Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dr. Charles F. Stanley

I was privileged today to attend the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and hear Dr. Charles Stanley. I will always be grateful to Charles Stanley who taught me how to Walk in the Spirit -- to obey God and to trust God. As a college student I sat under his tutelage and learned many truths about the Lord and principles from the Word of God from him. As I was running tonight, I realized that I had not heard Dr. Stanley live in over 25 years -- amazing how time flies!!!

I had not attended the church since they had moved to the new location in North Atlanta -- for those of us from Atlanta, that would be the old Avon building. I was immediately struck by how integrated the congregation was. At least half of the congregation was Afro-America -- how refreshing! I can remember the day a black family tried to enter the church under the previous pastor in the 1960's -- it was a sad day for the Christian church. But how things have changed as people of all kinds of ethnic backgrounds were worshiping the Lord together honoring Jesus Christ.

Dr. Stanley preached on Galatians 6:7f. This is a Scripture which I believe every believer in Jesus should put to memory:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

He emphasized the principle from this verse which is ALWAYS true:

A person reaps what he sows

A person reaps more than he sows

A person reaps later than he sows

He explained and exegeted the passage explaining that you and I will always reap what we are sowing in our lives -- from the moment we wake up -- the attitudes, actions, and habits we practice. We will reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow it. Always! Are we sowing to the flesh or are we sowing to the Spirit? Do we realize that when we sow evil, debt, sin, meanness, love, kindness, giving --- we will reap a harvest????

Since this was their patriotic service, Dr. Stanley then applied this principle to our nation. Scary. The nation is sowing without God now, and we are going to reap a harvest of evil. Check out Isaiah 5:20-24. Sound familiar? Let us pray asking God what He wants us to do to help bring spiritual renewal in our land and public life.

It was good to see this spiritual father of mine and hear him share his heart. It was also good to be able to observe a small portion of the fruit of his ministry by worshiping with their congregation. There is hope America!! Don't lose heart.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Glorious Worship Service

I was privileged to attend the Installation of Bob Duncan, Anglican Bishop of Pittsburgh, as the First Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America. The service was absolutely glorious and wonderful!! Christ Church, Plano, the Rev. David Rosebury, and their congregation served the rest of us in amazing fashion. The Sanctuary and Nave is huge, warm, inspirational and was overflowing. The music, both traditional and contemporary, was done with excellence and superb quality. Because of the acoustics, the sound system, the quality of the choir, singers, and musicians, it literally felt like you were singing in the midst of a symphony orchestra choir. The liturgy and sermon was right on. The Ordination liturgy and Anointing was extremely powerful.

Sung Prayer for the Holy Spirit for the new
Archbishop and the Anointing with Oil. The
view is from the right transcept. The view is
not a close-up.

It is now time for the Anglican Church in North America to get on with the WORK -- the work of reaching people for Jesus Christ and discipling them as He commanded. Although some churches are in the midst of litigation because of being sued for their property, most of us should now get on with the mission. Since we are all under godly, anointed, and appropriate human authority, resting on the authority of the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, we have no excuse for not reaching North America for Jesus Christ. Let us pray for one another and "go for it" in the Name of Jesus Christ!

A Sample of the Excitement in Worship. This
is taken from the right transcept where some of us
clergy were sitting.

From Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest: "We make prayer the preparation for the work, it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God. Don't say -- I will endure this until I can get away and pray. Pray now; draw on the grace of God in the moment of need."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Anglican Church in North America

The Anglican Church in North America is now official and we have been having wonderful days of fellowship and teaching. I have been seeing so many old friends who I have known over the years as we "shared in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel" of Jesus Christ. We are Anglicans who are charismatic. We are Anglicans who are Anglo-Catholic. We are Anglicans who are evangelical. And we are Anglicans with all kinds of variations of the above. Our focus together is sharing Jesus Christ and His transforming love and power with those in our culture who do not know Him as Lord and Savior.

We have been blessed to hear some wonderful teaching. Below are some of the quotes as I have written them down from my notes.

