Sean got us off to a rather alarming start by showing us a photo of his son, David's, arm. He's had an accident resulting in localised but quite extensive burns to his hand and forearm. He was treated at the hospital but is home again and recovering well.
This provoked a thought from Jim about the disciples. At one point when a Samaritan village had proved less than helpful, James and John had asked Yahshua, 'Shall we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?' (Luke 9:51-56) They demonstrated commendable faith because they believed they could ask and receive, but they showed no compassion.
I pointed out that they had authority, but no grace. And this combination of authority without grace has done immeasurable harm in the church down the ages. We need grace far more than we realise! Dot put it differently, 'We need to know who we are in him'. How true!
Jim reminded us that a tiny mustard seed of faith is enough for the Lord to do the rest. We thought how important it is to put our own plans aside and to let him reveal his plan for us, step by step, day by day. Dot said, 'When we get to the end of our ability to cope, then he steps in.' And in order for this to happen, we need to find out what has happened in our lives that has moulded us. People and events in our past can affect the way we live today, we need to revisit those pasts and deal with remaining issues before we can go forward again unencumbered by the effects.
I shared a picture of a tiny infant lying on a rug and wearing a baby-grow. And I understood how the baby is fed and protected by the parents. They are totally devoted to this tiny new life that has come and so disrupted their own lives. Meanwhile, babies have no concept of the fact that one day Mum or Dad will be teaching them to ride a bike! And in the same way our Father loves us, cares for us, and sees what we cannot. He sees that one day he will be showing us how to do things that right now we cannot begin to imagine.
Dot read a word from the Lord that she'd written down in the summer. Jim prayed, 'You are transforming us. Through the darkness shines a light - Jesus. He is the transformning light so that we can become more like him.'
Following a tongue there were several interpretations. Dot prayed, 'You are awesome, you're my Dad. My heart overflows with love for you and who you are.' And Jim shared that the Lord wants us to break through or burst through into knowing him as Lord of all our difficulties, joys, heartaches, and everything in our lives. He prayed, 'Fill us with vitality and passion so that we may speak something of Christ into the lives of others.
From Dot - 'the joy of the Lord is my strength'. From Sean - 'you just want to lift us up in you'. From Jim - 'Healing is happening, pain is being dealt with'.
We sang the old song, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord'.