Quote from Billy Graham
We are having a fantastic time with Chandrakant Chavada
with us as a church family this week. He has spoken powerfully to us as a Church, and really imparted something which I know will produce great fruit for the Kingdom of God. We are certainly receiving a great reward and blessing from a Ministry of Christ!
He quoted Billy Graham
last night, I thought it was quite powerful:'Your Life is the Bible which the world is reading'
Labels: Billy Graham, Chandrakant, Quotes
Prayer Breakfast: Labour Conference
The Labour Party Annual Conference is in Manchester this week for the first time since 1918 - There is a real buzz in the city centre with all the delegates, media and politicians milling about.
Tony Blair's final words
yesterday as the party leader at the annual conference to his party are still reverberating around the conference delegates and media:'You are the Future Now, Make the Most of it'
Powerful words indeed, there are some interesting parallels here that I could draw from these words to what Jesus said to his disciples concerning his ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but I'll leave that to another blog!
This morning I attended a prayer breakfast at the Town Hall organised by the Christian Socialist Movemement
and Greater Manchester Prayer Breakfast
. The Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury was speaking at the event. He used Psalms 122 as his text to speak about the peace and prosperity of Manchester that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as the source of all true regeneration of life. He spoke about how prayer and faith in Christ influences Physical, Community and Spiritual regeneration of cities and regions. It was an excellent speech and it was great to pray with other leaders and christians in the city following on from his talk.
The following inspiring verse was used as the prayer breakfast concluded:'Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it' - Jeremiah 32:6-10This verse receives an overwhelming 'AMEN' in my heart and vision as I stand with fellow brother and sisters of Christ in Manchester in praying for his Kingdom to come, and His will to be done, in the City of Manchester as it is in heaven.
Labels: Labour, Manchester, Politics, Prayer
Quote on the Covenant Meal
“It is time to sweep away the cobwebs, it is time to throw confetti again. As in the days when Hezekiah restored Passover with great celebration and healing power, so God is restoring the covenant meal today, to bless us. As we mutually recognise our covenant and feast before the Lord we are strengthened, we are prepared to move together”
Tony MortonCovenant People
, Marshall Pickering, 1986, Pg.117
Labels: Church, Covenant, Quotes
The Threshold of our Lives (1)
The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side - Ezekiel 47:1-3
God spoke to me today from this passage in the Old Testament. In the Old Covenant, the glory of the Lord filled the temple, a physical building of stone. Ezekiel saw a vision of 'water coming out from under the threshold of the temple'.
Here, water could be seen to be a picture of God's power, glory and His Spirit flowing out from the place that he dwells, the place of his presence.
In the New Testament, under the New Covenant, God's people are the temple of the Holy Spirit in which God chooses to dwell. God fills his people now with the power of the Holy Spirit. We are now 'living stones', a living temple for the display of his power and glory in and through our lives.
However, we still have a threshold in our lives. We still have a door in our lives t
hat we either close or open to allow Christ to flow and move through our lives in the world around us. That threshold may be our homes, time, finance, diaries, families or work - God wants to overflow over the threshold of our lives in power and glory to touch all the daily areas of life with his miracle working power. Let the life of Christ flow over the threshold of your life and touch the world in power and glory!
Labels: Church, Holy Spirit, River of God
Europe win Ryder Cup
Europe have completed a hat-trick of Ryder Cup victories over the USA. They won emphatically by 18.5 pts to 9.5pts. The USA team have the top three players in the world in their team, including the world's best Tiger Woods. However, when it comes to working and playing as a team, the European team have overcome the USA big individuals and won some famous victories.
It was particularly great to see how the European team supported and rallied round one of their team mates Darren Clarke
. His wife Heather died 3 weeks ago, aged 39 from Cancer. A tragic and sad loss, but one that Darren Clarke was able to handle and use to inspire him to victory as he played as part of a team of close friends. The Ryder Cup was won by a team that expressed friendship and community, a team that stood together, even in the most difficult circumstances.
As a Christian, I love seeing teams
do well - It's amazing to see as they stand together, laugh together, cry together and pursue a common goal with passion and zeal. There is no greater goal and joy than being part of God's dream team, His church, in pursuing the purposes and plans of God.
