Saturday, 25 June 2011

Travelling light

Not blogged for a couple of weeks, didnt want it just to become habit on the back my fasting etc, but I just had to write about this.

An adult linked to our chuch family, who is in the worlds eyes, a 'bit slow', needed to have his new shed erected at the communal house where he lives with two other 'handicapped' adults. Could I help? Well why wouldnt I?

Thing is have you ever offered to help someone thinking that shouldnt take long only for the 'ask' to grow and grow having agreed to do so?

Well I arrived. The old shed needed dismantling, but it first needed to be cleared of all the rubbish that was contained within. Having cleared out, what can best be described as rubbish we eventually began to dismantle the old shed. Never again, I thought as what had seemed an easy task became more and more of a challenge! The sweat was dripping of my head! Why or why had someone put nails in every conceivable piece of word! It took the three of us ages, or so it seemed. Eventually we got it down and put the new one up! I did smile to myself as I suspect the old was actually stronger than the new one!

God has been really speaking in the last couple of weeks, about taking with me on the journey of faith only the bare essentials that I need to follow. Getting rid of the stuff that gets in the way, and yet at the same time we have been blessed in amazing ways and seeing God do miracle upon miracle, just as we believed He said He would.

We have seen people healed, people have direct prayer requests answered. God has unlocked new doors in regard to mission as well as provide more and more human resources for delivering the mission that we are called to within the wider community. Day after day as I have been sending out prayer requests I am having to send out nearly as many answers to prayer.

Its fascinating that when we do lay ourselves bare before God and trust in His provision He continually comes through, time and time again. Praise Him.

But I need to share that I am also amazed by things which I have stored away thinking I may need them again. I think that too many of us are like that old shed, we have hidden and stored away things, thinking that may come in useful again some day. The reality is that we may not have ever need them again?

As i ask this of the individual Christian I think on a larger scale we need to ask the same of our Christian traditions, and churches. Have we built up and created stuff that we think is important but has no heavenly use on earth?

As i said in my last blog I have been following someone on Twitter who is working through openly alot of angst about the SA. I have to say I cant agree with too much of what he is saying but it is causing me to ask, what is important and necessary to carry in the Christian walk of faith? If anything gets in the way of Jesus and me walking closely then we should surely get rid of it? Sin, materiality, false beliefs, religions and religious observance are but just some that need to go....

I believe God is calling a new generation to be in love with Him, to follow what He asks, no matter where that might be and to travel lightly. As I think this though the dynamic growth of the Kingdom, and the exponential growth of the SA were down to this fact. People travelled with the bare minimum, so that they could more quickly respond to the needs.

Time for a clear out.......I need to travel more lightly

Monday, 13 June 2011

Yesterday or Tomorrow?

So clearly God is speaking!

Having posted yesterday about loyal radicals and then spoken about it last evening, it now turns out that twitter is being bombarded by a guy called @skeletonarmy who is expessing his views of what he thinks the SA is all about.

Its interesting that, whilst he is clearly hurting, he is expressing views that at least we should be listening to. Whats more these thoughts have been picked up by facebook and many other Christians are now expressing a real tension between what they think is needed, what they think God is doing, and what our future holds if all of the above are not addressed.

I find it fascinating that only yesterday I was saying that maybe I have been configured differently because i see what is coming rather than what has been. Then the very next day, in fact the same day people are expresisng similar views?

Last night we started some work with Tadcaster on the non negotiables are what is SA. This has been something I have thrashed about with in the past but on the back of these two pieces of work, Loyal Radicals and Non negotiables of Salvationism I am moved to write a paper and do some study looking at this further.

The question that is instantly rising up in me is;

Is God raising up a new prophetic generation, who have the DNA, but have to do things differently?

Im am being led back to Ezekiel again and the valley of dry bones and the book that Floyd McClung wrote you see bones but I see am army.
Are we on for a collision course? Can these bones (the SA organisation) really come back to life? Or is possible that its time for a new thing? In all of these points I think we need to be asking the Micah 6 word, what is it God that you require of me.........

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Loyal Radicals




Am I just a person who naturally goes against the tide, or this the way God has made me? Has God configured me differently? Or just uniquely?



Just who am i? What makes me what I am? This morning someone said to me that she needed more of the gift of faith, like me. She said you have always encouraged me and amazed me by the way you live by faith! I was so challenged by this because I'm having a bit of spiritual kicking at present and I'm not sure I am this man of faith really?



Its Sunday afternoon and I'm in deep thinking mode! Thinking lots about this morning, about Church, about things which were said, about Pentecost etc.



