ELLEL MINISTRIES GILBULLA E-NEWSLETTER ARTICLES
24th November 2017
by Tracey Smith
If you made a movie trailer of your life, where are you in your story? Are you asking the big questions, like:-
Why am I here?
What is my purpose?
What is true?
When dark forces close in, do you know which roads to take, which choices to make? In the epic battle for your life, has the victory been won or lost?
Movie blockbusters often follow a quest. ET and Dorothy had to get home. The Von Trapps had to escape. Luke had to conquer The Force, Thor had to prevent Ragnarok and Billy Elliott just wanted to dance. Great scripts one and all, and in every great script you’ll find a turning point - that moment of transition where the hero stands at a crossroad, the dark forces are closing in and a choice has to be made. Unbeknownst to the hero, one road leads to “All is Lost” and the other to “Victory is Mine”.
If victory seems like a bridge too far, then how about enrolling in Scriptwriting 101 for a rewrite of the rest of your life?
EXPLORE is the quest is for a true connection with God, the personal discovery of His love and the application of its transforming power. God has the answers to every question you are asking - sometimes we just need to go back to school to learn what the answers are.
Set to launch in 2018, the EXPLORE school is a series of weekend events held over the year where you will discover and deal with the obstacles in your personal life story. Anxiety, stress, troubled relationships, conflict, addictions and depression might be page turners in a screenplay but no picnic if they’re your real life struggles. EXPLORE puts you into collaboration with Jesus on a major rewrite of your life so you can be free of whatever is holding you back.
And you won’t be alone … you will journey with others seeking to write the next chapter in their stories, along with an experienced team with a heart to inspire, encourage and workshop with you.
EXPLORE is about you receiving revelation from God for your own personal restoration story.
The topics on EXPLORE read like the chapters in a bestseller. The scene is set with The Big Picture as you check the foundations of your life for stability. In Knowing God you delve into His true character and nature, and embark on the quest for God’s Master Key to unlock the power in forgiveness. The remedy for the poisoned chalice that is rejection is offered to you in Lost and Found and God’s Enemy Exposed will prepare you to vanquish the one who seeks to steal, kill and destroy your life. Inside Out will take you to your very core and Heart Matters will light the path to restoration of inner damage. God’s plan for relationships will get you Connected and Sheltered will reward you with the antidote to fear and anxiety.
Of course, any good story needs a finale where the loose ends are firmly tied and we aren’t left wondering what happened to the hero. This comes with the Explore Workshop where you and your fellow travellers will use the keys you have discovered to minister alongside our Ministry Team, to each other.
Each EXPLORE begins on a Friday night and by Saturday night you will have shared in worship, fellowship, biblical teaching, personal reflection, group discussion and an Encounter time of prayer ministry.
If you want to deal with the unanswered questions and the enemy in your life story, then come and EXPLORE God’s rewrite of your life with us.
Remember! Every good movie script has a turning point for victory.
Could the decision to come and EXPLORE be yours?
21st September 2017
The Perfect Storm?
by Janine Robinson
Ever been so scared of something that you feel like there’s a storm raging on the inside of you? Your tummy is doing flip-flops … your hands are sweating … your heart is racing? Me too!
When I was a little girl, I loved playing with the flannelgraph or Fuzzy Felt pictures at Sunday School and one of my favourite stories was the one where the disciples were in a boat out on the lake and Jesus walked on the water towards them during a storm. Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water to Jesus and when Peter takes his eyes off Jesus he sinks and Jesus catches him just in time before he disappears beneath the waves. You can read the story in Matthew 14:22-33.
I have a very healthy respect (code for fear!) of the water and the thought of being out in a tiny boat in a huge storm raises my anxiety levels to its upper limits. But this wasn’t just any ordinary storm … it was the Perfect Storm! That reminds me ... have you seen the The Perfect Storm movie with George Clooney? Scary!! Remember that scene when they are staring up the face of that giant wall of water? No thank you!
But Is there really such a thing as a Perfect Storm? Well, apparently! It’s a storm that sets out to achieve everything it was meant to, like in our Bible story. Wikipedia describes a “perfect storm” as an event where a rare combination of circumstances aggravates a situation drastically. The term is also used to describe an actual phenomenon that happens to occur in such a confluence resulting in an event of unusual magnitude. I had to look up the meaning of confluence … it means the meeting of two bodies of water. And in the story of Jesus walking on the water, that’s exactly what happened! The Sea of Galilee, churning up the waters of the deep meets Jesus … the Living Water! Cool, hey? Wikipedia lines up with the Word of God!
When I’m afraid I feel like I’m going through a storm, I get all churned up. It brings stuff to the surface that I didn’t even know was there. Insecurity, control, loneliness, trust issues … they all come bubbling to the surface.
Maybe God allows us to go through storms because it is the only way of surfacing all the hidden stuff that needs to be dealt with so you can see Him more clearly and recognise His presence in your life. Often the difficult experiences we fear the most can bring us closer to Jesus. Just like it did with Peter. Jesus always comes to us in the storms of life … in fact, He has never left us. Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” The Lord many not come at the time we think He should come, but He knows when we need Him the most.
In the story, Jesus had waited until the boat was as far from land as possible, when all their hope seemed lost and when all the disciples’ strength had gone. When their fear was the greatest. They cried out and He heard them. He always hears you. He always sees you.
Jesus said to the disciples, “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.” At the sound of Jesus’ voice, Peter plucks up the courage to step out of the boat. He doesn’t wait for the storm to stop. He doesn't ask Jesus to stop the storm. He doesn't even ask for a guarantee that he’s not going to drown. He steps out. He took a risk. He had a choice. And we have a choice. To take a risk ... even when we are afraid. It goes against all that we believe is going to keep us safe. You have to step out to find out. In Hebrews 11:6 it says “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
In saying that, I’ve had my very own “stepping out of the boat” experience. We were holidaying with friends in Fiji and it was around the time of my 50th birthday. We hired a boat to go snorkelling. I had never been snorkelling but I thought we would go to an island and we would be near a beach. Remember I am afraid of deep water, so this option was OK with me. But to my surprise after an hour, the skipper pulls the boat up at a reef and tells us that we had arrived. I looked around. No land in sight! I looked down. I couldn’t see the bottom, even though the water was crystal clear. My anxiety level peaked!
