Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Girls Run The World

A lot of you might be familiar with the recent hit song by Beyonce (the title of this blog).


It is the cry of one of the world's most powerful women. The cry that women now run the world. A valid cry some would argue. More and more evidence points towards the fact women are more competent, more capable, more organised, more responsible. Over the last 100 years or so women of the western world have proved themselves to be more than a match to men. Women have reclaimed the dignity they deserve from a society that has been so overly male dominated for so long. If you look at the current series of 'The Apprentice', for the first three weeks the women's team won. Now into the final eight contestants and 5 are women's, 3 are men. This is in the business world, a world particularly dominated by men, a world which panders to the male ego.

So why is it that in my church, the large majority of women are stay at home wives. The others would seemingly happily give up their job's to have children. Am I in a backward society filled with pushover women. Looking around I can't see a single pushover, these women are strong, responsible, talented, some of the best women I have ever met.

Beyonce screams of how women run the world, how men are relatively useless now and how women are now in control:
"Boy you know you love it
How we're smart enough to make these millions
Strong enough to bare the children
Then get back to business"
Now while Beyonce sings this is this really what she desires. I doubt it. Beyonce herself dates Jay-Z. One of the few people in the world richer and more powerful than her. She most definitely runs aspects of her world, but I don't imagine Jay-Z lets her run their relationship, I don't imagine she runs their world. And to be honest I don't think she would want to.

Beyonce wouldn't want to date a run who she runs, someone less powerful, less successful than her. That's why she dates Jay-Z. While she sings one thing her actions tell another.

Here's something controversial. Women don't want to run the world. If women run the world, men would become weak. Women would have to control, boss and molly cuddle men. Women don't want this. Women want real men and real men run their own world.

Many girls have a thing for 'the bad boy.' A bad boy is essentially someone who lives there own life, won't let a women tell him what to do and lives dangerously. Girls are attracted to aspects of his character, but are often left hurt by his callousness, his disregard of her when he gets bored. They are excited by his mission and his want to take risks, live dangerously.

Women don't want weak men, and a world run by women would lead to a generation of weak men. In church our men aren't weak. They work hard, take risks, lead families, make commitments, look after finances, romance, don't lust. In my church our men are real men. Then alongside these men, stood next to them are women. Their wives. The wives are fulfilled and completely equal to the man, yet at the same time are run by their men.

Real men need to lead. They need to lead their own lives, but also their families, their wives and children. To do this men need opportunities to lead, and in a world led by women, these opportunities would be diminished. Not all women want to be lead by a man, and for those that don't, lead away. But many women have given up on men due to the amount of weak, unpurposeful, sex-driven, lazy, commitmentaphobe men they have met.

Watch 'Don't tell the Bride.' A show about a man organising the wedding. The woman gets no say. She always thinks the man will mess it up, and is nearly always surprised by how well her man does and how well he knows her.

Real mean need to lead. Let men lead, we'll probably (can't speak for all men) step up and surprise you ;)

Women have always wanted equality, rightly so. Equality that doesn't discriminate. Equality is a right, but equality doesn't dismiss roles.


This is a great video to watch from the female perspective!

Thanks for reading and please post comments,


Monday, 13 June 2011

Your Real Dad

Imagine the scene, your lost, craving for acceptance. You're always worried if people like you, and never quite feel satisfied or good enough. This longing to have acceptance was created by a void.

There was someone missing.

This someone could have given you all this. You find out this someone has always been watching over you, this someone is your biggest fan, this someone will never let go of you.

You then find out the many choices you've made that have been detrimental for you have been driving a wedge between you and this Someone. They're dying to know you but these things you do, these things you know aren't good for you have drowned out their voice. You try to return to them, but you are so engulfed by your choices that you cannot bridge the gap, you are defined by things you hate.

Then you meet someone else.

This person is the son and best friend of the Someone. He has never made bad choices, he has always felt accepted and always lived in harmony with this Someone. You look at him and feel dirty.

This guy is so good.

He is so friendly to you, he wants to know all about you. This makes you feel more dirty.

How can someone so good want to know me?!

You crave what he has.

You tell of your longing to be close to his dad but your choices overwhelm you. You tell of how they create a barrier. You tell of how you feel defined by your negative choices.