Also I have just been and bought my latte as I promised myself after 13 weeks of fasting. Drank two mouthfuls and it wasn't as I remember it.....I didnt really enjoy it! Why? It wasn't as I thought it was going to be, it wasn't as i remember it!



Had a bizarre weekend really. Not least because yesterday afternoon I sat listening to brass band music for an hour in my office. It reminded me of past experiences, from places where I have travelled from. It reminded me of previous spiritual experiences that have shaped my life. But they were and now are no more..... What I mean, is I thank God for them, for they have shaped me to be who I am today, but they are not who I am now! This was further emphasised by a meeting I attended earlier in the week, where mission was the conversation but it just seemed as if people could not see it.



I am not the same as I was then, and I am not in the same place as I was then. The worry for me was it was like going back in time, visiting a bygone age, an age which yes I thank God for but I am not convinced I want any part of.



The things of yesterday are not the things of today?! They can help shape our thinking but they are in the past!



Im a loyal radical I have decided (thanks Bob and Mary Hopkins ACPI) for this term. Im loyal to the beliefs and systems of the SA but I need to do and be a different thing for a different context today. I cant be what I once was. I want to stay true to our values, but I have to see how they connect to today, not yesterday.



I have come again to the point that for whatever reason, God has given me a prophetic visionary ministry that see things of the future to help shape today so that we can be in a place to live out this future life and destiny. I want to be a person who is continually looking forward not back over my shoulder.



I sense that the future is secure in Gods hands, I trust Him with it afterall its all about him anyway, I cannot go back to Egypt whatever that means for me. Im looking forward, to the promised land of new experiences and blessings.



Nothing in me longs for the past, not even coffee now that has really surprised me.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Choices


  • Colombian


  • Guatemalan


  • Ethiopian


  • Italian


  • Freeze dried


  • Instant


  • Decaffeinated


  • One shot Espresso


  • Two shot Espresso


  • Americano


  • Latte


  • Cappuccino


  • Flat white

Choices, choices, choices..........Which one should I have?



  1. Sometimes to many choices bring about confusion.


  2. Sometimes to many choices cause us to delay decisions


  3. Sometimes to many choices excuse us from taking action.

The reality is I know, despite the choices which one I will take. It will be a Latte, not too strong, no extra shots, a gentle introduction back into the world of coffee loving.
Jesus clearly taught the way is narrow, we enter and follow a set route of beliefs. Follow me! I am thinking, there is no choice really?? Well there is but its an either or. I choose to follow Jesus or I choose to go the other way.
Thomas best embodies this principle when he cannot make up his mind in John 14 Jesus says you know the way....I am the way..... Am I complicating this faith journey thing? When the choice is indeed following or not.
For me its as Joshua was told 'choose this day who you will follow!'.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Wakey wakey

Ive been woken up unexpectedly!!!!!!!!

This morning, Esther got up for school showered and woke Nathan who did likewise. Nothing unusual there, just another morning in the Vertigan household. Things then changed from the norm. Nathan started expressing his opinion of his sister when he said its only 5 oclock, what on earth are you playing at, or something to that effect! His sister had for some reason thought it was 6am.

To be fair Esther is not a great sleeper, particularly when she is a little on edge or anxious. (exams!)

This week has been a bit of a wake up call for myself though as well. Last weekend was apparently a massive one for the SA in London with hundreds of people gathered. I had no idea! I was at my headquarters on Monday for a three hour meeting discussing strategy. I could not believe how people could not see the answers and solutions to their questions. It was a little like getting into Doctor Who's Tardis and going back in time. The things they were discussing and the challenges these lovely people were facing i honestly thought had passed us by. That's not a criticism but a reality of what our decision makers have to face and deal with. And then bless her one of my youth workers is trying desperately to work out what God wants from her and is looking at every option bar the obvious one. She is a bit like Nathan was at 5 this am, walking all around confused, when like i said to Nathan the answer is obvious. He could have looked at his clock. She just needs listen to God.

Confusion comes about when we allow things to crowd into our thinking.

The disciples were in this state post resurrection, and it was as we have already said this week why Jesus told them to wait on him. When they waited there hearts and minds were stilled and it was in that place that they received power.

There are many times in faith when confusion reigns in our spirit. We lose sight of, or dont know how to work out what is the way forward.

In recent weeks I have had to really seek to be still before God, to wait on him. I am busily planning the next 6 months of the church diary, with potentially 5 member of staff less. Very few children's workers (indeed i have no idea how we can cover our childrens work after the summer). Not sure how we will deliver our schools and youth work either. I am a strategist and visionary, I can normally see the how and what but I am really having to trust Gods leading at this time.

