Friday, 27 February 2015

Love Justice

I love the paradox of the gospel.
I desire passionately justice in all things.
I believe so did Jesus.

Jesus continually seems to fly in the face of the 'norm', societies expected outcomes.

I love how Jesus turns the laws upside down.

Jesus continually puts deeper context and meaning to the written laws, he places a higher set of expectations against them.  Dont just follow the law let them root down deep into your being so much so that you actions and words speak out the deepest of meanings and understanding.

The life of GRACE!

It is this lifestyle that Jesus not only demonstrates in his life but also expects from his followers.

Just allow this scripture to speak deep into your being today.

42.1-4“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.

In a world where so often there seems little justice, well if we are to believe the media, the Justice of the Kingdom is a massive gift to humanity.

Jesus doesnt give us what we deserve, he gives us totally what we dont deserve!  
Jesus holds a mirror upto us and reflects back love and mercy.

Jesus' Justice is continually mercy.  Mercy and Grace lavished upon us.

As agents of the Kingdom we need to be lavishing mercy and grace in the same proportions.  Not judging but loving and accepting people.

I want to live my life differently.
I believe this is what holiness is about
I believe this is what SA soldiership is about

Being different.  Being distinct.  And therefore I believe being deeply attractive to the world.

Lets not only love justice but live justice.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Be Silent


Can you hear?

Can you really hear?

What is the Spirit saying to the churches?

Are you listening?

First four words from Isaiah 41...........“Be silent before me'

Today Im just going to listen.....

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Shock Treatment

Its good to think about God!  Do you agree?

Its good to marvel at the Creator God as you walk about the countryside.  
Its so good to know God is God!

Have you forgotten this?
Its sometime hard to keep focused on the beauty of God when the energy reserves are low, and maybe the physical and spiritual resolve are not what they need to be.

When I  feel that way i often find myself looking at the teachings of Paul.   A learned man, a passionate man, a focused man, a strong willed (in my opinion) man.
I love how Paul it seems in the most abstract/weird places would turn his attention and focus to God and rejoice in Him.

A great example of how to live the life of faith in adversity.

The second part of Isaiah 40 i want to think about today for my lent study is v28 onwards below:

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary,  and his understanding no one can fathom.  29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Yesterday as I expressed the need I was feeling in my spirit to Cry Out to God for the SA, I received an amazing response back, through messages, comments, texts and calls.  There appears to be a real desire to see God doing new things before our eyes.

I wonder if we, the SA have become tired in the UK? 
I wonder if there is a need for a rallying call?
Honest I wonder if we have become consumed by a dinosaur (ssshhhhhhh ffm) thats become all consuming?

I must confess, Ive observed in the last couple of years a sense that we have lost our focus, our passion, our believe in the power and love of the God of Creation?  I dont mean that as a judgment but just an observation. 

People seem absorbed by structures and processes which have strangled the life blood out of them. Structures should enable not become strictures that strangle.

Im thinking as we cry out to God for revival across this nation then maybe we need to start by the Holy Spirit reviving and rebirthing us His people first? Maybe we need  a spiritual ECG shock treatment to our  hearts to re-energize them?

So Holy Spirit I pray this Lent that you would touch us in a new way
Refresh the aching tired bones and
Help us to rise up and sore like eagles.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Crying Out LOUD

Last evening I had a vivid dream.
Now Im not prone to dreams but this was so clear.....Ill share it after the first piece of todays scripture from Isaiah 40:3-8

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b]
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.”

In my dream I was on my knees crying out for revival in this nation and within the Salvation Army.
I was crying out dreaming very clearly of recent days when the Holy Spirit just seemed to get hold of us as a movement.
In my dream I was reminded of a number of friends and colleagues who met together through the nights to pray for God to break and reshape the SA in the UK.
For Him to do a new work. 

And pray we did.......
And Roots was birthed, and 1000s were inspired in their faith and came to faith and had new experiences of faith.

My dream last night was I felt that someone, or group of people should start crying out to God once more for God to pour out Himself on us His hungry land and people.
Not to birth another Roots but to seek what is the new thing God is wanting to do within us and within this nation

I've woken up still compelled to say, shouldn't we rise up and pray for revival, birthed in His presence.
Shouldnt our whole being be focused on seeking God and His heart for this nation and for this movement.

In my opinion we need to refocus on the right things, the things of the Kingdom and then everything else will be added unto us........

So fancy rising up and crying out to God?

Monday, 23 February 2015


Ive been listening a lot in recent days to stories of amazing growth in the Church around the world.
I've also been listening to lots of conferences in the UK about how we can strategically create environments and programmes, ideas, where growth can be encouraged to take place.  

There are several keys themes that seem to recur, but two particularly keep jumping out to me. 

1. The places of growth seem to have very little or no material resources but what they have they continue to give away and trust God to provide. 
2. There are also obvious signs of the Spirits working in supernatural ways..  

I get excited about these things but I also cant help but ask......So why is it that the Church in the UK is not experiencing this same level of growth?

Have we got to much and do we know to much??

For me there's no question personally that when I am lacking it does more to focus my prayer life.  It is when in hunger I bow before God, that the Spirit of God really does seem to commune with my own spirit.  I guess there is a desperation deep within me that cries out to God.

My times of physical challenges are normally my most blessed and Spirit filled times in the journey.

So, my Spirit feels right now that we, the SA need to cry out to God!  Plead with Him, call out to Him, repent before Him.

I smiled as I read Isaiah 39 today.....

39.5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord Almighty: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord

I sense that we are being stripped bare by God, that the things we have made our security are becoming less and less sufficient.  The world is robbing us of our treasures, treasures that we maybe should never have stored up? 

This for me I believe is a good place to be.  

I believe (yes I believe there are 11 doctrines), I believe we need to cry out to God the Holy Spirit, we need to come before him thirsting and hungering after His intention for us.  We need to lay down, let go, of our resources and strategies and seek God.  And we need to do it now.

Seek Him whilst he may be found!

Lord what do you require of me.....?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Moving Mountains

From day 1, even before, the journey of Wetherby Community Church of the Salvation Army started prayer has been paramount.  It was birthed out of a prayer vision and continues to have prayer at its heart.  We have literally time and time again seen mountains moved.

It has helped that Andrea is a gifted intercessor and passionate about prayer which has helped to foster a climate of prayer

For me, honestly, its hard work.  But pray I do.

We have seen time and time again miraculous answers to pray.  Indeed we have seen the supernatural answers to prayers.   Healing, deliverance, salvation, provision, protection and many more.  We even saw a resurrection from the dead, in church.  Yep honest God bless Gladys!  And he did.

I smiled as I read the chapter for today.  Wow I thought we have challenges.  Hezekiah has been told by God, paraphrased by me, well done faithful servant and now you are going to die!  No wonder Hezekiah wept.  I smiled to myself, God you have a strange sense of humour and your plans are so 'out there' at times.

I love Hezekiahs response.  He didnt sit there like so many Christians may have done. 
O dear woe is me or
Why on earth is God doing this?

He poured out his heart in prayer to God....

When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and God answered his prayer...

I love this response and Im also challenged by it.
We are praying, all of us to an Awesome God who can move mountains, indeed He could smash the mountains.
This is a beautiful affirming and powerful reminder today.

So Im turning my face to the wall and praying earnestly to God....
My prayer is simple Lord you know my heart, you know my earnest desire and Lord in your mercy would you hear our prayers.

And then I pray..........
But not my will but your will be done.

Today I am indeed reminded of Gladys who was pronounced dead, with flat line evidence from the ECG machine but who when hands were laid on her and the church prayed God brought her back to life.  

Awesome God you can do anything when you people pray.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Seeking God

There's a massive joke in my family.
Apparently Im always asking questions! 
What you been upto today?  Whats going on?  How were things? etc  And then I invariably go onto say why?
The kids laugh.  Ive noticed now when i come in and sit with them in the lounge they have started in recent months, even before i've hardly sat down, saying, and why?  Then they all smile together.
I would say, its cause i'm interested and genuinely want to know what's been happening in thier lives whilst i've been away, but I do get where they are coming from as well.
To be honest, Im a bit of a pain! 
No you say surely not!!!  Yes I am.
I find myself nearly always in meetings, groups asking but why?  I guess I like to understand the reasoning, the logic behind  and how decisions have been reached.  I think this always links to seeking out answers.
But I ask.  Am I as quick to seek out God in every moment of my life?  Or do I just seek out Gods answers when things dont seem to make sense or are not going well?
Seek FIRST the kingdom and then all these things (answers) will be added unto you.
Today there's a great example contained within Isaiah 37.  Hezekiah is faced by a massive challenge, he's needing answers so he seeks Gods heart and leading.
15 And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the Lord: 16 “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. 17 Bend down, O Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, O Lord, and see! 
I asked Andrea about Hezekiah (shes into the OT more than me) and she said O yes he's a good King, he sought God always!
I love what Hezekiah prays here.
He knows who God is and 
He keeps Him in His rightful place......As Lord of all.
So today Im thinking......
I need always to be seeking after Gods will for my life not just asking him Why when I dont understand.
God Almighty, The Creator of all things is far more than just 'a crutch' in times of weakness and crisis.

Friday, 20 February 2015

This is WAR!

Ever woken from your sleep with a battle raging in your head?

Ever gone through a day feeling as if the world is stacked against you?

Ever felt as if it seems the forces of Hell are sending all its arrows your way?

Take heart.......the life of faith is a battleground and it is something we are called to engage in.....
Don't deny it,
Don't ignore it,
And dont give to much credence to it.
But a battle it is.

Anyway my head was banging this morning at 4.00am.  A number of things have happened in the last 24 hours which have caused me to battle with my emotions, feelings, thoughts, weaknesses.  So much so that I felt like I had a massive knot between my shoulders and my neck was rigid.  Andrea made me smile even in the face of this, you might be stressed, she said!  Bless her.  Might be !!??

Isaiah 36 was read, as per my challenge to myself this Lent this morning.  The bible reading represented my head at 4.00am. 

I  read a battle story,
A story of might against apparent weakness,
A story of seeming worldly forces against a faith in an unseen God.

