Friday, December 29, 2006

Have a nice day!!

Bunsworth and I arrived in the US yesterday on our way to a 'Prophetic Gathering' that I am speaking at. Had a bit of an adventure with baggage. We flew from Birmingham via Frankfurt to Denver. Landed two hours before our internal flight to Portland, Oregon. We thought that we would be in plenty of time and so weren't bothered. All the instructions for what to do in Denver Airport were clear and we were even shown an animated video of the procedure which was Immigration - Baggage reclaim - Customs.

Immigration was okay, just a long queue. Still we cleared in plenty of time and even got a few jokes out of the Immigration officer.

So on to baggage reclaim. My bag came up after a wait but no bag for Bunsworth! We managed to find someone who vaguely looked in charge who looked on her list and confirmed that it was not on the plane. What to do? 'Make a claim when you are in Portland or the bag will come here and take ages to get to Portland..Have a nice day'

So we set off for Frontier Airlines which was as far away from where we landed as you could get and found another enormous queue. Time by now was becoming a premium. Managed to get to the front check-in desk. We'd gone to separate ones to speed things up. Bunsworth was checked in but I was told I was too late! After some pitiful pleas they managed to get me on but said run or miss it. The parting words were.. ' Your bag may not get on the flight sir and you'll have to pick it up at the airport when it does because it is your fault... have a nice day!'

Now the dash began, back in the same direction we'd come from when we landed to a gate almost next to the one we arrived at. All went well then we hit security!! Off with the shoes, out with the laptop, Bunsworth had to lose the belt as well so more delays.
We just made it but true to form my baggage didn't.

We were met in Portland by Pastor Richard Sharpe who helped us sort out what to do about the bags. This meant a trip back to the airport for me today and hopefully Bunsworth's bag will be there. Retrieved my bag but not Bunsworth's. Then we are told it may take up to a week because it didn't clear customs!!! 'Have a nice day!!'

So had lunch and then went to Walmart's and bought Bunsworth a whole new wardrobe. So for him at least it turned out to be a nice day.

Just to prove we are in America take a look at the mag on sale..

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Go to Portland

I am off to Portland, Oregon soon with my beloved, longsuffering son, AKA Bunsworth in blogging circles. I was told to 'Go to Portland' by an Apostle which may seem strange to some but I am learning to listen to these kind of guys.

We leave on 27th December and given that Portland is 8 hours behind us that means the journey door to door will be 21 hours. It would have been shorter but I couldn't get a decent flight. (Maybe now that Robbie and Rudolph are not busy I could cadge a lift from them)

We will be there for a week and so will experience the delights of a US New Year. Hope it's good. Being a Northerner New Year celebrations have always been special. I used to love it as a kid: getting to stay up until the early hours eating Lancashire hot pot and having a large piece of coal in the grate that was lit just before midnight that burned into the New Year. Then there was first footing when people would go house to house to let in the New Year and get a drink at each home.

I've been told that Times Square, New York celebrations are the official New Year for the US but that many states west of New York also celebrate a second time when their time zone reaches midnight. Maybe this means I can have three New Years, one at 4PM (UK), one at 8PM (New York) then one at Portland Midnight. If you have alcohol to welcome in the New Year that will be interesting.

We don't get back until the 4th so hopefully we get a day at least shopping. The meetings I take part in are from 28th to 30th December then we will be in the church for New Year's Eve meetings and I assume New Years Day will be a holiday. Mrs P is staying at home so I need to think of a good present to bring back. Any good shopping tips will be most welcome.

On a different note and as a proud Dad I thought you might like a photo of my beautiful daughter with a couple of her friends at last nights 'Ignite' Christmas meal.

Jenny is the one in the middle! Oh to be sweet 16 again (no thanks)

Finally a photo of our good friends John and Joyce who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last weekend..

Here's to the next 50......

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blue Christmas Without Him

My number one Christmas choice to help Santa with his sleigh is my snorting friend Elvis the Porker!!!

Or alternatively... another possible 'Santa's little helper' ....

