conference issue! ISSUE 006
published by carmel: ministries international
Learn, see, experience and receive.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INFILLING
abigwelcome Our annual conference a GOD thing was in October as usual, but it was far from a ‘usual’ Conference. When the Holy Spirit spoke to Pastor Gerri concerning the theme and who He wanted to be the guest speaker, He made sure we shouldn’t simply carry on and do our own thing, but a GOD thing. At the Conference itself we discovered just how unusual it was to be. We were thoroughly blessed by the ministry of Rev. Robin Roberts and others who ministered around the theme of the Holy Spirit, all of which culminated in a penultimate service with hands being laid on all present. So we come to the beginning of a New Year, 2005… Last year was an amazing year in many ways; changes and developments, much being established and significant growth. We look forward to a year of expansion and growth on every front. Pastor Gerri and I, and the carmel: family, pray you have a year that’s full of the joy of the Lord, full of His surprises which always abound in His glory and grace.
Michelle Di Somma
latest news 4-5 guest teaching
thankyou! A massive thanks to all those who have made this magazine possible, GOD BLESS YOU MIGHTILY
carmel: twentyfour 7 is published by carmel: ministries international. Reproduction of this publication in part or whole is prohibited.
For comments and suggestions for the next twentyfour7 please email us on email@example.com Editor:
Michelle Di Somma
Lyn Birdsall, Julian Clarke
Julian Clarke, Jenny Tagg Lyn Birdsall, Nadeem Sadar Beryl Stanley
Dean Butler, Julian Clarke, Darrell Irwin
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For any further information contact Lyn Birdsall on 0117 977 5533
Term Begins Valiant Men Men’s Breakfast Promise of Purity Introduction abtc: Term Begins
carmel:partners Empowered Woman Womans Breakfast carmel:school and abtc: Half–Term Positioned For Blessing Promise of Purity Valiant Men Men’s Breakfast Passover Meal The Wash carmel:school and abtc: Easter Break Empowered Woman Womans Breakfast Passover Meal The Wash Positioned For Blessing
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becomingapartner A partner is a sharer, an associate, one who engages with another in business, one who plays on the same side as another. Partnership is important – It releases power to get the job done. We can accomplish the Great Commission together in unity. Partnership in prayer – We believe it is vital for every Partner to develop a strong personal prayer life, and to pray for the leadership for godly wisdom and direction from the Lord. Partnership in caring – We are instructed to watch over and take care of the partners in our charge (Acts 20:28). Partnership in sharing – The whole ministry of sharing is to give oneself in the areas of love, time, talents and finances.
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Directions from Bath: Follow A4 Bath Road towards Bristol, past Keynsham to the Park and Ride on the left hand side. At the traffic lights go straight ahead past McDonalds on your right and turn right into the forecourt of HSBC bank. We’re just behind. Directions from the M4: Take Junction 19 into Bristol on the M32. Take Junction 3, the A4 Link Road, and follow the signs for Bath. Pass Sainsbury’s on your left and at the traffic lights (Burger King will be on your right) continue straight on towards Bath. Follow the road up the hill and continue down the other side. You should see a petrol station at the bottom. Continue following the road round to the right and up the hill under a bridge. You will come to a retail complex (JJB Sports) on your right hand side and a Jaguar garage on the left. Keep going past this and turn left into HSBC bank forecourt and we’re just behind it. Directions from Bristol City Centre: Follow Temple Way towards Temple Meads Railway Station passing it on the left. Follow the A4 Bath Road passing a Kwik Fit garage on the left. At traffic lights with HTV Studios on the right and Burger King on the left follow the road round to the right uphill and continue down the other side. You should see a petrol station at the bottom then shops on the left. Continue up the hill under a bridge. You will come to a retail complex (JJB Sports) on your right hand side and a Jaguar garage on the left. Keep going past this and turn left into HSBC bank forecourt and we’re just behind it. 3
carmel:conference26-30october04 a GOD thing! Remarkable. Awesome. Life changing. ‘Yes, these superlatives have been used many times before; so what?’ asked the BBC interviewer on Radio Bristol as he interviewed a member of carmel:’s Media Department before the a GOD thing conference.
