February 21, 2010


"The best that I can hope is that this has just opened a window, and that as you look through it you are seeing one thing - how superior is Jesus Christ to all else!" - T. Austin-Sparks

Open Windows
Excerpts from the writings of T. Austin-Sparks

To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God... (2 Corinthians 2:16,17).

The Lord has not called upon us to form churches. That is not our business. Would to God men had recognised the fact! A very different situation would obtain today from what exists, if that had been recognised. It is the Lord Who expands His Church, Who governs its growth. What we have to do is to live in the place of His appointment in the power of His resurrection. If, in the midst of others, the Lord can get but two of His children, in whom His Life is full and free, to live on the basis of that Life, and not to seek to gather others to themselves or to get them to congregate together on the basis of their acceptance of certain truths or teaching, but simply to witness to what Christ means and is to them, then He has an open way...

The Church is not increased by your going and taking a building and trying to get people to come to it, and to your meetings, and then forming them, by a church roll, into a local church. That is not the way. Growth is by Life, and this, to begin with, may be by the entering into Life of but one soul, and then after a long waiting time of another; or it may be more rapid. But the point is that it is increase because of Life. That is the growth of the Church. For the growth of His Church, the Lord must have Life channels, Life centres. I believe that, given a Life centre, sooner or later one of two things will happen, that it will be abundantly manifest that Christ is fully and finally rejected there, or else there will be an adding, a growth. There is tremendous power in Life, and the Life of the Lord either kills or quickens. It depends on the attitude taken toward it. He is a savour of Life unto Life, or of death unto death. Things can never remain neutral. What the Lord needs is Life centres.

From:The Risen Lord and the Things Which Cannot be Shaken

February 04, 2010

Wonderful Women

I saw them again today ... these wonderful women. Once again I came away inspired and encouraged by seeing the strength of others. Over long months of visits to various cancer treatment wards etc. they have continued to impact and impress me.

What do I see that is so powerful?

I see wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and ALL of them are displaying the same quiet courage and grace. Each one in her own way, some in treatment, others supporting, but steady as rocks and pressing on with painful and difficult journeys with a quiet fortitude.

I sit in waiting rooms and wards, watching them share a smile, a joke, a touch ... watching them giving care and comfort in the quietest way. I see great displays of selflessness, love in the hard places, strength that others lean on in their journeys.

There is always a little wonder about what their story might be.

The Pacific Island woman and all her grown children (some such big boys that they take up two seats each), sitting quietly beside the man of the household, just being with him, never leaving his side, doing the journey together.

The beautiful woman in a long pink scarf that trails like a wedding train down her back, covering her hairless head with soft beauty. She smiles and walks alongside her husband and son, carrying the evidence of the baby soon to come with quiet dignity ... how graciously she deals with what life has dealt her.

The bright little single woman who has come alone. Trendy little hat on her head, softly spoken, and a twinkle in her eye that she shares with those around her, making them smile too.

The nurses, who stare death in the face every day, and yet give away warmth, humour, love and care out of a seemingly bottomless capacity to make life easier for those they have chosen to help.

It has been some weeks now since I felt I wanted to talk about the remarkable people I have been blessed to observe, sometimes talk silently to God about, always encouraged to feel proud to be one of their number. They will never know how they have touched my life by simply being themselves and living their lives ... makes you wonder doesn't it ... what do people see in us, those we don’t even know are watching, and what silent impact do we have:?