Monday, 7 December 2009


Sue Latham came to speak to us on Sunday:-
We are called to walk in the newness of life; forget the former things (Isaiah 43v18)
Out-work the old and work out the new - but do we like the old better? Are we hanging on to the past.

Take everything to the cross - not just the bits that WE think we need redeeming but everything - even the bits we think are OK, that we judge to be acceptable - bring it all to the cross and let God be the judge - for fruitfulness.

Why does God want to do this in us? Because we are priceless in His sight and He loves us.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

knock and stay!

When we lived in Birch Green near one of the many subways we would often be sitting in our living room when there would be a knock at the door.
We would leap up to answer it only to hear the feet of children running off into the distance or under the subway.
We'd settle down again and then another knock and as we got up to answer it once again the feet could be heard dashing off to safety.

D.L.Moody said "Thus is it often with us. We ask for blessings, but do not really expect them; we knock but do not mean to enter; we fear that Jesus will not hear us, will not fulfil His promises, will not admit us; and so we go away........ A great many people pray in that way; they do not wait for the answer."

Yes I believe that we are in a season of openess to God and a time when God is responding to the prayers of His people, yet that does not mean it is always in the manner that we expect or desire.

God is sovereign and in faith we must come to seek His living, rhema word knowing that He is speaking and acting continuously for us. Knock and then wait for the answer - enter in and see what God wants to say and do.

Ask, seek, knock.

Monday, 30 November 2009


'It is for increasing degrees of awareness that we pray, for a more perfect consciousness of the divine Presence.' - A.W.Tozer (The Pursuit of God)

'Where is our sustenance coming from?' - the sluggishness and emptiness that besets us all from time to time cannot be overcome by anything other than feeding ourselves on God's word and prayer.
An army marches on its stomach and we need solid food - let's soak in His true love.

Philippians 3 v12 - we press on because our citizenship is in heaven and so let's make our life here on earth count. May we be small men and women who are full of a big God.

Death and suffering and doubt and misery and discouragement and pain are intruders. The tomb is empty and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us too. So we too will be and can be raised.

These are some of the things that were shared this last Sunday in church.

Let's get encouraged by what God is saying and this Christmas see that He can make a way where we thought there was none, as we also prepare a way in our own hearts and have the privilege of being used to prepare a way in others.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


At Christmas we are reminded that Jesus, who once had been the unimaginable, who once had dwelt in majesty and glory in a dimension beyond our understanding, became imaginable to us in His incarnation.

He took on flesh so we could see Him and so He could be with us and for us.

His IMAGE IN Earth
His IMAGE IN Eternity
His IMAGE IN Everyone

What a wonderful message. Jesus, born in Bethlehem in the image of man who had been formed in the image of God.

We too must carry the image on. Be image-bearers of the once unimaginable.

To enable others to imagine the glory of a God who was and is and is to come.

The God who came so that we could behold Him, behold His image, imagine the truth of who He is for us now and for who He has always been for us at every twist and turn of every breath of our past and will forever be there for us now and always.

Christmas is the unimaginable at last imagined, revealed and experienced. For us to know and see and share.

Friday, 30 October 2009

here, now, you

I can remember when I was a child going to the beach in the Summer holidays with my family.
We would be laden down with deckchairs and windbreaks and picnic blankets and towels and buckets and spades and food in baskets.

The first thing we always did was to find somewhere to 'camp' - one bit of beach looked the same as another to me and yet my dad would take us on a long trek to find the perfect place to stake our claim. For miles, it seemed, we would walk when I just wanted to stop, get my trunks on and jump in the sea.
Strangely, now that I have a family of my own, I do the same thing as my dad - looking for the perfect place for the perfect beach experience.

God is calling us to stop looking for the perfect 'somewhere else, sometime else, someone else' - pitch your tents and set up camp because it is here and it is now and it is you that God has called you to.
Your 'here' is the place where you are - maybe not forever but certainly for today. Your work place, your home, your course, your friendships, your area where your living now, your family, your region, your church. Your location of all the places in the world is where God has called you so immerse yourself in it and celebrate it and be 'incarnational': become part of your community rather than looking for the ideal community elsewhere to set up your deckchair.

Your 'now' is the 21st century - you cannot live yesterday. Society has changed and we must change with it if we are to be relevant with the gospel. To bring the eternal values of God into the context of today.
At this time of redundancies and terror and post-post-modernism what is the church saying and more importantly what are you (the church in flesh) saying - how are you impacting the now - is it with the strategies of the past?

