Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY
Business Office: 68 South Swan Street - Albany, NY 12210 - (518) 465-4737
Christ the King Spiritual Life Center: 575 Burton Road - Greenwich, NY 12834 - (518) 692-9550

The Sign on the Desk

The Rev. Nigel Mumford

But eagerly desire the greater gifts.
And now I will show you the most excellent way.

(1 Cor 12:31)

I had the privilege of leading a healing mission in Naples Fl earlier this year. It was at a very warm, friendly and incredibly welcoming Episcopal Church. It was a mission that sat well with my soul. I had a moment though when I walked into the rector’s office. There on his desk was a sign that read, “GODISNOWHERE.” After the pleasantries of introduction I stood and read the sign. I was stuck for a while as I just stared at it, then asked the rector why? I read it again. “GODISNOWHERE.” I, of course, read it with my glass half empty. I saw “God is no where.” Now, I thought, this is going to be a very difficult mission with a rector who had given up! He said, “Read it again Nigel,” and then the penny dropped, “God is now here.” Oh… now I get it. Just a slight shift of the “w” one click to the left! How quickly we turn to the negative and dwell therein. I am guilty as charged!

Recently the UK has finished a study on conversation. The results published are that most people present there words in a capacity of being eighty percent negative and only twenty percent positive. This has led to the quote “80/20” if someone is focusing on the negative in there conversation. Fellow Christians, lovers of Christ we need to focus on the positive and not be led into the crowd mentality of negativism. The shout “Barabbas” comes to mind! We have a choice, we can see the sign that “God is no where” or we can see life as “God is now here.” We can chose to be negative, condemning and a gossip or we can chose to point the way to the truth in a positive, kind and loving way. I was recently at a very large conference where I presented this 80/20 theory. The next day a husband came to me and said that he had tried the practice on his wife with disastrous results, she was not amused! Gentlemen, be very careful with this one! If this 80/20 theory is presented at a vestry meeting please be very cautious!

Thinking in a positive fashion; looking at the verse the Lord put on my heart to share with the diocese I see a one hundred percent positive action. But, eagerly desire the greater gifts. The word is suggesting an action that through prayer we can unpack the greater gifts and ask for and eagerly desire those gifts. Paul is saying that he does not want us to be ignorant in this area that is something to think about even if you are unsure of the healing ministry. Those gifts, of course, are wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy and so on (1 Cor 12). It is as if Paul is saying seek the greater gifts to help the church and to help others in your Christian walk. As Paul then shows the most excellent way; Love. Reinforcing the words of Christ, “Love God, love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37-40)

I am very sensitive to the “soup de jour” that is, “repeating themes” in the daily ministry at the healing center at C+K. The theme that has really been obvious recently is that I have been contacted by several Fundamentalist Southern Baptist pastors much to my surprise. Their doctrinal teaching is that all the gifts ended when the last disciple died: Dispensationalism. These pastors, one from the Albany area, and several from the south contacted me after reading about C+T and the healing ministry in the Feb 06 issue of Guideposts magazine. These pastors are all wrestling with the command of Jesus as he sent them out to preach the kingdom and heal the sick.(Luke 9:2) (underline and bold accent added by the author) Perhaps, just perhaps, they have picked up on this command and realize that healing is for today, right now, and that perhaps, just perhaps, they should pay attention to what the Christ commanded. Are we witnessing the Resurection of the Forgotton touch in our generation? Are we witnessing a gentle loveing revival for healing. I for one think we are.

Be well, do good works and for God’s sake, love one another. Oh… and have fun!
Blessings and healing love to you all,
Fr. Nigel+

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