I try to take one day at a time. Looking ahead often makes me feel overwhelmed. I can’t look at tomorrow’s challenges with today’s grace. But I remind myself that all the grace I need for tomorrow will be given to me WHEN I GET THERE. Jesus put it like this,“ “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
Jesus just has a way with words doesn’t he?
In recent weeks/months – probably the last 18 months since I wasn’t able to walk from January to November last year, I’ve taken this verse ‘on board’ more than ever before. I managed, with help, to get to preach, including going to Colombia – all the way in a wheelchair (apart from the flights!!). I’m eternally very very grateful to God for the lovely brother, Robert Miller, who prayed for me to be able to walk again, at the end of October 2018 – in the months leading up to that each day certainly did have enough trouble of its own! When you live alone and can’t walk, until that hits you, you just don’t think what massive limitations drop on you – everything from getting a glass of water (or mug of coffee :)! to getting food to going to the bathroom to going shopping (I can’t) – I’ve never been so thankful for being able to shop online as I have during this past 18 months! It did help a great deal not eating for long stretches as I lost a lot of weight! – and as soon as mobility returned, God made it clear that I should move.
For me, it’s been a privilege to know just WHY God called me here, even though my time here is nearly ended: to be honest, it’s a great relief, as it’s been a constant spiritual battle, so much so that the enemy’s attack (in the ‘form’ of the Jezebel spirit – yes, its very, very real!) – not only on those God sent me here for but also on me, has been the most intense I’ve ever experienced in my 40-odd years of ministry. I’m looking forward very much much to where God is moving me to next, though humanly I can’t afford another move! God seems to be moving ahead of me with a potential miracle, but of course, until a miracle happens, you can’t ‘predict’ it or budget for it!
I thought I’d worked out where my new home would be, but God hi-jacked my thinking – as he often has over the years! – and I’ve learned in 40-50 years that to argue with him is fruitless! I had a number of options in my mind, but discounted a couple because of ‘geography’ (like distance from airports, accessibility to the rest of the U.K. etc., a big consideration for me), and guess where it seems that God is taking me??! It looks as though I’m heading for the ‘land of my fathers’ – and in reality the birthplace of my wonderful dad, Wales – so I’m already 50% Welsh – and interestingly, I’m told to a town that was never touched by the Welsh revival and that threw John Wesley out when he went to preach there! – Welshpool (the first 5 letters are a bit of a giveaway as to where it is!).
Why Welshpool? Well, why not? It’s close to England, close to Snowdonia. I’ve been there a few times to speak, at their lovely ‘Filling Station’ meetings, and that because of very long time friends Jonathan and Kathryn, who’ve been there about 17 years, but we spent a long time together in Worthing in the late 80’s & 90’s, and Kathryn and I have a shared unbelievable miracle in that she was the driver of the car in the well-document car-crash in 1994 when her Metro was crushed between the two 38 ton trucks….Where God REALLY got me I think, is in the fact that what they – and others who have become good friends are establishing there is a fellowship of spirit-filled believers based on an Acts 2 style of church who love and care not only for each other, but others in their area, praying and seeing God change lives. It’s simple, straightforward, and very Biblical. Jonathan clinched it when he messaged me the other day with this –
- Fantastic- I hadn’t said this to you but several years ago when I used to pray with Hazel and Richard interceding for the town and area I had a thought – a God thought- I said to Hazel- it would be great if my friend Paul could come here – and you did with the filling stations- but I think there was more to it than that😀😀
To know that for several years friends have been praying for what now seems to be happening is SO wonderfully affirming, and confirmatory by God. I’ve longed for many years to be in a ‘church’ that is a community of love and care, which is SO attractive to people who are not-yet-Christians, If ever the world – including the UK – needed love and care, it’s now. Back in the 1970’s I was in a church (that began as a youth group!) that grew and grew into a wonderful caring church because the leaders, the lovely Brian & Penny Hill, LIVED love and care, and we were in and out of their home and each others’ homes constantly. A church in Hailsham in the late 70’s and 80’s was like that, too. Love and care breeds love and care. A homegroup and youth group I had the privilege of leading from about 1985 was a bit like that, with the folk often arriving 2 hours before the meeting ‘started’ (though when they arrived, that was ‘church’ starting!).
Without love and care being the foundation of a group of people – or in our individual lives with friends – you don’t have church, and all the modern ‘buzz’ words like ‘apostolic kingdom church’ mean nothing when love isn’t the base foundation. Of course the infamous James Jones began ‘well’ – as a charismatic Assemblies of God pastor who was a ‘control’ freak (one of the key characteristics of the Jezebel spirit) whose control ended up with more than 900 people committing suicide in Guyana, and murder of those who went to expose him. I think Jesus made love the essential foundation, making it abundantly clear numerous times in the gospels, and he didn’t even establish a church, leaving behind him a community of people who loved and cared. Yes, there ARE apostles, but I think we’ve ‘bandied’ titles around too easily in the last 30 years: the legendary Tony Campolo – Doctor of theology, sociology, University professor and so much more – preaches ‘Do you want titles, or testimonies?’ I know without a doubt what I want – TESTIMONIES!! We’ve become obsessed with titles, along with the ‘importance’ of ‘our’ church – and most of the people claiming titles for themselves are not what they call themselves! I heard of one church recently where one of the leaders said their church was an apostolic kingdom church, but if you want to love and care for people, and be loved and cared for by the people, it’s the wrong place. I’d have to say to that person they don’t HAVE a church, they have a ‘buzzword’ club, I pray that it isn’t heading for ‘Guyana’ status…. 🙁 . ‘They’ll know you’re my disciples by the way you LOVE one another’ someone very famous once said!!