The skipper spent a few minutes explaining the safety rules and encouraged those who weren’t strong swimmers to put on a life jacket. I put one on even though I had already decided I wasn’t taking part. My husband and friends all jumped off the back of the boat and swam over to the reef, leaving me all alone with my fear.
One of the crew saw me and said that he was going to row a small dinghy out to the centre of the reef just in case the swimmers got tired and needed a rest. He suggested to me that I could hang onto the back of the dinghy and he would tow me out and when I felt confident I could let go. Well, that wasn’t going to happen!!
But standing on the back of that big boat, I decided to take a risk. I prayed and made Jesus the Lord of the time and manner of my death. Are you laughing? I was serious!! That’s how scared I was. I had never worn a lifejacket before so I didn’t even know if it was going to keep me afloat. I took a deep breath and jumped. So far, so good. I held the back of the boat and we made our way over to the reef.
After a few minutes of wrestling with my facemask and snorkel, I plunged my face beneath the water and what I saw took my breath away. The colours of the fish and the coral were amazingly beautiful. I had never seen anything like it before. I just kept letting out these “oohs and aah” sounds. The crewman asked me if I was OK. I just gave him the “thumbs up”! I was more than OK.
And then I felt the Lord say to me “Happy birthday lovely one.” That made me cry into my facemask!
If I hadn’t taken a risk and jumped off the back of the boat, I would have missed out on one of the most spectacular experiences of my life. The same thing happened for Peter, and the same thing can happen for you.
Matthew 14:32 -33 says “And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “Truly, You are the Son of God.”
They suddenly realised who Jesus really was and that He could do what He said He would do.
Again, Isaiah 43:2 says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” But then the next verse, verse 3 says "For I AM the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.” He is the One who saves. He is your Rescuer. He can rescue you from your fears.
So what are you missing out on? What fear is holding you back from experiencing everything that God has for you in your life? Jesus the Living Water wants to meet with you in the midst of your storm.
If fear is your constant companion, why not take a risk and come along to our Steps to Freedom from Fear course which is being held on 6th – 8th October 2017.
Speaking as someone who has stepped out of the boat, believe me, you have everything to gain!
25th August 2017
How much is too much!
by Sue Bailey
Are you no longer the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed person that you used to be? Have you lost your joy? Feeling exhausted? “Unfair” is in your top 10 most used words?
Burnout can wreak havoc on your health, relationships and job performance. In order to combat it early, it’s important to know what it is and what to look out for.
Burnout is that state when the levels of stress reach an unbearable intensity, with little or no let up, and the person is no longer able to cope. It is a condition that evolves slowly over time, although there may be a ‘final straw that breaks the camel’s back’, and results when both the body and mind are worn down and worn out.
Mary Andrews-Dalbey says this –
“It is not just describing a place of excessive stress, but burnout describes a complex human reaction to ongoing stress and an increasingly negative attitude toward your work and, perhaps, your life. It's feeling that your inner resources are inadequate for managing the tasks and situations presented to you. It becomes more and more difficult to recoup from hard work, to face challenges and to adequately rest. In burnout, we've spent not only our energy, but we've also used up our emotional reserves.”
Simply, it is that place where there is ‘nothing left in the tank’ you are no longer just running on empty, but barely surviving on the fumes! As a result, often a person just comes to an abrupt stop.
Early signs could be chronic exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue; anger at those making demands on you; self-criticism for putting up with those demands; resentment for having too much to do; cynicism, negativity and irritability. You may suffer from frequent headaches or gastrointestinal disturbances. You may compulsively eat, drink or shop … anything for comfort or escape, or you might stop eating because even that’s too hard. You may have trouble sleeping; feel depressed, helpless, hopeless and isolate yourself from people around you because “I’m so grumpy and miserable, who would want me around anyway?!”
So how do we avoid it or recover from it?
Firstly, are you being real with where you are at? Begin to freely admit the stresses and pressures which have manifested physically, mentally or emotionally.
We can convince ourselves that we're stronger than others, more resilient to stress and more resistant to illness. We say or think things like “Others may be falling apart around me, but that will not happen to me, I can cope! I’m stronger!” The reality is that burnout often happens to those who appear to be the most able, capable functioning people.
By rationalizing and minimizing the facts, not recognizing the warning signs and choosing to do something about them, by denying our feelings, needs and limitations; reality doesn't change. When the body breaks down, illness or burnout follow, and then all plans must be postponed and activities stopped.
Herbert Freudenberger noted that "when negative stress becomes a lifestyle, it hides in the guise of regularity."
It’s our norm. We see nothing wrong with it. It may mean some radical choices need to be made to review and reflect where we are at.
This also needs to be a daily habit. Stop during difficult times in the day and ask God …. “Lord, what are you doing in this particular situation? How can I co-operate with you? What would you have me do?”
Ask yourself: “Is my life out of balance? Even if you enjoy doing that thing (e.g. work), if you focus your whole life on it, you can burn out.
Jesus had His life in balance. He was all about doing his Father's business. He knew that he could only do what his Father was doing, so he placed the burden of responsibility on his Father. Jesus waited upon God for his leading, His timing and His power. That's what kept Jesus from burning-out. Otherwise, he certainly had all the criteria to do so: poor work conditions, excessive demands, no compensation, bureaucratic resistance and lack of appreciation. Yet he received all that he needed from his Father. Likewise, we must surrender our agendas to what Father God is doing in any given situation and follow his lead.
Jesus sought time alone to rest and to be restored by his Father. Intentionally, he would send the people away, dismissing those in need without an explanation, or disappear to a quiet place without notice. He didn't ask for permission to go, nor did he remain "on call" in case of an emergency. He didn't even feel guilty. When he needed rest, he would simply stop, retire to a quiet place, and pray. When Jesus prayed, he was at rest, surrendered to his Father.
Matthew 11:28-30 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
0n the weekend of 22nd – 24th September 2017, Paul Watson, Centre Director at Ellel Pierrepont, will be teaching on the subject of Dealing with Stress, Anxiety and Burnout.