He asks to take your burden. You can't understand. You know that if he were to take your choices on himself he would have a chasm. Why would he, so close to this Someone, why would he want to create a barrier. If he takes my barrier then I will have no barrier.

But he does not deserve this. He says he knows it is worth it.

You give him your burdens. You feel instantly freed. You can relate to his dad. He says his dad is now your dad too.

There is no longer a barrier between you and the dad you never knew.

You look at his face, you can see the pain of your burdens. He looks wearier and in pain. He has never experienced a barrier between him and his dad.

You weep.

You know without this man it would not be possible to be in relationship with your dad. You know he had to take your burdens, you know this had to happen but you have never felt more compassion, you feel so humbled.

To see a man who had it all is giving it away just to see you have it all.

One day you ask him why. He replies "Because what I have with my dad, I see you crave it. I see you want it but your selfish choices have put a void between you and him. You couldn't get rid of this void, but I can, so that is why I took all your burdens. My dad knows who you really are and now he can reveal it to you."

He looks so weary and strained. His face etched with pain.

He looks at you and says "My name is Jesus, I have done this because I love you and now it is finished." With that he takes his last breath, so beaten by your burdens, so tired by the void you had lived with for so long.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Fundamental Disconnection

So, I went to the cinema recently to watch a light hearted film named 'Attack the Block.' It's a fun film that feels very homely to a born and bred Londoner. Yutes with so much bottle they'll kill aliens.

Beneath this film was a deeper message though. It's heroes are 5 boys, the classic estate like characters, hoodies, Air Force 1s, BMXs, all the gear. The film kicks off with these five boys mugging a lady, Sam. This lady is unarmed, helpless and very vulnerable, yet these boys hold a knife to her and take her stuff. Hardly the stuff heroes are made of. Yet what is revealed as the film progresses is that these boys were just as scared as she was, they just acted up, pretended they weren't. They have to act macho. They mug because they feel they have to. They steal because they feel they have to. But behind this bravado they have personalities and ambitions just like you and me.

As the film progresses Sam grows closer to the boys, and begins to realise this. They never hated her or had anything against her, they were just doing what they thought they had to. By the end of the film the boys are her friends and saviours.

A mugging is usually associated with loss of possessions. Mobile phones, money, credit cards, jewelery etc. A mugging is all this and more. A mugging robs you and the perpetrator of their humanity, and that is the worse thing we can have stolen. When we are mugged, instantly they perpetrator becomes a criminal. We lose the ability to relate to them and build up a hatred for them and very often never have the chance to repair that broken bond. We never get to find out why they mugged us, who are they, what they like, we just see the bad of them, and when a person is a summation of there negative parts, then they lose the ability to really be a person anymore.

It is why the story of a Peckham mother who lost her son in a knife-crime is so touching to me. That mother went out of her way to spend time with the killer of her son, as to her humans aren't just killers. She knew there was more to this person that killed her son, a history, a family, interests, passions. She wanted to repair the broken bond between herself and another human. She lost none of her humanity in this instance, she actually understood better what it means to be human. In the process no doubt she restored some of the humanity that this person had lost in putting a knife into another human.

It is so easy to see people just as categories. Murderer, footballer, thief, politician, banker, teacher, homeless, check-out lady. People aren't categories. Behind every person is a story, a story better than any film you've ever watched. When we see people as machines we lose our own humanity. When we hurl abuse at a footballer, when we ignore a homeless person, when we watch naked women in pornography, when we fail to say hello to the check-out lady we lose a bit of humanity, as we look at another person but see an object. An object made to serve us, provide us a function. This is not why God made people, he made them all with specific purposes and functions.

Ignore no-one, recognise all, trust me life will be a lot more interesting.

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Review Culture

As talking in work today I thought back to a series of phrases I heard all to commonly from friends:

"The Bible is irrelevant"
"How can you trust such an old book"
"It's just full of boring old stories, the Bible's no fun at all"
"How can you believe in a book that has so many fatal inaccuracies"

The purpose of this blog is in no way to answer these questions, that takes a small book. The purpose is to question the culture we have of all to quickly making a snap judgement about something we have never read, watched or studied. So many of the people I've heard these criticisms from have never read the Bible in full, if they had they would find little jems like this:

From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.
2 Kings 2:23-24

We live in what I call a 'review culture,' a culture I am very much a part of too. This culture tells us we are very busy and important people, and that we have no free time. It tells us that no-one else works as hard as we do. It also tells us that we don't have the time to sit down and watch a film and see if it is good or bad anymore, we need to read a review first, then that will validate our choice to watch or not. I am very much part of this culture. I will never buy a video game without reading scores of reviews on it to come to a final decision.

