Bob Fitts is coming to Christchurch again


I am pleased to announce the return of Bob Fitts to Christchurch.

On Saturday 25 June 2011, Harmony Church will be hosting a seminar and worship concert in the Oaklands School Auditorium.

For those of you who are not familiar with the name here some more details.

BIO

Bob has been writing songs and leading people in worship since the early 1970s when many students on his Corona, California high school campus met daily at lunch to worship and pray together.

After high school, he attended Melodyland School of Theology in Anaheim, California and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry. At the same time, he was ordained as youth pastor and church worship leader in Riverside, California.

Bob and his wife Kathy met during high school and were married in 1976. In 1981, they moved to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and served with Youth With A Mission at its teaching campus, The University of the Nations, until 1993. In 1990 they pioneered the School of Worship, which is now being conducted in many countries around the world.

His first recording, Take My Healing To The Nations, was released in 1985. In 1988 he was invited to be the worship leader on Integrity Music’s The Lord Reigns. Since that time, Bob has recorded numerous projects, both as a solo artist and the featured worship leader including:

  •  Take My Healing To The Nations – Solo Project 1988
  • The Lord Reigns – Integrity Music 1988
  • The Highest Place – Integrity Music 1990
  • Live Worship With Bob Fitts – Maranatha! Music 1990
  • Sacrifice – Solo Project 1991
  • Bethlehem’s Treasure – Integrity Music 1991
  • He Will Save You – Integrity Music 1993
  • Proclaim His Power 1993
  • Comfort My People – Solo Project 1994
  • A Taste of Heaven – New Creation Church 1995
  • Comfort My People 1995
  • He Will Save You – Integrity Music 1996
  • I Will Not Be Afraid – International House of Prayer 2001
  • I Will Bow To You – Integrity Music 2001
  • I Will Not Be Afraid – Live Worship Project 2001
  • Restore – Healing To The Nations Music 2008

Some of Bob’s best-known songs are Blessed Be The Lord God Almighty, Take My Healing To The Nations, He Is Lovely, He Will Come And Save You and Glory Glory Lord.

On a personal note, I am looking forward to be part of the band again, an amazing worship leader and a joy to play with. Hope to see you all there.

Celebrating 400 years King James Bible


In 1611 the first version of what we now know as the King James Version of the Bible was completed. To celebrate this event Thomas Nelson, one of thew oldest publishers in the world and one of the largest publishers of the King James Bible has set up a celebratory website to commemorate this event.

Celebrate 400 years of the King James Bible

I have to say what a great site with some wonderful resources and and beautiful gallery page leading us to the history of the bible and the King James version in particular.

A definite recommendation and thanks for this great site. Follow the banner or go here >>>

Kevin Dedmon in Christchurch


FREE EVENT

1 & two March 2011
Halswell Baptist, 6 Balcairn St, Halswell, Christchurch

This conference focuses on equipping, empowering, and activating the Church in signs and wonders, miracles, healing, prophetic, and supernatural evangelism, so that releasing and expanding God’s Kingdom becomes a natural lifestyle.
I would like to add on a personal note that as people from Christchurch this is probably what we all need in these times so that in all the current chaos His love may shine.


Kevin Dedmon has been in pastoral ministry for over 25 years and has a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a M.A. degree in Church Leadership from Vanguard University. Kevin conducts Supernatural Lifestyle Conferences in which people are equipped, empowered, and activated in miracles, healing, prophetic, and evangelism as a normal lifestyle of the believer. Kevin also oversees the Firestarter Class, which equips and empowers newcomers and new believers to live as revivalists – healing the sick, prophesying, and supernatural evangelism. He is also the director of Bethel Church’s Firestorm ministry, which sends teams to local churches for the purpose of demonstrating the revival culture of Bethel Church, as well as imparting, empowering, and activating the church to live naturally in the supernatural, so that the atmosphere in both the church and the community is transformed. Kevin also speaks at conferences and churches world wide, focusing on healing and supernatural evangelism. He also teaches revival theology in the School of Supernatural Ministry, and trains new believers and new members in a revival supernatural lifestyle in his Firestarter’s class at Bethel Church. Kevin is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Hunt, and Unlocking Heaven: Keys to Living Naturally Supernatural.

Hosted by Harmony Church, Oaklands School Auditorium, Cunningham Place, Halswell. For more information or conference registration brochure call on 03 338 4253 or email harmonychurch@ihug.co.nz or website www.harmony.org.nz

I hope to all see you there if not for the conference perhaps because it is a good way to catch up with others from our community to prepare us for the road ahead.

