6 February 2016

ABOUNDING

The ‘abounding’ kept on – in our home and throughout the week. We were ‘treated’ to time away. I organized the trip – something I really enjoy! – the journey, coffee and meal stops, a hotel for overnight. Our journey took us on the north MA 13 to Alcudia – with a stop just outside Inca to show our friends the church’s Retreat Centre. Alcudia is the only town on the island that still has most of the old medieval wall around it. We walked along the top of the wall, looking out over the old town, narrow streets, roof tops and terraces – some houses dating back to the 13th C. Our mid-morning stop was in a pretty little patio, the walls in the background.


Along the north coast we continued, heading to the most easterly point of Mallorca. “Oh look”, I exclaimed. “A fortress! Or a castle! And an old church! Can we go up?” “Yes” was hubby’s reply and we wound our way up and around the narrow one-way streets of the town of Artà, following the arrows, up to the walls surrounding the fortress. “Amazing!” was the word I heard several times as we walked around taking in the spectacular views – north, south, east and west – sea coast, plains, forests and mountains. The small chapel was open. We read, “After the conquest of the last Islamic strongholds in the mountains of Artà (1230), James I stayed in the fortress on the Puig de San Salvador and the small mosque that was there was transformed into a Christian temple.”

Next stop – Cala Ratjada. I had always wanted to visit this spot and say, “I’ve been at the most north-easterly point of Mallorca." This town was a small fishing village but today is one of the sought after tourist spots, especially for German folk. A beautiful, warm, breezy, sunny February day – we found a Mallorcan restaurant and enjoyed a fish dinner on the outdoor terrace.

The road towards the south took us to our ‘stop for the night’ – Cala Millor, (the ‘Better Bay’). Many hotels were shut down for the winter season - not many available, but I had found a ‘perfect’ one – view of the coast, comfy and cozy, relaxing and a very good price!  Yes, we had time as we strolled along the waterfront, for a coffee/tea break, a tasty supper, later (much earlier than the local folk eat!), followed by a game of Skip/Bo in the hotel lobby. In the morning we enjoyed a delicious and ample breakfast – in the company of a large group of seniors from Germany. Before taking the road west towards Palma we set out along the coast following a trail up to old Castell d’Amer. It was not a castle, but a former Watchtower – 17th century, built because of the constant attacks and raids by pirates of North Africa. How very interesting!

Back in Palma the ‘Abounding’ continued throughout the week – a final meal together with the pastor and his wife. We prayed together right in the restaurant and said good-bye with long hugs and two kisses.

We all need times like this every so often – times of ABOUNDING. Our friends abounded in generosity. They abounded in ‘love one for another’. They overflowed. They excelled. We could tell it was a joy for them and it sure was a joy for us!


3 February 2016

ABOUND!

2 Corinthians 8:7 – NKJV   But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.”

We could say our weekend was one of “Abundance!” = Friday p.m. prayer service, Saturday afternoon – 2 sessions with Home Group leaders and church workers, Saturday night Youth, 
Sunday services – 9:30, 11:45 and 7:00 p.m. 
and Monday evening again with the leaders and workers.
A very full weekend. Yes, our invited speaker lost his voice – or almost.

ABOUND: (Scripture - NLT)
Ø  In Faith – 2 Thessalonians 1:3 – Your faith is flourishing”
Ø  In Speech – Ephesians 4:29 – Let everything you say be good and helpful”
Ø  In Knowledge – Philippians 1:9, 10 – Keep on growing in knowledge “
Ø  In Diligence – Romans 12:8  - Take the responsibility seriously”
Ø  In your Love – Philippians 1:9 – I pray that your love will overflow more and more”
Ø  In this Grace also = generosity – Excel also in this gracious act of giving”

This was a great beginning to the weekend – an introduction to the theme and it seemed to whet everyone’s appetite – “It was so short!” “I thought he would continue!” and they returned the next day – young leaders and older ones - with Bibles, notebooks, recording the sessions on their phones, hearts and minds open. “Now, if only we can put this into practice,” commented one of the leaders. Each following session took up one of the ‘abounding’ points. There weren’t enough days to cover them all.

Abound in Faith – ‘Saving Faith’, ‘Living Faith’, the ‘Gift of Faith’, and ‘Growing Faith’. “Our faith grows like a muscle”, concluded the speaker. “You have to exercise it!”
Abound in Knowledge, (Discernment) – “Why do we need spiritual discernment?” vs 10 – “That you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.”
Abound in Generosity – “I don’t have to give: it’s a privilege!” “We give because it’s a joy to give!”
Spiritual Fathers and Mothers – “To abound in these six areas, we need spiritual men and women who will teach others how to abound.” “These are the ‘marks’ of spiritual parents: Consistency, a Clean Conscience, no Comparisons nor Conceit, the Cost, the Connection, the Cautioning, the Conduct, the Care and the Contact. The speaker concluded asking two critical questions: “1. Who is parenting you in the faith?” and “2. Who are you parenting in the faith?” 

The pastor summed it up: “It’s been an excellent weekend! Your ministry has blessed our congregation. We hope you can come again!” and so many have declared the same – several times.