Seasons Greetings Global Family!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere I go!
I for one am looking forward to this Christmas holiday very much. Especially after such a year of great highs and very challenging and difficult lows. Amongst all the amazing things we have seen God do through our lives and the lives of those we love, we also know many of you have faced great struggles in 2015 and our constant prayer is for our heavenly Father to continue to lift our heads, strengthen our resolve and bring each one of us sweet kindness coupled with crazy courage to continue pressing in for the fullness of the kingdom!
Donna and I look forward to having our daughter Naomi home from university and we also get to host most of my family for a feast on Christmas Day! I’m enjoying the preparation and selecting a personal gift for my loved ones. I also love doing hospitality well and at this time of year we have more reasons to fill our homes with food, fun and laughter. It really is the season to be jolly as more than any other time of the year the name of Jesus is on the lips of those who love him deeply and those who are maybe singing carols in a school nativity or going to church for a midnight service. And even amongst the trashiness of the commercialism, there is a hidden treasure being discovered as the light of a Bethlehem stable shines bright as a reminder of our Saviour’s humility and quiet strength.
“Eat, drink and be merry” isn’t a worldly idea you know?! You’ll find that encouragement (if you need it!) nestled in Ecclesiastes 8:15. It is good to celebrate and its good to be generous, you only have to look at the dedication of Solomon’s temple or the costly expense of the perfume sacrifice to realise God is not opposed to extravagance… Donna always chides me that “Eat, drink and be merry” its the only scripture verse I can remember! It’s simply not true … I also remember “blows and wounds cleanse away evil and beatings purge the inmost being”!! (Proverbs 20:30) But that new and “gentle” counselling method is for another newsletter!!
So as we celebrate with family, extended family and friends this Christmas let’s remind our hearts that the joy of the Lord is our strength!
“For unto us a child is born and a son is given”. (Isaiah 9:6) The Son of God became the Son of Man, so that the sons of men would become sons of God…the Wonderful Counsellor speaks glistening truth to our hearts, He really is our Mighty God – the Lord of the Breakthrough, the Lord of Angel Armies! Jesus is also called “Everlasting Father” and I’m reminded of what Leif said at out conference “I long for people to see a God that looks like Jesus” Jesus came to destroy the works of the enemy and reveal the Father. Our God is a good, good father, Jesus, the perfect son shows us how to be sons and live as sons and daughters, so that we raise up sons and daughters in the faith. The Prince of Peace rules and reigns and in doing so He is releasing his peace in us, so that peace beyond understanding comes as we navigate our hearts through things we find so very hard to understand. Hope is the joyful anticipation of good … and I am hoping you all have a splendid and wonderful Christmas time with your families.
Finally here are some inspiring thoughts from Paul Manwaring, he posted this on Facebook this week after a visit to Bethel from David Hogan. These bullet points are brilliant and an excellent recalibration for hearts and minds:
I always need to be close enough to impossible circumstances to partner with God to see them change.
I always need to be pursuing prophetic destiny (which makes me a little nervous.)
I always need to be involved in situations which stretch my capacity to love and be loved.
I always need a Psalm in my soul, a song in my heart and a declaration in my mind.
I always need to be aware of those less fortunate with a tear in my eye that indicates that I care.
Wishing all you in our Global Europe family a very Happy Christmas and God’s abundant blessings and favour for a powerfully fruitful New Year.
Love, hugs and blessings
Alun & Donna