25th July 2017
by Paul Robinson
What do you expect from a relationship? Not just a romantic relationship.....any relationship? A lot of the time we are unaware that all relationships come with expectations, from both sides.
For example in a work relationship with a colleague, you might find you expect them to be integrous with their time and company resources, have a good work ethic, be friendly and willing to help you out, etc.
In a social situation with friends, you might expect them to be loyal, enjoy being with you, look out for you and be sincere.
The deeper and more intimate the relationship becomes, the deeper the level of expectation becomes. We would not have the same level of expectation in a relationship with someone we have just met as we would with someone we have spent a lot of time with and have many shared experiences, good and bad, over several years.
When I was first married, my expectations of my wife were influenced by my own desires for our marriage but also my understanding of the roles of husbands and wives in marriage as modelled to me by my parents. That was my paradigm, my way of seeing and understanding things, and like all paradigms it was reality to me. My wife had her own expectations and her own paradigm built around her own dreams and life experiences. Not that we discussed, or in some ways even recognised that we had those expectations, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there.
The problem often comes in relationships, as it did early in ours, when our expectations aren’t met. This can be particularly difficult to resolve without help when you consider that both people are unaware they even had some of the expectations they are holding the other responsible for not meeting!
Imagine for a moment that you have two people entering marriage. The husband to be comes from a family where the mother of the household was a very fastidious housekeeper, was never employed outside the family home. She almost single-handedly, and seemingly cheerfully, undertook all the domestic chores such as cooking, washing and cleaning. His father while supportive, only occasionally helped out with the chores and spent most of his time outside in the garden or shed or in front of the TV. There seemed to be an unspoken natural order, mum stays home and does all the internal “housework” and dad is responsible for the outside only.
The wife-to-be comes from a totally different backdrop. Both parents worked in jobs outside the family home, the family were all expected to pitch in and help with the chores and while mum and dad and the kids had certain tasks that were their responsibility, most of the workload was shared.
Do you think there may be differences in the expectations around sharing of domestic duties between the husband and wife in that new marriage? How much more difficult would it be if the expectations were not discussed or even recognised before the wedding day?
Unmet expectations in a relationship lead to disappointment, and disappointment then leads to judgement which is where the real problems begin. When we’re judging someone’s actions through the lens of our disappointment, we’re presuming to know what is in their heart or making assumptions about what they are thinking. “He/she obviously doesn’t love me, if he/she cared about me he/she would......”
When we make these kind of judgements about what’s in the other person’s heart it leads to bitterness and, at best, a partial break or strain or, at worst, a full breakdown in the relationship. I think maybe that’s one reason why God, tells us in Matthew 7:1-5 not to make judgements about others! In fact God tells us to look at ourselves, examine our own hearts first, before we judge others.
So maybe it’s a good time to search your heart, look at your relationships and ask God to show you where you have unmet expectations that you need to deal with. God’s desire as revealed in His word is for unity among His people, in fact it says it brings blessing.
Grace to Heal What Isn’t Real with Thom Gardner is a weekend course being held on 18-20 August 2017 which will help you learn how to deal with, and receive healing and restoration for those relationships that have been affected by unrealistic expectations.
22nd June 2017
The Great Adventure!
by Cody Butler
The great adventure is an invitation to live life like never before. It’s an adventure that Christ wants us to be a part of! It isn’t just for those who some might consider to be the spiritual elite. It’s for you and it’s for me!
What comes to your mind when you think of the word "adventure"? Does it scare you? Maybe it excites you? Perhaps you are indifferent?
I grew up in the country and adventure was in my veins. My brother and I would push the limits on our daily escapades. We’d try new things and we’d hurt ourselves on occasion, but we’d learn from our mistakes and continue to push the boundaries.
The house we lived in was old, but full of character. Raised upon stilts you could feel the cool air from beneath the wooden floorboards especially in the winter. Intrigued by the phenomenon of cool air on our feet we set out to discover more. Outside, on all fours and eyes squinting we peered into the darkness, which seemed to be an abyss, a mystery, or perhaps a great adventure!
Mum gave us the all clear, but exhorted us to cover ourselves from head to toe just in case we ran into our old mate Joe Blake (snake). Heeding her advice we covered ourselves with as much protection as was physically possible. Three pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, a few shirts and a face mask for good measure.
Erring on the side of caution we decided it was best to take a couple of M-16s and grenades (plastic of course) just in case. By the time we were ready, James Bond would have looked unprepared. All that was left to do was to take the first step into the unknown, into the abyss.
For a couple of boys at five and six years old the potential dangers ahead paled in comparison to the possibilities of discovering what lay hidden below.
Today, God wants to lead you into the unknown, into the "abyss". He wants to take you away from the comfort of your life and into the amazingly colourful life He has planned for you. He wants to be the boss. Will you let Him?
Hidden beneath the floorboards of your life is an adventure Jesus is waiting to take you on.
Curious? I hope you are!
John Eldredge said, “Men want a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. That is what is written in their hearts. That is what little boys play at. That is what men’s movies are about. You just see it. It is undeniable.”
Similarly, he writes regarding women, “You’ll find that every woman in her heart of hearts desires three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure and to unveil beauty. That’s what makes a woman come alive.”
God has written the desire of adventure on our hearts. He’d prefer to be at the head of the adventure and not the rear, but unfortunately we constantly push Him further and further back.
So why does this happen? Why are most Christians living an adventure hardly worth living?
Perhaps it’s laziness? Maybe you are convinced that living a sold out life for God isn’t possible in today’s climate, with jobs, mortgages and kids amongst everything else.
Whatever the reason, God hasn’t forgotten the desires of your heart and the yearning you have to live a life worth living.
Maybe today is the day it all changes?
Maybe the cool air of God’s great adventure is slowly, but surely creeping through the floorboards of your life, peaking your interest ever so slightly until you can’t help but let go and accept His invitation into the unknown, into the abyss.
Ken Symington will be with us ön the weekend of 14 - 16 July, and his course ‘The Great Adventure’ is an amazing insight into what it looks like to live a life on fire for God, leaving behind the mediocre lukewarm Christian lifestyle many are stuck in.
