Sunday, 29 June 2008

Giving the Devil more than a tickle.

I flicked on the God channel last night to Pastor Cho from Korea preaching in France. I'd missed most of the sermon but I did hear the bit when he said, that many Christians, even Pastors pray for less than 15 minutes a day. This is not enough, said Pastor Cho, 15 minutes only gives the devil a tickle! He then went on to refer to Jesus rebuking the disciples for falling asleep in Gethsemene, "Could you not give even one hour?"

Here's to digging into prayer and kicking the devil into touch!

God bless


Saturday, 28 June 2008


I have been hungry today, well slightly peckish really. This morning I really wanted one of the baked potatoes we were cooking at the hall for a Churches Together event. The lunch was so popular that we had to go out and get more food and even then it was touch and go whether there would be a potato left for me. I eventually shared the last one with the Corps Treasurer and it was very nice.

I have been hungry today, not slightly peckish but really hungry, Trish Morgan's song expresses my cry to God.

Lord we long for you to move in power
There's a hunger deep within our hearts
To see healing in our nation
Send your Spirit to revive us

Heal our nation
Pour out your Spirit on this land.

God bless


Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Still My Heart

Still My Heart and The Message of the Cross are two CD's by my great friend Becky. The songs apart from one on each of the CD's are original and all are inspirational. I find they are particularly helpful for use in my personal prayer times and I have given them to a number of people who have needed encouragement through difficult times.

The great thing is that all the proceeds of the CD go to support the work of Prison Fellowship Ethiopia. Becky has already been able to transform the lives of women prisoners and their children through funds raised by her music. In the picture below my friends and I are asking the women what their needs are and what they would like us to pray for. This group were worried about their children who live with them in the prison and are not able to go to school and have nothing to play with. Prison Fellowship fund a scheme to set up education programmes for children in prison, which is vital as they are released at the age of 12 to fend for themselves.

The CD's are £10.00 each + postage and packing. If you are interested please e mail me at

I will try and upload a sample track from one of the CD's, but still unsure at the moment how to do it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

God bless


Sunday, 22 June 2008

Over Jordan for the double portion

We're in the middle of a series on the life of Elisha at Pill Corps.

On the way to the Jordan, Elisha had the choice of staying at various places to work for God but he knew that if he did, he would be self appointed rather than Spirit anointed. There is an awful lot of stuff done in the Church, by the Church and for the Church but not all of it can be called ministry. Something is only ministry if it imparts spiritual life to another.

Crossing the Jordan speaks of dying to the old life. It speaks of leaving behind self resourced activity for Spirit empowered ministry. Thee is an awful lot of stuff done in the Church, by the Church and for the Church but not all of it can be called minsitry. Something is only minisry if it imparts spiritual life to another.

If we want to see ministry happen, miracles happen, a move of God happen we have got to go through Jordan. God give us the courage to get in the river rather than be like the prophets of Jericho who just watched at a distance.

When Elisha crossed the Jordan he is immediately offered equipping for ministry. He asks boldly for a double portion. He wasn't being greedy he was just asking to inherit what an eldest son would receive from his Father. He wasn't being rude or impolite. Our English culture deems it necessary for us to wait to be asked before taking. But God has asked us what we want and expects us to submit our claim for our inheritance in Christ. God save us from our English reserve!

And suddenly for Elisha, what he asked for was there for the taking. He picked up the mantle of Elijah and there he was doing the things of God by the power of God.

Jesus crossed the Jordan and the Spirit rested upon him like a dove.
Joshua crossed the Jordan and claimed the land of promise
Elisha crossed the Jordan and received a double portion

Come on Salvation Army. It's time for us to cross the Jordan, for the double portion and once again pick up the mantle of ministry that God has called us wear for his glory.

And this morning as we sang "Come Great Spirit come, make each heart thy home" a seeker crossed the Jordan and I believe in their hearts others did too. Hallelujah!

God bless


Saturday, 21 June 2008

All through the night
It is 1. 15 am

I have just returned to Dartford Salvation Army hall with four other prayer warriors having just prayer walked the town.

It just confirmed for me again that the strongholds of this nation of alcohol, prostitution and gambling continue to have a firm grip on our nation. But tonight we have taken a stand and prayed with passion and conviction that the light of Jesus might drive out the darkness.

I believe we shall win
If we fight in the strength of the King

God bless


Tuesday, 17 June 2008


It's my birthday today and I learned this morning that I share it with none other than the great John Wesley so here are a few of his words of wisdom.

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

“Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”

“I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.”

“The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.”

"The best is yet to be"

"You have nothing to do but to save souls; therefore spend and be spent in this work."

"Though I am always in a haste," I am never in a hurry, because I never undertake more work than I can go through with perfect calmness of spirit."

"God is so great that He communicates greatness to the least thing that is done for His service."

