Encounter Night

15th July, 2018

What can I say! Much to Stewart’s amusement I am writing this report with almost no memory of what actually happened. All I can say is God turned up. Rumour’s may service, but as far as I know, I spent most of the evening on the floor laughing and perhaps a tad drunk in the Holy Spirit (I am pretty sure that any other reports will be greatly exaggerated!).

I have been frustrated with Encounter Nights for some time – just knowing that God wants to do so much more but not seeming to personally access it. For me, it started on Sunday morning. I woke up feeling frustrated at the level of relationship I was currently at. In the morning prayer meeting I saw a picture of the Lord’s hand, holding lots of little flames. He said, “do you want it?” Obviously, I said, “yes!” We are experiencing such an amazing level of God’s presence yet how quickly we have become ‘used to it’. It’s like making do with the warmth of the Holy Spirit without seeing the fire (like a heat pump rather than an open fire) and we so need to stir up our hearts and cry out for more. Anyway, this all caused me to cry out to the Lord; “take me out or fill me up Lord!” I think that was what the Lord was responding to at Encounter Night. It seemed He was ‘taking me at my word’ … and it was just awesome!!   Today, I feel like God has shifted some things; perhaps doubts, worries, frustrations – I am not really sure. I just know he’s done ‘something’ and I feel ‘different’.

Stewart had a word that we were to stop the ‘plea’ for His presence and to come expecting. (In the place I was in I remember laughing out loud when I heard that as I thought; “too late, He’s already here!”)

Expectation is such an important and essential place to come to. When we come with expectancy our eyes (of our heart), our focus and our attention turns to Him. I think, expectation is tied up with hunger and when we come in that attitude – anything can (and will) happen. So, let’s take a moment to consider; what do you expect when you walk into Church, your Small Group, a prayer meeting? How about your own God time? Or, just in that moment of connection with God in conversation with someone or the middle of the night? How easily we reduce our expectation to ‘normal’ or ‘same old same old’! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go back to that place. I’ve been there and done that and ended up in a lukewarm state feeling disconnected with the Lord, bored, tired and disillusioned.

The Lord has so much more for us. My response to this? I am laying down the old flames that I can carry His new fire. If you are reading this today, don’t settle with the old, stale or comfortable! Come before the Lord expecting Him to touch you, lift you, fill you and fire you – and He will!!

More Lord

8th July, 2018

Our God is an awesome God, who reigns in heaven and earth, our God is an awesome God!!

Another Encounter Night and another encounter with God! How wonderful, how awesome is the presence of God.   The main theme of the night came from a picture that was seen of each one of us standing at a table. In front of each one of us was a large old type leather embossed open book. Each book was open about half way through. The front part of the book was full of written words; the story of our lives, what has been said and done. On the right hand page(s) of the book – it was blank. The interpretation was that we were not to keep on going back over the old stories or trying to rewrite history; not to get stuck going over things or holding onto regrets but to move forward. The blank page(s) meant that the Lord was starting (writing) a new chapter. We took some time to pray through and seek the Lord asking Him these two questions:

  • What is the heading (word or words) of this new chapter that the Lord is writing?
  • What may be the first line or paragraph (picture)?

Below is a small sample of what people shared:

  • Chapter title: New Beginnings

Go forward with my love and grace. Step closer to me

  • Chapter title: Proclaim My Victory

Behold, a new season is upon you. In the past you received my understanding, now you begin to live out of my understanding.

  • Chapter title: Without Me you can do nothing
  • Chapter title: New Things
  • Chapter title: Fresh wave of the Spirit

No one can be bored with God doing His stuff! Isn’t He just so incredible!

God is calling us forward – never backwards! How tempted we often are to go back and revisit our past. We love to reminisce about the good old days. We often find ourselves going around in circles and old patterns of behaviour or even fondly wishing for great times we once had in God. But!! Today is a new day and He is doing new things and we get to have new encounters and new experiences with Him. There are new and fresh chapters to be written; no matter how old we are, how tired we are or how much we know; God has got plans – and they’re good! Sometimes, we need to get over ourselves and embrace what the Lord is speaking over us and what He has anointed us to do. So, let’s take hold of the new! Allow Him to write a new chapter as you step into all the Lord is calling you to.

He has got more for us all – so keep knocking, keep seeking and keep asking for more!

‘More Lord’!!