I have sat for the last month each day looking at the plans and I put them back down because it looks like the Times Crossword, beyond my comprehension. But in the midst of this, this week God is reminding me, waking me up, to the fact that He is the author of our faith, He knows what He is doing. I simply have to place myself in the place where I need to wait on Him to reveal His power and majesty.

The next stage of the faith journey is exciting here, its uncharted waters as far as I am concerned but in my heart I have a peace that whilst I need to wake up and smell the coffee that is around me, my God does not need to wake up, for He neither slumbers nor sleeps. God is at work all around us, getting every minute detail in place. And all will be well.........He knows what He is doing.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Transformers are go!




Nathan when he was younger collected the transformer toys. He literally had everyone possible. He would spend hours twisting the pieces of meta and plastic. He loved turning the toys from one thing into another. It didnt matter how many times he had played with these he continued to love to change them. They would transfix his attention for hours.


As I consider the whole experience those disciples went through in the lead up to the first Pentecost, I recognise that no matter how many times Jesus spoke, ministered or challenged the disicples he continued to sought to transform them from the people they were to the people he wanted them to be.


Now post resurrection they are faced with the ultimate challenge. The whole ministry of Christ is now down to them. The future of Gods eternal plan on earth has been handed over to the 11, sooon to be 12 once more. The mission of God to save the lost, to save the world was in the hands of the same people who literally days earlier had not wanted to even be associated with Christ. It was for this reason that I believe we are given a tremendous hope that we can be transformed, and that through this experience so can out world.


The disciples were about to have their lives turned upside down, and through this experience the world was about to see the radical transforming work of God.


The Holy Spirit enabled the weak and pathetic disciples to become witnesses to the truth. They were given boldness and courage and the reality of this experience is shown to us today, in that the Church worldwide has grown out of this first Pentecost experience that happened to those first few men and women. This was a dynamic tranformation!


We hear and see everyday with our own eyes the world, seemingly in turmoil, seemingly going against what we would say are Christians standards and values. But this does not cause me to despair but rather compels me to make a difference.


I sat in a meeting yesterday discussing an area of town where a number of families had been complained about and who were , as a result, likely in the next days or so to receive court orders about their conduct. It seemed as I knew every family that was being talked about. The complaints were being levelled at the 30 year old dad who goes out and plays football on the streets, the families who houses were filthy and not being looked after, of the parents who were continually partying and getting drunk. One person present said I would never believe this happens in Wetherby!


I found myself having to speak up for these families and trying to use my words to help people see that in fact things were not the way they were being portrayed, that in fact there was a great sense of community and committment being shown to each other in this street. God filled my words as i bore witness to what I believed was really happening in this community.


As we work with people, as we let our lives speak the loud words of faith being lived out, I am convinced that the best way to witness is by living as Christ in the world. By coming alongside such families as the ones above and showing them through actions of love and grace what I believe. Im not sure the first thing I need to do is talk (and thats my natural position) but rather to serve them, show them that they are accepted and loved.


As this community is being transformed by God, and it is, it is not by my words necessarily but rather through the actions of believers.


I am thinking, I am called to bear witness to God, in my life and its more effective when I keep my mouth shut?? Or is it..............................to be continued

Monday, 6 June 2011

Power crazed!

Afte waiting Jesus said to his disciples 'you shall receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you'

This morning I am reflecting on this power. The power that brings about transformation.

The Holy Spirit is a tranforming power. I have already spoken in recent weeks about this power living in Jesus, it was the power the rose Jesus from the dead and it is the same power that lives in us.

I have had to be praying, seeking God and his plans and desires for this community and church in recent days. We are and will be going through tremendous change, but whilst I dont mind change I wouldnt save i love it. Certainly others seem more wary of change than myself, but I would love to say I embrace it, but I'm not quite at that place yet.

However God is a God of evolution. Now dont panic you evolutionists out there Im not going to unpack heresy here. When God is at work we have to wait on him, trust him and make sure that we are so in tune with what he is doing that things develop before us. This is the powerful work of transformation that God the Holy Spirit undertakes.

I am not what I once was. I have been and am being transformed. I once was like a massive rock being crafted by the sculptor. God the Holy Spirit has seen in me the raw potential and is shaping me. The first bits of this work were easy in a sense cause they were the bigs things, the bigs character flaws, sins. God took in those first days of my faith a big chisel to me, but now God is taking the smaller chisel and is nudging, prodding, poking away at my character and personality to change and refine me. I am experiencing the power of God at work in me, and I am praying that I will experience this same power more.

