For I know the plans…

There are times when God astounds and amazes in ways that you just can’t imagine.

As readers of this blog know, it’s been a year of major change and upheaval. It’s also been a year of huge promise and faith. The full fruition is yet to be realised, but I can honestly sit here and say to you that, with the exception of 1 thing, everything that God has told us has happened. That one thing is not ruled out by any means yet, we’re still believing it will come about at the right time, so we’re watching this space and keeping ears open.

To give you a taster of what we have experienced, both me and Mrs H felt at the beginning of the year (independently of each other may I just say!) that we were going to be shaken up and that I would be changing jobs. We were also, along with others, told that we would be moving out of the area – that one is the one thing we are awaiting but are prepared for when we get the nod.

When I lost my job through redundancy we both knew, independently of each other once again, that the following would occur:

  • The redundancy would be longer than I have ever known (we’ve always been blessed in that any unemployment has been no longer than 6 weeks or so in the past)
  • I would get my operation to remove the discs at C5/C6 & C6/C7
  • I would get time to recover
  • I would then get a job

Since being made redundant in July I have applied for over 100 jobs – and never even got a polite “thanks, but no thanks”. I’ve knocked on doors, sent off CVs and called in the hope of a position. Nada, nothing, nowt. It just wasn’t happening. I didn’t slack off I pushed *HARD* even applying for jobs the minute I got the email alert through (the weirdest one was at 2:30 in the morning!) – but the doors were not opening even a small bit.

I had my operation only just over 3 weeks ago (wow, it seems ages ago) and have fully recovered from it – even the scar tissue is healing in an amazing manner.

Now I have a job 🙂

Yup, you read that right. Just at the point I am able to drive again, feeling fully recovered and everything is sorted – I have been given a job. It’s at the only place to have offered me an interview and meets all that we have been looking for in a job. It’s a shorter commute (15 minutes), better pay and is a job that will allow me to grow in new areas professionally. With the decrease in travel we will also see a financial benefit as petrol costs will be more than halved, and insurance costs should come down as well.

I start my new job on Monday. It’s a crazy rollercoaster as we were expecting a situation where I would start in the new year, but this works out brilliantly for us as it allows me to re-integrate back into a working environment with the benefit of having bank holidays to enjoy as well.

All that God has told us would happen, has happened. My oft-quoted favourite bible passage, Jeremiah 29:11-13 (New Living Translation) says it all really:

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Obedience

Oh-beeeeee-deeee-ents

No matter how you try to say it it’s not a pleasant word – or rather, the implications of the word can often be unpleasant.

So why the focus on that 4 syllable word you may ask? Those of you who follow me on twitter or on facebook will know that I received a phone call last Thursday whilst on holiday with my family (more of that in another post!) – the subject of that call was to notify me that due to a failure to get funding the company were making a bunch of us redundant with immediate effect, and that included me.

Not really the most pleasant of calls to receive on holiday but I can honestly say that we still managed to enjoy the rest of the break without letting it cast a shadow on our enjoyment – but that’s a sideline…

Obedience… that’s the reason I’m blogging.

Continue reading “Obedience”

Out of control – and learning on the way

Following a really stirring recommendation from Dave Smith, senior pastor at our Church – KingsGate Community Church, I bought the book “Divine Mentor” by Wayne Cordeiro.

The book is a real honest and down-to-earth call to read the bible, and it opens our eyes to a rather novel way of viewing the experience. Wayne, who leads a network of churches in Hawaii, tells us how he uses the people within the bible as his mentors in everyday life and how the different people can speak into our lives on a regular basis.

This not only stirred me to start listening to the bible daily (using the excellent DailyAudioBible website with their daily podcasts for the bible in a year, and the book of proverbs in a month) but also kicked me in the rear about starting to listen to sermons and preaches on a daily basis – something I try to do when driving home from work but have fallen out of the habit in the past couple of months.

I decided to add to my usual library of speakers by subscribing to the Mars Hill podcast and learning from Rob Bell, and the other pastors there. What I wasn’t expecting was to have my character completely scrutinised and brought under the microscope as I listened to two really excellent preaches from Matthew 7 – one about Judging and the other about Ask, Seek and Knock.

The first preach completely cracked open an area that I have started to become painfully aware of in the last couple of months – and an area that I am having to work hard to rectify. The subject of trying to control others either by criticising, judging, manipulating or belittling and shaming. Rob Bell spoke very passionately and clearly around the whole subject, and as he did it became more and more clear that this behaviour comes around, more often than not, through insecurities and low self-esteem.

It’s going to be a challenge and I suspect it will be a long and painful journey – but it’s clear that I need to make changes in my life and in the way I relate to others around me.

To anyone who reads this and feels that I have treated them this way, I want to offer my deepest apologies and ask for forgiveness. If anyone wishes to talk then please feel free to contact me – you can find me on facebook or by emailing me.

From a Reed to a Rock

Woohoo – it’s time again for more Wallpaper Memory verse fun 🙂

Yup, we’ve just started a new series of teaching at KingsGate called “From a Reed to a Rock – the Making of a Disciple” looking at the life of Peter and how we can learn from him and grow ourselves.

Dropped on us at small group last night was the nice sheet that contained MEMORY VERSES!!!

So, I thought I’d throw together some quick wallpapers – and instead of doing them week by week and getting behind I have done all of them in one fell swoop… so here they are! (click the read more to see them 😉 )

Continue reading “From a Reed to a Rock”

Amazed by the Grace, Favour, Provision and Randomness of God

There’s a saying that “God moves in mysterious ways” and it’s one that I cannot dispute in any fashion at all.

Not only have we had the amazing BBC coverage at KingsGate, along with the complete randomness of Chris Moyles then raving about it, but there just seems to be a whole lot happening right now that just seems to come in a barrage of amazement and wonder.

So far this year I’ve seen friends experience what can only be divine provision, both financially and materially. Friends have been challenged by God and their lives shaken by things they have seen/heard. There have also been healings and answered prayers of all kinds.

Probably one of the most random experiences of the year took place only the other evening – I can’t go into too much detail at the moment but trust me, it’s sooo random it can only be God.

From a personal perspective, the year is not the most comfortable as my job is at risk and the job market is proving frustratingly silent, and we are facing other challenges as well – but with all the things we are witnessing right now we really do have a firm belief that Gods promise that “I know the plans I have for you… to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29) really is true and that whatever happens he will be our “Jehovah Jireh” , the God who provides.

Yes, there are bad days when it all seems to close in and I find that it seems impossible – but there is such a peace, a Shalom, that these days and times and few and far between!