Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Dry Seasons

Dry Seasons

OK I admit it. I am smack bang in the middle of a dry season. Some call it a desert place. I don’t care what you want to call it – I’m in the middle of it. My blog has all but dried up. I am grumpy with nearly everybody. I have lost much of my appetite, and, worst of all, God is kinda quiet – very quiet – almost silent, in fact. Forgive me please, this blog is very personal.

Now I know it’s all me because that last bit about God being almost silent is never true. I learned a long time ago that I can hear God anywhere, any time because He always has something to say to me. I heard a friend of mine describe it for himself once. “It’s like God is sitting next to me the whole time. He has His arm round my shoulder, and He is whispering in my ear the whole time. ‘You see that person over there, he has a problem. Go talk to him, maybe pray with him.’ Or ‘You see that family behind you, pay for their order for them please. They can’t afford it right now.’ God is like that, He always has something to share with you.” So why do I think I’m in a dry place?

It’s probably because I have pushed Him aside for a while, while I concentrate on my own misery or unhappiness, or anger, or plain ME. Sure I’ve got this bug thing, but that doesn’t separate me from God. I’ve got problems, but they don’t separate me from God. The Bible tells me there is nothing can separate me from Him (Romans 8:38-39). Actually some friends of ours have just had some good news that has made us happy for them and for us just knowing this. So why am I still feeling dry?

Well actually, I think the Lord may be moving me away from my ‘beloved blog’ – as my wife calls it. That has certainly dried up a bit, but that’s because another season is dawning. I keep getting snatches of it – split second glimpses. I believe it is ‘end-time ministry’ but I don’t yet understand the extent of it. All will be revealed in due course. In the meantime, all I can do is follow instructions, and that is what I hope is happening.

Suddenly, my spirit soars as I see a little revelation of the coming season. With revelation comes a challenge, something I have written about before. We sing too many half-truths in our worship. Every Sunday, we sing our hearts out to the Lord, and every Sunday the Lord is a little disappointed in us. We sing, “All to Jesus I surrender”, but we don’t really mean it. We sing, “Break my heart for what breaks yours, Everything for your Kingdoms cause”, but we don’t really mean it. The Lord is saying that, if we begin to mean what we sing even a little more than we did today, then He will, as in the story of the Prodigal Son, He will run towards us with blessings untold.

Can you imagine what this could mean to our churches if this happens? The Lord doesn’t make empty promises. He means every word He says to us.

Oh the joy of a closer walk with Jesus. Lets do it together, as a church, Lets just do it!

Just a closer walk with Thee,
Blessed Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

P.S. I’m taking another break from blogging for a while – maybe a week, maybe a month – only the Lord knows.

Sunday, 12 January 2014



"Only God knows the number of apples in a seed" make 2014 the year of spoken seeds. "Where your treasure is, there is your heart........" (Anon - Unknown)  I read this quote on Twitter. 

Isn’t that the truth? Only God knows the number of apples in a seed. Billy Graham was one such seed, as were Reinhardt Bonnke, William Booth, Hudson Taylor, and Chris Bennett. Who knows how many seeds were then planted by the first four and what their harvest in apples was or will be? Who knows how many seeds I have sown and what the harvest will be? How many doesn’t matter either to us or to God – it’s all about the planting. The main point is that we sow and plant seeds for God’s Kingdom and we know there will be a harvest although we may not see it – yet.

This is certainly a year to make into a ‘Seed Sowing Year’. Just imagine sowing another “Billy Graham” seed. Imagine the effect this would have upon the Christian community and on the world around you locally. I dream constantly of evangelistic events reaching hundreds, maybe thousands of not yet Christian souls stepping up and giving their lives to Christ.

Allow me to recount my wifes testimony about the lady who first mentored her as a new Christian. This lady, as a child, had a dream in which Jesus told her she would be going to Albania. At that time, she had never even heard of Albania which was a closed shop as far as Christians were concerned – even Billy Graham couldn’t get in there. This lady and her husband got in on an ancestral visa to visit relatives she had never met. The seed they sowed that trip, and others that followed, led to a church now of over 3000 people with others planted throughout the land.

That’s what a dream can give birth to. That’s what a seed sowed in the right place and at the right time can do. Seeds sown into good soil produce an unimaginable crop of good fruit. (Mark 4) I have said many times that we sow seeds. Sometimes we see a quick harvest. Other times it takes someone else to water the seed and someone else again to harvest it. However long it takes, the seed sown produces a wonderful harvest through generations.

This is why we need to sow our seeds in 2014. The Lord of the harvest is waiting. Amos 9:13 “The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when the reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills,”
John 4:36 “Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.”

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Holiness of God

Holiness of God

“The call of God is the manifestation in time of the purposes of eternity.” Andrew Murray

What a profound statement! Yet the question so often asked is, what is the call of God? Many will say that any career Christian was ‘called’ to that particular vocation; be it missionary, medical, teaching, or whatever. We certainly believe we have been called to work among the lost, the lonely, the abused, weak, or down-trodden. But was this our first calling from God.

