Adventures with God

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The Gathering's New Home

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 02:09
We're delighted to be able to reveal our new home for The Gathering!

This is the Shell garage in Firgrove and the location fits so well with three prophetic words we've held on to over the last year.

Firstly, we had a word about moving out of Macassar High School, we didn't and we were tipped out!

Secondly, we had a word about moving to the outskirts of Macassar. Well Firgrove is most definitely on the outskirts.

Thirdly we had a word about being a bridge between communities. The location of this property is absolutely ideal to help see these words come to fruition.

The garage is on the R102 which is a busy road running parallel to the N2. The location is very visible and whereas some folk (mainly white) would be scared to go into Macassar, going to this garage at Firgrove holds none of that fear.  Also, whilst the garage is in the Firgrove community it's also very easily located for Somerset West, Croydon and all the new estates (like Sitari) currently being built along the R102. We're really excited by the ministry opportunities that this will afford us.

We're planning a Celebration Launch for the 15th of March and we're hoping we'll have a good turnout as we thank our awesome God for his faithfulness and blessing.


Amazing Week!

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 10:14
What an amazing week!
On Sunday Shaddie and family joined with The Gathering and after he had ministered to us he felt God leading him to release us as a church from the past into the future. As part of this he asked Ziggy and Phillimon to hold my arms up while we prayed and as Shaddie prophetically released us into the anointing of God's freedom, released mandates over us and blessing.

Since Sunday Phillimon has been healed of his back pain. His employer was so concerned about him that he sent him to a local private hospital for a load of tests which all confirmed his healing!

One of our youngsters got a long prayed for school place despite being over 100th on the waiting list.

Mercy was healed of chest pains and high blood pressure.

Rejoice got a great new job which she's very excited about.

We had an excellent morning with dear friends from Zimbabwe who spoke prohetically into our lives, it was like standing under a refreshing waterfall!

On Wednesday we saw a potential building to rent for The Gathering and today we've been given the building. We will sign the lease in the next few days and have the keys by the 1st of March. Now we're planning a Celebration Gathering for the 8th of March.

God is awesome!

Mr Fry, Your god Is Utterly Utterly Evil!

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 08:43

This video clip is doing the rounds on Facebook at present and is causing a bit of a stir.

I first saw it on the Huffington Post website where it's become quite a sensation.

Neo-atheists are loving every second of this video whilst Christians seem to be a bit flustered by the fact that such an intelligent, likeable chap has come out and told the world straight that he thinks god is “utterly, utterly evil" and how dare he let a child have bone cancer. He even went so far as to say that he would tell god "How dare you, how dare you create a world where there is such misery that’s not our fault? It’s utterly, utterly evil.".

I'm sure the god Mr Fry is referring to is quaking in his boots.

However, there's one tiny little problem with Mr Fry's indignation (and most of the responses both Christian and neo-atheist). The problem is this: Who do we believe God is? Mr Fry et al clearly view god as some kind of superhero figure who can (or at least should) swoop down and sort out the mess, the pain and all the injustice on the planet. Tragically many Christians seem to share this misunderstanding of who God is.

I have to say that if God is indeed a superhero type figure then I agree 100% with Mr Fry et al and add my voice to the growing chorus of indignation concerning his lack of intervention. I will also renounce my faith and stop leading a church.

However, the God we as Christians worship is no superhero type figure!
Rather, he's the creator who set the cosmos in place, he created order and let the world run with the order he created. A simple reading of Genesis chapter one makes it very clear that God is a God of order. He has set rules in place (often referred to as mother nature by some and as science by others) and the world as we know it and the wider cosmos ticks along bound by those rules. And no I'm not talking about the 10 Commandments, as good as they are.

See, there's a problem with neo-atheism that causes classical atheism to hang its head in shame, and that problem is the basic misunderstanding of theology.

Here's a great example: Classical atheism acknowledges the bodily resurrection of Jesus, however it questions the meaning of this resurrection. This brand of atheism is sensible enough not to question a clearly documented historical event. However, it's very happy to question the meaning of the event and Christians' interpretation of the event.

Neo-atheism throws the baby out with the bathwater and questions the very validity of the clearly documented historical event. To make matters worse, they resort to playground tactics of ridicule and abuse to do so.

This brings me back to Mr Fry. I like Stephen, he's an interesting and entertaining chap who's done some great work. Sadly however, he shares the neo-atheist position of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and as such questions clearly documented historical events preferring instead to believe in a superhero god who has failed the world.

Well, Mr Fry, I agree with you, your god is simply appalling and utterly, utterly evil!




Bak 2 Skool

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 03:45
It's always a bitter sweet moment when the new school year begins.

I really need to get back into some kind of routine and crack on with stuff but I also love having my boys around day after day getting in the way, making too much noise and generally just messing up the place.

It's nice to have the freedom this morning to work in peace and quiet but I'm missing them already.

Both boys were excited this morning as they begin new grades with new teachers, though I think it's the thought of seeing their friends that truly excited them.