1st July, 2018

23 people attended.
Holy Spirit time on the floor to began the night. Back in our chairs the people shared what they had heard from God.
There was a theme running through, all the words about learning from God, listening to him and following through on what he says. He’s always close enough to catch us if we don’t get it right.
4 people were praying Nattallie, Jean, Marilyn and Stewart, people came forward, onto the line for filling.
There was very much a feeling of the next move is close, but to access it we personally have to press in. Not just turn up and be blessed on the day .

24th June, 2018

What an awesome God we have! He just keeps coming, keeps showing up, keeps touching our ives and bringing the new & the fresh! I think in all of these Encounter Nights we’ve had, and the diversity & variety of our God in the midst of it all, HE IS CONSTANT; CONSTANTLY THERE, CONSTANT and FAITHFUL is our God. Nothing or no one can compare & His constancy, His faithfulness is because His love us!

One of the pictures I saw at the start of the night was the river and in t the middle of the river was a buoy anchored. In my picture I swam out to it and held on. This is what I believe God said to me, “So many people have ‘reached’ the buoy and it seems that this is popular and sort after destination. It seems that this is enough; but I am about to ‘wash them’, wash off this place because even though its ‘in the river’ and it offers safety, staying there stops you being carried by the current to further places and deeper water. The buoy is in swimming distance yet there is so much more to see and experience.”

The second picture I saw was myself floating down the river. After a short time I saw Jesus by the shore beaconing me in. As I reached the shore He reached out His hand to pull me up. As soon as he touched my hand I found myself sitting on a park bench looking over the river. I sat there, dripping from head to foot, not in water, but in oil. My face shone from it and it dripped from my hands and hair. This is what I believe God said to me, “Here is the anointing oil I want to cover you in, where there is no part of you not immersed, covered and saturated. I anoint all of you not just a part; a ‘whole heart anointing’. Be fully immersed in my presence. When this happens, every part of the world diminishes and all you see, feel, all that surrounds you is my presence.”

When we’re ‘covered’ in oil, we can’t hold anything; everything else slips through our hands. Nothing else can be mixed with the oil, except more oil! He said, ‘’you can’t mix the things of the Spirit. Wade into the oil of my anointing and it will wash away & neutralise every other thing.”

6 types of oil: anointing oil – call, rubbing oil – healing, refining oil – cleansing, igniting oil – fire, covering oil – protection and marinating oil – soak.

He went on to speak of putting a torch in people’s hands; “for when the oil has saturated the cloth, so it will burn as a torch that will light the way and that will ignite those who are called to carry the fire; Light the fire!”

I want to encourage those of you, reading this message, to go find the river wherever you are. Find a place to stand under His awesome anointing!! Don’t allow yourself to stay where you are no matter ‘how much’ you already have, because there is more, much, much more for you to find and to experience.

Encounter Night – every Sunday night Christchurch North Elim Church address 803 Main North Road at 7.15pm.

Everyone is welcome. Come and encounter God

More Lord!

10th June, 2018

My goodness, another amazing Sunday evening Encounter service! There are a few of us who meet at around 6pm to pray for the service and this Sunday was no different. Mary wasn’t too well and actually had to go home early, which was a shame. However, God was in the house and who could ask for more!

As people were arriving we prayed for each one for an open heart and for them to be taken to a deeper level in God. His presence was stunning. People were touched by his presence and it was like an appetiser for the evening. There were pictures of us entering in to the throne room of God, of going before him and laying our cares and issues before his throne so that we could be free from distractions.

That seemed to set the atmosphere for breakthrough and we moved into a time of spiritual declaration, declaring out our God given dreams and desires, salvations, gifts of the Spirit, healing etc. There were times of prayer when we stood with one another over spiritual renewal, times of praying healing and impartation, as well as times where we could just focus everything else out and have some ‘alone’ time with God.

Another wonderful night where God wrapped his arms of love around us and blessed us with his presence.

3rd June, 2018

Wendy writes, “All Encounter Nights are very different each week. It is a place where we learn to step in and listen to the still small voice that God speaks. I have had many different experiences and I know that I learn more every time I come along. This is where we learn to leave all our baggage behind, move and step in deeper into God’s loving arms. In all of this there has been highs and lows. I have found a new joy in my heart. I want a deeper relationship with our heavenly Father and I try to be a good daughter for Him. Thanks to all the people that have given me more tools to get through every day.”

