April-May 2009: Kingdoms have Kings

Ni Hao Mah! This month our greeting comes from the Middle Kingdom . . . do you know where that is? Read on.

The saga of a new name for this e-zine continues; now we're waiting for trademark approval. Guess what it'll be. Next time we hope to have it; will you pray with us? Peter Jordan, Editor (We need Name, City/Country & email address of your friends who should receive this. Thanks.)

1. Sheep2Sheep ˆ Kingdoms have Kings

2. Profound & Pithy ˆ Jottings from Messages

3. Donna's Corner ˆ Righteous Prayer: Possible?

4. Renewal Gatherings ˆ Summer is Almost Here!



1. Sheep2Sheep ˆ Kingdoms have Kings

I've just returned from the Middle Kingdom, the kingdom of my birth (no, it's not Tolkien's home of the Hobbits!); being raised in the Middle Kingdom influenced me hugely in who I have become, in the natural sense. Until recently this kingdom was a mysterious realm, a culture cloaked and steeped in baffling customs and behaviors. Today though, my home kingdom, China, is more and more open to more and more of the world. That may be good; and that may be bad.

China has the best food in the world. Get used to it my friend; with more Chinese ˆ and other Asian believers in the world ˆ the menu has already been decided; every imaginable delicacy from Mumbai to Tokyo, from Beijing to Jakarta, will be spread out at the Banqueting Table, along with rice! (There will be white bread and other banal foods for some. No, that's not true; nothing will be banal in heaven.)

Today, the Middle Kingdom has rocketed into the 21st century ˆ at least in its big cities. 'Made in China' does not always have a negative undertone. (Hey! I was made in China!)

But today the Middle Kingdom has no King ˆ or Emperor as he was once called; just a more or less benevolent and ambitious totalitarian regime that knows how to get things done. And boy, do they get things done!

We, as followers of Jesus, have a King. That is surely not news for anyone who is reading this. What may be news, or perhaps news not yet fully understood, is that our King rules a full-on Kingdom in the here and now. What's the point of having a King without a Kingdom?

Now before I try to go all theological on you, I am going to cite others who can better explain the Kingdom that Jesus rules. These quotes all derive from what we call the Lord's Prayer and from the phrase that we so often pray, "Thy Kingdom Come . . ."

"Thy will be done," we often pray ˆ but in fact we are thinking, 'OUR will be done,' and thus this third petition of the Lord's Prayer is first of all a kind of judgment on us, a judgment of our faith." Alexander Schmemann

"God's Kingdom is not a place, but rather a relationship. It exists wherever people enthrone Jesus as lord of their lives." J. I. Packer

"As Christians, we are not opposed to boundaries. The gap between the world and the Kingdom of God ought to be made clear . . . While we are not opposed to boundaries, God's Kingdom enables us to be opposed to the way the world sets up boundaries ˆ on the basis of gender, class, race, economics or accent."
William H. Willimon & Stanley Hauerwas

"When you pray that the will of God be done on earth as in heaven, envision conflict being resolved, marriages and families healed, truth told and people faithful to one another, initiatives that break through the vicious cycles of retaliation; and love that creates new community through forgiveness, reconciliation and peacemaking."

"The second main petition in the Lord's Prayer ˆ 'They Kingdom come' ˆ rules out any idea that the Kingdom of God is a purely heavenly (that is 'otherworldly') reality . . . Think of the vision at the end of Revelation. It isn't about humans being snatched up from earth to heaven. The holy city, the new Jerusalem, comes down from heaven to earth. God's space and ours are finally married, integrated at last." N.T. Wright

[All quotes taken from Christianity Today, February 2009]

I would have to say that the Middle Kingdom now looks like it's fast becoming The Central Kingdom (of the world maybe?); their human progress over the past 25 years has been staggering. But China needs a greater, Godly Kingdom influence and worldview. And who knows but that the real Emperor/King will take his place in a greater way in the hearts and lives of millions more Chinese? But we followers of Jesus, who are called to this challenge, must be obedient to that call.

Sadly we have gone from preaching that the Kingdom of God is near, to preaching that the end of the world is near. [Kris Vallotton]

Who is the King of your Kingdom?

Peter


2. Profound & Pithy ˆ Jottings from Messages

Quotes from Kris Vallotton . . .

-Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it's about thinking about yourself, less.
-You only have as much influence in a person's life as they have value for you.
-You're not what you think you are; you're not what others think you are; you become      what the most important person in your life thinks you are.
-God doesn't hide things from us, but for us. (1 Cor 2)
-Unforgiveness tethers you to the past and undermines your destiny.
-Physical obedience produces spiritual release.
-God's love for all is equal, but he has levels of favor (Jesus increased in favor with    man & God).
-If you believe you're a sinner, you'll sin by faith.
-It's hard to live with sin in your life if you're accustomed to living without it.
-You can't sin by mistake. Sin is a willful act of what you know to be wrong.


3. Donna's Corner ˆ Righteous Prayer: Possible?

During the last few weeks God has been emphasizing to me how the prayers of righteous people are powerful and effective (James 5:16-18). We must continually keep clean hearts before Him, up to the knowledge that we have.

When you walk with Jesus, you begin to love what He loves and hate what He hates. His promises are true. "He hears the prayer of the righteous" (Proverbs 15:29); and, "The prayer of the upright pleases Him." (15:8)

"The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in TRUTH. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love Him." (Psalm 145:18-20)

"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry." (Psalm 34:15)

"If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." (Psalm 66:18)

"We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the Godly man who does His will." (John 9:31)

My friends, listen to what the Spirit is saying: God listens to the righteous.

It‚s not how many meet to pray; it‚s about people with pure hearts who pray. Righteous Abraham all alone, asked God to spare Sodom if there were as few as ten righteous men in the city (there weren't.) You don‚t have to 'plan' a prayer meeting to pray; grab a friend who has a pure heart, go to Starbucks and pray what‚s on our Father‚s heart. It would be amazing if hundreds with pure hearts met to pray together; but remember, the power of prayer is when two or three meet and agree.

In Genesis 18, God said if He could just find 10 righteous He would spare the city.

Only God knows our hearts, but God is challenging me and I know He‚s challenging you; so please keep a pure heart before Him so that we can hear from Him, and He can answer our prayers.

We need the fear of the Lord which is to hate evil, and we don't need the fear of man, which is a snare (Proverbs 8:13 & 29:25). "The Lord confides in those who fear Him; he makes his covenant known to them. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare." (Psalm 25:14-15)

We have never lived in days like these. Please care more about what God thinks, than what man thinks. Be a God-seeker not a man pleaser. Keep your heart pure.

Love and Blessings,

Donna

4. Renewal Gatherings ˆ Summer is Coming (to the North!)

Roy Jones at ywamrenewalcamps@gmail.com for more details.

NORWAY (Lapland): July 5-11 with Al & Carolyn Akimoff returning
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SWEDEN (YWAM Restenäs) July 12-18 with Al & Carolyn Akimoff
Check the new Swedish website at www.ywamassociates.se
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NORWAY (Skjærgårdsheimen) July 27-Aug 1 with Dan Sneed returning
Contact: Lidvard Andreassen at lidvard@online.no
Check out this summer vacation paradise at http://www.heimen.org
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FRANCE (YWAM Le Gault la Forêt) August 8-15 with Dean Sherman
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SWITZERLAND (Jura Mountains) August 23-29 with Richard Jones
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And finally, think about this . . .

The object of war is victory; the object of victory is occupation. Napoleon

Many Blessings,

Peter

Feel free to use anything from this e-zine, in whole or in part, in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom.