Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday Morning Thoughts

One of the things that I like about Graham is that his message is always so simple - basic, down-to-earth, no hype or pretense. Yet, when you hear him, you realize that if you were to truly get it, this is all you really need to know.

As usual, interwoven throughout his teaching was his revelation of the goodness and kindness of God. At times, I wanted to smack my forehead wondering, "why do I forget?" I know these things. At what point do my thoughts get twisted around and mired in things that don't really matter?

That is what the body is for though, isn't it, to remind one another of who we are and who God is to us.

He spoke quite a bit about the present/future aspect of our lives, that while we have a present reality, our future is already a present reality to God. I appreciated how this gives a more organic understanding of the nature of prophecy than the gifts-focused emphasis that prophecy has had in the church.

With a present/future understanding we can co-labor with one another and with God, moving towards His vision for our future, both corporately and individually.

One area of this that Graham highlighted was accountability. He said - What if accountability wasn't about judgment and correction? What if it was about having friends who know and understand the dreams that God has for you? And what if they care about you enough to remind you of those dreams and promises when you need to be encouraged? Therefore rather than looking for areas of failure in your life, they are instead looking for opportunities to hold you up and support you.

For me personally, I didn't take away anything specifically earth-shaking. I was encouraged, especially to trust in regard to our future, that God can bring about the things that He wants to accomplish in us. I was also encouraged that an understanding of the goodness of God can minister reconciliation and redemption in very ordinary circumstances. I was reminded of what an incredible love we ambassador to those around us.

As Graham would say, "That is flippin' good news!"

17 comments:

Robbymac said...

I'm encouraged that you went to a big charismatic conference and were encouraged! :)

And I love Graham's take on "accountability"!

Anonymous said...

Graham is one of the folks from the prophetic movement that I find the most refreshing. I agree that if we just remembered how simple it all really is. We would begin to unpoint our fingers and open our arms.

Paul

sonja said...

What an amazing take on "accountability" ... I wish my so-called friends had understood that notion. I might still have a church home right now.

Ronni said...

Wow. My old leadership needs to hear that.

Wow. I wish I had just one leader in my life like that.

paul said...

yeah i like that take on accountability - after all being able to confess our dreams and our failings to each other and to exhibit love and encouragenment in both is such a powerful life giving thang - that and of course friends who give me a kick up the back side too - after all that's what the 'spur' in spurring each other on to do good means :)

thanks Grace!

Erin Word said...

I, too, am glad you were encouraged!

Jeff Greathouse said...

I hope and pray that I will find an individual with whom I can be in a relatioship with - in that manner.

Mary said...

It sounds like one of those AHA! moments when you think, "THAT'S how it's supposed to be!"

I'm so glad that you were able to go - and with hubby, too.

Mary

Pam Hogeweide said...

What if accountability wasn't about judgment and correction? What if it was about having friends who know and understand the dreams that God has for you? And what if they care about you enough to remind you of those dreams and promises when you need to be encouraged? Therefore rather than looking for areas of failure in your life, they are instead looking for opportunities to hold you up and support you.

beautifully quoted, grace. there's the heart of God right there.

thanks for bringing a cup or two of refreshing, cool water to us desert folk.

Rupert Ward said...

I love Graham Cooke ... perhaps because he is British, very down to earth, he like beer, and watches Football (soccer!). But also makes following jesus exciting and possible. We have had him at our church a number of times, and when i was VERY cynical about the "prophetic", due to some really bad experiences, Graham began to restore some hope that God does speak and not ALL prophetic people are complete nutcases! I am glad you had a good time.

Anonymous said...

"He spoke quite a bit about the present/future aspect of our lives, that while we have a present reality, our future is already a present reality to God. I appreciated how this gives a more organic understanding of the nature of prophecy than the gifts-focused emphasis that prophecy has had in the church."

My husband and I met together with a prophet once. As he prophesied over us I had the picture that he was tuning into a frequency where he could overhear the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit talking about us. Some of what he prophesied was about the present and some about the future – you had no idea which was which. If God sees both places (the future and the present) the same, it would make sense that prophecy would also be relayed that way. This man, as with Graham, is just trying to hear God as clearly as possible. Both men are humble and it is not about their gift. Truly refreshing as most prophets are so much about themselves and the place that they occupy.

