I strongly encourage every follower of Jesus to study this book. I was inspired in my faith and walk with Christ, and I know you will be too.
− Dr Doug Beacham
Bishop, International Pentecostal Holiness Church
I have known Matthew for more than thirty years, and he is the real deal. He was in love with Jesus as a young man and I have watched the passion and commitment grow. In this book, Matt is unpacking one of his favorite subjects, “How to do the Jesus stuff.” He invites you and me into the great adventure of following the nudges of the Holy Spirit, engaging the world with the words and works of Jesus. Enjoy!
− Phil Strout
National Director, Vineyard USA
"Immediately after the Red Light District and the sex clubs were closed to the Covid-19 crisis, the work load at Sharlaken Koord became overwhelming. We were inundated by sex workers asking us for urgent help. Our social work team had to get used to the new situation. The first two weeks were very intense. It was like a weird chaos around us. I still had to take care of my children while also attending to the needs of so many other people. For example, I recall many times cooking dinner while talking to someone on the phone about how we could get financial assistance from the Dutch government.
There is so much help needed. Many of our clients did not have their financial paper work in order and it took a lot of time to get things in order to be able to ask for help. Also, there was often acute panic because people had no income. That can be extremely stressful getting a phone call from some one with no food and no money.
Fortunately, after two weeks we were able to begin giving out food boxes along with coupons for buying food at the grocery store. We have been able to help out 50 families every week who really need that help. I was able to help get that going and that is very rewarding. It is a moment where you can have weekly personal contact with the people we are helping.
'Now that the first hectic phase is behind us, I get requests from clients who want to get out of prostitution and find another job. This is a benefit of this crisis is that individuals hopefully have an opportunity to get out of the sex work industry. I am happy that so many people have found their way to our office to find the help they may need. For example, rarely do we have an opportunity to serve the Dutch women who work in the Escort Services. Through this crisis, we are able to know and help them many of them as well.
'The crisis is demanding that we work hard for so many people who need help at this time. We are still daily receiving requests for help and see so much need. The corona crisis is not over yet and we still need to help many individuals. In the middle of it all however, I see good things taking place by people who really care. For thing I am very thankful."
By Thomas Fiege
This year, we as New Life West in Amsterdam, are preparing our hearts by setting apart the ten days between Ascension Day and Pentecost by coming together every night for worship, meditation and prayer. We are actively waiting and looking forward to the promises of God. We see this in the Jewish tradition of celebrating Pentecost, or “Shavuot”.
Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks stood for the seven full weeks they were to count down from Passover (Easter) until Pentecost. This counting is something active. It is like the way a child counts down the days until his birthday or as a bride until the day of her wedding.
The Jewish people celebrated their first Shavuot at Mount Sinai where they were given the law. They see the law as a symbol of a traditional marriage contract. God purchased his people as a bridegroom would pay a price for his bride. He then drew up a marriage contract containing all the conditions, blessings, promises and the arrangements for an inheritance.
The night before the celebration of Shavuot, Jews would spend all night studying the Torah or their “marriage contract.” Early in the morning they would go out on the streets to celebrate with great joy. This is exactly what the disciples were doing the night before Pentecost in the upper room. But at that Pentecost, they received the engagement ring of a new covenant accompanied by great power and joy as the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. The church, Christ’s bride was born, who was purchased with his own blood.
Jews would also call this time the ‘counting of the omer’. The omer was a measure of grain they were to sacrifice on the day of Pentecost. This measure is only used once in scripture and that is in the story of Manna, the bread from heaven coming down to feed them in the desert. In the desert, God fed them beyond their own resources and abilities . He was their source.
Let this be a time in which we too will be led beyond our own supplies and into a realm of knowing and tasting the bread of heaven. Not only does omer stand for the full measure of Jesus, but also for His Word, truth and promises for us now.
Back to the theme of marriage.
Three months earlier there would have been nothing you could have said to convince me that I would be standing in the prayer line of a Pentecostal church, asking God to baptise me in the Holy Spirit.
You see, I had grown up in a staunchly anti-charismatic Independent Fundamental Baptist Church and was taught that the gifts of the Spirit had now ceased. I was studying in the local Baptist Bible College and training to become a minister of the Gospel. When I wasn’t studying I was working at the church as the Youth Leader and assistant to the Pastor. My whole life was in that church – my school, my work, my ministry, my family and my friends were all there. I thank God for this Baptist church – they taught me the Gospel, they taught me to love Jesus and to love the Bible and they loved me like their own son.
I had reached third year of the Bible College and it was time for me to write my thesis paper on some area of theology. My pastor urged me to write on the topic 'Disproving the Pentecostal Experience of Speaking in Tongues as Evidence of the Baptism with the Spirit'. He gave me an old Pentecostal tract on how to be baptised in the Spirit and sent me away to do my research. I soon found that there was not enough detail in that little tract so I found a textbook at the Christian bookstore, The Holiness Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century by Vinson Synan. As I read through this history of men and women who courageously embraced the move of God in their time something stirred deep within me. As a student I was receiving so much knowledge about God and His ways but they had a fire that lit up their lives. By the time I had finished studying that book I was convinced I needed to experience this fiery baptism for myself.
Riet was sitting in the room at the psychic fair in Alkmaar where I was doing my Demonstration of Supernatural Power. Her face was blank and stony; there was no emotion to be seen there. I was prophesying over several women who wanted to experience a “demonstration of supernatural love”. Riet raised her hand. With some hesitation, she said she would also like to know what Jesus wanted to say to her. I took her hand in mine and began. “Riet, you have the gift of hospitality. Do a lot of people come to your home?” “No,” said Riet flatly.
“Do you visit other people a lot?” I asked.
“No,” said Riet. I have my own home and no one else comes there. And I like that.”
I was a bit surprised that the words didn’t seem to fit Riet at all. Still, I went on,
One Sunday as I was concluding my sermon when Miguel walked up to the front of the church and said, “ I want to give my life to Jesus Christ right now. I want to repent of all sin and live for Him.”
I prayed with and for Miguel. Embraced him and have since enjoyed seeing the change that has taken place in his life. Listen to how Miguel describes his new life.
“Before giving my life to Christ, I was living at night. I would go to bed every morning at 6 am and then get up at 6 or 7 pm to start all over again. My life was full of parties, drugs and drinking. I really could not do very much more because I struggled with depression and fear. Whenever I would come home, I would feel the emptiness and darkness come upon me and I would cry out to God, I want to live another kind of life.
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