April 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
‘Oh my gosh’.
This week has been a very powerful and awe-inspiring week.
At our church we are doing 40 Days of Purpose, using the book ‘The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren
Pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California. It is an extremely powerful book if any individual is prepared to open their heart to what God wants for them.
Personally, although I have always loved Jesus, I was not a practicing Christian for forty years. During this time I was always aware of God and what He thought about me and the things and situations that I got myself into.
Being involved in this six-week course, although just in the first week, has already shown me that what I have already learnt from the book and had my eyes opened to was already instilled within me. The only reason I did not realise this was because my eyes were closed to it and also my ears. However, my heart was still with the Lord, and I had learnt a lot about how I should allow my life to be organised by God without even knowing it. Rick Warren tells on the very first page of his book that God had planned the moment that I picked up the book to start the course.
In Ephesians 1:11 we can read that it is in Christ that we find out who we are, and what we are living for.
It struck me on that first page, that God knew before He created the world that I would read this book, do this six-week course and be touched by the fact that He chose me because He knew I would honour Him, Love Him and glorify Him. At this time my own great great-grandfathers great great-grandfather had not even been born. How special does that make me feel. For God to want me Robert Russell to worship Him in all my ways truly is an exceptional honour. For God is the ‘King of Kings’, ‘Lord of Lords’, the ‘I am’ the ‘Alfa and Omega’ He chose me Just as He chose you. Why would I not want to worship Him in all my ways, glorify Him in all my ways, consult Him in everything I do, and Love Him unconditionally.
Page nine is headed ‘A Journey With Purpose’, I am not even looking at the first chapter yet, just a page that tells me how to get the best from this book. But God had already pre-wired me with a predetermined time, after Rick Warren had written the book ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. God knew that the book would awaken within me something that He had put there before the creation of the world.
Within the Forty Days of Purpose course, small focus groups have been set up. I myself attend two because I knew before we started the course that I just had to get this teaching rooted deep within me. Both of the sessions that I have now attended once, have been so powerful in their own way and I have no reason to believe that the power within the groups will not grow and grow and grow. Getting to know others that you have seen around for many years but not really spoken to is in itself a wonderful experience, and the subjects that come up within the focus group are a learning curve for many I am sure.
This morning 29th April 2012 saw our first church service while the course has been going. The worship was taken to another level, by our wonderful worship team, and the congregation was so on fire as was our Pastor as always. Truly the Holy Spirit was there as there was a sweet scent in the air.
This may seem a little far-fetched and beyond understanding for many, but there will also be many of you in Gods kingdom and some that do not know him yet, that will also understand this completely. I give praise and thanks to God for that. As you can see, this journey will have a great purpose and a powerful one it will be, of that I have no doubt.
I will over the next six weeks be looking at this from my perspective and sharing my thoughts with you. I greatly look forward to what God is going to reveal during the next week, and pray that He will touch the hearts of many.
Meanwhile, be good – you know you should, and if you tried you know you could.
April 8, 2012 § Leave a comment
And a very happy and blessed Easter to you all.
This week we will divert from my book, to look at the most prolific, awesome and selfless act ever known to this world, even though not believed by many.
The Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. In my opinion, this was an act of total selflessness on two counts. Firstly by our Heavenly Father who gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins on that cross.
Let’s look at this for a moment. Would you or I ever contemplate allowing our own son to be whipped, spat at, ridiculed and nailed to a cross, just so that other people’s sins could be forgiven. You can bet your life we would not.
So then in that case why would we not….
Simply because we do not have the capacity to love with the depth that God can. His love is totally and utterly immeasurable because He is the one and only one, meaning that there is no one that can come close to the magnificent and all-powerful God that He is.
His Son, given for the forgiveness of our sins and our chance to have everlasting life. Jesus lived on this earth with us for thirty-three years. Towards the end of this time, Jesus knew what He had to do. However what could have happened if Jesus had decided to say He was not going to give Himself to die for His fellow-man. Where would we be today. There would be no forgiveness of sins for a start, then there is the distinct possibility that over the centuries since Jesus, the church would have just drifted away because people were just not interested. Can you imagine what life would actually be like today if that had happened. Lawlessness would be worldwide to a far greater degree than it is today I would think, satan would possibly be trying to assert himself as some sort of King on earth, and because of our total lack of wisdom we would naturally see him as some sort of saviour and follow him.
Boy oh boy, just writing this I can feel the heat of hell around me, and have to take a deep breath and give thanks to the Lord for His act of love. We may be blinded by the heat of hell so that we just cannot see what we have been led into, there would be no way back just because there would be nowhere to go, hell in a hand basket I suppose. I am actually sitting at my desk pondering over what it could be like, terrible.
