Last week in the evening gathering Mick said that God was setting a fire in us for the next seven days. That was so true for me. The fire burned bright and it was amazing, but as soon as those seven days were up the enemy decided to strike. Continue reading
It’s easy to be sceptical about healings. I’m sure we’ve all read or heard stuff about the placebo effect. I’ve certainly been sceptical, despite all the evidence. There’s lots of stuff in the Bible, in both the Old and the New Testament, about people being healed. When I think of healing, the first Biblical story I think of is Matthew 9:2-7; Continue reading
Please send us your stories, testimonies and thanksgivings of Student Conference. We would love to hear what God has been doing in your life over weekend.
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Mike Breen was the team leader of St Thomas Crookes before Mick Woodhead. Mike now writes, mentors leaders and leads a movement called 3DM. He has recently written a blog which tells the story of St Thomas Crookes. It’s a great read and will give you the BIG picture of our awesome church.
I was just reading a couple of blogs to distract myself from work, and I came across one by a Christian band called the United Pursuit. They have a communal house and essentially worship together, seek God and write songs about what they feel he is saying to him. As I was reading, this particularly struck me:
“We don’t grow from the prophecy; we grow from the process of the fulfillment of the prophecy.
1. All growth starts in the form of an dream
2. The Dream turns into distress when we realize we don’t know how to make the dream happen
3. In the distress , through perseverance, we develop
4. Opportunities present themselves to demonstrate what we’ve prepared for.
Without distress, there is no fulfilment of our dreams. Something to think about.”
I didn’t find this the most comforting thing to read – I know there are dreams that God had given me through my life that, if I was honest with myself, I had either put on hold or dismissed ‘a bit too big for someone like me.’ However, I really felt God challenge this attitude. After all, had I not received prophesies and read in his word numerous times that he knows me better than anyone in the world; has specific plans for my life and will never leave me on my own?
After listening to Mark Russell’s sermon last week, I really felt inspired to listen to God more and hear him. The more I listened to God, the more that I started to feel completely overwhelmed by what he wants to do in my life and the lives of those around me. It would be futile to try to tackle this on my own, but he continually reassures us in the bible that we aren’t meant to even consider doing it without him. I don’t want to be the sort of person that hears God (step 1), then dismisses it when they get distressed about not being able to make it happen. None of us can really live out God’s plans in our own strength, it would be useless trying! I want to be able to lean on God and see him working through my weakness. In my reading, I also came across this quote: The great difference between the present-day Christianity and that of which we read in these New Testament letters is that to us it is primarily a performance; to them it was a real experience.” J.B Phillips. We need to be able to let him break us so he can develop us and help us to have the strength to live out the promises he has given us throughout lives, via direct prophesies, personal revelation and, most of all, though his word. I (unfortunately) had to fall to the bottom emotionally to allow him in enough to let him really start to change me – going back to the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4, for God to make me into ‘good soil’, he had to break the barriers that made me ‘shallow soil,’ so his promises would grow long roots and last a long time. This process is I am learning that I can’t hold on to old lies in my life and hold onto God’s promises at the same time, I need to let him work dramatically in my life. Man’s first sin in Genesis 3 was to try to go for it without God. We still haven’t learnt!
The past few weeks have been tough for me. I have been physically drained and have felt like a shadow of my normal self, however, Jesus kept telling me, and has been telling me for some time that I am not alone. This week, I really had to rely on him or break down. I no longer had the option of going it alone and was forced to fall back onto God. He caught me. This may sound like an obvious thing to say, but, if I am honest, all too often Jesus is my backup plan for when times are tough, but I have had some such sweet and profound encounters with my heavenly father that I am almost (stress on ALMOST, just so you know!) thankful for my depression. In Psalm 23v4, it says Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. He is starting to help me to have the faith to believe it and the more I rely on him, allowing to break down my defences and need to feel ‘on top of things,’ the more I have seen this promise be fulfilled in my life.
I don’t feel like I have got it all sorted, far from it, but God has been doing wonderful things in my life and I want to encourage you to have the faith that God can change you. Whatever there is that is holding you back – bad behavioural habits, lies about yourself that you believe – the best thing that you can do is to let him sort it out with you, no matter what you need to do to follow him. I promise you, cheesy as it may sound, the biggest adventure you could ever have is living your life with God!