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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Joanne Lowe's Meditations


“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

John 14: 1 - 3 (King James Version)

A man whose wife had been kidnapped said to his son “Without your mother, none of this money means anything”. Jesus is preparing mansions for those of us who have invited Him into our hearts to be our personal Saviour. Jesus is the master decorator and all the mansions we have seen on this earth can’t come close to the beauty of the mansions He is preparing for us. However if He wasn’t there with us, the mansions would just be places of beauty.

I’ve read this statement many times “The heart of the family is the mother”. The heart of our mansions is Jesus. Not only are we going to have mansions of unexcelled beauty; they are also going to be mansions of love because Jesus is going to be with us. Just as the man said to his son, “Without your mother, none of this money means anything” so without Jesus being with us, our mansions would mean nothing. Thank God that every person who is saved is going to have a mansion of love.

Heavenly Father, we give You thanks for our mansions of love. Thank You for Jesus because without Him, we would be lost in our sins and on our way to hell. What thrills my heart is knowing that nobody will yell at me in my mansion or hit me. Thank You Jesus, for not only decorating my mansion with a beauty that the world has never seen, but especially thank You for decorating it with love. O how I love You, my precious Saviour. You are worthy to be praised and adored. Amen.

Joanne Lowe

July 24, 2009

If a picture paints 1000 words, here are 4000 words for you at least!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Composer/Singer joins the Sheer Joy Music family

We have just invited Robert Beaton, who is a great composer/musician and also a singer, to join the Sheer Joy Music family. Even as I write this blog entry, Martin Holding, our Technical Wizard, is busy selciting tracks to make up a fresh Cd of Robert's compositions, and these range from hard rock to ballads in style. It will be well worth looking out for! You'll be able to check it out before too long on the Sheer Joy Music website, so keep on looking.

To Cornwall on Monday

In addition to preaching tomorrow at St John's in Runcorn in the morning and in the Presbyterian Church at Moreton on the Wirral in the evening, I shall be continuing to prepare myself for my mission to Cornwall which I leave for on Monday, returning next Saturday.

Please continue to hold me in prayer, not only as I prepare for the mission but also throughout the week itself.

A Great Time at Gregynog!

What a great time it was at Gregynog this week where I stayed for the 56th Summer School of Healing Conference. The guest speaker was Revd Dr. Elfed ap Nefydd Roberts, who was the Principal at the United Theological College in Aberystwyth when I was a theological student there. Not only is he an extremely spiritual and learned man, he is also an extremely nice man to know. When I was at college he was very much a father figure to the students, something that we all appreciated.

He spoke on the subject of 'Prayer & Relating to God', speaking of every aspect of prayer in terms of its power, its value and the various different types of prayer that are prayed. The Summer School Conference is a healing conference,and prayer is absolutely central to healing for it is prayer that will petition God to send down His healing Spirit upon the person in need. "Prayer", said Dr Roberts, "is on the edge of the mystery of God." He asked how we dare to speak of it, going on to explain that not to speak prayer is to neglect God Himself. Yet prayer, he went on to explain, is not something that we naturally do, and so, in that sense, we are learners in the School of Prayer throughout our lives.

Prayer is a movement in three directions:
  • Inward --- for ourselves.
  • Upward --- seeking God and His glory.
  • Outward --- which centres on the needs of others.
Prayer is so important in our relationship with God. There is always movement of some kind in every relationship, and it's that movement which shows that the relationship is alive. In our relationship with God we are either moving inwards towards God who is in the centre, or outwards, drifting away from God.

Dr Roberts went on to categorise prayer into three main categories:
  • Longing: A longing for God.
  • A Gift: This longing is a gift from God. Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near (Isaiah 55:6). Discoveries about God are made in and through prayer. Prayer differs in Christianity from all other religions in that, as we open up to God in prayer, He comes to us. God is always close to us because He has already found us and knows us, and He plants in us a desire to get to find and know Him.
  • Relationship: Prayer is about deepening our relationship with God. We seek after God for Himself, not for the gifts that He might bestow on us. The heart of Christian prayer is relating to the Divine.
For many people the time of prayer is all too often filled with the noise of human chattering, asking God for this and that, either for ourselves or for others. Through this noise it becomes difficult to hear God speaking to us, and so one of the most important aspects of sustained prayer is silence. It's in the silence that we experience the still calmness that prayer can bring to us, and it's in that stillness that we are able to listen to what God has to teach us and share with us.