Fortunately for us, Jesus had no choice because He was given to womb of the virgin Mary for one purpose and one purpose only. The redemption of man, the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, to put it into one word it is to be ‘SAVED.’
In my home town of Gravesend in the UK we were privileged to have a pageant staged in our town by the drama group from the church that I attend.
City Praise Centre alongside other churches from our town of Gravesend did the community proud. The act of the beating of Jesus during his judgement and afterwards was amazing and very realistic. Hearts were heavy all over the community square for what Jesus had to endure on our behalf. But praise God that He did endure it and did not say no.
Because of the selfless act of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ we can now look at the cross and see that he was resurrected, because the cross is empty for He is risen. They say that it is possible to do something too much, but where God is concerned it can never be too much so I am going to attach a poem which I put on the website a few days ago.
R. O. R.
© January 2011
That’s it for this week, enjoy the Bank Holiday.
Meanwhile, be good – you know you should, and if you tried you know you could.
April 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
It seems a long time since I last wrote on this blog, well it is two weeks after all.
Sorry if you have missed the updates, but my normal daily work and home life has had to take preference as things got very busy for a while and spare time was like gold dust. Hopefully though, things are now back on track and I can get straight again.
This week I am going to be looking at chapter six of my book. The wrong approach.
1) Bitterness is a cancer,
2) Love yourself to love others,
3) Forgive yourself to forgive others.
Bitterness is a cancer
Yes! Bitterness is a cancer. When you hold a grudge against someone for whatever reason, it gradually gnaws away inside you. Not necessarily noticeable at first, but believe me it is there doing its nasty little job of work.
In our heads we seem to convince ourselves that we can forgive and forget, but really we want to shout and scream at the person(s) concerned, or worse still do harm to them, or we might carry out some sort of vendetta in our own heads but not actually doing harm to them. Which by the way would then land us in trouble with the police. Maybe even the start of a criminal record.
So we have a cancer growing inside caused by our own attitude towards somebody. Notice that I said caused by our own attitude, not everything can be blamed onto satan. Although we may be in some areas living the way that he wants us to live, we have allowed it to happen. Either way we have it and may have been caused by someone whom we have to work with, is a member of our family or church or association. How are we going to deal with that cancer, the solution is to say sorry, that done we can now carry on as before. Wrong, if we just carry on as before the cancer will eventually return.
So where did this bitterness/cancer come from, it is of our own making.
Because we initially decide that we won’t say anything to the person concerned because we can cope with it, we lock it away. Rather like a block of cheese being put in the fridge because we know the fridge will keep it fresh, but there are changes taking place which we cannot see. Eventually those changes become evident in the form of mould. Ok! I know that we can cut the mould off and still eat some of the cheese, but if we put the cheese back into the fridge and leave it there for a while it will soon develop more mould.
It is rather like that when we have this lack of forgiveness inside us. As already mentioned it begins to gnaw away at us on the inside and the mould i.e. bitterness/cancer begins to form. Eventually the resentment that builds up within us starts to change us as a person, not in all points of our personality but in areas that would cause us to think about the reason for this change.
Love yourself to love others.
Before we can forgive the person(s) who done wrong to us, we must forgive ourselves and learn to love everything about ourselves. For it is not possible to love someone else if you are unable to love yourself. Within the ways of the world this may be seen as narcissism (from Greek Narkissos) where one is too much in love with oneself. In the spirit you have to be love to give love. For we are made in God’s own image and God personifies love. Love is embodied within itself and gets stronger and stronger with love.Without this no man can truly love, therefore without love you cannot give love.
Forgive yourself to forgive others.
Without love you cannot forgive, just as you have to forgive yourself to be able to forgive others. This is so important to be able to give true forgiveness to others that have done wrong to you. Why would anyone want to live life with the turmoil that unforgiveness can cause, living within them. It binds you up, limits your capacity for happiness and much more. Having personally experienced this cancer, I can say with true conviction that being let free through forgiveness and love is a wonderful feeling a true blessing from God. If you have never felt a true weight being lifted and being replaced with an unprecedented love, then you have yet to experience, one touch from the King.
Meanwhile, stay good – you know you should, and if you tried you know you could.
March 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
Sorry there was no blog last week, but things were a little bit manic as you will be able to see considering the details below, as well as the fact that I in fact wrote up my blog and whoops, I pressed the wrong button and deleted it by accident! I was too tired to start all over again and I just have not had a chance to re-write it until now.
Have I got news for….my followers.
Yesterday, saw the culmination of nine months hard work, prayer and great wonder. Now if you have been on twitter or Facebook you may already know the answer, if not, read on.
I BECAME A GRANDAD AGAIN.
