This blog post was published on November 20, 2009
November 6, 2009
November 12, 2009
Pastor Teresa Conlon addressed the audience of pastors and ministers, introduced by Pastor Carter.
The best is yet to come
She began with encouraging words for the pastors and leaders gathered: “the best is yet to come for Scotland.” Rather than a message today, she wanted to share what is on her heart for the people who feed the sheep and God’s calling to do that. Her conviction is that this week will lead to a harvest of souls that will need to be shepherded after the outreaches. This implies the presence of a group of people who will be committed to feed the sheep. Her message was based on the scripture in John 21:15, where Jesus asks Peter “Do you love me?” and when Peter responds that he does, Jesus tells him, “Feed my sheep.”
The experience of Pastor Carter and Teresa as sheep farmers shed light on what this implies in the natural: it can be hard, it’s not glamorous, there are difficulties and the seasons are not always good. It requires a real commitment and can lead to discouragement or the feeling of not being fit for the task.
This might be precisely when we don’t feel ready that God calls his spiritual shepherds to the task: it’s because He wants to impart supernatural life and nothing of our own thoughts or opinions to His sheep and to the lambs. Neither trends nor fads have their place in this diet. Only the Word of God.
Let’s not back away from the call
The fulfillment of these meetings this week is precisely that His sheep could be fed the proper way in the coming days, so let’s not back away from the call that God is asking us to do. The one commission to Peter and all those that would follow is about feeding. This being a relentless task, the temptation can be to divert to something less strenuous. But: “if you love me, you will FEED them.” It’s not entertaining. Not socializing. Feeding. Its life and death work. We have to give sustenance. Jesus is the bread that will bring life in the sheep. Spiritual leaders will let it grow in them, also changing them in the process. Just like in the natural, shepperds may sometimes have to grow their own crops and reap their own fields. If we ourselves love the truth, we should be able to retain it and feed the lambs with it. They cannot wait. They must be fed or they die.
Do not devalue the call
We have to have a vision of lambs and sheep. And God has an appointed place for us to do so. Sometimes it will be the place from which we want to run. If in this place we say “yes”, we can also expect adversity. We should however not mind the accusations. In these hard times the right doctrine will come out from itself as we learn by doing; things are going to sort themselves out (John 7:17). From her experience of natural sheepherding, Pastor Teresa has learned that there is a certain smell to healthy sheep and a certain smell to sick sheep. In the same way, through these moments we will develop a spiritual discernment. While these might not be easy places they should not be an opportunity to devalue the call. This is when you will get in trouble.
This was the case of Abraham when he was appointed to the promise land. There was famine in the land at the time. He devalued his call when he chose to go elsewhere for provision and get rid of a difficult situation by lying. On her side, Sarah being the one asked to lie, was left with a lesser vision and a lesser role. Unprotected.
We are a similar bride and we should not be lied to. We need to agree on being transparent even about our own motivations. We need to be men and women of integrity. This integrity has been lost in Scotland but God can restore this and its past reputation. The promise for this nation is: when you step out to the call on your life to feed the Iambs, I will work my life in you and you will be feeding them. You.
“Do not devalue the call on you to feed the lamb and the sheep, and to your titles, choose to add: “feeder of the sheep.”Lambs will give problems, but Christ will create miracles. In the midst of the mess, God shows up. And it might be in unusual places. This is in these instances that you acknowledge it has to be God.
Do not despise small beginnings
At the conclusion of Pastor Teresa message to the pastors gathered, Pastor Carter reminds them that it is a privilege to be called. He closed with a prayer: that the church may look on Jesus alone to feed the sheep and for healthy flocks. Before the meeting, a Word from God had been given to him that he can now share: Do not despise small beginnings.
November 12, 2009
November 11, 2009
November 19, 2009
November 19, 2009
This poem was written by Colin Moore, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express where the choir and outreach teams stayed in Greenock. He presented it to the choir during their last dinner at the hotel with his wonderful staff:
“Now Lord thy God please hear ma patter
You sent these people fae across the water
The Word of God they come to spread
It’s in their hearts and in our heads
Joy they brought and laughter too
They spread the word on behalf of You
It’s been a joy to meet and serve
A glorious choir we all have heard
The Word of God has been passed through
And this all because of You”
November 11, 2009