The Gathering's New Year's Braai 2015

Thu, 01/01/2015 - 13:30
We have been planning a braai for The Gathering on New Year’s Day for quite a while now but I don’t think any of us could have guessed just how significant today would be. The day dawned beautifully and quickly turned into the hottest, calmest day we have had in months – perfect for a braai. We had bought enough food to feed a small army, ordered a jumping castle for the children, tidied up the garden and had had a stern talking to Rosie dog to behave herself!!

What a day of fun we have had! One thing that is clear is that in a relatively short space of time we have grown into a family who love each other, like each other and who would do anything for one another – what a privilege! We haven’t heard so much laughter ringing out from our garden for a long time as children devised new ways to jump onto the jumping castle (yes really!); Ziggy fell out of the hammock(!) and the new Chairman of the Ministry of Eating was announced from amongst us!


Amongst the fun and laughter, fellowshipping and getting to know each other better we also knew that God had told us to take time today to perform a symbolic act of letting go of the past in order to move forward into all that He has for us this year. Michael Angier writes, “In order to embrace the new, we must release the old. A trapeze artist cannot swing from one bar to another without letting go. An important part of preparing for the New Year is to review the past year—to release it—and to learn from it”. As a result we had all collected various items we had relating to Tree of Life church and together we threw them on to our braai fire before using the ashes to cook our meat to eat – just as Elisha did in 1 Kings 19:21. This was quite an emotional time but very healing as we all gathered with one heart and mind, all filled with a desire to be released from the past and to move into all that God has for us. What a privilege to serve together and to lead this special bunch of people – The Gathering (International)!


Preparing to burn the past


Burning the past, especially old Tree of Life stuff


Laying the past to rest


This was very powerful as we symbolically burnt the past


Everyone burnt something


Ziggy overseeing Dean's braai skills


Ziggy showing how it should be done!


Ziggy with Rebecca, Yanko & Sarah


Grub up!


Mercy led us in the "ministry of eating"


Ziggy & Eli


Gloria & Chiko


Terance leading the charge onto the bouncy castle


Go Terance!





Merry Christmas

Thu, 12/25/2014 - 06:32



Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.

From all at The Gathering.

Joel At Busy Corner

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 15:42
Following Joel's school speech on homelessness and his challenge to his fellow learners to contribute deodorants for the homeless (See Local News), tonight was the night for Joel to go to Busy Corner and give them away.

Joel was thrilled to be able to give to those he's already met and it was great to know that they all had genuine needs. Some folk asked Joel if they could also take one for a friend or family member and Joel was very happy to let them.

It's been great for Joel to go on the streets regularly and to build relationships with some of the homeless folk and it definitely helps in identifying the genuinely needy. Our boy has such a big heart!

Joel giving away the deodorants


Joel with Spooky


Happy Birthday Eli!

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 04:17
Our beautiful, crazy little boy turns 9 today!

Nine years ago our Christmas was totally turned upside down by his unexpected arrival and today our little world-changer is still having that effect!

Happy birthday Eli
XXX

 


Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:57
Having posted a picture on Facebook of Joel topping off our Christmas tree with the angel we thought it might be fun to revisit the ceremony from years gone by. Joel was too young to participate in 2004 and Christmas 2005 was a bit of a blur what with Eli's planned arrival, delayed arrival and eventual arrival on the 21st. Also we're missing a pic from 2010 as we were in Blighty with family that year.


It's fascinating seeing how Joel and Eli have grown over the years, in the early pics Joel stood on a chair, steps or was carried to put the angel on. In 2011 Joel had to let Eli do it for the first time and they've shared the duties ever since, though Eli missed this year's because he's away on karate camp.

Here's to many many more Christmases of topping the tree off with the angel!


Local News

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 03:44
Recently our blog was criticised by some fools people who claimed that all we did on here was post snippets from the local press, so today we thought we'd post a snippet from the local press so they could feel justified in their smugness criticisms.

So here's a snippet from our local rag about Joel and his school appeal in which he encouraged his fellow learners to bring in deodorants for the homeless which he's planning to give out over Christmas.

So proud of you Joel!


Thankful Thursdays

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 13:03
Having launched The Gathering a few weeks ago we've wanted to spend time working on the DNA of church and what it means for us in our daily lives.

So last night we gathered for an amazing time of praise and worship and then we launched our Thankful Thursdays Challenge.

Ask for nothing, 
Give thanks for everything!

It's really very simple. We give Thursdays over to thanking God. No prayer requests, no shopping lists, none of the usual directing God through our prayers. We simply thank God!


The bible is packed with commands, instructions and examples of giving thanks and in 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 18 we read: "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus". Being thankful is part of God's will for our lives and yet so often we spend time grumbling and complaining when we just shouldn't.

Being thankful to God is a massive part of the DNA of The Gathering!

So here's the challenge...give thanks for all God has done in your life, give thanks for all He's doing in your life, give thanks for the tough stuff. Ask for nothing, no shopping list. We're aiming to make this a new habit in each of our lives, why don't you join us?

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything" Ephesians 5:20