Little Louis, well! I say little 10lb 4ozs not exactly little came into the world at 1:19 pm on Friday 9th March 2012. Perfectly healthy, all parts working and in the correct place. I give praise and thanks to God for this wonderful miracle that has been born into His kingdom here on earth.
Big brother little brother on the night of the birth
February 19, 2012 § Leave a comment
Nice to see you here again, thank you for continually dropping in for a catch up. Now I wonder which one you are waiting to hear about first, the shower or the poem. If I was in your shoes I would really like to read the poem first, that’s why I will tell you about the shower. Is that a Grrrr I can hear, all good things come to those who wait.
Ok! I will recap a few words just to refresh the area where beer cannot reach.
It is not unusual for me to talk to the Lord when in the shower, and often also where the Lord may lay something on my heart.
Why the shower? Well, it is to do with the water. Running waters have a very spiritual significance, and personally I have always found that I feel more at one with God when under running water than anywhere else. I feel His very presence on many occasions. It was in the shower that I learnt to be very careful what I ask God for even in jest. Water is pure (normally) and when I have a great time with the Lord I can come out of the shower on a spiritual high. Water is cleansing and I feel that I am washed clean not just bodily but spiritually as well. I was once given a vision that became a poem, where I was sitting beside Jesus at a pool in a heavenly garden and we were holding hands and just talking. Close by was a waterfall and the peace abounding due to the cascading water was amazing. This still holds for me when I am in the shower, and I have no reason to believe that it will ever change.
Now you know the significance of water for me in the shower.
A Poem from God
A poem that God gave to me the day after my mother’s funeral, had such an impact on me and my life to come. It is fairly common knowledge that when we lose a loved one whom we hold dear, it can take many years, normally about three, for us to progress through the grieving process to the point where we can fully accept the loss and move on without any feelings of guilt, remorse or other as this is a process which is different for many of us. This poem for me was powerful, as through it, God allowed me to do a complete grieving process from start to finish, I don’t know why but all tears, sadness, loss, regret etc, were replaced by joy as He allowed me to see and understand that my mother’s death was not pointless, and that it was the next step to eternal life, for which all Christians strive. I also felt and still feel that God knows I will follow what I feel He has placed on my heart, and use the poem and experience for the benefit of others who may be suffering in some way, where this account may bring them comfort at a much-needed time in their lives. Put together with the vision that I had in the shower which I spoke about last week, I would say without a doubt that this is the most profound experience that I have had for myself from God.
Here is the poem that was given to me by God.
With Jesus (Given by God at death)
Clouded eyes although they are green,
Most wonderful send off I have ever seen,
Flowers not many you said in your bed,
I do love them now but no good when I’m dead,
We honoured your wish and flowers were few,
Just two on the coffin as I sat in my pew,
The service was short both loving and kind,
To honour a life you have left behind.
A lady of honour and passion and pride,
Backbone of her life she did never hide,
It was Father God in heaven above,
That lived in her body that radiated such love.
At peace with no pain she does rest at last,
A life of great love that’s finished and passed,
But this is not true for her love does live on,
It’s seen in her children sons Robert and John.
Pillars of strength they got from their mother,
Something few people now give to each other,
We’ll honour your life which was solid and true,
We’ll tell other people that Jesus loved you.
We’ll tell them he’s everywhere and with them right now,
That their life is His and He’ll touch it and how,
Just call out to Jesus as our mum had done,
And live life to the full and a glorious one.
Dear mum you are gone but you rest in our heart,
Memories to treasure and never depart,
But we’ll see you again with our Father and Lord
You stayed the full course of that we applaud.
Your spirit now resting in a casket above,
Surrounded in glory and covered in love,
With millions of others that Jesus did show,
‘You’ll see her again son’ ‘Yes Jesus I know.’
Once, twice, three times a lady,
When I hear that song it will send my head crazy,
Now your body is buried but your soul is not dead,
So I’ll look up and smile as I strive on ahead.
Well that is the poem and yes it did bring a tear to my eye, but then again at times so does a thought of my father who has been dead for fifty-seven years. Tears are all part of healing anyway so if you shed a tear or two when reading this poem just maybe God is allowing you to heal in some area of your life.
This week has been good, for one thing I had three days without work, being self-employed it happens at times. God however has used it to bless me in different ways. The best was on Saturday morning, I woke up and just knew that Jesus had touched me while I slept. I may not know how or what the blessing was, but I felt good, I felt really alive and I just had to share on twitter that I loved Jesus. It was without a doubt the most beautiful way to start any day. Thank you Lord for your never-ending love and for being my Dad. Blessings come in all shapes and sizes, and knowing what they are we may never know. Whichever way they come to you is it not wonderful when you realise that you have been blessed by the highest possible power in the land, universe, and stratosphere. Awesome, impacting, life changing and absolutely wonderful.
