Category Archives: church

A Light has Dawned

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned”. Isaiah 9:2

This isn’t a vision that I had but rather a feeling inside whilst I was praying one day.

I was observing all of the negativity on the news, all over facebook and being spoken about. I don’t have a TV but it’s very hard to avoid the news altogether. I found the more I listened to it the angrier and sadder I felt. I saw the media cover ups, the denial to equate anything isis with Islam due to political correctness, the atrocities that continue in majority Muslim countries to those of different faiths and nothing being done. Suddenly it struck me and I felt God speak to me of his unconditional love for Muslims and how he desperately wants them to know Him. I felt God speak to me of a great destiny which is why the devil has taken hold of them and blinded them. The devil knows that some people have great destinies and will do anything for God which is why he desperately wants to keep them in the dark. However, I was taken back to the bible to a man named Saul who was the most fervent Jew and he believed only was was right and anyone who disagreed was treated very harshly. He was responsible for the mass slaughter of many many Christians (and I expect the people below him were treated less than favourably too). However, this happened because the devil knew that Saul would be one of the most powerful weapons for good that happened in the early church and he was terrified. So we know the story Saul changed to Paul, was radically changed by an encounter with Jesus and won more souls for God than the rest of the church together. What I am saying is that despite the evil and the negativity surrounding us I believe that we are about to see many many Sauls emerging from the Muslim community radically changed by Jesus challenging Muslims, Atheists and yes even the church. I doubt we will hear about this on the news. In fact just recently I read about how a group of lions saved some Christians in the middle East and another story about isis leaders being touched by God and changing. It is happening but I believe that soon the news are going to have a very hard job hiding it and we are about to see such an explosion of Jesus in the once Muslim communities including those already living in the UK that it will be common knowledge to all.

I just wanted to encourage you not to give up, not to stop praying and not to feed on the negativity. Yes there are many many evil things that are happening and being exposed but we are about to see mega change and be reminded of God’s great great love for those who are still in the dark. His light will shine and very soon it will be so bright that all will see it.

Advertisements

Come Thou Fount

I was encouraged as I watched this version of ‘Come Thou Fount’ sang by Awaken Generation in the Philippines. It warmed my heart and touched my spirit as I watched these beautiful people praising our Father with such a beautiful and stirring song written by one of the great mystics of old mixed with modern instruments. Then I thought of all the many missionaries that were sent out from especially the UK and the USA to the ends of the Earth during the previous centuries. Then I heard in my spirit ‘they are coming’. I felt that now they are coming to us or they will be. Just like our ancestors as missionaries reminded their ancestors and brought them back to the love of Jesus they will also remind us and bring back many people here, who have wandered far away, to Jesus.

We are now on the threshold of something great. Something has changed in our land. It has happened before but this time it will be different. And going back to the missionaries, although there will be many missionaries  it will be done using the internet which will be used greatly in this age to come and in the Harvest. It will be used as a portal to bring light and life into people’s homes (although it will also be used  by the enemy as a tool- as many will no doubt have seen but now it’s God’s time). Here I have copied the link below to the song. I pray that it blessed you too. I am excited to be alive at a time like this!

 

 

 

The Road

I had a picture which I wanted to share because I think it’s relevant for today.

As I was praying I saw a pavement. There were some people walking forward and I was pulling people from the road onto the pavement. But then I realised something that the people on the pavement kept wondering back onto the road. Some were walking in the gutter getting wet and dirty and still others were walking in the middle of the road wondering aimlessly and some getting hit by cars and trucks. I continued to pull people up but then I realised why they were wondering back into the road. They had blindfolds on. I stopped to untie someone’s blindfold but whilst I did many more people went back onto the road and it appeared as if I had lost time. It was hard to untie but I managed it. However, now I had some help and together we slowly started to pull people onto the pavement untying their blind folds. The progress was much slower but people didn’t go back into the road.

I felt that this was for the church. The church focuses on numbers but actually they don’t teach the people how to forge a true relationship, how to continue and go deeper in their faith and how to stay away from sin and the things that will pull them away so evidently people get pulled back into the world. There may appear to be more people in the church but they are just as blind as if they were walking on the road although they may not get hit by a car they run the risk of falling back into the road. If we take the time to show individuals the light, to cultivate relationship, to be patient then we will gradually produce a church where believers are not blinded but are able to not only walk forward but to also patiently show others how to walk forward too.

My prayer is that in these increasingly dark days the true church will realise this and although there may not look like many numbers or big figures deep relationships with Father are formed that are life changing and society transforming.

God bless you

Convergence

I learnt a new word today from listening to Lance Wallnau.  The word is ‘convergence’. It means something has got to come together in your destiny (an intersecting). It is the technical definition where you are engaged in the role which empowers you to do what you were created to do before you were born.

A word which has been used a lot in the church and in Christian circles was destiny. However, convergence has a more resonating and deeper meaning than even destiny itself.

If you become a Christian you must become a disciple, then you become a disciple, after that you seek your destiny, and finally you must step into convergence. This is essential if you want to fulfil that which was ordained for you before the beginning of time. Convergence however is not only about our own individual destiny but rather it is about affecting our communities, towns, cities and nations. Destiny is great and it can change your life knowing what your own personal destiny is but convergence allows God to work in us in such a way that we cannot help but affect everyone around us.

My prayer is that you will all step into convergence.

Beautiful China

I was fascinated by reading the news about China the other day. I have always loved China. When I was a little girl growing up in the countryside I must say there weren’t many Chinese people however I was always finding myself drawn to people from different nationalities. There was one Chinese family at that time in our town and I remember them introducing me to their culture. I also read Gladys Aylwood’s biography and felt touched. As I went into higher education I found myself becoming friends with some girls from Hong Kong and after I finished school I went with a friend to visit Hong Kong. I had a wonderful time there and fell in love with the culture. However, I always wanted to visit China for real. I got the opportunity to go and live there in 2012.

 

While I was there I saw many different parts of the Chinese culture. The main culture that we associate with China actually is related to the Hans people. I also had the chance to meet people from other minority groups too and learn about their customs. Many of these indigenous people groups have often been marginalised and have suffered terrible human rights abuses under the communist Chinese government. It is certainly much more relaxed than it used to be in many ways. Nonetheless many people face great persecution in China. One of these groups is Christians. I attended an international church in Beijing and I had to show my foreign passport in order to enter. I felt sad knowing that I was doing something many Chinese people can never do, worship freely. Communism brought so much hardships in the former years for the average Chinese person. Many accounts of life show that people had to drink their own urine in order to survive. Times were hard, many died and if you showed the smallest part of resistance you were sent to jail or worse.

Now if you are a Christian the reigns have been loosened a little so to speak however churches must be registered under government approval. They must not preach on certain areas and they must be strictly regulated by the government. They are called the three-self churches. Until recently if you wanted to preach on the Holy Spirit and be free in your worship you had to attend an underground church whose members were highly persecuted.

This brings me to the news that I read:

A pastor named Duan told a news source that God is now moving in a powerful way in these state controlled churches. Topics like healings, miracles, signs and wonders are becoming more mainstream and not every sermon is vetted by the government. Now something different is happening in the government approved churches, there is growth. In the same way that many were drawn to the underground churches many are now meeting God in the state churches! God is doing something wonderful in China, something that for decades people would never have dreamed of.  I believe  however that this is only a preparation for the future, a future where God is going to move not only in China but throughout this entire world.

 

*If you want to read a real account about life for a Chinese Christian then Brother Yun’s story is fascinating and moving.

Taken from: www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2016/February/An-Unexpected-Move-of-God-in-Communist-Controlled-China

Language misuse

As a millennial I often here many member of my generation using these two words very often as a means to shut down an argument ‘islamophobia’ and ‘homophobia’ (I won’t go into any of the others because they keep adding to them and we’d be here all day!). I want to have a look at their meanings.

Let’s look first at the dictionary definition of phobia- The word phobia comes from the Greek: φόβος (phóbos), meaning “aversion”, “fear”, or “morbid fear”. In popular culture, it is common for specific phobias to be given a name based on a Greek word for the object of the fear, plus the suffix -phobia. (taken from google.). If we delve a little deeper we can see that Phobos a Greek god.He was the Greek personification of fear, flight and panic.

So let’s look at these words ‘homo’ which comes from the Greek meaning ‘same’ which has developed to mean ‘same sex attraction’ and ‘Islam’ describes the religion and ideology of Islam. It is important to note that nowhere here are these two words referencing ‘Muslims’ or ‘gay people themselves’ but rather ‘a feeling of attraction between certain people’ and a ‘specific ideology’.

