On the first evening a speaker from London spoke. He opened telling us about a Hindu woman who had been referred to his church by social services; that church is known for its practical care for those in need. The woman came to church and exclaimed to the leader, 'I want what those people who came to my house have got.' She soon came to faith. Through her witness thirty-two people have been brought to Christ.
Jesus said that as the Father loved him so he loves us (John 15:9).
A Bishop Henry from Uganda is speaking on Monday morning. He spoke from Luke 19 on Zacchaeus. As I listen I feel challenged. I feel challenged to pray. I feel challenged to preserve, not dropping my head when there is misunderstanding. I feel challenged to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Later On Monday I was at a seminar with Philip Emerson. He is speaking on 'What God is saying to church today.' I first met Philip when he spoke at our weekend away with Richhill Methodist. Philip is great, if he was speaking on ornithology I would go to listen to him. He began by emphasising 'Christ in you the hope of glory.' I am feeling the urge to preach on 1 Corinthians 12-14 in Cafe Church.
How do you know the voice of God?
Philip emphasised the theme of caring for broken people. He includes in this Christians who have messed it up, morally, in life.
Talking about a series of difficulties Philip experienced Philip said, 'we felt the enemy all over it and yet we knew that God was doing something.' The devil is real and vicious, but God always remains in control.'
I believe that Cafe Church is really important in the development in our church. But we need rebirth in it. 'Christ in us, the hope of glory.' Perhaps I have not worked enough on the vision for Cafe Church, prayed about it, and kept enthusiastic.
Aside, Philip says that the three most important things in life: our relationship with God, our relationship with our family, and our health.
As Philip talks about being stretched I can feel that I don't want to be stretched. Lord help me have new passion. He emphasises the need to be around people who stretch you. He reminds us of the need to pray' Lord heal me.' There are wounds.
'Christ in you the hope of glory.'
It is more important to know God than understand him.
The dream for Cafe Church is to create a community of people who have a deep commitment to God and each other and who long to welcome messed-up people into their company in order that these people might be found by the God we delight in.
I would love to see the churches involved in the Limerick Christian Leader's Network work together on a 24/7 prayer room.
Tom Burke, Grace Church Cork, told a great story. They had a weekend away and a traveller they had connection with was drinking in the bar. The traveller got in fight. He was barred from the hotel and one of the staff from the church came and gave out to the church leadership for the type of people they had with them. It would have been easy for Grace Church to distance themselves from this man. But they persisted with him and God brought him through. Now that man is a vibrant Christian who preaches for them.