You are invited:
To the Church of the Holy Spirit Annual Church Meeting including Ubomi Charitable Trust AGM & St John’s Property Management Pty Ltd AGM on 16 May at 6pm.
Join us as we give thanks for all God has done in the last year. We will be receive end of year reports and annual financial statements for each entity, as well as electing a minimum of 3 new pastorate members and new church and parish wardens.
Pastorate members function as overseers of the spiritual and practical well-being of the congregation. Nominations need to be received by 16 May, please contactfor nomination forms.
If you you like to attend and need transport from Westlake – contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or from Capricorn – contact McDonald at email@example.com
MON 25th OCT 2021
THANKSGIVING: Thank You Lord for the PCE decision to go ahead with the construction phase to the minimum build standard; for the two cottages that have been sold, the finances that have continued to come in for the Life Centre, that the piling was all completed without any hiccups & within budget – what a journey of Faith! We are building a Body, not just a building!
WE PRAYED FOR: Upcoming Friday night’s service on the construction site – Praise & prayer over the foundations! For the planning of the different uses & tenants for the Life Centre; For the election of the new pastorate members on Sunday; for the venue & the various challenges & set-up issues; for Brendan & family – for a new boldness & confidence in Him; for those that are sick, struggling; for the CHS staff & preparation for Deborah starting next week; for Zane & family – strength, courage, boldness, peace, His Prescence in their lives – Ps 94:19 – ‘When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy”. We prayed for Brendan & Brian – for wisdom, anointing, , guidance, His leading, a sensitivity to Him for Him keeping us on course’; For a venue soon where we can all meet across the generations!
We prayed that He would take us into His fullness, that those outside the Church would come in, for God’s love to be manifest, for His praise to ever be on our lips, for boldness & the gift of faith, to be witnesses of his power within us; like Peter at Pentecost, that we could proclaim in a way that people would hear, that there’d be freedom from sin & brokenness, that He would pour out His Spirit, that there’s be a cleansing like in baptism, that there’d be a window open in the heavenlies, that we’d make the most of every opportunity, that in God’s upside down Kingdom, people are first, then buildings;
Help us Lord remain connected to each other & to be faithful in the space that you have put us!
Another amazing prayer meeting!!
Started off with the song “Goodness of God” – WOW, take a listen …. I love You Lord, Your mercy never fails me …. All my life you have been faithful … I love Your voice … You have led me through the fire …. Known You as a Father, ….as a Friend … lived in the goodness of God ….
Such a privilege to be in His presence which was so powerful, with other believers, of one mind, in unity.
Led into a time of praise & thanksgiving – For who He is, His love that is so deep & so wide, heaven & earth are filled with His glory! His miracles, healings, every small thing, so much to be thankful for, for His choice of choosing us & inviting us as humans to work with Him in His creative work that He is doing around us … open our eyes Lord to see, our ears to hear & our hearts to perceive ….. Let us share Your Words that are living & active …..
We prayed for an outpouring of His life, the River of Life, into our communities, the city, the country, for the hungry & the thirsty, for His pure life, new refreshing in a sea of toxicity ….
There was a picture of water coming down a mountain – that even huge boulders moved & started to roll away ….
We prayed against all sorts of restrictions, barriers, blockages, impurities, wrong mindsets, sin, unbelief, lack of vision, lack of faith …. The goodness of God leads to repentance … confession ….. give us clean hearts & hands Lord, that we might be conduits of Your Holy Spirit … that You may rule in the midst of our enemies …. Even like Goliath fell at the sword of David. We ask Lord for your gifts, for faith for healing …..,
There was a picture of a massive ‘earth-moving caterpillar / bulldozer’ on its side – compare with the picture earlier of the boulders being moved, that nothing is impossible with God. We can give Him any & every situation …like Corrie Ten Boom used to pray “Lord Jesus, won’t You please just hold this for me!”
We prayed for the pastorate meeting that was taking place right after the prayer meeting – for God’s direction, discernment, clarity, courage, graciousness ….
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom ….. no restrictions, flow … like the Spirit flowed in Wellington during the revival that started with the Dutch Reform Church…..
Its not time to get disillusioned with our faith, but to be discontent with our level of faith! There was a picture of gold being refined … like we are being refined, so that our levels of faith may increase …. Being made into a beautiful mirror of gold that reflects & shines His light & glory.
Acts 10:1-4 – Cornelius, a God-fearing & devout man who gave generously to those in need & prayed to God regularly, had a vision where the angel said “Your prayers & gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God”.
Ps 77:1, 7-8 – The Psalmist crying out to God & wondering where God is & if His love has vanished … sometimes (often!?), we feel like this ….. for encouragement you may want to think of or play the song ‘The Eye of the Storm’ by Ryan Stevenson … he sings …’Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm’ – so true!
