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Mount God – part 1


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In Ps.24:3, King David throws out the question, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord, who may stand in that holy place…?”. Personally, I love the way that Peterson renders it in the Message, using the phrase Mount God instead of Holy Hill. The reason I love this is because I feel it better conjures an image of an Everestesque mountain rather than a recreational tor on Dartmoor.

A life of purity and holiness rarely feels like a walk in the park or an amble up Hay Tor. In reality it is never a walk in the park. The pursuit of God and His holiness is a pursuit that requires God Himself to push us up when we lose our footing or the finger-numbing frost-bite means we can’t hold on. God is always at our side as we negotiate sheer faces and crumbling foot-holds.

Scaling Mount God is like committing to climb Everest in the knowledge that few make it and some don’t return at all. Just in the same way that it would be obscencely foolish to climb Everest without supplys of nourishment and oxygen, climbing Mount God without firm faith in God’s unfailing grace and commitment to us would also be futile.

You see, when the ferocious artic winds lash at our faces and when icey crevices seem to give way from underneath our feet, God is always there to push us up. He’s already there in the Holy Place (it is  a place, guys) also pulling us up: He cheer-leads; He forgives; He inspires and he promotes love-sickness for Him in our hearts. Love-sickness with Jesus is the purpose of the spiritual discilpines.

I want to be a God-seeker, a God-quester. The exploration of holiness is an obsession. This will also be your obsession if this resonates with you as God Himself forms His otherworldly character in our jars of clay.

We desire to be like God and gaze at Him in His Holy Place. We desire to witness an open heaven and the fruit of righteousness in our lives and others. We desire to see nations saved,  raised and reformed in rigteousness.

And so our prayer must be:  “Holy are You Lord, sanctify my heart”.

But make no mistake, we need to decide to climb. There are no short cuts or base camps but there is the prospect of standing in the Holy Place as Nathanael must have imagined as he reeled after Jesus had seen him under the fig tree. Nathanael was promised visions of angelic ascensions and descentions but Jesus had also shown us that there was nothing false in him…he was a genuine article. He was a God-seeker climbing Mount God but when Jesus called him he must have had a stumble. That was ok though – God was there to lift him up, spur him on and give him a commissioning that focused on the Kingdom that had come and was standing in front of him.

TBC

NPF

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IHOP


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Dear All

It seems ludicrous that it was well over 12 months ago since I last blogged – I agree, it is. But I guess that blogging can really come to the fore when you are travelling or have a particularly unusual event to write about….well, I currently have both.

I am travelling around the USA with my bro, Steve, and having a quality time. The main purpose of our visit was to check out the International House of Prayer (IHOP) based in Kansas City, directed by Mike Bickle and over 3000 voluntary missionary staff.

It is fair to say that this place is a phenomenon. Perhaps this is a shame because it would be awesome if there were more Houses of Prayer around the world, led with such excellence and verve.

What is the ‘Prayer Room’ all about, I hear you ask. Well, in 1999 a team of worshippers, prayers and intercessors started a 24/7 prayer and worship gatehring. Nothing unusual about that, granted, except this hasn’t ceased since that date! The ‘Harp and Bowl’ style of prayer and worship includes musicians, singers, intercessors and I guess you could call them ‘readers’ who speak Scripture over the music. Sometimes the music will direct the prayers and sometimes the prayers will direct the music. These guys know how to flow.

I’ve heard a couple of inspiring songs since I’ve been here, some thought-provoking lyrics but quite a lot of the melodies are quite non-descript. This isn’t an entirely bad thing though because it means anyone can pick the song up quickly and enter into the spirit of what is happening. I like that. But i would like to hear some more dynamic melodies that compliment the awesome lyrics a bit better.

Above all, I love the way the musos and BVs flow. I am sure part of this is human genius, but more so I am aware of God’s hand in and amongst it all. The primary goal is to glorify God, to love Him as we should. John Piper says that ‘God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him’ and this Christian hedonism certainly is Biblical. Where this may be theoretically exemplified in Minneapolis it is fleshed out in radical abandon here in Missouri, (I say that having never visited Bethlehem Baptist Church, but I will do one day – to learn from them too).

I must go as I have been on for longer than my permitted 10minutes, but suffice to say the culture here is breath-taking. It inspires me to write more songs and spend longer crafting them. I am challenged to improve as a musician and to be all I can be for God and His beloved. And on that note, the language is rich here. It’s not ‘seeker sensitive’ but it is dynamic and full of prophetic meaning.

I must go, i have had about 11 minutes.

Love

Nick

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Inauguration


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Dear Reader

“With Him all things are possible”

Ten months ago, the term “Blogging” meant about as much to me as complex world of mathematics, or the equally bizarre world of abstract art. It was the kind of thing that I would have heard about briefly in a commercial break, or possibly overheard being discussed in a telephone conversation between two people I didn’t know, and weren’t likely to know because they weren’t my ‘kind’ of people.

But this electronic world of journalling on the Net was opened to me by a modern-day legend called Rob Waller. I say “legend” because with friends you can always over-exaggerate, and he is a good friend – a very good friend. I would like to briefly say a little about him here as without his influence on my life I would still think that a “Blog” is a Star Trek term used to denote a specific alien life-form from a so-called planet.

Rob is the founder and director of Mind and Soul, a Christian organisation committed to bridging the historic gulf between mental illness and Christianity. These subject areas of mental wholeness and Christianity will no doubt form part of the content of my blog as the connection between Rob and I goes beyond being merely ‘Chrstian brothers’. (It is always noteworthy when two human lives have a sharpening effect on each other). Without wanting to give inaccurate information, it will suffice to say that looking at http://www.mindandsoul.info will provide the best over-view of Rob’s heart. So I will endeavour to relate some of what I write to Mind and Soul, its creators, its partners but also to the wider array of what ‘makes me, me’.

I will chat about Jesus Christ a heck of a lot – He is the true author of life and the reason I live, and that you do too, for that matter. The Word of God and worship of Him will also be areas that I will write about, as will football (that is soccer to you ‘non-Brit’s’), the world of fitness and health, sports injuries – things like that.

I want to also formulate some of my thoughts about the issues of sexual purity and Christian leadership. Your thoughts about this specific area are welcomed, guys.

So, it is my pleasure to warmly invite you to sit back, read, think, write, comment and contribute to this Blog that, for the time being, will be called Firebrand. Maybe, like everything else in life, it should be sub-titled, “Under Construction”.

C ya

Nick reading at Beulah
Nick reading at Beulah

Nick Franks