Tuesday 12 July

VOX is LIVE here in Sligo IT for Day Three of #Sligo16 - New Wine Ireland's annual summer conference.  Today and throughout the week, the VOX LIVE Blog will bring you all the action from the conference along with stories and news from around Ireland.  And you can find summaries of all the main sessions as well as many seminars and workshops.

09.11  Good morning from Sligo!  The sun is shining and we're live blogging from the #Sligo16 alternative venue - The Glass Space.  With its own live worship and intimate feel, the creates a slightly different experience while we enjoy access to the same great teaching via video link.

09.37 Kicking off with worship here in The Glass Space singing "We are here for you" - beautiful!

10.03 We're preparing to hear Greg Venables speak this morning.  Great quote from Hilary McClay (via Live Link with The Arena - yay! it works) as we prepare to listen:  “Someone has cooked an amazing banquet for us but we have to choose to eat it ourselves.  We are praying for God to open our ears to hear and receive."

10.05 God will always tell you the truth.  If God is telling us one thing and we are saying the opposite then we have a problem.  Our honesty with God is the way forward.  Today we need to face reality.

Reading from Deuteronomy 8:2-3

God did not abandon the people of Israel in the wilderness.  Jesus said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me so that you will never have to go through that!" But God leads us through the wilderness to deal with pride and pride is sin! 

The wilderness is a place where God empties us of self-sufficiency, self-satisfaction and self-pity in order that we can be filled with Himself. Let God show you what is in your heart.  Let Him test you and examine you.

You don’t learn to trust God reading a book or listening to a sermon.  You only learn to trust God when you have no other option.

11.40 Don’t be afraid when God calls you to do the impossible.  He will enable you to do it, when you are emptied of pride.  Face up to what is inside.  Do it now while there is time.  Don’t put it off.  Before you leave this place without dealing with these issue of failure and sin!

Read the full summary of Greg's message here

11.45 Filled with new energy after two cups of coffee (!) and excited to hear what Alain Emerson has to say in his seminar about "Unity".

We need to understand the character and nature of God who is love, if we are to really understand unity.  If our posture is fear-driven and defensive, it does not reflect the character of God.

Jesus's great unanswered prayer is that we might be one; that we might love one another like He loved us.   The biggest missional strategy in how you transform your city with the Gospel is how the church, in all its diversity, loves one another.

All around us we see pride, division and independence.  We approach in the opposite spirit humility, love and unity. 

Unity cannot be a side topic!

  1. Love one another
  2. Speak well of one another
  3. Stand together
  4. Discern where it is possible to do shared mission

14.53 We've kicked off the afternoon seminars and workshops with a wealth of important conversations about the kingdom of God!

16.28 Late afternoon tea break time and a chance to catch up with posting some of the seminars online.  Here's a great summary of yesterday's session on "Rest" and today's seminar on Unity

19.17 We're starting the evening celebration and we're excited about hearing what God has to say to us.  Here are a few images from our wonderful photographer Herman Farias to give you a taste of the worship time here in the Arena!

20.00 Joining the Glass Space in the LIVE link now and preparing to listen to Pete Greig (founder of 24/7 Prayer) this evening.

We live in a world that is increasingly perplexing and confusing.  Everything around us is shaking.  How can we to live with hope in a time when there is so much confusion?  How can we change nations, when nations are being shaken? 

When the world is being shaken, as Christians we are not immune.  Yet we are living in times of remarkable opportunity.  While Europe is fragmenting the church is uniting like never before.  This is a time of dangerous opportunity!

Reading from Psalm 46 - God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble…

The psalmist is writing this at a time of great crisis.  Nations are shaking.  Kingdoms are falling.  This is a time of great turmoil.  Into this great shaking, the psalmist says, we will not fear because God is with us. The antidote to fear is the knowledge of the proximity of God.

The greatest gift is not the Father’s presents but the Father’s presence.

Our default is to ask Him to airlift us out of our trouble but instead, He often parachutes into our valley of shadow.  He is present with us even in times of trouble.  How do we do that?

Reading from Romans 15:13. God is a God of hope and He is able to fill us with peace and joy as we trust in Him.  Trust is a pair of open hands that enable us to receive from God.  Lack of trust is a clenched fist.  

The word of God, the promises of God will give us strength to endure when things are difficult as we choose to believe them rather than our feelings.  You over-flow with hope because God is the God of hope. The more you allow Him into your life, the more hopeful you become.

Read a more detailed summary of what Pete had to say:  Hope in the time of turmoil.

20.46 If we see the nations shaking it is time for the people of God to stand up and be counted as sons and daughters of the most high.  

21.12 Lots of fun stuff this evening:  Floodlit Frisbee, an outdoor cinema and late night worship!