So after breaking this down in this way we can see that ‘homophobia’ is ‘a morbid fear and panic of two people having same sex attraction’ and ‘Islamophobia’ is a morbid fear and panic of ‘Islam’. These two terms are very widespread these days and are often used by people who have little or no knowledge of the meanings, of historical concept, or just don’t like to be challenged. As a linguist it is always my duty to question and break down different ideas that we have about language to show the truth. In my mind there is no word to describe someone who ‘doesn’t want same sex attraction to be promoted due to biblical principles’. Everyone whom I know who has this view has never had a morbid fear, panic or hatred of gay people. In fact these people have open arms towards everyone regardless. Likewise everyone I know who disagrees with Islam would never have a fear or a hatred of Muslims (I am not denying it, that there are people who hate Muslims and gay people although I have never met a single one of them myself. My job is only to question how our language is used.).

Therefore, maybe from a linguistic point of view we need a new word because perhaps to a certain extent English has lost a lot of descriptive language or a lot has fallen out of use. However, I think it’s really important that we don’t go around liberally throwing around words that we don’t really know the meanings of. It’s important to tackle hatred aimed at a particular individual but hatred is never going to be tackled by calling people names or hurling insults anyway. The hatred I see is the hatred coming from those people who seek to use these words liberally  as an insult to anyone that questions their way of thinking and who seek to close down anything that challenges their viewpoint.

It just makes Jesus words so relevant when he said ‘Take the plank out of your own eye before you take the needle out of someone else’s’ (Matthew 7:5). While many are concerned with doing just that there is a distinctive, rising, spiritual movement, popular among young people today that seeks to do the exact opposite.

Nevertheless the good news is that although they may continue to do this their power is weakening. They have had their time and now it’s time for the power of God to shake the planet like never before, to break down misconceptions, to shake off hatred, to rock the world until political correctness is but a thing of the past. His glory will come but we need to make sure we are right with God first so let’s first take the plant out of our eyes’ and then we may see from a different perspective.

Where will God move next?

 

I saw an article which was discussing the different areas in the UK where people are more likely to call themselves Christians. I found it very interesting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the areas where people are more likely to call themselves Christians (and the survey is not reflective of everyone) are areas that have a lower socio economic background. Thus these people may find themselves more empathetic towards religion because of the role churches may play in helping people in poorer areas (i.e cap and other charities). Also it is common knowledge that when you go through troubles (i.e financial difficulties) you tend sometimes to look for answers from a higher power.

Secondly, a lot of people from poorer backgrounds tend not to go to university despite student loans being a popular way to enter. Universities are certainly more liberal in many ways and steer people towards humanism and atheism.   So people who don’t go to university perhaps are more traditional in certain viewpoints for example how they see the family and its importance in society, they’re more likely to be more community minded rather than individualistic due to low wages and expensive rents (these are generalisations so please don’t think I am putting everyone in this category.). University on the other hand tends to encourage independence and sometimes to a degree that rejects the family and its values (although this isn’t the case for everyone nor for every university).

Thirdly, I want to take a quick look at the past and remind myself of the people whom were very much on the forefront of John Wesley’s mind. These were the poor, the labourers, the downtrodden, the oppressed, those that had nothing. These people were open and God reached them via John Wesley and his obedience. I believe we were saved from a would be revolution (similar to that of France at that time) because of people like John Wesley whom God used in a great way.

Next, this moves on to the final point. People like this are open to change. This can be a really good thing if a few people are willing to rise up and take a stand just like John Wesley. You see people like this don’t have much to lose from change. On the other hand, those who are wealthy, who have the privilege of living in wealthy, peaceful areas with a myriad of opportunities at their feet have benefited (and perhaps at the expense of many others). These people really have everything to lose from change.

In conclusion, God will change this nation and He will be received with open arms by many. Although he will also be rejected by many. I know that there are also many Christians who have been university educated and are against change I also know many who do want change and are open. I know there will a lot of resistance but it won’t necessary come from the people you think it will. I think it’s more likely to come from ‘well-educated’ (whatever that means), ‘wealthier’ and perhaps even some ‘established churches’. However one thing I do know is that God is about to move.

Let’s be watching very closely because you may be surprised what you see happen in the next year or so. God is on the move and He is going to use some of the most unobvious people to do His work! I know I’m excited… are you?!

Eternity

Most of the time when we think of eternity we think of the future. In the dictionary two main definitions come up: “infinite or unending time” and “endless life after death”. While they are both true indeed there is a tendency to put them in a box.

Our God is eternal it says so in the bible.

“But You, O LORD, abide forever, And Your name to all generations.” (Psalm 102:12)                                                                                  and

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

Here we can see that the past, the present and the future are all mentioned. If we are in God and abide in him then we are living in eternity. In the bible it also says that we were always in God’s mind: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5).

The ‘I knew you’ refers not only to mere acquaintance, but choice as a consequence of knowledge. This means that God already knew those parts of us that are our characteristics, our funny and weird ways, our desires and our gifts. We were already there in God’s heart and therefore we existed before we were born.

