Sound of the Anvil
As an introduction just some background on why this is called ‘The Sound of the Anvil’. When I moved into Wales to become a ‘Pastor’ I lived and worked in a ‘church’ in a place called Tonyrefail, just outside the Rhondda Valleys. The name Tonyrefail when translated into English is ‘the sound of the anvil’ due to the amount of forges that were originally littered through-out the community. That constant sound of hammer on metal, the sparks, the fire, the water, the shaping of something through a continuous sounding and pounding. I found this very prophetic in terms of my own call and ministry gifting. A constant sounding out that would shape something. Entering a new year I would release my thoughts, dreams, hopes, what I sensed on God’s heart for the upcoming season. This is the sound of my heart and I hope the sound of the heart of heaven for 2012 and beyond.
Joining the dots
I believe that we are entering a season of joining the dots. At the moment there are many who are walking a new path but have found themselves in isolation or in the margins. There has needed to have been a season of pruning and cutting back and desert, of total dependance on Father, and without this season the next season may not be so fulfilling. Yet there is a need to connect, relate, see a bigger picture emerging. I saw a dot to dot book, I loved these as a child. Without joining the dots there is just a page of spots, each one independant of the others. As the dots are joined a picture begins to emerge. We will see an embracing of others and a joining in the journey through this season, not to create a static picture on a page but an ever shifting picture. Not joining to become the same and tell others how to do it, but a joining to share stories amd journey. To reap from one another. No one dot bigger than any others but all shaping something together that at the moment is unknown. Appreciating differences, loving variety, sharing life. New friendships will be formed during this time, strong friendships. It cannot all be done over an impersonal computer, but it can be done around coffee tables and in living rooms. No one person, or one connection is the full picture.
Undot the I’s and Uncross the T’s
This is the season to chill out a bit on the detail. Too many divisions, splits, arguments have been created by being too fussy on the detail. This happens so much in the area of belief and theology. I believe that belief and theology are important, but not at the detriment of relationship. Many splits have been created by the minuetist of detail. I always remember the Assemblies of God and Elim trying to re-engage with each other because of the division in their history between two brothers, Stephen and George Jeffries. The whole debate was over what was called ‘an Intitial’. The A.O.G. believed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues, Elim did not. This is probably not the full story but this was part of the reason the Jeffries brothers went in separate directions. How sad! How pathetic! Arguing our corner and our cause could break down a vital relationship to our understanding of a bigger picture. We all only see in part, the quicker we see that the better. God loves to mess up theology, when man has it all worked out God seems to reveal something new about Himself again. The problem is if we have dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s we have nothing new to learn. Big mistake.
Don’t mind those p’s and q’s
It is the season for refeshing raw honesty. Our faith has been wrapped up in nice flowery wrapping paper for too long. We are too polite for our own good. I am not on about offending for the sake of it, but we need language that may offend. We need people to speak out of the heart and not the head. We need people to say it as it is. For too long we have been a face value people. The question ‘how are you?’ always has the response ‘alright’ or ‘good’. Life is not always alright and good and we need people to communicate that fact. This is not to turn us into moaners but to turn us into people who speak truth, because the truth shall set you free. Eloquence will not change the world but truth will. Already there are those blogging with raw honesty, but these people will find space to share and bring life to others in the struggle. Raw honesty tinged with hope will bring love and release to many.
Remove the full stops and commas
In this season we need to remember that what we are a part of is a running story and not a text book religion. The original form of the Scriptures were not a book but a collection of parchments; letters, stories, dreams. They had no chapters, full stops or commas, but they were continuous stories of God walking and outworking life with His people. They could not quote verses at one another because they had none, all they could do was share what they had heard, seen, had passed down. Chapters and verses were added for our benefit to aid in study, but the intention was never for God to give us a text book of fundamental full stops and commas. The Acts of the Apostles (the sent one’s, which is all of us as we are all told to go) is an open ended letter because the story goes on today. We are a part of His story. We share the passed down Word as His given Word to inspire us to be the Word. Then wherever we go we bring life.
11,12 Dig and Delve
As we move from 2011 into 2012 I believe we are entering a season of deep searching and digging. Not laboriously but lovingly into Him and into our own hearts. The further we delve into Him the deeper we dive into love. In this digging we will find our rest and joy and peace. We need to dig and turn over what has gone before ready for a fresh planting in the Lord. A fruitful season for weary travellers. It is time to rummage through the rooms of heaven and our lives and we may be surprised by what we will find. I was reminded of a person who goes up into the attic of the house and starts rummaging through the bits and pieces and there finds treasures of the past. Maybe not of physical value but of great moments and precious times. This is the season of treasure finding. To delve is to remove something concrete. Those solid walls of the past will come down. Systems, belief patterns, religion, these things will continue to be challenged and dug away. 2012, the year to dig and delve.
Open Ended Conclusion
I am sure this is nowhere near the be all and end all of 2012. Praise God for that! It is just a sharing of the heart and I trust that something somewhere resonates with someone somewhere. Here’s looking forward to all that God has in store for 2012. Maybe this next twelve months will be a time to join the dots with some of you out there. Bless you good in this coming season, submitted in all humility and with much blessing, Paul.