Amy

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"You are faithful, You never give up– never give up on me. You are able, to finish the work You started in me." Amy is part of our Bethel Church, Redding worship team and family. For nearly a decade, Amy and her husband, Jason, journeyed through infertility and recently received breakthrough. Two weeks ago at church, Amy sang out her story in spontaneous worship, sparking a powerful moment of prayer, declaring that our circumstances are overcome by the h o p e & p r o m i s e of everything He is.Read Amy's story on the blog: bethelmusic.com/blog/breakthrough-in-infertility-amys-story

Posted by Bethel Music on Thursday, April 30, 2015

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April 25, 2015 Leave a comment

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Get Your Crown!

April 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Invitation to Your Coronation!

‘Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.’ From the film The Imitation Game

I like this quote because it speaks to me of how God is toward us. It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 2:9: It is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has known what God has prepared for those who love him.” We humans are often the opposite, we seek to judge and limit. I’ve noticed myself and others do this, perhaps in conversation about other leaders. It starts off with faint praise, ‘so and so is good at . . , but, will never . . .’, all intended to sound very clever and wise. Yet our words will only come back to judge ourselves when we do this! We will have falsely bigged ourselves up and then when we see the amazing thing that God did with that person we will falsely big ourselves down!

We need to have the mind of God about ourselves and others . . always seeking to honour the best and speaking well of ourselves and others.

There is a call of God deep within you, that in one sense, no one can say anything about! There are unique purposes and plans that God has had for you since before the beginning of time! Don’t compare yourself with others, therefore, it makes no sense!

In the story of the crowning of Jeshua the high priest (Zechariah 6:10-15) crowns are made and there is the promise the temple of the Lord will be rebuilt and the glory will reside there, in the person of Jeshua. There is a sense that other folk are ‘crowned’ (a prophetic picture of Jesus and us). I love how the KJV version uses the word, ‘even’, ‘Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon’. As if to say, ‘even so and so, that no one thought anything of’. The first returnees from Babylon were poor folk, not nobles or royalty. The amazing thing about this story is that honour is given to these same folk before they have done anything! There is hardly a stone on top of another as far as the temple is concerned. So you can imagine people saying, ‘hold on a minute, them ?!?! and crowns?!?!?’. And Jesus honours you before you have done anything! It’s like he is going round heaven right now introducing you here and there, so pleased, so proud . . and you haven’t even done anything! That’s where we need to operate from, sons and daughters of the King, crowned, honoured. And that’s how we need to treat each other, honouring the best, only speaking the best!

So if that is the truth about our person and God’s plans. What about our position ?
Well, this is what verse 15 says, ‘And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.’ First there is the promise and then what our position is to be . . . Obey. The Hebrew word here means listen and obey. Our position is to be facing Father God and listening. Laying down our own ideas and eagerly listening, seeking to discern what God is up to. Then comes the fun part, joining in! Actually, listening is also fun, because, we are spending time with Father God, enjoying His presence, developing intimacy. It’s out of this intimacy that we get to know God’s heart. When we get to know God’s heart we start to get an idea of what he wants us to do

So don’t start with the doing. Start with affirming who God is, his Holiness, His perfect goodness toward us. Let the Holy Spirit affirm who you are, honoured, crowned as a brother/sister of Christ. Then spend time worshipping and enjoying God, developing intimacy, listening. Finally, comes the doing . .

Further study Jeremiah 29:11-13 Joel 2:25

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Note Taking Bible Review and Tips

April 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Note Taking Legacy
I have become fascinated recently with the idea of a bible to highlight and put notes in. I’m also attracted by the idea of making my note taking, ‘legacy’, ie to pass on to my children. Some of these bibles have extra pages for prayers/letters you can write to/for your children or use for extra notes. I did an obsessive amount research, (the fascination with pens did start to worry me) so I thought it might be worth sharing. Please feel free to email me any questions J

The Bibles:
Translations wise I’m going toward literal ie ESV NASB NKJV KJV . . ESV a more flowing read than NASB apparently . . I also like NLT for a legacy note taking/journal. I am going ESV, though you can find other translations for note takers . .

If you like the KJV, fantastic quality wide margin leather bibles here at very low cost (they only do KJV because of a particular theology they have, that’s fine though . . ) http://localchurchbiblepublishers.com/bibles/

My Favourite low priced option: Nice Leather Journaling Bible, no cross references though, review here buy here and have seen it as low as £24 on Ebay

An interesting option is Hendrickson’s loose leaf A4 Esv bible with massive margins, buy D shaped big binder, add A4 printed sermons or whatever, grow by adding binders over the years take out sections for a study or preach etc, buy here http://tinyurl.com/mhs3rky

My Favourite mid/high priced option: Crossway Wide Margin Black Top Grain Leather. There is a cheaper version of this bible, however this one has better paper and therefore can take the notes/highlighting with less bleeding and show through. Good review here buy here from Crossway at £105 or search Amazon/ebay/Barnes and Noble etc I am seeing it as cheap as £70 from the USA if you are prepared to wait longer for delivery . . eg Youtube review here

Crossway:

My favourite higher priced option is the Cambridge Wide Margin Reference Bible (£140). You can get a lower price Brown leather version which has red letters for words of Christ if that’s your thing (£55) – the three they do here Review here again search round for prices . .
Cambridge Black Leather Goatskin:

The Pens
The Pigma Micron is an archiving pen . . permanent, yet doesn’t bleed through!