Photo Journal: Lake Clearwater and Camp


What can I say: good friends, amazing environment, fantastic days, a joy to make pictures. If you are out for a luxurious holiday, do not go there: no cell phone, no phone, no electricity, no tab water unless you collect it for yourself. It was amazing walking around these two beautiful lakes. Great walks that remind you again how precious it is to be able to let your young boys enjoy this kind of environment. It is also here where I realized and was awed with God‘s Creation (with a capital C). It was here where I sensed God’s presence more than in a long time.

In Psalm 121 David speaks:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do not understand this as David expecting help typo come from the particular mountains he is looking at at the time he wrote this Psalm. No, those mountains; the scenery remind him of the grandeur, the majesty of creation and he is reminded of the knowledge that the Creator will be his helper, guide, comforter, as we can read in the later verses of this beautiful Psalm.

And while we all remember David as the King that brought the Ark back to the tabernacle of David, the man after God’s heart, the man who truly counted on God’s protection when he went into battle with Goliath, I suddenly realized how instrumental his humble beginnings must have been. Here’s the shepherd that spend all this days and nights out in nature, with his sheep, some food, drink and a harp and while that may not seem much to many of us today, it gave him a chance to actually spend quality time with God without all the distractions of daily life; to develop a relationship. It is here where he learned about God looking after His children, and how much protection was needed for there must have been wild animals around. In all the harshness of his life, it was here where David learned what it means to be in his presence and to be a good child of the Almighty Father, the Father that looks after us if we are willing to open the door to our hearts. All these were things flowing through my mind when walking around there in the presence of friends, and my lovely family. Definitely a place to go not just for a nice (little or big) holiday bit also a place to reconnect with God. The scenery, the majesty of it, the skies at night, even the walkways remind you of how much your faith is a big journey, how easy it is to get of the path and what majesty you miss out on when you stray away. Anyway I did.

Scenery

When we arrived at the set out destination the weather was not particularly inviting. And here in the mountains it seemed even worse that below on the plains. Strong wind seem to be particularly more severe when they blow through the valleys in the mountains.

In awe is all I could say. It was freezing (6 degrees Celcius is not fitting for a summer’s day) and yet was I glad to have gone out in the rain and wind.

Most of all I was reminded that first night of what a “One tree hill” means in terms of majestic scenes.

There is beauty even on a bad day if you are willing to see it. And is it not like that with our Christian lives as well. It is certainly no guarantee for a trouble free life, but that does not mean that there is no beauty in it even in times of trouble, or hardship. The tree reminded of the importance of standing tall even if it feels that you are sailing against the winds. The tide will change.

And so it did the next day, all cleared up at least later in the day opening up the real beauty of the surroundings. A walk around Lake Clearwater left me even more amazed.

 

Walking

The tracks around the lakes were nice. A stiff walk if you are not used to it, but well worth the effort. When you are witnessing secnes such as below, you quickly forget that you are tired. Too much to be distracted by.

In Matthew 7:14 we read:

…narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

I was painfully reminded of this verse when not long after the point where this picture was taken: we climbed over a style, tried to pick up the trail and lost we were. If we had only stayed on that track that was laid out before us, we would have been all right. But no, due to our own doubts we got lost. We thought we knew better and ended up getting lost, only get across the lake again once we reestablished our ‘faith’ in the track that was laid out for us.

Sunsets

What blew me away most of all probably was the amazing sunset over Lake Camp. What an amazing scenery and Psalm 8 springs to mind:

1 LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens…
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

What’s left here for me to say is that I guess we all feel at times as if God is no longer present in our lives. I know it felt like that for me after the ‘busy season’ with all this hassle about … well … stuff.  The best part about places like this is the absence of facilities. It means you will have to do simple whether you like it or not. That also means NO or HARDLY ANY DISTRACTIONS and what a joy that is.

We look at David, a man after God’s own heart. I realize now the importance of his humble beginnings. Man did he have an opportunity to have time out with God on a daily basis, herding his sheep, out alone under the stars with nothing but his sheep, his harp and … God! If there is any way to reconnect with God, I would imagine it to be in the mountains, alone under in this majestic scenery. I know for sure it worked for me. The only thing I regret is that I did not take out my guitar to play for my Father under the stars. Next time I will. Far from perfect but back on track again.

