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.