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Prayer Request: Following Jesus to Netherlands & USA

Today, Wednesday 5 Sept, Gill and I fly to the Netherlands and the US to teach at the Vineyard Leadership Institute. VLI operates in both Europe and the US. I will be lecturing a few courses: Healing 1 (Equipping to Minister Healing in the Power of the Spirit) and Healing 2 (Receiving Healing in Six Dimensions), and Doing Reconciliation (The Gospel Mandate of Reconciliation in regard to social transformation, and specifically in regard to racism, classism and sexism). This will be besides ministering at the weekend services in Amsterdam Vineyard, and in Columbus Vineyard in Ohio, USA.

I want to share our itinerary and preaching/lecturing times (below) as a request for prayer – and this schedule includes our trip to do a weekend conference at Newton Park Methodist Church and to speak at the Vineyard National Conference in Port Elizabeth at the end of September. I will be stretched to the outside limit of my stamina in taking on this intense teaching and traveling schedule (Gill has berated me for accepting so my commitments!! But she is traveling with me as a support and especially to keep me in check!! Help me Jesus!!)

So we covet your prayers for God’s protection and supernatural strength, stamina and good health. And of course pray that God may anoint me to teach his Word with great boldness and authority, and that he will stretch out his hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders in the name of his holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:29-30). Thank you! We are very grateful for prayer – we can do nothing without Jesus! Continue reading Prayer Request: Following Jesus to Netherlands & USA

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Feedback from Teaching at Global School of Supernatural Ministry

In late July I went to Umhlanga Rocks in Durban at the invitation of the Global School of Supernatural Ministry. There were about 15 students who are doing a one year program. I was invited to lecture one day on “Doing Reconciliation” (racial, economic and gender reconciliation) and then three days teaching on “Doing Healing” – as in what I call The Six Dimensions of Healing:

Continue reading Feedback from Teaching at Global School of Supernatural Ministry

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Following Jesus @ Valley Vineyard

I’m really excited about next week Sunday, 1 July 2012.  Why? I begin preaching at Valley Vineyard, after fulfilling all my prior commitments to Sunday preaching at other churches.

Since my last blog explaining the important (and rather dramatic) shifts that have taken place in Gill and my life, here’s a brief update. In following Jesus to Valley Vineyard I’ve engaged with the leadership and staff and some members over the past two to three weeks, in response to the invitation to give leadership to a process for 2 to 3 months – in order to make firm decisions as to the way forward for Valley Vineyard, for Gill and I, and for our colleague (the current team leader). We are presently making final decisions as to budget cuts, among other things… and implementing them. So it’s all happening! Pray for us!!

But my purpose in communicating is to say I’m soooo looking forward to getting into the flow of preaching at Valley Vineyard. Sunday 1 July will be my first opportunity to give perspective and initial direction in a “family talk” to the church. Then Gill and I have a 10 day family holiday. And then I begin a series of teachings on Sunday 15 July, which will run for 9 consecutive Sundays, called “Restoration and Renewal”, based in the book of Isaiah. I cannot tell you how much I’ve missed – over the past four years – preaching and teaching sunday by sunday, pastoring and building up a community of faith through the regular exposition of God’s Word. The Word of God has a power of its own. When faithfully proclaimed under the anointing of the Spirit it penetrates and cuts like a two-edged sword, exposing all sorts of stuff, and working God’s sure progressive transformation on the inside. Continue reading Following Jesus @ Valley Vineyard

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Report on Cape Town Ministry Trip

Gill and I returned home on Sunday night tired but filled with gratitude to God for the great time of ministry in Christian Life Camps Bay, Cape Town. I must confess: I did not take photos of the church and/or leadership meetings, or even the Saturday quiet retreat! I just took pics of beautiful Camps Bay itself! Forgive my carnality! Camps Bay with Lions Head mountain

On the first Sunday (15 April), and during the week, I taught on the call for every follower of Jesus to minister healing to others in the name of Jesus – what we call “equipping the saints.” This included me teaching the practical 5 step model of healing ministry. All those who came to this session practiced it with excitement and good feedback. For many, if not most in the congregation, it was a first to lay hands on people, and to see God work through them in ministering some measure of healing to others. Hopefully some will become really “hooked” on the joy and adventure of doing this Kingdom stuff … laying hands on anything that moves, speaking God’s words of healing by the power of the Holy Spirit!A room with a view!