In a way reviews are incredibly helpful, they allow us to make decisions, and take into account the viewpoints of others. When buying a video game I find reviews incredibly helpful and allow me to spend my money wisely on games I will enjoy.

My worry is not with review but with what these reviews are on. Take for example a recent book named 'Love Wins,' written by an American pastor named Rob Bell, a book which has stirred more controversy and media publicity than much in recent memory. Many people with in the Christian circles I am a part of made a judgement on the book without ever even getting close to reading it, myself included. Making a judgement based on the reviews of biased people, and never taking time to make a judgement themselves. Only one friend even challenged me on this viewpoint.

This has become especially prevalent with religious books. So many of my friends have written off the Bible on the basis of hear say, on the basis of what they heard others say. Very few have read all the Bible, and the rest have read sporadic chunks. Sweeping judgements based on others opinions may seem initially intelligent, and allow us to form conformed well thought out view points, but these viewpoints aren't ours. How can we make a judgement on a book we haven't read, especially one with the historic significance of the Bible. Christians, how can we make a judgement on a book we haven't read, especially one with the historic significance of the Qur'an.

My final word is to urge you to be your own thinker. If you're my friend, please take some time to read the Bible, as it is something I live life by so don't write it off so quickly. Others, I urge you to think for yourself, and make your own viewpoints, life will be a lot more interesting when it's your view, not that of newspapers, preachers, celebrities, movies or politicians.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Celebration of Death

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Ezekiel 33.11

This past week has been one that will be remembered worldwide. The news reports of the death of Osama Bin Laden (right) were met with widespread relief and joy. So much so that the rocky presidential campaign of Barrack Obama has thrown it's Hail Mary pass, and could be in for a touchdown with a second term in office. As a writer it's hard not to look at these events and look for more than the surface meaning.

Throughout these events, while part of me knew that this was a good call by Barrack Obama, part of me had an odd feeling, a feeling of almost sadness over the death of 'The Most Wanted Man in the World.' Then I turned on a news report to pictures of Americans dancing, singing and laughing, with cries of "USA, USA," ringing out in a show of solidarity against this man that had caused them so much hurt. Theses images disturbed me though. They were not dissimilar to the images of Al-Quaeda supporters cheering after the events of The Twin Towers. The same rejoicing at the death of an enemy. To Al-Quaeda all the West is an enemy. To the West in our scapegoat culture Osama Bin Laden was the 'face of terrorism.'

A report showed an interview with a widower of a 9/11 victim, expressing his joy at Osama's death, and his hopes that his wife is looking down from heaven and that Osama is getting what he deserves in hell. Now while Osama will be getting what he deserves in hell, I then realised what this sadness is. I realised that people were rejoicing at the death of a human. Then I realised Christians were rejoicing in the loos of a soul to hell. I looked and realised the radical grace of Jesus was lost on these people.

Up until his last breath Osama could have been saved. Had he asked for Jesus on his deathbed, he would be destined for heaven, his past wrongs forgiven, all the deaths, all the plots, all the terrorism. The radical grace that Jesus embodied to us is available for all, even Osama. Jesus said to them, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17

Had these people been asked 'Would you be happy to know that Osama is in heaven?' most would be outraged by the concept. I presume he is not, but had he asked for Jesus he would be, and many of these people would have spent eternity with him. But to be outraged is to misunderstand the gospel. The gospel is for the broken, for the sinner. The gospel asks people to call on Jesus and repent of their sins. If Osama had called on Jesus he would have felt the weight of his wrongdoings, the weight of his terrorism, yet he would have been born again, completely changed.