I love being part of the team of leaders
in the church here in Manchester. I love being joined with a family of faith that is passionate about Making Jesus Famous. I love that I can cry, laugh and work together with God's people in the city and generation that I live in.
I'm so glad that Christianity was never destined to be about individuals or go it alone superstars, its all about being a team that has the common goal and vision of proclaiming and demonstrating Christ to this world.'There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it' 1 Corinthians 12:25-27
Labels: Church, News, Sport, Teamwork
A Prophet's Reward
Rachel and Myself are going to Cardiff today. We're going to a 2 day conference with other Elders and Wives from the Churches in the UK, and leading ministries from this nation and across the world. I believe it will be a great time of equipping and empowering in the call upon my life as a Man of God, Husband, Father, and Elder in the Church here in Manchester. I'm very excited about it!Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's rewardMatthew 10:41 (NIV)At the conference, we will have the blessing of receiving ministry and teaching from Apostles, Prophets and other anointed ministries. I've learned over the years that the heart and attitude you have will effect what you receive from these ministries of Christ. If you receive them as a prophet, you get a prophet's reward - it all starts in the heart that you have as you receive.
Sometimes, I think some Christians are far too passive and have a unhealthy 'whatever will be, will be'
sort of faith - God calls us to be active, to engage and interact with all that he is doing in our time and generation. As we passionately pursue the plans and will of God, we will see great fruit and blessing in and through our lives.
Next week, we also have the blessing of having Chandrakant Chavada
with us as a Church. He is an Apostle of Christ, and I believe that as we receive him like that, and hear what he has to say and impart to us - we will receive a great blessing and reward in our lives and in that of the church.
In October, Arne Skagen
from Bergen, Norway will also be with us. He is an Evangelist and has helped us greatly as a Church over recent years to be equipped further in this area of ministry. As we receive him as an Evangelist, I believe we will receive an Evangelist's reward - namely, people being saved and added to the church.
I'm so glad that God has given these gifts to His Church in this time as we grow, becoming mature and united, as we attain to the full measure of Jesus Christ. God is on the move and he is building his wonderful church in power!
Have a great weekend! - Be Blessed.
Labels: Arne Skagen, Chandrakant, ministries without borders
Daniel in Old Moat Park
Labels: Daniel, Old Moat
Manchester's New Logo
You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.2 Corinthians 3:2-4
I saw this picture today whilst out with some of our church members sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with all the students here in Manchester during Fresher's Week. It's the new Manchester Logo designed by Factory Records designer Peter Saville. Apparently, the logo has cost a serious amount of money. Its an interesting 'rainbow' style lettering...maybe the designer had God's covenant in mind!. Manchester has had quite a few different logos over the years. It's a very image conscious city, which to be honest, has its good and bad sides at times.
God spoke to me whilst I was out on Oxford Road with 1,000's of students walking up and down. We were there as God's people proclaiming Jesus Christ to those who were not yet saved. We were 'living adverts' for the gospel.
Publicity and Leaflets are great, as a church we use them
for all they are worth - but they are only tools and openings to present the extraordinary life of Christ through ordinary people like me.
As God's people, we are living adverts for Jesus Christ, or 'Living Letters' as the Apostle Paul put it, that are 'known and read by everybody'. What a opportunity we have as God's people to get out there and be the demonstration of Christ and his power to the world around us.
Labels: Gospel, Manchester, News
Making Jesus Famous on MAGIC Buses!
Here is a picture of some of our publicity on the infamous 'MAGIC' buses on Oxford Road near our church building. For a great article on the buses and our vision as a church community of 'Making Jesus Famous'
- Click Here
As a church
we are committed to making the reputation of Jesus and his kingdom our first and foremost concern. Quite simply we want to make Jesus famous in all that we do in every area of life. Why?
- Because Jesus Christ is the solution and answer to all that we face in life. He is more than a swear word, more than a throw away person in history - Jesus Christ is God, he is the way, the truth and the life - through him we receive salvation, purpose and peace as we live out our lives in the world around us. In Jesus Christ, we find love in all its fulness.