Yesterday a number of people prayed for us, and sent us the same words.  Stand Firm.  Stand Firm in the God whom you have faith in.

This is  the text that jumped out to me.   “This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?

I'm reminded that God has always gotten us through
That God has done amazing things even when it seemed they could not or would not be answered.
I was reminded that we trust in a God who is able to do more than we can imagine or dream.
A God of supernatural power.

My confidence does not come from what I do, it comes from the person in whom I trust.  
My confidence is in God Almighty.
The God who did deliver the Israelites and the God who has time and time again delivered us from evil and from circumstances.

So today I state yes we are at war, but its a war in which we place our trust in God and leave him to piece together the plans an intentions for our lives

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Unexpected ways....

Well I didnt see that coming........

Best describes the day we have so far shared in....

However I am wise enough to know that God is 

It is this God in whom we trust, whose faithfulness and goodness continues throughout the years.

I must confess, today feels a bit like the new year resolution that lasts 24 hours.  However I desire to let God, indeed need God to speak to me at this time, as I always need Him to.  So God what is it you want to say to me today through my lent study?

I read Isaiah 35 three or four times asking God reveal to me a 'word in season'.

v1-3 Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers  and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.  There the Lord will display his glory,  the splendour of our God.

Theres one thing I know.  That is, I need to focus on the God who brings joy in despair, and pours the oil of gladness on my head when I seek Him.

I sat in a meeting on Tuesday.  Twelve of us gathered.  When suddenly this lady about 65 just laughed and laughed and laughed.  It seemed at the most inopportune moment.  However we all started to laugh.  I gave thanks to God as I laughed then, and smile now.  It was so infectious.

God turned up in UNEXPECTED WAYS.

So today I invite the God of joy and praise into the seeming chaos of our world. 
This is such a God word.
I dont know how we will laugh today, when we have cried so much....

And then I looked outside and saw, as if a promise from God the direct quote in the reality of creation.....

The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.

God knows what He's doing and He may do it in unexpected ways for you today. But there will be beauty out of ashes.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Ashes everywhere

Ash Wednesday......
Ashes everywhere,
blown all over the place

I remember scattering the ashes of a great man, who became a Christian at Wetherby.  I stood laughing with his wife as the wind changed direction and blew them all over my black uniform. For a moment there was total shock as I feared what his wife would say and think.   As she laughed she couldnt help but say he would have loved that!

(Ummm lesson learnt always make sure you stand down wind and scatter low.)

As I reflect and embark on my Lent reflections/studies this year I have decided to take the second part of Isaiah's words as a  daily reading.  In doing so Im praying that the text will speak to me and that maybe one word or verse will hit be between the eyes!

So I will endeavour to blog my journey from Isaiah 34-66 daily.  Well lets see.....

I smiled as i started today and thought of the man and women in the story above......I read the first chapter looking for God to encourage me and speak to me (have you read 34????) Despair and destruction everywhere!!  With little or no signs of hope

The context was of Israel having begun its journey out of exile into the new place that God would deliver them to, the land of promised blessings in abundance, but the battle was not yet over...

Now I must confess that we have used the exiles message as an encouragement to us as a church over the last year.  We have indeed gone through similar experiences.  But always the faithfulness of God has been evidenced and experienced.  GOD IS SO FAITHFUL.

In recent weeks it has felt to me as if the ways of some within our world have become even more filled with what seems pure evil, atrocities abound all over our world.  Terrible diseases, death, mass murders, genocide and the list goes on.....  And so as  I read 34 I couldnt help but ask God about what i read and what i see in the media.

There are indeed ashes everywhere!  And God turned my heart to the following verses;

12 Her nobles will have nothing there to be called a kingdom, all her princes will vanish away.
13 Thorns will overrun her citadels, nettles and brambles her strongholds.  She will become a haunt for jackals, a home for owls.

In my role right now within the SA Im travelling all over the country seeking out the new things of God and encouraging new expressions of the SA.  There are some amazing things happening. But our reality is also that over citadels have become over run with nettles and brambles.... not just physically but also spiritually

I sense we, need to get back on our knees.  I personally think we are at a 'pre Roots' stage.  (for those who dont know a number of people in the early 1990s gathered to pray through the night for a new revival of Gods Spirit upon the SA, and Roots was birthed.)

I sense we need to get back on our knees to pray repentance and freedom over our movement.
We need to ask God to deliver us from the captivity which we have found ourselves embroiled within.
We need to rediscover freedom in the Spirit, in prayer, in mission and in our programmes.  So many of which have become like brambles stifling the life from within us.
It feels like the despair of the world have invaded our churches, our communities.
Im privileged to meet some amazingly passionate visionaries in my role but im increasingly concerned that Im also meeting a lot of people who seem to be having the life strangled from them.

Friends I pray that the God of Faithfulness and the Spirit of Truth would pull down the brambles of our structures and allow a new sense of freedom and hope to rise up from the ashes.....

Will you join with me in this pray, this Lent?

Emmaus Pioneer Journey

Picture the scene. You arrive, on a day off to spend the day with one of your children. To help him out. You're greeted by about 5 t...