More pictures to follow soon here

Thoughts on Hebrews 4:12


Art by Gerda Keurentjes http://www.gekk-art.nl

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

All of a sudden it hit me. We may be sitting there studying the Bible and then (at least in my case) I will end up pondering what I think of a certain passage or verse. But the way I ‘judge’ the Word is actually not what it is all about: it is all about the Word judging me, it shows me what my intentions are, where my own heart is.

And woth that in mind, the Bible is indeed “the living word” that is at the basis of the transformation that comes through living a life in Christ, a Spirit lead life. Here we have a Father, God, who speaks to us through the Bible, that shows us where we are in our relationship with Him, who we really are, and as a result transforms us. So, hmm…, what does it really tell me if I find particular passages dull or not of any particular interest?

The words of God are given not for us to have our opinion on but to penetrate our souls. All of a sudden I need to re-evaluate the way I am reading the Bible. The right question seems no longer “what are my thoughts on this or that passage?”, but “what’s happening in my heart when I read this passage?”

What a great start of the year.

The Power of Prayer and Accepting Responsibility for an Answered Prayer


I ran into this  story online:

Texas beer joint sues church…

2009-10-29 / Editorial
Laugh A Little

In a small Texas town, ( Mt. Vernon ) Drummond’s bar began construction on a new building to increase their business.. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed right up till the week before opening when lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.
The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.
The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the building’s demise in its reply to the court.
As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, “I don’t know how I’m going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that does not.”

An e-mail sent bya former Grove Hill resident

Source: Clark Country Democrat

Comment

What an illustrative story. Here we have a congregation that sees their prayers answered, and perhaps also their own smugness. In any even it reminded me of the story of Peter, and how he denied the name of Christ.

We pray for certain things and we expect our prayers to be answered. And how miraculous: the prayers of this congregation were answered. At that point our human fallen nature hits in again. They get smug about the works of God.  What a lesson is in there:

In faith we ask God for certain matters and expect (as promised) that our prayers will be answered. The trap we should not fall for however is to be proud for the wrong reasons (and the use of the word smug indicates they were). If your prayers are answered so directly and you feel a need to boast, than at least acknowledge the source of your success: God, the one you have been praying to. The Bible is clear on the subject matter. In John 5:19 we read:

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

But of course there is the temptation to be proud about not God’s work but our own amazing prayer skills. And that’s where we go wrong. Paul understood and explained this to the Corinthians in his first letter (1 Corinthians 1:31):

31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 1:31 Jer. 9:24
Having said all that what was really striking is the denial when the risk of being sued became apparent. Again what a lesson is in here. If we see our prayers answered are we willing to take the associated consequences of that. Personally I would say all of a sudden it becomes a faith question: IN FAITH YOU PRAY RESULT, and by the looks of it that got answered, DOES IT NOT MAKE SENSE TO EXTEND THAT FAITH TO A POSITIVE OUTCOME OF THE COURT CASE? If it was God’s will that was done here, how likely would it be that the court case would lead to an adverse outcome for the church?
And even if they would have been found on the receiving end of a successful court case for the bar owner; what is more important, God’s will or your wallet? It reminds me a bit of the story of the young rich man that wants to follow Jesus in Matthew 19
The Rich and the Kingdom of God

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

I guess the church in the US showed us again an example of how we may be claiming to be following Jesus, to live a Christian life yet when it threatens our earthly existence, even just the financial side of it, how ready and willing are we for real. There are many out there that end up facing severe consequences, even death, as a result of their faith. Look at the early Christians look at those areas where Christians are persecuted. What would you do if you were convinced that your prayers were answered and find yourself faced with a POTENTIAL liability? WOULD YOU DENY HIM, HIS NAME, OR WOULD YOU FACE UP TO THE CONSEQUENCES EVEN IF THE MAY BE FINANCIALLY SEVERE?

What do you say?

Photo Journal: Curbside Beauty


The other day I was walking around and praise the Lord I brought a camera. Martin Luther once wrote that God does not just write the Gospel in the Bible alone but also in the trees, flowers, the skies and stars. Well it certainly seemed to be true when I saw these very ordinary side of the curb being decorated by these amazing creations. Otherwise uninteresting outside fences and curbside decorated by flowers that somehow managed to find a way out of the garden to please the eye of the innocent by-passer.

Or what to think of more color than my camera seemed to be able to handle.

Flowers: they seem to never get boring and spectacular time and time again.

And thus an otherwise unnoticed part of the street that ‘no-man’s land’ between the end of a garden and the start of the street was transformed by the beauty of these amazing creations.