Wherever you have come from, whatever you have done - Come to Jesus and find life. Turn around and start again with Jesus as the lord and leader of your life - it's the only way to live.
Make Jesus the Lord and Saviour of your life, and Make Him Famous in your life today.
Labels: Bus Adverts, Making Jesus Famous, Manchester, Publicity
God has been challenging me in the whole area of reaching to those who are not yet saved with the power of the Gospel. As a Church community, right now, we are in the midst of a mission to the 18,000+ fresher students who are arriving in Manchester in the next couple of weeks. We have such a great opportunity, right here on our doorstep in Manchester.
I'm going out onto the streets with some of my great friends from the church here to share Jesus Christ, and the power of the Gospel to those who don't yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
We are reaching out as a family to those who are lost, confused, blinded by sin and in a world of despair. As they receive Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit into their lives, they will be saved into the church where they will find purpose, love, power and purpose as they live out their God given identity and destiny within the community life of God's people.
“Evangelism is best done reaching out from the local church and feeding them into the local church. Conversion should result in people being added to communities of vibrant Christians drawn from all spectrums of society and demonstrating the church as God’s mutli coloured work of art”
Terry Virgo, No Well Worn Paths, Kingsway, Pg.305
Labels: Evangelism, Manchester, Quotes
Names of God: Healer
"For I am the LORD, who heals you" - Exodus 15:26 (NIV)
God is a healing God. One of his names in the Old Testament of the Bible in the Hebrew Language is 'Yahweh Rapha'
- this means 'God who restores or heals'. I know that God is a healing God because it says it in the Bible, and I believe it to be true. I have also known the power of God's healing in my own life and in that of my family.
Today, in 2006, we can see and experience the miraculous healing power of God in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces. I'm excited about seeing the power of Jesus Christ exploding and impacting lives of men and women, young and old as they are set free from their sickness and disease.
If you're sick today, Jesus can heal you - Reach out in faith - find some Holy Spirit filled, faith filled Christians to stand with you in agreement, and believe that God is a God who heals you."Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness" - Matthew 9:35
Labels: Healing, Miracles, Names of God
Tuesday 12 September 2006
Labels: Birthday, Family
"September 11 will ultimately become either a doorway to transformation or the excuse for our worst instincts and old habits. It depends on the choices we still have to make"Jim Wallis, God's Politics, Harper Collins, Pg.104, 2005
Further to my earlier post on peace
here in Manchester, I read this quote today from Jim Wallis, which was quite timely on the fifth anniversary on the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.
We live in a changing world that is being shaken. I am glad that I am in a loving relationship with an unchanging God who is totally unshakeable in all his plans and purposes."There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the valley of trouble a door of hope" - Hosea 2:15
Labels: Jim Wallis, News, Politics, World
Peace in Manchester
Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no endIsaiah 9:6 (NIV)
, Jessie James, aged just 15, was shot dead in a tragic murder that unfortunately has become all too common on the streets of Manchester in recent months. The fact that he was killed about a mile from where I am writing this now, brings it home to me even more.
As I was praying about this over the weekend - the Holy Spirit gave me a fresh urgency and desire in my life to proclaim and demonstrate the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Kingdom of Peace - the message of reconciliation in the local community of Manchester where I live. The message of God's love, peace and restoration is the hope and answer to any urban, inner city issue and problem
God has promised that there will be no end to the increase of his rule and peace in this world. The power of His Kingdom will pervade and infiltrate every sector of society, and every social issue that we face in our world today.They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations - Isaiah 61:3-4
God's people are a prophetic people, with a message of hope, freedom and peace for the world in which we live. As we live on the cutting edge of God's plans and purposes, we will see the river of God's peace flow in our housing estates, towns and cities.
God has a plan of restoration to bring all things under the rule and lordship of Jesus Christ. Through His Church, he will make this wonderful plan and purpose come into reality under the anointing and leading of the Holy Spirit."O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, our foundations with sapphires. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children's peace. In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you" - Isaiah 54:11-14
Labels: Kingdom of God, Manchester, Peace
Turning the world upside down
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another King - Jesus”
Acts 17:6 (New King James Version)
I love this verse in the Bible - When you live with Jesus as the King and Lord of your life, it turns the world upside down all around you. Living in this way is the most radical, powerful and purposeful way to live in this world. Those who live with a passionate love for King Jesus will be different
to the world around them.