Thanks for the report.

A Former Leader

ok, i'm new to this whole comment thing. How do you get italics into a comment? It says at the top that I can use some HTML tags but I have no idea what that means :)

KSG said...

Hey Grace,

Just curious, how did what Graham say about "present/future" parallel or contrast what the Word of Faith movement teaches? From what you've said here, it sounds incredibly similar and I grew up (literally) in W of F, so I'm very familiar with it.

I love Graham's comments on accountability. This is what I seek.

Rhonda said...

"I was reminded of what incredible love we ambassador to those around us"
I really needed to hear that today!

thanks

grace said...

robby,
It wasn't exactly a "big charismatic conference." It was charismatic in the sense that none of the meetings could start without at least an hour of worship first. (Not that I'm belittling worship, but...)

Although Graham was well-received, I didn't think the meetings were especially well-attended. I hope he will come back to this area.

Paul,
I agree with you. In fact, I think that Graham is one of the few prophetic voices that hasn't gone off the rails.

sonja and ronni,
Sometimes a clear and simple picture of how things should be gives us the clearest understanding of how things should not be. It also gives us true values to identify in the community and leaders that we make ourselves a part of.

Paul,
So true, loving accountability should be powerful and LIFE-GIVING!

ErinLily,
I know that Graham is in your neck of the woods fairly often. He has some sort of conference coming up in Olympia WA. It would be so fun to go to one together.

jeff,
I hope that is where the body of Christ is headed, that we would all see the promises and dreams of God within one another and that our relationships would encourage that. Maybe that is what we need to look for in our relationships, people willing to believe what God sees in us.

Mary,
Yes, I knew going in that Graham would once again bring clarity for me because whether in his speaking or reading, I always have that sense of this is how it should be.

We enjoyed spending a little time with some not-so-well-behaved folks from WY.

Pam,
I picked up the first 2 of his books in the prophetic series. I think that I'm ready to crack that door open again, just a little.

grace said...

Rupert,
It's great to meet you. I recently added your blog to my reader and I am loving the missional series.

I agree so much with what you said here. Graham is restoring my vision of what prophecy should be. Yes, he seems to make everything about walking in the Spirit exciting and possible.

Former Leader,
Humility is such an important character trait for anyone who presumes to prophesy.

For italics, you precede the italicized portion with the i in brackets, as above, and follow it with /i in brackets. Bold is the same thing, the slash is included in the code at the end.

I don't even know what the "a" does. Just trying out the "a" code.

ksg,
I'm trying to refresh myself on how this would be viewed through WofF lenses. I think that the WofF is strong about choosing to believe all that God says and claiming his promises from the Word.

My understanding is that what Graham was teaching is more personalized and specific to how God actually sees you as an individual in the future, not necessarily generic promises, but his specific plans for your future.

My sense, is that it is about trusting in God's future plans for you and in His ability to bring you from where you are into His dream of your future.

My own reaction to how this is different from the WofF that I was familiar with is that it is less about me claiming this future in order to bring it about and more about me resting in dependency and trusting the Father to fulfill His purposes in me.

rhonda,
You are welcome. It is something that I need to remember also, that our understanding of God's incredible love can truly be radiant to those who are hungry for that love.

Rupert Ward said...

Grace - thanks for the kind words. I enjoy your blog too ... it is good to meet people on a similar journey. i was in a very abusive church situation and understanding something of spiritual abuse, and people like graham have been hugely important for me. Thanks.

Steve Sensenig said...

This is not on topic, but just to clarify:

<b> is the tag for bold. You put it where you want the bold to start, and then "close" it where you want the bold to end by using </b> like so:

If I want <b>this portion to be in bold</b> I use the bold tag. Which results in:

If I want this portion to be in bold I use the bold tag.

Italics works the same way, except use <i> and </i>

The <a> tag is for adding links.

For example, if I want to link to grace's blog, I do this:

<a href="http://emerginggrace.blogspot.com">Grace's blog</a> which shows up like this:

Grace's blog

Hope that helps!
steve :)