Rev. Michael Meyers
Pastor Sean Leask
Indeed, words can be devalued by their overuse or misuse, but when the Holy Spirit is at work their use at best can only faintly reflect the awesomeness of His presence and power. Words or no words, it was a memorable event bringing change, healing, hope, transformation and so much more into the lives of a large number of people. Teaching, challenging, equipping and changing lives through our annual conference was God’s command to carmel: and that command was obeyed, with significant results. Even before the conference there was a deep sense that we would experience something more powerful than ever before as we responded to the call to draw on the Holy Spirit to release the anointing of His gifts. Pastor Gerri Di Somma led the team of speakers which included Rev. Steve Chaudhary, Pastor Michael Myers, Pastor Sean Leask and others who covered various aspects of the person and work of the Holy Spirit in a way which was practical as well as inspirational. Our guest speaker was the Rev. Robin Roberts from St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. where he lives with his wife, Carole, and his three daughters. Having been a highly successful businessman, Rev. Roberts resigned as Executive Vice President of a regional grocery chain in 1988 to follow the Lord’s instruction to enter fulltime itinerant ministry. He then founded Robin Roberts Ministries Inc. and now travels 4
Rev. Gerri Di Somma extensively in America and Europe, with his ministry reaching many other parts of the world as well. The ministry in the conference centred on the gifts of the Spirit. Realizing their importance to the Church today at a time when the public perception of Church is so different to what is described in the Bible, the teaching was received with much enthusiasm. To serve God with His ability by way of the gifts transforms so much of what we do from the ordinary to the extraordinary and the longing shared by many for greater empowerment for service was met in a mighty way. The conference was not so much about an experience – though it was a great experience – but it provided a forum in which the Holy Spirit ministered to people who made themselves available to Him. As we heard, the motive for operating in the gifts of the Spirit must always be in the place of love and compassion, out of a heart that is yielded to the Father so that the Father can work through our lives and touch the people around us.
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Rev. Robin Roberts
Rev. Steve Chaudhary
The gifts are not just for us to get blessed. They are an integral part of the gospel and for all those for whom Christ died. On a number of occasions during the conference we were reminded that the Holy Spirit cannot be boxed in to any of our formulas, programmes, liturgies or ‘free worship’. We were reminded, not just in the teaching, but particularly when the Spirit moved among us like a gentle breeze specifically ministering to the individual, that He ministers like the wind, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes (John 3:8). A people energized, inspired, motivated, changed, restored…how can one describe the cumulative outcome of such a Spirit-led time of teaching and receiving, of worship and joy in the presence of God! It truly was a GOD thing. Why don’t you join us at our annual conference in 2005. Put 25th to 29th October in your diary for a God thing conference NOW.
>> These are just a few of the amazing speakers at this years conference and we would like to thank our own Rev. John Delaney, Rev. Sarah Stockinger and Rev. Robert Baker for their invaluable contribution
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carmel:conference26-30october04 Revelation! Rev. Robin Roberts sheds some light on the subject of The Revelational Gifts.
seethelight! Let’s look at some foundational Scriptures here. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says, But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. If you are born again and baptized in the Spirit of God you have the Holy Spirit residing in you!