Many of us Christians forget that Paul, one of the most prominent members of Christian history, the founder of the early church who has such a hand in the way we have conducted ourselves as Christians throughout the ages was a terrorist himself. Had he been around now he would be on all sorts of Most Wanted lists. He used to go around killing Christians in mass. The reason he got away with it was because like Hitler, he picked on an unliked people group. The power of grace is shown through Paul's story. The fact he became the leading gospel preacher of that time is a phenomenal demonstration that God can use any situation, any person for His glory.

So I for one, mourn the death of Osama as a soul lost to hell. I imagine the sheer weight of the testimony had he been saved, the challenge it would have put on our understanding of grace. Yet still I am thankful that my God is just, and that as this man did not accept Jesus, he will receive just punishment. But what a powerful testimony that would of been.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


This is something I've always wanted to write on, and finally it has seemed appropriate. With all the Rob Bell controversy recently, the issue of fame has spilt into the Christian world as well.

Fame is a big thing in the modern day world. Take Rebecca Black, the latest teen sensation. The girl can't really sing by her own admission, but wants to be a famous pop star because she watches TV and those are the people on it. People grow up and want to be famous, as put so well by Russell Brand in this clip:


People want fame now, but do we really realize the difficulties attached to this role. Look back to the John Terry saga, where he was removed from England captaincy for cheating on his wife. Now while this act in itself is a bad thing, many of us are so quick to judge John Terry without ever looking at ourselves.

I remember off the back of breaking up with my ex, I went out to a club, as a Christian, and 'pulled' a girl. I'm not proud of this action and haven't done anything like it since but was at a low point and wanted to prove myself with girls again and did. Yet, when I go out to a club in a low point looking for female affirmation I had to work pretty hard to get a simple snog. Now many men do the same as me every week, go to a club looking for female affirmation. Now it is these same men that then go and judge John Terry for this act. When John Terry goes to a club, not even looking for female affirmation, just to relax, girls throw themselves at him. He was THE England captain and for girls that is an attractive trait, and he can have his pick of a large selection of girls. Arguably many of these men, myself included, would do exactly the same in John Terry's position. The difference between us and John Terry is fame, and it seems those of us that do not have this 'fame' can judge those that don't.

Fame is a modern day phenomenon, these are the people we look up to now, yet do we understand them. They are aloof and distant; they are purely made up of the facts/stories we read in papers, the characters they portray in films or the songs they sing. Yet off these things we think we have worked out who they are. Then when we read a story of negative disposition towards a celebrity, which often taints our whole view of them.

I was reading about famous Christians and read that new UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, the man who is said to be the future of one of the fastest growing sports in the world, is a devout Pentecostal Christian. I looked into it and one of the first things I’d read is the guy has two kids and isn’t married. In addition he’s a fighter, he lives for violence. The press and my sadly judgmental mind spins it so I become skeptical but then as I delve into it I find articles like this and think, okay the guy has flaws, so do we all, the only difference being his are more publicized than ours. Despite this is he is still using his position to make a difference.


There are very few Christians in the world of fame, and it is not surprising. Those that have become famous either fall away (Katy Perry) or begin to make very questionable life choices (Evangeline Lily). Fame allows you to be the center of your world, you become a somebody, and as a somebody it becomes harder and harder to live under the reign of anything, and this will leave less and less room for God in your life.

Many famous Christians play their cards close to their chest, often keeping the information to themselves rather than publicizing it. Some that I have heard of are Denzel Washington, Paul Walker, Matin Bashir, Owen Coyle, Gavin Peacock, Julian Speroni and Hayley Williams (all of Paramore). It's likely you wouldn't know these guys are Christian, and there's a reason for that. Once the press hears a celebrity is a Christian, they will look to publicize their mistakes more. The fame game is one that scrutinizes mistakes as much as it lauds achievements.

Now enter Rob Bell. This is a guy that for years has been an inspiration to the Christian faith while made many inspiring books and videos. Yet now, he releases a book that on the whole doesn't agree with the Bible. Does this discount his past work, no. For me this has the hallmark signs of a man affected by fame. Fame allows you to become the center of your world, and as the center you increasingly create and fashion the world you want around you. I believe Rob Bell, through spending constant time with the most broken people of the world (which we can all learn from), has begun to create his own Christianity, where these people can enter heaven irrelevant of acceptance of Jesus. To be honest, it’s a lovely message, and I have met many people who I’d love to have in heaven with me, but sadly it isn’t the biblical message. Fame has allowed him to, because increasingly the people who follow him will follow him and his views, not necessarily those of the Bible. He is famous enough to eliminate Hell, as enough people follow him to support him no matter what.

