Praying with others for the cleansing of the heart

When we pray with people for the cleansing of the heart, we follow the pattern of the Christfulness meditation. You’ll find a guided version of this meditation on You Tube:

Christfulness meditation:

First, introduce yourself and if appropriate ask for the person’s name. If he or she wishes a Christfulness cleansing of the heart prayer, explain briefly, what Christfulness is:

Christfulness involves being filled by Christ, and by God’s love in Christ. This is the secret, which makes humans whole: Christ in us, the hope of glory!
This means, that when we feel ourselves surrounded by God’s love in Jesus Christ, and soaked in this love, we experience being completely us, as God’s beloved children, and God’s light shines clearly in us and from us out into the world.

Explain that this light, God’s holiness or image in us, can be dimmed by worry, pain, suffering and false conceptions, which must be washed away, so the fullness of Christ can grow in us.

When we speak of the hope of glory, it means that glory (God’s presence, love and restorative light in Christ) is not something distant, but a goal, which affects our present time.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to the person and to show Jesus’ open heart to him or her.
Pray for comfort and trust in God’s love in Jesus Christ.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help the guest to let go of anything, which masks God’s love or glory in the person.

Pray that the guest will receive peace, joy and love from the open heart of Jesus Christ.

With every breathing out your heart and your mind is cleansed more and more. And with every breathing in, Christ lives more and more in your heart and your mind….

When you have prayed for some time – not only with words but also silently in your heart, eventually using the gift of speaking in tongues, and when you feel the person has achieved this cleansing, you thank God can say:

With the finishing exhalations, send the peace and joy of Jesus Christ out to the world around you…

You say a blessing over the guest (you may ask if it is okay).

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New book: Christfulness – Towards wholeness –

Christfulness® is an expression of faith, but Christfulness is also an interpretation of life with roots in the Bible and Christian theology. In this combination of practice and teaching, Christfulness is also experience. Therefore, the author of Christfulness, Ole Skjerbæk Madsen, sometimes describes Christfulness as the practice that leads to the experience of us being in Christ and of Christ being in us: ”I want to describe a process that moves from an individual experience to a vision of the redemption of mankind and the healing of our planet – in a constant interaction between the individual and the relational, the personal and the universal.” For many years Ole Skjerbæk Madsen has been a Missions Pastor in Areopagos and the leader of In the Master’s Light, who wants to build bridges between the church and people who are curious about spirituality. After his retirement, Ole Skjerbæk Madsen served for 2 years as a Mission Pastor at Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre in Hong Kong.< Less

You can order here

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A one-day retreat in your congregation or fellowship?

Sometimes staff and volunteers in our communities are overloaded with work, feel stress and are about to burn out. Also church members may suffer from stress in their daily lives.

Maybe it’s time to take a pause, to relax in the presence of the Lord, and to find oneself as a loved and appreciated child of God.

Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre offers to guide a one-day retreat with members of your church or community. We use the term Christfulness to signify the aim of Christian 

spiritual practices – “to become mature, attaining at the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Christfulness is spiritual practice and a Christian understanding of human nature. Christfulness combines practice and teaching in a way that invites to experience.

Christfulness describes a continual process of sanctification or spiritual progression. For the sake of an overview you can describe Christfulness

  •  beginning as an experience of God’s love in Christ as a protecting and accompanying presence (Christ with me)
  •  as an experience of “Christ in me, the hope of glory” (Christ in me)
  • as helping you see Christ or the image of God in others (Christ in you), and as leading to a vision of  as a redeemed mankind as the body of Christ (me/us in Christ or: together in Christ).

A main focus of the retreat program is Healing of the Heart. Through a guided meditation the participants are invited to find themselves and rest in their heart knowing:

                                                                             I am a child of God

                                                                             I am loved

                                                                             I am appreciated

They are invited to be set free from a false self-perception and set free in their relationships, not fearing the judgements of others.

We suggest a program following this outline (the time table may be changed as it suits your community):

10:30 Opening devotion led by local people; bible reading, Romans 8:15-16

11:00 Participants introduce themselves; introduction to Christfulness

Silence starts

11:30 Individual practice: Creating short affirmative prayers on bible verses

12:30 Lunch in Silence

13:30 Devotion with sharing of short prayers (affirmations) and a guided meditation (healing of the heart); bible reading, Colossians 1:24-281

14:00 Further instructions in Christfulness and practices concerning the experience of “Christ in me” and “Christ in you”

14:30 Individual time for meditation, reflection, prayer.