The word ‘banner’ came up a number of times. Song of Songs 6:4 ‘… as majestic as an army with banners’. ‘His banner over me is love’ (Song of Songs 2:4), Reminder of the song “We wanna see, we wanna see Jesus lifted up .. a banner that flies across the sky …’
There was also a picture of God birthing something new, a Midwife was there, but there seemed to be complications ….. a breaching maybe … not sure ….. we know that the devil often tries to take out something as it’s born or whilst very young (many stories in the Bible of this), …..we’re asking God to show us more ….. please let us know of any words, scriptures or pictures you may get as you are praying!
There’s been a definite theme over the last few weeks about waiting on the Lord, & as we do so, He will give us the strength, & an innermost joy, that we need so desperately – (Is 40: 28-31, Song – ‘Strength will rise’).
PRAISE POINTS: Help us Lord to turn every blessing back into praise to glorify your name!
- The first service at the new venue at the Sea Scout base was fantastic & nearly full – Brendan preached up a storm for the start of the new series (Dependant on the Spirit) – if you want some tips on pancakes, take a listen (link on website)!
- It was really good to see people in person again & have some ‘proper’ fellowship & chats!!😊
- A number of people who have been sick have been making great recoveries & fantastic progress. We are keen to get some short testimonies onto various media platforms which will be really encouraging!
- The building site coming on in leaps & bounds, huge difference from last week – the demolition & bulk earthworks contract should all be completed by 23rd Sept! Ready for the piling thereafter!
- Joy is in You – there’s still a picture on the side wall at the building site of animals in the Ark – one of which a monkey looking through a porthole with a huge smile on his face – totally dependent on the God, & smiling all the way, making the most of the journey! Let’s give Him thanks & praise!
PRAYER WALK: We split up went for a prayer walk around the site – mostly levelled & looking great – what a difference from last week’s swimming pool!
SONG: Came back & sang ‘Come Holy Spirit – Uthando’
- Flow, Living water, flow through us. We need your presence, power & our gifts to work in us.
- Prayed for the Parish Leaders
- We prayed especially for the leadership, for their protection, wisdom, provision & discernment.
- Knit & weave us together Lord, even as the foundations are being compacted & prepared.
- John 15:1-10 – Thank you that You Abide in us, help us to abide in you – the word Abide or remain appears eleven times in these ten verses – need this for bearing fruit. Compare with the theme about waiting on the Lord & strength & joy will arise as we do – these too are fruit & evidence that we can see in each other.
- Roger had a picture on Sunday about a snowy scene that was coming into spring – we are going into a new season – the snow is beginning to melt – water beginning to flow, brings with it new life … also washes away that which is not of Him.
- We are hungry & humble before You, without You we can do nothing, we are dependent on You Lord – Lead & guide us as we journey on & do life together.
- FROG acronym – Fully Reliant on God!
There are times for each season – just as the building is coming along, sometimes feels slow, so are we being built, as living stones …. You’re the Builder Lord …. from glory to glory ….
You’re the God of the impossible…
We ask for a Spirit & gifts of wisdom, discernment, your anointing breaks the yoke.
Hope is in You…
Protection is in You – Ps 91
Let’s go out & serve The Lord, in His strength, with His joy, in His timing, with His Love!😊
To give thanks & the concept of thankfulness appears around 150 times in the Bible! It’s such an important principle & I love the description that giving thanks is like an antidote ……. to so many ailments & issues – will let your imagination run! Let us remember to ‘give thanks’!
In Ps 107 ‘give thanks’ appears 5 times. So in the prayer meeting after an update from Angie & a song “Let the Redeemed” by Josh Baldwin (I encourage you to listen to the words), we give thanks, for many of the things that He has done for us. Some of specifics for being so thankful, were for Brendan, our inspiring, wise & valiant leader, whose birthday was on Monday (!😊), the team around him & the living stones that form part of our community, the building (or rather rubble!) that is making such fantastic progress, the finances that are coming in & the many items on our list which have been answered!
Ps 107 also talks about that we, the redeemed, should be telling our story – in so many ways the Life Centre is bellowing out part of God’s story, the CHS story, of His envisioning, leading, guiding, providing, protecting, faithfulness & love. Let us not grow weary in doing good … (Gal 6:9), let us remember that ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength’ (Neh 8:10), & I think of that song ‘Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord’.
Big items for continued prayer are: Venue, finances, health & provision for our community, wisdom for so many decisions, strength for the fight, unity, our leaders – all the way to provincially & nationally, for the nations – especially those at war, & for the light & love of our glorious God to shine through us to redeem the those who are lost.
