Tag Archives: Please God

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Pray More

‘Patience, prayer and silence—these are what give strength to the soul.’ St. Faustina

If we want to be more like Jesus, we must be with Him more. And do less of everything else. Our roots must sink and stay deep in the Source if we want to bear fruit that remains.

I do badly when first thoughts of the day revolve around unsolved problems. I start striving, and my words and actions become cutting. I know right away that I am not in Christ; I am worldly, and thus unable reveal Him to the world.

I used to wake up each morning and see if the little red light was flashing on my phone. My first thought of the day revolved around which text or email or phone message needed me. One morning, weary and anxious after a fitful sleep, I bawled out a colleague who had left a disturbing message during the night.

So the next morning I bypassed the phone; I vowed to pray for a good while before anything else.

I cannot live like a Christian unless I am founded in Christ. That means opening my heart and hands to Him in quiet before saying anything to anybody. My loved ones deserve better.

And Jesus expects more of me, and of all who claim to know Him. He said that ‘unless our righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees, we won’t enter His Kingdom.’ (Matt. 5:20) Contrary to popular opinion, the Pharisees were good, conscientious people. But Jesus raises the bar for everyone when He equates murder with bawling out a colleague and adultery with thinking lustfully of another. He then broadens ‘loved ones’ to those who hate us and treat us cruelly.

How can we love like that–purely, gently, non-defensively–without more of Him? We need to go deeper in Christ if our love is to exceed the Pharisees’.

Pray more. Do and say less. Let what you say and do arise out of increasing times of silence before Him. Judge the fruit yourself. Do we manifest love, peace, joy and self-control? Or anger, lust, and self-vindication?

‘Let those who are singularly active, who think they can win the world with their preaching and exterior works, observe here that they would profit the church and please God much more…if they were to spend at least half of this time with God in prayer…They would certainly accomplish more, and with less labor, by one work than they otherwise would by a thousand…Without prayer they would do a great deal of hammering but accomplish little, and sometimes nothing, and even at times cause harm.’ St. John of the Cross

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A Global Gift

Toni Dolfo-Smith’s help to me in Germany was but a glimmer of what he offered to the global work of Living Waters. He has since come alongside of me to release Living Waters in humility and power; he is matchless in mercy.

I first met Toni 20 years ago at a Leanne Payne conference in Canada. I was on her team; he was curious. As a man vital in faith who had come out of homosexuality and recently married, he wanted to understand the ministry of ‘Living Waters’ and to benefit from it.

That conveys Toni’s humility. He is infinitely more gifted and well-rounded than me. As a young political activist, he fought apartheid in his native South Africa, then became a doctor of architecture (he taught at University), a seasoned businessman and trained therapist, not to mention a world-class painter, interior designer and florist. My former assistant Char rightly described Toni as a new ‘concept’ in human possibility. I alternate between weariness and envy in considering his many talents.

Try gratitude. Toni is worldly in the truest and best sense. It cost him. Satan led him out to the end of his earth and offered Toni everything. Toni chose the narrow way of Jesus: death unto real life, the kind of influence that only pure mercy can afford one. He makes my heart glad.

He slowly—one by one—released his grip on a variety of enterprises in order to dig ditches of Living Waters in Canada. God increased his measure. He helped me navigate the development of Living Waters in South Africa then took it over. He has come alongside of many to help release Living Waters on every continent; he now oversees the development of Living Waters in Asia.

Toni in his exotic good looks is perfect in appearance for the role. He is the ‘international man of mystery’—as Indonesian as he is Turkish, Mexican, or Brazilian. Airport immigration likes him; they ask him a lot of questions.

In his mercy-giving, Toni combines the wisdom of a learned man, the tenderness of a man humbled by weakness and grateful for healing, the creativity of a fine artist, and the drive of a disciplined achiever. I hope that God used Living Waters to help bring out the best in Toni; certainly He has given His best to Living Waters through Toni.

I do not know of one who had so much to give and yet who came alongside of me to serve and to learn. He worked really hard to trust me, even as I did the same.

I trust Toni. We work out hard things, and they get harder as he steps out more in the authority God has given him to release Living Waters. It is a blessed challenge—it has made me grow. It has made our global offering of mercy grow.

I trust him with the ‘water world’ God has entrusted to me.

Would you please agree with me: ‘Please God, bless Toni Dolfo-Smith (and wife Mardi plus kids Cal, Mackenzie, Dakota, and Garrison) as he has blessed me and countless others with the work of Living Waters. Pour out abundant mercy on them as they have given their lives for the sake of Your mercy.’

‘As You have shown us mercy, O God, in the desert places of our lives, would You show mercy to the beleaguered state of marriage in the USA? As the Perry vs. Schw. case wends its way to the National Supreme Court, prepare for Yourself a victory. We shall render to Caesar what is Caesar’s but we shall prayerfully fight for what is Yours, O God. Prepare the hearts of each justice, especially Justice Anthony Kennedy, to uphold marriage according to Your merciful design. Remember mercy, O God.’

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