The participant will receive handouts with suggestions for this quiet time.

Opportunity for personal counselling, blessings or intercession after a first come first principle.2

16:00 Silence is broken. Sharing Time

16:30 Closing communion service led by Ole Skjerbæk Madsen on the vision of Christfulness: a restored humanity and creation; the experience of being in Christ.

What does it cost to arrange a Christfulness retreat?

We suggest that your church or community provides for the location and lunch, coffee and tea. And we suggest that you donate 100 HKD per participant for the ministry of Tao Fong Shan Christian Center.

1 Local people guide two or three worship songs following your own tradition and read the scripture; Ole Skjerbæk Madsen will guide the sharing of affirmations and guide the meditation

2 Rev. Ole Skjerbæk Madsen will be available for this, but if you think many people want being ministered to, please bring some counselors from you own congregation.

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The Jesus prayer as prayer for others

The Jesus-Prayer is first of all meant to be a time for you to enjoy being together with Jesus Christ. Praying the Jesus-Prayer you’ll have his presence in your heart, and you carry him to every place you go and into every relationship. In this way it’ll be a blessing to others.

But you my also practice the Jesus-Prayer intentionally as an intercession or on behalf of others. This exercise was originally made for our Christfulness retreats at Tao Fong Shan, Shatin, Hong Kong. And as part of the exercise we suggest that the participants go to the Tao Fong Shan cross, and to look over Shatin, representing Hong Kong.

The Jesus prayer as prayer for others:

The Jesus prayer as prayer for others in Chinese.

The Jesus prayer as prayer for others in English

 

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How to pray for others for the healing of the heart

Healing of the heart is a central practice in Christfulness – may be even the basic for any other practice. Often our heart is divided and not at rest, because we are haunted by judgements – judgement from others, or self condemnation. We are not in contact with our inner child. The prayer for the healing of the heart opens us to experience God’s love and appreciation, so that we know: I am a child of God, I am loved, I am appreciated. It helps us to be who we are in any relationship and under all circumstances. Below you find a way to pray for others to receive this wonderful gift.

  • We ask the Holy Spirit to reveal how love streams from God through the heart of Jesus into the client’s heart, and that he/she will open his/her heart, so that his/her heart may be filled like a cup being filled with water.
  • We pray that God will heal the heart as he/she receives God’s love in his/her heart – as God is speaking to him/her in the heart calling him/her his child, showing him how precious he/she is. None of the treasures of the world compare to what he/she means to God, who do not want to lose him/her for any prize. In this part of the prayer, we use any image that can invigorate the imagination of the client and help him/her to experience God’s love.
  • When we have prayed this through, and when we have faith that the client has grasped this love, we ask that N.N. may rest in a healed heart in the sure knowledge of being a child of God, of being appreciated, and of being a loved one.
  • We pray that this sure knowledge will overflow into the soul, into thoughts, feelings and memories, and thus become a source of healing for wounds in the mind, even healing memories that threaten the inner wellbeing, the self-worth, and the zest for life. In this part of the prayer the client may come across deep wounds in the soul, but the prayer for healing of the heart is the beginning of a process of inner healing. Also the relations to others may be influenced, giving a new freedom, because the client now knows his/her worth and is not dependent on the judgements, opinions, and attitudes of other persons toward him/herself.
  • May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding keep your heart, mind, soul and body in the love of Christ Jesus.

You’ll get an idea of how this prayer runs, if you listen to the guided meditation at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r9pEn0Fh58&t=28s

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From the Christfulness retreat in November 2

Slået op af Dorte Kobbeltvedt Madsen i Fredag den 2. november 2018

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Diakonia

Diakonia is essential to Christfulness; it’s the marking practice of the Christ-in-you-aspect of Christfulness, because we meet others looking for God’s image in them, looking for Christ in them. Diakonia is the common mark of being a follower or disciple of Christ:

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28).

