Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Physical Health: Why Should I Take Care Of Me? ~ Written by Christopher Dryden

Back in the day Olivia Newton-John sang a song called ‘Let’s Get Physical’. It turned out to be among other things a great song to use at the gym whilst on the treadmill. Not that I would know from experience, because I wouldn’t be seen dead on a treadmill. Yet it’s that very reluctance to take my physical health seriously enough that made the weekend series on the issue so important.

It’s all well and good doing the church stuff. Go to church, sing the songs, give to the offering and that’s about it. Of course we have to look after the spiritual man with prayer and bible study. Often however we can – I can get things so high minded that I forget one crucial thing. That thing is that God created the physical as well as the spiritual. Indeed how we deal with the physical is often a better reflection of how we cope with the spiritual and Jesus Himself suggests if we can’t get it in the physical, we’ll struggle with the spiritual things (cf. John 3:12).

The weekend was an exploration in how we are responsible for the body God has given us. An often neglected or over-emphasised area of the three parts that make up the human experience – spiritual-emotional-spiritual – the training session put things in a perspective that left all attendants in no doubt that how we treat our bodies matters to God.

These considered three important aspects – Exercise, Nutrition and Rest. It was fascinated seeing the biblical perspective from the beginning on issues like the food we should eat; the importance of rest as an individual and collective exercise as well as considering carefully the benefits of implementing regular physical exercise to our lives.

This was no mere theoretical exercise of listening and reading – active participation was the order of the two days. These included the experiential elements of a ‘light’ physical work-out (light for some, others recognised that if this was light, they had a long way to go to make light). Participants also practiced therapeutic methods of massage both for the self and on someone else. Topping this off was a remarkably informative and engaging look at healthy eating with samples on hand that impressed those looking on. What stood out was just what you could do with the wide range of fruits, vegetables, pulses and other fresh and natural foods that can provide all the nutrition needed to make progress to a sustainable and energy-filled life.

All this delivered in a God-centred way for us to see the connection between the way God wants us to live and what He has provided to make that happen. It was enlightening to many in attendance especially when contrasted to a lot of the ways the world conditions people to go for cheap, quick and often unhealthy options.

With the opportunity as ever to listen, engage, reflect and map out ways to progress in the light of what we knew, the weekend was a thoroughly stimulating experience. Oenca delivered a superbly crafted weekend with the input of some special guest presenters and practitioners. The Purley Chase staff also accommodated everyone with splendid accommodation and suitable meals to compliment what was being delivered.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)

It’s more than just getting physical – as Olivia Newton-John suggested. It’s about recognising that as the creation of God we are to glorify Him with the physical as well as the emotional and spiritual. The weekend certainly reinforced the importance of not leaving the temple in ruins, but ensuring it’s treated with appropriate rest, nutrition and exercise so God is glorified.

~ Written by Christopher Dryden ~

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

What has God gifted me with? (Spiritual Gifts Part 1)

Had an AWESOME weekend of teaching, learning and connecting with an amazing group of people intent on discovering their Spiritual Gifts - To God be all the glory!

We discovered everyone's  'Top 3' Spiritual Gifts over the weekend and the range included:
Helping / Serving; Teaching; Wisdom; Knowledge; Hospitality; Administration; Leadership; Faith; Giving; Mercy; Pastor / Shepherding; Evangelist; and Prophecy.

This was definitely a seminar with a difference!  All participants engaged in a number of practical assignments to discover and/or confirm the Spiritual Gift(s) that God has given them specifically for use in ministry.

Everyone who joined us over the weekend had 'breakthrough' and 'light-bulb' moments, which was great and a real blessing to be part of.  The weekend was lighthearted, fun and full of laughter.

Once again, thank you to everyone who came along, fully participated on the weekend and also to all of you have been praying for the ministry's success.  As we learned the last time we were together, there is certainly MUCH power in prayer - we appreciate your spiritual efforts.

If you want join us for the Part 2: "What am I supposed to do with my gifting?", taking place 7 - 8th September, but were unable to join us for Part 1, contact me as I have some suggestions to bring you 'up to speed', ready to take part in September.  

By God's grace, we are looking forward to another amazing and uplifting weekend  So do come along and join us!

Until the next time...
Stay blessed

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Your Date with Destiny

WOW... What a weekend... 

Last weekend, 2 - 3 February, I had the pleasure of accompanying 19 people on a journey of discovery to understand and/or confirm God's plan and destiny for their lives!

At this, the launch weekend seminar for Christian Leadership Ministries, we had people from a number of different church denominations, as well as someone who doesn't attend church, all working together in harmony, supporting each other, sharing, giving of themselves, having fun.

