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  • Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Restorative Readings: The Old Testament, Ethics, and Human Dignity
    Pickwick Publications

    Foreword by Walter Brueggemann, my chapter is entitled 'In conversation: The Old Testament, Ethics and Human Dignity'. A superb resource edited by Julie Claassens and Bruce Birch

  • 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 Global Day of Prayer (6)

Sunday
Sep092012

Let the journey(s) begin - packing my bags again. Johannesburg, Malaysia, Holland and England.

It is that time again.  I am starting to get my bags and get ready for some travel over the next month and a bit.

Tomorrow I shall be in Johannesburg for the Alpha South Africa board meetings.  Alpha does the most amazing work in Churches across the world.  I know so many people in many of the almost 100 countries that I have visited who have come to discover (or rediscover) faith in Christ through an Alpha course, a Marriage Course or a Parenting Course.

On Thursday and Friday I will be helping to lead the strategic reflection process for the Southern African community coordinators from across Southern Africa.  Unashamedly Ethical is doing such great work across the world.  It is so necessary in South Africa at this point in our history.  Corruption is a significant problem in South Africa, and it is particularly important for the Christians, and the Church, to take a stand against corruption, the abuse of power, and inept functionaries in government and business.

The following week I leave for Malaysia! I am so thankful to be able to speak at the Alpha Malaysia Workplace Conference.  I will speak on the relationship between ordained clergy (pastors, priests and ministers) and ministers in other areas of life (Christians in the world of work, education, arts and culture, politics, media etc.)  In our book 'Transform your work life:  Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling' I devoted a chapter to discussing a theology of work.  I am convinced of a few key points:

  • Work is not intended to be a curse.  God gives us he ability to apply our gifts, abilities, strength, relationships and creativity to both provide for our needs (and those of our loved ones), as well as making a contribution to society.
  • Every person is a minister!  Some ministers are paid by Churches or ministry organisations.  Others are paid through rendering a service or developing a product in the wider world.  However, every person who knows Christ is called to live under his direction and according to His will.  That is ministry.  So, every person is a minister.  See Col 3.23 for example.
  • God's plan for the transformation is to be realised through the Church.  Ministers in the Church, and Ministers in the world of work have missunderstood this statement.  Basically, our theology of Church needs re-formation.  Christians are as much the Church when we gather (for worship, fellowship, teaching and service), as we are the Church when we scatter (going to our homes, our communities, to work, to study, to play).  It is one Church!  The Church has a common mission in the world, that is the missio Dei (the work of God in the world).  The local congregation cannot achieve this without Christians in every sphere of society, and Christians scattered into every sphere of society cannot achieve it without gathering for growth, encouragement, healing, renewal, and encounter with God.

I will also have a workshop at the conference where I will speak about the work of Unashamedly Ethical and EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption.  The Malaysian Church is such a wonderful example to the rest of the world.  Christians are so engaged in social issues!  There is a wonderful balance between sharing the good news (evangelism) and being the good news (mission). 

While in Malaysia I will also have a chance to preach at my friend Alvin Tan's Church, spend some time sharing with the 'Citizens Network for a better Malaysia', and having some meetings around corruption, ethics and advocacy in society.

I then return back to Cape Town for a just over a week.  At the start of October I will be heading to Holland for a few weeks.  Part of my time in Europe will be spend working on my second PhD.  I was privileged to get a scholarship to do some post doctoral research, in the form of a second PhD, in New Testament at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Holland.  I am working with Professor Jan van der Watt and Prof Chris Hermans.  They are both leaders in their fields.  I am trying to do something fairly novel in bringing together some of the research from my previous doctoral work in neuroscience and identity, and merging that with narratology in New Testament studies.  The project will apply an action oriented research model, and so I will be doing some qualitative research in a few different cultures, communities with differing economic levels, and differing theological approaches.

I will also be having some meetings with colleauges and interested parties on Unashamedly Ethical, EXPOSED and the Global Day of Prayer while I am there.

on the 11th of October I will be in London for a very significant press event for 'EXPOSED - Shining a light on corruption' around the Houses of Parliament.  This press event will mark the official public launch of EXPOSED, a number of significant Christian Church leaders, Political figures and Business persons will be present to Shine their light in the areas of dealing with corruption and poverty.

I return to Holland for just short of of two weeks after the press event before going back to Cape Town at the end of October.