You have a wonderful choice to make. Either the cuddly furry one or the other cuddly furry one!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Sometimes being there is enough

I've had a nice couple of days spending time with Heidi. I have really enjoyed it. I 'felt' I should text her Wednesday and invite her to lunch. It so happened that she wanted to contact me to see if I would help her and English Blogger move a wardrobe. So we planned to meet in Essen for lunch.

If you remember Wednesday it was sloshing it down. The walk from the car to Essen was not far but my glasses were totally covered in rain and by the time I got near I couldn't see. I duly walked into Essen, (I'd never been before) and thought to myself, 'this is a bit posh for Heidi'. I approached the bar and asked for a coffee whilst I waited for my friend. I then sat at a table near the door (good job really) and it slowly dawned on me that everything on the table had 'Angelo's' on it. Oops, I was in the restaurant next door! Managed to make my excuses and leave. Felt like a right idiot. Still it all adds to the flavour of life.

Had a lovely lunch with Heidi, enjoyed her conversation and was really blessed to see for myself some of the ways God is putting things together for her. Life won't be the same and the shape of it will be different from now on but God is putting things together for her good.

Met up with English Blogger back at Heidi's and moved the wardrobe (and bed and dressing table...) and agreed to come around to spend time with her Thursday whilst she waited for some furniture and a mobile to be delivered.

Arrived Thursday as promised. Tried to get on to the wireless network and found that I could actually use next doors without security but the Sellers wireless wasn't accessible. Reset the router and ended up trying to sort out for most of the morning the PC which is poorly. Eventually gave in and agreed with Heidi I would rebuild it sometime soon.

Mrs Teapot and Tardis turned up with sandwiches lunchtime. Had a good old natter about Lancashire pasttimes. We are all from 'up North' and I have many similar memories to Mrs Teapot and Tardis. Mrs T reminded me of old Lancashire words I had forgotten in my wanderings which made me smile. They were on route to a hotel in the Cotswolds complete with bidet for feet washing and the like.

After lunch Heidi decided, after a morning spent dusting, that she was tired and lay down on the settee whilst I tried to write a report I need to do for some consultancy work I'm doing. It felt very peaceful and relaxing so I didn't really get much work done. I realised that if you are friends there are times when just being there is enough. You don't need conversation or clever words, just being together is blessing.

This didn't last long as Heidi got a new burst of energy (must have been the hot Vimto) and started sorting out boxes of wedding cards, invitations, birthday cards, anniversary cards and even notes of Matt's speech.

Eventually the mobile arrived and after a bit more tidying we left and went on our separate ways. It was a good couple of days that I really enjoyed. Heidi is good company and easy to talk to and listen to. Hope there are many more times like these.

Bless you Heidi, she gave me a lot from just being with you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Final Night In Honfleur

God saves the best until last many times and my last evening in the Evangelique Protestante Baptist D'Honfleur was no exception.

I spoke on the need to be intimate with the Father so we can then agree with what he wnats in our lives in prayer and then we will see it happen.

I felt so free to speak and the translator did a brilliant job allowing me to flow freely. It is always a little awkward when you speak through a translator and I haven't done it too much but it can be fun. She was a new person to the Church and is Apostle Freddy's personal assistant and speaks Spanish and English as well as French. It was funny at times beacue I don't have the purest English accent!

My real burden is that people who are coming to Christ or already in Christ should be 'free'. I get angry with the devil when I see some of the ways God's people are screwed up. After speaking for about an hour or more I began to minister in a more prophetic way. This can take many forms but this time God opened up the people for ministry by showing me by the word of knowledge what people needed to have release from.

I had a sense of someone who at 13 years old was abused. I sensed also that they had been locked up in a dark room or cupboard many times as punishment. There were other things said but this was the main area. I asked for those who wanted me to agree with them in prayer to come forward and about 10 to 15 people responded. As I prayed many people showed signs of deliverance and release. Some people manifest some sort of fight to be free and others don't but that is irrelevent. If God is at work He does it as He wants it done.

Another thing God asked me to do was to release a greater anointing on those who were intercessors. The Prophet gift is linked to intercession. Both a Prophet and an Intercessor have a 'seer' spirit. They see what God wants to have done. So I called those who wanted to be anointed with greater power or to be used in this gift for the first time to come forward. Many people did, maybe twenty or more. What happened next was incredible. The Spirit of God fell and many were mightily impacted with His power. It was a special moment when God just poured out from heaven a special act of His grace. One young man who had confessed some sexual sin to me was delivered of a demonic spirit as we enjoyed this heavenly outpouring. Another woman began to travail in intercession, it was loud but the amusing bit was she was eight months pregnant and sounded as she was giving birth.

As they prayed for me at the end I too was floored by the Holy Spirit and was really blessed by the words of promise spoken over me.

Honfleur was special. I was tretaed with great respect and honour and loved the people there. They are truly the people of God.

I had a special time with a couple who accommodated me in their beautiful home. It is a typical Normandy cottage with thatch roof and oak beams. Their baby cat took a special interest in me even coming and sleeping on my shoulder for about an hour. So if ever you are in Normandy this is one place the try. They run a bed and breakfast business so let me know and I'll put you in touch.

For all those who prayed, your prayers were answered.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Norman Invasion - In Reverse

I realise that my last three entries have been French in flavour one way or another but I do not apologise. I love France and unusual for some Englishmen I also love the French.

What am I doing in France?

Well it actually started in St Etienne, then via Cape Town, South Africa and finally Honfleur in Normandy.

As explained in an earlier entry I am friends with two missionaries in St Etienne. I visited them first in May 2004 then got to know them a bit via e-mail and visited a second time in May 2005. At that meeting I met an Apostle from Cape Town called André Pelser. He invited me to South Africa to be part of a celebration there and that is where I met Freddy De Coster. Who is Freddy? He is also an Apostle who has a church in Honfleur and he invited me to come and see him during this summer holiday in France.

I gave a testimony and prophetic word to his church when we visited and he asked me to come back and speak. So I am in Honfleur.

What has been happening? It has been a powerful time of God using me and also I witnessed some of His power in the services. One woman who came on Sunday with a crippled foot was healed! This was after five unsuccesful operations. She confirmed the next day that her doctor was totally amazed and that she was no longer a cripple.

I was privileged to speak and God used me to bring a word to the church. At the end many responded to ministry. There was a real sense of God being there.

Monday I spoke into the leadership and gave many personal words. It was incredible that these words were accurate and confirmed many things to them.

Tonight I am speaking again before travelling home.

I regard this as a reconnaisance trip. I am going to sound out the land before taking an army (of maybe four to six)in the new year. So any takers? The pay isn't much (you pay your own fare) but the food is brilliant.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

So much to be done

Just back from France and taking stock of it all I realise that there are too many important things to be done to stand still.

It is always hard to come back from a place where you feel effective and that what you do has had an impact. It is necessary though to come back, to tell the story to those who are supporting you and are eager to hear what God has been doing.

The team I took were brilliant. No pretentions to be anything but servants. They were used in wonderful ways to bring the love of God to different people who needed to be assured, comforted or challenged to believe. They rose to every challenge and were honest and obedient in their response. We also had the biggest laughs! Some of the things that happened were hilarious.

We tried to compare last year's venture to this and there are some things that you can do that with but there were so many new things we did that it is difficult. The service we took at the same church was very different. A greater sense of acceptance meant we all felt freer to do what we felt we should. It was great to see that one guy prayed for last year who stood in dismal silence as he was ministered to for 45 minutes is now the worship leader. Certainly we were at another level. We must have prayed for dozens of people and the joy that resulted was on their faces.

The visit to the 'squats' was also different. Last year some of the team visited dark and dismal buildings with gipsy families on edge not knowing when they would be harassed to move on. This year the building was a palace in comparison with heat, light and washing facilities. They were squatting in the former offices of the local electricity board. Several of the families were christians and included a pastor and his wife and children. He gave us a salutation to bring back to our own church which was very moving. We prayed for most of the people there and shared the gospel of Jesus with them.

