Leicester

I was privileged, on Saturday, to go to a church in Leicester to lead a worship event at a church there. We had a really good night or worship, fellowship & prayer, with about 30 young people.

I got to go over and lead the event with some people I worked with as an OPP last year, we developed the same thing in Wellingborough and to be invited to do the same somewhere else was really exciting!

Hopefully, through what happened on Saturday night, those young people from Leicester will be able to run their own events from now on. We talk about this word empower a lot, but I think that’s what we were doing last night; showing other young people that actually if you have something you want to do or change, and God’s grace to carry you through and guide you in the right paths, then there’s no reason why you can’t do it!

I love God’s response to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1...


‘“Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.’

Jeremiah 1:6-8

God promises to be with all of us, if we have the confidence to respond to something that God has put inside of us; whether that’s a vision, or something along the lines of the holy discontent I talked about in my last blog.

Hopefully that’s what we achieved last night; not only did we encounter God, but we also managed to give people the confidence to step out, say ‘I’m not too young’, and go forward knowing that they’re backed by God’s unending promise to be with us.

Holy Discontent

I started reading a book this morning, called ‘Holy Discontent’ by Bill Hybels.



He says that God is restoring our world; bringing it from its current broken state to its ‘original beauty and purpose’.




As God is restoring His world, the books talks about God placing this idea of holy discontent within us as something that motivates us to make a difference. When we have this feeling of holy discontent inside of us, we almost become like Popeye! When we get that feeling, or eat that spinach, we become this unstoppable foce that wants to make a difference, and do God’s work in restoring our world to its ‘original beauty and purpose’.






So, I’m interested to know, what is it that gives you that feeling of holy discontent? What is it that you can’t stand? What makes you want to make a difference?

3Generate

Well, what a fantastic weekend! I left last Sunday, feeling completely exhausted yet very proud to be a Methodist and really excited about the future of this church.

I’ll be blogging over the next week or so about all that happened at 3Generate, but I want to start with the worship. Partly because, this was my contribution to the weekend(!), and also because for me it was the most powerful thing about the whole weekend.

We kicked off looking at CALLING, and I spoke on the story of Samuel and how he was called by God. Three verses stuck out for me (annoyingly as I was trying REALLY hard not to make it a 3 point sermon!)...

‘...the word of the Lord was rare...’

I often look at the world, and my own situation and just think, where on earth is God in all this. That was true for Samuel, and is probably true for pretty much everyone at some time in their life. But actually, you don’t have to look that hard to see where God actually is!

I challenge you to make a list of all the places you can see God working through (e.g. creation, friends & family), and see how many pieces of paper you can fill...I guarantee it’ll be at least 2!

‘...Samuel did not yet know the Lord...’

We often think that we have to be this perfect Christian to be called by God. Actually, if you look through the Bible, the people God called were the last people you’d expect to be called by God.

'By Him, you are called into relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ' – 1 Corinthians 1:9

Each and every one of us is called by God; primarily to have a relationship with Him. God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

‘...stood before Him exactly as before...’

God stood right in front of Samuel to call him, but still didn’t notice until after Eli pointed out it was God! I think a lot of us have a very set image as to what God’s call will end up looking like, and unless the call fits in with that set image we have in our head we often miss it.

I challenge you to open your eyes and your hearts to what God’s call might be, and prepare yourself to be blown away by the incredible and surprising way that God reveals that to us.

The Saturday looked at our RESPONSE to God’s call, looking at the story of Noah. I doubt whether many people have received such a specific call as Noah did (I doubt He’s ever given many the exact measurements for the boat that He wants them to build!), but all credit to the guy; he did as God called Him to. How often do we just have that blind obedience to God’s call? How easy is it for us to do that? Can we actually just go in with blind obedience, or are there too many external factors for us ever to be completely sure that its God calling us?

I hope you realise I ask all these questions because I don’t actually have the answers myself...if any of you could enlighten me that would be great!

We spent the evening sharing a Love Feast. Ruth Pickles shared her testimony about when she felt like Noah and we all had a really good discussion. I was amazed at how everyone took part and responded. God definitely richly blessed us in our worship at 3Generate.

I challenge you to consider the questions we discussed for yourself, or maybe in a group with people from your youth group, housegroup or church...

  • When did you last feel like Noah?
  • When did you last feel like you were sinking – what happened?
  • What is the oddest thing God has called you to do?
  • Where have you seen God this week?
  • Do you feel God calling you? What will your response be?

On the Sunday morning, we spent some time reflecting on God’s PROMISE to be with us, using the story of Jeremiah as a focus. God calls Jeremiah, but he’s scared and says he’s too young. But God says to him, ‘Do not be afraid, for I am with you’ (Jer 1:8).

This is God’s promise for EVERYONE! I think sometimes as a church, we’re afraid to take risks. I’m not saying we should start doing all this irrational stuff, but sometimes the way forward is to step out, and to take that risk. Certainly, that risk, for me, becomes much less scary when I remember that God is with me in all that I do. I’m never too young to respond to God’s call, because God is with me all the time, whatever age.

God CALLS us into relationship with Him, that demands a RESPONSE, and through all that God’s PROMISE is to be with us.