This final article at least in terms of the order of posting articles about spiritual hunger is really an introduction to the subject. But for whom? I wrote the article for my usual newspaper, but it was published in another one of theirs, called “Challenge The Good News Paper” which is an ‘outreach’ paper.
I was not consciously thinking about reaching out, I just wanted to write something that would express a view on the subject I was writing about. Namely, could God fill our needs for spiritual hunger? I believed so. So, I wrote with that in mind as well as quoting the Bible as backup. The answer, I said, was in God and I brought a lot of Bible to that, originally intended for another paper that would undoubtedly accept that sort of language but which was published in a similar one.
When Irish rock group U2 performed “I Still I Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” back in 1987 to immediate critical acclaim they inadvertently stumbled across a good point – what if all our searching, fantasizing, relationship endeavors and attempts, and general lack actually pointed us to a place beyond time where all our human struggles on earth would eventually be swallowed up in our first glimpse of eternity?
In keeping with the Pentecostal spirituality theme that got some postings this week, I will be posting three more related articles on this subject, that I wrote some time ago. They are related by the theme of needing God. In 2016 I went back to that older interview with Tim Findlay and dig up another two articles with the angle of needing God and needing more of God. Some people just have this innate need inside their souls for it to be filled and satisfied and believe in God for this heart change. Here is the first article which includes some of my own thoughts at the time of writing.
In 2001, I interviewed New Zealand evangelist Tim Findlay when Mr. Findlay was organizing revival conferences in New Zealand with Tommy Tenny as the keynote speaker.
“[Tommy Tenny] loves it here [in New Zealand],” Mr Findlay said. “He believes there is a real hunger for God like he’s seen in not many other places in the world.”
“How does he see that?” I asked.
“You almost feel people are like sponges, just soaking in what you have to say. There’s a hunger for more of God, and that’s also been reflected in the response to this conference. I think people [in this nation] are hungry for God. They want more.”
This article was written in 2000. With a friend I was at a revival meeting and a man approached me who I knew. This man asked me to report on the revival meeting I had just seen. The church was having meetings during the week and I went along another night and had a closer look. The day before, I interviewed the people who were the leaders there. Interestingly, I was called by an older member of the congregation, who represented the older few people in the church. They wanted to voice their apprehension over what was going on. I post this article now because it fits with the previous articles today, of revival and Pentecostal spirituality. Here’s the article:
“I believe we are sitting on the brink of the greatest revival we will probably ever see. Only time will tell but that’s where we are probably at,” says Mike Livengood, a visiting American evangelist to Hutt Christian Covenant Centre (CCC) in Lower Hutt.
Here is the actual article I wrote about the conference before the headline speaker pulled out because of 9/11. It was a big event with local speakers in abundance and held in a secondary school hall or college hall in American terms. There was an enthusiasm in the air. The article was written before the conference, and another writer handed over the assignment to me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have know the conference existed! Should have I reviewed the conference? That would not be the appropriate format for the task. Although at the time I was very much into reviewing. The article below is fifteen years old now.
Revivalist Tommy Tenney, author of the best-selling The God Chasers, told O.A.C. Ministries evangelist Tim Findlay that he was open to come to New Zealand after his tour of Australia this year. Their relationship was born when the American itinerant minister spent time in Nelson last year, where approximately two thousand people attended his conference.
Tim Findlay explained that Mr Tenney loves New Zealand and believes there is a real hunger for God like he has not seen in many other places in the world. Tommy Tenney will be speaking at the Raging Fire Conference on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th September at Naenae College Auditorium in Lower Hutt, which is fifteen minutes north of Wellington City. Itinerant preacher and local church leader Kristen Williams and Pastor Chris Hayward, who serves on the staff of Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, U.S.A, will join him. Radio Rhema and World Vision are supporters of the conference and Harvest Conferences are facilitators.
If I was an editor, I wouldn’t want to explain my decision to a writer if I rejected their work. Somehow, I get why editors generally do this. A decision may fit the editor’s criteria for rejecting a piece, but a decision can also be quite subtle and lucid rather than fully defined. There’s just this sense that a piece is not quite right. So, the editor passes on it after due consideration and an explanation should not be forthcoming from a subtle sense of uncertainty over a piece. How could you define it? So, writers should be assured that sometimes there are not explanations for rejecting a piece — the feeling just wasn’t right. Anyone should be able to ascertain this through their own decisions over selecting or rejecting things where, sometimes, the feeling is the basis for the decision and it just didn’t feel right. I know I do.