This means that you have the capacity where God can manifest these different manifestations. And this is given to each one for the profit of all, to bless others as well as those who participate. But it is the Spirit who decides. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11). It took faith to get born again and filled with the Holy Ghost. So also you must have Bible faith to operate in the Holy Ghost. But…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If you don’t have the Word of God in you, you can’t go there. The trouble is that people want God to just give it to them. No, they’ve got to get the Word in them first, the basis for faith. Also we’re told to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts 1 Corinthians 12:31. But it’s not about you being great like some preacher you know, brother Benny or some other mighty man of God. That’s the wrong motive. Desire the gifts for the church. Desire them to help people change. Desire them for the sake of the world. But not to magnify your ministry. Where the motives aren’t right, God can’t kick in the power. If He did, the same power that brings blessing will bring judgment. Remember Ananias and Sapphira? In the middle of revival they lied to the Holy Ghost and the power that healed the sick and caused thousands to be saved caused them both to drop dead in a church service. However, God will turn the lights on if you let Him. I’m thinking particularly of the manifestation of the
revelatory gifts. Revelatory gifts are gifts that reveal something, they show something. God put them in church not only for the church but for the world, and they reveal things that no one else knows but God. There is no natural way to know these things except it comes from heaven. ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner’ (John 5:19). You know, Jesus didn’t operate in all the gifts of the Spirit all the time. He was anointed in the Spirit without measure, yet there were times people weren’t healed at His meetings. If He could just turn it on and off when He wanted, why didn’t He heal all the people all the time? You’ve got to understand that Jesus said He could do nothing of Himself. You see, if you’re going to manifest the things of God, it’s not of you, its of God. People get the idea Jesus came on the earth and ministered as the Son of God. No, He ministered as the Son of Man. If He ministered as the Son of God He would not have had to be anointed. He already had this stuff. If Jesus didn’t minister as a man, you can’t minister as a man. He was our substitute. He took our place. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38). Here we see how Jesus did it. Once you know how it’s done then you can co-operate with God when He wants to do it.
One of the reasons why there has been a dearth of the power gifts is because you can’t work the power gifts if you don’t know how. And you can’t teach how to work them. God will show you how to work them. It takes revelation on how to work a miracle, it takes revelation on how to do the things of the Spirit and without the revelation, I don’t care how much power you have, you don’t know how to release it or how to let it go. This is what Jesus is saying here. He said of the Father, I only do what He shows me. It must be like this for us as well. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God… The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:14, 16). It’s also by faith. Matthew 14:22. Here there’s a great storm and Jesus is walking on the water. Peter says, ‘Lord, if it’s you, command me to come to you on the water.’ So Jesus says, ‘Come.’ It was then up to Peter to get out of the boat and when he stepped out of the boat the water congealed so he was able to walk on the water. But had he not stepped out of the boat, it wouldn’t have worked for him. How did he come to Jesus? By faith. How did the manifestation of the working of the miracle work right then? Peter walked on water by faith, the only man that we have recorded besides Jesus who has walked on water. It was based upon the word of Jesus. It was Jesus who said ‘come’ and so he came.
>>God will turn the lights on for you if you let Him. I’m thinking particularly of the manifestation of the revelatory gifts<<
And so Jesus said I only do what the Father shows me to do. ‘For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does’ (John 5:20). 7
In John 14:16 and 17 Jesus says, in effect, I just want you to know that you don’t have to be concerned about anything, the Father will give you another Helper identical to me who will be with you forever. Isn’t that exciting? All the way into eternity you will have the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t go on holiday. God is continually working on our behalf to get things to us and through us.
>> Your ability has limitations But we often don’t trust the Holy Spirit the way that Jesus wants us to. If I depend upon me, I can take this thing to my limitations and that’s it. So often a problem arises and we try to resolve it through our own ability, not recognising the solution to our problems is abiding with us waiting for us to turn to Him and depend on Him, the One who has no limitations.
Rev.Gerri Di Somma teaches on THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INFILLING
fuelling thefire! I want to talk about the importance of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. So often we see the body of Christ crippled because we haven’t understood the importance of the infilling of the Holy Spirit to enable us and empower us to do the work of God. The purpose of the infilling is that of equipping to do the work of the ministry.
In John 20:19-20, we find the disciples needing signs to prove it was Jesus who stood among them. Why was that? Because they had not yet been born of the Spirit of God. And before we get born of the Spirit of God we are always seeking a sign, always looking for something. But once we receive salvation and we receive the Spirit of God we no longer have to seek for signs. Why? Because the sign is in us, it’s called the Holy Spirit. He is the seal, He is the stamp, He’s the One that says this property now belongs to the living God.
>> God’s ability supernaturally enables Then, John 20:22, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ I believe that was the born again experience, because they received the power to forgive right there and you can only forgive if you have the Holy Spirit in you. You see, to forgive does not come naturally, it’s a supernatural enabling that comes from God. Earlier we see the disciples struggling with forgiveness and they asked the Lord to help them in their unbelief. Why? Because they had not yet had the Spirit of God that empowered them to do the impossible and that is to truly forgive. That’s why, in what we call the Lord’s Supper, Jesus said that if you don’t judge yourself when you partake of the body and blood of Christ you are drinking damnation to yourself.
Jesus doesn’t leave them there though. In Acts 1:8 we find Jesus talking about them waiting to be baptised in the Holy Spirit so they would be empowered to be His witnesses. If the experience of Jesus breathing on them was all that they needed to function in the body of Christ, why did He then tell them wait for something else? Clearly, something else was needed; and that was the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Thus we can be born of the Spirit and grow in the fruit and yet be unable to function in the Kingdom of God because we have not submitted ourselves to the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit to command and direct us through our life. And that’s where the equipping comes.
>> Your ability needs to submit to God’s enabling
So that infilling, that initial submission of my will to the sovereign God, allows the Spirit of God to operate through my life, and the most basic evidence of that submission is tongues. In Acts 2:1 we read how the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in Jerusalem and, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. That was the initial evidence of the submission of their will.
The dwelling in the Holy Spirit experience of being born again positions us where the fruit of the Spirit can be developed in our life. Galatians 5:22-23 says the fruit of the Spirit is, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. However, the infilling of the Holy Spirit equips and empowers us. But that equipping comes when we bring ourselves into total submission to God.Let me illustrate this: imagine a big fish bowl full of water, and you’re a fish. When you are placed in it, that’s indwelling. But if you don’t open your mouth for water to flow through, you will be unable to sustain yourself in that environment.
>> Tongues is the most basic evidence
>>The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. 1 Corinthians 12:7<<
This is where people struggle to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit. It’s because they are trying to work it in their head. It’s not a language that operates from the head. It’s a language that operates in the Spirit and the way we know that we have brought our life into submission is that we begin to speak in other tongues, which is the basic bottom line evidence. 9
teaching In Acts 2 we find Peter preaching an incredible sermon and 3,000 come into the body of Christ in one moment. Now if he was able to do that why didn’t he do it before Pentecost. Because he was not yet equipped with the equipment of God to do it. So we see the need for the equipping of God.
>> You can mimic the ascension gifts but not the gifts of the Spirit When Jesus ascended on high, He gave gifts unto men, the apostle, the prophet, the pastor, the teacher, the evangelist Ephesians 4:7-11. These can be mimicked because there are many people calling themselves pastor who at some stage burn out, and this shows they’re not operating under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but their own knowledge and expertise. There are some people who call themselves teachers, and I’d shudder to hear what they teach. But when it comes to the nine gifts of the Spirit 1 Corinthians 12, they cannot be mimicked because they come by the Spirit and the Spirit gives them as He wills. And you can’t claim any one of those as a permanent fixture. Just because a miracle happened through you one time doesn’t mean that miracles are going to happen through you every time. That’s why they cannot be imitated, because it requires a continual submission to God the Holy Spirit to allow them to work in us and through us.
>> Being filled is an ongoing experience Being born again is a once off experience but the infilling is a continual experience every day of our life. You see the Bible says in Ephesians 5:19 not to be drunk with wine but be continually filled with the Holy Spirit because God might want to use one gift through you one day and use another one the next day. If we want to function in the body of Christ, then we’ve got to do the very basics and that is be filled. We’ve got to be like that fish. We’ve got to bring ourselves into total submission to that which surrounds us so that which can come into us can flow through us. And then we have authority in that environment.
>> Where the Spirit is there is liberty Someone once asked me if a Christian can be demon possessed. I love what Reinhard Bonke says, Can a fly sit on a hot stove? If you’re full of the power of God you don’t need demons cast out of you. You need to go and cast a few demons out of others. But you’ve got to bring yourself to the place where you allow the Spirit of God to have control. Surrender your life to God. Rid yourself of your agendas, of your hidden inhibitions and your motives and everything else, and submit to the Spirit of God.
>> Being filled is the work of the Spirit The evidence of the infilling is that you’ve switched your intellect off, you’ve opened your mouth, you’ve given your vocal chords over to the Holy Spirit and God gives the language. That’s the evidence of that submission. Your voice is yours, your tongue is yours, but the language is the Holy Spirit’s.
>> Not of the head but of the Spirit It’s not for your head to give you your language. It’s a language of the Spirit. But, you say, it sounds foolish. That’s because your mind’s in control. Allow God to flow through you. What must I do? Let the Holy Spirit have control. In James 4:6-7 it says that, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Jesus said deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. Someone may say it sounds foolish. A little bit more dying to self is needed. >> 10
>> Fear is not of God, faith is What happens if the devil gives me a tongue? He doesn’t give tongues. He tries to imitate them. But if you ask the Father, the Father will give you what the Father has. You don’t have to fear that you’re going to get something else that doesn’t belong to God. If a natural father can give his son bread when his son asks for bread, how much more your Heavenly Father if you ask Him for the Holy Spirit Luke 11:11-13. You cannot live this Christian life without the infilling of the Holy Spirit to enable you and equip you to do the journey.
It’s agoodthing! It’s aGODthing! Teaching, challenging, equipping and changing lives is God’s command to carmel: through our annual conference. Live what you learn and live to the full: •Learn about the origin •See the operation •Experience the outpouring •Receive the gift... The Infilling of the Holy Spirit is a must for your core collection of essential teaching. An unmissable DVD/Video. All the recordings of the Conference’s speakers are now available!
breakthrough! A strong Chaplaincy Team at a Regional Young Offenders Prison in Bristol organises imaginative and effective programmes in association with its own Prodigal Son Ministries, other local churches and evangelistic ministries.
In 2004 the Prison Outreach Team here at carmel:centre was privileged to assist the Chaplaincy Team disciple the trainees, many of whom received Christ. In this time, World Sports Ministries based at carmel:, through football coaching opened another avenue of God’s love to those imprisoned. During the year we also introduced Evangelist Jan Eriksen* to the young men. Jan, once a hated pimp, criminal and drug addict until he met Jesus, had a profound impact on the trainees. Evangelist John Delaney,* who heads up Mission Link International from carmel:centre, was a tough, highly-trained member of the elite South African Parachute Battalion who fought bush wars in Namibia and Angola. His message to the trainees visibly moved them as he shared how the power of Christ in his life saved him from self-destruction. The visits of these Evangelists formed highlights in a wonderful year of coming alongside the young men to share God’s love. We’re looking forward to another year of making a significant contribution to their restoration. Ian Woode joined us on the Prison Outreach Team recently. His testimony has already spoken deeply to
those he has met. Of his first visit He says: ‘Entering the prison I felt a sense of gratitude that I had been saved from where I deserved to be. I once had spent a lot of time looking for fights and street boxing, drinking alcohol and doing some drugs. ‘The chapel looks like a quaint village church, yet the bars on the windows and steel doors remind you where you are. As the trainees filed in, I was shocked to see how young they were. I was horrified as I realised there was only one difference between them and me – they had been caught and I hadn’t and that God’s grace had kept me out of that place. ‘Outside some youths were practicing football, yet these young men had chosen to spend time in church. Though maintaining a tough exterior, they weren’t afraid to sing to God. I could see that some were seeking God, trying to find answers in this “God stuff we do.” Others clearly had nothing better to do. Whatever their reason for being there, at least we had the chance to share Christ.’ The Prison Outreach Team greatly value your prayers. If you are interested in knowing more about how you can serve in this Ministry, please contact Sarah Battishill in the Missions Department at carmel:centre, or e-mail her at email@example.com.
*Jan Erikson’s story has been published under the title, ‘From Pimp to Preacher’, and John Delaney has written his story in the book, ‘Staying Alive’, published by Monarch Books.
Thanksgiving and praise whatever the circumstance is the key to flowing with the Spirit – Rev. Stephen Chaudhary explains how We see in John 14:12 that Jesus gave us a commission to duplicate His works: ‘He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.’ Then in John 20:21: ‘Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ Of all the commissions Jesus gave to His disciples, to me this is the most outstanding.
The implication of this is that to do Jesus’ works we have to know what He did and how He did them. And in Luke 14:18 we find both His method and message, He said, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ Matthew 9:35 also tells us that Jesus was teaching, preaching and healing. How did Jesus do what He did? By the Word and by flowing with the Holy Spirit. Jesus made Himself available to the Holy Spirit, and to follow His commission with the same results we need to be in the same position. Often we are quick to give people the Word but don’t think so much about flowing in the Holy Spirit. Be assured that the Holy Spirit will never lead you into something that the Word of God does not endorse. But Jesus used the Word and made Himself available to the Holy Spirit.
So the question for now is this: how do we put ourselves in a position where we flow with the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit cannot be forced into anything. In Acts 13 :1- 2 we read how the Holy Spirit spoke to people in the Church at Antioch who had made themselves available to Him: ‘Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then in verse 4: So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit... The men had ministered to the Lord, and fasted. They were available. Sometimes we have the wrong motive when we put up our hands and praise God. We more than often expect God to minister to us, and we sort of cross our fingers hoping there’s a Word for us, and that we get singled out for ministry. However, the Spirit of God manifested Himself as the disciples ministered to the Lord. I guess they worshiped and praised Him as well as prayed and fasted. You see, I believe ministering to the Lord makes us available to the Holy Ghost. Their motive was to minister to God first, not just to hear from God. Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. It’s easy to worship God when the band is playing and the person next to you has their hands in air, but what’s it like at home in front of the kitchen sink? And can you do it on your own where there’s no musical instrument? The thing about praise and worship is that it’s not a generic thing. It comes from everything you have been through. When you say thank you to God, it is for coming through every trial and tribulation, every test and obstacle, and every hurt and heart break you, as an individual, have been through. Look in Acts 16 at how Paul and Silas were released in praise and thanksgiving even though in chains. Jesus says that out the abundance of heart the mouth speaks. They were in prison because they were faith people, but as they ministered to the Lord there was a manifestation of the Spirit of God. We praise God by proclaiming His glorious attributes of deity with reverence and thanksgiving. By saying thank you we minister to the Lord, expressing deep gratitude for what He has done, what He is doing and what He is going to do. We are encouraged so often to be thankful but sometimes we forget. Colossian 4:2 says, Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 1Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name (Psalm 100:4).
steps to getting in the flow
01 Make yourselves available to the Holy Spirit. 02 Minister to the Lord and put things in their proper prospective. The Bible says, Magnify the Lord with me (Ps. 34:3). When you put Him in the right perspective other things fall into place. 03 Remember, your mouth is connected to what you believe. 04 Wait on the Lord and renew your strength. If you want to see God move in ways you’ve rarely experienced before, you must continually make yourself available to the Holy Spirit. You can’t live on memories from the past; you must have something real to pass on, your ‘today’ experience of the move of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, remember that God never requires anything from us without blessing us….it’s His nature.
Promise of Purity has changed these lives >> We interviewed Loulita Di Somma to find how... What was it that triggered your determination to set up POP? We live in a society that is extremely sexually promiscuous – especially amongst teenagers. Britain is statistically known as having one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates, and sexually transmitted diseases are also rife in this nation. I sensed God pulling on my heart to do something about it. I know you can’t change a nation overnight but you can change it by touching the life of one person at a time, and that’s what we aim to do with POP. When did you start and how did you go about organising it? We started the course in January 2004 but the idea of POP dropped into my heart nine months previously whilst walking in town one day. God gave me the idea and at the same time He gave me the name – Promise of Purity instead of Promise of Virginity because the emphasis of the course is about a person’s future and not their past. When I approached Pastor Gerri about the idea, he was very 14
keen to implement it. We discussed it in depth and came up with the structure and subjects the course would cover and the rest, as they say, is history. What are the key features of the course? The key features of the course are the homework you’re given on the introduction day (which covers a 6 week period) and also the actual seminar day, which is the consolidation of the course. You cannot really have one without the other as they both impact each other equally. The homework prepares you for the seminar day and the seminar day confirms the homework. The homework is especially important because it’s during this time that the Holy Spirit begins to work on you and your belief system as you meditate on the scriptures and journal your thoughts. I’ve found that many people believe the wrong thing about their sexuality and have based their beliefs on the opinions of their parents, friends, teachers and society, etc. Yet God wants us to understand our sexuality and the importance of purity from His point of view, which is only found in His Word.
Promise of Purity is a pioneering course and it has been a breakthrough in my life, as I have desired to do something like this for a long time, but nothing has been available. I was blessed by the small group sessions, especially by the openness that people were free to discuss problems and be set free by confession.
Promise of Purity touched my life greatly, bringing reality to the sacredness of marriage. The main emphasis for me was the great importance of commitment. God showed me so much through the six weeks, especially about staying pure for the man out there who is just for me.
Before I started this course, I was rather cynical about it because I thought I had been there and done that. I have grown up knowing God and I had previously made commitments to live pure before Him.
This course has been a turning point in my life. The ring is a daily visual reminder of the commitment that I have made.
What a precious and meaningful gift I can give him! It taught me how to be the woman I should be, and not what the world defines a woman to be! The ring is a daily reminder of all the powerful truths I have learned and my personal commitment to stay pure.
However I found that He definitely had more to say to me. We can never say that we have arrived! Promise of Purity was for me a stepping stone along the journey; it confirmed a lot of things in my life. There is no shame as we trust in Him.
It’s one thing making a commitment to stay pure based on your own belief or moral plumbline but it’s a completely different thing making a commitment based on God’s Word for therein lies the power. As the Psalms says, our hearts will fail us but God is the strength of our lives and our portion forever. Did you draw ideas from other sources? No. It was simply a God thing! I subsequently heard of various organisations in America doing this kind of thing, but their success rate was not very good and their emphasis was virginity. That concerned me because I wondered what hope these organisations were giving to people who had made mistakes and lost their virginity along the way. The God I know embraces and restores ALL who are truly repentant, so I wanted POP to reach every single person. So what makes POP different, if at all? Firstly, it’s not an emotionally hyped course. It’s lengthy in that it takes 6 weeks to complete from introduction day to seminar/ceremony. It’s totally Word-based and Holy Spirit empowered. We emphasise sexual purity BEFORE and AFTER marriage. What sort of response have you had? We’ve had an amazing response. So far 63 people have attended and made the commitment. There are currently 16 young people from Exeter going
through the course and we’ve already begun accepting applications for January. To my knowledge, the course has been 100% successful and I know that it’s impacted so many people’s lives – mine included. What blesses me about this course is that if one person makes the commitment, it will affect the next generation and the generations to come. Testimonies? There are countless testimonies of people who have been changed through this course. I remember one particular person who was pretty resistant in attending (well, there were a few) but afterwards they said that they were so glad that they did. What you think you’re going to get from it and what you actually do get from it can be two totally different things.
>>“The ring is a daily visual reminder of the commitment that I have made<<
Where are you going from here with POP? I would like to get POP into colleges and schools in the UK over the next few years. I spoke to one teenager who said the course would be great to have in their school because it would give teenagers an excuse to say ‘no’ – plus it would be a fantastic evangelism tool. We also want to launch it in South Africa next year – possibly in July. I have high hopes for POP and I know that this is something very close to the heart of God so I can’t wait to see what He is going to do with it. 15
Promiscuity or Promise of Purity? Promiscuity: “Normal” behaviour today. Sexual desire awakened by the media, pornography, peer pressure. Young experimenting with sex. Drifting in and out of relationships. The results – unwanted pregnancies, abortion, fatherless children, sexually transmitted diseases, problems in conceiving later on, damaged emotions, inability to sustain a lasting loving relationship, marital unfaithfulness, divorce, distrust, loneliness, misery... Promise of Purity: promising to be pure until married. Learning self control. Respecting your own body Avoiding pregnancy and disease. Protecting your emotions. Enjoying friendships without pressure. Preparing for a loving lasting relationship. Being faithful in marriage. Creating a stable family. Experiencing self-repect, mutual trust, love and fulfilment. The choice is yours.
Introduction Sat 15th Jan 10.00am–12.00pm
Seminars Sat 26th Feb 9.30am – 4.30pm
Ceremony Sat 26th Feb 6.30pm
CALL: 0117 977 5533