As always I would like to ask for your prayers:

  • Please pray for my family - it is never nice to be away from them for extended periods of time.
  • Please pray for me and the work that I will be doing.  Please pray that God will guide me, give me great wisdom and clarity about my task, and that I will be humble, gracious and loving in every interaction.
  • Please pray for the various events and engagements that we will be a part of.  Please pray that God is glorified and that God's will is achieved through our work.
  • Please pray that we, our teams, our families, our equipment, and every aspect of our work receives God's protection and grace.

Thanks so much!

Monday
Jan022012

Vulnerable, gentle, powerful self-giving love

Happy New year to all of the wonderful readers of this blog!

It is set to be an exciting year for my family and I - we have that wonderful mix of security and change.  It is wonderful to know that we will remain in Somerset West for another year, enjoying our friends, our community, our home and our beautiful surroundings!  Yet at the same time it is a blessing to consider that we have a few new challenges ahead.

As of today my time will be split between three primary work projects and one personal project.  

First, I will continue to serve alongside Graham Power in the Power Group of Companies with chaplaincy responsibilities and opportunities to offer leadership within our two main initiatives, the Global Day of Prayer and Unashamedly Ethical.

Second, I was appointed to a post at the University of Stellenbosch in Ekklesia within the faculty of Theology. Here I will have three primary tasks: oversee two Master of Theology courses in missional leadership and spirituality, to coordinate research outputs and projects for Master, Doctoral and Post-Doctoral students who are in the partnership of Missional Churches. It is such a blessing to be back in an academic post! I am looking forward to a great deal of creative growth this year!

Third, I will be coordinating an international campaign to mobilize 100 million Christians around issues of ethics, justice and poverty.  The Campaign is called Exposed - Shinning a light on corruption (14-20 October 2013). The cost of corruption is staggering, over US$1 Trillion each year! In most instances it is the poorest of the poor who bare the brunt of such abuse. We will never rid the world of systemic poverty until we deal with systemic corruption. As Christians we need to be informed and empowered to deal with corruption in our own lives, and hold persons and institutions who have power accountable for their use of the world's resources.  So please do look in on this blog from time to time to see how this magnificent initiative unfolds in the months to come!

The personal project that I will continue to be involved in is a second PhD.  I was truly fortunate to be awarded a scholarship to do a second Doctorate at the University of Radboud in Nijmegen, Holland.  I have been working on that for a little less than a year now and will continue to do so this year.  I am working under my mentor in New Testament studies, Professor Jan van der Watt.  In short I am developing a new narratological approach to reading John's Gospel using integral (intersubjective) identity theory.

When I think of what lies ahead I get a little anxious!  I frequently feel that I may not have what it takes to do each of these tasks well, least of all to care for my family and honour God in the process.

However, in my devotional time this morning this quote from NT Wright offered me great encouragement:

When God wants to change the world, he doesn’t send in the tanks. He sends in the meek, the mourners, those who are hungry and thirsty for God’s justice, the peacemakers, and so on. Just as God’s whole style, his chosen way of operating, reflects his generous love, sharing his rule with his human creatures, so the way in which those humans then have to behave if they are to be agents of Jesus’s lordship reflects in its turn the same sense of vulnerable, gentle, but powerful self-giving love.

- N.T. Wright

Please can I ask for your prayers for my family and I?  Please also pray for each of these projects that I am involved in - each one is making such a significant difference in bringing transformation and renewal in the Church and the world.

May you be richly blessed in all that you do this year! Please let me know what your plans are, and if I can pray for you.

Saturday
Jun112011

Watch the Global Day of Prayer international anchor stadium event live on GodTV

Tonight we shall be at the International Anchor stadium event for the Global Day of Prayer here in Jacksonville Florida.

If you would like to watch the event live please visit the following link at GodTV who will be carrying the live broadcast plus some interviews before and after the event.  It will be live from 6-9pm Eastern Time (US EST).

If you would like to join in with hundreds of millions of Christians in every country on earth who will join together in repentance and prayer on Pentecost Sunday then please download the 'Prayer for World' from this link and pray it at home, in your Church or in a public event.

With rich blessing from Jacksonville!

Dion

Thursday
Jun092011

The start of the Global Day of Prayer International Conference in Jacksonville, FL

This morning we started the Global Day of Prayer international conference in Jacksonvillve, FL. Pete Sanchez, the author of the song 'I exalt thee' opened the conference in devotion and prayer.  Right after that Graham Power, the founder of the Global Day of Prayer, and Isebel Spangenberg, our International Coordinator, spoke about the GDOP movement - how is spread from one stadium of believers in prayer in Cape Town on the 21st of March 2001, to over 400 million believers praying in large and small gatherings in every nation on earth in 2010 on Pentecost Sunday.

