Monday, 29 December 2008

A Prophetic Text Message!

I was on the train a few days ago on my way home to visit my family for Christmas. Those of you who follow my blog will know what happened last time I was on the train! I bottled out of an opportunity to pray for a guy for healing from tinitus. This time round I bottled it again, but I still managed to communicate what I felt God was saying to this person through a text message via a friend. Confused? Let me explain...

So I get on the train at Bedford and a lady follows me on who I recognise. She goes to Southside. I ask God if He wants to say anything to her and immediately I hear Him say, 'tell her that today is going to be ok. She's anxious about something.' So straight away I was completely obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and I got up and.....I wish! You'd think that prophesing over a semi-stranger who you know is open to hearing from God would be a whole lot easier than speaking to complete strangers who often have no belief in God. It's not! By the time I'd wrestled with myself and God and 'justified' not going over to her, the train had got ridiculously busy and then she got off at Luton!

Missed opportunity? Not exactly. I text a friend of mine who I thought might have this lady's number and explained what had been going on. I text her what I felt God had been saying and then asked her to pass the message on, which she did. About half an hour further into my journey I received this text back from my friend. It was the lady's response:

'Ha, that's cool. I was on my way to jury service and wasn't looking forward to making the guilty/not guilty decision and I have loads to do so that didn't help. Anyway, turned up at court and the man pleaded guilty so I've been sent home! Whoo! Thanks for that. Have a great Christmas.'

I felt so encouraged.... Maybe next time I'm on the train heading back to Worthing to see my folks I'll actually speak to someone in person!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Training for Supernatural Ministry!

So, finally IT'S OFFICIAL. We're doing a new thing at the King's Arms starting in September 2009 and it's called 'Training for Supernatural Ministry'. This new course is going to be a project of the FP-Impact Bedford training base. Why am I telling you about it? Because I'm going to be heavily involved in the planning and running of it (along with our church elders). I'm actually going to be stopping leading the youth work at the church around April time. This has been a bitter sweet decision for me. I've led the youth work now for over 8 years. We have some amazing young people in our church and it really is an incredible privilege to serve them. However, God has clearly spoken to me about moving on and this new project is right up my street!

What will it involve?
The training will take place 1.5 days a week based at the King's Arms. Topics covered will include, salvation, healing and deliverance, the Kingdom of God, revival, our identity as sons and daughters, discovering your calling, developing spiritual gifts to name but a few (some of the material will be based on teaching given at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry - Bill Johnson's church in Redding, California)

The course will also involve regular 'out on the street' activities including treasure hunting (opportunities to see God's love demonstrated through healing, salvation and deliverance out of the normal church context). It will also include tutorial sessions where students will have the opportunity to discuss different topics being studied, and sessions where students will be able to work through things that may hold them back in their walk with God.

Who's the course for?
Anyone who's over the age of 18 and is up for taking some risks and having their life changed by God!

This blog is just to whet your appetite. We will have loads more details available on our website and the FP-Impact website in the new year, so keep your eye out for that if you're interested in applying for the course or know of anyone else who should! It's going to be a whole lot of fun!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Treasure at the Helter Skelter!

We went out treasure hunting last Saturday afternoon. It wasn't a very nice day, but we thought we'd go for it anyway. We had 5 first timers join us for this hunt which is always very exciting. I love seeing people who've never done treasure hunting before get blown away when the clues God has given them (which they thought they'd just made up) come together.

Our best encounter happened at the Helter Skelter. We got chatting to the guy who was running the ride and told him a bit about what we were doing. As we talked through the names on our maps he pointed to a stall close by and told us that Michael was over there! At first we thought he was just trying to be funny, but then he called to Michael and this guy who was standing a couple of metres away from us turned round.

So we got chatting to Michael. As we went through all the other clues on our maps none of them made sense, so we asked if there was anything going on with him at the moment that we could pray for. At first he said no, but then when I asked if he or anyone in his family was sick, he went on to tell us about his dad who had recently been admitted to hospital with a serious infection. Incredibly his dad's name also turned out to be Michael!

So there and then, next to the Helter Skelter as the rain came down we prayed for Michael's Dad. That God would break into his life and bring healing to his body. We also got to chat to Michael about what he made of us coming to find him in the pouring rain because God wanted to encourage him. I think he was quite blown away by the whole experience.

(We also got to speak to some people at the fruit and veg stall at the Market because of two unusual clues that matched -Pears. One of my friends overheard a stall owner comment on the fact that people always came to pray for his colleagues and why didn't anyone ever have anything for him!! Obviously we're weren't the first treasure hunters to visit the market! I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time before God picks this guy out.)

Saturday, 6 December 2008

How Random Can You Get?

A few weeks ago I was invited to the King's Arms student group to teach on the prophetic. I figured the best way to learn to hear God's voice is to give it a go so I planned for my talk to be very practical. I'm also realising more and more that hearing God's voice is a lot easier than we often think and so to try and prove that point I planned an activity for the evening that was a bit bizarre to say the least.

I asked the students in the lead up to the evening to bring a random object to the group with them. Some of the items brought included a childhood photo, a pink feather boa, a keyring, a candle, a toy crab, a usb stick and a doorbell! The students had done good at being random! (No surprises there then!)

Then at one particular point during the evening, after I'd done a bit of teaching, I asked the students to put their objects in the middle of the floor. We then spent 5 minutes asking God to speak to us through them. We waited to see which object God particulrly drew our attention to and then we asked Him what He wanted to say. I'd done this activity once before with a bowl of fruit - it was amazing how God spoke different stuff to different people though the same object. This evening was no different.

Almost all of the students heard God speak really encouraging stuff through the random objects. It was amazing to share together the diversity of what God had said. Those who didn't have stuff after the 5 minutes had been drawn to particular objects but just hadn't heard anything specifically about them from God up to that point. The amazing thing was that God had drawn their attention to objects He wanted to use to speak directly to them. The rest of us spent time using these objects to prophesy encouragement and insight over these students. It was so fun to work as a team in sharing God's heart.

What I learnt from the evening? Hearing God is easier than you think and is an awful lot of fun!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Treasure Hunting En Masse!

Saturday saw our first ever 'Hit the Streets' day in Bedford - hosted by the King's Arms Church. 150 people descended on Bedford from literally all over the country to be trained in the 'art' of tresure hunting and then to go out onto the streets (we had people from Manchester, Poole, Hailsham and one guy even came all the way from Latvia!)

Throughout the course of the day I think we saw about 16 people healed on the spot as people found their treasure and prayed for God's Kingdom to break out! 16 people in a single day! When you think that one of our church goals set in January of this year was to see 30 miracles on the street over the next 5 years this figure is just incredible (in total we've probably seen close to 50 miracles on the street since January; absolutely blasting our goal of 30 out of the water! I'm excited to see just how many miracles on the street we will have seen by the end of 2012!)