This past Sunday morning (22 April) was a blast! I spoke on receiving healing in one or more of the six dimensions of human personality: spiritual healing, psycho-emotional healing from past hurts and bad memories, healing from demonizations, physical healing, relational healing, and healing of death and dying.  Many people responded all over the congregation in both the 0800 and 0930 morning services. All we could do was general ministry to those who responded, with everyone else standing up and laying hands on them to impart God’s healing presence. It was really wonderful. There is NOTHING like the quiet moving of the Spirit, the pregnant presence of God that fills the atmosphere, with people crying softly, others trembling, and many being touched and freed up in all sorts of ways. There is NO substitute for God’s manifest presence. It cannot be engineered, manufactured, hyped, or pretended, just invited. My beautiful wife on the rocks (don't tell her I said this, she doesn't read my blog!)

Continue reading Report on Cape Town Ministry Trip

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Baptist Pastors Retreat – “Isaiah 58 Network”

Gill and I went to the beautiful town of George (the Southern Cape, South Africa) a Christian Guest farm called Carmel. We were invited to lead a pastor’s retreat from 24 to 27 October, for a group that call themselves the Isaiah 58 Network. They are ministers in the Baptist Union of Churches that are seeking the renewal of the Holy Spirit, not just of the ‘signs and wonders’ kind, but also in the area of social justice – hence Isaiah 58 (it’s worth reading). There were just over 50 leaders mainly from the Eastern and Western Cape.

The way into Carmel Christian Guest Farm
To Carmel guest farm

We were overwhelmed with the beauty of the place. See the photo of the view from our room. The gardens were so fragrance and full of blossoms. The food was delicious – we added a cubit to our stature! But above all, the pastors and leaders were so warm and receptive and open to the Spirit. We felt so at home. They drew the Word of God out of me like sponges soaking up water! And their sense of worship and waiting on God and receiving words from the Spirit, was such a refreshing for Gill and I. It is so amazing to me that we come to minister to them, but so often on retreats and ministry trips of this nature, we are the ones who are ministered to! We went home full of joy!

View of the ocean from our room
This is the view from Carmel

I was asked to teach on Isaiah 58 with a focus on social transformation, healing and spirituality. The first night I shared my personal journey in following Jesus in ministry as a spiritual leader. Then over the next two days I gave five teachings on the themes just mentioned. We spent more time doing Spirit-ministry in the evening sessions, and many reported being deeply touched and cleansed and healed and empowered by God. What a privilege and honor to minister to pastors and leaders in this way. I feel so very grateful to God that I had this wonderful opportunity.

View of chapel on the hill
The lovely chapel at Carmel
Carmel chapel where the meetings were held

Here are two snippets of feedback – among others – that I got from some leaders soon after the retreat.

Alexander, I have so longed for a healthy marriage of the Word and the Spirit and am rejoicing at what the Spirit is doing in Isaiah 58. Your teaching, spirit and ministry was as rain to us all. Thank you once again.

Dear Gill and Alexander,  The more I think about the week that has just gone by the more I feel incredibly blessed to have sat under your ministry. There were four things that stood out for me and were a blessing. A lack of arrogance from both of you. SO many Christian leaders can lose touch with people. You are both so warm and humble. Secondly it was your awesome mix of knowledge and spirit. The Isaiah bunch can be a funny audience because as good Baptists they have the Word grounding but also have a desire for the work of the Spirit. Many people can be strong in one area and weak in another. You are well taught on both sides and blessed me in both ways. Thirdly your testimony challenged me hugely, your willingness to share your story and be vulnerable among a bunch of strangers. There is so much power in a testimony and it opened the ears of everyone in the room, it gave you a platform to share everything else you had to say. And finally, the partnership that you and Gill have really does speak volumes about the power of a good marriage and how it represents Christ to the world. So thank you for the time spent. I am probably not telling you anything that you don’t already know but I felt I needed to tell you that as a ‘thank you for being who you both are’ sort of mail. God Bless.

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Ministry Trip to Global School of Supernatural Ministry (GSSM), 6 – 10 Sept 2011

I didn’t send out a report after this trip because when Gill and I got back home one of my teeth became seriously infected. I’ve been through two weeks of the most terrible pain. The short story is that I had to have dental surgery to extract the tooth and to scrape the infection from the jawbone. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy!! Anyway, I’m now recovering and I want to share with you our experience to thank those of you who prayed for us – God answered powerfully!

Anointing with oil
Anointing with oil

When I wrote Doing Healing, Randy Clarke from the USA wrote an endorsement for the book. He was the guy God used to start “The Toronto Blessing” in the mid 1990s. He has since left pastoral work and has started an international ministry called Global Awakening, with Schools of the Supernatural in various places, to equip followers of Jesus to do Kingdom ministry in the power of the Spirit. He sent a team to South Africa to set up a GSSM. It started in February 2011, hosted by Harvest Church in Umhlanga Rocks, Durban. Randy is on record as saying in a number of places that, in his view, Doing Healing is the best book on healing out there! What a commendation! What an honour!

