Living Life Now

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Orthodox Christendom... Can It Be Dismissed?!

An anonymous person left this comment on my previous post...mad much?

' "The Florida Revival... Can It Be Dismissed ?!" It has been. By most of orthodox Christendom. There is no euphemism for spiritual quackery, and neither is there a euphemism for the clowns who are willfully conned by it. The fallen world and unsaved will only laugh and mock, not repent and believe. But just as with Toronto & Pensacola, who can blame them for mocking a mockery? (2 Timothy 4:3-5). '

So here we have another Christian person who is so quickly willing to disbelieve and brush aside what is clearly a move of God on close inspection that they leave somewhat viscious comments like the one above. I have no problem in pasting the comment in this post since it was left anonymously, plus anyone who wanted to see it could simply look up the comments on my previous post anyway.

I fail to see how this revival can be dismissed when there are now quite literally thousands of testimonies to God's awesome power there. People are being healed and people are being raised from the dead...what more proof do you need? Why would the devil engineer and empower such a move (if God even allows him) so that the Name of Jesus Christ gets all the glory?

I have to admit that I find the use of the word "orthodox" quite unsettling. It is used here to mean 'tradition', but having looked up the word I find it to actually mean 'truth and right'. But say we take it to mean 'tradition'; presumably the tradition of the church. Well where has this orthodoxy got us over the last 2,000 years? The church as we know it today is not alive with BOTH Word and Spirit. It does not have people queueing around the corner to find out what God has for them. Nor are there many churches out there that are peforming signs and wonders; the same signs and wonders that Jesus told that we would all perform.

This is why God sends revival: To show the unbelievers the beauty of His alive Bride - the Church.

I do not believe that the unsaved are mocking this movement, if anything it is these supposed 'christians' who mock. They are stuck in their ways and do not want revival because it upsets their world and unhinges their warped view of orthodoxy.

God will (and must) keep sending revival whilst the church and the world is in its current state, because as Dr D Martyn Lloyd Jones said,

"We were never meant to be satisfied with a little".

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Florida Revival... Can It Be Dismissed ?!

Dan's very good at twisting my arm, mainly with flattery; he thought that me blogging about my views on the Florida Revival would be really interesting and something that people would want to read about... well let's see if he's right...

Since the Outpouring began, I've been watching, very excitedly to see what God has been doing with His people there in Florida. Seeing Todd Bentley minister to so many sick and ill people, through the awesome anointing that God has clearly laid on him, just makes it so obvious that this is a move of God and it cannot be ignored or brushed aside.

The revival has however come under certain scrutiny or even out-right attack... mainly from Christians!

The element which has incurred the most attack is Todd Bentley himself. For various different reasons, some people have just decided that they don't like him. Could this be as simple as his appearance? Yes, he has tattoos all over his body, he wears Harley Davidson shirts and yes he has piercings in varios places on his head, but is Todd Bentley demonic? That's what some people have gone as far as to say.

Todd says he has an angel which speaks to him, her name is Emma. Of course these haters, have picked up on some random fact that a pagan god goes by the same name, which obviously must mean that Todd Bentley is being controlled in a demonic way. Are these people serious? It's just a name! How can a name possibly be demonic?

There have been various other criticisms surrounding this revival, but you cannot deny that sick people are being healed in Florida. Switch onto God TV and you will see it happening. The most blatant cases are when the paralyzed get up out of their wheelchairs and start walking. Think what you will about Todd Bentley, but this should not be swept aside, because these are miracles and this is revival... this quite simply is God. I'm always amazed when christians willfully refuse to believe what their mighty God has done and is doing.

"People may argue with your doctrine, but they can never argue withyour testimony"
Colin Chapman, Understanding Islam Training Track, Together on a Mission 2007

It's not just what we see with our eyes, but what we hear...there are now thousands of testimonies about what God has done and what He is still doing. Colin Chapman is right, you can never argue with people's testimonies.

I am just so excited that revival is here. And if this has sounded like a rant then hopefully it shows how excited I am. So, can this revival be!! This. Is. God.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Queen: Prophetically Speaking !

I'm not usually fussed about hearing the annual Christmas message from Her Majesty, but I was flicking through the T.V. today and decided to stop on it.

Well...all I could think was that the Queen has either been reading a few blogs (highly unlikely I know), or something Higher is at work.

The Queen echoed exactly what Dan and myself have spoken about in our past couple blogs. She hi-lighted in particular the need to reach out to the vulnerable people in society, so that no one, particularly at this time of year should feel alone, lost or abandoned.

She spoke of Jesus of Nazareth who "...reached out and made friends with people whom others ignored or despised. It was in this way that He proclaimed His belief, that in the end we are all brothers and sisters in one human family".

The Queen then went on to say how the Christmas story draws attention to those who "...are on the edge of society", and how it is all too easy to pass them by.

She mentioned how all the religious teachings of the world will press the message that we are all responsible for the disadvantaged people in our societies.

In her summary, the Queen uses this statement,

"Because this would most rejoice His heart, let us remember in His name, the poor and the helpless, the cold, the hungry and the oppressed, the sick and those who mourn, the lonely and the unloved."

If the head of the Church of England can do this, then let's all pray that those who head up other churches around the world can start to do the same. As Her Majesty put said, it's what Jesus Himself did, and it would rejoice His heart to know we are doing the same.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mark Driscoll: The reason I'm not going to Brighton 2008 !

I'm not going to the Newfrontiers Together On A Mission conference in 2008.

Simple statement, but there is a lot behind my decision.