We did lots of other things that stretched us but we were vey aware of the prayers of others sustaining and protecting us. We truly became the aroma of Christ. We pushed many doors open and realised that it was the French leaders who are now propping them open to keep opportunities available to us for future trips.

One word spoken to us by an Apostle when there was that Annie and I would lead many teams to France and even into Europe and they would be very effective in the plan of God. Pray for us as we weigh and work this out.

So it is two weeks of rest before.... I go back to France. Actually it seems like it will be nearly two weeks of being busy. I am off to Honfleur (in November!!!) to speak at a Sunday service there then to input into their eldership the following evening. I know God is in this so I just need to obey His voice and He will do His thing. Again I hope that this will open effective doors for the work of the ministry.

So we move on, we stand firm but don't stand still. I am excited by all God is doing.

Friday, October 20, 2006

French Connection

The Hadleys, missionaries in St Etienne...

In May 2004 I went to 'minister' to a couple of missionaries in St Etienne. How it came about was I felt God told me to e-mail them in January that year and tell them He wanted me to come over and bring some words He had given me. Needless to say they thought I was crazy and didn't reply. I e-mailed them again in April 2004 and this time told them to check me out with our minister. Not sure what he said but a couple of days later I got a phone call inviting me over.

That trip was very special and helped to begin a friendship that has become very precious to us.

In October 2005 Mrs Prophet and I led a team to St Etienne and ministered in places. We took services, went to see Romanian squatters, prayed on windy hillsides and had lots of exciting things happen. It changed some people forever.

Tomorrow Mrs Prophet and I take another team. Some of the original team are coming with a couple of new members. We also would have had Mrs Teapot but she for obvious reasons will pray at home, we will miss her, she was such an important part of the last team.

This time we are going into churches, a catholic school to join their choir (should be interesting) and we'll be praying with leaders again. I have found it really hard this year, I have not really felt any enthusiasm to go which has been difficult at team preparation meetings. Last night I was getting ready to speak on Sunday and I listened to English and French worship songs. I sensed God came and sat down beside me and told me that it all would work out. English Blogger reminded me of the 'Footprints' poem (see comment on last post, Moving On). I realise that God loves to carry us when we need it. He is the reason we are going so it would be selfish of me not to allow Him to carry me and receive His great love for me.

So onward we go, marching into France to take and receive. Pray that we will be used to glorify this great King whom we serve so inadequately.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Moving On

Some of you who know me will be aware that God has been opening up many doors for me to minister as a Prophet in recent years. First France, then South Africa, next the US...

It has been an adventurous journey, sometimes hazardous, many times alone, but with a lot of fun along the way.

In recent weeks God has been telling Mrs Prophet and me that we need to move out from the safety of where we are and move on to a new phase of the journey. This was not an easy thing to do but as a result we will be moving on from our local church at the end of December. It seems that once we were willing God began to remind us of pictures and words we have received over the time since I gave up full-time employment that confirm this step is His will.

Where next? We don't know. This was one of the questions asked by our Team Leader and it was not easy to answer. Some who know have seen it coming and been great, we are aware that many others won't understand and maybe will even feel we are being disloyal but we have to follow God's lead. We will be around for the next three months so hopefully that gives us time to make sure we leave with as much support as possible.

Having said all of this we aren't leaving friends, it just means we need to work harder at the friendships.

If you pray, pray for us. We need to know constantly God's love and will.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Making sense of it all

In the loss of Matt and Chris many people have struggled with the 'why' question including myself. I think eventually we all realise that we can't really ever know. I do believe though that even if 'why?' doesn't get answered in the unfolding of time God makes more sense of things we don't understand.

God speaks to me often in pictures. I have seen one picture a few times and used it in ministering to others who are wanting God to show them what will happen. I saw a painting but it was covered up. Gradually part of it was revealed, then a bit more and so on. God seemed to be showing me that we can only see part of the picture of what we need to do or where we need to go. He can't trust us with the whole. So things do make sense but over time.