Come & join us in prayer at the cottage in 16 Chelsea Crescent, 6pm on Mondays!
“Rejoice always, PRAY continually, give thanks in all circumstances ….. (1 Thes 5:16-18)
Thank You Lord that in You we can REJOICE, we PRAISE your Holy Name! We THANK YOU for all that You have done, are doing, & will yet do! There are so many answered prayers & for these we thank You!
ETERNAL LIFE: This was the main theme coming through, & what we must never forget is the ultimate purpose of the Life Centre – bringing eternal life to those around us, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s about sharing this & an outward focus.
LIVING STONES: ‘’… you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy proesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ – (1 Peter 2:5).
There was prayer for the team & requests & various needs in our community & beyond. A big one is the right venue – please direct us Lord & make a way for an amazing interim venue!
Come & join us for praises, prayer & minstry on Monday night in the Chelsea Street cottage at 6pm!😊
“Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence’ – Charles Spurgeon
The last few Monday nights have seen many praises & prayers ascend to the throne-room as we’ve sung, worshipped, given thanks, listened & prayed to our amazing Father God.
After opening in prayer, we’ve had updates & prayer requests from Brendan & Zane, followed by songs, corporate prayer, prayer in groups of two or three or as was the case this past week, on our own as we walked around the construction site. We then came together & shared what we felt the Lord was saying – WOW! I have placed some of the different words & pictures from different people into a few themes below:
TEARING DOWN & BUILDING UP: “You continuously underestimate the work I am doing in this place, says the Lord, & this requires a deconstruction of both people & place”; “God is not stagnant. He is a God on the move. As He is building a physical building, so He is building the living stones that will worship in the new building”; “Tear down & build from ruins to a palace”.
REMAINING FAITHFUL: “Courageous peacemaking comes with bold humility, brave repentance & being continually filled & guided by the Holy Spirit”; “The Lord calls this community to remain faithful through process & obedience as He builds & invests here for future generations”.
GENERATIONAL IMPACT: From a WhatsApp message of someone who couldn’t make it to the meeting, there was 2 Sam 7:27 – 28, which spoke about a house being built with a generational impact (a royal dynasty)!
The word ‘Sent’ – that as people walk across the land, their feet would catch fire & they would take this fire wherever they were called. A scripture related to this was Joshua 1:3 & 9 – every place your feet shall tread … I have given you! There was a picture of a lighthouse being built on solid foundations, a picture of an Oasis – a place of refreshing & rest, also depicted by the palm trees which also act as a beacon. As with the fire carriers, there would also be water carriers.
Numbers 11:16-30: … ‘gather 70 elders filled by the Holy Spirit to share the burden of leading in this place …”
The picture of the cross standing tall in the middle of the chaos, God with us, every step of the way.
Let us never forget that we are waging battles in the heavenlies & that “The prayers of the righteous availeth much” – we may not see the wind, but we often see the effects. Remember Jehosophat in 2 Chronicles 18 -21, when the foreign armies faced him & they sent out singers how the Lord went before them & destroyed the enemies. Listen to the song ‘Raise a Hallelujah’ – notice key words such as ‘symphony of prayer, ‘our weapon is a melody’, ‘when you sing, walls come down … heaven comes to fight for me… heaven invades the earth’!
Let us continue to pray on … come & join us on Mondays at 6pm as we watch a bit of heaven invading earth!
Join us 6-7pm on Monday 9 August for socially distanced prayer in the main hall.
Saint John Chrysostom (349–407) wrote, ‘Prayer… is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings… The potency of prayer has subdued the strength of fire, it has bridled the rage of lions… extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases… rescued cities from destruction… and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt.’
History belongs to the intercessors. We can shape our generation through prayer. We can influence the course of history (Nicky Gumbel).
In Acts 12 there was an extraordinary prayer meeting, and the results are evident (vv.6–15). In answer to the Churches prayers God acted supernaturally. Peter ‘escaped’, or was ‘freed’ the night before his trial, in spite of being guarded by four squads of four soldiers each (v.4) – this was double the usual guard, and chains on both hands (v.6). Peter himself ‘slept like a baby’ (v.6, MSG). God’s answer involved visions, angels and chains falling off (vv.6–9). Obstacles were removed. The guards did not bar the prisoners’ escape, and the iron gate to the city opened in front of them (v.10).
After his miraculous ‘escape’ from prison, Peter went to where the Church was praying, but Rhoda, the girl who answered the door, was so astounded, forgot to let him in, and no one else believed it was actually him when she told the rest (vv.12–15)! They told Rhoda that she was out of her mind (v.15), but actually God had done what seemed impossible in answer to their earnest prayers.