I don’t believe it was. I believe the first call of God on man is holiness. “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” 1Peter 1:15. There are other verses of course - “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 20:7, and, “Because it is written, Be holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16

I believe God calls us first to the imitation of His own attributes before any other thing, and from our attempts, poor though they may be, He gives us all other things, including even revival. Our churches today are simply too unholy to hold, contain, or even begin revival. I specifically used “too unholy” as against “not holy enough” because that is how I felt Holy Spirit was prompting me. If the call of God is, at this time, the manifestation of God’s eternal purposes, then holiness, both personal and corporate, must be our starting point. 

Without holiness, we are unfit to hold any kind of revival, despite the fact that nearly all the gifts of God that go with revival – like healing, deliverance, signs, and wonders – are normally without repentance.  Revival is, I believe, almost a “special case” because revival without repentance just isn’t and cannot be revival. Repentance therefore must start with the church and it must be channelled towards greater holiness in order to be even capable of handling the Holy presence of God – itself a hallmark of revival. 

Unholy and holy cannot mix. That which is Holy expels, drives out, even destroys (!!) that which is unholy. We cannot continue to call upon God for revival if we have an unholy and unrepentant church. Holy it may never be, not completely, but we can start by repenting of our lack of holiness – our unholiness – then we can stand back and watch God move in our midst.

That, surely, is the call of God on this generation for His eternal purposes.

Monday, 6 January 2014

How can we believe nothing?

How can we believe nothing?

“I'm not afraid of death; I just don't want to be there when it happens.” – Woody Allen

I cannot imagine myself facing old age without a hope for both my own future, or my children’s future. By his quote, above, one can only assume the author doesn’t either. There are millions more like that, with little or no hope for the future.

How can they go through their whole life believing in nothing – no faith, no future, no God, no deliverance from hell? Frequently nowadays, no hell either.

Like Mr Allen, above, many just don’t want to be there when it happens. I know a few people who have worked in hospitals etc who have witnessed many folk passing. The one common thing they all agree on, regardless of their own beliefs or lack thereof, is that those with faith pass gently and peacefully, whereas those with no faith often struggle and fight all the way. Now why would this be, I wonder?

As this new year of 2014 begins, one thing on my mind is that I don’t want any who will undoubtedly pass this year to suffer because of lack of faith or lack of belief in Jesus Christ. We can know, of course, their condition as they approach death, but we cannot be sure what happens in the moments around it. How many, I wonder, have cried out to the Lord, perhaps in desperation, for Him to save them or to have mercy?

Yet it still troubles me that so many will miss the boat altogether whether it occurs naturally or by the rapture happening first. How can good reasoning and intelligent folk believe nothing? Worse still, how can so many of them either actually dismiss God, or so ignore Him that they end up denying Him completely. Creation is all around us – does it say nothing to them?

So this year, I have to become even more His hands, His ears, His voice to those who don’t yet know Him. I have to carry His presence wherever I go and I have to be prepared to witness to Him at any moment in time – as the Spirit prompts me. Oh, no doubt I will let Him down a few times, but I will also sow seeds into the lives of those around me.

“Break my heart for what breaks yours”, from the worship song Hosannah, is my watchword this year. It really does break my heart to see so many ignore or reject Jesus and place their immortal souls in grave danger of being one day Hell-bound.

What an emotional moment when the rapture happens – joy in our position of meeting the Lord in the clouds, yet grief at those left behind, mostly due to their bad choices and intransigence. This is my greatest fear as we approach the time – that so many of those I love may be left behind – and I have no idea what I can do about it except to pray revelation to them.

If ever there was an incentive to spread the Gospel – this is it. 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Welcome to My 2014 World

Welcome to My 2014 World

Here we are, just arrived on the doorstep of a new year – 2014. What does it hold I wonder. Amos 8:11-12 has something to say to us, I believe – “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD,  “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it. In that day the lovely young women and strong young men will faint because of thirst.”

Does this say anything to you? It does to me. I have long believed the coming revival will heavily involve the younger generation, say, the 10 to 20 year olds. I firmly believe that life has become so shallow and so devoid of real meaning that this younger generation has already started to search for more meaning to life and a greater hope for their future.

I believe the Lord to be showing me, probably amongst many others, that one of the hallmarks of the coming “end-time revival” will be the number of younger Christians with healing and evangelistic ministries. The young will catch the young – in huge numbers. Tired of living the shallow and almost empty lives of so many of todays youth, there will be a move among the young that will cause any previous revival to seem insignificant by comparison.

In personal terms, for us, I see us being used more and more in a mentoring role. Not in the tradition of the mentors of yesteryear, but rather in the tradition of family elders – kind of Grandma and Granddad. I look forward to a new role for us both – that of gentle teachers by example, encouraging youngsters to step out in their God-given calling and ministry.

