CityLight 29.3.2020

Hi CityLight family,

It was good to meet up with all of you today via ZOOM and YouTube.

If you missed today’s message you can access it here:

Below are a few announcements for this week, a summary of today’s key prayer points and what God is teaching us as a community, and some helpful links.

  1. Screenshot 2020-03-29 at 11.59.18What God is teaching us (summary):

– The need to make drawing closer to God part of our new daily rhythm.

– The need to rest in obedience, love one another more, and God’s provision.

– Not to covet and keep our hearts away from worthless things. Ps 119:35-38

– God can bring good from this time = the earth is getting a rest 🙂

– A greater awareness that we are quickly approaching the end times.

– God is connecting families and individuals in new ways, particularly via prayer.

– Isaiah 11:3 Delight & fear in the Lord, see things differently = His way.

– Fasting = we need to do it individually and as a church!

– Not to pray away the virus as much as seek God’s will to be done!

– To be aligned with God, prepared by him and ‘Gospel people’ in these last days.

– We need to give out the pure Word of God, not ‘beat around the bush’.

– We are to not live as slaves to fear, but as sons of God = beloved, protected, and provided for.

  1. Fasting

We had a loooog, but healthy discussion about Fasting. I won’t repeat it here, but if you need more info on the theology, Scriptures, and ways to fast, simply ask in the CL Messenger group and someone is bound to posts some excellent answers!

After all the discussion, the conclusion is that YES, we need to fast both individually and as a church in this time. We want to invite you to fast this week for three things:

– To draw closer to God and be more attentive to His voice.

– To invite Him to clean us, make needed changes, bring more of His holiness.

– To invite God to make us ready for what He is doing in us, our church and nation.

How long you fast, what day you fast and what kind of fast is completely up to you. However, we want to give some space on the next two online meetings (Wed, Sun) to report with the church what the Lord might reveals as a result of your fasting experience. Enjoy!

  1. This weeks gatherings: Here is the plan

 Wednesday 18:00 – Zoom Video chat = Worship, Prayer and Hangout (https://zoom.us/j/264833887)

Sunday 10:00 Preaching (https://bit.ly/35EjlNc ) + Zoom Meeting (https://zoom.us/j/264833887)

For a full program and all link see: https://epiphanycitylight.wordpress.com/2020/03/17/so-what-is-the-plan-for-citylight-this-week/

  1. Prayer Points:

– Pray according to ‘What God is teaching us’

– Pray and Fast according to the 3 points: draw close, holiness, readiness.

– Pray for Slovakia, India… the world!

– Pray for us all to be a LIGHT in this difficult time to our neighbors, coworkers and those around us.

Much love,

Patrick + Ivetka

So, what is the plan for CityLight this week?

connect-slideDue to the ban on public gatherings resulting from COVID-19, regular services at CityLight will be postponed until further notice.

The building is closed, but the CHURCH is still OPEN!

For the next few weeks we plan to have online services twice a week – 10:00 Sunday mornings and 18:00 Wednesday evenings.

Here is the plan for this week:

Wed – CityLight Zoom Video Chat = time of online fellowship, worship and prayer.   When? 18:00 (CET)

Follow the link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/264833887

Sun – We will have a word of encouragement from the Scriptures posted on the CityLight Facebook page Sunday morning. Feel free to watch it whenever you are able. We will start a ‚watch party‘ at 10:00 (CET) or just tune in the CityLight YouTube channel. The last few Sundays we had many people view the teachings. Please help us spread our reach by liking, commenting or sharing the video to your timelines. Thank you!

Link: https://www.facebook.com/CityLight-Church-Bratislava-175331365847039/

At 10:30 (CET) we will have CityLight Zoom Video Chat = time of online fellowship, worship and prayer.

Link: https://zoom.us/j/264833887

In-between services we do encourage you to stay connected via the CityLight Church Messenger group. Please post what the Lord is speaking to you in these times (words of encouragements, Scriptures, videos, etc). If you have prayer requests or needs, make them known. We are in this together and are all here for you!

We will also post content on the Epiphany blog through the week, so please follow us here.

New to CityLight?  

Possibly you are not a regular part of CityLight community but just found us online. Feel free to introduce yourself, ask for more info, prayer or assistance. Please contact pastor Patrick & Ivetka directly at patrickivetka@gmail.com.

 

 

What is Your Shield? 17.3.2020

Happy St Patrick’s Day 2020!

