Monday, 30 August 2010

Declare it!

'Of course I'll marry you!'
'Well done Mr Bream, I'm happy to say you passed with just 3 minors. Drive carefully!'
'I now gladly baptise you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!'
'You may now kiss your bride!'

These are all exclamations I have heard in recent years passed. They all leave me fired up when I think back to those precise moments. They leave me excited. They leave me wanting more moments like them. They are all very hopeful expressions. You might have your own moments memorised that serve as a character-shaping milestone for who you are today. For the person you have become. I could list more of my own, but this clip below contains some far more amazing exclamations. A set of declarations far more bone-shaking, heart-stopping, jaw-dropping and life-explaining than anything else.

You might have seen this a hundred times before. Or perhaps never prior to this moment. But this could be the marker for when the penny dropped.

Friday, 27 August 2010

A pretty big victory...

Today is the 27th of August, in case you didn't know. The weather is crap. West Ham are bottom of the Premier League again. I'm staring at a pile of washing up that isn't getting any smaller, and I'm wondering how best to spend the last day of the summer holidays?!?!

Just a normal day, you might think.
For the most part it is.

But 16 years ago on the 27th August, my Dad finally got on the wagon, so to speak. I wanted to comment on this massive milestone, but just before I opened this blog, I received an email from him. I'll let him do the talking instead.

Morning all,
I was listening to a Jesus Culture album on my way to work this morning. The lyrics say something like: 'the chasm was far too wide, I never thought I'd make it to the other side, but your love never fails'. Sixteen years ago today, I finally gave up drinking after 25 years of drinking unhealthily, the last ten years being particularly chaotic and destructive. I never thought that I would be able to stop and believed that I would soon die, drunk and alone.

But God had other plans.

I now know that He was with me always. When I finally looked into an abyss of darkness and despair, when I had nothing left of my own to fight with and was beaten and broken, He gave me the strength to not only confront my demons, but to make them history (or His Story?).

The song ends with a paraphrase of Romans 8 v28: 'You make all things work together for my good'. This is the truth. Not the little voice in my head that told me I would never amount to anything or be good enough for Him.

Have a great day everyone. Apparently the sun will shine later.


Sunday, 22 August 2010


I'm kicking myself. I'm all mouth, I really am. Here I am on this blog, banging on about how great God is. How amazing a new life with Jesus is. But at the moment, I kinda feel like I'm hiding behind the pen a bit with it all. A bit of a sell out.

Yesterday, I briefly dropped in on my Aunt and Uncle. My Uncle was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer a little while ago, and as he sat beside me, filling us in on where he's at with treatment, bringing us up to speed with the recent events and informing us of a recently uncompleted operation, I had one thought in mind:

Offer to pray for him, you idiot!!!!

The minutes passed by, the same pounding thought. Why on earth am I not offering to pray for this man!?!? I have seen some awesome healings in the past. Some occurring only days ago in fact. I believe with one hundred percent certainty that the God who created everything, is the God who can heal everything too. I've heard first hand accounts, some only last week, of deaf people receiving full hearing and blind their vision and yet here is a family member who I care about a lot, clearly in need of prayer. And I bottled it. I got scared.

And I am so sorry that I did. I had the chance to put faith into action and I let the moment pass.

So...let this be a lesson to me. It's all well and good blogging about this stuff. But if I really want to make an impact on those around me, writing airy-fairy paragraphs is not going to cut it. If I love this Jesus as much as I say on here...I shouldn't be allowing those kind of circumstances go by without prayer.

I hope I rise to the challenge next time.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Yesterday marked the end of an era - a 12 month project working at my church ( has been and gone. It wasn't easy. It was draining. Sometimes is was slow. Sometimes it was manic. I had to exercise a lot of faith that the finances would be taken care of throughout the year. They were. I had to trust that this was exactly where God wanted me to be. It was.

