Monday, 18 October 2010

The Danger of Apathy

Right now at this moment in time, I'm feeling angry. I'm not angry at my day, or individuals, but angry about the attitude towards Christianity and Jesus.

I live in Mid-Sussex. It is a beautiful part of the UK and is extremely wealthy. God has richly blessed me and my family and placed us in the heart of the South East. But there's one thing that is wrong with it. People are so comfortable that they have forgotten about true values and are sliding into an abyss of apathy.

No-one gives a monkey's about Jesus because they are too comfortable and have no desire to pursue anything new.

Please don't think I am judging people. I am apathetic about many things and I've only just started to realise that I need to change along with everyone else in order to see a difference and witnessing on the street certainly strips away that feeling of security. But trying to tell people that they need something else instead of what they already have is the hardest task I've ever taken on.

I am certainly not going to give up, I am desperate to see a breakthrough of salvation.

Perhaps one of the maddest things I've noticed recently is Christians who don't openly show that they are with others in pursuing the Kingdom. Just last month I took a random picture of a bacon roll and received more comments about that on Facebook than about the time a boy's leg grew before my eyes in a park in Burgess Hill. The perspective of God is a very blurred one. I'd love to see this change. Wouldn't you?

Last night I decided to do something new and write in my status on Facebook that I wanted to meet my non-Christian friends in the park and introduce them to God. No-one came. I know that people read what I write in my status every day, because those same people comment on all the other random things I write about. Put something to do with God in my status and people just seem to disappear.

I guess what I'm saying is this: if you see another brother or sister in Christ write something about God, get behind it. Non-Christians will read it and will think that maybe there is more to this God thing than meets the eye. What I'm also saying is pray like mad that God sets people free from this can't be bothered mindset.

I hope you are with me on this.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Big Decisions

In the last few days I had to make one of those big decisions where you know if you don't follow what God is clearly saying, you may regret it for a long while to come.

I've clearly got to fill you in on what's been going on, so read on if you're interested!

I work as a carpenter for my brother Simon who owns a loft conversion company. We have worked together ever since I felt God tell me I needed to pursue carpentry as a career instead of carrying on with journalism, which was my job at that time. I LOVED journalism. It was my world and a very happy one at that. I used to get paid to drive new cars and write about them for lots of different car magazines. Being a man and being paid to drive fast cars is pretty much as good as it gets. But God wanted me out of that and into the family business. The type of business where you get covered in saw dust, soot and water. Not really my cup of tea. I was only persuaded to get into carpentry by the Big G Himself when He gently reminded me that carpentry was His family's trade, too!

Who was I to argue?

Shortly after changing jobs we felt God calling us to a massive move from the UK to Australia. And I knew that carpentry was the only key to this move. God had changed my career before telling me why. Good job it wasn't the other way around!

So I've been doing carpentry ever since that moment in 2004. But in the last year or so I have been suffering with a bad back from all of the stooping over in lofts and I have also been feeling really down about the fact that this big move hasn't happened yet and actually feeling like maybe carpentry wasn't for me. So I decided to tell my brother, enough was enough. After all, there was no way I wanted to live the rest of my days with back pain.

But on the very day I chose to tell Simon my bad news I noticed my old job was being advertised. Yes the writing one. The writing one about cars. Same job, same company, same desk. I couldn't believe it. So I applied. Told Simon. We shook hands and I agreed to continue on for one or two remaining jobs.

Last Tuesday I went for an interview and from the reaction of the editor (an old friend of mine) I am pretty sure that I may be offered this job, but on Friday of the same week my brother offered me a new role within his company. It meant that I would be now running the sites rather than working on them. The money was better than the writing job I wanted, too.

So, I then had this dilemma. Do I take the ultimate job or the job that God wanted me to do? You see, some of you may be reading this thinking, well it's obvious. But to me who loves writing so much it hurts, it wasn't an easy choice because I had not seen any evidence of where my current career was actually going and in my last job I was actually making a name for myself in motoring journalistic circles. This wasn't easy. Until Friday night, that is, anyway.

I was on my way to Tesco when I felt God say, "Stop getting in my way. I'm trying to get you to where I want you."

That was it. Decision made.

I have not heard about the outcome of my job interview yet but I start my new role later this week and I cannot wait.

You see, when it comes to difficult decisions like these, there can be only one right way to go. His way. I am SO glad that my God loved me first.

Lonely Hearts Club

Today was another excellent day in the park. This time myself, Jenny and Gemma started the hour by praying and asking God to give us someone or some people but again, wanted to be led, rather than us land on someone all guns blazing.

We spent about 25 minutes wandering about the same area and there were no real groups of young people anywhere, except a lot of younger children in the skate park. So we thought it may be an idea to look elsewhere. Jenny said that she was feeling like there would be a lonely woman somewhere. Literally two minutes after she said this we saw a lady sitting on a bench all by herself smoking a cigarette and knew that this could well be the lady God had laid on Jenny's heart.

The only problem here was that there were three of us and one of her so I suggested that it might be better if Jenny and Gemma go and talk to this lady and I would keep praying for them as a covering.

The lady said that she'd never met Christians before and was really interested in hearing all about Christianity and so the girls spoke with her for a little while until her friend came to meet her. It was pretty clear to Jenny and Gemma that the friend was in no mood to hang about so they got up and left.

But once again, God has been faithful to his word and another seed has been planted. Praise God!

Monday, 4 October 2010

The Adventure Continues

It's now week three of these mini adventures with God. This time I was joined by my friends Gemma, Rachel and Jenny and God did not disappoint once again.

Before I get into the detail of today's events I just want to underline the fact that I am not the world's most gifted evangelist and this is not something I passionately prayed about doing. All I know is that God has put a fire in my belly and is working in me massively to be able to get out and proclaim the Gospel. And, the thing that's really amazing me is that once you ignore the Enemy saying "don't do that, no one will listen" it's actually mildly easy to talk to people about your faith. I just want to say that if you've ever thought about doing this, do it. God honours you massively.

So today I went to the same park. I knew the guys from the week before said they would be there because of work experience but I also knew that God being God could very easily provide someone else to talk to. Gemma, Rachel and myself prayed as we walked around the park and asked God to give us some people to talk to and within 5 minutes we saw a group of 4 girls sitting on a bench.

My spirit told me instantly that these were the ones we should talk to but we carried on walking and prayed once more. Gemma felt that God was saying if we didn't go back we could miss this opportunity so we went back and asked if they were busy and if not we could talk to them about Christ.

I should point out that as we approached them, they all got up to leave the park and a young guy called to them which stopped them. This allowed us to catch up and ask them if they were busy.

They all said they were up for talking about God and very quickly we were answering lots of questions about who God was, how do we know Jesus actually did what he did, and what is God. One girl said she was Christened as a baby and was therefore a Christian but I pointed out that she didn't make that choice herself and that we'd all made a choice to follow Jesus. It's the kind of thing that could offend people but she wanted to know more and accepted the fact that maybe she wasn't a Christian like she thought she was.

One by one we shared our experiences of God and Jesus and by this time Jenny had joined our gathering and shared some quite blatant truths about Grace and how it sets you free from condemnation.

Once again it was an amazing time. We said that we'd be there the next week and they seemed interested in coming back for more questions. We left them with a challenge to ask God Himself to reveal His truth to them and I can only give all honour and praise to The Almighty for another incredible time. You see, these girls woke this morning knowing nothing about Jesus and now they do. Just brilliant.

I will continue to write these installments and hope that more of you comment to encourage others who read this blog. I owe all of this to Him who sits on the Throne. It is ALL about Him. Amen