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God is sending you an invite. Do you see it?

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

Sometimes we find it hard to believe and trust the Lord, not so much because of the things that we see but because of the things we fail to see. This truth came to me during a recent preaching tour in the USA. I was working on my emails and attached to one of the emails was a bill that needed to be paid immediately and I had no funds to do so. My immediate response was to complain (in my prayer) and ask why now and why me and how we would pay this bill.

When Jesus was faced with a problem, He trusted in, relied on and put His entire weight upon His Father. He lived in and by and through His Father (John 6:57), trusting His Father to take care of His problem and I needed to do the same. After praying, I walked towards the front of the Hotel, where I was staying, to get some coffee. As I was walking a thought came to my mind that changed the way I looked at that bill. That bill was not my problem! It was His problem! He would take care of it, but I needed to trust in Him, rely on Him and put my entire weight upon Him. In fact, that bill was His invite for me to join Him in working more deeply in my life, by strengthening my faith. It was not really a problem but it was an invitation. God allows a crisis in order to bless and do a miracle. He was sending me an invite to join Him!

Gideon saw it

There was a crisis in the land of Israel. The people were reduced to live in caves like trapped animals (Judges 6:2). God allowed the Midianites - a nomad people - and their allies to ravage the land through plundering raids, creating havoc and causing great impoverishment (6: 3-6). The people of Israel were crying out to the Lord, as people usually do when they are in trouble. Although they showed no sign of repentance, their affliction still moved His heart and God sent them prophets to warn them but they did not listen and give attention to His voice (6: 7-10).

As a result of not listening and responding to God, the Lord rebuked them (6:7- 10) and the people felt that the Lord had forsaken them (6:13) with the feeling that God didn't care about them anymore. Because He still cared and wanted to show mercy, God then turned to a farmer in Manasseh (6:11-14) to become the deliverer of His people. Although Gideon was a coward, he saw what was really happening – he realized that God was chastening the nation and he perceived the crisis from 'God's perspective'. He realized that it was His invitation to repent, and turn to Him, and experience once again the blessing, miracle and the salvation of the Lord.

Gideon did not complain but had the courage to ask a question openly that many were afraid to ask: "If God is with us, why then has all of this happened and where are all the miracles, which our fathers told us about?"

God then met with Gideon, dealing with all his questions and doubts, causing him to understand that God cared (6:1-13), He knew what He was doing (6:14-24), He would take care of Gideon (6:25-32) and the nation and keep His promises (6:33-40).

Do you see it?

Today, we see many people, marriages, families, and nations all over the world experiencing poverty, hardships, persecution and many trials of faith. We try to reason, understand, ignore, blaming God and others or trying to find a way to get out, trying to make it better. Gideon encountered God's miracle and was used by God because he understood the real meaning and significance of the 'crisis' and trials of faith as God's invite to join Him.

Could it be that God is sending you a problem, a bill or a crisis of belief as His invitation to take you to the next level in your walk with Him or use you to bring comfort to the weary (Matt 11:28)? Maybe God just wants you to know that He cares, He knows what He is doing and will take care of your need but that He is waiting for you and me to accept His invitation?

Isn't it then time to stop for a moment and take a deep 'look' at your life, marriage, family, church or nation and what you are currently experiencing, realizing God has invited you to see a miracle and blessing?

His blessing and miracle awaits you. How long will you wait for it?

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Minding the Gap

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

mind-the-gap-01During a recent preaching tour in Netherlands, I saw the sign and heard the words, Mind the Gap over an intercom several times. It serves as a warning to people as they step off from the pavement into a bus or a train, to be careful not to step into the empty the space in between. It reminded me about an incident and experience that I had several years ago.

I was waiting late one evening on the Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg for a Ukrainian Pastor, that were coming to speak at our Heart Cry meetings. I have never met this man and have only seen his picture on the website of the Bible School where he ministers. Many people were waiting to meet arriving passengers, but no one looked like my guest. When the arrival hall was completely empty and all people left I saw a man just standing there. When I approached him, I realized that this was the Pastor but he didn’t look like the picture on the website. He said: “It is a picture of my father, who was the previous Principal of Bible School and it has not changed yet”. I apologized for not having a sign with his name on, as I thought that I would recognize him from his website picture.

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About James O Fraser

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

First years in Yunnan

Born in London in 1886, he became a graduate engineer. However in 1908 he dedicated his life to missionary work and joined the China Inland Mission. He arrived in China at the age of 22 and traveled from Shanghai to Hong Kong and then to the mountainous region of China's far southwest.