Fame is a big issue, and famous people are primarily still people. They make mistakes. Last year I applied to Big Brother and nearly got in. I thought I could bring a message that Christians are relevant and not all judgmental. Honestly, I'm happy I didn't get in, I believe the show would have tried to spin the footage to make me look crazy of bigoted. Many of my friends who aren't Christian would probably say I am a relevant Christian guy, but many of them don't see my mistakes. I ask if you’re reading this, to be different. Don't judge these guys; many of these people never get to meet normal people. They meet other famous people, or people with preconceived ideas. Be normal. Don't judge, many of us, put in their position would make exactly the same mistakes. Those of us that have sex issues would end up like Paris Hilton, those of us with drug issues would end up like Charlie Sheen, those of us with violence issues would end up like Bobby Brown. Let us endeavor to help the famous be less cut off with the rest of us, so that they may begin to live that way.

Thank you for reading,


Tuesday, 1 February 2011


So, this is an issue I've considered writing on for some time. It's the big thing I get asked about all the time. From the Wimbledon girls and guys all the way to the Big Brother casting guys, everyone wanted to know more about the Christian opinion on pornography and masturbation. Well I can't speak for all Christians, but this is my view point.

First off, I write this from a point of relative failure. I still watch porn from time to time, and I still masturbate from time to time. This ain't something I've stopped yet, but why I write this is not to do with the whether or not I've managed to cut it out, it's the attitude change. My aspiration is to never look at porn again, but we don't always quite live up to our aspirations.

So, I've been watching porn since about 12, so that's 10 years now, there's not a lot else I've been doing for that long to be honest! Now porn never really seemed like an issue as a kid, if anything it was exciting, looking at all these ridiculously over curvy ladies. It was a release, and as a teenager who had no female friends and attended an all boys school, porn was my only contact with girls. It wasn't until after I became a Christian I realised it was a problem. At first I thought nothing of it, but my girlfriend at the time brought it up with me, as it was hurting her for me to be idolising these other women. To her it was effectively cheating, I'll be honest I didn't see it like this at first; I thought she was over-reacting, but over time I've come to realise she is more than right. It took another girl sharing her struggles with pornography for me to first confess this as a problem. This annoyed me as I was going through a stage where I thought I was 'a sorted Christian (by the way, there is no such thing)' and so this brought me right back to where I belong, saved by grace no works.

So after a long battle with this issue, I've come to realise it's a lot more common that Christians make out and a lot more serious than non-Christians see it to be. Now the biggest reason I want to stop watching porn and masturbating is out of respect for my future wife. I know God's going to give me a lovely girl, who I'll marry and share sex the way God intended it to be, and I'm very much looking forward to that. But also, on our wedding night, when we stand in front of each other and look at our naked bodies (for hopefully) the first time, I want that body to be the pinnacle of female beauty for me. I don't want to look at her and wish she had bigger boobs like the girl I watched in some porn the other night. I don't want to wish she was more sexually experimental like the girls in pornography. I don't want her to be compared to any other woman; I want her to be uniquely special.

Like the Rihanna song recently, the more I've come to know girls, the more I have experienced their deep longing to be made to feel 'like the only girl in the world.' Even my most independent, together girl mates still have this longing. I've also seen the best and worst of this, I've seen women who have been ruined by disappointing men not satisfying this desire, and I've also seen women deeply honoured by men providing them with exactly this. I want my wife to feel like the only girl in the world to me, to feel like the only girl I find beautiful. I want her to know that she is the only girl I get to see naked, she is the only girl that can satisfy my lustful desires, and with porn she can never feel like this. Most girls nowadays have got used to the fact their boyfriends watch porn, and just brush it off or dismiss it, thinking it doesn't affect them. Sadly it will. If you know your boyfriend/husband is constantly watching images and videos of girls with better bums/boobs/faces than you, or watching girls that are better and more sexually experienced than you, it will fuel insecurity, and in turn leave you more and more worried about how you look, rather than what should be happening, someone loving you so much for exactly how you look that you never need to worry.