Diakonia was reinvented in the European churches in the 19th century mainly as the social work of the Church, care for the sick and humanitarian aid. But seen from a New Testament and Early Church perspective diakonia is more than that. Deacons had administrative tasks, and as a part of that the distribution of money to the poor and the widows. In the early Church deacons were understood as the eyes, ears, mouths, and hands of the bishop. They were like the angels caring messages between God and the congregation and vice versa, as they proclaimed the Gospel og conducted the prayers of the Church for the world. As those who had a deep knowledge of the lives of the members in the congregation they were also mediators helping members to become reconciled.

Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement (WWC Publications, Geneva 2002, p. 305) defines diakonia as “responsible service of the Gospel by deeds and by words performed by Christians in response to the needs of people.” Thus, Diakonia is faith in practice and attentive presence with people, yet never without the Gospel. Diakonia is the responsibility and duty of every Christian:

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:16-17).

Diakonia results in life change, reconciliation and empowerment (helping the other to taking care of his/her life and situation, and to develop the ability and finding the power/ energy to do so) in the given context.

All diakonia starts as seeing or listening. We’ll have to be challenged from the needs we meet with individuals, groups of people, society and environment.

We may listen to the situation of marginalized people, those who suffer from the increasing gap between the richest and the poorest in society. Our eyes may be opened to mentally ill and people with special needs. Or minority groups. Or we may on our way find people who are searching for the right orientation in life, for wholeness and healing. Or we see the foreigners in our society: migrants, refugees, foreign students.

When we have seen and heard the needs in the context where we live, the next step of Diakonia is reflecting. We’ll have to consider what the needs of this milieu really is, how these needs may be met, and if the Church or Community has the resources to meet the needs. We may use the insights and methods well-known from the long history of diakonia and faith practice, but it’s also about human resources, experience, education and economy. Reflecting on the needs of the milieu in question we’ll also have to ask if there are areas in which Christians will have to learn new skills and develop new insights. We also need to consider how the worldview, tradition, culture and spiritual practices in the given milieu challenge or should be challenged by the Gospel and the Christian faith.

To see and to hear and to reflect aims at practice. Thus, diakonia is action. Diakonia is about sharing the Gospel with others, so that they receive faith, and so that those in need gains a new life and have their human dignity restored. Diakonia is walking with people in a common learning process, so that they get help in helping themselves. Diakonia is caring for the sick and the ill and helping people to taking care of their own health. Diakonia includes active listening, soul care (pastoral care and spiritual guidance), listening to confessions, praying for inner healing and for the sick, exorcism, building self supporting communities, organizing workers and groups of needy. Diakoni is supported through the intercessions of the Christian community.

Diakonia may be part of the diapractice of more religious communities and faiths, in peace and reconciliation efforts, concerning ecology, climate and environment, or active social engagement in the local or national milieu.

Diaconia may have a profetic dimension. Diakonia embodies the norms of God’s kingdom in a world that too often has forgotten the dignity of creation and humankind. Diakonia expresses another measure for a whole and succesful life. Servant love is the norm and measure. Diakonia challenges power structures, serves the week and needy and make the disciples their spokesmen and -women. Diakonia is about justice for the marginalized, and creates a space for every human being irrespective of faith, race, sex, or age.

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Relationships

This talk is from a radio talk:

Good morning. I’m Ole Skjerbæk Madsen. I’m a Danish pastor working at Tao Fong Shan Christian Center.

To-day is Sunday. This may be your day of relaxing  –  of feeling free. Tomorrow it’s work, and a week full of work is lying ahead of you.

How do you feel about that? Do you look forward to it? Or are you dreading it?

A big part of how we view our work is our relationships with colleagues. When relationships are smooth, it can make life full of joy. When work relationships are strained, it can make life miserable.

Some of your colleagues may have hurt you. Some of them don’t appreciate what you do and who you are. They may slander you, meeting you with nasty and degrading remarks. Sometimes they are like enemies.

But, you may say, there’s nothing we can do about it.

From my experience, there is something we can do. And it starts with seeing ourselves through God’s eyes. I don’t know how you think God looks at you, but it’s been a great help to me that Jesus talks in such a trusting way of God. He calls God Father in a very intimate way. He makes me see, that we can be like children in relation to their caring parents in our relation to God. I have found a good help in this affirmation:

I am a child of God

I am loved

And I am appreciated.

God, I thank you!