One lady I approached during the day who was sat on a bench didn't need me to explain what we were doing. As soon as I got near to her with my map to explain what was going on she let us know that she'd already been 'done'. When I asked what had happened she said that the person who'd spoken to her had prayed that God would reveal Himself to her as she had said she was an agnostic. I asked her if she thought that me now speaking to her was God answering that prayer. She giggled and after praying for her again we left her thinking about that possibility!

I'm looking forward to the day when more and more people get stopped for the second or third time as God keeps demonstarting His love and care for them. When the town centre is the place people go in order to get healed and meet with God. That will be a very good day!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

3) Treasure on Campus: God Pursues Us!

So the last lady we spoke to left knowing that God was on her case. I find it incredible that he never ceases to pursue us, even when we've turned our backs on Him.

Cat went and spoke to her because she was wearing a short blue coat. She was sat on her own in the corner of the cafe area on campus and as we started speaking to her it soon became clear that she was our treasure. We explained what we were doing and went through our clues. When I got to bad knees she seemed a little freaked out (a fairly regular response to treasure hunting!) She has a floating knee cap in one of her knees that causes her pain from time to time.

At this point I would normally offer to pray for the person for healing, but this time conversation was swiftly diverted on to other things. It turns out that this girl used to be a Christian. She'd turned her back on God because of all the tough stuff that had gone in her life - not being able to reconcile God being good and there being so much suffering in the world. She then went on to tell us that she had actually been thinking about God over the past couple of weeks and that she'd even caught herself singing a Christian song recently, quite out of the blue! God was pursuing her!

When Cat felt led to share a clue from Matt's map about a relationship breakdown with parents, especially with Dad, the girl got up to leave as it all got a bit too much. God had clearly just put His finger on another area of pain to show the girl that this really was Him and that He really did care. Before she left I got to talk to her about the fact that her Heavenly Father was pursuing her. That He loves her and that although she might have given up on Him, He will never give up on her. We gave her a card about the church, which she'd heard lots about from a girl on the same course as her who happens to go the King's Arms and we're hoping that she'll come along at some point to check us out.

The amazing thing about this encounter is that God isn't only pursuing this lady. He's pursuing all of us all the time. Try and get your head round that!

2) Treasure on Campus: The Lady in the Laundry Room!

So one of the girls on my team had the clue laundry area. She felt that we should look for treasure on the grass outside the laundry room, but when we got there no-one was around. There was however one lady actually in the room doing her washing. It turns out that this lady also had curly brown hair so we decided to venture in to see if she was our treasure.

As we explained what we were doing and went through the other clues on our maps, it was clear that God had picked this lady out. She'd had an accident a while ago that had injured her right knee; she'd also broken her collar bone in the past causing her problems in her shoulder; and recently she's been having random pains in her stomach; the doctors are at a loss as to what the problem is. She matched 3 out of 4 of the ailments on my map!

We offered to pray that God would break in and specifically deal with the pain in her stomach (she said that her knee and shoulder didn't really trouble her anymore) and she agreed. It turns out that she'd actually been raised as a Muslim, but she wasn't practising her faith. So Cat and I prayed that Jesus would break in and heal her. She couldn't tell if she'd been healed straight away as the pain hadn't been there at the time, but we asked her to contact us at the church to let us know how she gets on. Who says doing laundry has to be boring!

1) Treasure on Campus: Clues are not always what they seem!

It turns out that the University Campus is a great place to find treasure. Students are generally very open - that's certainly what we discovered this afternoon. Three treasure hunting newbies hit the streets with four of us who'd done it before. When we did feedback after an hour and a half of hunting we'd had about 12 encounters between us! I'll share some of the encounters in my next few blogs...

The whole point of a treasure hunt is to search out treasure. Sometimes the clues God gives us aren't what they seem at first; they require some creativity in deciding where to look. That was definitely the case with the tennis clue. When you get the clue tennis what do you immediately think of? Someone playing tennis? Someone carrying a tennis racket? A tennis court? Or even someone with something to do with tennis on an item of clothing? The trouble today was that there wasn't a tennis court on the campus, there was no-one around carrying a tennis racket; in fact there was nothing to be seen that had any obvious links to tennis atall. Where else could this treasure be?

The girls ended up in the library at one point and as they were walking round had the sudden realisation that in the sports section there may actually be books about tennis. Excited by this new lead, they head to the sports section where they found a plaque with the word tennis written on it. Even more incredible was that there was one lady in the same aisle; one of the librarians stacking the shelves (I love it when God makes it that clear - when there's only one person at your location!)

So the girls spoke to the librarian and found out that she'd actually been having trouble sleeping over the past couple of nights. My friends were able to pray for this lady that God would intervene and bless her sleep. What did we learn from this encounter? That treasure hunting really is about a hunt; clues are not always found in the most obvious places. In other words - if you don't find your treasure straight away, don't give up on the search. You never know what could be just round the corner!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

God Speaks!

What an amazing night! My small group went to Alpha last night to sort out the food and then to see if God had anything he wanted to say to people there. God always has stuff to say! I used to get really worked up about hearing from God for people - like there was this pressure on me to tune in and somehow get on the right wave length. Recently I've realised that hearing from God for other people is simply about sharing His heart with them. The more I'm undersanding and experiencing God's heart from me, the better I'm getting at it. There really is no pressure!

So last night we shared God's heart with people and it was just incredible. A couple of my friends prophesied over a guy about singing and song writing - at the time he didn't really respond (never hugely encouraging when you're trying to gague if you're on the right lines!) But at the end of the evening he revealed that he's actually been writing songs for the last 14 years and has never told anyone about it! Wow! God knows, and now this guy knows that God exists and is interested in His life.

There were tears with some of the truths we spoke over people as God came and restored hope and gave encouragement. Our God is passionate about bringing healing to people's hearts and that was so evident last night. Some we spoke to had been carrying pain for such a long time and last night God started them on a journey of receiving their freedom. It was such a privilege to be involved in communicating the heart of our perfect and loving heavenly Father. When God turns up people change. Here's to much more of it!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Treasure at the Betting Shop!

Another of my clues on Sunday was betting shop. The one I pictured was the one kind of opposite Costa. Towards the end of our hunt we made our way there and peered through the window to see if anyone in the shop matched anything on our maps. They didn't!

Just as we were trying to shelter from the rain and decide where to head next a lady from inside the shop came out to have a cigarette. We got chatting to her about general stuff; she was very friendly and she seemed very open. Suddenly I clicked that this lady could actually be our treasure; that God had brought her to us at just the right time. So I decided to tell her what we were doing lingering outside the betting shop.

As I went through the rest of the clues on my map, nothing made sense so I asked her if there was anything atall we could pray for her about. She went on to tell us that she'd just lost a good friend of hers to cancer. Then she told us that both her parents had also died of cancer at a young age. I felt led to ask her if she was afraid that she might also die young with cancer. She said that she was afraid; that she was in a high insurance bracket because she wasn't expected to live to a ripe old age (what a horrible thing to have to live under!)

So I told her that our church hates cancer and that we're going after it. I asked her if she'd be up for us praying for her that she wouldn't ever get cancer and that she would live for a really long time. She was up for it and so we prayed our best prayers. I am so excited that we got to put a spanner in the works of the devil in this encounter. I can't wait for the day that we see cancer bow the knee to Jesus!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Someone Sweeping!

I went Treasure Hunting on Sunday afternoon with 9 friends. We spent some time getting filled up with God and listening to Him for clues. Then we split in to 3 groups and head out. It was not good Treasure Hunting weather but we braved it anyway and we were not disappointed!

One of the girls in my team from out of town had the clue cheese counter. I didn't know of a cheese counter in the town, but then others told me of a new one that had just opened in the Harpur Centre. Anything to be indoors out of the rain! That's where we went first.

After a false alarm, tracking a lady wearing red and black checks who wasn't interested in chatting, we head back towards the cheese counter. Two of my team went to speak to the girls in the shop while I waited outside. There was another girl outside the shop who was tidying up ready for the shop to shut. I noticed that she had a broom ready to do some sweeping. Ding, Ding, Ding! One of my clues was someone sweeping. I asked the girl if she was about to use the broom and when she said she was, I went on to explain what I was doing.

She was so open to chatting (I love meeting people like that) As I went through the rest of my clues, it turned out that she had a close friend called Michael and that she had stiffness in her shoulders and slightly blocked sinuses. I had found some precious treasure. When I offered to pray she was happy for me to do so. Putting my hand on her shoulder I simply commanded her shoulders to be healed and her sinuses to be cleared. As I finished praying and asked her what was going on she was surprised to find that her shoulders felt a lot looser. Her response, 'That's really wierd!'

I asked her what she thought about God picking her out by sending me to her. She didn't really know what to say. Hopefully she'll be intrigued enough to come and check us out one Sunday!

Friday, 7 November 2008

God HATES sickness!

I'm doing some training next week on Evangelism and Youth Work with two friends of mine. I've been asked to talk about healing in one of the sections (I love speaking about healing) so I did some prep today. As I was writing about God's heart for healing and Jesus' example I felt faith stir in my heart again. I so need that.

I've been praying for the sick now on and off for about 11 years. I've seen some amazing healings as God's Kingdom has come in people's lives and I thank God for that. But what I've seen is nothing compared to what is possible with God. I've really only been scratching the surface.

More recently I've been aware of the importance of getting my theology on healing 'sorted' in order to pray with increased faith against sickness. In order to be more sure of what God's heart is everytime I pray. So that I won't lower scripture to fit my experience, but instead I will cry out to God again and again, that my experience would come into line with what the Bible teaches. So what have I learnt?

1) God loves to heal. In Exodus He calls Himself 'the Lord who is forever the healer.' Healing is at the very core of who God is. It's what He does and what he loves to do.

2) Sickness is not God's plan. There wasn't sickness in the Garden of Eden and there won't be sickness in heaven. Sickness is a sign of the enemy's kingdom not the Kingdom of God. I really believe that God wants everyone to be healed.

Some people believe that God gives us sickness to teach us stuff. That just doesn't sit right with me. Of course God can teach us stuff through sickness - He always brings good stuff out of difficult circumstances - but I can't believe that He actually gives it to us. What earthly parent (though they are evil) would do such a thing? How much less our perfect Heavenly Father! If you really believe God gives sickness to teach us stuff then you should never go to the doctor or the hospital or take medication!

3) Jesus is our role model. He is the image of the invisible God - if you want to know God's heart for healing look at Jesus. Jesus healed the sick all the time; everywhere He went. He never told anyone that they needed to remain sick a bit longer as they had more stuff to learn. Everyone who came to Him for healing He healed! I'm longing for the day when everyone I pray for is healed too. That's the standard Jesus sets and so that's what I'm going after.

What about Job? As Bill Johnson says, 'I'm not a disciple of Job, I'm a discple of Jesus Christ.' If you base your theology of healing on the story of Job then you are elevating that truth above the truth of Jesus.

What about Paul's thorn? I don't believe it was sickness. When Paul lists in detail all the hardships he's been through in his life (shipwreck, flogging, prison etc) he doesn't mention sickness once?!

My current experience is no-where near the standard of scripture. I have two choices: I either give up praying for the sick, defeated. Or I cry out to God for more of His presence and more of His power. Actually, there's only really one option!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

I Bottled It!

I went to visit my folks a few days ago and decided to go on the train so as to avoid the beloved M25! As I left my house I said a throw away comment to my housemates about whether I might have a divine encounter on the train. God must have been listening!

I sat down on my own initially and then a family joined me. A middle aged Mum and her teenager daughter and then the Mum's Dad (the girl's Grandad) They were a friendly family and we spoke a bit now and again. At one point, while reading my book, I heard the Grandad talking about his tinitus (we've seen tinitus healed at the King's Arms!); about how bad it was and had his daughter looked up some treatment for him to try yet. Remembering the comment I'd made to my housemates only minutes before I knew this was it and so I started doing battle with myself about what I should do.

Could I butt into this conversation and so admit to the family that I'd been listening in while pretending to read? How would I start the conversation? What about if they responded badly? I'd have to keep sitting with them until one of us got off the train...at least when you're on the streets you can run away if it doesn't all work out! What would they think of a random woman offering to pray? Questions like this and others went round and round in my head as I battled internally over what to do.

A friend prophesied over me not so long ago about seeing the Kingdom of God come being a lifestyle for me (in other words, not just on 'planned' treasure hunts, but in my everyday life -like maybe on the train travelling to see my parents for example?!) So I decided to stop reading my book and I made a deal with God - If the Grandad directed conversation towards me that was anything to do with his tinitus I would offer to pray. As it happens, he mentioned it once more to his daughter and then not again before they got off the train in London.

I kicked myself once they'd left. I knew that this was a missed opportunity - that the only reason I'd made the deal with God was because I wasn't brave enough to begin the conversation myself. I'd bottled it! I believe that these kind of opportunities will start to come up more and more in my everyday life as God teaches me to live a lifestyle of bringing His Kingdom. Things that I learnt this time round? That God's grace means I don't have to beat myself up when I bottle it and that God has more freedom for me from the fear of man. Here's to everyday Kingdom encounters!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Red Jumper!

I just found one of my old treasure maps from Dublin in the pocket of my jeans. It reminded me of another treasure hunting story; when we found the girl with the red jumper.

To be honest, we'd had a really frustrating day of treasure hunting. No-one we spoke to was interested; our treasure seemed to be very well hidden! We were all gathering together to finish up for the day when I spotted a girl with two of her friends wearing a bright red hoodie. Phil and I decided to make one last attempt at finding some treasure so we approached the girl to explain what we were doing.

As I went through the other clues on my map it turned out that one of the other girls was waiting for a friend called Stephanie and that the girl in the red jumper had an Uncle called Derek and a cousin called Daniel (Derek's son!) We realised we were on to something! The girl in the red jumper also had problems with her right knee ligaments due to a riding accident. Her knee wasn't hurting at that precise moment but she did jokingly ask whether we had bad back written down as hers was causing her some pain. At that point, Phil produced his map with bad back clearly written on it. The girl was blown away!

We got to pray for the girl that God would heal her back. Although nothing changed straight away, when we'd finished praying the girl said that she felt a bit 'wierd'. God's spirit was really tangible. I would have loved to chat to this girl more about what she believed about Jesus, but it was time for us to head back to the bus. Another excellent example of how God can break in even up to the very last minute of hunting.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Driving Under the Influence?!

I don't know if you've ever experienced prayer times in cars when God comes really powerfully. It's happened to me a few times now; once when I was on my way to speak in Tunbridge Wells; last weekend on the way to Kettering; and last night as a team of us drove up to Stamford to train and release the church there in the prophetic.

You have to be careful, especially if you're driving! But I love the fact that God is so keen to meet with His kids that He doesn't restrict His presence to 'suitable' places! As it happens, last night I was a passenger and so I could 'go with the flow'! It turned out that God had some incredible things in store for the Stamford Church. It was such a privilege to be involved in giving away some of the stuff that God has been doing in us (at the King's Arms)

Throughout the course of the evening God came in incredible ways. One guy (who we found out later had been particularly stressed over the past few weeks) spent most of the evening on the floor laughing as God gave Him joy. Many people got emotional as God spoke directly into their specific situations through the prophetic (In my opinion, there's nothing quite like meeting someone for the first time and hearing stuff from God that communicates to them that He knows and He cares!) Some people had dreams called out of them that had been hidden away for years; others got physically healed as God's Kingdom came (2 shoulders, a back and forearms - still to hear about other conditions that couldn't be tested there and then.) The evening was so much more than training and equipping in the prophetic!

Perhaps one of the most exciting things for me was when I was praying for a new believer at the end of the meeting and the word 'nurse' dropped into my head. When I asked the lady if she'd ever been a nurse, to my surprise she said that she had been up until the point that she'd had her children! I've been bringing words of knowledge for years now, but I'm wanting to get better at hearing God 'in the moment' rather than in the prayer meeting before the event or in the worship! This is one of the few times it's happened and I'm excited about it increasing and ultimately about being able to take it onto the streets!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Don't Hear What I'm Not Saying...

I just want to clarify something for those of you who read my last blog entry. I'm not saying that we shouldn't be real about how we're feeling. Emotions are God given and an incredible gift to us and it's so important that we feel free to express them.

Some people wrongly believe that in order to demonstrate their belief that God is good they have to always be strong- hold everything together - stuff down any fear or disappointment or anger they might be feeling. They believe that if they were to really express how they were feeling they would somehow not be trusting God. This is actually a tactic of the enemy to keep us all stuffed up with emotions that then create barriers between us and our Heavenly Dad.

I've felt all sorts of emotions linked to my operation and subsequent check ups; fear, guilt, abandonment, anger, disappointment, confusion. The list could go on and on. And I've cried with God a lot! If we want to be able to effectively hold onto the goodness of God it is hugely important that we allow ourselves to express the stuff we feel. To, like the Psalmists, say it like it is and then only when stuff has been expressed, to come back to the truth of who God is. That He is ALWAYS good!

Monday, 20 October 2008

God is ALWAYS Good!

This blog entry is more for my benefit than anyone elses. I've just had some blood test results that weren't what I hoped they'd be and I thought that reminding myself that God is always good would be a helpful way to respond. Maybe my journey will also be helpful for others reading too. Let me give you some background.

Two years ago in January I had a major operation to remove a large cyst from my ovary. The cyst was at risk of being cancerous and I had to sign a form that said I was ok with the surgeon giving me a full hysterectomy if he felt that was necessary during surgery! It was not a nice time to put it politely.

Anyway, I had the surgery and all was fine. Both ovaries were left in tact and after two weeks of waiting for results they came back clear of cancer - praise God! God had actually told me when I was having intial investigations at the hospital that everything was going to be fine. I hoped that meant I would be healed miraculously and so not need the operation, but it didn't. I did have to go through surgery which was very traumatic and still now God is healing me from unexpressed emotions from that time (As an aside, I love that God is so interested in bringing us thorough emotional healing if we'll let Him. He loves us too much to leave us as we are)

So since the operation I've been having check ups every few months with the consultant and they've been going well, except that in the last 6 months the levels that they're testing in my blood have been slowly increasing. At my last check up my consultant told me that he wasn't too concerned, that if anything was growing back he'd expect the numbers to be doubling rapidly. That was good to hear.

This morning I got my latest blood test back and the level is higher again - not doubled, not huge but higher. Not lower as I had been hoping for. Lower would have been good; lower would have been great. The same would have been fine. Higher makes me feel unsettled. I don't understand why the level is slowly rising - I don't know what that means and so if I'm not careful I'll start to imagine all the things that could be going wrong. The only problem with that is I know from past experience, it does no good. So what do I do?

I remind myself that God is ALWAYS good. The minute I start questioning God's goodness I'm on a slippery slope (I know that because I've been there) God can't be anything but good! I remind myself that God is in charge of my life, that He's always faithful and that He always wants the best for me because He's my perfect heavenly Father. I use thanksgiving as a way of fighting fear and allowing the peace of God that goes beyond my understanding to guard my heart and my mind. Bottom line - I choose to trust Him. (I may be sounding brave, but as I said at the beginning I'm writing all this to remind myself!)

I'll see my consultant again next week, but until then I have an opportunity to get to know my perfect Dad more intimately and to trust Him more fully. Can't be a bad thing...

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Green Coat and Boots (The Shop!)

In the afternoon (of 'Hit the Streets' in Kettering) I went out with another team. One team member had Boots (the shop) on their map. As we approached the shop I spotted a lady wearing a green coat heading towards us. She was walking with a friend who was wearing a green jumper. 2x green tops...this must be the treasure!

We approached the young women and explained what we were doing. None of our other clues made any sense to them, but when we asked if there was anything atall we could pray for, one of the girls said that we could pray for 'her whole life' if we wanted. (Not much then!) She went on to explain that she'd just been chatting to her friend about how hard her life is at the moment and about some of the different struggles she's having. That's when we'd interrupted them (or rather God interrupted!) Both girls agreed that this girl must be our treasure (I love it when that happens; when the people you speak to recognise that God has picked them out!)