He was forced by the chaos accompanying the Chinese revolution of 1911 to divide his time between Yunnan Province and Burma. He learned the language of and commenced his work among the Lisu, a Tibeto-Burmese minority people who lived in the high mountains along the borders of the two countries. Fraser had arrived in Yunnan in 1910, and spent nearly thirty years working among the Lisu. Fraser is best known for the alphabet he created for the Lisu, often referred to as the Fraser alphabet. It was designed for purpose of translating the New Testament into the Lisu language. Fraser also designed a written musical notation for transcribing the Lisu's oral history songs.

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A Heart that is Devoted to Him

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt 24:12)- NSV

We currently live in a time of moral and spiritual decay in the midst of a flourishing spiritual era where literally thousands of people rush to services and spiritual activities.  To move away from God does not start with incorrect conduct.

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Faith in Jesus gives Peace

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

It is Easter again.  Almost every day the advertisements in magazines and newspapers, transmissions on television and in shopping centres remind us of this special time of the year.  As people and families we react differently on all the marketing techiniques and the various invitations of Easter.

We see:

  • Children, especially the smaller kids who are crazy about the easter bunny, but actually it is the chocolate easter bunny and the easter eggs on sale that attract them.  One of my own favourites is the lovely chocolate marshmallows that melt in one’s mouth.
  • Hundreds of families flock to coastal towns for a welcomed breather at the beach.  Those that don’t see their way open to face the traffic or those who have not yet recovered from the December holiday expenditure, they stay at home
  • Some flock to shopping centres for Easter specials.
  • Others (normally the older folk) attend Easter conferences which are presented everywhere.

 

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Repentance from sin is a changed lifestyle

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

In South Africa we are currently living in a very exciting time as we see God drawing thousands of people to attend the services of Angus Buchan in stadiums, the women conference (Esther) and men’s conference (Daniel). Churches and ministries launching several projects, reaching out to the needy, influencing people, and short term missionary outreaches to all nations.  Churches (some) are filled with people wanting to do something for the Lord.   

However, at the same time we’re facing a period of moral and spiritual decline that is perhaps more rapid and widespread than ever before in our history. In a passage describing the difficult times of the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-5), the apostle Paul speaks of persons who have a form of godliness but deny its power.  Timothy and all those who read the epistle are warned to avoid such persons.   Some of the sins mentioned by Paul are: lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, etc. 
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Why do we need Revival?

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locust to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land”
(2 Chronicles 7:13-14).

Revival is a time when Heaven comes closer to earth.  It is when the Glory of God again becomes visible in the lives of men, women, families, churches and the community.

The greatest attraction of Heaven is not the streets of gold.  It is not the tree of life.  It is not the angels and the fellowship with others of the faith.  It is the constant Presence and Glory of our Lord.  Revival is when we taste something of this constant Presence of God on earth and in our everyday life.

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Leading your family in worship

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

A Forgotten Command of God

“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.”  Deut. 11:18-21
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Why walk when you can soar?

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
-Is. 40:31

Christian, are you tired? Are you discouraged? Are you overwhelmed? Are you ready to throw in the towel?

At times we may feel so worn out and stressed that we are not sure if we can go on or simply take the next step. It is just work, work, work or stress and one crisis after the other as we give ourselves to the ministry or to one another. We constantly give our time and money, becoming weary in body and mind. Sometimes we suffer due to despair and failure, and yet, according to Isaiah 40:31 we are never to be weary in spirit - we are always to be carried on in the joy and strength of our Lord.

As we study Isaiah 40 we see that Israel of old faces a difficult task and a seemingly impossible tomorrow. A casual reading of Isaiah 40 highlights different circumstances of the people of Israel:

  • circumstances behind them (verses 1-11),
  • circumstances before them (verses 12-26) and
  • within them (verses 27-31).

The financial crisis, increasing debt and living costs, the past, present and tomorrow are not promised and these ever-changing circumstances are uncertain for many. However, it is what happens in our hearts - when we allow the circumstances to cause concerns, anxiety or worries - that determines our walk with God and our experience.

Instead of praising the Greatness of our God, we complain about our circumstances and the fact that it seems as if God has forgotten us. We presume that He is unaware of what we are going through or has no concern whatsoever about our problems, overdraft and lack of cash flow in business.

We live in a generation that does not enjoy waiting. We rush through life without stopping. Maybe God is allowing our current circumstances to slow us down, so that we can wait upon Him. Maybe God is saying that we are not heavenly-minded enough, not soaring high enough. We work hard, well and even successfully but our fellowship with God is not as tender as it ought to be, so God stirs the nest (i.e. circumstances, crises or challenges).

God knows how we feel, and how we fear the day of tomorrow and He is more than willing and able to meet our every need (Phil. 4:19)!

The word 'wait' does not suggest that we sit around and do nothing. It means to expect, to look up and to hope in God for all that we need (Is. 26:3).

