we would wake up! When the first quake hit Christchurch, most people were asleep! It is time therefore to wake up and become what God truly intended for us.
Within a year, these things are coming to pass. Surprised? I’m not! There is a ‘shakedown’ in the Church and many hearts are being revealed. It is amazing how the church was ‘controlled’ and ‘dominated’ by men who desired to become rich and famous. But here comes the other side of the coin…and this really gets us open before Him! Are we going to have the same attitude as our past leaders? Or are we going to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church in these final days?
So let us not ignore the signs of the times. Oh! Father! help us change our ways and lifestyle, and let us continue to do His will regardless.
Willie Soans

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yeh Hai Mera Mumbai (This is my Mumbai)

Mumbai…a city of innumerable dreams, chronic bustle and eclectic cultures...!

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, the most populous city of India, and by some measures the most populous city in the world. A city that never sleeps and yet hosts over 20 million people, each of whom always finds a place to rest their head at night!

From the filthy rich to the feeble poor, everyone has a unique place here—an identity of their own, a name, a face, a purpose and a plan. She gives solace to the lonely beggar as much as fame to the glamorous fashion model on the ramp. Sixteen out of India's 40 richest business magnates call Mumbai home. Literally hundreds of Bollywood actors and directors make a living spinning out more than a thousand movies a year.

Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India. This city houses the biggest financial institutions in the country, and has corporate heads of important Indian companies.

It is here that migrants from all over India come, like bees to a thriving hive. And in a potpourri of various communities and cultures one can easily make a living.

Disharmony, riots, bomb blasts, political unrest, water shortage, challenging weather, natural calamities, and all other sorts of things have tried their best to bring the city down…but she has stood tall through it all, resilient and strong.

Life here is an unbelievable paradox. When you meet a Mumbaikar, you will not be able to make out where he or she is from. It is a cosmopolitan city. A Mumbaite is a mushy mixture of culture and traditions. We even speak a unique blend of languages that only we can understand. We’ve all found a way to make this city our own, to call it Aamchi Mumbai, to recognise the Bumbaiyya slang, to cheer for our fellowmen and to stand one with each other when the times are hard. We love this city!

From bankers to call-centres, from software solutions to dark delusions and from the posh malls to the drug hauls…this city is unique, like no other!

It is here the Church has her presence. She thrives. She hurts. She suffers. She lives! Men have tried to waste her. Business has tried to use her. Bollywood to abuse her, and yet many choose her! And she’s here to stay! It is here that demons try to make their home yet it is here that angels freely roam. From lofty cathedrals to dinghy corners, full throated songs of glory rise to God’s Throne. Night and day praying lips and hearts join in causing Satan to shudder and run or to turn and strike again. It is here dear reader, the Church stands beautiful, reflecting the Father’s heart for the nations. You can say what you want…but the Church in Mumbai has the destiny to touch nations, and for the nations to come and touch her.

This is her new season! The Church in Mumbai has entered into a dimension she has never known before. This new generation that longs for God’s Presence and His Amazing Grace is already touching the broken, the hungry, the needy, the lost, the lonely and the reject. Look around and see.

Just as Jesus stood on the Island of Patmos giving John the message for the churches nearly two thousand years ago, today Jesus stands on this island sharing His message to us…

Indeed he, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches!

Pray for us!

Starting this Blog!

Well, here I am, for the first time starting a Blog!
I trust these blogs will be a help and an edifying read for you that come here. Will post as much as I can as the Lord enables me and as He speaks to me. Amen!