For me, the atmosphere was amazing.  I witnessed many new friendships being formed and new connections being made.  It was like I could actually 'feel' the presence of God with us throughout the whole weekend.  Based on comments made and the feedback received, it was an amazing experience for everyone who participated.  All in all, it was a God-inspired, confirming and connecting experience.  It was wonderful.

So what was so wonderful about it?  What did we actually cover over this weekend journey to discover our destiny projects and God's will for our lives?

Well on the first day we worked our way through a number of things, including:
  • 7 principles to remind us that whatever our ultimate kingdom pursuits are, it all starts with God;
  • 4 steps to give our lives focus;
  • an awareness of what stops us from achieving the goals in our lives & strategies to overcome; and 
  • the importance of having support as we actively work for God.
The second day, which finished at lunchtime, our morning included:
  • the benefits of living a purpose driven life;
  • 5 steps that will move us from merely identifying our God-given purpose, to actually being in a position to fulfil it!
During our time together we uncovered lots of ideas for mission work, including:
  • the use of Art to minister to people;
  • working with the homeless
  • prayer and healing;
  • praise and worship;
  • mentoring & developing young people;
  • counselling;
  • family life and family development ministries;
  • evangelising
  • 'Church in the Community'; and 
  • ministries for holistic development (mentally, physically, financially and emotionally).
By the end of our time together, participants went away with, not only clarity in terms of the ministry they themselves want to get actively involved in, but the also left with a plan of action and their first 3 - 5 steps to move forward with.

I want to say a special "Thank you" to EVERYONE who was involved in making the weekend possible: to the Lord, for His guidance and vision; special thanks to Ann, Dave and all the staff at Purley Chase, who provided "home from home" hospitality to us; to all those who came along and took such an active part; and to everyone who has helped me in ensuring that this weekend was such a success.

Thank you once again, and until the next time,
Stay blessed.



Friday, 11 January 2013

Feeling all alone

For me... there is nothing sweeter than a close companionship with God.  Having clear direction and knowing that I am progressing along the path that God has purposed for me, brings a spring in my step.  It makes enduring setbacks and life's hardships bearable, and at times, I can even appreciate the personal strength and faith-building that comes from going through such experiences.  However, when the silence comes... for me, it's a very different experience...

When I can't seem to hear from God; when the clarity of the next step doesn't seem apparent; when progress seems thwarted; and friends, family or church brethren seem to be singing from a completely different hymn sheet, self-doubt sets in, life feels cold and my seemingly only option, at those times seems to be, abandon hope... retreat into myself... give up... 

But there really is another way.  As a child of the Most high, our Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ and the Comforter, is NEVER afar off.  It's times like this that I remember that well known poem 'Footsteps in the Sand' by Mary Stevenson.


So what can I do during these lonely times?  What has worked for me when I have been here before?

Firstly, claiming the promises of God from the Bible
"I can do all thing through Christ Jesus who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13
I remember that if ... God makes the decision, He will also make the provision.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" Matthew 6:33

Secondly, I remember again what God has promised me personally.  I recall all the assurances that I have been given when I have listened to that 'still small voice' in times past, and that gives me comfort.

And thirdly, I bring to mind all the things that I have witnessed along my walk with God, my personal testimonies of the power and goodness of God.

These three things have helped me when I have felt alone.  I don't know, try them, and see if they can bring you comfort to you too.

Until the next time, stay blessed.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

A time to be still

When you're waiting on God, it's a good time to sit alone, be quiet, think about God, pray, read your Bible and listen.

One element of an active devotional life is to build in or plan "quiet time" into your devotional practice.  Bible study, prayer and fasting are ALL very important elements in building a close relationship with God.  However, communication in any relationship is a two-way process.  Your relationship with God is no different.  God wants us to communicate to Him through prayer, learn about Him through the Word, dedicate and consecrate ourselves through fasting, AND He wants the opportunity to be able to respond directly to our requests, through that 'still small voice'.

When God create mankind He gave us free will and choice.  So He won't force His way into our lives, How won't necessarily shout to give His point of view; He'll wait for a quiet moment, wait for that invitation, wait for an opportunity to be heard.

In any important relationship, it's important to create the time and space for both parties in the relationship to speak and for both parties to be heard.  Our relationship with God is no different.

So perhaps you are at a crossroad in your life and need direction; you may have made requests to God and are awaiting an answer to prayer; you maybe lonely and in need of a friend...

My question to you is:  Have you taken some time out lately, to be quiet, still, alone with God; just to listen to what He has to communicate to you?

Until the next time, stay blessed.