Though generally speaking, the project is undertaken as a gap year by most, this was anything but a gap year for me personally. I am 25 with a couple of gap years behind me already after all. I was taking a step of faith in a new direction. Full-time church work is not a doss, regardless of the casual coffee breaks and laid back environment. It's emotionally draining if you do manage to get your heart fully behind it. It comes with a weighty responsibility. The pay sucks. And things don't exactly land on a plate in front of you - much prayer, consideration and hope is pinned on what happens.

So, as I look back on a pretty fruitful, fairly busy, lesson-packed and thoughtful 12 months as the resident FP-er at QRC, I can, with hand on heart, confirm that it was worth it!

I have grown throughout it. I have been tested by it. I have cried for it. I have laughed at it. I have been fed up with it. I have been passionately hungry for it.

And it was worth it.

I'm no longer working full-time at Queens Road Church, Wimbledon...but who am I to assume that the post-FP Impact year wont be more of a kingdom building year than this one?!?!?

The next chapter could be huge!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

a generation IS rising...

I'm tired, grubby, without clean clothes and have stacks of post-camping chores to get ticked off the list(s). It has been a few weeks of spreadsheets, consent letters, CRB forms, and general planning as the countdown for Newday 2010 continued rapidly in earnest - and now it has been and gone in a flash.

6,500 delegates aged from 12-19, representing dozens and dozens of churches nationwide. If stats suggest church attendance is on the decline, try telling that to this lot. Aside from the culture-challenging, norm-breaking, relationship-building, stereotype-shattering events of the last 6 days, I've witnessed hundreds (literally) of lives change - some significantly, others gradually. A deaf kid had his hearing restored. A girl, blind in one eye, received full vision. Skin conditions cleared up instantly. And hearts were remoulded for eternity.

It aint fake. It isn't magic. It is happening everywhere and thousands of young faces shine that little bit brighter now because of it...

check out these links -

Monday, 9 August 2010


I saw this article today:

It’s amazing. It gets me excited. It makes me want to get off this bloomin’ sofa. I don’t know whether this guy knows God or not. But one thing I know for sure, he’s experienced some serious adrenalin and adventure.

As one wise friend said recently: ‘If our lives look normal to those around us, we’re doing something wrong.’ I reckon this explorer bloke would agree with that. But if he knows Jesus, this exhilarating journey was just the tip of the iceberg. If he doesn’t, this is probably about as good as it will get.

We’re all fools if we neglect to see any adventure. But we’re even bigger fools if we ignore that there’s a greater adventure freely available to us. Don’t be mistaken in thinking it will restrict and confine - it will make this guy’s little journey look like a walk in the park.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Which backdrop do we paint on?

Yet another week in Cornwall under the belt. That makes it the 3rd trip so far this year. Just cant get enough of the place. Blustery walks that blow the cobwebs to pieces and fill your lungs with the freshest air ever. Early mornings spent diving through crashing waves, desperately trying to perfect the timing so that the next one lifts me off my feet and sends me hurtling horizontally along, parallel to the shore. Cold cliff top beers and piping hot pasties. I could go on, but I'd probably just ditch this laptop and jump straight back in the car.

At the top of the beach there's a place called Tube Station. The skate-park-coffee-lounge-art-gallery-internet-caff-chill-out-bar-church overlooking the bay. It's like a haven. Comfy sofas, surf life everywhere, laid back tunes; brilliant ambience. I love going there. It's what it should look like. It's innovative. It's forward thinking. It has met the surrounding culture perfectly and has set itself up in the heart of that community in such a resourceful and radical way. It's open-door policy during the week sees the building full almost all-day, everyday.

If you're ever down there, check them out. If not, don't worry; just remember there are places like it. The reason I comment on it is as much a reminder for myself as for anyone else: God is on the move. And He's creating churches like Tube Station all over the place, showing that He really has got His hand on this place. The backdrop for that church is pounding, relentless, rolling waves and a killer sunset.

He created those too.