"The neglect of prayer is a grand hindrance to holiness."

God bless

Carol (now 2 years away from the big 50!)

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


We have a meeting tonight at the Corps to discuss our future plans for our children's and youth outreach and discipleship in Pill. Our youth leader is getting married in July and moving away which has mobilised us to look at our whole provision for young people.

We spent time on Sunday evening praying about a way forward and we believe that we can move forward positively. The temptation when you lose leadership is to think that everything must diminish but we believe that God will help us to move forward.

Recently we were asked by our DYO to outline our hopes and dreams for youth work in our Corps. We felt the Spirit say we need to reach a WIDER number of young people. Our current activities for children and youth are good but under used. We long to have a BIGGER impact on their lives and their families. We are not just interested in keeping kids off the streets but want them to discover a faith for life. Finally we want to help those who are committed to Christ to go DEEPER into him.

Your prayers will be appreciated.

God bless


Saturday, 7 June 2008

It will not do

We had a great time today at the Divisional Prayer Focus Day. There was a very powerful moment for me when we were invited to allow God to speak to us personally and I felt his affirmnation and anointing.

There was also challenge. Isaiah 58 has been used in recent days by a number of friends as a prophetic call to the Salvation Army. The second part of verse 4 came to me very forcefully again today "You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high."

And this message came to the people who had given up a Summer Saturday to pray for our division. We might have thought God would be grateful. Well I am sure that God is always pleased when his people turn to him and pray but the challenge was clear even to those of us who at least see prayer as a priority that we have not got to the place we need to be in praying for revival.

If we want God to move then something has to change in the way we pray and the way we live. The level of prayer on which we operate is not cutting it. The lifestyle most of us lead does not match our words but we blame God and ask "Why have we fasted and you have not seen it."

Kingsley whom I ministered with in the Ivory Coast is telling Christians all over the world that this year is a year when God's people must arise. We must get up from where we are and go to the place that God is calling us. Nothing else will do. (See

Arise shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)

God bless


Friday, 6 June 2008

Changing the world

We buy all the fair trade goods we can and I know that Cote'D'Ivoire is the biggest exporter of cocoa in the world. There have been many reports of the the trafficking of children on the plantations, particulaly in the interior but my tentative enquiries about this were dismissed as exaggeration. I just don't know. I didn't see any evidence of it but that is not to say it is not happening.

All I do know is that when we went for a drive into the countryside we bought a fresh pineapple for less than 5p and the cocoa I am holding in the picture for a few pence. If we were buying it retail for that, then the farmers would be getting even less than that when they were selling wholesale. There are an awful lot of middle men between the pineapple at source and the price I pay at Tesco's. Something is not right somewhere.

Well I didn't expect to change the world on a weeks visit but I did pray that I would make a tiny difference some how. I just couldn't see how.
Then on Sunday the mayor who is the equivalent of an MP was invited to the Church anniversary. He has put himself forward as a candidate for President, when elections are held later in the year. He is a man of influence and has the opportunity to address the issues of trade, justice, peace and poverty.

At the end Solomon invited him to the front so that the church could pray for him. Kingsley and I were asked to lay hands on him and I was given the privilege of praying on behalf of everyone for him. I believe I prayed prophetically and I trust that God will answer my prayer that this man may be someone through whom justice flows and righteousness like a never ending stream.

I will continue to pray for this man because I believe we can change the world through prayer.

God bless

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The haunts of sin and shame

Princess Ave is the Soho of Abidjan. Bars, nightclubs and casinos blast loud music out on to the street full of cars and hoards of pleasure seekers from all over west Africa. At the end of the working, with their weeks wages in the pocket the young people of the city take to the streets for a "good time" Alcohol is sold on market stalls and the prostitutes blatently parade themselves and aggressively pursue a potential client. It was a souless and godless place to drive through on a Friday night.

But it was not to my mind quite so depressing as the area we had visited in the afternoon. Off a main highway we pulled into a layby, where there were a few market stalls and then set off down a dusty alleyway into a rabbit warren of shacks. Immediately I was wishing I had worn proper shoes, not flip flops as I tried to avoid the puddles from the recent downpour, the piles of rubbish, the children playing in the dirt and falling on the uneven paths. It was stifling hot and smelly due to lack of adequate sanitation. Out on the main street the sun was bright but down the maze of closely packed homes it seemed dark and gloomy. Goodness knows what it is like when the rains come. We were in another world and in seconds I had lost all sense of direction.

In front of quite a lot of the houses there were wooden stalls from which some people were selling food, or other goods. But at night time those same stalls sold a very different commodity as the prositutes put themselves up for sale. These girls are cheap, they need a lot of clients in order to make a living. On Friday afternoon many of them were fast asleep, resting before they engaged in their night time activities.

