I'm alive and back from our 5 days ACNA and AMiA Bishops' Retreat!
This is perhaps the most difficult, painful but the most joyful and fruitful retreat of my life!
Thanks for the powerful prayers and fasting of you guys that everyone in the retreat came back healthy, renewed and united with a David and Jonathan brotherly love! Lots of time in the camp I felt a very strong sense of your prayers supporting me and I couldn't stop from tears suddenly. I felt that most strongly in the hours from 12p.m. to 2p.m.. Do you guys use your lunch time to pray for me? If so, please tell me so that I know that is true. There are at least three days at that time I felt like floating by your prayers.
I had a kind of feeling on Monday night when I was at the hotel in Denver that I need to buy two pack on Advil and one pack of Cold and Flu pill after I took two Advil on Tuesday night(June 19)when I got cold that night. And so I really got cold on Friday and Monday(two days ago) and cold and flu Sunday night!!! I think it must be your prayers that I was OK all four times, no fever or any painful feeling after having those pills. But that's four times! God is good! All the time! And thank you for your prayers! Your prayers save my life and do something miraculously to this retreat!
There are three key moments in this retreat:
1. Reconciliation - David and Jonathan's love
Paul says, " if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
The power of the Holy Spirit was so intense all through the past seven days. There was a holy "moment" that Bishop Trevor Walters and I said sorry to each others and asked forgiveness to each others. Since 2004 after we separated from ACiNW when Trevor was then the Chairman and we established ACiC, Trevor and I had some major misunderstanding, hurts, pains and separation. Every curse was broken at that time when we reconciled in the bus to white water rafting. I was so moved that Trevor said to me, "Silas, from now on I am your Defender, I will defend you, your integrity and your everything!" As said by all bishops and helpers in this retreat, this was one of the most important "moments": a sign of God given to us as the sign and fruit of this retreat to revive this David and Jonathan's love between ACNA and AMiA!
2. Moment, Momentum and Movement
God has given the Anglican Communion especially AMiA and ACNA a movement in North America. But because we stepped into Satan's cunning plan in several confusing "moments" causing major misunderstanding, pain and separation, the momentum is being dragged and stuck, and the Movement is being pulled back. We need from now on to catch that holy "moment" to reconcile, revive and renew so that we can create wave after wave of momentum that this Godly Movement can come at last. This is His Kingdom plan and as said by Mark(the professional counsellor that each of the bishops have two sessions with), "It's not the Brand, it's the Bride!" God planned this retreat more than a year ago, half a year before the Rwanda crisis came out. So, this retreat is beyond ACNA or AMiA business, it is God's Kingdom plan!
Emmanuel means "God with us". Through these past seven days we all feel the strong presence of God so that we can throw away all our past misunderstanding and everything dragging us. We need to let this Emmanuel experience carry on in blessing ACNA and AMiA. We all agree that we need ACNA and AMiA for this Godly Movement in North America.
So, let's pray and fast that from now on we can catch God's holy "moments" to let the momentum and the movement happens in His Kingdom plan!!!
God is good! All the time!
**Some one told me I somewhat look like President Obama and Bishop Folly Beach and me were given a lama "Oblama" to take care of for the past five days! See the first fish I caught first time of my life! Wonderful! I caught two, they are trout, very tasty!
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Today's Reading: Jeremiah 38
Please read Jeremiah 38 and listen to what the Lord Jesus Christ would like to tell you before reading my Spiritual Journal below. If you would like to learn a simple and good way of Daily Devotion method please read my “Count Down 5” from this blog. You may click this link directly for the method: Subject Shifting Devotion.pdf. (You may begin with a song to praise the Lord and complete you devotion by singing another praise song.)
I Will Run to You
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彩虹下的约定 A Promise under The Rainbow
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Please click the links below to Jeremiah 38:
So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king's on, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.
Jeremiah 38: 6
See how Jeremiah suffered when he insisted to deliver God's word. His message was weakening the soldiers' will to resist the Babylonians. That's why the officials wanted to kill him and King Zedekiah turned him over to the angry officials because he lost his faith and was in great fear!
We see a great example of how Ebed-Melech showed great courage in opposing the prophet's enemies and how God saved Ebed-Melech's life when Jerusalem fell. God did not forget this faithful and courageous servant (39: 15-18).