Get several colours of above inc black
http://www.cultpens.com/i/q/SK21084/sakura-pigma-micron-drawing-pen

These highlighters are the best apparently for least/no bleed through

http://www.amazon.co.uk/ZEB75005-Eco-Zebrite-Double-Ended-Highlighters/dp/B001PMGARE/ref=pd_cp_office_1

If you do find yourself attracted by this idea, then happy hunting!

Andy

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Courageous Thankfulness

November 8, 2014 Leave a comment

I have been thinking about being brave. Wondering whether courage is something we muster up or is it something divinely given to us by the Holy Spirit? I’m still thinking . . And I was encouraged when I saw the title of the new Bethel Worship album, ‘You Make Me Brave‘.

Anyway while I was thinking about this it occurred to me how brave we have to be, sometimes, to thank God, to have a thankful heart in all circumstances. Sometimes it’s difficult enough to remember to thank God for the good stuff, and it’s really good to do this, ie ‘count our blessings’, every day. In fact, in the new so called, Science of Happiness or Positive Psychology, of the list of around ten or so things these people recommend, Gratitude/Thankfulness/Count Your Blessings always features (and interestingly, having a spiritual life).

But what about thanking God in difficult times or even for difficult times?

4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4: 4-5 (NIV)

John Wesley, had a list of instructions for the small groups that he set up all over the country. One of these instructions was to, ‘Thank God for everything as if it all comes from His hand.’

Why on earth would we want to do this?!?!?

  1. When we thank God for something we consecrate it. We submit it to God’s authority, we draw it into His kingdom, it now  has the possibility of being used for good
  2. We experience a deeper, unconditional, submission to God, whilst still believing for His good purposes to work out in our lives.
  3. Thankfulness turns our attention toward God, it’s the doorway to entering His presence, leading to worship. When we are in His presence we can begin to receive His love, care, healing, wholeness, provision
  4. As we come into God’s presence we are more likely to hear His voice and obey Him in a right direction – how often when something bad happens do we rebel and make a bad decision? Thankfulness is how we stay open to getting Godly wisdom for good decisions . .
  5. We can begin to see the restoration of Joy or moments of Joy in the middle of bad times. A paraphrase of James 1:2 could read, ‘let Joy lead the way when you are faced with trials of many kinds’. Perhaps that really is possible when we consider having a thankful heart?

There are times when thankfulness takes tremendous courage and often we are left with unanswered and painful questions. Yet to draw close to Father God in this way by thanking Him in every circumstance, making our requests in faith, trusting in the constancy of His goodness, has to be the way to go. See Philippians 4:6

Why not stop for moment and Thank God today?

Andy

Link to positive psychology http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/science-of-happiness/
Link to thankfulness verses. http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/thanksgiving-bible-verses/

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Come Toward and Kiss

We join with angels in worship

http://bible.com/111/heb.12.18.iv

We need to give space and time to God to get intimate in worship. Are we allowing the Holy Spirit experience to connect us with Father God with thankfulness? We can begin to connect more fully with the grace of God (his undeserved favour to us in many ways)
We meet with the same God as Moses. Worship means in the Greek ‘we come towards to kiss’ we worship at your feet where wrath and mercy meet! God’s justice demands we are punished, it also demands we are forgiven
And a God of grace and love who meets us at the cross and also gives us the power for holy living ie we can partner with Father God to bring what He has brought to us – wholeness, healing, peace, release from shame and fear, and power for right and good living together

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Two Lists for Peace

Renew and Reconcile

List of the bad stuff:
Have you noticed that if you don’t do those things daily, like read your bible, pray, worship music, whatever keeps you close to God, you tend to drift to a default position of worry, fear, anxiety . . name your own weaknesses here . . temper, anger, lust, lack of self control, jealously, unthankfulness. Or even just being over busy, ‘for Him’, you find the same happening in your ‘doing’ . .stress leading to being controlling, gossip, taking comfort in bad mouthing people, etc, etc

Hold on a sec though 2 Cor 5:17 says ‘This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!’

New means kainos in Greek, ie new, unused, fresh, novel, new in regard to form or quality . . Christ’s love now controls us! (verse 14), but as it says in 2 Cor 6:1 don’t accept this marvelous gift then ignore it!

In order to nurture this new life we must first be being renewed ourselves, then as God’s partners (6:1) work for reconciliation between others and God . . one from flows from the other and back again . . this can be a hard discipline sometimes, yet it does become a joyful process also

Renew Romans 12:2 tells us, ‘don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect’

Renew Short prayers throughout the day . . let anything be the fuel that starts a prayer even if it’s from the list of the bad stuff above . . recognise them and make them a trigger for a short prayer. For example, every time I get (my weakness here), I’m going to pray ‘O Lord help me!’ even if it’s with a huff and a puff! Reconcile recognize the bad stuff in situations more outside of yourself and say short prayers for the people at the time . . this will lead you to loving actions, ‘how are things’, ‘how can I help’, ‘can I pray for you’ . . . and keep at it, taking a further small risk each time, be on the lookout and thank God for these opportunities . . we have to be prepared to take wounds, this will sometimes happen . . yet He will Renew and heal us when we spend time with him. So you may need a quiet place to be with Him . .this will be different for us all . .worship music in the car, getting up early, last thing at night, making Him our first thought when we wake even if only for a few minutes

Then we will start to see in our own lives and others a list of the good stuff:
We will bring peace in situations and we will have peace, we will see healing and know God’s healing hand continually at work in our lives bringing wholeness, our doing will often be in Joy, we will see joy restored in others, we will be encouraged as we encourage. As we partner with God, life will seem brighter, more positive. A thankful heart will keep us in a state of knowing how blessed we are and how much we are blessing others.

2 Cor 5:11 –  6:1

We Are God’s Ambassadors
11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
6: 1 As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.