Next week, I will start to enlarge on areas of my first book “The Right Way’ see relevant page. so that you may gain a fuller picture on aspects of my life that have been spoken about.
Meanwhile, stay good – you know you should, and if you tried you know you could.
February 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
I hope that the last nine days has been productive, blessed and filled with love for you. What’s that! I hear you say, it hasn’t. Well now, let me give you an example of my week, and see if I can help you put things into some sort of perspective with a good outlook. Now last Saturday, hang on let me consult the diary, ok, last Saturday 4th February not a bad day at all. Weather not brilliant, cold, overcast. Busy day which went far too quickly like most Saturdays seem to. In the evening my wife and I went to a 50th birthday party. Drove there for five thirty, with dinner at six, left at ten thirty, what waited for us outside – SNOW. Not the ideal condition for driving in at the best of times.
Sunday, a good day no problems except that I felt a bit tight in the chest. And of course there was four inches of – SNOW outside.
Monday, I went to work did not feel too good but that’s life, some days we do some days we don’t.
Tuesday, a few problems work wise and I felt worse, still it is only manflu better known as the common cold, get on with it.
Wednesday bad news, I felt terrible, my whole body ached, my eyes ached, my throat was sore with a vengeance. Stayed in bed.
Thursday, not as bad but not good. Another day at home. But went to prayer group in the evening, wonderful, totally blessed because I was and could be a blessing to others.
Friday, back to normal, a few sniffles so what. Back to work and get life back on track
So what is the point of the above you are probably thinking, well it totally depends on how you look at what is happening in your life at any given time as to how you feel about things. You can be happy because you have been blessed, or unhappy and annoyed even arrogant towards others, because life has dumped this or that on you and you feel like rubbish.
My week was very mild compared to a lot of people’s week I dare say. However for me as an individual I could easily have allowed it to be a lot different. I could have been angry because it snowed, let myself get stressed because I had to drive in he snow. Think of all the bad things that could happen to me on seeing the four inches of it on Sunday morning. I could have let the next few days with the cold really get me down, making me grumpy and therefore allowing my grumpiness to upset or annoy other people including people I love. I could have allowed Wednesday and Thursday to turn into Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Feeling totally sorry for myself I could have got depressed and angry at the world, which could lead to being bitter and even more angry.
I chose though to take all these things in my stride, ok I had two days off. But you have to remember that I am on the wrong side of sixty and I did not want to be seen as if I was showing off as some sort of macho man who can grin and bear all without flinching, I jest. It is how we choose to react to what life brings our way that makes for a good or bad day or week. Then of course I have the added bonus of loving Jesus and allowing Him to guide me in all walks of life, I don’t always get it right in fact I very often get it wrong, but He loves me and forgives me as any loving father would. (by all means leave a comment). Enough already, let me go back to my first blog as there was still more to say.
Where was I, Oh yes last week.
Why did I have such a great peace over my mother’s death. One of the best ways to understand where I am coming from would be to read my book ‘The Right Way’
but I will try to do this in short.
About six years ago when I came back to the Lord He brought out from within me a gift that had always been there buried within me, it is the gift of visions and revelation.
The day my mother died was the 4th October 2011. I received the telephone call from the hospital at 6.40 in the morning. After the initial flood of tears in the loving arms of my new wife of four days and fourteen hours, I wondered briefly what was happening to my emotions. The following few hours was spent wallowing in self-pity at my own loss, and it was around eleven am I decided to have a shower or rather just stand under the shower and let it run all over me.
It is not unusual for me to talk to the Lord when in the shower and often also where the Lord may lay something on my heart. On this particular day of my mother’s death The Lord gave me a vision.
The Lord showed me two angels carrying a casket which was laid with cushioning of a beautiful soft and tranquil colour, laying on the cushioning was my mothers soul.
The angels placed the casket at the feet of God in between two other caskets. The one on the right had my sisters initials on it and the one on the left had the initials of my father.
The vision then lifted up to a panoramic view and I could see that it was the throne room and there were millions of caskets laying at the feet of the Father, resting for the time when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.
The tears stopped mixing with the cascading water from the shower and were replaced with a smile as long as a rainbow. Again I just knew in my heart that everything was going to be alright. I truly believe that all my grieving was done through that vision and a poem that God gave to me the day after the funeral. I will include the poem next week.
Well, I need to hold something back otherwise I will run out of things to say.
Yes I know, I heard all of you when the thought of asking came into your heads: Why do you pray when you’re in the shower? Well the answer is simple and if you would like to join me on my next blog I will tell you the reason.
Meanwhile, stay good – you know you should, and if you tried you know you could.