WATCH LIVE VIDEO: https://www.facebook.com/patrick.m.higgins.1/videos/10206614924089255/

Výsledok vyhľadávania obrázkov pre dopyt fashion masksHere in Bratislava we have shifted into a new mode of safety and fashion – the MASK. Everyone should wear one, especially in public places. The Mask has become part of our daily experience. And even part of our personal expression – punk rock masks, unicorn masks, fashion masks. Masks, Masks, Masks!

Also, the Mask has become our SHIELD= our personal protection.

Although wearing our masks is a great measure, it’s ultimately part of our grasping for control in a situation where we have very little control.

Today I want to remind you of another SHIELD:

God spoke these words to Abraham, the Father of Faith, when he was in an uncertain situation, when things were beyond his control and ability to influence.

Gen 15:1b …“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

Notice that God didn’t say, ‘It would be good to worry less Abe.’ No, God commanded (not asked) Abram to NOT BE AFRAID… why?

God gives 2 simple reasons why –

  1. I am your shield= God Himself is your protection!
  2. Your exceedingly great reward! = God Himself is your treasure!

Can we live this way? Today?

I had to do a bunch of shopping yesterday… and YES, if felt like there were germs all over even when wearing the mask and gloves. But this verse was my reminder of my true SHIELD – JESUS!

Additionally, the famous prayer of St. Patrick came to mind… he called it his Breastplate. And its really just a reminder and declaration of truth. Of who God is and what He wants to do for us. Look up the whole prayer later, but check this portion out for now:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Use the Masks… but BIND yourself in the STRONG name of Jesus, our protection, our salvation!

Let Jesus be your SHIELD and VERY GREAT reward!

And do NOT FEAR!

‘Where is Your Spirit?’ 15.3.2020

005801500-673x1024Today I want to speak some words of Hope… a reminder.

And my question to you is- Where is your Spirit?

The Apostle Paul told the believers in Corinth:

1 Cor 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 

I want to remind you of what God has freely given us. The gifts that the Spirit reminds us of and encourages us to partake in.

Before I do let’s take a brief look at the ‚spirit of the world‘ that we are experiencing right now… At this moment we live in a world full of fear– fear of sickness, for loved ones, lack of control, job security, the future, and where our next roll of toilet paper is coming from… the list goes on. There is no lack of things to fear.

WATCH Live stream: https://www.facebook.com/patrick.m.higgins.1/videos/10206603724009260/

It’s interesting that the Scriptures use the word ‘spirit’ which also ment ‘wind.’ It’s a perfect picture of what the spirit of the world or the Spirit of God does. They blow upon us and carry us along in a direction. The question is- what Spirit is blowng upon you? Where is it taking you?

Today’s Spirit has a name: Fear.

And the spirit of fear is leading many peole today into  a sense of hoplessness.

Q: Do you feel that way right now?  What is your Spirit?

Paul reminded his son in the faith Timothy of a truth:

2 Timothy 1:7   7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Timothy was in a situation that was scary. It was hard to be a Christian, especially an outspoken Christian leader. He was afraid.

Paul reminds Timothy – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear…”
That fear that Timothy felt, that you feel… it’s not from God. We want what is from God. And we want to let go of anything that isn’t from Him.

Q: But what kind of Spirit has He given you?

1. Power –the ability to influence, change and create
People feel powerless in our city today. But you have a Spirit that can bring positive change to their lives!

2. Love –the love of God expressed in affection, good-will
The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE… what are the multi-expressions:

Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

We have a lot of bans and new laws imposed on us at the moment… but the Spirit of love ‚against such things there is no law.‘!

3. Sound Mind= self-disciple, control.
We can be rational, under control, not tossed around on the waves of fear. Not sure what the rational response is? Ask God for wisdom, He gives it generously (James 1:5)

Q: Which spirit is yours?
Timothy had to choose what Spirit he would live in. He had to choose to receive Fear, or what God was giving Him – a Spirit of power, love, and a sound-mind.

US? What Spirit will we choose to have?

Timothy’s choice was directly connected to him being a force for the Gospel in his community. And I believe it’s the same for us. We can hold on to the spirit of fear, or we can go out in His Spirit and proclaim the Gospel, the good News of Jesus!

As people in our city are feeling they are powerless, self-protecting, irrational and sometimes a bit crazy… they need people like YOU. People with the Spirit of God living in them. Let’s be a community of Christ and bear witnesses to His Spirit- not of fear, but love, power and a sound mind!