Sometimes people say they feel like they existed somewhere but they are not sure where. Many people also believe in reincarnation but that’s not the truth. The truth is we did exist inside God and He often took us in his hands and whispered His plans and desires for us. We are eternal and we will go on existing after we die. I do know that we were not angels, nor did we have a body but I do know that God is our Father and we once played inside him together with joy and delight. However, He wanted us to chose Him with our free will and to go back home to Heaven one day which is why He sent us here. But we are so much more than just a speck of light and that’s why he sewed us together in our mother’s womb carefully not missing out a single detail.

But I think isn’t it exciting to know that while the dinosaurs existed, and when he created Adam and Eve we were inside God. And isn’t it incredible to know that when we leave this earth we have an eternal home. We existed in God and God is outside time so I guess that kind of makes us time travellers! How awesome is that! I am also sure that in Heaven we will be able to look back and see all of the wonderful things He has done for us.

That changes my perspective on how I see things. However big a problem and however much I feel stressed, alone or burdened I know that it’s all just a speck in God’s bigger eternal plan . However, despite it being so small compared to the rest of eternity I know that I still matter to Him and that He will never leave me alone.

 

 

 

Freedom or Feelings

What is hate speech?  

Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.

This on first glance may look like a very obvious and straight forward definition and a great idea. I mean who wouldn’t want to challenge hateful speech. However, when we look at it in greater detail it’s not as simple as we first thought. From 2008 the EU made a decision to combat racism and xenophobia. All western European countries now have hate-speech laws. The European concept of freedom of expression thus prohibits certain content viewpoints, whereas, with certain exceptions, other countries are generally concerned solely with direct provocation which usually has the consequences of explicit acts of lawlessness towards another person. Not so long ago in the past European states and the U.S. had a common view that human rights should be the priority rather than restraining freedom of expression.

However, many people do possess good intentions in their battle against ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘homophobia’ etc… the roots of ‘anti hate speech laws’ are anything but well meaning. The introductions of laws that prohibit free speech were welcomed with open arms and actively promoted by the Soviet Union and various other countries during the previous century. They used these laws to their full advantage to block any opposing viewpoints. Currently we can see this happening in places like North Korea (which is barely ever criticized by many university students along with Fidel Castro which I will explain about later).

Nevertheless it’s not a new concept, only confined to the walls of the 20th century. In fact if we look a little further back in history we can see that even in the expansive Roman Empire there were a great many emperors who sought to reduce free speech to nothing more than a memory in people’s minds. The quest for freedom and revelation is also closely followed by the quest for power and control over people’s minds as the ultimatum.

However, my goal is not to produce a 10,000 word essay on the history and the ins and outs of communism, facism, hate speech and free speech but rather to give you my insights as to what this means for Christians today. As you can see ‘hate speech’ is extremely loosely designed but this is not without a purpose. If the elite, lobby groups and central government can close down opposing views then it gives them the reign on entering even the most private parts of our daily lives. God on the other hand gives us the freedom to choose Him or not. He is the ultimate advocate for free speech. When we curse him or throw insults at our neighbours He doesn’t smite us down and give us a sentence. He gives us chance after chance. In fact He gives us our whole lives as an opportunity to choose him. He waits patiently seeing something beautiful in each of us regardless of our faults.

“But what about those people who offend, threaten or insult different minority groups?” you say. “Shouldn’t they be punished?”. The problem is stopping judging them doesn’t stop at just that and this view seeks to in fact judge the ‘other’. It is an order instead of an opinion because instead of living out your life and not judging people you are imposing this on others. This is a very hypercritical stance. While I certainly don’t think people should go around insulting one another and inciting hatred (I am talking about speech and not physical violence which should never be condoned) these people unfortunately should have the right as you do to express an opinion. However, in the majority of times ‘hate speech’ is used to defend a stance where one person is offended by something the other person has said. We as human beings do not have the right not be offended because we choose offense with our will and if we choose offense then perhaps half of the problem is with us and we have things we need to loosen from our souls.

The Oxford Dictionary has chosen “post-truth” as its word of the year for 2016. “Post-truth” is defined as a culture where “objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”. This illustrates to us that people and especially young people today are much more likely to base their opinion on how they are feeling in that moment than on the relevance of the statement or its truth. However, we can see that this has drastic consequences for free speech and it’s becoming more and more common here in the UK to shut down opposing viewpoints. As Christians our speech should always be full of light and love but it should be based on God’s truths. Unfortunately the truth can and will offend people. It is true that a statement you hear in the morning may not offend you but at the end of a long, stressful and demanding day that same statement might make you extremely irate.  We need to be careful that we always listen to people’s opinions and respect the individual’s right to free speech but we ourselves should never be afraid to speak the truth in love.