The Rev. David Short, Rector of St. John's, Vancouver: "The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Great Reversal of God; repentance is our reversal to surrender to the Great Reversal."

The Rev. Rick Warren, Pastor of Sattleback Church in California.... Go watch his whole talk!! Watch it four or five times. Should be up on "A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow a Great Communion." "Don't pray for God to bless what we are doing; rather pray and ask God to help us do what He is blessing." "The church which doesn't want to grow is saying the world: 'You can go to hell!'" "Is there going to be anyone in heaven because of you?"

The Rev. Dr. Eric Dudley, Rector of St. Peter's, Tallahassee: "Everything you do with your body you do with the Body of Christ."

His Beattitude, Metropolitan Jonah, the Orthodox Church in America's Archbishop of All America and Canada: "Jesus Christ did not die so we could have rituals, but you have to surrender to God in the depths of your being. It takes tremendous humility." "Repentance means being transformed by the renewal of your minds." "We must eliminate immorality from ourselves and denounce it, but not in condemnation and judgementalism." "Our morality is not a legalism, but a harmonization of our will with the Divine Will." "Immorality destroys personhood; it destroys the soul."

Monday, June 22, 2009

St. Vincent's Cathedral

The day began on Sunday for the College of Bishops with morning worship at the church hosting the Provincial Assembly, St. Vincent's Cathedral, Bedford, Texas. St. Vincent's Cathedral and the Diocese of Fort Worth are the center of Anglo-Catholic Anglicanism in the new Anglican Church in North America. St. Vincent's has five services each Sunday:

7:05 Morning Prayer
7:30 Holy Eucharist
9:00 Choral Eucharist
11:30 Holy Eucharist
6:00 Evening Prayer

For the second week in a row, I worshiped in Anglo-Catholic fashion. The service was high church formal with incense, santus bells, and chanted liturgy. Even the Gospel reading was chanted. Benjamin Nzimbi, the Primate and Archbishop of Kenya, delivered the sermon. He preached on Mark 4:35f. After exegeting the passage, he applied the text to the new thing which God is doing in America with the Anglican Church in North America. He reminded us that Jesus is in the boat and there will be storms, but we must call upon Jesus to still the storms we encounter -- not only in ministry, but in our lives. He reminded us we are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus and when we do, people will receive Christ, people will repent of their sins, and people will walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. He said: "It is through repentance that God will do a new thing so we must humble ourselves."

After lunch we had another teaching by Archbishop Gregory Venables, the Archbishop and Primate of the Southern Cone. Using John 11 and the story of Lazarus, he noted that after Lazarus had been raised from the dead, others had to unbind the grave clothes. He could not do it himself. He then called the bishops of the church to a holy life and that there are still grave clothes which need to be unbound -- some which we cannot undo ourselves, but must go to others, humble ourselves and receive help. He said Jesus is calling us to be NORMAL CHRISTIANS, not American Christians, not Anglican Christians (although we are Anglicans), but "raised from the dead, unbound Normal Christians." He called us to be Holy Leaders and models. He then listed some areas which he said many leaders need to deal with...

* very hardened hearts -- it is a barrier holding back the Spirit of God
* sin that we will not let go of -- What God has called sin is sin! Sin is doing what God has told you not to do.
* fear of trusting God - too many us only trust Him when there is no other option. Don't allow fear to stop you from trusting God. "God is greater than our greatest fear."
* terrible emotional or psychological bondage -- get a counselor and get some help
* a refusal to deal with our addictions -- don't let your addictions destroy your ministry
* a bondage of having to dominate (control) or be dominated (have others tell you what to do) -- we must step up and be leaders who do not Lord over the flock, but are "leaders."
* problem of pride -- we never see it in ourselves. If we see something in others, it is probably because it is in us. Be vulnerable to others and deal with pride.
* bondage of negative attitudes -- especially resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, and taking on a victim mentality.
* skeletons in the closet -- make sure you have dealt with your family history, your personal history in regards to the occult, evil practices, etc. Cover it with the Blood of Jesus. Learn to discern oppression which is the result of a curse -- there are those who will put a curse on you and you must break that curse with the Blood of Jesus and power of the Cross.