To find out more or to book on The Great Adventure, click here
24th May 2017 ...
But I'm not creative!!
by Jeanette Kingston
We have heard that statement many, many times over the years, and maybe you are one of those who have said those words. You may not have the artistic ability of Rembrandt but you have been created in the image of God, so therefore ... you are creative!!
Ask a group of four or five year olds if they are artists or creative and almost every hand will go up. Ask a group of twelve year olds, and only a few hands go up. What has happened? Well maybe they were laughed at, or told to stop wasting time or even scolded for making a mess. They were not encouraged just to “go for it”! The message they were trying to express was misunderstood.
Now when we use the word “creative” - we’re not talking about being an artist, or skilled in a particular area. There are those that are gifted … have a gift or talent bestowed by God’s Spirit upon them, and there are those whose gift begins as an interest, and when developed and practiced they become very skilled and will be recognized as gifted. These people may be very creative in the area of their gifting, but we can also be just as free to have fun, try new things, have another way to express ourselves, say in our creativity what words cannot say. You don’t have to be particularly good at something to be creative.
Every one of us can create, all human beings are creative… because we are made in the image of the Creator who is very creative!
Engaging in creativity gets to the root of issues very quickly. Creativity opens up the human spirit because our creativity is part of the human spirit. Creativity has a way of by passing the mind and exposing what is really in our core belief system.
We may not understand where a certain behaviour or a feeling is coming from, but as we move into doing something creative we will often feel the fears, doubts, and hurts we hold in our spirits of past failures, disappointments or words spoken over us and then if we allow God in, He can heal those wounds of the past.
On the weekend of 22nd – 25th June, 2017 we are holding our annual Healing through Creativity course. This is four days set aside to enjoy, in a safe environment, the joy of allowing God to bring healing as we make, try something new and be creative.
This is a weekend to grow in the image of God. Giving yourself time, to see, to understand what has blocked your growth into His image while having the opportunity to allow God to feed into your heart through taking the risk of trying something new, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and owning the stories of your life. Acknowledging where there is loss can be difficult but not as hard as continuing to run from where God’s heart is to meet us.
The weekend provides a structure yet with a freedom to choose from different activities and workshops including pottery, woodwork, dance, cardmarking, photography, sewing, making jewellery, painting, collage, music, creative writing, leatherwork, mosaic work, flower arranging and even making and flying paper aeroplanes.
These opportunities allow you to experience, to see, to taste, to feel and have a go in a safe and encouraging environment! At the same time there is great fellowship as the family of God and time to find God in a new and fresh way. This is not so much a course as an experience!
Here’s a testimony from one our past Healing through Creativity weekends -
“I couldn’t understand why God kept drawing me back to the woodwork shed when there was so many other activities I wanted to do. But as I worked on different projects guided by the loving encouragement of the older men helping there, God revealed to me that all men weren’t like my father. I kept expecting them to snap at me or ridicule me. My father was a very impatient man, but these men never criticized or discouraged me in any way. They were so patient, kind and understanding. A core lie was smashed that day. Thank you!”
This course is not about what you can bring or even what you can do. It is more about discovery!
Join with us on this special course and experience for yourself God's healing heart through creativity.
To know more, ring our office on (02) 4633 8102 or click here to book
18th April 2017
Paying it Forward
by Paul Ryan
Have you ever been asked to pray for someone and didn't know where to start? Have you ever felt like you missed an opportunity to pray for someone because you weren't sure what to pray? Don't ever miss an opportunity again!!
Matthew 28:19-20 says "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Here at Ellel Ministries, we want to see restored disciples offering restoration to others. But that requires a process.
So we are offering discipleship training and equipping over just one week with essential tools that only Ellel Ministries offers…
Over 15-20 May 2017 we are running our brilliant Ellel 6 Day School here at Gilbulla in Sydney.
It is one week of powerful teaching. It combines vital theology with a practical component on ‘how to minister to others’ immediately after every session!
The 6 Day School covers the key components of Ellel Ministries teaching in a package that won’t even stop you from attending Church on Sunday! (Begins Monday 15th May through to Saturday afternoon 20th May).
6 Day School topics include:- Deliverance Ministry; Generational Influences; Relationships and Soul Ties; Inner Healing & Emotional Wholeness; Dealing with Forgiveness; Overcoming Rejection; Dealing with Accident & Trauma; Restoring Human Spirit; Understanding Beliefs and Behaviour Cycles; Godly Sexuality; Overcoming Fear & Anxiety; and lots, lots more.
Most of those sessions will have a ‘hands-on’ Practical Workshop included showing how to minister into each of those affected areas where a person’s life can be negatively affected.
That Practical component after each teaching session will either be in the form of:-
1) Upfront Demonstration Ministry for all to witness; experience and learn from; or
2) Small Group settings (where mini-workshops will take place with an experienced Ministry Team person leading each group. That key person will provide oversight and offer demonstration ministry within that group to enhance the learning experience!)
Listen to this testimony of an interstate student who attended last year’s 6 Day School: “I came expecting to gain insights on how to pray for others back in our own congregation. What I wasn’t expecting was God to heal me of a trauma that occurred many years ago, which I had no idea was still affecting me so negatively! Praise God, I feel amazing. It’s incredible what Jesus has done! Now I will return home with more freedom in my heart, less fear, a greater love for Abba Father… plus a whole lot more to offer in prayer ministry thanks to what I learned watching the Upfront Ministry and being involved in the Small Group workshops. Thank you Jesus. And thank you Ellel Gilbulla.”
This Ellel 6 Day School is our most intensive practical training opportunity we offer.
Six days of kingdom keys imparting a deeper understanding of how to heal the sick, restore the wounded and prepare disciples to fulfil the Great Commission!
This is an excellent discipleship package that offers powerful and effective ministry training… …what are you waiting for?
Either book online here… or by ringing our Reception during office hours on (02) 4633 8102.
24th March 2017
What Does Easter Mean to You?
by Tracey Smith
I was out in the car with my husband and as we listened to the radio it was apparent that an interview with Australian champion swimmer Ian Thorpe had just taken place. The announcers were discussing the sacrifices "Thorpey" had made to achieve success, which prompted us to ponder what today is considered a sacrifice?