Finally, the reality is one person’s words may be another person’s door to freedom or they may be an offensive stream of drivel. We cannot go around loosely defining words due to our current feelings. Feelings are deceptive. I know many people who have been in toxic and abusive relationships who were trapped there because of their ‘feelings’. Feelings can also be wonderful too and a great way to connect with God. However, we should always make sure our faith is defined by the Truth.

We are living in a world where the darkness will manifest in greater ways but there is much hope. In the bible it promises “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1:5 (NIV). This means that whatever happens the light will always be greater and thus we should always speak out of hope and not fear. As the body of Christ it’s time to take up our mantle and follow him speaking in love and truth to a confused and suffering world.

 

Ankhi Das (2016) found at www.indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/best-antidote-to-fake-news-and-hate-speech-is-more-speech-4452346/

Jacob Mchangama (2011) found at www.hoover.org/research/sordid-origin-hate-speech-laws

No More Grey

I recently saw an article titled “Breaking News the church of satan has finally been opened in America” dated beginning of 2016. The article says that they hope “that it will motivate other satanists to come out from the shadows…”. I thought it was curious to say the least so I read a little further into it. They have, and with much careful consideration I will add, painted a very rosy picture and to anyone lacking discernment they may very well be persuaded to join.

In the article it states that, “We worship the Complete Self and we exalt in forbidden knowledge and the paths to power,”. This is a stark contrast to what the Jesus said we should do “deny yourselves and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 NIV). I found that it was thought provoking to have been opened in 2016 right at the time when we are experiencing a spiritual shift in the atmosphere it makes sense that the devil would cough up something counterfeit. It also made me wonder today as I was looking around and seeing how much subtle darkness there is around us.

It was world book day today and a very large percentage of children decided to dress up as Harry Potter characters. You might say this is harmless fun just like Halloween but I beg to differ. I do think that witchcraft and in general anything supernatural is becoming more mainstream after being hidden away for years and perhaps this is no coincidence. (I am not talking just about religion here). As a mother my initial reaction would be to hide my son away, to try and protect him from the darkness and to shut my doors and close my windows. I don’t believe that this will do anything but allow the darkness to breed. You see darkness can only spread if it’s allowed to and if it has no light to stop it then it will continue knocking down everything in its path and cloaking it with a suffocating blanket of false comfort and belonging. If we are hidden inside our houses eventually the darkness will find a way in and even if it doesn’t you have not spread the light any further than your door frame and that is a very small flame indeed.

Nevertheless, while it is indeed important to protect our children the bible actually tells us that God is our ultimate protector and the bible instructs us “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Psalm 22:6 NIV). This actually doesn’t mean shutting them away but rather pointing out the dangers, explaining the truth to them and showing them their purpose in all of this. Yes we need to be careful and there are sometimes people who you know are not best to have around your children. However, my son does know about angels, he knows that God is bigger than the power of any witch but he also knows God loves them and wants a relationship with them. I’ve heard him telling his friends casually about heaven and sometimes he prays with all his heart about things that completely amaze me. He is only 5 and I hope and pray his faith continues to grow.

This brings me back to the article I saw. I believe it’s significant because in the future if we do not declare and pray we will see a great many people and among them children joining this ‘church of satan’. Just like Harry Potter has become very hip and cool among kids it may even become popular to make real spells in the future. Evil will not be made to look bad. The devil is not that stupid.

However, I have seen it prophesied that another generation will rise up from the dusty dry ground and speak life like never before, they will  do miracles unheard of and they will walk in great power and authority bringing light and truth wherever you go. They will literally blind the darkness.

Our children are part of this next generation. In their generation unlike ours there will be no middle ground, no grey areas. There will either be black or white. Make sure your son or daughter knows the truth. They are never too young for the truth. It’s time for us to wake up as a generation of purpose driven parents to guide the next generation so they in turn can guide those that follow.

Now it’s not the end of the world it’s only the start of something bigger, there will be spiritual forces battling one another and we may even see them with our natural eyes but God is ultimately going to have the last word. A new era has been birthed on God’s timeline so arise ye who were created for this time of “The Kingdom Age”.

 

Source: Issac Jipsy (2016) found at www.linkedin.com/pulse/breaking-news-church-satan-has-finally-been-opened-america-jipsy

Photo: fashion central.com