How wonderful, how awesome is our God! We all are the work of His hand and the love of His heart. God continues to do some deep heart work in many of us; as we wait upon Him, He ministers to us so individually and uniquely in so many ways

I shared with the group a picture of a large empty jug. The simple message was; “we have to empty, for God to fill us.” And, the question; “what does the Lord want to fill us with?” We know He always wants to fill us with His presence, with the Holy Spirit, yet this takes on many forms and ways. These experiences are all definitely the Holy Spirit, yet can also be unique and specific for each one of us. Specific to our call, ministry, purpose, capacity and probably other influences as well. For instance, those with the gift and call of compassion, God fills us with compassion and other amazing blessings that compliment and grow this gift as only the Holy Spirit can. So, let’s consider for a moment; what does the Lord want to fill you with and further what do you do you want to be filled with? In His hand He has fresh and new and more; compassion, passion, anointing, joy, hope, faith, power, authority, His love, fruit of the Spirit, specific gifts, specific call or ministry, river, fire and oil.

And so the list goes on. Personally I want it all! However, the word says we are part of the body; all with different purposes and unique plans! Whatever we want and need we all know we need it fresh, we need it new (everyday) and we need it more, so, despite the ‘ tough stuff’, the challenges and trials, let’s step into all that the Lord has for us, embracing the new and asking, seeking and chasing more of Him. No matter what the cost, the time, effort or sacrifice; we say MORE LORD!

27th May, 2018

As I sit to write this report, I feel I could repeat many words I’ve already used, and yet so limited by our inadequate descriptions of the presence of God. I guess what I’m saying is His presence is indescribable, unimaginable and just awesome!! It was such horridly cold weather and we all thought it would keep people away, yet people came and as I thought about this I realise how hungry people are! Hungry enough to fight through hail and heavy rain, bitter cold just to meet with God!

That’s why He comes; that’s what draws Him.

A quote I’ve used before is absolutely appropriate here: ‘hunger is the landing strip of the Holy Spirit’. Oh, how our hunger brings His presence!!

Marilyn writes: “I saw a geyser that had a giant spike or peg, like a tent peg forced into the blow hole. Because the peg is like a cross (if you sliced through it) some of the water or steam seeps out occasionally. The peg is being forced into the geyser to stop it blowing. There is a cap on the end of the peg, kind of like the top of a drawing pin and the closer the peg gets to being completely pushed in, the cap on the end seals the geyser.

What is happening in the spirit is the ‘church’ overtime has gradually shut down the Holy Spirit but not completely. There is still evidence from time to time here and there as we all know. The enemy doesn’t realise that the pressure is building and it is only a matter of time before the geyser blows the peg out and the Holy Spirit will erupt and pour out, wider, then He’s ever done before”

The essence of what we are currently experiencing, the sense of so many is that ‘something’ in God is building and will come to a point of release. I pray, please Lord don’t let me miss it and I encourage every one of us to diligently and deliberately keep close to His presence! Keep hungry, keep desperate, keep chasing Him and let the cry of your heart shout out to Him; more, so much more Lord!

20th May, 2018

Right from the start we could sense a party! We started the night in that vein and as the Lord’s presence came it was an immediate soak! That all started at 6.40pm though technically we don’t start encounter night until 7.15pm. Isn’t it AWESOME the God shows up before His ‘allocated’ time! We often pray “whatever Lord”, yet He’s also saying ‘whenever’. Whenever we wait, whenever we ask, whenever we seek, whenever we knock, whenever we call. And that one word ‘whenever’ changes all the rules and cancels out all our little habits and rituals we develop around the presence of God.

We listened to a prophetic word is given to Stewart and the church just the day before; the highlights: Breakthrough is coming, Community impact, Not forgotten, Revival fire. And that confirmed what the Lord has been doing and saying to our congregation and at encounter night.

As the evening progressed there seemed to be a lot of ‘fire’ around and we were reminded of the prophetic word John spoke about Jesus; “he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” The challenge came, “who would put up their hand and say, Yes God, set me on fire and yes God, I’ll go!” Our God is a consuming fire, a refining fire, and an igniting fire. That ‘fire’ is the same fire He wants us to be filled with.

Just one person on fire for God can change the world. Will you be that person? So climb into the furnace of His love. Be filled with the Holy Spirit and with fire, and lets adjust our heart’s cry to; Whatever, Whenever, More Lord!