If you decide to be an elite athlete and go for that gold medal, is everything you do to pursue that goal considered a sacrifice? Are the years of study a medical student undertakes to be a doctor considered sacrificial? Or in both cases are the choices made the means to an end?
As you do, I thought I would consult Professor Google and see what wisdom he had to share on sacrifice. The Prof presented me with three definitions, the first of which probably comes closest to covering Thorpey’s swimming career:
An act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy.
Google also provided some useful synonyms: loss, relinquishment, forfeiture.
Thorpey would have forfeited some things that were valued by others such as sleep ins, a social life and a relaxed diet so they didn’t get in the way of him achieving success in the pool. Jockeys make similar choices, relinquishing some things in order to achieve the measure of success the racing profession deems important and worthy - riding winners.
Definition number two:
An act of slaughtering an animal or person as an offering to a deity.
Google’s synonyms this time were ritual slaughter, immolation and hecatomb. (Heca-what? Well let’s just say there’s a truckload of cattle involved but that’s another story).
It was Google’s third definition of sacrifice that resonated with me:
Christ’s offering himself in the Crucifixion.
Easter is when the word ‘sacrifice’ needs no synonyms. Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for us. When we hear of someone laying down their life for others such as a soldier may do, it is often called the ultimate sacrifice. Is there a bigger sacrifice a human being can make? But in Christ’s case, this was not only a human making this choice - this was God.
How does God die? He becomes a man so he can.
There are many other belief systems and faiths in our world but I’m yet to find any other where the one being worshipped does the dying for his followers. Jesus chose to become fully man for us. A God that made himself man which meant he could feel everything you or I could feel, and we can only imagine the torture - body, soul and spirit - that He endured at the Crucifixion.
But he chose to do it anyway. I wonder sometimes how that feels when what seems to follow is an endless succession of ungrateful generations. He sacrificed himself, knowing that many would still turn away, choose death.
When you accept Jesus Christ, His sacrifice saves your life, both in the here and now and into eternity. You don’t have to perform rituals, jump through hoops, sacrifice animals, wash yourself first or go through a priest to confess your sins – you can just open your mouth and speak to your Heavenly Dad. Receive His reassurance. Find refuge under His wings. Cry to Him when you’re hurting. Be forgiven when you’ve messed up. Get peace when all around is madness. Shout when there’s anger, injustice, pain. Confess when your cranky pants feel tattooed on. The fruit of the sacrifice Jesus made for you is your acceptance of Him and the ongoing relationship with God He opened up for you. It’s Easter, every day! (Sometimes, it’s even minute by minute).
Easter is the gift that keeps on giving. Can you get your head around it?
Don’t try. Just live it.
(Chocolate or a lamb roast is optional).
22nd February 2017
What About Me?
by Joanne Ryan
Have you ever thought this ... or said this out loud ... or even sung along very convincingly to the song with this name? What about me??
It is the heart cry of every man, woman and child from every walk of life to be accepted for who they are and to ultimately belong ... to someone and somewhere!! To be seen and valued as a necessary and integral member of a family, a workplace, a church, a community or a sporting team. It is actually part of our DNA…it was always what our Heavenly Father intended for each of us.
Our God is a relational God! And He designed us to desire an intimate relationship with Him first and foremost. For that relationship with Him to be the foundation upon which all other relationships stand. We are His kids, the apple of His eye and if we were able to grasp that truth, our deepest desire to feel accepted and to belong, would be filled.
So why do we struggle so much? What has gone wrong? How do we begin to fix it?
Peter Horrobin, the Founder and International Director of Ellel Ministries came up with four statements that we now call The Four Principles of Acceptance & Belonging. I want to quickly unpack them for you…
The first one is the cornerstone, the foundation on which the other three flow out of. If we can truly grasp this first principle, the knock on affect will be life changing!! I know it was for me!
- Accept God as He really is…or in other words “How do you see God?”
- Allow God to Accept You or “Can you let God love you?”
- Accept Yourself…”Can you love yourself?”
- Accept Others – “Can you love others?”
I was born and raised in a loving Christian family and I really didn’t think I had any issues with God. Sadly, I had no idea who my Heavenly Father really was. I didn’t know that he was my Daddy, that he adored me just because I was His. I knew in my head that he loved me but this knowledge had never dropped down to my heart. I was a slave not a son.
My Heavenly Father used my baby girl to show me what he was truly like and how much he loved me. Hannah knew that her daddy loved her. And she acted like a true daughter with him. She was bold in seeking out time with him. She knew what was rightfully hers as a daughter. And she took it!
She used to yell out to him as he left for work, standing at the door of our home when she was just eighteen months old…“Daddy…cuggle me!!” (that word was a cross between cuddle and hug!! Very cute!!) And Paul would always make himself available to her…scooping her up in his arms, loving her, blessing her, kissing her and tickling her. She loved it!! After a few minutes, she would wriggle out of his hold, look up at him with big blue eyes and say “Lub you daddy!” (her adorable way of saying love!!)
You see, she ‘got it’…she absolutely knew without a shred of doubt that she was loved, treasured and adored by her earthly father…she had a ‘heart’ awareness of this truth.
One particular morning I was watching this scene play out in front of me and it deeply impacted me…I was a sobbing mess in fact. So I cried out “God, why can’t I get this? I want to feel this kind of love for myself!!”
And He spoke deep into my spirit these precious words…”Paul is a great dad…He’s a really great dad but he’s nothing on me. And what Paul has with Hannah is exactly what I want with you!” And that was the beginning of a transformation process from slavery to sonship. Finally, I started to grasp the first principle…Accepting God as He really is…a loving, good, safe Father who loves and adores me. And then it became so much easier for me to Allow God to Love Me. Who doesn’t want to be loved by a good dad?
The other knock on consequences were that I started to like me. When you start to believe that your Heavenly Father not only sees you but truly loves you, you start to like yourself a whole lot more! And when you truly Love Yourself, you can Love Others well out of the ‘full tank’ you now possess!!
