House Church Talk - Eldership - so simple we miss it.
jpierceall at brtc.net
Tue Nov 11 06:24:44 EST 2003
If you are not aware of this site, you might make a note and visit it? TAS
took seriously - "freely it has been given, freely give...!" What sharp
contrast to "today's churchianity standard swill"...
Here is a private letter from the web-site owner, that has visited us here
in kentucky from N.Z.. Lynette and Mike and children. And yes, she gave
permission to forward...
Hope you enjoy the contrast, as much as I do, and want to share...
JimP - kentucky
Howdy :-) I thought you might be interested and encouraged to hear about my
phone call to Emmanuel Church on the weekend because it is such a neat
testimony and witness! These are the people that send out boxes of
T. Austin-Sparks books all around the world (usually 50 or more in a box!).
This is the first contact I've had with them except for a couple of fax
messages. My first message to them 2 years ago asked for confirmation of no
copyright and if they were okay with us setting up the website; I was so
encouraged by their reply "Please feel free to do whatever the Spirit leads
you to do with the books"... so we did :-) I've wanted to phone them for a
while, and a week ago one of their group there contacted me by email so this
last weekend I phoned them...
They're all elderly and the lady I was talking with said they won't be
retiring (she's 72 and her husband is 78). They're a group of 15 when
they're all there, they've been meeting together in a home every Sunday
(since they were 'delivered from a charismatic church' ;-) for the whole day
for the last 30 years mainly to pray! They also have a group of 5 that get
together in TX (that help with proofreading and mailouts), and another
couple in TX (who do the tape part of it all - which I didn't realize was
associated with them).
They first came across TAS's books in 1963 and began to collect his books,
magazines etc. In 1977 (their two children were about the same ages as our
two) they felt as a group that they were to begin printing his writings as a
ministry to the Body, funded by themselves and their own employment. So
they began by transcribing from tape their first book. Nobody was really
interested but in 1980 things took off and they began publishing and sending
out more books. They had no aspirations, they'd thought they might publish a
few hundred copies of each book but Father had other plans ;-)
They have never asked for any money because they've always believed they
were to freely give and that God would provide if He was in it and if they
didn't receive or have the money to continue, then it was time to stop. Not
surprisingly, He has always provided! As time has gone on more and more
people have wanted to give so as to be part of blessing others through them
so they now have a foundation set up for that money which all goes straight
back into publishing more books. No salaries are paid, but five of them work
full time on printing and shipping the books.
TAS never felt led to make any provision for what happened with his writings
when he died; he believed that God would take care of what was His own. She
told me they've received reports of several people who are "simplifying"
TAS's books; editing them and making them more "readable" and then
copyrighting them with their own names but they felt that they are losing
the Life and Spirit in the process... She said they are also doing this with
Andrew Murray, Watchman Nee and Oswald Chambers writings because the
copyright has expired on them and some think that they are too hard to
understand. They also know of one big 'ministry' in Houston where the
leader has taken many of TAS's books, taken all references to TAS off of
them and has republished them as his own writings. She said what concerns
them the most is when his writings are changed, but that God sees and knows
and it is all under His jurisdiction and judgment.
Lots of people have told them about these ones and about others who have
taken their own transcribed works and published, copyrighted and sold them.
They've been asked to write to these people or do something about it, but
they say that God will take care of it. Freedom and rest yet again... I was
just SO aware of the FREEDOM that is in it all and as a result flows from it
all - no control, hands off, it is completely GOD's work, not theirs. She
didn't sound the slightest bit put out by what these people are doing, she
said that God will deal with them, it's His business. If people in other
countries feel led to translate the books and sell them at cost, then they
encourage them to do as they feel led to do! Her freedom spilled over onto
me as she spoke; our Freedom in Christ is such a very, very precious
Did you know that we're the answer to their prayers??? Pretty amazing...
Because they have seen all that stuff happening with TAS's writings,
they have been praying for years for God to raise up some "young ones" (ie
anybody under 50 ;-) who were people of the Spirit with integrity and not
interested in agendas, names or reputations to work with these writings.
They have been getting told for years that they should set up a website, but
they kept telling people that they hadn't been led to do so. Over and over
again people kept on at them about it and couldn't understand why they
wouldn't do it. Now they know why... I love the way our Father works things
out like this, how He so perfectly networks and organizes things so we don't
have to... Sure does encourage one to rest, don' it? :-)
We're planning to visit them too when we're over there, I SO appreciated
talking and sharing with her; I think you would call her and her husband
"elders" in both realms! :-)
I hope that encourages you as it did me, I really appreciated her
sensitivity to the Spirit and her honoring Him by allowing HIM to take care
of that which is truly and rightly His own! :-) I expect that is a direct
result of their prayerlife; leaving things before God! I could sure learn a
lot from them, I'll look forward to meeting with them face to face next
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