Through this simple affirmation of faith, I also remind myself of my worth. And thus I’m not so much influenced by someone else’s judgment of me – what they think concerning me, – how they act towards me. They can’t make me less than I am, because [PAUSE] I’m a child of God, loved and appreciated.

From this position, it may be possible to see my colleagues with new eyes too. Even those I considered to be my enemies.  I’m not the only child of God in the world; others are also created in God’s image as God’s children. Therefore, my attitude to them can change. Often my changed attitude will also change the relationship with them.

To remind myself and to proclaim it as my faith, this is my daily prayer:

God, You who are “I AM”!

I recognise the working of Your Spirit in the longing of humans for the peace of Your Kingdom, and in their longing for Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

I recognise the presence of Your servant love in men and women of good will and in all who dedicate themselves to walk the way of discipleship. May the power of Your Holy Spirit flow in us and guide us to the recognition of all Truth and into practical service.

May Your Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, inspire us to servant love

As co-workers of the Kingdom of God.

May I find my place in Your one work for the restoration of the Earth and the human race – in a humble spirit, in purity, truth, and love.

May God bless your day.

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Wonder or frustration?

Psalm 139: 13-16:

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Our existence was no accident; we were in God’s thought before we came into being. This fills us with wonder and praise (verse 14)

God is always near and knows our thoughts: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (verse 6); even our days are known by God.

But we are not only filled by praise; wonder may change into fear and resentment. It raises questions, as I do in this prayer:

If a human was known even before birth, why are some born with severe handicaps? If God knows my future sins and shortcomings my mishap, why could this not be prevented?

Answer:

My child! Your first feeling face to face with me should be a sense of wonder, because your existence is willed by me. I have loved you from before conception. But my knowledge of your life does not support a prearranged destiny which you cannot escape. Rather it is an assurance of my benevolent and gracious presence in your life whatever your conditions are, whatever you’ve made from your life.

Truly I have a plan for your life which corresponds to the original nature of humans. But much human life is not in accordance with this original nature. This has resulted in a milieu of alienation from me and between human persons and between humans and nature.

You live according to a paradigm of sin.

Couldn’t I intervene? Couldn’t I change your condition of life? How could I do this without disrespecting your integrity? Could I force you to love – to love me, your fellow humans and nature?

However, I did intervene, but without forcing you. My Son, the eternal Dao or Logos, became one of you. In him I am present to you in your sufferings, your pain – in the midst of the milieu of abuse and evil doing. In my Son, Jesus Christy, I am present when the only thing left for you is to cry: My God, my God, why have you left me, forsaken me?

This is wondrous. You meet me in my vulnerable Son, Jesus Christ, and now in your daily life you’ll meet him and me in every suffering person or created being.

In Jesus Christ you’ll find your original nature, and I’ll breathe his and my Holy Spirit into you so that you’ll have the strength to serve others in love with the sure knowledge of being my child together with Jesus Christ, of being loved and highly appreciated.

Praise:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful – and even the darkness of my life will not be dark to you.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

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Christfulness Retreats

Experience the Fullness of Life in Christ: “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13

Upcoming events:

1st September (Sat) – Theme:Growing into the fullness of Christ

6th October (Sat) – Theme: Created for Paradise

3rd November (Sat) – Theme: Communion of Saints

 About Christfulness

“Christfulness” is spirituality, practicing a faith relationship with Christ.

Christfulness points to the fullness of Christ and God’s love in Christ. When we experience the revelation of this mystery and encounter God’s love in Christ with, around and in us as a penetrating and saturating experience, we are made whole. A process of becoming whole begins. This helps us see other humans and our fellow creatures in a new way, as we relate to the image of God within them, and it opens a vision of a redeemed humanity and Earth, which is the body of Christ.

Content: Spirituality Exercises, Prayers, Silent and Reflection, Communion Service Meditation, Individual Counselling

Time: 10am – 8:30pm

Venue: Tao Fong Shan Christina Centre

Facilitator:  Rev. Ole Skjerbæk Madsen (A Danish, Founder of Christfulness)

Quota: 15 pax/ session

Fee: HKD  350 (Including lunch, dinner and  one- way Tao Fong Shan to Tai Wai transfer)

Enquiry: 2386 3220 / bd@tfscc.org

Online Enrolment:  goo.gl/fjecJ4

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