Without a true relationship with God, man is incomplete, for there is a fullness of life which is found in relationship with God, and prayer is the link between human failing and the fullness of God. It is said that 'Man without God is less than man.' Just as gravity pulls us in a downward direction so God lifts us upward towards Himself. Just as flowers are drawn upwards by the light of the sun, so mankind is drawn upwards by the Light that is the Son.

Each year I look forward to July when this Conference is always held, and always find it a time of great blessing with much to experience and also much to look back on and, in so doing, to re-experience. I purchased the Cd's of Revd Dr Elfed ap Nefydd Roberts' talks, and through them I will continue to learn.

Finally, by way of a postscript, let me recommend the Conference to you dear reader, for it's open to Christians from all denominations.

Meditation from Joanne Lowe


“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8: 38, 39 (King James Version)

There is absolutely nothing that we have done or ever will do that would make Jesus stop loving us. Yes, we fail Him and we hurt Him. However, He doesn’t turn His love for us off and on like a water faucet as we sometimes do to people who have hurt us. When you are feeling all alone and think that nobody loves you, I have good news for you. Jesus loves you so much that He died for you! There is no greater love than the love Jesus has for you.

Did you know that satan will attack us where he knows it will hurt us the most? For over forty years, I wanted to kill myself because I had been raped and abused. I felt all alone and I really believed that nobody loved me. If I didn’t know now that Jesus loves me, I would go to bed and stay there. Without Jesus, there is no reason to live. So of course, satan tries to discourage me and hurt me by telling me that Jesus doesn’t love me. However, I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus loves me.

His love for us does not depend on what we do or don’t do. His love for us depends on who He is. He not only is the definition of love and gives us unconditional love; He is love! What a privilege it is to be loved by the Saviour of the world. There is no one like Jesus! What a Saviour! What a friend, this Jesus of Nazareth! He is worthy to be praised and adored. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All hail, King Jesus!

Joanne Lowe

July 25, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Here's a new hymn that you might like to try out, using the popular tune of 'Jesus Loves Me'.

Little Children


Little children pure and sweet,

Worship at the Saviour’s feet;

He looks down at them to say,

Walk My straight and narrow way.

Yes! Jesus loves them!

Yes! Jesus loves them!

Yes! Jesus loves them!

The Bible tells us so.

Jesus seated on the ground,

Called the children, gather round;

Drew them close to be with Him,

Gave them life, pure, free from sin.

Yes! Jesus loves them! . . .

Promised them that He’d be there,

And would hear their every prayer;

He’d supply their every need,

All His little lambs He’d lead.

Yes! Jesus loves them! . . .

© Colin Gordon-Farleigh, June 2006

Cornwall beckons . . .

I shall be conducting a Mission in the Redruth & Camborne area of Cornwall all next week, from Monday 27th July through to Friday 31st July. This will be a long overdue visit to one of my favourite counties in the UK, the last time I was there being about three years ago.

I look forward to the privilege of being able to share the Word of God with the folk whom I'm to speak to, and pray that the Lord will use me and that it will be a time of great blessing.

Cornwall, like Wales, has a rich spiritual heritage, and was the subject of several visits by John Wesley who rode through the country on horseback, sharing the Gospel and planting seeds of faith as he went. Typical of the Chapels that were built at that time is the Wesleyan Chapel in Camborne pictured above. Until recently one of my sisters lived in a house that used to be an Inn, and where Wesley stayed on a number of occasions.

Please pray for me as I prepare for this mission and throughout next week, dear reader, that I will be given the words to share at the various meetings, and that God might increase and I diminish throughout the Mission.

Off on my travels . . .

I'm off once again to experience the beauty of Wales as I head for Gregynog, near Newtown in Powys, for the Summer School of Healing Conference. I think that this will be the 17th year that I will have attended, and it's always a great time of Christian Fellowship with the opportunity to meet up with many old friends and also make new ones.

The photograph above shows Gregynog in all its sunlit glory. This amazing property was bequeathed to the Welsh nation by the Davies sisters, and it's a place dedicated to furthering the cultural arts. How fortunate and privileged I am to be able to spend a few days there each year!

Friday, July 17, 2009

What a fabulous gift from God!

PC What?

What does PC stand for?
Politically Correct
Police Constable
Pagan Cop
Puerile Claptrap

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Life in Jesus, the Son of God, is real!

And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life (1 John 5: 11-12)

We often sing a hymn by William and Gloria Gaither, God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus ... and the chorus of this hymn, speaking of the resurrected Christ, confidently expresses the basis of our Christian hope:

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives, all fear is gone;

Because I know He holds the future,

And life is worth the living just because He lives.

After the spiritual high of Easter Sunday when we joyfully proclaimed the living Christ, some people might ask, "Where do we go from here?" Because Christ lives, we can be sure of several truths that change our lives into a daily experience worth living. The key word in the first letter of John is know, and it's found thirty times in the 105 verses contained in the whole five chapters. John was certain of the gifts that came with Christ, one of which is life in the Son of God - God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1 John 5:11).

It's not God's will for anyone to perish - He wants everyone to have eternal life! But we can only find fulfilment in Jesus, who said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me will live, even though be dies and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die." (John 11:25-26). (Christ's resurrection assures us of life. No resurrection spirit can give us victory over death. The apostle Paul asked, "Where, 0 death is your victory? Where, 0 death is your sting?" going on to joyfully proclaim, "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15: 55, 57).

For many people, even today, the mention of death is almost taboo if it's used in a personal sense. Many people treat it as though it's an obscene word, something vulgar which should not be mentioned in polite society! People put off writing their will for as long as possible for this reason, considering that the mere thought of doing so may bring their demise a little too close for comfort! Yet, to the Christian, the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus changes the whole understanding of death. Suddenly, death can take on a different appearance. Instead of thoughts of the shadowy figure of the grim reaper, there is an image of the doorway to eternal life - life in the Son. This is not simply a matter of people living forever, but living a new quality of life altogether, imparted through Christ The words eternal life refer to the life of the new age, the very life of God at work within us now. Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fulI (John 10:10). There is no comparison between our earthly existence and new life in Christ, for the latter makes available an extraordinary quality of life. Paul writes to the Ephesians that those without Christ are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). Jesus promised, "Whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24). Life in the Son is more than just living - it's life with the finest quality imaginable! This gift of life comes to those who have received Jesus into their hearts through faith, the essential element, gifted by God, to which Jesus has always responded. Faith is a common ingredient of our daily existence, yet there are many who claim that they cannot have faith in Christ.\ Aldous Huxley once wrote, Theology claims the just shall live by faith. Science says the just shall live by verification.’ Yet the scientist believes in a logical universe, and in principles used to verify presumptions. What's a theory? It's something believed to be true even though it's unproven. We believe in education, in democracy, in ourselves. Belief is a common enough thing, which affects everyone to some extent, so why not believe the best and have life to the full in Jesus Christ?

John tells us that those who refuse to accept Jesus and the new life He promises are lost - he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:12). So, to the question, Can a good person really be lost? we have to answer, Yes. Can a churchgoer be lost? Yes. Can the lovable and generous neighbour who has simply delayed their commitment to Christ be lost? Yes. Why is the answer Yes to all of these questions? - because faith in Jesus Christ is the crucial test. John writes that Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because be has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son (John 3:18). Realising that true life is found only in the Son of God should be the only motivation we need to prompt us to rescue the perishing and care for the dying, and snatch them in pity from sin and the unknown terrors of the grave.

The following lines were penned by George Atkins:

Brethren, see poor sinners round you

slumbering on the brink of woe,

Death is coming, hell is moving,

Can you bear to let them go? ...

Tell them all about the Saviour,

Tell them that He will be found.

Life in Jesus is for ever because God is the basis of the promise, and so we have the security of His word. This means that once you have accepted Christ then you can rejoice in the gift of eternal life! I often wonder why God has given us such a gift in the face of all that we are in comparison to what He intended us to be. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know I believe in Christ. life in the Son is real. Life is worth the living just because He lives!