6th May, 2018

Once again the Encounter Night was different from others. There seemed to be an emphasis on breakthrough which of course is part of the Elim Church DNA. Through the night we received a number of pictures and this report is based on notes taken by Ralph.

The first picture was of a castle wall. It was a strong castle but it was under siege and there were cracks appearing in the wall. The castle represents our life and the wall around it ‘protection’. It seemed that the person/people inside the castle were rushing around filling the cracks and plastering over them.

Those attacking the castle lit a huge fire at the base of the wall to make the stone brittle. As I watched, a section of the wall collapsed but the enemy didn’t rush in and the person/people inside didn’t rush out. It suddenly became clear that the breech in the wall wasn’t for the enemy to get in, but was for the person/people inside to get out.

I saw as the person inside began to come out through the breech that he began to physically grow larger and larger until the castle seemed like a cloak over his shoulders, and as the person stepped out, he was able to cast the cloak off and walk free.

This was a picture of many Christians who sit inside their comfort zone and not allow God to break through into their life. The wall is a barrier to all God wants to achieve in our life. He is the one creating the cracks. He is the one breaking down the wall. Don’t try to repair the cracks, don’t plaster over them, let God expand the cracks and break down the wall that he may have full access to your life, your gifts, your talents so that we may contribute to the kingdom of God by fulfilling his plan and purpose for our life.

Lord have your way in our lives. Our cry is for more of you Lord, greater awareness, deeper relationship, deeper surrender.

29th April, 2018

The holidays are over! We may drop the ball, take the foot of the gas, or relax our attention or quietly go on a bit of a break, but the Lord never goes on holiday!

We had an awesome fun filled night! A reminder, I think, that the Lord has ‘got it’, got us covered. I had spent the week being reminded that when it’s tough, when things are frustrating, and when things are overwhelming, get back in the river. This was the challenge, for us all to get back in or step back in. The river carries breakthrough, it carries the Lord’s intention and purpose to take us where he wants us to go. The river means surrender; you can’t go swimming with a heavy backpack (burdens), or carrying ‘stuff’ in your hands. As you leave those things on the shore (an act of surrender), he carries us on the current of His love and purpose.

There’s more than just water in the river. There’s oil for healing and anointing. There’s wine for joy, excitement, passion and release. The river also represents shear power and force; God’s will that breaks any stronghold, obstacle or barrier, and lifts us over the rocky shoals. All we need, all we ever need is wrapped up in His river, because the river is His presence. Let’s continue to run, jump, walk, step into His river; the river of His presence everyday this week!

We pray Lord, bring your river, bring the wave, and bring a great flood of your presence. Even the little we have, we cry out, More Lord!

8th April, 2018

How deep can we go! Again, another Encounter Night different from all the rest. The Lord seems to be taking us on a journey where the word ‘depth’, (whatever that means), is the only way to describe it. It was time where we were ‘doing business’ with God. A picture that was shared; it described the Lord handing out assignments, instructions, commissions for each of us. Would we accept the piece of parchment; would we say yes? What was written on the paper was different for each and mostly it was not the time to look, yet all of us were left with this ‘commission’ in our hands.

Another picture described the invitation to move from a ‘kindling fire’ and the Lord placing fresh coal in our hearts that would burn hot and hold its heat & light. This builds ‘a solid foundation’ and passion for the call and commission to sit upon.

There is often a gap between where we stand now and where we are called to be. It’s time to be ‘sold out’ for Jesus. He’s breaking apart the dam of limitations, conditions, restrictions and control; either built by others or built with our own hands. He wants the river to flow freely in, over and through us.

It’s time to go deeper, it’s time to be ’all in’, ‘boots and all’, and to say, “Yes God; I’ll do it; I’ll go; send me”.

Lord, take us deeper and remove every obstacle in our path. Set a new fire in us; and Lord, commission and send us for your glory. We cry out, we pray, we declare, ‘more Lord.’

1st April, 2018

Stewart, Marilyn, and a group from our congregation just came back from the ‘Raging Fire Conference’ in Wellington. It was awesome to see and hear what the Lord was doing. They were fired up with passion and excitement and it swept into the Encounter Night like a fresh breeze! How we so need a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit!! How easy it is it is to become comfortable, even complacent! God is so good to stir us again and with it, takes us deeper in Him.

And He’s only just begun! We talked through a picture that had come through at the weekend and again as we waited on the presence of God. It was of thunder clouds and lightning breaking over the mountains in the distance of a great desert plain. As ‘we stood’ in the dry river bed, the water from the mountains begun to trickle around our ankles. The water was dirty, full of sand, dirt, and debris, yet as the water began to rise it become clearer and clearer. And just as in time lapse, the surrounding plain becomes full of wild flowers and grass. We are in this time!

The Lord is bringing revival; streams are beginning to flow again in desert places. Can you hear the distant thunder; can you see the lightning? Can you feel the drops of fresh rain on your face? Will you let Him come and begin to saturate the dry places of your soul, your spirit? Lift up your eyes and earnestly pray for the drought to be broken, that you would encounter the King of Glory.

Personally, I came away from this night with a fresh hunger and a determined desire to intentionally seek Him for the rivers, for fresh encounter and for ‘More of Him’!! As the old chorus goes, “If you’re thirsty and dry, Lift your hands to the sky, It’s beginning to rain.” MORE LORD!

25th March, 2018

Wow! What a night! We say “God’s presence turns up,” yet how inadequate are those words. His presence just absolutely flooded the room and continued to build throughout the night. We could use the word; encounters, meeting places, river experiences, fire falling, break throughs, anointing, and all of these describe some of what the Holy Spirit packed into the night.

The Lord ministered from a picture given; Jesus walking into the room with a bag of seed, slung over his shoulder. For some people He was scattering seeds at their feet. As they moved forward they would walk into the great harvest. For others he was placing seeds in their hands that would produce/increase call and ministry. And lastly, sprinkling seeds over their heads; with this came wisdom, knowledge, prophesy, gifts of revelation and power. These ‘seeds’ trickled down into hearts, mixed and flowed with empathy, mercy, grace, and compassion. The gifts of the spirit joined seamlessly with the fruit of the spirit. This causes His gifts to be ministered with great care and love

Each seed he ‘sowed’, distributed, with love, produced great fruit and none would be wasted or rot away. Now is the time for He has prepared the ground, and it is ready for the seed.

This reminds us that His presence, His gifts, His fruit and the character He builds in us is not just for us to have a party! He always has an eye on the harvest; to those in need, to those yet to experience Him, to those who are hurting, broken and sick. We carry these great seeds of potential and are equipped and anointed for this harvest. The bible tells us, the harvest is ripe yet the labourers are few. Will you put your hand up and use what the Lord has planted in front of you, over you and in you? Let’s say yes and further, let’s say with passion and joy and say ‘More Lord’!!

18th March, 2018

It is hard to find new words to describe the awesome and precious sense of His presence. Everyone has a different experience, yet all can enter in; each one of us is responsible to find Him, to knock, to ask, to seek. Each one of us has things to do and places to go in Him; yet none of us can minister from what we have! We have to ‘receive’ what we want to impart, whether it’s the river, the fire, the anointing, the oil, or the wind.

The word tells us out of our bellies shall flow rivers of living water. We must stop to consider, ‘how it get there’ and ‘that we must receive it to give it’. And God, and God gives it; gives us all we need and more. Let’s pray that the lord increases our capacity to receive, so that He would then increase our capacity to give and impart; and live and move in His mighty presence. I say go for it all!

Pray for it all; the rain and the river, the wave and the flood. For the fire that refines, consumes and ignites. For the wind blows away the dust and dirt that lift and carries us. The oil that anoints, imparts, soaks into us; the new and fresh. And the wine that fills us with the joy in His presence. Drink deeply from the well, from the river, from the wave He brings. I say “more & more Lord”.

11th March 2018

Isn’t it amazing that god is always good and He’s always got a good plan (even when we don’t understand it)!

We spent a significant amount of time just waiting on the Holy Spirit, and every time we do that, His presence just absolutely fills the atmosphere. From this time of waiting one person wrote this testimony; “I found thanksgiving was in my heart for all He has been doing. There has been pain and tears, as He stripped away the layers in my life. He pours in His oil. This night I felt a relief to know there is a new season coming; The tide is turning! The verse, which was read, ‘arise my darling, come with me’; spoken by the bridegroom (Christ) to the bride (His Church), it is so full of encouragement to me.” Jan.