The word of God continued to increase and spread (v.24). As John Stott wrote, ‘This chapter opens with James dead, Peter in prison and Herod triumphing. It closes with Herod dead, Peter free and the word of God triumphing.’ (Excerpt from Day 168 Through the Bible in a Year with Nicky Gumbel).
A few weeks back, before the week of 24/7 prayer, CHS had no Life Centre building approval from the City of Cape Town, a R4 million-rand deficit to start demolition, & an unlikely ‘go-ahead’ decision was needed. Just over a week later, the approval had come through, & the Parish Leadership was unanimous for the go ahead, in spite of there still being a large shortfall financially!
On August 1st, we had our last Church services in the existing buildings, which were all really special (follow the link or visit website for Brendan’s message ‘Setting Sail’) with handover to the demolition contractor planned for August 12th!
Lord, help us to pray like the early church. May your hand be with us. May we too see a great number of people believing and turning to the Lord and the word of God triumphing.
Come & join us on Monday 9th August for our last prayer meeting inside the hall!
Jesus said “My house will be called a house of prayer” Mat 21:13 Join us for a week of pray.
Why are Christians so afraid of doubt?
“Stop doubting and believe.” Jesus said to Thomas. In James 1:6 we are warned “He who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind”. So doubt is bad. If you doubt, there is something wrong with you. Your faith must be weak. You just need to trust and believe.
The story within many Christian communities is that life following Jesus progresses in a victorious straight line. And when the reality of our lives and world does not match up we need to at least pretend that this is case. No wonder Christians are so often accused of been hypocrites. We really struggle with honesty sometimes.
Christian author Philip Yancey observes that “The church has sometimes chastised people who admit their weakness and failure, and our society has an aversion to suffering… So Christians naturally tend to hide behind a thin veneer of cheerfulness and health, while they secretly hurt and doubt.”
So what can we do about this? Well Yancey goes on to say, “When I speak to college students, I challenge them to find a single argument against God… that is not already included in books like Psalms, Job, Habakkuk and Lamentations. … God seems rather doubt-tolerant, actually.”
If we take wider look at scripture we actually see a number of situations where some of our ‘heros of the faith’ express some rather strong doubts about God, but don’t end up falling off the wagon.
Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.’ Exodus 5:22-23
Joshua said, ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! Joshua 7:7
You are always righteous, Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? Jeremiah 12:1
Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? Psalm 10
I love the refreshing raw honesty of these verses. It shows a God who does not fear or is threatened by our doubt. But is able to use it to draw us to him. The Christian faith is not a precarious, carefully balanced stack of rocks on the beach. If you tap it or prod it the whole thing might fall down. No. It is a firm foundation and like the wise man who builds his house on the rock, it has survived thousands of years wars, debate, arguments and attacks. And still stands. Jesus says that the gates of hell will not prevail.
Doubt sometimes gets confused for unbelief which can be problematic. Colin Smith highlights the difference between doubt and unbelief saying. “Doubt is questioning what you believe. Unbelief is a determined refusal to believe. Doubt is a struggle faced by the believer. Unbelief is a condition of the unbeliever.”
But some streams of the Christian faith find doubt more problematic than others, seeing doubt and unbelief as the same thing and sometimes adding cultural ideologies, values and norms to the ‘essentials’ of the faith. Michael Hakmin Lee observes that: “Evangelicalism, especially its more conservative or fundamentalist incarnations, commonly fosters a rigidly constructed faith, with multiple layers of what we consider essential beliefs and values. On the one hand, certitude can be comforting and reassuring in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty. However, the danger of holding something to be essential to one’s faith is that when that essential belief is called into question, the whole edifice, not just that belief, begins to destabilize. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with confidence or certainty in one’s beliefs and convictions, there is potential harm when evangelical communities and leaders place an unwarranted level of confidence in their theological constructs and impose their certitude on others.”
Evangelicals faith in certainties can make us very uncomfortable with mystery. And unfortunately many of us would rather deal with a simple wrong answer than a complex or unclear one. The reality is that doubt is a part of our day-to-day life. It is not necessarily good nor bad. It is our response to that uncertainty that determines whether it was good for us or not.
Os Guinness describes the value of doubt as follows: “The value of doubt is that it can be used to detect error…. But a sword like this will cut both ways. If doubt can be turned destructively against truth so that it is dismissed as error, doubt can also be used constructively to prosecute error disguised as truth…. Doubt, then, is a problem for both faith and knowledge. As long as the presence of doubt is detected anywhere, neither faith nor knowledge can ever be complacent. But though doubt may be normal, it should be temporary and it should always be resolved. Wisely understood, resolutely faced, it need hold no fear for the Christian. To a healthy faith doubt is a healthy challenge.”