God’s heart is for you to truly know that He wants you…warts and all…because simply you are His!! Are you desperate to feel that kind of love? Are you willing to believe that it’s possible?
We run a weekend course on Acceptance and Belonging coming up on 31st March – 2nd April 2017. Please take the opportunity to come and invest in your heart…
You are so worth it!!
24th January 2017
The best Ellel course to do ...
by Paul Ryan
We are quite often asked by people “What would you recommend as the best Ellel course for me to do?”.
The answer usually varies depending on the individual needs of the person asking that question. However, there is really only one course that covers every need:- our Modular School!
I heard someone say to me over a meal immediately after graduating from this year’s Modular A School: “I began the Modular School thinking I was coming to learn how to minister to others… what surprised me was how much pain I was still carrying regarding issues I thought were dealt with long ago! But to my surprise, out of that restoration journey over the course of the Modular School, came many discipleship tools and spiritual keys that have powerfully equipped me to now minister to others. I came expecting to learn with my head… but instead I was equipped via a journey of the heart. And the added bonus is how much more I have experienced the love of Abba Father just for me! I just feel my heart is so much more at rest and so much more secure in God’s love than ever before!”.
The ‘journey of the heart’ that person was referring to was a 12 month journey on our Ellel Ministries’ Modular School.
So when someone asks me “which is the best event for me to attend?”… I could recommend our ‘Free Taster’, or a specific topic like ‘Addictions’ or ‘Fear’… but it’s really only our Modular School that takes you on a ‘journey of the heart’ that offers the full range of equipping, training, restoration and deeper discipleship.
The Modular School is absolutely the best equipping and healing course we offer here at Ellel Gilbulla....by far!!!!
There is another aspect that sets the Modular School apart… it is the powerful friendships you will establish over the year. The quality of relationships you will build on this ‘journey of the heart’ will be some of the deepest relationships you ever establish in your life. And carry forward for the rest of your life. They say that the strongest friendships are built on the battlefront of fighting for the hearts of others. The comradery built each month through the authentic ‘journey of the heart’ that every student on this school experiences, knits hearts together in a way few others schools will do.
Here’s what the 10 individual modules of the Modular A School comprises:-
- “Foundations for the Healing Ministry” 3-5 Feb 2017
- “Moving Under the Anointing of Holy Spirit” 3-5 Mar 2017
- “Acceptance and Belonging” (Rejection) 31 Mar - 2 Apr 2017
- “Inner Healing & Emotional Wholeness” 5-7 May 2017
- “Deliverance Ministry 1” 16-18 June 2017
- “Truth about Sex and Sexuality” 28-30 July 2017
- “Restoring the Human Spirit” 8-10 Sept 2017
- “Steps to Freedom from Fear” 6-8 Oct 2017
- “Principles of Care & Prayer Ministry” 17-19 Nov 2017
- “Modular A School Ministry Workshop” 7-10 Dec 2017
To entice you to come and trial the Modular School, we’re offering a special deal where you can attend the 1st Modular weekend on ‘Foundations’ (3-5 Feb 2017) at a massive 25% Discount - just for this first module of the School. So, why not come to this first weekend as a ‘Taster’ to trial and experience the Modular School?
We are confident that if you’re serious about your Discipleship and wanting to be well equipped – you will want to be part of this ‘journey of the heart’ that could transform the direction of your life forever!
To find out more information and receive your 25% discount, ring the office on (02) 4633 8102.
Looking forward to seeing you over the 3-5 Feb 2017 at our ‘Foundations’ weekend to launch the best course we run – the Modular A School!
25th November 2016
Year of Discipleship and Training (2017)
by Michael Widderich
Are you about to leave school but have no idea what to do next? Or maybe you are at Uni or caught up in a full-time job without finding any fulfilment and are feeling empty rather than inspired. If you are yearning for a closer relationship with God and a stronger sense of wholeness, why not take a year out and apply for next year's intake of Year and Discipleship (YDT) students?
Here at Ellel we firmly believe in the importance of discipleship training in order to both develop a more intimate relationship with Father God and built character that cannot be shaken. That is why we launched the ‘Year of Discipleship and Training’ program for 18-25yr olds back in 2012, to intentionally invest into the next generation who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
The YDT has been running for more than 5 years now and we have been able to learn and improve the program in so many ways during this season. I’m confident in saying that there hasn’t yet been one single student whose life didn’t completely change after 12 months. Of course this growth only comes through great struggles and challenges. But even though many have testified about this year being the hardest year of their life, they all agree that it has certainly been the most impacting and profound year too, leaving them with a strong sense of identity and self-worth. And this is exactly what they will need as foundation when being faced with whatever difficulties they find themselves in throughout their lives.
So where are you at? Can I throw you a challenge to pray about whether this is something that God would want you to do? Or perhaps God has put somebody on your heart as you are reading this? Why not get in touch and refer them to the YDT Page http://ellel.org/au/get-involved/year-of-discipleship-and-training to find out more or call us on (02) 4633 8102.
The offer is out there .... now the ball is in your court!
25th October 2016
Real men are men who are real
by Paul Ryan
Our men’s “Proven” event is fast approaching (24-27 November)!
Most men start out believing they can make a big difference in this world.
But then life happens and we get taken out…
If you’re married - kids come along and you discover you never have enough time or energy for them; career stresses continue to rise; the margins evaporate and all your time is taken up; cracks in the marriage begin to appear. It’s usually at this point a man finds himself in over his head… and it takes everything he can muster just to hang on!
And if you’re a younger single guy… you know that something is missing deep within when you feel fear in the presence of a beautiful woman. Why does she make you feel inadequate… like you won’t be enough for her? Or perhaps you feel like you're failing under study or work pressures. Where does that lack of worth and shame originate?
With all of those situations… you've got to ask what is going on? How as men did we end up here?
For most of us, there are stages of development in our younger years that we never offered to us, simply because our dads did not know how to invest into us everything our hearts needed. We have been raised essentially ‘fatherless’ to be quite honest.
