Dear Friends and Respected Colleagues,
We believe that each of you have been “hand-picked” by the Lord! This is not a tall claim. As CFE (Connecting for Excellence) has always convened leaders from across the globe, in intimate gatherings of passionate hearts; leaders of all shapes and forms, who desire to CONNECT by God’s Holy Spirit (something that CFE has always been used successfully to achieve!)
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a net…” (Matthew 13:47 KJV)
All fishing nets have “knots” and we are the knots today! Prospective solid relationships that can stand the weight of what God wants to do in the earth.
If you have ever been accused of being “high-maintenance” before in the area of relationships, then see it as an accusation no longer and see it as a compliment instead! Evidently you are not someone who is frivolous with relationships, but takes them seriously - and you are right to do so - considering that every union worthy of being called a “relationship” is usually high-maintenance. Take marriage or children for instance, such relationships are high-maintenance to the max! Even all heaven-sent-relationships need a lot of work (attention, discipline and diligence to make them successful).
The Kingdom is always upside-down to the world’s way of thinking, including the concept of relationship building. Take Facebook and Twitter as modern day examples where “pseudo friendships” require minimal maintenance and zero responsibility! Can such connections produce real and lasting friendships? (There is always safety in the distance remember!) Or are we being slowly conditioned to believe that if relationships are not “easy” then they are not worth it? The locals here in Italy have a saying, “Non vale la pena,” which means “It’s not worth the pain!”
Yet we saw Jesus put much work (pain) into His disciples. There were tears, sweat, pain and joy at times. In fact the whole spectrum of where true “relationships” can take you, were displayed through Jesus’ commitment to His disciples, His mother and others. Let’s assume then, that relationships, in God’s eyes “are” worth the pain of valid commitment. (Not only that, but we must impart this truth back into our generation).
The fact remains, “true-relationships” will coast us everything. Yes, to enjoy the status and privilege of being called someone’s “friend” requires much more than just friendly-chatter. You should be able to count all true friends on one hand. People who will live for you and die for you. Celebrate with you and cry with you. Walk the fire and the trials of life with you, like Daniel had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Or like David had Jonathan. These types of relationships don’t come through Facebook encounters and they don’t come in the hundreds. Not only that, but it takes genuine discernment to know who God links you up with and not just whom you would choose to be linked-up with! (If our purpose is really in Kingdom building and not just selfish exploits).
Yes true friends can be counted on one hand but acquaintances can be countless. Knots in the dragnet – the kingdom – are also plentiful. BUT the question is this: “Who is it that you are connected with on each side?” Or “Are your existing knots safe and secure? Are they tight or in need of mending?” (Note: all fishing nets are regularly maintained. They are definitely high-maintenance!)
In talking “high-maintenance” we are not talking about being difficult or moody! We are basically talking about “commitment” (walking together through the trials of life) and this comes on many different levels. Nevertheless “commitment” is something that our societies are usually wary and shy of and certainly don’t propagate! The world instead promotes a spirit of independence, self-sufficiency and stubbornness. Working together is usually only a means-to-an-end for “self-gain” and not the benefit of the whole. (Note: today narcissism is heavily endorsed, that usurps the “selfless-ness” taught through the cross. Luke 9:23).
Invariably those who are able to work successfully within God’s Kingdom have learnt to handle and deal with relationships on every level – the raw and the messy - not just the cosmetic and superficial (note: Jesus washed feet remember, not all relationships are designed to be glamorous!)
So as God’s Word spells it out for us – divinely strategic relationships make up the Kingdom, just as knots make up the fishing net. All knots must be secure - to be effective and they require much upkeep! In fact Jesus created the term “networking” long before Facebook and Twitter came along and there is NOTHING pseudo (fake) in God’s Kingdom, especially not relationships!
Those whom God connects you with – during different seasons of your life - are always going to be high maintenance one way or another! But this should not come as a shock to anyone. Rather it should be a joy and not a chore. Especially knowing that God is at the helm and wants to use such relationships for His Kingdom. We must never lose sight (in this world of all-things-social-networking) that we must work at relationships as a going-concern of the Kingdom. Equally we must be willing to establish robust relationships, which can stand the test of time and be useful for God’s purposes.
In short - CFE and Alan Pateman Ministries are committed to divine connections and building lasting relationships that can be counted as effective building blocks to fulfil God’s will across this globe. Literally from Australia, USA, Africa and Europe – God is willing to connect individuals together in a way that will defy and foil the plans of the enemy. (Isolationism, ineffectiveness, loneliness are all defeated through solid encounters set up by the Holy Ghost!)
We pray and believe that as you continue to allow the Spirit of God to do the networking, He alone will establish the kind of solid connections that you have been yearning for in this season of your life and ministry. The Net is “His” masterpiece and when He is permitted to do what He does best (networking) you will stand amazed at how the Holy Spirit has divinely “positioned” you for such a time as this!
We look forward in seeing your desire for genuine relationships fulfilled.
Dr Alan & Jenny Pateman
Friday, 7 September 2012
Dear Friends and Respected Colleagues,