It is a desperate place but this was the day time. Solomon and Kingsley had come here with a visiting team last year at night and they said the atmosphere was indescribable and had been very frightening as a white man in that environment was an inevitable target for competition. Some of them had become quite aggressive.

We somehow found our way out and crossed the main road and down another alleyway we were in another very similar place. The difference here was that this was where mainly Nigerian girls worked whilst the other side had been mainly Ivorian. I was told that of the two sides, the Ivorian girls were less pushy but more depressed whilst the Nigerians were more up beat but much more aggressive. My guess is that the Nigerian girls are probably trafficked and must put on a show. They must secure more clients because they must pay their masters.

White people in this area draw enough attention and I didn't feel it was right to treat people like exhibits in a zoo so we didn't take many photos so I have to rely on words to try to relay the sadness of this place. I hope I have done that but my feelings were beyond words.

All I can say is that this place breaks your heart. When I got back to the hotel I read Albert Osbornes song and wept.

The Saviour of men came to seek and to save
The souls that were lost to the good
His Spirit was moved for the world which he loved
With the boundless compassion of God
And still there are fields where the labourers are few
And still there are souls without bread
And still eyes that weep where the darkness is deep
And still straying sheep to be led
Except I am moved with compassion
How dwelleth thy Spirit in me?
In word and in deed
Burning love is my need
I know I can find this in thee.

God bless


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Let it rain

It's the rainy season and the weather is extremely hot and humid. On Wednesday the heavens opened and down came torrents of rain on the tin roof of the the church where I was being introduced to the girls whom the church is trying to help.

You couldn't ignore the rain. It was deafening! And when we came out of the church the reasonably dry mud road we had travelled in on had completely changed shape!

But to me the rain came in more ways than one. For four evenings the church gathered for worship and to hear preaching. On Sunday they met from 9.00am - 4.00pm. Every night there were at least 100 people gathered together. These are a people who are thirsty for God and they plead with him for the Spirit to rain down on them. And guess what? He sends the rain and the people, like the road are transformed.

These people know how to worship, they know how to pray and when the altar call is given, they all come with a desperate willingness to receive.

In the UK we are experiencing a spiritual drought and my goodness how we need the rain.

We have prayed that you would have mercy
We believe from heaven you've heard
Heal our land so dry and so thirsty
We have strayed so far from you Lord
Your cloud appeared on the horizon
Small as a man's hand
But now you're near
Filling our vision
Pour out your Spirit again
I feel the touch of your wind on my face
I feel the first drops of rain

Let it rain, let it rain
I will not be the same
Let it rain, rain on me
Let it pour down on me
Let it rain

(Paul Oakley Thank you music 1994)

God bless

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A rescue shop within a yard of hell

This is the view from my hotel window in Abidjan. It doesn't look much like hell does it? And the truth is that it is a beautiful city, with many fine buildings and compared with many African countries is prosperous. It is rich with natural resources and was once known as the Paris of Africa. A coup d'etat a few years ago rocked its stabilty and recovery has been difficult but now it is peaceful and confidence has grown.

However the view from my window does not tell the story of the poor or of the spiritual strongholds over the city. There are prosperous people in Cote d'Ivoire but for the poor the cost of living is high and wages are low. The fact that this country is the second most expensive place to live in Africa means that it is hard to get out of the poverty trap.

I was accompanying Reverend Kingsley Armstrong on a visit to the Living Foundation International Church led by Pastor Solomon Kwasi Ansah. The church was started 8 years ago and is situated in one of the poorest areas of Abidjan. It has a membership of about 300.
Despite being advised by some other pastors that if he moved to a better area he would get better collections and be better paid Solomon and his wife Armande pictured below are passionately committed to the poor and to the broken.
This is a church that combines revivalist preaching with practical action and lives are being transformed. The church supports about 30 women who were previously prostitutes, or who were in immoral relationships to give them financial support. Others were rescued just in time to save them from going down that route. Some trafficked women from Nigeria have also been able to return home with the churches help. The girls who haven't got their own homes are housed with church members and the church pays for them to go to a local training centre to learn skills that will give them employment. A number of young men are also supported in this way and live in the church.

But it is not just material help that is offered. New converts have been freed from the bondage of immorality, sexual perversion and a background of Animism. It is Jesus who has changed their lives.

This is a Pentecostal church but in reality feels like primitive Salvationism. Who is doing this work? It is the local church. They are not paying non Christian professionals to do social work they are operating a rescue shop within yard of hell and they are relying on the power of the Spirit to do it.
It is a very special place that has the hand of God upon it.
More tomorrow
God bless

Monday, 2 June 2008

I'm Back

Landed home this morning from Cote D'Ivoire. I've had an amazing week.

God spoke to me
God touched me
God I believe used me

Pictures and reports, thoughts and challenges from tomorrow, Right now I'm tired.

God bless