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  • What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    What are we thinking? Reflections on Church and Society from Southern African Methodists.
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    Methodism in Southern Africa: A celebration of Wesleyan Mission
    by Dion A Forster, Wessel Bentley
  • Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    Christ at the centre - Discovering the Cosmic Christ in the spirituality of Bede Griffiths
    by Dion A Forster
  • An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    An uncommon spiritual path - the quest to find Jesus beyond conventional Christianity
    by Dion A Forster
Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling. by Dion Forster and Graham Power.
Download a few chapters of the book here.
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Entries in Christmas (6)

Monday
Dec242012

An advent prayer - The house of my soul is narrow

I prayed this prayer in my devotions this morning. It was most meaningful and powerful.

O Lord, the house of my soul is narrow; enlarge it that thou mayest enter it. It is ruinous, O repair it! It displeases Thy sight; I confess it, I know. But who shall cleanse it, or to whom shall I cry but unto thee? Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord, and spare they servant from strange sins.

- St. Augustine

May you be truly blessed and renewed by the coming of Jesus Christ this Christmas.

With much love.

Dion

Thursday
Apr072011

Lent - the importance of Easter in the Christian faith

As I'm going through Lent, and preparing for Easter, I have been reflecting on the importance of this feast in the Christian tradition. Somehow in the West we place more emphasis on Christmas - perhaps it is because we're so self centered and are caught up in the reward and response of giving and receiving gifts!

This quote reminded me how important Easter has been for all of Christian history:

Take Christmas away, and in biblical terms you lose two chapters at the front of Matthew and Luke, nothing else. Take Easter away, and you don’t have a New Testament; you don’t have a Christianity; as Paul says, you are still in your sins. We shouldn’t allow the secular world, with its schedules and habits and parareligious events, its cute Easter bunnies, to blow us off course. This is our greatest day. We should put the flags out.

- N.T. Wright, Surprised By Hope (via @invisibleforeigner's tumblr blog)

May the Lord richly bless us as we prepare to celebrate the significance of God's generous gift in Christ.

Friday
Dec242010

A blessed Christmas to all Uncommon readers!

Christmas in Africa is pretty uncommon! We have sun instead of snow, white sandy beaches and sunshine - in fact the only thing that is freezing in Cape Town is the ocean!

Megan, Courtney, Liam and I want to wish all of our 'uncommon' readers a truly blessed Christmas!

May the God who encounters workers in a field (boy where those shepherds surprised), and offers shelter in a barn (the best shelter you can find is the shelter you need - just ask Mary and Joseph), and renews the minds of the wise (I wonder what the 'three Kings' had to share upon their return to the east?) bless you with amazement, the provision of your needs and the renewal of your life this Christmas. The scriptures remind us that Christ came into the world as a wonderful expression of God's love! God shows up, and will continue to show up in unexpected and blessed ways throughout this coming year!

Thanks for your prayers, love and support throughout 2010! It had it's fair share if triumph and tragedy - but we end it with a wonderful sense of peace!

We look forward to sharing the journey with you in 2011!

May Christ be glorified and world healed and renewed your your efforts and mine!

Tuesday
Nov232010

Your life's project...

Christmas, at least as most of us experience it from year to year; is a season of consumption, when waists grow wider and wallets thinner. One of the most powerful biblical texts on the subject of consumption is Isaiah 55:1-5.  However, as we shall see it presents a very different perspective on consumption, wealth, and the identity that we, far to frequently, find in what we possess... Or at least in what possess us:

 

 

“Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. See I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of peoples. Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know will hasten to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor”

These words from Isaiah are profoundly revealing and, and in what they reveal they are deeply challenging. "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?" Let me try to deal with the prophet's questions by asking one of my own.

 

Beyond mere survival, to what goal are you most directed? With what do you most concern yourself during the course of your waking hours?

Certainly, a variety of things require our attention: what we'll eat, what we'll wear, how we'll accomplish the tasks before us, what we think of ourselves, what others think about us...

These all concern us, but none of them dominates our lives in quite the way that something else does. That thing is so central that it has been called "The Project."

 

This is a challenging thought! It is impossible to find satisfaction and peace in transient and insubstantial aspects of life - at least this has been my personal experience.

 

In this message, which was broadcast on Radio Pulpit this week, I consider the topic of your 'life's project' and some encouragements for finding peace and sufficiency as we approach Christmas.

 

This may well form part of a resource that you can use as you prepare for Advent and Christmas. Christmas and advent resources that get beyond the superficial elements of the season are quite rare! If you have any suggestions of where to get resources for myself or the other readers of this blog please leave a comment in the comments below!

 

I can certainly suggest that you take a look at John van de Laar's resources - he is one of the most creative and theologically responsible worship resource developers I have come across. His liturgies, prayers, dramas and songs are exceptional. Please see http://www.sacredise.com.