By ‘fatherless’ I don’t necessarily mean ‘without a father’, but rather to say that few of us were blessed with dads who were able to give us significant time, nurture and investment over the formative years of our upbringing. That ‘fathering’ investment also should have included arranging other male mentors to have input into us. The result of those 20 odd years of intentional fathering by our own dads should have led us to know deep within that we are a beloved son, who has what it takes, no matter the challenge.
The reality is for most of us, we did not receive such intentional fathering. Therefore, for most of us, we have not received much of the above input. There are gaps in our development as a man.
Many well-meaning dads who love their sons, gave of their best… but most of those dads would’ve had no idea how to offer the above-described intentional fathering.
It’s unlikely our dads got that kind of investment; because their fathers before them would not have received that kind of fathering either. This generational fatherless-ness has left us unfinished as men, if we are honest. We know this to be true when the storms of life come and we fail to cope with life’s stresses. Such pressure causes us to topple like fallen trees… only later do we find that that our ‘roots’ were not set deep enough and our undealt with inner issues became the ‘termites’ that ate away at us from the inside… weakening us… guaranteeing our failure when the pressure mounted.
Those pressures of life surface a man’s shame, his anger, his passivity, his drive-ness and his addictions. Such symptoms reveal we are carrying wounds - though if asked, most men deny they are wounded. Why? Because we fear we will be tagged as a ‘lesser’ man if we acknowledge our struggles and failures.
A man knows something is missing deep inside him every time he is confronted by a frustrated wife (or angry girlfriend) or a wayward child. Every frustrated father knows the feeling of shame that follows after venting his anger uncontrollably at his child. (Where is that anger coming from? What are we really angry at?)
Sadly, as men we have capacity to do great damage to those under us when we get it wrong. (It’s usually our women, our kids and maybe our employees that suffer under us)
Listen to how Dallas Willard puts it,
“The primary story of God is trying to find men in whom He can entrust His power. The story of most men is being entrusted with power and it bringing harm to themselves and those under their care”.
The real issue lies with the fact most men do not have the character to handle the roles of authority and responsibility we find ourselves in… and we have no idea how to fix it!
Abba Father, I believe, is inviting weary and hungry men to stop building… and instead start digging!
Listen to Morgan Synder from Ransomed Heart Ministries on this concept: -
“What if instead of trying to ‘build big’ in what we do, we gave permission for God to begin digging deep!… By that I mean deep excavation of our hearts - removing the rocks, stumps, rubble and debris that prevent us from laying the foundation required for God to build us into the men, husbands, fathers and leaders that this world will need in the days that lay ahead”.
What if Father God was inviting us as men into a decade of being apprenticed along the narrow road that few choose to walk. An ancient path, in fact.
Our “Proven” men’s event aims to identify what was missed in our masculine journey. There are certain Stages within that journey that cannot be skipped over. Those stages of the journey that we skipped (or had stolen from us) can be rediscovered. This Masculine Journey that every man is meant to take can still be found. Most of us have just never been shown what that journey looks like.
“Proven” is designed to re-set your compass towards that ancient path (Jeremiah 6:16). This event is designed to help find men find direction for their hearts again.
It’s not just another men’s conference telling you what you have to do for God… but rather you will be invited to come and hear what Abba wants to do for you!
“Proven” will explain how God wants to ‘father’ us and restore us to be worthy frontline warriors.
But this journey is not for religious men… it’s far too costly and demanding for ‘pretenders’. This journey will require something of us that only a desperate, humbled and surrendered man would dare pursue. This event is only for those men willing to take the road less travelled… the narrow road. An ‘ancient path’ (Jer 6:16).
“Proven” will be held at Ellel Gilbulla over 24-27 November (4 days - Thurs evening to Sun lunch).
If you want to register, or find out more call the office on (02) 4633 8102 or click here to book
28th September 2016
You Are Creative!!
by Paul Ryan
I find it very interesting that many of us as adults today profess to have no creative ability!
Ever heard others (or perhaps yourself) say, “I am not artistic”… Now to be specific… we’re not talking about being ‘artistic’. We’re talking about being ‘creative’. It’s true to say we don’t all have an artistic gift, but the truth is actually that anyone can be creative! How do I know that? Well God’s Spirit brooded over creation at the birth of this world and that same Holy Spirit has crafted us into the image of God… so if we have been created in the image of God and He is The Creator… then to be made in His image must mean by definition that we have some creative ability.
Even so, most of us still hold to a belief system that says “I am not good at that sort of thing”… however, you never see a child having difficulty with being creative! Every kid loves to cut out and glue, paint, draw, play with building blocks, have fun with play-doh, plasticine or crayons, and kids love to experiment with musical instruments!
If all children, who have a natural leaning towards creativity are encouraged and affirmed in their efforts – regardless of how messy things get or unharmoniously the music sounds – they grow in confidence to enjoy a freedom of expression that can be carried throughout their life!
When children are encouraged to be creative they receive a sense of fulfilment, joy and fun that they can carry with them as they mature, which can provide a God-given confidence to pursue and develop creative giftings in other fields. Such pursuits could offer a delightful hobby or leisure activity that carries into adulthood or even possibly develop into a chosen career!
Bottomline … Creativity is meant to be FUN! And because it is primarily an activity where we have to engage our human spirit… creativity is a pursuit that connects us to God!
So how would the enemy interfere with that?
Let’s imagine that a child’s creative efforts are not encouraged or affirmed? What if you did a drawing for a parent and they dismissed it? Ignore it? Or laughed at it? Or picked out all the mistakes in it? That child assumes their efforts are of no value. They could be embarrassed or crushed. They determine they cannot draw well, so they stop drawing. They may even believe that any time spent being creative is actually a ‘waste of time’ or ‘not productive’.
Sometimes if a child’s creative efforts are criticised regularly for being inferior to everyone else’s, they may try harder to please next time. When a child starts trying to earn approval with their creative efforts, it is very easy to become achievement oriented… then the joy and fun is lost. Perfectionism then takes hold! We don’t try because perfectionism leads us to believe … we cannot fail! We become afraid to fail.
From this point onward, the enemy can establish strongholds in our thinking that can hold us captive to unholy patterns. These patterns are not easy to break.
A classic tale we hear often is when a young person has spilt the paint at home or knocked over the cordial, and a parent has exploded at the resultant mess. The strong message we receive is that we aren’t allowed to make a mess. From that crushing there comes a fear, a restriction and a control that can engulf us. A parent who doesn’t allow a kid to make a mess, ensures that child will grow-up to become a parent to the next generation who will never allow the freedom to fail, make mistakes or just have fun.
Our Healing through Creativity Course (6-9 October 2016) is simply one of the best events we run all year! It has the least amount of teaching of any long weekend event we offer, yet its impact is profound!
All we do is set up lots of stations all over the ground here at Gilbulla where you can do clay modelling, leather work, woodwork, glass work, collage, card making, painting, musical workshops… we’ve even offered fly casting instruction and ‘How to change the oil in a car’, plus ‘Dance for the terrified’, drama classes, making paper aeroplanes, etc, etc! No matter what the form of creativity you come to participate in, Father God is always present to begin healing the crushing and neglect our human spirit has received!
We even have a “Mess Shed” for those who are game enough to have a go at making a mess with a promise that they will not get in trouble! (The shed is especially set up to deliberately throw paint around!... just for fun!). The testimony time at the end of this weekend has to be heard to be believed!
This event is not so much a course… as an experience! To know more, ring our office on (02) 4633 8102 or click here to book
23rd August 2016
You are Invited!
by Paul Ryan
We are constantly looking to introduce new people to Ellel Ministries and the life changing truth that Christ offers to restore, heal and disciple.
For most people who have never heard of Ellel Ministries or never been to our Ellel Gilbulla centre, they are understandably a little cautious about coming to check us out.
Well, in September, we have two events that are very non-threatening, have no registration fee, and are very low-key introductory events.
Firstly, on 3rd September we have a ‘Free Taster’ one day event that covers some basic Ellel topics and is an absolutely brilliant event to introduce a first-time friend to Ellel Ministries teaching! The day carries great foundational subjects like acceptance and belonging, forgiveness, etc; we provide lunch; and it’s all free of charge. We can’t make it any more attractive than that! If you feel that’s of interest to you or perhaps a friend you could invite to come… then go to the following web link to find our more info: https://ellel.org/au/events/2016/09/free-taster
The second opportunity to bring a first-time friend to Ellel Ministries is during our Open Days over 17th and 18th September. This event is even less threatening than the Free Taster Day! It is our once a year opportunity to open up ‘Gilbulla’ to the public and simply show off our slice of the Macarthur family heritage centred in the very birthplace of Australia’s agricultural belt. There are self-guided tours of the historic “Gilbulla” Homestead (c. 1899) with its beautiful gardens in springtime and walks amongst the Cumberland Woodland forest. There will be Devonshire Teas with the best scones in the shire; a sausage sizzle; and for the kids we’ll have a jumping castle, face-painting and petting zoo of baby animals!
Come and enjoy a great family day out!
Adults are asked to pay a $5 donation at the entrance to the property. (Children 16yrs and under are free). No need to book ahead… Pay at the Gate!
The Centre is open on both the Saturday and Sunday from 10am til 4pm each day.
Looking forward to seeing you at either the Free Taster Day or the Open Days.
For more information, ring the office on (02) 4633 8102.
22nd July 2016
Healed for a Purpose
by Paul Ryan
So many folk want to be healed, trained and equipped as fast as possible!
What is the best way to do that?
We have a Modular School which runs from January to December each year. It's ten weekends spread over a whole year. The next one starts in January 2017. But understandably, some people may feel that they are unable to commit to that length of time.
But what if the best of the Modular School and all it has to offer was jam-packed into just one week? Would that interest you?
And what if that one week’s teaching didn’t just offer the vital theology, but also imparted the practical outworking of ‘how to minister to others’ as you are learning? Would that grab your attention?
The 6 Day School covers the key components of Ellel Ministries teaching in a package that won’t even rob you attending Church on Sunday! (Begins Monday through to Saturday).
6 Day School topics include:- Deliverance Ministry; Generational Influences; Relationships and Soul Ties; Inner Healing & Emotional Wholeness; Dealing with Forgiveness; Overcoming Rejection; Accident & Trauma; Restoring Human Spirit; Understanding Beliefs and Behaviour Cycles; Godly Sexuality; Overcoming Fear & Anxiety; and lots more.
Plus, most sessions have a ‘hands-on’ Practical Workshop showing how to minister into each of those affected areas! (Those workshops will have an experienced Ministry team member present to oversight and offer demonstration ministry in each group!)
This Ellel 6 Day School is our most intensive practical training we offer. Six days of kingdom keys imparting a deeper understanding of how to heal the sick, restore the wounded and prepare disciples to fulfil the Great Commission!
What are you waiting for?
You can either book online here or by ringing our office on (02) 4633 8102.
24th June 2016
Steps To Freedom From Fear
by Paul Ryan
No one is completely fear-free. No one.
And there is only one sure cure for fear … a deep and intimate relationship with Abba Father!
Because when you trust in Father God for 1) your protection; and 2) your provision… what do you have to fear?
For too long I lived in the unreality of believing that I was living free of fear. But under close examination of how I reacted when life’s circumstances turned against me… I would suddenly get anxious; followed by the need to control things in the hope that I regain some sense of security by my own hand!
The way we interact with others and how we respond under pressure – all of that eventually gives us away. From phobias to obsessional tendencies; fear of rejection; fear of authority; fear of dying; etc… every one of us suffers from some form of fear or anxiety in some measure.
The only true antidote to fear is a deep and intimate relationship with Abba Father!
On Saturday 16 July 2016 our one day event on "Overcoming Fear", and then a weekend course on the 29-31 July 2016 called “Steps to Freedom from Fear” will look at what has gone wrong in our early formative years where broken spiritual cover; trauma and other incidents have caused us to become vulnerable to fear and anxiety… leading us as adults today not to trust our Heavenly Father.
These two events will examine the root causes of our fears. It will uncover our sinful responses to the wounding we suffered when we were traumatized or left unprotected and it will offer clear steps that toward a journey that may one day lead to life that is indeed without fear.
Either book online by clicking on the highlighted events above or ring our office on (02) 4633 8102.