Graham has such a powerful testimony because of his courage in obedience to God.  When he felt that God had called him to call Christians to pray for their city, nation and the world, and to turn from their wickedness, he simply hired a stadium and starteg gathering people!  The rest is history!

Isebel spoke wonderfully about how Christians in every nation and continent have embraced this call.  In 'closed countries' three or four believers gathering in homes and places of work.  In other countries hundreds of thousands of Christians gather in stadiums and open air places.

Of course the intention of the Global Day of Prayer is to awaken Christians to understand that they have a role to play in the transformation of their nations.  The establishment of God's grace in healing, economic wellbeing, social harmony, and God's loving power in all of creation.

The scripture that best sums up this movement is 2 Chronicles 7.14 which says:

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.

Tomorrow we will listen to Steve Johnstone, the international coordinator for the Unashamedly Ethical movement - Steve is an incredible speaker!  I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say about ethics, values and clean living.

If you're interested in reading more about Graham's testimony please see the book that I wrote on his life and ministry called 'Transform your work life: Turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary calling'.  

And if you would like to read more about the wonderful movement of the Global Day of Prayer, then please see the great book written by Diane Vermooten called 'Not by Might nor by Power'.

 

Thursday
Mar172011

I'll be in the USA - drop me a line if you'd like to connect

Tomorrow I'm starting a LONG journey that will take me from my home in Cape Town for 10 days.

Here's the summary of my trip:

  • 18 March Cape Town
  • to Johannesburg (stop for some meetings)
  • to Dakar (refuel)
  • to Washington
  • to Jacksonville (arrive 20 March.  Do planning for the Global Day of Prayer international conference and broadcast in June. Do some speaking on Unashamedly Ethical and Transform your work life.  Graham to speak at the Governor's Prayer Breakfast).
  • to San Francisco (arrive 23 March, meet Brett Johnsonn, speak at an evening event with Christian business people
  • to San Jose (spend time with Brett and Ed Silvoso)
  • to Los Angeles (arrive 24 March (late) speak at a two day conference (25-26 March) on Unashamedly Ethical and Transform your work life)
  • to Washington (27 March)
  • to Dakar
  • to Johannesburg
  • to Cape Town (late 28 March)
  • to bed  ;-)
  • to work (29 March!)

It is going to be an excinting time!  I count it as an immeasurable privelage to be able to do such trips! We do a great deal of practical and spiritual preparation to do the most possible good with each visit.

Please pray for the relationships we'll form, the speaking we'll do and the opportunities to encourage and bless the people we visit with. 

If you'd like to connect with us while we're in the US please drop me an email or DM me @digitaldion on twitter.

Please also pray for our families while we're away!

Sunday
Mar212010

Cape Town for Jesus - the final countdown!

With just 19 hours to go to the start of the Cape Town for Jesus event at the new Cape Town stadium in Greenpoint, my excitement is growing.

I spent the day here with our wonderful Global Day of Prayer team running through the rehearsal and final arrangements for the day. Etienne Piek, the head of GDOP has done an incredible job on putting together a diverse group of participants - with a wide range in age, gender, race and theological background. Among the participants will be Graham Power, Angus Buchan, Nicky Cruz, Barry Isaacs, Zoleka Majola, AyJay Jaantjies and many others.

 

 

In the one picture in this post you'll see my friend John van de Laar who runs a ministry called Sacredise.  John is a gifted musician who has his own CD's and has even written books on worship.  His particular specialty is bringing together diverse styles of worship (contemporary and liturgical, as well as African and more western styles - see http://www.sacredise.com for more on his ministry.  Some of the other musicians who will be leading worship include Retief Burger, Trevor Sampson and Usher Bell.

 

 

The stadium itself is something to behold! It is incredible!  There is a high priority on security - could I please warn you not to bring bags of any kind with you (women may bring a small handbag, but that's about it).

 

 

Remember that the gates open at 11am and you must have sourced your ticket from Computicket beforehand at http://www.computicket.com - I have had a few people contact me regarding the parking arrangments for the event.  Please see this PDF document for details of parking around the City of Cape Town for Cape Town for Jesus.

If you're attending look out for me and say hi! I'll be running behind the stage in a bright orange golf shirt with a GDOP logo on it. Also please leave a comment below to let me know what your experience of the day was.

When last I heard 50 000 of the avialable 55 000 seats had been allocated. So we're looking forward to an awesome time!