My Spiritual Journal
Jesus used this chapter to give me and all of you a question: Why do we have to suffer?
All our ten bishops are so honored to have the owner of Noah's Ark, Mr. Chuck Cichowitz. to be with us in our 12,000 ft. mountain hiking retreat the past week. I have rarely seen people like Chuck humbly serving us for that five days. As a wealthy, powerful and famous business person, he is just a faithful and humble servant of Christ doing His Kingdom ministry raising thousands of vibrant and Kingdom-minded young servants of Christ in the past 30 years of his business. Chuck sat on the muddy ground all five days cooking delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner for all of us! (There were two times we had packed lunch climbing up 1,000 ft. to two lakes). God used him to inspire me of what I wrote about the 3Ms - Moment, Momentum, Movement when he read three excepts from his most favourite book: Gene Edwards "A Tale of Three Kings". It's about Saul, David and Absalom. On the last day of our trip this Tuesday the bus went back to Noah's ark ( http://www.noahsark.com/site/why_noah--s_ark/meet_our_staff.html ) and I bought that book. Chuck told us that for the past so many years, he read that through at least once every year to remind himself why God's servants have to go through sufferings and what do we do when someone throws a spear at us just like King Saul did that to David. I waited in the Denver Airport for the plane back to Vancouver yesterday and I finished reading this powerful book yesterday. Wow! That is an eye opening book to prepare us to walk this Emmanuel journey with Jesus each day.
Let me give you one of the most eye opening passage about why you and me have to go through suffering just as Jeremiah, David, Moses, Jesus and many more:
God has a university. It's a small school. Few enroll; even fewer graduate. Very, very few indeed.
God has this school because he does not have broken men and women. Instead, he has several other types of people. He has people who claim to have God's authority... and don't - people who claim to be broken...and aren't. And people who do have God's authority, but who are mad and unbroken. And he has, regretfully, a great mixture of everything in between. All of these he has in abundance, but broken men and women, hardly at all.
In God's sacred school of submission and brokenness, why are threre so few students? Because all students in this school must suffer much pain. And as you might guess, it is often the unbroken ruler (whom God sovereignly picks) who metes out the pain. David was once a student in this school, and Saul was God's chosen way to crush David.
... Well, if you didn't like the question found in the last chapter, you won't like the answer found in this one.
The answer is "You get stabbed to death."
"But what is the good in being speared?"
You have your eyes on the wrong King Saul. As long as you look at your king, you will blame him, and him alone, for your present hell. But be careful, for God has his eyes fastened sharply on another King Saul. Not the visible one standing up there throwing spears at you. No, God is looking at another King Saul. One just as bad - or worse.
God is looking at the King Saul in you.
Saul is in your bloodstream, in the marrow of your bones. He makes up the very flesh and muscle of your heart. He is mixed into your soul. He inhabits the nuclei of your atoms.
King Saul in sone with you.
You are King Saul!
He breathes in the lungs and beats in the breast of all of us. There is only one way to get rid of him. He must be annihilated.
You may not find this to be a compliment, but at least now you know why God put you under someone who just might by King Saul.
David the sheepherder would have grown up to become King Saul II, except that God cut away the Saul inside David's heart. That operation, by the way, took years and was a brutalizing experience that almost killed the patient.
And what were the scalpel and tongs God used to remove this inner Saul? God used the outer Saul.
I can't control my tears now and it was the same tears I had when I was reading this same passage. Why? Because I find the answer of why we as servants of God have to go through so many sufferings and being speared at! Because God wants us to take out the Saul inside us so that we can be a true David!!!
I pray and hope that you get that today! This "catch" today will save you from being slaughtered by the devil and becoming a Saul throwing spears at God's servants!!!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Help us not to be afraid of our sufferings knowing that through those sufferings we have a better chance to take out the Saul inside us to become a true David following your heart doing you Kingdom ministry. We ask you to bless Chuck Cichowitz, his family and the Kingdom ministry you bestow on him. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.
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放手交給祂 Let Go and Let God
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Pray for our AMiA bishops:
The Rt. Rev. Sandy Greene (Gigi)
The Rt. Rev. TJ Johnston, Jr. (Rees)