Thats a dangerous prayer though. But its the right prayer to be praying. I want to become an empowered disciple of Jesus, a man who stands for Jesus not in his own strength but in the supernatural strength of God. (My thinking will be developed to what happens when this power is so obvisouly demonstrated within community.)

I need the power of God in me. I need the power of God transforming my thinking, my actions, my words. I long to see the power of God being worked out through me into this community. I long for it to be said he's not the same as he was......because God has taken the rough rock and transformed it into something beautiful.

I think its fair to say the rock is still under construction, but its being constructed (I pray) under the powerfilled hands of God

Waiting

Waiting, waiting, waiting, im waiting for the fire, is an old song sung by Christians at the end of a sermon usually when they were crying out to God, pleading with Him to touch peoples lives.

A week left to Pentecost and I cant wait. I am expecting amazing things from God the Holy Spirit! But is this really just about one day.

I made chuch laugh yesterday, as for some reason, I thought Pentecost was this week and yet I knew it was next Sunday. So I made the statement well surely everyday should be a Pentecost. A day when we need and experience the Holy Spirit in a new and fresh way?

Jesus taught about waiting for His moment. The moment when God breaks through in a new way. Pentecost.

Jesus told his disciples, Acts 1:4 'he told them to wait for what the Father has promised, the promise you heard from me. John baptised with water, you will be baptised in the Holy Spirit. And soon!' (the message version)

God promises us His Holy Spirit. Freely available to all who believe, but I also sense, rightly or wrongly that sometimes we need to wait even though we have asked?

Last night at Tadcaster was an amazing night. These are a group of mainly retired people who are going on this amazing spirtual journey, with new people joining and spiritual lights being switched on all over the place. These people have been praying and waiting, praying and waiting and now before their own eyes they are experiencing the new things of God, The power of the Holy Spirit at work within them! Amazing.

The disciples were activists they wanted to get on with things. They had seen their Saviour crucified and now post resurrection were being told to sit still and wait. It would have done my head in! But wait they did and then they experienced the fullness of God in power.

Ive been waiting throughout this lent and post lent period for my coffee. I have not touched any! But now I am feeling like I will be drinking one this Sunday and the wait will be worth it. But more than that I believe we are about to experience a new demonstration of Gods Spirit before our eyes.

And I cant wait..........

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Church Has Talent!



So tonight is one of those must sit in and watch the TV nights. Apparently? Its the Britains got Talent final!






Now I must admit I have really enjoyed watching this programme this year, and was gutted to miss last evenings showing, although I was enjoying myself doing ministry with Street Angels.






It amazes me the lengths people go to, to get themselves on TV! (dressing up as a pig and just crawling around the stage, or the man popping his eyes out, or someone dressing up as a robot calling himself the terminator!) Britain has indeed got talent!






But what amazes me more is when someone comes on, who clearly is shall we say, not very good at what they do and yet they seem to believe they are good enough to win. Are they deluded or do they really believe in themselves so much? Thet put themselves up in front of the judges to be scrutinised! Fair enough. But I cannot agree with the herd mentality of the crowd, who, when one person starts to boo the rest join in, beying for blood it would seem.






I wish all the contestants tonight well, espcially Razzi the British Romanian.






As I have reflected on this programme and some of the acts I have seen, I cannot help but think about all the gifts God has given to his church. Many are being used by people who are totally committed to Him. I see this at work in the amazing people that surround me in the life and ministry fo this church. And yet at the same time I cannot help but think about all those believers who for whatever reason are not using their skills, gifts and talents for Gods glory. Why is this?

I need to say that I believe everything that we need to proclaim the truth and live it out has been given to us His Church. We are told in scripture therefore that we lack for nothing. I believe in the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit and I have seen and experienced many of these gifts.






It seems that unlike the contestants on BGT so many of Gods followers lack the belief that God has given them unique and amazing abilities and gifts. I sense we have allowed the world and our own weaknesses and struggles to hinder us from boldy taking hold and using all that God has given us.






As I have journeyed through what has almost been 3 months, fasting from coffee as God has asked me, I have continued sense in my spirit something of the spiritual battle that surrounds us. But I am convinced and believing that there is a real sense that God is wanting to pour out Himself once more upon His Church in love and power. The reason for this is so that we can not only sense and experience the power and deeper things of God but also so that people can see within us That Gods Church has massive Ability!






As I look around me at the people I work with and the church I serve i thank God that I am surrounded by such a great group of people, who are seeking through their gifts to reveal something of God to the people they care for and work with.






Gods church is full of massive latent potential which we need to allow the Holy Spirit to explode.






Gods Church Has Real Talent! Will it be fulfilled or kept hidden.......









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