At the age of 12 my brother died in a freak hanging accident. I wasn't born then but lived with the pain my mum felt for most of my young life. My earliest memories include trips to the cemetery to put flowers down. He was often spoken of. It all could have seemed so senseless. Yet it was this incident that took my mother to church, this led to both her and me coming to Christ on the same day. Once Christ came in the graveyard visits ended. My father eventually came to Christ just before he died. I would never have been born if this tragedy hadn't happened. That single grain of wheat produced so much fruit. Could God have done it any other way? Apparently not.

I still don't have the why answer to my brothers death. I would have loved to have had a brother. All I know is out of it so much came that otherwise would not have happened.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Visiting my pension investment

This weekend was spent in Leeds visiting one half of my pension investment. There isn't much of an asset yet but I have high hopes of a good return.

Of course I am speaking about my darling son Ben. Seriously he is a gem and seems to be settling down to life without my jibes, teasing and humour very well. He still hasn't mastered the art of tact and did manage to put his foot in it a time or two! (Usually with his sister)

Part of the reason for the visit was to try to encourage him to find a new church so off we trotted to what we felt would be a good choice. I cannot name the denomination or actual church for legal reasons. It all started rather well. We had a good welcome and found the required number of seats towards the back of the church (as you do on a first visit). Only problem was we had placed ourselves in front of the church critic. Most have at least one and we were in front of him. His comments on the service content varied from, 'that's wrong' to 'I can't hear'. This hightened our senses and we began searching for other evidence of miscontents. These surfaced in different ways. On the left of the church was the worship band who sang and played only choruses and modern songs. On the right of the church was the pipe organ and organist who only played traditional hymns. Most of the elderly congregation only joined in the hymns and refused to sing the modern stuff. After these observations we, to our shame, began to find all manner of things amusing and as families do, made jokes about and found humour in a lot of what went on. The crowing moment came when a woman with religious terets started to make inappropriate contributions to the children's story (well only one really but I was assuming writers license). Needless to say Ben probably won't be returning.

On a serious note it never stops amazing me that even after 2000 years we still try to make sense of what we feel church ought to be instead of just trusting God's Spirit to do His work in empowering us to be Christ's body. Bless us Lord.

A note to Ben, enjoy the adventure and remember we sent you to Leeds you didn't just go. Shine for Him. We are proud of you son.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Tribute to Matt

Matt was a dear friend and 'spiritual son' who was recently taken from us in a tragic car smash. I only really got to know him over the past 9 months but it felt that I have known him a lot longer.

I first connected with Matt in a service at my church. One Sunday evening I saw him sitting nearby and I felt that I needed to share something I felt God had said to me for him. Not long after he was e-mailing me about some of his passions and ideas and we became 'acqainted'. This acqaintance grew into friendship and we were soon sharing on a more intimate level.

Matt was an encourager. During my recent trip to South Africa he was texting me and using 'Skype' to pass on scriptures and other words. He was eager to know how I was doing but more than that what God was doing. He loved His God and his passionate faith was infectious.

Our other connection was IT. Our skill sets seemed to compliment each other. We had begun to do some things together and I will miss that. We shared my office for a while, this was a special time. We had long discussions and lots of tea and toast. Our fridge became his store cupboard and that is the place where we will place his photo.

He was more than a friend - he had become a spiritual son. He lapped up what I could pass on and I in return was blessed by his thoughts and insights. I was looking forward to us working for the Kingdom together as well, complimenting each other in our work for God.

He has finished his race, he was ready and even at 30 he has left a wonderful legacy. He touched many lives with his compassion and love. I will always be grateful to have known him, his memory will always make me smile, I knew that he loved me deeply as I did him. I will miss him but I have no regrets. We loved each other and wanted the best for each other so how can I be left with regrets.

My life is the richer for knowing Matt. Thank you Jesus.