He summarized his teaching by telling us that if we leave our 1st Love, none of it is worth it. The secret of not doing this is: BE LOVED FIRST. We love because He first loved us (1 Jn.4). Bath in God's love daily and often. Remember, HE LOVES YOU.
Later in the afternoon, we officially inaugurated the new Province, the Anglican Church in North America. The overseas bishops and Archbishops signed the document first, then the bishops who were present, and the we who were Vicar Generals were able to sign as "witnesses" since only bishops can officially sign this document. The Provincial Assembly will hopefully affirm this and the New Church is official.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bishops Everywhere!

Today (Saturday) here in Bedford, Texas begins the meeting of the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America preceding the first Provincial Assembly of the New Church. There are 34 bishops present in the College, and numerous other bishops and archbishops present from around the Anglican Communion to participate in the formation of the new Province. I am attending this meeting because I am the Vicar General of the Bolivian Cluster (Diocese) of the Anglican Church in North America. The Vicar General is the Ecclesiastical Authority for the Cluster since we do not have a Diocesan Bishop. So in essence, I have voice and vote in the College of Bishops and participate fully except when there is something which only bishops are to do -- for example, the election of other bishops.

Talking about feeling awkward! Fortunately, I am not the only Vicar General! We have had great teaching, prayer time, discussion, and carried out some business. Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia and Archbishop Gregory Venables are here as Guests of the House (pictured above). Archbishop Gregory has been bringing forth incredible Bible teachings challenging us as leaders of the Church to be and live holy unto God, and to not recreate a false Church which is not Biblical, but striving with God's leadership to create the true Church as expressed in Acts 2.

Bishop Terrell Glenn (above) with the Anglican Mission challenged us to live with one another as Christ expects -- loving each other, forgiving each other, letting go of old wounds and hurts, and following Christ's admonitions to his followers by the power of the Holy Spirit. He said: "Some of us are seeking to be recognized by the Archbishop of Cantebury, but are we seeking to be recognized by our Savior?" Loving God with heart, soul, mind and strength. Loving your neighbor as yourself. Loving one another as Christ loves us. Loving and blessing your enemies. Preach it!!

It is SO Exciting to be a part of a movement with is so Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-filled, and seeking to uphold the historical Church. Tomorrow, I expect we will begin to make history by officially formalizing and approving the new Province.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Intimacy with God Continued

Intimacy with the Lord doesn't just happen. Like any other relationship intimacy takes time, effort, sacrifice, self-control, and consistency. Charles Swindoll in his book, Intimacy with the Almighty, lists four decisions and four disciplines, which if incorporated into one's life, will help a person become deeper and closer in their relationship with the Lord.

Decision 1: To reorder one's private world; Discipline 1: Simplicity

Decision 2: To be still; Discipline 2: Silence

Decision 3: To cultivate serenity; Discipline 3: Solitude

Decision 4: To trust the Lord completely; Discipline 4: Surrender

More quotes from Charles Swindoll....

"Noise and words and frenzied, hectic schedules dull our senses, closing our ears to His still, small voice and making us numb to His touch."

"We have made ourselves very complicated."

"Those who determine to simplify their lives quickly discover it is a rigoruous solo against the wind."

"If the pace and the push, the noise and the crowds are getting to you, it's time to stop the nonsense and find a place of solace to refresh your soul."