 

So, what is the plan for this Sunday? (15.3.2020)

connect-slide

Wow… this has been a crazy week for all of us I believe. I trust that you are standing firm in Christ, the anchor of our souls, while it seems like the rest of our city, nation and world is being tossed and turned on the waves created by COVID-19.

Due to the ban on public gatherings resulting from COVID-19, regular services at CityLight will be postponed until after the 29th.

Thank God that the Church is you and I under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and not just a once a week gathering! So, while we can’t have Sunday services we do encourage you to ‘be the church’ – to keep being connected via small groups and our online platforms. Let’s be a community of Christ and bear witnesses to His Spirit- not of fear, but love, power and a sound mind!

So, what is the plan for this Sunday? (15.3.2020)

We will have a short live teaching (bilingual) and time of connecting live for fellowship and prayer via online platforms.

Here is how it will work this Sunday:

Time: Sunday 10AM

We will broadcast via Facebook Live Feed:

https://www.facebook.com/CityLight-Church-Bratislava-175331365847039/

Of course, feel free to share the link and encourage friends to tune in. There is also the comment and like features which help generate a bit of traffic as well. Let’s turn this unplanned problem into an opportunity!

Right after a brief message we will switch to a group video chat for a time of fellowship & prayer requests.

10:30 AM  CityLight Fellowship & Prayer

We will have a ZOOM chat for anyone who wants to have some fellowship and prayer. Here is the link:https://us04web.zoom.us/j/149054322

If you don’t have ZOOM download it via the AppStore or www.zoom.com

On a technical note:  We will see how all of this functions this week and decide if this format works or if we need to upgrade to other platforms or tech. The Facebook platform seems the easiest as most people have it already and it doesn’t require extra downloads of software to access it. If you have some insights or constructive suggestions please email Patrick at patrickivetka@gmail.com

Thanks, and hope to connect with you on Sunday at 10AM!

If you need prayer, assistance, fellowship… whatever during these next few weeks please don’t hesitate to contact us (patrickivetka@gmail.com). We would be happy to serve you.

Much love,

Patrick + Ivetka

Politics + Jesus?

I usually stray away from politics here in Slovakia. It’s mainly because I’m not Slovak (thus can’t vote) and I am a local pastor (I don’t want to wrongly influence). But that isn’t to say that our faith doesn’t inform how we as believers engage in politics. Even this last Sunday Lubos shared with us on where our true hope is – in Jesus not politicians. Yet, politics and power are things that Jesus speaks about and things we must engage with by faith. A few thoughts from the Bible as we approach the ballots –

Seek the Kingdom!

33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“    Matthew 6:33

Above all other Kingdoms (political & personal) we are to first ‘seek His Kingdom and His righteousness.’ As you consider where to cast your vote have an eye out for people of character, principle and policy that are in-line with God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness. Vote accordingly!

Seek His will!

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:9-10

PRAY! Pray that God’s Kingdom would be manifested more and more, in greater measure here on earth, here in Slovakia, even here in our government! But also, as you pray, seek for God’s ‘will be done’. God knows the political struggles Slovakia has and He isn’t surprised. In fact, God has political plans and purposes for all nations, including Slovakia (Romans 13:1). He has a will. It’s our job to pray, to invite Him to express it here. And as He uses you to be the instruments of putting people into power as you vote, seek to vote in-line with His will.

Ps. That doesn’t necessarily mean you just vote for Christians of your particular political persuasion. There are some great men and women of God campaigning (if you don’t know who drop me a personal note and I’ll tell you). However, we are not called to pursue politicians, but to seek God’s will and pray!

Do Good!

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Proverbs 3:27

Often times we come to the ballot box without a strong sense of who to vote for (usually just who we won’t vote for!) Yet, never in recent history have you possessed so much potential power to do good in the sphere of politics here in Slovakia. To hold back the tide of evil and corruption and stand for Jesus, His Kingdom and righteousness, here in our nation. I would encourage those of you who have the ‘power to act’, the ability and responsibility to vote, to do so. Don’t withhold the good that is due to this land and its people.

And when the dust settles and the winners and losers emerge this is what we are called to:

1 Tim 2:1-3  I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior

-Patrick H.

Wait

No one likes to wait….but sometimes that is exactly what we need to do.

We are told to “…eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed” 1 Cor 1:3-9

Lk 2:25-32 is a story of God revealing Himself & His love to those who WAIT. It is played out in the life of Simeon –  a man who waited with expectation and saw his hope fulfilled.

Let’s be a people who Watch, Wait, Move with the Spirit, and Worship!

Watch the full teaching here: