Friday, 29 June 2007

Standing in grace

I read these wise words from 1 Peter 5:12 this morning, "This is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it."

Grace is amazing but we often tend to think of it as what we need to obtain our salvation, like entry tickets to a show. But it's not a one off gift into a temporary experience, its what we need to live a life for all eternity. I love the idea that we stand in grace, supported by it, submerged in it, sustained by it. Hallelujah

Apologies for the lack of blogs. Life is just too busy.

God bless


Thursday, 21 June 2007

Without a miracle

Without a miracle the marriage of friends I having been trying to help will end in few weeks.

Without a miracle some of "our lads" in the prison will be released and will go back to drug dependency, binge drinking and sleeping around. Without a miracle some of them won't make it to 25.

Without a miracle a young child we know on our estate will grow up with severe emotional problems because of the difficult relationship he has with his Dad.

Without a miracle my respectable neighbours will go to an eternal destiny without Christ.

Without a miracle the churches in our town will never shake off the slumber from their eyes and go into battle to save the lost.

I am praying for miracles.

Not by might
Not by power
But by my Spirit says the Lord

God bless


Tuesday, 19 June 2007

What if the people prayed

I have recently been introduced to and been inspired by the music of Casting Crowns.

The song below is based upon 2 Chronicles 7:14

Wht if the armies of the Lord
Picked up and dusted off their swords
Vowed to set the captives free
And not let satan have one more

What if the church for heaven's sake
Finally stepped up to the plate
Took a stand on God's promise
And stormed hell's rusty gates

What if His people prayed
And those who bear his name
Would humble seek his face
And turn from their own way

And what would happen if we prayed
For those raised up to lead the way
Then maybe kids in school could pray
And unborn children see light of day

What if the life that we pursue
Came from a hunger for the truth
What if the family turned to Jesus
Stopped asking Oprah what to do

He said that he would hear
His promise has been made
He'll answer loud and clear
If only we would pray

What if the people prayed

(Lyrics by Mark Hall/ music Casting Crowns)

So why don't we?
Let's do it!
Right now!

God bless


Friday, 15 June 2007

It's all happening

It feels like that everything is happening all at once at the moment.
As our ministry in Northallerton and Yorkshire is coming to an end, rather than things winding down everything feels like it is gearing up.

We have had meetings, discussions, emails and reports to write concerning the local leadership team we are putting in place for when we leave. There are hand overs to make and training to put in place. Flag days and fellowships, preaching and prayer ministry, planning and pastoral care. Oh and our house looks like a bombsite with packing boxes and ironing all over the place.

I have blogged already about the conversions in the prison. This is a climax of lots of input, teaching and prayer. But not the end of the involvement. In fact their new committments make them more demanding than ever. The lads would be in chapel every day, all day if they could. I have been in four times this week, been on the phone arranging for support for one of them when they are released, and arranged for an evangelist to come and speak later in the summer.
Spiritual warfare has geared up too. We knew that we needed to be especially alert this morning as we discussed "How can I resist evil?" All kinds of weird things happened we taught about the strongholds of evil. The distraction and disruption got almost laughable in the end, especially when Becky set her radio alarm off as we were praying and four officers burst into the chapel to rescue us!

In the parents group two mums have really opened up about some issues in their lives just as I am about to go. I am visiting one of them in her home on Wednesday. We just walk down the High Street and someone always wants to stop and talk, not just about the weather but their needs and issues.

We have made lots of friends in Yorkshire and its lovely that so many of them want to be in touch before we go. We have never had such a busy social life, (although all the farewell suppers might be people wanting to make sure that we really are going!)

In the midst of this our daughter Hayley left for Amercia to work in as a counsellor in a childrens camp. Alan and I would have empty nest syndrome if we had the time to think about it and I am 47 on Sunday. Agghh I can't be that old!

I want to assure you that all of the above is not a moan. I am so thankful for all the opportunities. There have been times in the past 7 years when the devil's accusation has been that we were wasting our time and the Army's resources here. Instead it is reassuring that in to see that in some small way the presence of the Salvation Army in this place is making a real difference.

Please pray for us though. My head is in a complete whirl. I have so much to think about here whilst at the same time there is a growing excitement about all that is in store in our new appointment.

God bless


Monday, 11 June 2007

Nothing like it

It was my privilege lead a young prisoner into salvation yesterday. When he came forward for prayer he didn't know what to do but when I said that he could pray the prayer of committment standing up, sitting down or kneeling. He chose to kneel. So in the middle of chapel, we both knelt and it's not allowed but I put my arm round his shoulders and he sincerely asked the Lord into his life. We then stood to pray as he received the Holy Spirit.

All five in the group received prayer and another asked the Lord into his life for the first time.

I do a lot of things as a Salvation Army officer but there is nothing that can top leading someone to Christ. However many times you do it (and its not often enough) the joy is unbeatable.

God bless


Thursday, 7 June 2007


"An earthly doctor cures his patients by making him better every day but conversion is God's work on man that transforms him from being a child of Satan to being a son of God. Conversion is a turning around, a being something I was not before. It is having new motive, power, new hopes, desires, relationships, going on a new road, sailing to a new port, having a new owner, being under fresh orders, having another paymaster, fighting under another Captain. Before it was self for self. Now it is self for God. Before it was justification of self now it is condemnation of self. Before it was condemnation by God, no it is justification by God. Conversion touches the very root of self and it is a revoution of the whole being, a fundamental change of every principle of life."

From "The Travellers Guide from Death to Life"
Compiled by Mrs Stephen Menzies.
The British Gospel Book Association

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Safely home

Whilst in Alderney we experienced all kinds of weather and on Sunday night there was a gale. A boat anchored in the bay broke loose from its moorings and ended up badly damaged on the rocky end of the beach.

The boat was too precious to just be abandoned and as high tide approached a local fishing boat and the fire brigade set out to rescue it and take it back to the harbour.

Finally after a couple of hours of hard work, attaching ropes and being battered about by the strong waves the rescuers were rewarded with success. At last the water was deep enough for the vessel to float and turn around. Then at last to a loud cheer from the crowd that had gathered to watch, it was towed back safely to the harbour.
Although, only about 19 years of age Steve (not his real name) has lived a stormy life. His heavy drinking led to activities that led to the wreckage of his relationships, his health and his freedom. He was in need of rescue and thankfully in the last few weeks he heard for the first time that there is a Saviour for people like him. On Thursday afternoon in prison he gave his life to Christ. On Thursday evening he died. We will miss him but we are at peace because just in time he met a rescuer who took him to a safe harbour for complete restoration.
There's a land that is fairer than day,
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by-and-by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blest;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.
To our bountiful Father above
We will offer the tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of his love,
And the blessings that hallow our days
God bless

Friday, 1 June 2007

Back to the beginning

On the 28th May 1982 we were commissioned as officers and given our first appointment to Alderney in the Channel Islands, where we began our ministry. 25 years later it was a wonderful to return to this beautiful place and meet up with some of the people it was our privilege to serve with. Charlie Greenslade is still the CSM and has been holding things together whilst for the last 7 years they have not had officer leadership. However they are looking forward to a lieutenant arriving in August. Hallelujah!
The hall did not look so very different from when we were there and we were pleased to see that the mercy seat still bears the message "Holiness unto the Lord" After the meeting the 86 year old retired HLT came up and shared with me how one Sunday last year the Holy Spirit visited her in a way she had never experienced before and as she made her way to that same mercy seat filled her with his power. Hallelujah again!
God bless Alderney