"I am finally learning that His sovereign plan is the best plan. That whatever I entrust to Him, he can take care of better than I. That nothing under His control can ever be out of control. That everything I need He knows about in every detail. That He is able to supply, to guide, to start, to stop, to sustain, to change, and to correct in His time and for His purposes. When I keep my hands out of things, His Will is accomplished, His Name is exalted, and His Glory is magnified."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saint Peter's in Tallahassee

Today I went to church at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tallahassee, where my friend, the Rev. Eric Dudley, is the Rector. I have always respected Eric for his stand for the Gospel and his love of the historic liturgies and forms of the Church. He was on vacation, but another stalwart of the Faith, the Rev. Jim Hampson, one of his assistants, was there. I got to know Jim when I was at Sewanee in seminary when he was the rector of St. Philip’s, Charleston. It was good to see him as he has steadfastly stood for the Biblical Faith for decades.

St. Peter’s formed about three years ago when a large number of people (I believe it was 500+) left the Episcopal Church because of its departure from Biblical Christianity. Some of the men bought a church not far away in downtown Tallahassee, and they began holding services. God has blessed their efforts to stand for Him and they continue to grow with vision, the Spirit, and numbers. Each Sunday they have the following services:

8:00 Quiet Service

9:00 Family Service

11:15 Formal Service (Smells and Bells)

5:00 Contemporary Praise Service (They call it 'Veritas')

I attended the 11:15 Service with incense and sanctus bells (incense is representative of the prayers of the God’s people ascending to heaven – see Mal.1:11, Rev. 5:8 and Ps. 141:2; and sanctus bells are symbolic announcers of the Presence of the Holy Spirit ascending from Heaven on the Bread and Wine at Communion). Although the service was a high, formal service, the liturgy was a contemporary adaptation from the English Book of Common Prayer. The Music was a mix of good hymns, and at communion, there were several praise songs. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Andrew Rowell, a newly ordained minister who is their Associate Rector for Youth and Families. It was good and engaging.

This church is alive. There is a lot going on for the Lord. Many classes and Bible Studies, children and youth ministries, and dynamic parish life ministries. Their current vision is to build their church – quite impressive!!! Check it out at St. Peter’s website is

Friday, June 12, 2009

Intimacy with God

From Charles Swindoll's, Intimacy with the Almighty...

"I am more convinced than ever that there is no way you and I can move toward a deeper, intimate relationship with our God without protracted times of stillness, which includes one of the rarest of all experiences: Absolute Silence."

Psalm 46:10 --

NIV -- "Be still and know that I am God"

NAS -- "Cease striving and know that I am God"

TLB -- "Stand silent! Know that I am God!"

AMP -- "Let be and be still, and know -- recognize and understand -- that I am God"

Moffat -- "Give in," he cries, "admit that I am God"

TEV -- "Stop fighting," he says, "and know that I am God"

The Message -- "Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything."

"We are commanded to stop (literally)... rest, relax, let go, and make time for Him. The scene is one of stillness and quietness, listening and waiting before Him. Such foreign experiences in these busy times! Nevertheless, knowing God deeply and intimately requires such discipline."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sam Shoemaker

Being in Pittsburgh brought to my memory another one of my spiritual heroes from the 20th Century, Sam Shoemaker. The Rev. Shoemaker was the Rector of Calvary Church in New York and then Calvary Church in Pittsburgh. He was a man endowed with evangelical zeal, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and dedicated to the ministry of the universal, global church. He was the author of the "12 Steps" of Alcoholics Anonymous, and most people don't know they are based on Scriptural principles. When he moved to Pittsburgh, he gathered community leaders together and challenged them to make "Pittsburgh as famous for God and it is for steel." He wrote numerous books about faith, the Holy Spirit, the Church, and Living the Christian life.

What Shoemaker has deposited in me is a summary of my calling to ministry in a poem he wrote entitled "I Stand By the Door." Many are called by God for various ministries in the church or through the church into the cultural mission field, either at home or abroad. And though I am called to serve in the church to equip God's people for their ministries, He seems to keep me near the "door." Here is how Shoemaker puts it in the following poem which is in his book by the same title.

I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world-
It is the door through which people walk when they find God.
There's no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind people,
With outstretched, groping hands.
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it ...
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world
Is for people to find that door--the door to God.
The most important thing any person can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands,
And put it on the latch--the latch that only clicks
And opens to the person's own touch.
People die outside that door, as starving beggars die
On cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter—
Die for want of what is within their grasp.
They live, on the other side of it--live because they have not found it.
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it,
And open it, and walk in, and find Him ...
So I stand by the door.

Go in, great saints, go all the way in--
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics--
It is a vast roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements,
Of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood.
Some must inhabit those inner rooms.
And know the depths and heights of God,
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is.
Sometimes I take a deeper look in,
Sometimes venture in a little farther;
But my place seems closer to the opening ...
So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there.
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God and the zeal of His house devour them
For God is so very great, and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia,
And want to get out. "Let me out!" they cry,
And the people way inside only terrify, them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled
For the old life, they have seen too much:
Once taste God, and nothing but God will do any more.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in,
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are
To leaving--preoccupied with the wonder of it all.
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door,
But would like to run away. So for them, too,
I stand by the door.

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not, yet even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God,
You can go in too deeply, and stay in too long,
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from people as not to hear them,
And remember they are there, too.
Where? Outside the door--
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But--more important for me--
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
"I had rather be a door-keeper ..."
So I stand by the door.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Christ Church at Grove Farm

In Swickley, Pennsylvania Bill Arnold and I attended the church of one of my spiritual heroes, the Rev. Dr. John Guest. John is an Anglican pastor who I have not only respected for his incredible Bible teaching, but his evangelistic gifts of calling people to faith in Jesus Christ. An Englishman, he came to faith himself at a Billy Graham crusade in England and has led a life of faithfulness and obedience to our Lord. We were able to have lunch with him and his Senior Associate Pastor, Bruce Cote, on the day before so I could ask questions about their church and ministry.

Christ Church began in the late 1990’s as a prayer group in a home and has grown to a large congregation which saw 1615 people attend its services last week. They say they are an independent church which worships in the Anglican Tradition. On this Trinity Sunday we attended its 9:00 first service and its 11:15 third service and looked in on most of its Sunday School classes. The 9:00 service was Morning Prayer and Sermon (they have Communion once a month) and the 11:15, "3rd Service" as they call it, was Morning Prayer and Sermon in a contemporary twist.

Wow! Wow! It was exciting to see the Lord at work in this church. The sermons (two different ones) were clear, concise, and gave a clear invitation to follow Jesus (note: the 11:15 third service runs at the same time as the 11:15 second service so we heard two different preachers). The atmosphere and the environment of the church’s layout was warm, inviting, pleasant, and engaging. The use of contemporary items was informative – a cafĂ© which is open all morning until after the late services, children’s ministry and youth ministry worship spaces which were awesome, and banners and signage which were very well-done. The Presence of the Holy Spirit was not only obvious in both of the services we attended, but in talking and fellowshipping with the people. The dedication to the Bible and historic aspects of Christianity was also very encouraging with Bible classes, prayer groups, and home groups.

Check out their website at (I am told they are launching a new website on June 15).

See what they are doing.

Listen to one of John's sermons.

You will be greatly encouraged in your walk with Jesus.

* Picture above is Bruce Cote (left) and John Guest at the Allegeny Country Club in Swickley, PA.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Intellectually Overwhelmed

The Ancient Wisdom - Anglican Futures Conference concluded today at Trinity School for Ministry. As someone said, the amount of information and theological input was like trying to "fill a cup of tea with Niagara Falls." This was some good stuff and made me appreciate even more that the Lord has called me to serve in the Anglican church. We have such a rich heritage, yet are positioned to reach out to folks with the Gospel of Jesus empowered by the Holy Spirit.

I heard the following theological papers....