On his blog, Terry Virgo has announced that american preacher Mark Driscoll will be the guest speaker at the conference, because,

"...having had Rob [Rufus] with us for the last two years, now to welcome Mark Driscoll whose emphasis on the Word of God will do us enormous good."

That's all very well and good, Terry Virgo can invite whom he likes to his conference, he is after all a man which I very much respect. However, the issue of choosing Word one year over the Spirit, so as to get a good measure of both, as opposed to having the much needed mixture is not the point of my post today.

My issue is with Mark Driscoll (and fans). I have done some research on this man, and also heard a number of things about him. It would seem that Mark Driscoll whilst he is preaching, likes to make jokes about certain people in society, jokes which sadly only he and his fans find amusing. I believe he does this to appear modern and "with it" (as a 24 year old, that is a phrase I would never use, but I feel it emphasises the point here).

On the website of Mr Driscoll's home church, you can vote for which topic you would like him to preach on in January. Some of them are very sound theological discussions, some are not. One question, which until very recently sat at the number one spot, just had me astounded, especially when I read the comments left on it:

"Why do you make jokes about mormon missionaries, homosexuals, trenchcoats wearers, single men, vegans, emo kids and then expect these groups to come to know God in the same sermon?"

Now I've got no problem with people making jokes, so long as they're actually funny, but it's the manner in which one makes these jokes and who they are made about.
On the one hand, I suppose it would be fairly interesting to hear Mark Driscoll's response to this: on the other hand I feel this would enrage me even further.

Some of the examples in the question are just down right daft (trenchcoat wearers, single men, vegans and emo kids), so please go ahead and get a laugh out of what I believe is a rather young crowd at Mark Driscoll's church. However the others, which have in the past also included prostitutes and drug users, are not in slightest bit funny and have absolute minimum comedy value.

To make fun of prostitutes and drug users, who feel the only way to survive life is by selling their bodies or injecting substances into themselves; or to make fun of gay men and women who may be genuinely struggling with their sexuality because the church tells them it's wrong, just says to me that there is total ignorance going on here.

This is real life. These are peoples lives, and how dare anybody make fun of someone else for the way in which they live their lives. It does not matter whether Mark Driscoll and fans (who are just as guilty for condoning this type of "humour"), agree with the said people's lifestyles; do you think Jesus, whom we strive to be like, made fun of these people? Jesus befriended the outcasts of society, and rather than mocking them, he showed them compassion and love. That is the way to bring people to the Kingdom.

Many of the 'Pastor Mark Crowd' have left many comments defending his style of preaching, saying it to be refreshing, forth-right and un-sugarcoated. There is however a massive difference between making light and poking fun, or making a joke and making a joke at someone else's expense.
I would like to finish with a comment that a young girl left, which really saddedned me, because it makes my point exactly.

"I walked out of Mark's sermon in the middle of church because he made jokes about homosexuals. I was homeless at the time, by myself, 19, and really nervous to be at church where I didn't know anyone. The only people helping me out were my gay friends, and for Mark to stand up there and talk bad about them, it was like a slap in the face, I thought "Who the heck are you? Why on earth would I listen to you? My gay friends are showing me so much love when everyone else in the world has turned their back." I was so dissapointed. I got up and left and cried all the way walking home."

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Together On A Mission 2007 ... Final Summary !!!!

Firstly I just want to point out that I am still gonna put my Trainig Tracks on Understanding Islam, on here, but wanted to keep them seperate because they really stand apart from where the rest of the conference was going, in a good way that is.

Well the confrence was, in a word... AMAZING !!! The prophecy that David Stroud brought at the beginning of the week, about people questioning whether the week would be worth it and God saying that, YES it would be worth it... well it certainly wasn't wrong.

I don't think that anyone who was there, could disagree that the presence of the Holy Spirit was so significant. He was there. All week. He blessed people, anointed the preachers and filled many with His Holy Presence !!!

The preaching was great, all week long. And although yes, I did find Terry Virgo's last message hard-going, I still cannot deny that he is a great preacher, and I really do like him.
Preachers of the week were undoubtedly David Devenish and Rob Rufus, both were just amazing, especially Rob with his gifting in the Spirit.

I really enjoyed the Prayer Evening, with such enegetic worship. The prayers had a tangible feel to them, you had to be there to know what I mean by that I guess, but it just felt great to be praying like that with so many people. I really believe God will answer many of those prayers, if not all.
Speaking of the worship, I feel it was the best I've ever known it at Brighton. To bring in a fresh new person, Simon Brading working with Kate Simmonds and Phatfish, just worked so well.

However, I'm not such a Newfrontiers fan that I don't have a couple of things that I didn't like...
First of all, there was no message by Dave Holden this year. I think we missed out there ! I know they had to cut someone out to allow Rob Rufus to preach 3 times, but why Dave Holden ? Never mind lol !
Also I don't think we had enough of Lou Fellingham leading the worship (she led it once the whole week). She's an amazing worship leader, and although I have said Simon Brading was great, and I love Kate Simmonds, I just think Lou should be given more chance to lead.
And finally, although it was a necessity, the overflow room was rubbish (to put it simply). The sound wasn't great and it's hard to worship when you're watching it on a screen.

But hey, theyre just 3 things that I wasn't keen on, but the rest of the week certainly made up for it ! It was an amazing week !

Amen !!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Together On A Mission 2007... Final Session !

The fianl session, as always was brought by Terry Virgo. I'll let you know at the end exactly how I felt about the sermon. But for now I'll just share my notes.

Preaching from Joshua 7...

One chapter before could not have been more different, the wall of Jericho fell = much elation.

Now Joshua is completely undone, had been defated. Things had been going well, sense of invincibility, but suddenly there is trouble.

Instantly, Joshua cries to God.

1) What has happened to the Isrealites?
2) What has happened to the Caananites?

God's next phase = No process with God, He creates.

Similarly with Eden, there's a "don't touch" prohibition.

God saw gross evil/sin in these people (Gen 15) (Rom 1).

Joshuas army was like God's flood, God just said enough !

All that happens, happens through a double minded man. V21 - independent assessment ends in a secret agenda = Beautiful Robe - "I saw".

Pathway to shame, destruction and death. How come some of us look? How can we continue? We're in an age where we can't help seeing. Merely seeing ruins this man.

1 Timothy 6:9 - "Those who want to get rich, fall into ruin".

Saw, Coverted, Took = Defied God's plainly revealed Will. Then he Took = taking is never really joyful, sin needs to be hidden. It offers immediate fulfilment, but it destroys.

Joshua should have avoided self- efficiency, he had always depended on God.

Achan completely forgot his calling and began to live as an individual. Christianity is a corporate thing.

God is angry with sin !

For us, we are not individuals, but a corporate body, we are baptized into a family.
But God wants your individuality, but in the body, in Christ with your brothers and sisters.
It's not incidental, it's fundemental.
Jesus dies that He might die for a family/people to Himself. His/our identity is as light and not darkness... you ARE light.
He made us righteous as a gift... so now live it out.

The story ends with brutal execution.

Set your mind on things above, not earthly things. Put it to death, be ruthless.

"If you by the Spirit..." = Engagement, Enjoy, Energy, Escapology.
The Spirit is a foretaste of the age to come, Eternal Glory !!

It's very hard to fault Terry Virgo, he's such a gifted preacher, and has amazing knowledge of the grace of God.
However... I did not find this sermon that easy to digest. Terry looked pained whilst delivering it. Unfortunately for me, it just seemed way too heavy. I have to totally agree with Dan (and some others) , that seeing Terry look at the screen (we were in the overflow), and saying "you stupid man", just seemed so wrong. It wasn't the Terry I know.

Together On A Mission 2007... Main Session 8 and Prayer Meeting

This message was brought by Rob Rufus. Again, like many people I chose not to make notes here, because I knew there was no point, for reasons explained previously. And again, you can find a good report of it at Dan's blog, as he was one of the few who was brave enough to take notes in attempt to keep up with Rob (hehe).

The prayer evening is always amazing. Not only is it great fun with the energetic worship, brought by Evan Rogers, assisted by Lou Fellingham, but it's a great opportunity for everyone to pray together, asking the Lord for amazingly important things that will help spread the name of Jesus Christ throughout the Earth.

Together On A Mission 2007... Main Session 7

This message was brought by David Stroud. I've always liked Mr Stroud; he's very easy to listen to, yet what he has to say is just fantastic. This message echoed the one brought by Dave Devenish the previous night.

Preaching from Acts 13: 1 - 4 , he spoke about how the church in Antioch grew to 100,000 out of a population of 300,000.

He then went on to point out 5 'Things That Will Bind Us'. These things should ensure growth of churches.

  1. Be a people of the Spirit together. The presence of the Spirit draws in the unbeliever. With Antioch, decisions were made by God speaking.

  2. Prophets and Teachers: Deeply dependent on Scripture. Weshape ourselves not only individually, but corporately by the Book = Word and Spirit together.

  3. Apostles. Word and Spirit churches MUST be multiplied.

  4. Evangelicals. It is ridiculous to try and fulfill the Mission without apostles and teachers.

  5. Be full of confidence. Confidence in God and His ultimate success. "Expect great things from God, Attempt great things for God".

David Stroud finished by pointing out 3 essential things to remember.

  1. Don't get stuck in one place.

  2. Get connected to apostles and prophets.

  3. Build a team that is gifted to build Word and Spirit churches.
I have visited Dave Stroud's Church, ChristChurch in London, and I have to say that I was very impressed. It's a young and vibrant church, and Dan wrote a great review about that visit, calling it a "dangerous church" - read it here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Together On A Mission 2007... Main Session 6

Main Session number 6 was brought by David Devenish. This man, alongside Rob Rufus, made the week for me personally. Not only was this sermon grade A preaching, but the Understanding Islam Training Tracks that he hosted and spoke at were fantastic. All in all, a good week for Mr Devenish.

This session he preached from Acts 19 and 20 (various verses). The title was, "The Ephesus Mission - A Pattern of World Evangelisation".

Dave Devenish started by looking at the stage back drop behind him and pointed out the 'Together on a Mission' and 'Mobilise' logos. He told that how the day before, he had been looking at those and it occured to him that they actually applied to everyone there. We may have all been there for either the Leadership part of the conference, or the Mobilise part, but David felt that, as he put it, we were all there to "MOBILISE FOR MISSION TOGETHER".

Great sentiments, but he meant that all generations were involved in world evangelisation. That's what we were all there for.

"All the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord."
"It is God's will that He be known throughout the world."
"God wants us to be influences."
"God's mission is to fill the Earth, Ephesus was a taster for that."
With all that in mind Dave Devenish set out 8 points that he called, 'Paul's Strategy'.

1) Paul established a base church with influence. Established bases of light to darkened places. The timing of establishing places needs to be prophetically led by the Lord/Spirit.

2) Paul ensured that key values were established in the core group. The church is a community of the Spirit.

3) Consistent teaching of apostolic revelation.

4) Power Evangelism. "Paul did literally no ordinary miracles". The anointing is something that can be felt and passed on.

5) They confronted the culture and the world view. Issues are dealt with, and whole cultures are affected.
6) Paul models Relational Servant Leadership. Paul wasn't just on platforms, but he went house to house = genuine relationships.

7) Endured massive opposition and pressure.

8) Be prepared for future advance - to the unreached regions of the Earth.

I strongly urge you to download/buy the CD/DVD of this sermon, because my notes here probably don't do anymore than give a taster for the whole sermon... it really was that good.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Together On A Mission 2007... Main Sessions 4 and 5

Unfortunately I didn't attend session 4, brought by P. J. Smyth, because I wasn't feeling very well, so went back to our accomodation after my first Training Track on Understanding Islam (which incidentally I'll be putting those on here together and seperate from the rest of the conference report).

As for Rob Rufus's message in slot number 5, I couldn't possibly make notes, as again he talks way too fast, told some great stories and never stuck to any kind of plan !!! lol !

The best place for the reports on these 2 sessions is at Dan's blog, they're both detailed and exciting.

Together On A Mission 2007... Main Session 3

Terry Virgo, as always, brought the final message of the first day.

He preached from Joshua 1:1 - 9. The theme was a new era after a significant death, i.e. Joshua after Moses; the point of which Terry refers to in the welcome mesaage of the conference handbook.
Terry goes on...

Joshua is told that it requires fresh faith, and he is told to start by doing a miracle.

To serve God is to have faith. It's no good training people just on information, but in faith. Without faith, you cannot please him.
Joshua may have been the leader, but it is all about the people - God's people.

God's assessment of the opposition: People will try and stop you; the fact that the Word says there there will be no opposition, implies that there will be barriers. Nothing can stop the onward march, especially when He says there is a new era.

They might come strentgh etc, but we must come in the name and strength of God.

God is ready to do things we could never have imagined.

This message was classic Terry !!! Yey !!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Together On A Mission, Main Session 2

Rob Rufus brought the second session of the 1st day, as he would continue to do the afternoon slots over the next 2 days.

Preaching from Acts 4, Rob's message was entitled "Being Filled with Great Faith and Power".

Because Rob Rufus talks incredibly fast and never really follows any structure (that's by no means a criticism), I tend to just make the odd note of quotes that he throws out. Quotes that really make you think as here we go...

"Christ said religious traditions null and void the Power of God. God anoints us to destroy that which binds us, eg strongholds."

"Let everyday, the sun set today's issues , deal with strongholds now...the anointing sets the captives free."

"I hate intellectual doesn't help our fatih much. If Christ is raised from ther dead, then people should see signs and wonders. We will live in the currents of Almighty God."

"Having faith and having the boldness for your faith... these are more important than the doctrines of faith."

"Faith doesn't come from a good education, it comes from an intimate relationship with Jesus."

"Most churches do not teach how to move in the Spirit of Faith. It's easier to do signs and wonders in the Faith."

Rob followed his message with a fabulous timem of ministry, with many people laid on the floor, causing Nigel Ring some distress...hehe !!

Monday, July 16, 2007

TOGETHER ON A MISSION 2007....WOW ! Main Session 1

The Together on a Mission coneference (with Mobilise), in Brighton UK last week, got off to a FANTASTIC start !! And boy did it carry on.

Quite frankly...the Lord was there from start to finish. I'm gonna take a leaf out of other people's books, such as Dan, and do each post as a session or seminar meeting !

The first meeting after the hectic (but still buzzing) registration, was brought by Stephen Van Rhyn, who has opened the last two conferences.
The worship was excellent. Led by Kate Simmonds, with help from Simon Brading and Phatfish, check out our 'On Eagles Wings' blog for the full details of the worship (but needless to say, it was awesome).

Stephen Van Rhyn preached from Exodus 32, you could call the message, 'the Golden Calf'. His overall message was that "Leadership Matters". At every level, leadership needs depth, and nothing is insignificant. Van Rhyn talked through Aaron's mistakes, and why he did not make a good leader, and then talked through Moses successes, and why he made a great leader, especially in troubled times.

To summarise, Moses led and lived for the Glory of God. Stephen Van Rhyn would urge leaders (and indeed everyone else) to do the same.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Brighton 2007

Just a quickie...

Tomorrow me and Dan are leaving (not so) Sunny Birmingham for (hopefully) Sunny Brighton !!

The NewFrontiers leader's conference, 'Together On A Mission 2007', kicks off on Tuesday, and it's fair to say that we are SOO excited ! Cannot wait to see what God has in store for us... as indviduals... as a gathering... as a nation !!! It promises to be more than just a leader's conference.

So when we get back next weekend, hopefully I'm gonna have a LOT to blog about... so check it out !!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back Online !!!!

Well, Well, Well !!!

Finally back online after what was getting on for a year !! It quite simply was horrific losing the internet :o( But hey ho, back now. Back to talk about anything that comes to mind, hehe !

I guess an update on what I've been up to since i last blogged (August '06 I believe, shame on me) might be interesting (possibly lol).

Well in the September I spent 2 weeks in Ibiza, this was my 1st foreign holiday, and it was FAB ! Would definately go back there again. Then 2 days after I got back I started my second year at Uni.

Then at the end of November, I quit my Uni course ! This was because I became increasingly dis-satisfied with the way the course was being run, and decided that I just couldn't continue my degree there. I was not the first person to leave that course however, and I certainly wasn't the last... make of that what you will.

Then into the New Year, nothing terribly exciting happened, but the decision to quit uni made me consider whether there was any point continuing living in Bristol. The course was the only thing keeping me there, and Bristol just never felt like home. This also, incidentally, was something that was playing on the mind of my housemate Dan (Baxter's Boy). The lease on our house was due to run out mid way through May, so we decided it time to move on to somewhere where we'd both feel more at home. The natural choice (for me at any rate) was Birmingham; being my home city, and it's where my family are, it's a place I can perhaps finish my degree sometime in the future.

So here I am, currently staying at my parents for a short time, just to save money.
And now that I am back online, let's hope I can keep up the blogs, and let's hope they're worth reading lol !!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A change of direction...for both me and Lou !!!

I'd been wondering what I could babble on about for my next blog, but nothing was coming to mind. I kinda wanted my blog to have some sort of purpse...!! But then in a moment of almost sheer inspiration I knew what I could do !
I love music, of all sorts, Christian and secular, so if I have an album in the house that I love, especially if it's a (fairly) new one, then why not share that with people !! Basically I could write album reviews, because I love analyzing music !!

So my fisrt album review just has to be the solo effort of Phatfish front-lady, Lou Fellingham.
Now trditionally when members of a band decide to go solo for a while, it doesn't always work out, and their efforts can be a little disappointing, because they can't quite create a sound that matches/rivals that which they had with their band !!
However...that is not the case with Lou Fellingham, she can be put in the same bracket as Robbie Williams or Michael Jackson as an singer that has come up the goods as a solo artist.

Treasure really does live up to its name, as there are so many great songs on here that anyone can relate to. Lou's voice breezes through each song, carrying you in a very 'happy-to-be-alive' sort of way. You can tell that Lou truly loves God with all her heart and soul, because that's what she's put into this album.

The album contains 12 songs altogether, some new and some very farmiliar.

O God Of Love kicks us off in style, bouncing along declarind how good it is to be loved by God, the Ever-Faithful one, it's a great collective worship song.

Hard Pressed is a great faith building song for those times when life is gets hard, Lou tells us to put our hope in God, when then He can even do miracles.

Amazing Love is a gorgeous ballad to the Lord Jesus, praising Him for His over-whelming love.

Build This House sticks with the ballad theme and is another faith building song. Lou tells that all that we build is nothing if it's done without or by God, for God and His Glory. She delivers a great sentiment, "I want something that will stand/ When your Holy fire comes/ Something that will last/ And to hear you say well done". Amen !!

Treasure, the title track picks up the pace again and is fairly self explanatory, God's Grace is an amazing treasure, and Lou just wants to sing and shout about that. Rock on Lou !!

Before The Throne is perhaps the one track on this album that I just can't quite make up my mind about...! While the lyrics are amazing and carry such truth, this modernised version is more up-beat than the classic way Lou sang it at Stoneleigh. Maybe it's just because I'm used to that version, and love it so much that a newer version just won't match it in my mind. Well judge for yourself.

Holy Ground is another self-explanatory one, saying that the Lord is so Holy and worthy, its a great ballad.

Sing To The Lord has a jazz feel to it, and was taught by Lou to the thousands at the NFI Together on a Mission Conference earlier this year. It's another great sing and shout to the Lord song, and proclaim how amazing he is.

Coming Home is a great up-beat song about how the Lord never gives up on us, and that eventually we will realise that we simply can't go through life without God.

I Will Say is my personal favourite ! It tells that the Lord is a great source of refuge, strength and he'll never grow tired. An amazing song to listen to if you're having a low day.

God Of Mercy (Prayer Song) was originally sung for AIDS victims in Africa. It's a beautiful and slightly haunting song, which Lou has dedicated to the millions of AIDS orphans in Africa.

Let It Rain is a Paul Oakley song, it finishes the album as it started, rocking out for the Lord !! Lou cries to the Lord to let the Holy Spirit to pour down on us and the Earth.

Treasure is a fantastic album, it's been a long time coming, but sooo worth the wait, and I reccomend it whole heartedly, so go buy it !!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Together Again !!!

In my last post, abaout the Together on a Mission 06 Conference, I talked about how Dan had a picture for me that involved my oldest brother Martin, who died when I was 4 years of age.
This picture was of course given to Dan to tell me how much Jesus loves me, and it was of Martin being in heaven, fit and able and running around as he never could do in life (he had severe cerebral palsy).

Well long before this incident I had always imagined Martin being able to do such things in heaven, so you can imagine how happy I was to receive that word; I had always 'had' a song, that reminded me of Martin, my song for him if you like.
The song is Together Again by Janet Jackson, who wrote the song for a couple of very close friends who died from AIDS. She believes that she will one day see them in heaven, and so do I with Martin !!

Now I am (almost cringe-worthingly) inept at technology of this sort, I tried to include the video for the song (it is a FABULOUS video), but it did not appear, so please follow this link which SHOULD lead you to it. Enjoy, because it's worth it !!!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Toegther On A Mission...Part 3 !!!

So far, the conference had been practically life changing for me; I left the Prayer meeting the night before thinking that I didn't know how much more I could handle, but God had more in store for me !!
Friday, the 4th and final day started with Rob Rufus's final training track. He preached, albeit very briefly on the Corporate Anointing. And it was amazing, because during that short sermon, you could tell the Spirit was on him, and he came out with such powerful truths, such as (using my notes from the session),
"The potential to know Jesus, at the right hand of God, is greater than what the disciples did walking with Him for 3 years."
"The better I know the Holy Spirit, the better and more intimately I know Jesus Christ."
And he went on to cite Hebrews 2:11, "So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.", and this just hit me like a sledge hammer. I'd never realised it before, that Jesus thinks of us as His brothers.
Then we got up to pray (Mr Rufus certainly loves his ministry time, and thank God, because it turned out to be amazing).
As the room prayed, all I desperately wanted to know was that Jesus truly loved me, it was kind of a 'now or never' situation, if I didn't know Jesus's love for me at that moment, then I didn't know where I could go from there.
I prayed with my hands out in front of me, and taking Rob at his words, I knew the way to Jesus was to know the Spirit better, so I just let it wash over me, and then I felt a weight on my hands; it was as though Jesus was standing in front of me holding my hands, willing me to believe just how much He loves me, and I just welled up with pure emotion, he wanted me to know that I'm His brother.
It didn't stop there; as I kept praying to know the love of Jesus better, all of a sudden Dan put his arm around me and told me very quietly that he had a picture for me. But before I share that I need to put in some background information.
My parents had 4 children: Martin, Simon, myself and Stephen. Now Martin had severe Cerebral Palsy, which meant he could do nothing and spent most of his life in pain, and in and out of hospital. Martin died at the age of 9, I was 4 years old.
The picture Dan had for me (keeping in mind that Dan knows very little about Martin), went something like,
"I've just had this picture, and it was of your brother Martin, and he's in Heaven with Jesus. And he's running about, free from pain and playing happily with Jesus. I feel that He's shown me that for you, to let you know that He rally does love you, and you are one of His brothers".
WOW !! Well, I just cried !!! I seriously sobbed my heart out. One, I knew more than ever that Jesus truly loves me, and that he gave that picture to Dan who didn't actually know that that was on my heart; and 2, that Martin is in Heaven with our Lord, as well and pain free as he deserved to be. I know consider myself to have 4 brothers, not 3 !!!
I don't know how long I cried for, but as I was drying my eyes an awesome thing happened. Rob Rufus was about to bring the session to a close, when he said that the Holy Spirit had just told him that there was someone in the room who was suffering with the demon of suicide, he wasn't going to ask this person to step forward, but just for them to know that God was aware of it, and was going to help. Well from right by the platform at the front, a blood-chilling scream of a demon erupted from a man's mouth, and as the man fell to his knees, Rob very calmly to the demon, "You are not showing off the name of Jesus of Nazareth, BE GONE!". And with that the man fell to his knees, completely free of the demon.
Again...WOW !!!! Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore, God just swooped right in and did quite a bit more.

With very red eyes, we made our way to the closing session of the conference, led as usual by Terry Virgo. Preaching on Numbers 10-11, he gave an amazing sermon about trusting in the Lord because his arm is not shortened, and that we need to see the bigger picture, as Moses did, that being that in the end, it's not about us, it's about Him. Terry truly is a father !!

So that's the conference. I learnt SO much, and have been inpacted in the most tremendous way that I could ever have imagined. And what have I learnt???
First and foremost, that Jesus Christ loves me, and counts me as one of his brothers.
And second, that I know I will join in on the mission to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus throughout whatever part of the world that God wants me to, and do it without fear.

It was an amazing conference, that hope never to forget.
Can't wait for next year !!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Together On A Mission...Part 2 !!!

Well...after an amazing end to the Rob Rufus session, I can honestly say I was on such a high, so was tremendously looking forward to the Dave Holden session on the Wednesday afternoon. Preaching on 2 Corinthians 3:3-6, he certainly did not disappoint, delivering a fantastic message on the Holy Spirit, but if you want to know more about that, check out Baxter's Boy's blog, he has an excelent transcript on it.
Now the evening message was delivered by Wayne Grudem, whom I personally have never heard speak before, but I know he's a hero of Dans, and Dan doesn't choose heroes lightly, so I was expecting good things. Well I have to say that this was my favourite message of the week !! Wayne preached on 'The Person of Christ: God and Man in One Unique Person'. It basically tells how Jesus can be both God and man and the truth and evidence there is to that in the Bible (I have never written so many Bible references down!!). But Grudem delivered it with speed and amazing structure, so that everyone was hanging on his every word (mainly in fear they'd miss anything lol). He also had great PowerPoint slides, which is good for me, being a student I'm so tuned into that whole university type lecture style of deliverence. I reccomend this sermon whole-heartedly to anyone wanting to order cd's of the conference.

Thursday came with the second of Rob Rufus's training tracks, where he preached on increasing people's faith by simply preaching the Word, using Habakkuk 3:2-4. It really was a great sermon, however the session didnt have quite the impact on me that I had hoped for. Rob again allowed plenty of time for ministry.
Now you would think that that is a great thing, we all love ministry, and especially as I was baptised in the Holy Spitirt the day before. But no !! All that fear I had the day before came flooding back, and the power that Rob Rufus has really unnerved me, why ? I don't honestly know (although I can honestly say that by Friday, that changed). I was stood at the end of the row of chairs, and as the prayers and the Spirit got into full swing, it was like the devil was stood at my right side saying 'you don't deserve to be here, you're too weak to handle this'. So I left the room, and went and sat in a toilet cubicle, where I prayed so hard, the most frank and honest prayer that I've ever done. I asked God for His forgiveness, that I should never have listened to the evil one, because he feeds on my fear, and I didn't want to fear anymore. I made the decision there and then that letting go of fear would help me know Jesus better, because nothing that God or the Spirit does will ever hurt me, so there is nothing to fear.

I met up with Dan after the session and I told him all that happened, he just told me not to worry; a simple statement, but how true it was. We headed to the main hall for the day's first main session. When the worship started I began to pray, and I created a mental picture of myself putting my fear into a box, sealing the box and throwing it out to sea, never to come back. And wow...I felt so free !! On top of this, God astounded me further, the band led us into a song about not fearing and that if I had God by my side, who then would I fear? I actually don't know what the song was called. And that someone brought a prophecy on the main stage, which was a picture using animals, but basically said do not fear, and let God do His will, because He knows best. At which point Dan leant across to me and "I think this picture is for you" !!! all I could think, I was just amazed that God knew what was deeply troubling me and He provided an outlet for that fear. Alleluia !!

The sermon was brought by Dave Devenish. Using Romans 1:1-7, 14:1-16:27 !! A lot he did cover. It was all about mission, and how we can practically reach the unreached millions throughout the inspiring sermon !!

Thursday evening was the prayer meeting. Now this was a joy. And I really mean that it was a joy to be praying for all sorts; new church plants in the uk, the pacific rim where NewFrontiers are really pressing into, and to pray for the people who are going out to the nations, taking the Gospel everywhere they go.
The offering was fun. Accompanied with worship by Evan Rodgers and Lou Fellingham and Band, 4,000 people danced and probably looked ridiculous trying to imitate the fantastic African dance moves being displayed on stage. But did we care? Not one bit; as Evan pointed out, "Looking ridiculous for You Lord" !! And we discovered the next day that the offering came to just under £1million !! WOW !!!

Right, because I ramble perhaps too much (lol) I'm gonna do the last (and most amazing) day in a 3rd part !! TTFN !!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Together On A Mission...WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't even know how to begin describing the NFI Together On A Mission conference in Brighton this week !!
Wow !! is all I've said since I got home. I can feel a long blog coming on (maybe in 2 parts), and if it seems like I'm making such a big deal, then it's because for me personally it was an amazing conference where I met Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, in the most awesome way. Everything about the 4 days I don't want to oversell this... TOTALLY MIND BLOWING !!!! (that statement will hopefully become more clear as I go on) !!

I suppose I should go through it day by day...but before I do I just want to point out that prior to the conference (as in getting a fabulous tan on Brighton Beach the day before it started), I turned to my very good friend Dan who I went to the confrence with, and said that I had decided this week would be the week that I'd be baptised in the Holy Spirit. A simple statement with massive implications, of a good kind. Well God did not disappoint !!

The conference opened on Tuesday morning with worship lead by Stuart Townend and co, and there was certainly no warming up. As soon as they started playing, you could feel the presence of God as 4,000 people worshipped Him with all their hearts.
Stephen Van Rhyn had the honour of giving the first word of the conference again this year. He preached in parts on Acts chapters 7 and 8, giving account that even though it was a dark time for the church in Jerusalem, the scattered apostles still preached the Gospel wherever they went, saving and healing people in the name of Jesus Christ. It really was inspirational.
David Stroud preached on Isaiah 9:1-7 in the second session on the day, arguing that although we face many oppositions when advancing the Kingdom of God, (and these oppositions may confuse or scare us) we must not lose face, beacause there is a King that is coming, and He will change everything.

Terry Virgo brought the last message of the day, preaching on Hebrews 11:23-26, he entitled the message 'The Explosive Power of Faith'. I am truly grateful everytime I hear Terry preach, because he always cuts right down to the bone. I found this message actually quite hard to listen to, on a very personal level, but that's ok, because I think we all need to be challenged like this once in a while; Do I or do I not do something in the name of Faith? That was the general gist of the word.

Already after just day one, this conference was impacting me in a huge way.

Wednesday morning brought the first of the seminars. Dan and I had heard of the anticipation and excitemtent surrounding a man named Rob Rufus, who is currently ministering in Japan. When we heard that he moves so powerfully everyday in the Spirit and that that was what he would be preaching on, in a practical way, we put our names down immediately for his training track seminars.
He preached on stepping out in the supernatural, using Psalm 91 and Isaiah 4:5-6, and challenged us to think about whose shadow are we standing in? God's? or otherwise? His main point was that we need intimacy with Jesus to step out into the supernatural, and this would be the point I struggled with during the following ministry time.
Rob allowed about half an hour ministry time, and although it was awesome because the Spirit came so powerfully into that room (even Dan was on the floor in tears), I just felt nothing. And why? Fear ! And what was I afraid of? Well it was a mixture of feelings: Scared of what actually would happen if the Spirit fell upon me (people were laughing and crying hysterically all over the floor, some were bent double with 'electricity' of the spirit); Scared also of the power this man had when the Spirit consumed him; and scared maybe that others were looking at me. Bascially I was letting all these external fears stop me from having the intimate relationship with God that I actually did desire.

After that session I shared my fears with Dan, who gave me some practical advice on shaking off fear; if anyone can talk sense into me, Dan can.
Rob Rufus also lead the next main session; using 2 Corinthians 3 and Psalm 42:7, he detailed what he feels churches need to do corporately to step out in the supernatural. He gave some amazing practical ideas.
He then allowed substantial time for ministry, again. It was actually awe inspiring to see the Holy Spirit working on nearly everyone in the 4,000 strong congregation. For me, at first, I still had thse fears, and the Holy Spirit just wouldn't come and fill my heart the way that I wanted it to. So I sat down, put my head in my hands and started to pray to God, asking why I wasn't being baptised in the Spirit, when it looked as though it was coming so easily to everyone else.
And then I felt it. Something inside me said "just let go". And so I did; I remained seated, but lifted my hands, and made the decision to let go of what was holding me back. It happened there and then, my body began shaking with the electricity of the Spirit, and I felt such an amazing, warm feeling wash over. Dan always said that I'd know when I'd been baptised in the Holy Spirit, and I knew that was it. It jst felt amazing, and I'll never forget it !!!

Well I'll sign off now, before it becomes too long winded, and leave the rest for another blog later...!!!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Hmmmmm I haven't blogged for quite some time have I? April to be precise !!!
Oh well. I never wanted my blog to be just what I get up to each day, because quite frankly it wouldn't make for fascinating reading (uni, work, gym) !!
So I haven't blogged because firstly I was finishing my 1st year at uni (placement in school was fab !!), and secondly because I didn't have anything really worth writing down !!

BUT... I have now !!!!

I was brought up in an atheist family, and so when I was introduced to the Christian faith, I always (and still do to a certain extent), tried to find simple, almost scientific explanation for the existence of God and everything that goes with it !!!
I would question things like, "Where did God come from?", "Surely Darwin had a point?!", and the very common, "If God exists then why does he allow so much evil in the World?".

This is a big part of the human character in all of us, to try and rationalise everything, even the very thing, the very source, of Creation.
It's certainly a thing that I do, but over the last year in particular, since I was saved and allowed Christ into my life, I have begun to rely on that characteristic less and less. And the reason for this particular blog entry is to state something that has increasingly become more apparent to me, especially of late. That being, that God does not think, act or exist in the same way that humans do !!!!!

Now that may seem like a very obvious thing to say, and in a sense it is. But take for example something that Terry Virgo said at last year's Leadership Conference. He was talking about God being a jealous God, something which is commonplace in the Old Testament; now as humans, we think of jealousy being a bad thing, and certainly not something which we would associate God with. But as Terry said, the way we see jealousy, and the way God sees it are two completly different viewpoints. God has a righteous jealousy, the people of Israel were chasing after other gods, when THE God was the one who saved them. He had the right to be jealous.

Coming back to the "science" of Creation, I stumbled across a website,
Because I do have this tendancy to rationalise everything, I found this an interesting little site. The writer (a Christian Scientist) attempts to explain that Science and Faith are companions, not enemies, and that science can answer a lot of questions. For example; atehists would say that there was no beginning, and that 'matter' has always been, we have always just been here, and that it all came together in one Big Bang. Science however would say that there had to be a beginning, because Space is getting bigger and bigger everyday, so going back in time, the universe had to have a starting point.

What I did like about this site was that it stresses that God cannot simply be explained away in scientific terms. It argues that we always tend to think about God in an anthropomorphic (like man) way, when questioning His validity. We ask questions like, "Where did He come from?", "Who created God?". These are very valid questions, especially if you consider I just said that everything had to have a beginning. However, because God is not 'like man', then he doesn't quite fit into that idea; argues that God is out side of time, he was there before the beginning and he will be there for eternity after the end, 'time is in His hands' as the song goes.

All this is very encouraging to me, as someone who has held back from giving themselves completely to the christian faith because of my atheist background, and the belief that science is always right. But now I realise that God cannot be explained in those terms. That's one thing I really like about God,He defies 'logic'.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Biblical Worship from the Heart !!!

If you've recently been following Baxter's Boy's Blog (try saying that 10 times in rapid succession), then you may be aware, through what Dan has been saying that some people, albeit a minority, have criticised certain worship songs for being too caught up in emotion and not having enough theological grounding !! Whew !! These certain songs have included the very popular "Draw Me Close to You", written by Kelly Carpenter.

Personally I love this song. Some people however have said it's more of a lovesong to the Lord, asking Him to draw the person close as though He were their lover (see Dan's blog for more on that). Well... that's nonsense !!!
I do not listen to/sing that song asking the Lord to draw me close in that manner.
And sure this song may not be heaped with theology, but you can see the essence of this song in the Bible: all throughout Psalms there are cries for God to draw the likes of David in, and let him know that God is there, "Help me know You are near", as the song goes.

This is a heart-felt song, again a feeling which has been criticised. But Proverbs 3:5 clearly says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."
This shows us that by trusting in God with all our hearts, he will lead us, shelter us and, 'bring us back to Him'. Not wishing to be so obvious, but the Bible teaches us that all who testify in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. However, we need to do this with our hearts, all of our hearts.

I agree that theological understanding is VERY inportant, I am not doubting this for a second. But surely we need an understanding of the Heart, and what it yearns for. "Draw Me Close to You" is biblical, all throughout Psalms David's heart yearned for the nearness of God.

I think it was a member of Dan's family that said there is a time and a place for songs like "Draw Me Close to You", and likewise for more theological based songs. This is a very good, and probably true point. But surely aren't there a million and one songs out there that include both: Biblical worship from the heart??????

My last point is about the right to a personal relationship with God. Just because this song appears to be a "ditty", all about emotions; does that mean that I cannot connect with God because there seems to be no theology in there? No it doesn't. I will freely admit that when it comes to theology, I am not so fab, preferring to leave it to the likes of Baxter's Boy. But through songs like this I really connect with God, I lose myself in Him, and in what He has done for me.

My favourite song is "The Grace of God Upon My Life"; a very simple song containing one small verse and one small chorus. A possible candidate for an attack on the lack of theology perhaps?
However, I love it, and the Grace of God is, to me, the most heart-felt (and very theological as it runs throughout the entire Bible) truth in the whole of history.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ooh the sauce !!!

In answer to that comment that a one Baxter's Boy, left of my last blog, I have been VERY VERY bogged down with University work !!! Which he knows full well LOL !!!!!
So that's why I haven't written on my blog for a while. As soon as we finish for the Easter hols, then I'll unleash a few more of my opinions on the world (Lord help us lol).

But can I just say that you all have to keep reading Baxter's Boy's Blog, because Dan is just so gifted in what he thinks and truly believes !! His blog on Grace last Sunday certainly caused a big stir lol ! He always has good things to say, and really are a blessing.