Partnership Ministries Update
Over the last several weeks I have been looking at the word “choice” in Scripture. We seem to be inundated with the ramifications of making choices – whether at a personal level or corporate level, or even within the global arena. We make choices every day on what we eat – or wear – or where we go – or what we choose to do – or not do. Some choices are somewhat mundane in character – while others can be life changing. Brexit was one such example! The UK has made a choice to leave the EU – it was a decision made by a small majority of British people – but a decision that will affect many in other nations.
The Power of Choice
-=Choices affect all walks of Life=-
Consider the many choices made this past season by those athletes that competed in the Olympics. Stories began to emerge of amazing breakthroughs for those who chose not to give up – but for others significant embarrassment over embellishing stories or using enhancement drugs. For one key Olympic official, his loss of reputation over the ticket scandal will probably remain with him for the rest of his life.
In politics, one key political leader in the legal sector of the United States has recently been found guilty of perjury. One well known car manufacturer is now liable for billions of dollars over their fuel emissions scandal. Top management had made a choice to cover up the truth – but in the end, it was the truth that began to emerge that has resulted in substantial financial loss. Each consequence was the result of a choice.
-=Joshua Was Serious!=-
Ponder the well-known words of Joshua – “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)
The context of the passage tells us that the people collectively declare they will serve the Lord since He had protected and provided for them in memorable ways. But Joshua wants to drive home the point that if they are going to say they will serve the Lord, then they really need to mean it since saying one thing but then doing something else has serious consequences.
-=This is an Urgent Theme in Scripture!=-
It is a fascinating passage to study since it reveals the urgency of making the right choices, before entering into subsequent stages of life and ministry that often lie before us. Although the people promised Joshua they would serve and obey the Lord (vs. 18, 24) Joshua knew that the old way of life could subtly influence them resulting in their reverting back to the wrong choice, which could easily become their stumbling block to entering into their inheritance.
Luke 15 reminds us of the Prodigal son who made a very wrong choice in choosing to take his inheritance before he was ready. As a result of turning his back on his father, he squandered everything and became so hungry that he longed to eat the food he was feeding to the pigs. It is a well-known Parable but in the end he makes another choice – a choice that resulted in his being reunited with his father, but not until he had experienced the famine that comes from making a wrong choice. Luke 15:14 is quite sobering – “After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need…”
-=Famine or Harvest – The Choice is Ours!=-
The Bible is replete with examples of choices being in concert with a famine on the land. Putting it another way, if we review the various illustrations of wrong choices referred to in Scripture –we will learn that they can result in…
Famine of Identity
Famine of Purpose
Famine of Destiny
Famine of Integrity
Famine of Intimacy
Famine of attaining a Breakthrough
And…… A Famine of Harvest.
And that is just the beginning! These are the consequences for an individual, a family, a Church, a Business, a City, a Province or State or County, and even a Nation. It is interesting how that young man in Luke 15 can so easily parallel a nation when its leaders make wrong choices and turn their backs on God. Surely this is what lies behind the famine of ethics and morals that seems to affect so many aspects of life today. Yet when the young man made his choice to arise and go to his father (Luke 15:18) – everything began to change – and he began to experience a totally different type of harvest – one of righteousness, royalty, identity and inheritance.
God also has made choices! Ephesians 1:4-9 puts it this way - “For He chose us in Him before the Creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as sons… in Him we have redemption through His blood…He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure….” In other words, He places His “DNA” within us – all that is needed to run a nation with His wisdom and protection.
This is what we inherit when we make our choice for the Lord! Little wonder Joshua was so insistent on being certain the people knew what they were choosing…
When we choose life - when we choose to live in the Fear of the Lord – when we choose to serve the Lord - then the Harvest is phenomenal! One such passage of Scripture that makes this promise is found in the first part of Deuteronomy 28. Choosing to live within the covenant of the Lord means …
We will be blessed….
In the city and in the country
In the fruit of our womb
In the crops of our land
There will be a blessing over our livestock
There will be an overcoming over whatever would try and defeat us
There will be security and protection in our coming in and going out
There will be an abundant prosperity in the labour of our hand – so that we can lend to many but borrow from none. Amazing! – just consider that for a moment!
Furthermore, there will be an authority and authenticity in who we are in the eyes of others – and so our identity – our purpose – our uniqueness and our destiny will be secure because our choice will have been borne out of obedience to His Word. As Joshua reminded his people, they will need to choose to reject every other god that attempts to make an overture to them. It is the same for you and me today!
-=Urgent Reminders For a Time Such As This=-
As we prepare for the last few months of 2016, I believe these are key reminders for all of us at a time such as this so that whatever choices we need to make are filtered through the eyes and heart of the Lord. The wrong choice leads to famine – while the right choice leads to harvest.
I write these words knowing that many questionable decisions have been made by nations and leaders in the past few months – and that we are on the verge of a Presidential Election in the USA unlike probably any other election in US history! But it is an election that will have significant ramifications given the state of global affairs at this particular time. Ethics and morals, currency and economics, politics and increasing terrorism – are just a few of the issues that surround our decision making each day.
These words of Joshua are ringing loudly in my spirit these days – “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) May this be a prayer we make not only for ourselves but also for those in leadership in our churches, cities, and nations today.
-=What Has Been Happening In Partnership Ministries?=-
The last 6 months have taken us to many areas – Nashville – Kansas City - Florida – California – West Virginia – Alberta – Hungary - Kentucky – England – Northern BC - and more recently to several venues throughout Australia.
We have been working with leaders in a variety of areas of both marketplace and church ministry – as well as seeing amazing in-roads for the Lord in cities and nations based on the way people are allowing the Lord to position them and work through them. Indeed, it is a matter of these people choosing to make the right decisions as under the direction of the Lord.
During our recent visit to Australia it was so very encouraging to learn how thousands of people have now sought training in prayer under the Australian Prayer Network during this last season. This is highly indicative of God preparing that nation for something quite extraordinary. Keep checking our Blog section for new blogs that give brief updates on our travels – and why it is that your prayers means so much to us.
Scotland - England - Northern Ireland - and the Republic of Ireland
During the last 4 months of 2016, we will be back in Scotland for a month of venues – some of which are in-house gatherings as leaders come together seeking to determine what the Lord is requiring of them in a day and age such as this. We will be having one final Leading From The Front Ministry School with Ellel Scotland during October 5th – 12th. It is not too late to sign up – the Highlands of Scotland are quite amazing and this ministry centre is totally amazing. For leaders in the Marketplace and the Church – this School is for you! Check the Ellel Ministries website – or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We will also be returning to Ellel Grange in England at the end of October to participate in their International Leaders Gathering at which time I will be sharing on what I see happening in the Church at Large and in the Global Scene as it is currently emerging. Then we continue on over to Northern Ireland where we will be participating in various venues throughout the land between November 3rd – 21st. We are being hosted by our friends in Transformations Ireland – we recommend you visit their website and/or contact them for full details concerning these various venues – and if you are able to join us – we would love to see you at any of them!
We will also be in the Republic of Ireland for an initial seminar in the Wexford area before returning to Canada mid-November. Again, check details on the website above for full details.
-=Check our whereabouts in 2017=-
New Zealand – Florida – Australia – Ontario – England – Rochester NY – BC
In December we will have a further Partnership Ministries Update outlining where we will be during 2017. As of now – we are fairly well booked up for the entire year – and will be in New Zealand – Florida – Didsbury (Ellel West) Alberta, then back to Australia in March and April working with Ellel Ministries in Perth as well as at the Sydney (Gilbulla) base – along with a first-time visit to Tasmania.
We will be returning to Kitchener, Ontario for a weekend seminar April 28th – 30th and then returning to England for a series of regional meetings during May for “Healing England.” We will be saying more about these particular meetings in the next Update. This only takes us up to the beginning of June! Please check our web calendar for a complete listing of all our 2017 venues.
We will also be in Rochester NY, back to CCLF in the Canadian Cariboo, followed by a return visit to Ellel Pierrepoint for a seminar (August 11th – 13th) that is entitled “Strategic Prophetic Intercession”. Please join us if you are able – this will be a highly strategic seminar for the coming season.
Then back to Canada followed by a further return to the UK for venues with Ellel Glyndley Manor in England (August 30th – September 3rd) and then Ellel Scotland for a new Course that we are currently developing (September 9th – 16th).
This new Course at Ellel Scotland will include in-depth teaching on authentic Revival and Transformation and how to understand the Urgency of the Times in which we live. Tools for effective ministry and strategic breakthrough will all be part of the course content. But many new topics will be shared during that week together.
Hopefully we may see you at some of these venues.
Come and join us in the North – September 28th – October 3rd, 2017
If you live in North America – please mark in your calendars now a highly strategic conference that Steve Fry and I will be leading at Cariboo Christian Life Fellowship – September 28th – October 3rd. Pastor Rick Barker is hosting this conference – it will be an amazing time together. More details in the coming months.
If you have not visited our website recently – we invite you to do so since we have been making quite a few changes – www.partnershipministries.org Our web calendar is there – along with coming new items on our FAQ as well as a variety of our resources that are available through our shopping cart. Our new book In Holy Fear continues to have impact upon a number of communities for which we are thrilled. If you have not yet seen a copy – you can access this via our web – or through Amazon or on Kindle.
-=A Final Thought=-
A Mandate and a Charge!
At the beginning of this year we spent time asking the Lord what was on His heart for us as a ministry and what He may be specifically wanting us to share during this year in our travels. He made it quite clear that our “charge” this year was the charge Paul gave to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-5. In fact this charge has a legal nuance attached to it in that the higher court (God – Jesus Christ) – expects us to implement here on earth the mandate to Preach the Word, to be Prepared in season and out of season – to Correct, Rebuke, and Encourage…the context of this charge explains why. We are living in serious times – sound doctrine is being compromised – and people are being led astray with myths and non-Biblical teaching.
-=Have No Fear Of Being An Authentic Voice!=-
We are living in an amazing time of history for the Church to be the voice of the Lord – without fear or embarrassment – since if we make the right choice – He will always back His promises. It is a serious Choice – it is a serious Charge – since it will either lead to harvest or famine.
-=Yours Prayers and Encouragement=-
We are so grateful to you for your prayers and encouragement and to those who are able to support us in the ministry. We honestly could not be doing this without you.
Our love and thanks and blessings,
Alistair and Marie…and all of us at Partnership Ministries