Jason Clark on the Emerging Church
Pastor of the Vineyard Church, Sutton England

Holly Zaher on the Emerging Church in the United States
Director of Student Discipleship, St. George's, Nashville

David Neff on "Robert Webber's Ancient-Future Faith"
Editor in Chief and Vice President, Christianity Today

Dr. D. H. Williams on "The Labor of Defining and Preserving the Christian Tradition"
Professor of Religion in Patristics and Historical Theology, Baylor University

Dr. Tony Clark on "Authentic Participation in the Great Tradition"
Associate Professor of Ethics, Friends University

Dr. Edith Humphrey on "Presumption, Preparation, Parresia, Perichoresis and Worship"
Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Dr. Simon Chan on "The Future of the Liturgy: An Evangelical-Pentecostal Contribution"
Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Theological College, Singapore

Dr. Stephen Long on "The End of Community"
Professor of Systematic Theology, Marquette University

Dr. George Sumner on "Apostolic Ministry Revisited"
Principal and Helliwell Professor of World Mission, Wycliffe College, Toronto

Dr. Dominic Erdozain on the "Emerging Church: A Victorian Prequel"
Lecturer in the History of Christianity, King's College, London

Dr. Samuel Wells on "Three Kinds of Evangelism"
Dean of the Chapel and Research Professor of Christian Ethic, Duke Divinity School

Lots of GOOD STUFF to digest. As a pastor of a congregation committed to being a church which reaches out to those who don't know the Lord, who are unchurched, and those who are forgotten, my mind is swirling. A lot of my presuppositions have been challenged, and yet I have also felt so affirmed that what we have been doing is exactly what we need to be doing to be effective in evangelizing and discipling folks into the kingdom. The depth of our liturgical worship, whether in a classical or contemporary setting, takes people beyond themselves and helps them enter into the worship of God.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ancient Wisdom - Anglican Future

Ambridge, PA on the Ohio River
Today was the first day of a symposium at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA entitled Ancient Wisdom - Anglican Future. We heard a fascinating array of speakers describing the Emerging Church in the UK and US. The Emerging Church Movement is difficult to understand as it is described in different ways by all kinds of different people. From my perspective, the Emerging Church Movement is a discovery and recovery of church history and traditions by those who have not valued these in their Christian experience. Many people desire to go deeper with God and many of the historic practices and liturgies resonate with them. For some this is a reaction to the mega-church and seeker-sensitive churches in our country who offer low-key approaches in order to reach unchurched people with the Gospel.

Jason Clark from the UK

As Anglicans we have an incredible richness in our heritage in which to draw from in order to help folks encounter the Living God in Jesus Christ. I am reminded what happened in the 1980's when Pentecostals from all over the U.S. discovered the Book of Common Prayer and the Historic Church, joined together, and started the Charismatic Episcopal Church. Many people are looking for authentic and genuine worship, not superficial meaningless ritual or shallow twittering glitz. Our challenge is to continue to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and passing on the deep heritage we have.

More to come.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Let's Start a Sabbatical

As folks were leaving the church yesterday, there were many folks who wished me well or said they would be praying for me while I take a Sabbatical this summer.

A couple of comments stood out.... One woman shared that the Lord told her while I was preaching to tell me "not to feel guilty for taking a Sabbatical." That was a good word. Hard to let it go. Hard to leave friends and calling alone for a season. Another comment: "Climb up into HIS lap and soak in His Presence." That is what I am going to try to do this summer. Besides the study, the time with other ministers, and being present for the Provincial Assembly of the New Anglican Church in North America, I am going to try to be "still and know that He is God" spending lots of time alone seeking His Face and dwelling in His Presence. As Psalm 31:20 says: "In the shelter of Your Presence" and "In Your Dwelling place."

Charles Swindoll writes: "Our Lord operates in realms far beyond our ability to comprehend, but He longs for us to explore and experience that which is beyond the obvious. Some of His best truths, like priceless treasures, are hidden in depths most folks never take the time to search out. Our loss! Patiently and graciously He waits to reveal insights and dimensions of truth to those who care enough to probe, to examine, to ponder... Job 11:7-8 - 'Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty? They are high as the heavens, what can you do? Deeper than Sheol, what can you know?' ... He reserves these things for those whose hearts are completely His... for those who take time to wait before Him. Only in that way can there be intimacy with the Almighty."