Many of us are finding ourselves in a place of sifting, proving and refining. There’s a challenge to pull down & push through the obstacles that may stand between us and His presence. Each one of us is individually responsible, as we consider and allow the Lord to purify our hearts.

We have come to a ‘turning of the tide’. When the tide turns, for a time, it looks like nothing much is happening, but as you stand your ground, the water comes in and you first feel the water around your feet. Eventually the waves become higher and higher to where there’s wave breaking over you (the Holy Spirit). We mustn’t be tempted to step back to calmer, shallower water or step away to dry ground. We need to receive the wave as it breaks over us.

This wave of the Spirit will firstly break apathy in the churches, as it trickles through the doors and windows; and covers the foundation. The second, He will sweep in and over washing away the dirt, dust and rubbish; washing it clean. The third, the wave will saturate and soak and fill; drowning self-will and self-purpose. Lastly, it will carry us to those who need to hear of its coming.

We are entering a new season! Let’s stand at the turning of the tide and get ready for all the Lord will bring. And, when this new wave of His Spirits comes, let’s stand in it and cry from hungry hearts; “More Lord”.

4th March, 2018

This is the first Encounter Night report for the year. God is just so awesome! There are two things we have learnt in encountering God.

  1. He always turns up
  2. He always does something different

And this night confirmed this. There is an old song that aptly describes our night:

“Sweet spirit, sweep over my soul, My rest is complete as I sit at your feet, Sweet spirit, sweep over my soul”

It seemed to me, the Holy Spirit swept over a few souls this night!

I received this testimony: “I had an image of the water, and then Jesus taking me by the hand (both hands) was very powerful and tangible. The line of these songs is a prayer for me; “you call me upon the waters” and “for me to live is Christ” that were played this night. I experienced the touch of His hand, and a deep peace came with it. Thanks for leading us to walk deeper with Jesus.”

How amazing, how kind and how gentle is our God. He so gently takes us by our hands and guides our steps!

Come and join us as we seek Him – every Sunday night: 803 Main North Rd, Belfast, Christchurch @ 7.15pm

You would be most welcome to join us as we ask, seek and knock and with a hunger that crys out “More Lord”.

26th November 2017

I just want to say, wow! Wow God! Another awesome night with a difference; God’s ways and presence is endless! Right from the start we were met with a heavy sense of His presence. It seemed as we stood, asking for the Holy Spirit to come, His glory hung like a cloud above us. There was an invitation to respond to Him and reach out to receive; as we did, His glory seemed to fill the room.

As the night went on He seemed to build and build His presence. I’m not often stuck for words, but it’s hard to find the right words to adequately describe what we were experiencing. So this is me ‘having a go!’ We must have sat / lay / knelt for at least a half a hour in silence, under such a heavy anointing, not wanting to ‘disturb’ His amazing presence. His glory was ‘falling’ from above, yet like ‘heat waves’ rippling right across the room. Add to this a ‘blanket’ of His love wrapping around us, yet like liquid honey, thick , heavy, gentle, soft, holy, liquid glory, liquid love. All of this seamlessly reflecting our wonderful God who loves to connect with us!

How could we ever be satisfied with anything other than encountering His presence? And yet; and yet, there is much more to come!

Don’t ever be satisfied with anything less than his presence! Stir up your excitement and your focus because He wants to meet and connect with you!

And all that’s left to say is, “More Lord”!! 

Mary Ponder

12th November 2017

….And God ‘mixes it up’ yet again! Our God is a consuming fire, a mighty river & a good dose of His Glory thrown into the mix!!

I personally started the evening feeling pretty sluggish and stale. The moment Stewart & Marilyn started to pray for me, His presence fell and a heavy sense of His glory filled the room! It was awesome! We ministered through the night under that glory and from a series of pictures as the Lord inspired us.

Picture 1: imagine an old coal range burning for a few days and then the ‘scraper’ scraping out the ash that builds up; then the fire sparking back into life as the dampers are opened. This picture was likened to God scraping out yesterdays ash and re-igniting the fire in each of us and blowing on the flame with the wind of His spirit.

Picture 2: standing under a great waterfall so high you couldn’t see the top; sheets / torrents of water falling over us, “Lord, let your glory fall!”