I credit any man who has managed to do away with porn, and has set about on the mission of making one girl feel like she is the only girl in the world to him, I credit any man who tells his girlfriend/wife everyday how beautiful she is even though he knows most of the time she doesn't believe him.

Please contact me if you’re struggling with this issue, want practical advice, or you would like to know more about my perspective on pornography, thanks for reading,


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

If it wasn't the Holy Spirit, Id' tell it to go away!

It's odd that the biggest question that was answered of me at Center Parcs was last week was one of the smallest ones I had on my mind. I'd spent the whole week before Center Parcs doing nights at a homeless shelter, and in the days non-stop on the newly acquired Football Manager 2011. Weird week. The shelter was awesome and I made some good friends with some interesting habits (honestly, homeless people have THE most fascinating stories), but then in the day just feeding this self-indulgent video game habit. No prayer, no time for God, no bible.

Then at Center Parcs I quickly realised what my favourite hobby is, and sadly video games lost out in the process. My favourite hobby by far and away is time with God, when I feel the Holy Spirit come on me big style.

So since coming back, I booted up the computer a few times, start up Football Manager, intend to play but then get distracted. It's a complete opposite of before. Before I got distracted from God's presence by video games, now the presence of God is so strong I get distracted from video games by the Spirit. Within minutes of starting Football Manager, I'm on Spotify getting and listening to Christian music or reading a friends blog, I'm encouraging a Christian friend or having a deep chat on Facebook, I'm reading my bible or facedown on the carpet resting in the prescence of my Father. If this wasn't the Holy Spirit, I'd tell it to go away for getting in the way of my Football Manager time.

I feel like at the very least, God has broke into my life and isn't letting go of me. Now this passion is something I want to use to impact my church, my youth group and students. I've already started seeing a change in my attitude to the ministries I'm involved in. I no longer just want to run places where it is just a fun environment, because what fun is an environment without Jesus.

It's selfish to hide this anymore. I have seen unimaginable healings, unimaginable freedom yet sometimes I just can't be bothered to go that extra mile, to ask a friend if they want prayer, to build a relationship with the bagel shop guy, to help that lady with shopping on here way home. I've just noticed that little shift, and God has broke in just a little more, and the more time I spend on Him, the more he breaks in, YES FATHER, I LOVE YOU!

Thanks for reading, god bless,


Sunday, 9 January 2011


So, I've been thinking long and hard about what to write. I've had one of the most monumental weeks of my life, and really to put it into words is to do injustice to it. First let me start off with a few highlights:
  • Healing - That it happens, first off saw a few brothers and sisters, Deli of a foot thing, which now means she can walk properly, which is awesome. Jon of a tooth thing, his teeth actually changed angle in his mouth while being prayed for, awesome. The biggest lessons I learnt though were to celebrate the little successes, like we prayed for our deaf friend Jack to be healed, and he was, he heard for an evening, that's a success, but we all seemed rather glum the next day the healing had not been permanent. Also, to be as creative as Jesus was, try weird stuff, for me it was pouring water in Jack's ears and making Zach eat sugar, they didn't necessarily work, but it was putting my reputation on the line to show I cared for them and to show God I had faith in him, plus it makes healing a hell of a lot more fun.
  • Father - That I have an awesome heavenly father, who loves me very much, has overseen every moment in my life (got a guy give me a moment from my past, one of the saddest, when my dad left, saying God was watching over me), and wanted nothing more for me than to forgive my earthly father (reminded by covering my face with my scarf while Zach was praying with me, and then finding it covered in blood, not forgetting that day in a hurry), and understand that he is a normal person who makes mistakes, and I should forgive him for that. I know you read these dad, I can check the stats and have 16 views from Mexico ;). So dad, consider yourself forgiven and loved, I harbour no resentment towards you and would love a phone call soon to catch up.
  • Freedom - I stood when they asked if we wanted freedom from demonic forces. I was sceptical, always have been of demonic forces. As Simon Holley prayed, with my eyes closed I heard noises, wails, screams, coughs, and quickly got distracted. I wanted these things to happen to me to prove I was free, but they didn't. Then I realised I was focusing on the manifestations and not on God, so my attention turned, and I began repeating the phrase 'I accept your forgiveness' to myself. I have a problem with pornography and masturbation, born out of events in my childhood, and I need to drill into my head God forgives me for anything that has, will and is happening. As a friend cam and prayed for me (cheers Joel), I feel to my knees, and then as that happened, completing not desiring manifestations, my hands began to tingle. It got stronger and stronger, and my hands fizzed, like they were filled with pins and needles. I finished praying yet the sensation continued, and i walked around with my hands in praying position, talking to friends, having to ask Zach to get me a drink as I couldn't use my hands. Mad, but I didn't desire the manifestation, it was just a cool side effect. For me it symbolised that while I may use my hands to sin again, in God's eyes they are cleansed, and he was just re cleaning them to remind me.
One of the big things I learnt though is that God, and The Holy Spirit love an environment of authenticity. One where people are allowed to make mistakes, where people are bold, where people can share anything, where people step out, where the quiet are as confident as the loud, where people don't fake The Spirit to impress others. This environment, so well catered for by the gifted Simon Holley and his team from Bedford allowed the Holy Spirit to flourish in us.