The word 'renew' means to change or to exchange and renew strength and power (as putting off old clothing and putting on a new garment). So, as we make time and wait upon the Lord, we receive the strength and power to face the demands of life. God is more than able and willing to help with such demands, but: He is waiting!

As we wait upon the Lord, He enables us to soar when there is a crisis, to run when the challenges are many and to walk faithfully in the everyday activities and demands of life. He will help us to fly higher and run faster.

Child of God, I do not know what you are going through at the moment but I do know that God wants to renew your strength. He wants to help carry your burden and bless you with all that is available in the Lord Jesus (Eph. 3:20). Why don't you take a moment and reflect upon your life? Are you soaring with God or is God constantly stirring your nest, waiting for you to WAIT upon Him?

It is my prayer that the Lord will give you courage to face up to your problems and challenges; that He will give you wisdom in what you need to do, strength to do it and the faith to lean and trust and rest in Him. Ponder and pray through the following Scriptures:

"Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. – 1 Pet. 4:7 (Amplified Bible, see also Psalm 55:22)

"Roll your works upon the Lord (commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and) so shall your plans be established and succeed." – Prov. 16:3 (Amplified Bible)

So, why walk when you can soar with Him?

 

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Short Bio of R.A. Torrey

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

RA TorreyReuben Archer Torrey: Congregationalist, evangelist; born at Hoboken, New Jersey [United States], January 28, 1856. He was graduated from Yale University (B.A., 1875) and from the theological department there (B.D., 1878), and studied at the universities of Leipsic and Erlangen. He was pastor of the Congregational Church, Garrettsville, Ohio (1878-82), Open Door Church, Minneapolis (1883-86); superintendent of the Minneapolis City Missionary Society (1886-89); pastor of People's Church, Minneapolis (1887-89); superintendent of Chicago Evangelization Society and Moody Bible Institute (1889-1908), having meanwhile been pastor of the Chicago Avenue Church, Chicago (1894-1905); and since December, 1901, has been engaged in evangelistic work, part of the time in a tour of the world, preaching in China, Japan, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, India, Germany, in the United Kingdom, and at home.

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Bio of James O Fraser

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

By Stuart Simpson, actor portraying James Fraser in Breakthrough

At the age of 20, James Fraser had a very promising future. Soon to become an honors student in engineering, a field of study which at the beginning of the 20th century held immense prospects world wide, and with the gifting to become a concert pianist, Fraser's career plans seemed clear. However, the words contained in a small booklet given to him by a fellow student challenged his life-plan assumptions down to the core.

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Revival in the Family

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

In 1814 the year before Waterloo, the county of Cornwall became the scene of one of the most remarkable and extensive revivals of religion ever known in any country in the world. The movement began in Redruth. In the town of Tuckingmill, a father held family prayers and devotion after a meal. People passing by heard the whole family praying and entered the house uninvited until it was overflowing, with people around the windows and on the street outside crying for God to have mercy on them. From there they all moved to the Church and filled it.  The penitents became so preoccupied with cries of mercy that the preacher could not be heard. He spent the night going from pew to pew, praying with those who wanted to get right with God.

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Revival in the Home

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.

Deut. 11:18–21; also read Deut. 6:6-10

My most vivid and meaningful memories of visiting my grandparents as a young boy are those of being able to join my grandfather in the vestry before walking into the church on Sundays. He always gave me some sweets during the service. I remember the cookie jar with the special treats in the room next to the kitchen, and how all the grandchildren frequently visited it. But I also remember how my grandfather and grandmother would gather the family together after our evening meal and take down the old Bible and read a passage from it. Once the Word of God was read, my grandfather would pray for us. The Bible was alive for him.

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1860 Revival in the Western Cape

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

Background

For some years, Rev. Andrew Murray, Sr., longed and prayed for revival in South Africa. Every Friday night he spent several hours in prayer. The revivals of 1858 in the United States and 1859 in Northern Ireland were reported in the Dutch Reformed journals. A little book on "The Power of Prayer" was published. Individuals and prayer groups in various places across South Africa began to pray specifically for revival.

In April 1860, a conference attended by 374 was convened at Worcester, South Africa. Representatives of twenty congregations; sixteen Dutch Reformed, plus Methodist and Presbyterian gathered. The main topic was revival. Andrew Murray, Sr., was moved to tears and. had to stop speaking. His son, Andrew Murray, Jr., prayed with such power that some say the conference marked the beginning of the revival.

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The Holy Spirit

Written by Francois Carr. Posted in English

The Holy Spirit as God in me, next to me, and with me.

 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. ” John 14 verses 16, 17 & 18

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14 verse 26 

I once travelled from London to Amsterdam. The overnight bus arrived at the central train station in Amsterdam at about 06h00 in the morning from where I had to catch a train to the airport.


© Francois Carr