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,