 

Download the episode of 'The Ministry and Me' here (16MB MP3). I'd love to hear your comments, thought and feedback!

Sunday
Nov072010

A perfect gift for Christmas!

Well, Christmas is just 58 days away!  I hope that you've started some of your Christmas shopping already!

I'd like to encourage you to give a truly significant gift that could better the life of your family member or friend. Our book, 'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' is selling at a special price for Christmas.

The profits from the sale of the book go entirely to the Unashamedly Ethical campaign (so there is no personal gain for me or Graham in this!) Although I will confess that I am convinced that the message of this book will inspire, encourage, and bless your husband or wife, your child, parent, sibling or friend. I am passionate about finding more and more women and men who are willing to be inspired to use their existing skills, and sphere of influence to do some of the most amazing things they could ever imagine!

You can download and read the first few chapters of the book here.

The book is for sale online (shipping all over the world) from Christian Republic and Kalahari.net

It costs just R88 (about US$12).

Here's what a few friends have said about this book.

 


Graham Power and Dion Forster have finally brought the role of the marketplace into the prominence it deserves! When you read the Bible, it soon becomes obvious that the focus of the ministry and outreach of Christ was nearly exclusively on the marketplace. If you are looking for the secrets of how to succeed with your faith in your workplace, then ‘Transform your Work Life’ is for you.
– Dr Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez
We can never pay enough pastors and missionaries to evangelise the world! It will happen when the rest of us realise the church is not a building to go to, but a vast multitude of people called and commis- sioned by God to take the good news where we ‘spend most of our time and energy’. This book will turn your world upside down and inspire you to believe God for church to happen where you are! You are about to go on a great adventure!
– Floyd McClung, All Nations (Cape Town)
At long last we have a book that affirms our daily workplace as a primary place for us to live out our faith. Few people are better placed and more equipped to show us the way than Dion Forster and Graham Power. I pray that this book will enable many individuals the world over to see their work as a means of dignity, love and provision, both for themselves and their neighbour.
– Rev Trevor Hudson, South African Pastor and Author.
People often ask, “What is my calling?”. The answer is partly simple: the majority of us are calledto the marketplace. The interwoven stories of Graham and Dion will encourage you to make your occupation your vocation, your job a ‘beroep’, in the true sense of the word. I highly commend these good friends to you; read their story so that your heart will be en- couraged, your mind renewed, and your spirit emboldened. God, being a lawyer, understands legal precedent, so what he has done for them he can do for you and me if we walk in similar obedience. Make their story a springboard for your story. ‘But, he is successful and if I had his money I could also serve God,’ you may say. Don’t ask for money like Graham – ask for humility like Graham. Don’t ask for a ministry like Dion’s, but minister with all that you have, right where you are. Don’t wait for one great thing to do, but take the next step of obedience. I am delighted that Graham and Dion are challenging us to integrate our work and faith so that we can be a part of the extraordinary company of ordinary marketplace people who are extending the kingdom through daily business.
– Brett Johnson – President, The Institute for Innovation, Integration & Impact, Saratoga, California

I'd love to hear any feedback or thoughts!  Also, if you'd like a signed copy of the book please drop me a note and I'll make sure that Graham Power and I both sign it and get it sent along to you.

 

Tuesday
Dec262006

The greatest Christmas ever!

Three posts in one day!? It's little wonder that it has been raining here over Christmas! However, we have so much to share and give thanks for.

Here's a picture of little Liam and I on Christmas eve (can you tell from the decorations in the background?) Here you can see how Liam has grown. He is still a little thin, but at least he looks like a baby (and not like an old man!) He is growing up so quickly! He now weighs 1.68kg's and is saturating naturally. In fact if he continues to grow so well we may have him home in the next two or three weeks!


Megie, Courtney and I spent Christmas with our little lad Liam in the neonatal ICU. He is the greatest gift ever!! We are so grateful for the nurses and doctors who spent Christmas day at the hospital. Their dedication is inspiritational. Courtney got to visit with us since it is Christmas. We scrubbed her down, and then she got to hold her little brother Liam for almost an hour. It was bliss for her! This is only the third time that she has seen him in 6 weeks, and the very first time that she has been allowed to touch him. We are so thankful to God for the care and mercy that God has shown us in Liam's growth and good health.


Hey Pete, notice that I'm wearing my favourite T Shirt! Thanks for the gift friend! I could hardly believe it when the package arrived and there was a Vespa T Shirt from Pete in there. I have been looking for one for years now!!!!

A blessed Christmas to all our friends and family. Thank you so much for your prayers, good wishes, and kind support. We pray that your experience of the gifts of being in Christ will be as rich and deep as ours has been over the last two months. It is wonderful to be in Christ, and a member of Christ's body.