'The Other Half'

Author: Sue Figueiredo

Relationships between men and women can be complex, challenging, infuriating, beautiful and uplifting. And I'm not just talking about men and women who fall in love. There is something about our differences that seems to cause joy and pain in just about equal measure. We need each other with all our differences because that's the way God intended it.

When God created the world, it actually took Him three attempts before He was satisfied that He had got it the way He wanted it and when He had, there was a man and a woman in His image.

Stage 1: God creates man and then says, it is not good...The 'not good' is that man is alone which is not an expression of the image of God. He is in relationship with God but that is as a created being to his creator.

Stage 2: God sees that man needs a helper to be his partner, so, out of the ground he creates all the animals. They are designed to help man in a different way to the way God helps him; in a creature to creature way. He describes the animals as good but, despite that, is not able to find among them any to be a helper and a partner for the man.

Stage 3: This time, instead of using the dust of the ground, God uses a part of man himself to create his helper and partner and it is good. This at last, man says, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. He has been waiting and longing for something that didn't yet exist but that would complete creation and complete the image of God.

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Restoration and the Gospel – both bigger than we think

Author: John Tancock

The buzzwords as well as ‘the victory’ were on our lips and in our lives. Words like ‘Restoration and ‘Kingdom’ and there seemed to be a genuine sense of recovery as we discovered passages from the Old Testament that made many of us realise for the very first time that they actually applied to us!! We sang about them ‘Awake O Zion’, ‘How lovely is thy dwelling place’, ‘blow a trumpet in Zion’, we ‘heard the sound of rustling in the leaves of the trees’ and we rejoiced that it was a ‘new day of restoration’.

For many of us ‘restoration’ was all about the church, restoring Apostles and Prophets, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and so much more. As I look back at that time in reflection and study, I have rejected or changed very little since then. What I have realised is that the idea of restoration is much bigger in practice than I, and perhaps many of us , realized back then. In theory, I am sure many would point out that we knew it was ‘larger’ than the church, but in time, energy, focus, and communication in our churches, I am pretty certain most would have thought it was mainly to do with ‘church’. It was at that point that we ‘missed a trick’. The chance to see ‘restoration’ not as our sectarian possession, but as a jewel that had been mislaid by the Church at large was huge. Its ‘recovery’ would have affected our understanding of Gods purpose at that time and also in the way we understood the gospel and communicated it. The sheer size of ‘restoration’ is seen in Acts where it says, “when the time comes for God to restore everything.”

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Contemplative Prayer, Tarrying, Waiting, Soaking & Marinating – Part 2 - Soaking it in!

Author: Gareth Duffty

“All records broken”, I am sure will be the declaration of the so called summer of 2007, the wettest on record. Storms and floods like most of us have never seen. Days, and in some places weeks, affected by the devastation. Some will even be out of their homes for months waiting for the water, dampness and waterlogged ground to dry out; structural damage which has caused properties once lived in to move their foundations. So much water around but for some people not a drop to drink with clean water supplies being off for days.

It seemed that is some places the ground could not soak up the water enough to avoid causing damage and in other places it was the fabric soaking up too much water that caused the damage and it needed time to dry out. The debate as to the cause of it and who is to blame, will rage on for many months I am sure, yet the soaking in or the not soaking in will be part of the issue.

Yet today in the church of God the notion of soaking (waiting) is part of the landscape of the community of God’s people in the initial stages of a move of God, and we are beginning more and more to encounter the intimacy of God and the immediacy of his presence.

Read more: Contemplative Prayer, Tarrying, Waiting, Soaking & Marinating – Part 2 - Soaking it in!