We got to pray for these girls; that God would bless them and draw near to them and help them with their lives. You could really sense God's presence as we asked Him to love on His daughters. Fortunately sorting out 'whole lives' is what our God specialises in!

The Number 73!

I love seeing people treasure hunt for the first time. I particularly love their complete and utter amazement when they find the 'random' clues that God gave them. It's so much fun.

Yesterday I was involved in training 150 people in the 'art' of treasure hunting. People were so up for it and we had some incredible encounters throughout the course of the day including seeing about 5 people healed (See some of the testimonies on Simon Holley's Blog)

I took 3 friends out in the morning and we had a great time seeing God work things out to lead us to our treasure. One clue however, the number 73, was not so easy to find. We thought it might be the number of a shop but as we walked up and down the town, shop 73 was nowhere to be seen.

As we came towards the end of our time on the streets, one of our team spotted a shop with numbers in the window and on an advertising board. Among the numbers were six 73's! The elusive 73 had been found - this is where we were supposed to be! We wondered if we should speak to the shop owner, but he was busy with customers and even when we prayed that God would empty the shop more customers came.

A guy with a cane then walked past the shop and and we began to wonder if it wasn't the shopkeeper we needed to speak to, but someone outside the shop. Just as we were discussing this, the guy with the cane walked back past the shop right in front of us. God was clearly speaking so two people from the team went to speak to him and his wife.

It turned out that the couple had been to the Open Door Church in Kettering two years ago (this is the church that had organised the 'Hit the Streets' event) My friends got to pray for the guys bad back and although it wasn't healed on the spot the couple left knowing that God was interested in them. Significant treasure found after a truely thorough hunt!!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Surf's Up!


So we had 'surf's up' in the offices this morning. For the uninitiated among you this is when the Holy Spirit comes on a particular person and they then shout 'Surf's Up' to the rest of the office staff who all come running to get more of God! It's so much fun! We hadn't had it for quite a while so it was nice to put work on hold once again in order to know more of Him. This is how I think we'll get more done by accident than on purpose.

How did it all come about? Well, Simon was spending time with Jesus and God came (funny that!) As he walked past my office I happened to comment that I noticed surf was up (it's difficult not to notice when the wall dividing your offices is paper thin!) and should I call the other staff, to which he replied, 'yes.' So all 6 of us eagerly ran to an empty office where we got completely blasted by God. We were laughing and then being delivered. I got greater freedom from the fear of man, self-reliance and rejection as God met with me. It all kicked off!

One of our staff who is currently suffering with a very bad back had to be lowered to the floor as God met with her in such a powerful way leaving her leaning backwards against a desk at a very precarious angle. I think perhaps my favourite bit of the surf was when one of the desks in the room collapsed sprawling all that was on it (including a computer) across the floor. We just carried on asking for 'more Lord!' Surf time is completely unpredictable. I highly recommend it!


Monday, 13 October 2008

Seeing Double (Ctd)

Just as we were about to finish treasure hunting for the afternoon we saw another set of twins. I was really tired and so probably wouldn't have stopped if the twins hadn't been located just a few metres away from an ice cream van and if they hadn't had a child's scooter on the floor next to them.

The twins were very cute - just 4 months old and all wrapped up in their double buggy. Dad was looking after them while Mum and other son (Joshua) were getting ice cream. We stopped and spoke to Dad who was very open and readily offered conversation (a good sign!). It turns that he was also a twin! As we explained what we were doing and showed him our treasure maps he told us that his oldest son had problems with his ears and specifically his left ear. When Mum and son returned, Mum explained that Joshua's left ear regularly bleeds due to problems he was having. Joshua didn't want us to pray for him so I prayed for his Mum instead on his behalf, asking God to break in and heal Joshua's ears and stop the bleeding.

This was an incredible encounter where 4 clues came together to take us to one family right at the end of our treasure hunt. (Note to self - often treasure can be found right up to the last minute of hunting and even after you've 'officially' finished!)

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Seeing Double!

I don't think I've ever seen so many twins in one place before - or maybe I'm just better at looking now. I had twins on my treasure map and in the space of one and a half hours we must have seen about 4 sets. If God hadn't been involved it would have been completetly unbelievable. But He was, and so anything is possible right?!

We spoke to one really lovely lady who had very cute ginger haired sons - she had one either side of her holding her hands. When we explained what we were doing and went through the clues it turned out that one of her sons was called Jamie and that her husband was called James. When we asked if there was anything we could pray for her about she openly talked about the fact that she was having marriage problems. What an incredible thing to admit to two perfect strangers! She was on her way to meet her husband who was just along the road and so we didn't want to hold her up. We said we'd pray for her and we gave her a card about the church encouraging her to get in touch if she ever needed any support.

As I walked away from this lady and her difficult situation I felt really sad that we couldn't have done more. I remembered a story from the book 'The Ultimate Treasure Hunt' where one treasure hunt team actually saw a marriage restored after an encounter on the streets. Should we have gone to speak to the husband aswell seeing as he was on my map? I don't know the answer to that. What I do know is that when we left this lady we prayed with great conviction that the God of restoration, for whom nothing is impossible, would intervene in this marriage.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Elephant, Yellow and Right Ankle.

You might think that getting the clue elephant is a little bit bizarre and you'd be right! As it turned out my team was going to a massive park not far from the Vincents house that actually has a zoo in it!!! No points for guessing where we were headed!

When we got to the members entrance of the zoo (Chris has a special ticket we were able to get in free on) we were met by a guy dressed in an elephant costume! God is so funny! After we'd composed ourselves from laughing hysterically at what we'd found, we spoke to the guy but none of our clues seemed to make sense (it was a slightly bizarre experience speaking to someone you couldn't see and who could hardly see you - definitely a first) So, we decided to make our way to the elephant enclosure.

When we got to the narow path that overlooked the elephants we saw two ladies who both had bright yellow jackets on. We decided to go after one of them who was just leaving, but when we caught up with her none of the other clues seemed to make sense.

When we got back to the elephants the other lady was still there so we approached her to tell her what we were doing. As we talked through our list of clues she told us that she had a bad right ankle. She'd broken it in April and it had never fully recovered. She still gets pain and it was uncomfortable as we were speaking. We offered to pray for her which she was up for and so we asked God to come and heal her ankle. The presence of God came in such an intimate way and when we'd finished praying the lady's ankle felt comfortable.

We spent a bit more time chatting to the lady who was very obviously moved by the whole experience. She had encountered God and it had done something in her heart. We found out later that the lady's husband, who was somewhere else in the zoo, had called his wife earlier and encouraged her to come and look at the elephants. The way God orchestrates these encounters is incredible!

Monday, 6 October 2008

We Found David!

We were planning to go treasure hunting in the City centre with some of the Dublin church plant peeps but when we loaded up the 3 cars we were 2 spaces short. Anna and I offered to stay at the house.

I had been sobbing during the worship time as God gave me a glimpse of His heart for the lost and so I was keen to do some processing. Anna and I spent some extended time in God's presence and then decided that we'd head out to Pheonix Park (a park near the Vincent's house that is absolutely huge) for a walk - maybe we'd find some treasure on the way.

We took our treasure maps with us and had a great time walking and generally catching up. While in the park we saw a guy cleaning the lamposts that lined both sides of the road (they looked like the lamposts in Narnia - which we later found out Phil had as a clue on his map!) We talked about chatting to this guy and decided we would on our way back to the house. In the meantime we spoke to 3 or 4 people who matched some of our clues but no-one wanted prayer and nothing came out of these encounters.

As we made our way back to the Vincents, Anna spoke about God giving her the name David before she'd got to Dublin. She'd had it on her map everyday but hadn't found him yet. 'God, give me David.' she said as we laughed together. We contemplated going up to the lantern guy and asking him outright, 'Is your name David.' and we talked about how amazing it would be if it was. Guess what?! His name was David and we had an amazing encounter with him...

We approached him and explained what we were doing (we were gutted because we chickened out of starting with his name!) We then found out that he was the David we'd been looking for. He had a bad neck and back which we got to pray for; after prayer the pain had gone! We got to give him the gospel and explain to him that Jesus was seeking him out. He asked us how knowing Jesus had changed our lives and he talked about how maybe Jesus was what was missing from his! It was an incredible time and was the nearest I've been to seeing someone give their life to Jesus on the streets. We prayed for David a second time, asking Jesus to reveal Himself to him so that he'd know what we spoke about is real and then we walked back to the house.

Obviously Anna and I were not meant to go into the City centre with the others - David needed to be found!

Initial Reflections on Dublin

I got back from Dublin in the early hours of this morning. A team of 12 of us had gone to serve Chris and Rachel Vincent as part of a 'Let's Go' team. The purpose of the weekend? To recieve training in treasure hunting and hearing God's voice; to spend lots of time in God's presence; and to do multiple treasure hunts that would connect us with people who might be interesed in joining the church.

God took me on quite a significant personal journey throughout the weekend. I feel like He broke my heart again for the lost and showed me that finding the clues on my treasure map wasn't enough anymore. Let me explain...

We had some incredible times over the weekend of seeing 3 or 4 and sometimes even 5 different clues all coming together to lead us to the treasure we were looking for. How that happens is still mindblowing to me. If we'd arrived at the specified location 30 seconds earlier or 30 seconds later our treasure would have been nowhere to be seen. God puts the right people in the right place at the right time wearing the right clothes and with the right ailments...How He works it out is just wild!

When I first started treasure hunting (and up until quite recently) finding my clues in this remarkable way was what it was all about. The fact that God had spoken to me and I had found my treasure was enough for me - it was so exciting and so fulfilling. This weekend I've realised that simply finding my clues is not enough - the people God leads us to must have an encounter with Jesus. That's what this is all about and anything less just doesn't satisfy me anymore.

I don't say this in a heavy way - treasure hunting is still meant to be loads of fun because we're on an adventure with our Dad. But, what I've learnt over the weekend is that treasure hunting is not about me - finding the clues on my map, but all about the person I meet - how can I leave them having communicated that Jesus loves them and longs for relationship with them?

We had some amazing encounters in Dublin and some frustrating ones and we still have a lot to learn in order to most effectively love people when we meet them. I will be writing about some of the stuff that went on over the next few days. I hope that you continue to find our experiences encouraging and stirring.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Healed in a Pub Garden

Milton Keynes Treasure Hunt Ctd...

One of the guys on my team had the clue fenced area. He didn't know if one existed in this complex because he is from Bedford, but the guy on our team from MK told us that there was a fenced off area around the pub just past the shops. So, off we went to the pub where we found the lovely little fenced off garden my friend had seen.

I love it when God makes it easy - there was only one lady sat in the pub garden with her 18 month old son (we later found out that her husband was inside the pub where he stayed for the entire time we were speaking to her - about 15mins in total). We decided she must be the treasure and so we went to chat to her.

So we explained what we were doing - that God had led us to her and could we check to see if any of our other clues made sense. She was a lovely lady and was so open to stuff. We went through the names first with no joy and then we went through the ailments. I got to left elbow to which she replied, 'I don't have trouble with my left elbow, but I do have tennis elbow in my right.' (That was good enough for me - we only see in part!) She went onto explain that she has to take pain killers most days and even then when she presses on her elbow in a certain place she feels discomfort. So we prayed for her, a very simple prayer and then we asked her if she could feel anything going on. She started to press her elbow to try and find the usual pain, but to her amazement it wasn't there anymore. God had healed her elbow (on the streets!!)

We found out as we continued to chat to her that this lady has done 2 alpha courses and sometimes goes to church. She also knows the wife of one of the NF church leaders in MK. God was so keen to communicate His love for this woman. Our prayer is that her life will now be different because of it.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Chicken and Pet Shop!

Who'd have thought that the clues chicken and pet shop would lead to an encounter with a woman who really needed God to break into her life? God has got such an incredible sense of humour.

When my friend read out her clues, she laughed out loud when she got to chicken! What a random clue (just as well the map has an unusual column!) Where could she go to find this? I suggested going to stand by chickens in the supermarket, but as it happens God was going to reveal the treasure in a pet shop. Here's what happened...

My friend and her team went into the pet shop and immediately came across a rack full of squeaky plastic chickens (the kind I guess dogs play with - our Border Collie could have done with one of these!) They went to the rack, laughing about the fact that they had indeed found their chicken clue. Just then they heard a familiar squeaking noise from the next aisle. As they went to investigate, they found a lady at another rack of plastic chickens (these things are obviously very popular!) holding one in her hand and sqeezing it! BINGO!

The amazing thing is that this lady really needed prayer. Her Mum is sick and she is having problems with her job because she is having to stay at home to take care of her. My friend and her team were able to pray for this lady in the pet shop by the plastic chickens! Who'd have thought?!? There really is no clue too random!

BEWARE DOG!

Maybe treasure hunting needs to come with a health warning?!? I've been in Milton Keynes for most of today. I'd been asked to go along to New Life Church - Milton Keynes West - to preach on the topic of healing and then do some treasure hunt training with some of the church peeps in the afternoon. A team of 5 of us went from the King's Arms; we split into teams of 3 (2 MK peeps and 1 from King's Arms in each), asked God for clues and then made our way to a local shopping complex to find treasure.

We had some incredible encounters (more blogs to follow on this) but one that particularly stands out involved a less then friendly Border Collie. One of the teams had the clue Border Collie. They found the dog and it turned out that the owners actually fulfilled more of their clues. As they stopped to chat to them, my friend who was leading the team decided she would say hello to the dog (as you would). Unfortunately the dog didn't like this and it suddenly, without warning, jumped up and bit her on the face!! It actually drew blood! I guess this brings a whole new perspective on the fact that sometimes clues jump out at you! Fortunately most of them don't bite!

You'll be pleased to know that my friend is fine and we've had a good old laugh about it since. The main lesson we've learnt? Keep your face away from any dogs that you come across on your treasure hunt! I'm glad you can learn from our mistakes!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

She is a Princess!

God knew that this precious girl needed encouragement. It was about 9.15pm and she was waiting on her own for someone to pick her up (we later found out she'd been waiting for an hour and in the end she had to walk!)

We'd crossed the bridge and were waiting near the blue lights, when we saw that this girl had followed us. She was wearing all black and all of us felt someone should go and chat with her. I am so glad we did. It turned out that she'd recently recieved bad news. Her Aunty had died of cancer. When we told her that God had sent us to her to let her know that He cares for her, she seemed very grateful. We chat for a bit about what she thought about God and mentioned the Alpha Course our church is about to run. She seemed very interested and so we exchanged e-mail addresses (we're praying that she will attend the course!)

But this isn't the end of the story. As we were walking away from her back over the bridge, one of the guys on the team said he'd felt God speak to him about her as we were chatting. He'd felt like God had said she was in need of encouragement and that her boyfriend wasn't treating her very well. After a bit of persuasion, my friend made his way back over the bridge with his wife to share with this girl what he thought God had said.

As my friend shared with this girl, she confessed that her boyfriend did in fact beat her; she was really in need of encouragement! My friends were able to tell her about how God sees her. That she's worth so much more than that and doesn't deserve to be treated in this way. The girl was blown away commenting on 'how nice' we all were. God is so amazing!

Although we couldn't believe that someone could treat this precious girl in such a bad way, we were also hugely grateful that God had led us to her. His primary agenda during this treasure hunt was to communicate to this Princess that she is in fact royalty - that she's highly valued and loved by the King, and He used us to tell her. What a privilege!

I Couldn't Believe it!

We went treasure hunting as a small group last night. It was the first time for a couple of peeps but they were totally up for it. So we prepared our treasure map headings and then spent about 5 minutes listening to God for clues.

When we went round sharing what God had said at the end of the 5 minutes, one of the guys shared that he had the clue blue wire. He wasn't quite sure where to put it - maybe we would meet an electrician on our hunt?? We all agreed it should go under the unusual heading; then off we went.

So we made our way to the bridge at the end of the High Street over the river (because 4 of us had clues leading us there) We took a left down towards the Swan Hotel car park and waited for a bit to see if anyone would turn up. After a few minutes of waiting with no people around we decided to head back towards the bridge now on the other side of the road. As we did we suddenly noticed a big fat blue wire sticking out the top of one of the walls! How random!

What it was doing there was a mystery - it was just there and God had spoken to my friend about it! We subsequently spoke to 2 guys who walked past the wire during the time we were out. Neither of them could speak English, so we didn't find any treasure there. What we did find, however, is that no clue is too random for God to reveal and my friend learnt that he can clearly hear God's voice. Brilliant!

Monday, 22 September 2008

How People React?

I was hanging out with some good friends last night after church (while eating a very 'healthy' KFC for my dinner!!) and we were chatting about all the different reactions we've recieved from people as we've been looking for treasure. I thought it would be helpful to share some of them here so that those of you starting out on treasure hunting won't get discouraged when it happens to you....

Two of my friends remembered a time they approached a lady on crutches - obviously in pain - and when they asked if they could pray for her she told them in no uncertain terms where they could go! We've had people who are Christians refusing prayer stating that their own church is praying for them and they'd rather not get anyone else involved?! We've had people who back away the instant we mention that we're Christians and even yersterday when my friend approached someone who was on her map, the person actually ran away - now that's a first! (It turns out that the person ran away becasue they didn't speak English)

As we're looking to make Jesus famous on the streets of Bedford we're encountering a whole variety of different reactions; some really good and some more challenging. Being rejected isn't easy, but it's inevitable and the best way to respond when it happens is to go again. As you do you will find people who are totally up for chatting and letting you pray for them and, in my experience, that makes it all worth while. Happy Treasure Hunting!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Treasure Hunt Part 2: Does the name Maggie mean anything to you?

So, after we'd left the lady with the red coat and the black boots we spent about half an hour looking for more clues to no avail. We decided to sit for a bit to see if our clues would come to us. As we were looking around I noticed a couple of girls over near Costa and I felt drawn to them. Nothing on our treasure maps under 'appearance' would lead us to them but for some reason I just felt like we should go and see if any of our other clues made sense - so we went.

We explained to the girls what we were doing and asked if we could check to see if any of our clues made sense to them. They were ok with this, if a little wierded out! So we started by going through the names we had and when I got to Maggie the girl standing up put her hand over her mouth and stood there in complete shock. As I'm a particularly astute person I realised that this name might mean something to her!! It turned out that this girl's sister (same Dad, different Mum) had lost her Mum suddenly about 2 weeks ago. She was blown away that God would give her name to me and then lead us to speak to them.

This clue opened up a whole host of really significant conversations with this girl, her friend sitting on the bench, another friend of hers who came along a bit later and this friends son. The third girl to come along actually had some problems with her hands so we got to pray for her for healing. We talked about Alpha and they asked us where we go to church. We got to give them information about the King's Arms and encourage them to check out our website. It was an incredible time of speaking truth about Jesus and His heart towards these women.

The key thing that was confirmed to me through this encounter was the importance of words of knowledge (clues) to open people up. When we first approached the girls to explain what we were doing they seemed happy enough to chat but the expression on their faces told us that they thought we were both a little bit bizarre. As soon as we mentioned Maggie everything changed - suddenly it had all become personal and their hearts opened up. When we left them after chatting for about 20 minutes we hugged them goodbye like close friends. God is so good!

Treasure Hunt Part 1: Red Coat and Black Boots!

I went on a treasure hunt yesterday with a good friend of mine. It was her first time so we were both very excited. I'm going to write about our encounters in 2 seperate blogs:

As we were on our way to our first location we saw a woman walking with her daughter, wearing a red coat and black boots (2 clues on my map) She was over the other side of a building site area that you weren't allowed to walk though, so we clocked that she'd gone into Woolworths and made our way round the restricted area to find her.

She hadn't gone very far. Her and her daughter were looking at DVD's, we saw her as soon as we walked into the store. So we went up to her and explained what we were doing; that she was on our map and could we check to see if any of our other clues made any sense. She started to explain to us that her black boots weren't actually boots, but shoes that looked like boots, but this didn't put her off and she was happy for us to go though our clues anyway!

So we started by telling her the names we had written down, about 5 in all. She told us that she knew people with each of the names we mentioned - result! Then we asked if she had anything wrong with her knuckles or hands. At that point she lifted her left hand (which was out of sight up till now) to reveal a large plastic cast supporting her wrist. It turned out that she suffers a lot with arthritis and that she'd had to have an operation on her wrist that fused the joint together. She had limited use of her hand and had no movement in her wrist.

We asked if we could pray for her - she agreed saying that she had quite a few friends also praying for her who went to churches in Luton. So there and then in the DVD aisle of Woolworths we prayed that God would heal this lady's wrist with her daughter looking on. When we had finished praying we asked if she could test if anything had happened, so she took her cast off and started clenching her fingers. She said the pain had dulled, but there was still no movement in her wrist.

She asked us what church we went to and so we were able to give her one of our cards. She told us she was a Catholic but she wasn't attending a church in Bedford. We're hoping and praying that she comes to visit us sometime; that she will meet with God and that God will heal her wrist over time. She went on to buy her DVD and me and my friend went on to look for more clues.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

God woke her up!

I was walking through town this evening catching up with a friend of mine. There weren't many people around, but as we started down the main shopping street we saw a lady who was flat out on the floor with two man crouched around her. As we approached them we saw that the lady was not very well so we went over to the guys to see if there was anything we could do to help.

It turned out that the guys were contacts of the King's Arms Project. One of them explained to me that the lady had just had an epileptic fit. He was crouching over her to make sure she was still breathing. She looked like she was in a very deep sleep and the guy was obviously a little distressed. I asked if we could pray for her and he said yes, so I took her hand in mine and prayed that God would come and wake this girl up.

After about 30 seconds of praying that God would come and break in, the girl opened her eyes and was very suddenly wide awake! Although a little disorientated as to where she was and what had happened she was very much alive and seemingly well. The immediate response of the guy was to offer me his hand to thank us for stopping to pray. Not your regular evening in town activity, but then God isn't a 'regular' God is He!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Words of Knowledge (clues) seem to be Key

I offered to pray for a guy in town today who was on crutches. I wasn't on a treasure hunt, I didn't have a treasure map with any clues that led me to him, I just saw him coming out of the Post Office and felt brave enough to speak to him (thank you God). As it turns out he wasn't interested in being prayed for - he went on his way and I wandered off to continue my shopping.

I've been wondering recently what it must be like to have random people coming up to you in the street offering to pray for healing. How would I respond if I wasn't a Christian? Or even now as one? I think the concept that God wants to heal is way off people's radar. That's why the treasure map is such a good way in. If someone can see clues that describle them written down on a piece of paper by someone they've never met before they're loads more likely to stop and take notice.

Maybe what I needed to get to pray for the guy in town was a word of knowldege (a clue), something I couldn't have known about him that God told me on the spot. I want to get better at hearing God on the spot, at recognising His voice over and above all the other stuff going on in my head. My guess is that comes out of greater intimacy with Him - doesn't everything!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

'The Worst Day of my Life!'

A week ago today we were out treasure hunting. A friend of mine had the clue blue top with polka dots on her map. After an hour and a half of searching for treasure, just when we were about to call it a day, a young woman walked past us wearing a blue top with loads of really small white polka dots. My friend ran after her and when we met up about 10 minutes later to feedback she told us what had happened:

My friend had aproached the girl and explained to her and her friend what we were doing. That we were Christians who had asked God for clues about who we should speak to in town, that this girl was on her map and was there anything she could pray for her about? The girls' friend, at this point, started freaking out saying she couldn't believe this was happening, 'today of all days!' It turned out that the girl on the map was having, in her own words, 'the worst day of my life.' My friend was able to tell this girl that God is interested in her life and that because He loves her He knew she needed encouragement today! The girl then asked my friend to pray for her that she could be happy, 'like normal people are.'

Isn't God amazing! He picked this girl out, in the middle of Bedford town centre, because He knew she was having the worst day of her life. We never found out the specifics of why her day was so bad, to be honest these details don't really matter. What does matter is that this girl knows there is a God in heaven who knows her and loves her and will go to great lengths to pick her out of the crowd.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Something to whet your appetite!

I went out with some friends about a month ago for a 'prophetic meal' - where you do a treasure hunt while eating food in a restaurant or pub. As we prayed before heading to the pub I got the clue drives a digger. This isn't your average clue and so I put it under the 'unusual' heading on my map thinking that I might bump into someone who did that for a job and was relaxing in the pub after a hard days work??

So we went to the pub and ordered our food and sat down to scan the area for our clues. This particular pub has windows all the way across the front that look out onto the street. I had sat with my back to these windows. Just before our food arrived the guy sitting opposite me pointed to the windows and said, 'I think that might be your digger driver Wendy.' As I looked behind me I saw that 4 workmen had just arrived to do work on the paving outside the pub and that one of them had literally just driven up in a digger!! You can't get much clearer than that! I wasn't going to meet a guy relaxing in the pub after a hard days work driving a digger; I was going to meet a guy who was actually driving a digger! God has an incredible sense of humour!

So my immediate response after I'd laughed at how funny God is was one of sheer terror. I was going to have to go and chat to these 4 workmen. God had spoken and I needed to respond! And I did respond, after about 5 minutes of plucking up the courage. Nothing else on my map made any sense to them and they didn't want prayer for anything so I just had a quick chat with them and then returned to the pub to eat my dinner.

What did I learn? That I am able to walk through some extreme fear, that even the most random clues can be found and that often God is more interested in obedience rather than results.

New to this - in more ways than one!

I've never had a blog before - didn't even know they existed until a few months ago, I'm not very technically minded. A friend of mine suggested I start one to keep a record of all the street encounters I have as I embark on the adventure of taking Jesus to the streets...

The church I'm part of in Bedford, the King's Arms (http://www.kingsarms.org/) is an amazing place to be. God is doing incredible things among us at our Sunday services. People get healed and set free from stuff that holds them back most weeks, God speaks to us and meets with us. God is on the move and I love being part of what He's doing.

But we don't want to keep God in church! Might sound a bit of a funny statement, but if you think about Jesus when He was around...He was always out on the streets being with the people and showing them that God loved them and wanted to have a relationship with them. People are becoming increasingly disillusioned with 'church' and some would never step foot in one becasue of that. At the King's Arms we are in the early stages of an exciting adventure of taking Jesus to the streets!

It's called treasure hunting - not a totally new thing, but new to us. It's scary but mind-blowing all at the same time. In a nutshell, you pray and ask God for clues about who He wants you to speak to, God then gives you clues and you go out to try and find your treasure. So far we've seen about 17 people healed on the streets as we've walked through fear and been obedient to God's promptings.

The point of this blog? To involve you in our adventure as a church and my personal adventure in seeing Jesus made famous. I hope that you find the encounters we have exciting and inspiring and that you might also feel stirred to join the adventure!