Picture 3: the waterfall hitting the bottom causing a great churning and mist; and as the water hits the ‘fire’, steam was created. Apparently, in the science of water hitting fire the steam produced is 8 times its original volume. We prayed, “Lord, expand us and all we are created to do (x8)!”

Picture 4: the deep pool of water the waterfall creates. As we waded into this pool it was a place for healing, health, relationships, issues, finances, work, and other care and needs. We were encouraged to ‘see’ this ‘need’ as big solid brick and as we carried it into the water, (AKA: the presence of God), it began to dissolve turning into wet sand and washing away. Eventually, nothing was left and for some with an empty hand, the Lord came and took their hand in His. When we turn our ‘needs, cares and burdens’ over to Him, He takes them and transforms them in His presence. “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”

This week, let’s walk in the picture of the pool, casting all our cares upon Him for He cares for us! When we encounter Him anything and everything can happen. Let’s rise up in faith and in expectation this week with a fresh cry from our hearts; “More Lord!”

Mary Ponder

5th November 2017

How gracious, how precious and how awesome our God is!! Tonight, we had a bit of everything, including miracles and healing. Isn’t God a good, good God!? If I could pick three words that reflected what the Lord is doing they would be peace, glory and surrender. There was such a deep sense of His glory falling, like waves, yet a better word, sheets. Sheets of His glory coming one after the other above us, resting on people and dissolving over our heads and shoulders. There was a time of stillness quietness and peace as he bought an invitation of surrender, and as we responded to that a heavy anointing fell.

God is so drawn to our ‘surrender ‘. As we give him all; he gives “His all” back to us! What a great deal because He brings and He is more than we could ever hope for or imagine. When we surrender in response to His love, (our will, plans, our hopes, our everything); He comes in such power and anointing because our barriers come down. It is then that we find Him in His glory.

Surrender is the greatest key as we cry out to Him, “not my will Lord but yours be done”. For all who read this, I encourage you; find a deeper place of surrender this week and from that place no matter what you’re facing, cry out with all your heart; ‘MORE LORD’.

Mary Ponder

29th October 2017

What a privilege it is to be a part of this awesome move of God in this place! And there’s more to come!

Before Encounter Night even began His presence came and He just kept building us indeed; “His train begins to fill the temple.” It seems that the Lord has broken through ‘something’ and over these last weeks there’s a new and fresh level, higher ground (if you will). It’s not just coming, it’s here! All we have to do is draw on His Presence!

There’s a new, a deeper, a fresh fire of the Holy Spirit ‘breaking out’. I believe restrictions, limits and ‘glass-ceilings’ are breaking, and we are experiencing more of His glory in this place. There seems to be a new release of His anointing and we are seeing more of His power; as He ministers to us all. There are no words that adequately describe His presence! Really; you’ve got to experience it and connect with Him to understand. The Lord is providing that connection point now, right through our Sunday services.

The Lord WANTS to show himself; He WANTS to minister to us; and He WANTS to speak to each one of us. Wherever you are and however you can; position yourself to encounter and stand under and in His amazing presence. He’s just waiting for you. Make this a prayer, a cry, a declaration, an invitation; “MORE LORD”.

Mary Ponder

22nd October 2017

We used to sing this old song:

"O Lord, You’re beautiful. Your face is all I seek. For when your eyes are on this child. Your grace abounds to me"

What truth! How beautiful, how wonderful, how powerful is the name of Jesus. And the best, the very best thing to seek, His face! As we sought Him, He came! He continues to build His presence, more and more. He sure has bought a shift and He’s coming to hungry and expectant hearts! How awesome is our God!

During Encounter Night, I saw a picture of big rolling waves breaking on a beach. The tide had turned and each wave began to creep up the beach; covering the rocks, the sand and even an old path at its fullness. It was a spring tide. The wave of His Spirit is rolling over this church, this city and eventually this nation. As the waves rolled in, eventually they began to pull and draw people off the rocks, off the beach and even off the old path, the old traditional ways, and bringing many , many into His presence to soak and be refreshed. I believe the ‘tide has turned’ and the fresh season, the spring tide is just beginning to hit pockets of our nation. Pockets first, then the great swell of His mighty presence!

What a time to be in! What an opportunity! What an amazing invitation he extends to us all! In the midst of the waves of His Spirit, he transforms our perspective, our beliefs, our traditions, our focus and our direction. Lets cry out; hungrier and thirstier that ever, MORE LORD!

Mary Ponder