Testimony was one of the key ways in which this environment was created, by allowing people to come up and share the deepest and often darkest in front of a room of 100+ people and rather than be judged, be cheered, many receiving standing ovations. People who made me especially proud being Jo Nathan, Rhoda Areington and Abigail Smith, while special mention for me goes to Phillip Drew Smith and Victoria Myers. This was addictive, and before you knew it people were going up twice to share (guilty as charged). These honest testimonies broke right into the hearts of those sitting watching. Rather than the audience looking on judging and trying to distance themselves from those sharing to make themselves feel better, quite the opposite happened, instead they identified with those sharing and had many of their own flaws highlighted.

Another great thing about this environment was the amount of failure (including me asking a girl out, and falling flat on my ass, ha!). With many bring prophesies, words of knowledge about healing and praying for healing and freedom, there were bound to be some unsuccessfull stories, and indeed there were, but what was phenomenal was that rather than wallow in our own self pity, we could look around the room and excite in the joy of our brothers and sisters.

This lead to trust. Many I talked to expressed their reservations about obvious expressions of The Spirit, often saying they were dubious and though people might be 'faking it.' In this environment of joy and trust though, there was just joy that our brothers and sisters were experiencing the power of The Spirit, and no resentment that they were feeling it more than us, instead just joy watching them enjoy The Spirit.

Many of us were sad to leave centre parcs, and wished it lasted longer, but I was excited. The mission starts now for many of us, and it is our job for those of us that were there to bring back this environment into our home churches. This in no easy mission, and we will face resistance and challenges, but if we have seen The Spirit move so powerfully yet have no desire to see everyone one of our brothers and sisters in Christ impacted in the same way what are we? This our mission, there are so many Christians that have never experienced this kind of freedom, so many who feel alone, just like we have, and it is our job to bring that home.

Please feel free to contact me about anything you've read in this :)

Thank you for reading, god bless,


Monday, 3 January 2011

A heightened sense of anticipation

So, sitting on my bed with my clothes and bag next to me packing for a week at center parcs. It's all been building to this. It's what it feels like, this heightened sense, this anticipation, I have barely stopped smiling all morning.

In life you rarely get these moments. For those of you that don't know, I'm doing a volunteer year for my church called FP-Impact, and part of that year is a week away at center parcs with all the other FPers from across the country. It's a week of solid teaching, worship and all that shabang.

As I was dancing round my room this morning, I knelt down and began praying, asking God to bless the FPers, and asking him to open me up to anything. As I was thanking my Father, tears, swelled up, I know that so much has He done for me, but this sense won't go away, this sense of a BIG week.

I have no idea what's in store from God. I've prepped myself with food, dishwasher tablets (oooooo!!). The biggest thing I've been worrying about is my wardrobe in preparation for it, as if God really cares about my wardrobe (even got new boots, ha, proper vain). That's the thing though, I'm so helpless to what God will do. All I can fuss about is my wardrobe and hair, this week is so much mystery but I have such clear expectations of great things.

I'll blog again in a week with what's happened, but I know I do, and I'm sure the other FPers would all appreciate your prayers in this time :)

Thanks for reading, love you guys,