Teaching
Alexander teaching

So he invited me to teach Doing Healing at GSSM SA, from the Wednesday to the Friday, about 10 hours of teaching and practice. We were hosted with such generosity and kindness – treated like royalty!! There were 12 students and 5 staff members and one or two guests who came for the lectures. What great fun! I so enjoyed having quality time to teach eager students and then to practice ministry – for them to receive and to learn ministry. I was totally in my element, realizing that working with committed disciples/students who are in a structured process of learning, is one of the best things I can do with my time and energy. There is a real sense of impartation that takes place over a few days of intense time together in worship, prayer, teaching, discussion, and ministry.

Students ministering
Students ministering

Gill thoroughly enjoyed the trip as well, also getting stuck in during ministry times. We prayed for many students with a good flow of the prophetic gifts of the Spirit – insight, knowledge, wisdom, healing, deliverance, etc. There were some really strong power encounters and manifestations of the Spirit. Gill and I came home filled with joy and gratitude to God for such an awesome privilege that we can do this for God’s people. And what lovely people we met! We are the richer for the whole experience. We say thanks to Rosanne for hosting us, and to the GSSM staff and students for an amazing time together. Perhaps the best way to communicate something of the experience is to include an email from the GSSM administrator with brief comments from the students:

Ministering the kingdom
Ministering the kingdom

Hi Alexander,

 

Here are some of the comments/testimonies our students had following your time with us!

  • He was naturally supernatural, real and sincere…that really spoke to my heart
  • His love and compassion just flowed
  • He demonstrated the Word with power and love
  • One of the things Alexander said that really impacted me was, “the whole of me is

the most important part of me.”

  • “The prayer over me really touched me…healed a memory from many years ago.”
  • He spoke truth into “closed” areas of my heart
  • I learned a lot about discernment too and to hear what God is saying to me

They were also encouraged by the prayers and declarations spoken over them.  The two students who received deliverance thank you for your compassion during the process.

Things during this school year have naturally been building…one teaching has built upon previous teachings and our students are seeing how their foundations are being firmed and strengthened.  Thank you and Gill both for being a part of this process.  You are both treasures 🙂

Blessings and Joy!!

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Report on Norway Ministry Trip

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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New Book Release – Praying the Psalms

Praying the Psalms Volume One FlyerI’m so happy to say my new book has come from the publishers hot off the press!

Praying the Psalms is the first volume of a new series by Alexander Venter. Learning to Pray will enable you to not only practice daily prayer, but also to develop a life of prayer. It’s a personal prayer journal for spiritual growth. Designed for individuals and small groups, this twelve-week program imparts the tried and tested wisdom of the most ancient of prayer books: the Hebrew Psalter. The meditation exercises will uncover the rich treasures hidden in David’s prayers, making the psalms alive, relevant and personal. As you work the psalm-prayers they will work you, transforming you into a living prayer of relational intimacy with God.

“Learning to Pray is a thoughtful and practical aid to assist you to enter the rich and wonder-filled world of praying the Psalms. No practice contributes to the spiritual development of the disciple of Jesus more than praying the Psalms – a practice that was central in the life of our Lord and has strengthened God’s people throughout the centuries.”

Bert Waggoner, National Director of The Association of Vineyard Churches, USA.

“Attentive to the Holy Spirit, Venter invites us to learn, pray and live the Psalms in authentic, life-orienting ways. With care and kindness, we are guided into a life of listening, responsive prayer that shapes our liturgos, our embodied practices in conversation with God. Venter reminds us that praying and enacting the Psalms takes practice, and he provides practical help to do just this.”

Cherith Fee Nordling, Professor of Biblical Theology at Regent College, Canada.

“You will undoubtedly benefit enormously from these meditations on the Psalms. Use it on your own, or equally, use it in home groups – either way, I think you’ll find Alexander has given us a wonderful resource for spiritual growth that will enrich your daily interactions with Jesus.”

John Mumford, Leader of the Vineyard Churches in the United Kingdom

To get a copy you can visit the Kingdom Treasures shop at http://www.kingdomtreasures.co.za/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=146&category_id=31&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

Or you are welcome to contact me by email on contact_me@alexanderventer.com

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Introduction

This blog – Alexander Venter – is the product of Alexander’s teaching ministry since January 1975 when he was ordained to ‘the ministry’ as a church planter and pastor. His years of experience, empowered by numerous significant relationships, has produced relevant resources in the form of teaching notes, audios, DVDs and books – to help all who want to follow Jesus, with a view to equipping them for life and ministry in God’s Kingdom. As a “teacher of God’s Word instructed in the Kingdom of Heaven, he brings out treasures from his storeroom, both old and new” (Matthew 13:52). This website makes some of these Kingdom treasures available to all who may be interested.