Thursday 14 July

VOX is LIVE here in Sligo IT for Day Five 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.

08.59 Good morning Sligo.  The sun is shining and we are feeling good!  We're looking forward to a packed schedule today and throughout the day, we'll keep you up to date here on the blog.  Check in for updates, highlights and links to full summaries of the main sessions and some of the seminars.

09.32 "Bless the Lord O my soul, all that is within me bless His holy name.  Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits."  David McClay praying for God to speak to us today.

09.35 Great start to the morning... "Our God is greater...!" and "Praise is rising.."

09.58 Pouring out praise to God in a packed Arena and preparing to hear Greg Venables bring the morning Bible Teaching to us.

10.05 We are considering together what we ARE (not what we would like to be, if only) based on Romans 8:37, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

Reading from 1 Peter 1: 3 - 9  Why start with moaning?  Start with praise!  You are not starting with you, you are starting with Him.  He has given us new birth.  We have an inheritance that cannot be taken away.

His shield is all around us.  How many people live in fear all the time?  Don’t let fear wreck you.  The only fear you need to have is the holy reverent fear of God. 

Whatever you are going through it is only for a “little while” but God is taking you somewhere and even in the midst of it, we can rejoice. 

1 Peter 1:13 Sort your thinking out!  Have minds that are alert and fully sober.

Acts 9:15 there are so many people in churches around the world who think that once you become a Christian everything is going to be very easy and comfortable.  It is a lie. We need to face up to our temperament (some people are more prone to anxiety and pessimism) and to our circumstances (which don't always get better...)

10.30 2 Corinthians 1:3 Don't start with yourself.  Start with God and start with praise!  Instead of drowning in self-pity, get up and go find somebody to comfort.  Forget about yourself and help someone else.

Paul says, “This happened, that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” - we have to die now otherwise nothing else will happen. 

Daniel 3: 16 - 18 God can change my circumstances but even if He doesn't I won't give up!  Are you willing to allow God's power to be made perfect in your weakness?

Ready a summary of Greg's message "Overcoming Fear and Suffering" here.

11.52 Excited to hear Danielle Strickland's seminar this morning - What does it take to see breakthrough?

Starting with postures of prayer... how can we be surrendered, generous and missional today!

The most freeing posture for breakthrough is True Humility.  True humility is when we come into agreement with God about who we are.

Read a more detailed summary of Danielle's seminar here.

18.36 Internet issues this afternoon so I'm afraid we couldn't blog but we had a great afternoon seminar with Craig Stewart - notes coming shortly.

19:20 The Arena is jam-packed again this evening as people gather to hear Jasper Rutherford speak. But, before that, it's time to worship......"Our God is a lion, the Lion of Judah"

19:44 David and Joy Dickinson with their band are really going for it tonight in the Arena singing "Your Majesty, I can but bow. I lay my all before you now".

19:55 Take our hearts Lord, take our lives tonight - The genuine prayer of David McClay to open this evening. 

20:00 Ninety percent of the offering being collected is going directly to the work Open Doors is doing in Syria. Bless and you will be blessed.

Jasper Rutherford is leader of Summer Madness and Catalyst, a Church Army Evangelist and Tearfund partner

I am challenged by what God is doing in the persecuted church. Let's stand and rejoice with these guys. It is a pleasure to be here. I want to talk about the presence of God. That's what has been happening this week in the talks and seminars, something of recognising the spirit of God and we say, "Bring it on".

If I could sum up my experience of God when I first discovered Him as a teenager was when He said to me, I see you with a Fathers eye. I craved a presence driven life, not a purpose driven relationship with the Father.

My dad died in February this year after being diagnosed with lung cancer. We didn't have a great relationship but just before he died I was able to lead him to the Lord. I had had a thought that he was going to die tomorrow at 12 o'clock. At that time the next day, he didn't die but we were all gathered together because he was very weak. I got some oil, anointed him and prayed the Lord's prayer. The presence of God came into the room then, thick, and my dad, who could still hear us, began to breathe normally again. I read Psalm 23 to him and on the "Forever", he breathed his last breath, at 12 midnight. From the first minute to the last, that's our God. That is who He is. Jesus is alive. His presence is undeniable. When God shows up, something moves.

Exodus 33: 15-16 Presence goes before power and presence goes before purpose. If we seek the promises outside of God, then it's our own agenda. If we're not people who recognise His presence we will not avail of His power.

I didn't miss my earthly dad for the promises he gave to me, but I missed him for his presence. Oh, to be with him. In our relationship with God we can often pursue Him for the power, the position, the reputation He can give us, rather than His presence. 

Romans 8:14-17 Describes an intimate relationship with God the Father, as His beloved children. God is very fond of you. Do you really believe that and embrace that love because if you do then everything changes.

Malachi 4:5-6 Turn one more page and four hundred years have passed by. I believe some of you have waited years to see amazing things happen in this place. The supreme purpose of Jesus was not to die on the cross, it was to reveal the Father, to make the Father known. The only time that Jesus does not address God as the Father was on the cross. The only time the Father turned away.

The breakthrough we all need is from religion to relationship. We cannot compare our earthly father to our Heavenly father. There are examples in the Bible were fathers want to clothe their children with promises - Joseph and Pharaoh, Moses and Joshua. There is a sense of preparing for the future. In Ireland, we need spiritual fathers and mothers that prophetically say, "I dress you with promises for the future". We need fathers who see who we can be. In the church across the West, we have maintained our traditions and denominations with the consequence being we have lost our children. We thought they should fit and respond the way we responded. Good fathers are never jealous of their children. 

1 Kings 12:1-14 What I see in Ireland is that children's hearts are not turned to their fathers, they are turned to their brothers and to their sisters. We are in danger of leading without listening. We think we know best. This land needs young men and women with the courage to say we need to honour our fathers and our mothers. Fathers should not be jealous of their children but children should not be envious of their fathers. What I think God wants to happen now is that we should honour each other. 

Read a summary of what Jasper had to say here