Even though you turn the world upside down, you also turn it the right way up - living with Jesus as King and Lord of your life is normal, yet supernatural, practical, yet
extraordinary. This way of life is working in harmony with our creational DNA as humans. We were destined to live like this, that's when you can live life to the full - in peace, power and purpose when you live with Jesus Christ as Lord and King of your life. We are called to make that choice today."Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation"2 Corinthians 6:1 (New Living Translation)
Labels: Jesus Christ, Kingdom of God, Vision
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers -
3 John 2 (NKJV)
I've posted a book overview of 3 John that I've written for the Bible Tour Blog
. Click here
to have a read. Although a small book of the Bible, it contains some great truths from the pen of the Apostle John under the direction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
One aspect of the book that impacted me was the whole aspect of 'Hospitality'. The home is a great place to work out the reality of being a community of God together. Last night, we had some friends round from our church family - we chatted, prayed, ate chocolate cake and had a great time together in our home. The cell group we are in always eats together when it meets, we also pray, worship and look at the word of God together - its great to be part of God's people.
Hospitality provides the forum and atmosphere for the true outworking and demonstration of covenant community.We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth - 3 John 8 (NIV)
Labels: Bible, Book Overviews, Community
Tommy Tenney Quote
God has a BIG plan for his Church
, he has destined that through his people, the message and wisdom of Christ will be proclaimed and seen (Ephesians 3:10). I read the quote below a number of years ago and have it written it out in my Bible at the start of Acts in the New Testament. The book of Acts is all about the Holy Spirit filling and taking hold of God's people and radically using them to be the proclamation and demonstration of the gospel in the society around them.
In 2006, we have the same call and wonderful privilege to make the name of Jesus known, through word and deed, sign and wonder, voice and action. Through us His Church, the radical people of God - the Holy Spirit is equipping and inspiring us to Make Jesus Famous in the world around us."As God redefines the church, it is highly likely that the church that emerges from the cloud of his glory will look very different from what you and I think the church should look like. This will happen because God is reposessing the church and drawing it close to him"
Tommy Tenny, God Chasers, Destiny Image, Pg. 150
Labels: Church, Quotes, Tommy Tenney, Vision
Joseph:Being an Ambassador
We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)
Continuing with a series of posts on Joseph, I've been looking at the whole concept of being an ambassador of Christ. We have such a joy and privilege of being called to be Kingdom ambassadors in our everyday lives, actions and conversations.
Joseph was an ambassador in a foreign land as he brought rule and government in Egypt. He was an ambassador of the truth, lifestyle and righteousness that his father Jacob had schooled and taught him in from an early age. His father Jacob had taught him to fear God and to live a holy life before the God that he served.
When put to the test, Joseph was able to be an ambassador of integrity and righteous rule.But our citizenship is in heaven - Philippians 3:20 Whilst we live out our lives on earth, our values and citizenship as God's people are based in heaven, in the heart of the King, in the will of the Father. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. As a 'citizen of heaven' and an 'ambassador of Christ' you should look different, talk different and act different to those who don't know Christ. Different, but not odd or strange! - The world needs to be able to interact with us, touch us, hear what we have to say and see how we live - as they see the power of Holy Spirit and the message of Christ in us, they will want to know Jesus more and ask why we live is such a different way.
Communities of God's people are embassies of heaven in the world that we live in. An embassy is where you go in a foreign land to find out about another nation, to meet people from that nation and to be able to know how to be part of that nation. The people of God are a 'holy nation'.
The Church is the 'Embassy' of Heaven here on earth, the Church is the means and vehicle of extending the Kingdom of God in this world.
We are called to reflect the Kingdom of Heaven in our message and lives. The church should be overflowing in the proclamation the Gospel of the Kingdom. Our prayer should unite with Christ in declaring 'on earth, as it is in heaven'.Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God - Revelation 21:1-3
Labels: Community, Joseph, Kingdom of God