Thanks:  A heartfelt thanks to those who prayed for me. You have participated in a real but mystical way in what God did while I was in Norway.  One day when all is revealed you will see how your prayers partnered God – and me – in the work we all did together. Thanks for this labor of love.

Worship at the conference

Some of the conference participants

The Facts:  I gave two inputs on church government, biblical leadership and models of leaders and teams, to the Vineyard pastors who had gathered in Kristiansand. We had a great time of ministry to each leader. The weekend public conference had five meetings. I addressed 1) Understanding intimacy with God and others, 2) Intimacy in sexuality and spirituality, 3) How to build intimacy with God and others, 4) Healing blockages to intimacy, and 5) Characteristics of a mature intimacy. We had extensive Spirit ministry after each session.

Yummy snacks at the conference!

Coffee and yummy food during the break

Then I went to Larvik, three hours drive from Kristiansand. The first night I met with the broader leadership team of the Vineyard and talked through leadership issues. The next night I addressed a public meeting of the congregation on “The 10 Communications of God” – a prayer that Gill and I developed years ago and pray often (available on request!) – to develop intimacy with God. I also had the privilege of addressing pastors at an ecumenical meeting for church leaders in Larvik. It was a particular honor. I spoke on keeping our hearts soft and tender in God’s love to be authentic spiritual leaders. The danger of hurt, going through the motions, hardening of the heart, and professionalization, is ever present for pastors. One young pastor announced at the beginning of the meeting that he had resigned as the pastor of his church. He was tearful as I shared. My heart went out to him as I saw such pain in his eyes.

Leaders meeting in Larvik

Some observations:

  1. The recent massacre of young people has struck deep into the Norwegian psyche. Christians are praying it will turn people to God. I felt a hunger for God and desire for revival among the people I mixed with.
  2. The love, hospitality and appreciation of the people were overwhelming!
  3. I felt an unusual freedom in preaching and teaching God’s Word. There was authority and conviction by the Holy Spirit. People said they were liberated and healed by hearing open and honest talk about sensitive issues.
  4. The extensive ministry times were marked by a strong sense of God’s compassion, with lots of tears and manifestations of the Spirit. I’ve seldom experienced such an outpouring of love from the Father.
  5. Healing went deep in terms of unseen “inner healing”, touching serious levels of psycho-emotional, sexual and relational brokenness.
  6. Men in particular need healing from broken masculinity, and couples need to be ‘unblocked’ to restart the fountain and flow of true intimacy.
  7. I can tell of individual stories, but I’ve kept this report short. It was one of my most enjoyable ministry trips. I had an unusual sense of God’s presence in the form of love and tenderness in ministry, and freedom in teaching God’s Word.

Please pray for Gill and I as we go to Durban for me to teach at a Bible School at Harvest Church in Umhlanga Rocks, from Tuesday to Friday (6-9 Sept)…. thanks so much!

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