From the Evangelist Desk, (back to the Dressing table).
New Year January 2010 message.
I sometimes find it very hard writing for the magazine, why I hear you ask? Because I am always a month ahead, like the others that write in.
Therefore as I am writing this, wishing you all a wonderful and prosperous New Year, Christmas is not even upon us, as I write in fact we are only in Advent ii. Last month I wished you all a wonderful Christmas and we were not even in Advent. So although I follow Advent and feel so privileged to wait the arrival of our Lord, and although my loving wife and I do not put any Christmas decorations up until about twelve days before Christmas, and we ensure that the decorations are down again on the 1st of the New Year. (Yes hang over or not the decorations come down). I sometimes feel that having to forward think and be one or two months ahead is like placing my festive decorations out in October and not taking them down until at least the end of January.
I then am able to just think of a topic again for a few months and then we have the event that we are so well known for, Easter. We are known by others as the Easter people. And again I have to think ahead and write.
I then reflect on my St. Igneous Spiritual Journey. You have all experienced some of my meditations and reflections within some of the articles placed in the magazine since I first embarked on a week of guided prayer, last March. That’s one long week, but then again what is a week to God.
I am now coming to the end of this specific journey following the guidance of St. Igneous. The one thing I am sure of is that I will embark on another, because being a Disciple of Christ is a willingness to learn and grow. And I can assure you that the change in my worldview, the change in my Christian outlook and the change in me has been nothing short of outstanding. (Please do not take this as a blow my own trumpet statement). I can assure you that it is meant as a humble statement made with humility.
I have been asked to explain what the St. Igneous Journey is all about. Well first there is the time. If possible to undertake the journey you need to go into quiet retreat if possible for 31 days. Luckily those who we are blessed with that organise the Journey are well aware that many of us cannot afford that sort of time in a one off hit.
The route that my journey has taken has been a four day silent retreat, during the time of retreat guidance, Scripture and St. Igneous writings were used to help with times of meditation and prayer. After the four day retreat one hour per day has been and will continue to be offered to God by me to meditate on His word or again teachings from St. Igneous, always asking the Lord to speak to me through the time of meditation.
Then comes the nine day silent retreat, again Scripture and St. Igneous teachings are used and God is asked to be with me and I try to be open to what He has to say to me rather than me always petitioning Him. I can tell you know, that I was worked hard during both times on retreat; it is certainly not a drop out of society free time card time. On both retreats there were four sessions per day at one hour per session and then notes made afterwards. Currently as I write this article I am still undertaking At least one hour Scripture or teaching to open the time of meditation plus written notes regarding the outcome of the time shared with God.
To me the experience has brought Gods Word alive. The experience has brought The Father, Son and Holy Ghost alive. The experience has proved beyond any doubt that the Lord had a purpose for me and you before the universe was formed. But we have the choice as to whether we fulfil that purpose. The experience has shown me that the Lord loves everyone, even me, a sinner. The experience has showed me that there is no love that can compare to that of the Love that the Lord freely gives to us.
Lastly and to tie this article back the opening gambit. I have learned from God to look at the here and now and to stop worrying about what has passed, because if I truly repent it has been forgiven. And to stop worrying about the future because this can cause some to follow their own future plans and forget about what God may have planned. I have learnt that God is also the here and now. The air that I breathe. The rain that has been pounding on the roof of my house, car and office for the past 52 days. The wonderful moon that I have seen driving to work in the early morning.
The here and now to help people that need my help. The here and now being ready to listen to those that need to be listened to. The here and now to be ready to be that shoulder that someone may need to use to cry on. So to tie in with the opening gambit, I actually feel guilty that I have artistically jumped ahead to ensure that the readers of this article receive up to date wishes, rather than writing in the here and now, because that is where the Lord wishes me to be. RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW IN THE MID TIME OF DECEMBER, Not January.
I love being with the Lord in the here and now, hopefully being ready to do His bidding when asked.
May God Bless you and keep you all.
© Rick Hayes, January 2010