It is not going to be a year for the faint-hearted. I feel the Lord is seeking those who will ignore all previous comfort zone boundaries and simply step up and step out when He calls them to do so. It may be in a public arena or in a private one. It may be before 10,000 people or just one. It will not matter the audience, it is the obedience that God is seeking. Those who will sow the seed, water the seed, or reap the harvest. You may look a wise man or a fool. It doesn’t matter – All He is seeking is a people who will do His bidding.

I believe, and have already said that 2014 is the year of completion when plans laid in our hearts will come to fruition. The fields are white unto harvest but the labourers are so very few. Will you be one of the few? 

Here I am Lord, send me. Amen?

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year Letter to God

New Year Letter to God

Dear God,

2013 has been an amazing year for us and to say that we have enjoyed it is a bit of an understatement . Your provision has been nothing short of miraculous and we have loved watching you work in our own lives as well as in the lives of those around us.

So what's the next year got for us then? If I may, Lord, I would like to respectfully lay out my "shopping list" for your consideration.

First and foremost I would like to get closer to you, Lord. Oh, I know I'm not very good at various things Lord, but I do so want a deeper relationship with you. I want to hear from you more - your thoughts, plans, and especially prophecies. There are those who say I hear from you now, but I want to get closer, hear clearer - much clearer - and see our perspective.

I would like to be known less as a grumpy old man, and more as a loving man who carries your presence with him wherever I go. I want more of your zeal and compassion too. I don't want to be a four or five days a week Christian. No, I want to be a fully sold out 24/7 Christian - but in no way a pompous or religious one. More a positive and encouraging one - if you know what I mean?

Then we come to ministry Lord. I love the way you have developed and grown Linda's ministry these past months. Please could you grow it even more, Lord. She has such a wonderful heart for the lost and broken and I am sure it's all part of your plans for both of us to develop our ministries, both individual and joint. I mean, why else would you have teamed us up with those closest to us here in Sleaford.

As for my ministry, Lord, I give it all to you right now for you to use, change, or discard as you will and for your glory. Having said that, I love the closeness with you when I do prophesy, and I simply marvel at your healing touch which you allow us to be a part of, from time to time. I want to see prophesy, healing, and deliverance as part of our daily lives - the 'normal' way of Christian living rather than the special occasion or visiting speakers.

Finally, Lord, I would love to see all those around me, especially family, touched by you this coming year. Not only touched, but brought to the place of salvation, realising just who you really are. My prayer for them is that you will reveal yourself to them and bring them to that point of decision where they know that to reject you is folly but to accept you is eternal life.

Thank you in advance Lord because I know that whatever you decide to do will be best for all of us. My only promise, that I have any chance of keeping, is to try to stay as close to you as I am able. 

You are my wonderful Lord and Saviour and I love you.
I am your beloved son, for whom you came and died, rose, and ascended.
Ransomed, healed, restored, and forgiven.

Your wee lad, Chris.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

A Word for 2014 - The Year of Completion

A Word for 2014 - The Year of Completion

I was reading Micah 4 today when verse 5 leapt out at me. “All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” That’s a good verse but I wondered why the Lord brought it to my attention. First I noted that every nation will walk in the name of their own god. The Lord seemed to prompt me that nations can have a “national god”. America’s would seem to be prosperity, while Europe’s seems to be control, and there are other gods in other places.

Then He took me to the statement, “but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.”

Then He said to me, “The coming year is the year of completion. That which was started this year (2013) or earlier upon My promises and Words, that will I complete in the coming year. Do not be like they who promise Me much but deliver to Me little. Ask much and receive much – ask little and receive little. In the same way that I promise good things, make your word as mine – mean what you say. Do not say that you will walk in my name if only for part of your life. If you make me a promise, mean it in your heart and keep it by your life and spirit. If you do this for Me, then I will open the floodgates of blessing for you. I will give you your hearts desire – I will heal your land, just as My Word says.

My Glory will fall upon those who bring Me and give Me all the glory. I will give no blessing to those who seek glory for themselves. I will not promote those who seek promotion with a wrong heart. I will promote those with a pure heart, those who will bring me glory.”

I feel impressed that this is the year of 2 Chronicles 7:14 – but in order for this promise to be fulfilled, we, as the church, must repent, turn from our wicked ways – no more Sunday Christianity followed by 6 days of the world, and we must return to godly living. I feel the need to come before the Lord as a child – not questioning, nor doubting, but accepting His Word and believing His promises. This has been a theme for me all through 2013 – ‘as a child’, and I believe this is how the Lord wants us to prepare ourselves. Like a child at Christmas, if you will. Hoping and expecting, yet knowing and believing – all at the same time.

Next year, in 2014, we must stand on, and call in God’s prophecies and promises to us, knowing He will bring completion to whatever He has started in our lives and in His church.