Your 'you' is being the best that you are in God. Fearfully and wonderfully made. No-one is like you and therefore God chose here and now for you to be - it is a perfect fit. Take all that God has made you to be and be it where others are - incarnationally present here and now reflecting all the glory of God that He has placed deep in you for this time and for this place.

What are you doing on a Friday night? Where are you going on a Monday evening? Who are you with in the middle of the week? What difference have you made this week in the eternal salvation journey of those around you?
Here, now, you.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

cutting edge

It was great seeing so many people at the Encounter prayer for our community gathering on Thursday.

Here's some of what God said through Steve (& others):-

-'more of the same' (i.e. keep praying and growing in God)
- we need to rediscover/find our cutting edge personal vision for our lives
-re-energise vision and stir it up
-vision needs relationship with God and with each other

-walk together and know each other's hearts

-like a virus we need to spread the gospel (infiltrate and influence with the power of God)
-we are in a time of preparation
-we need to expand
-establish vision, purpose and significance
-not where is the God of Elijah but rather where are the Elijah's of God?

-go against the grain
-keep tapping like a chick on the egg and we will break through
-each prayer is a turn of the combination on the safe into the treasures of God
-God will crush satan beneath our feet
-we have authority: understand our position
-a forest may be dark and damp but if you rub the wood together you can make fire: light and the dismissal of fear

Tuesday, 20 October 2009


Why a year of seeking God? Why prayer? Why hungry for Him?
These are not stupid questions. 'Why' is an important question - one we should be asking constantly.
Genesis 1 v1 says 'In the beginning God...'
God was here first. He was present first and has first rights on us. He is our source, our beginning and everything flows from Him.
God created - His presence is a creative place to be.
To be in His presence is to be created.
I want us as a church to be a creative community that has an impact on those around us by being close to this creative presence and drawing others to that same presence.
Why are we praying this year and seeking God? - because it's fun, adventurous, creative, joy-filled, the best thing we can do with our time, a foundation for everything else we will BE

Saturday, 26 September 2009

While all the world is sleeping

While all the world is sleeping
And everybody dreams
We can't rebound the echoes
That bleed into our peace
Our buildings lack foundation
Our roofs are leaking shame
We need an intervention
That moves these stones again
An ocean forming impact
That changes what we see
A flooded river flowing
And the healing touch of leaves

Why do we need to have a year of prayer?
Because God wants to break in through us and an increase in authority comes from being with the One who has authority.

We need an intervention and where the intervening river flows everything will live..fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river..their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.

What do we want from God?
For Him to flow without limitation.
What do we want from God?
Nothing except what He wants from us.

I'm reading Alan Hirsch at the moment and for those interested in church development and leadership I believe he's saying important things which we need to engage with.

But this is firstly a year of prayer - not pointless purposeless prayer but prayer that commands angels and destroys strongholds. Prayer that occupies the hill-tops and brings down the avalanches of God. Where deep calls to deep and where we know the inclined ear of the healer.

God will revolutionise His church - all He asks is for us to listen and let Him flow, intervene, interfere, have His own way - then we will see all His dreams and more fulfilled.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Living in a thin place

I'm so excited by so many things rising up in the church at the moment. Both in OCF and across the world. I see hearts turning away from schemes and towards God.

Not that there's anything wrong with schemes, ideas or plans but without God they are fruitless.

I heard of something during the Summer that I'd not heard before. In Celtic Christianity there is/was a saying that the distance between heaven and earth is about 3 foot (i.e. not much) and in the 'thin places' it is even less.

I want to live in a thin place. I want to pray that my friendships are thin places, that my home and my marriage and my family are thin places, that OCF and the wider church is a thin place. That Ormskirk and the surrounding community is a thin place where heaven touches earth.

How does this happen? Hosea 2 v21 says "In that day I will respond," declares the Lord - "I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth...."

We are entering a time when God is declaring that He will respond to the cries of His people like never before. What do we do? - we cry out.

Does this mean we do nothing else? - no, but I recall the verses I was given over 20 years ago when I first came to really know Jesus - from Isaiah 55:-
"my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord

I have a favourite character at the moment from scripture. Moses was a murderer who ran away and went to live in the desert after being in the courts of Pharaoh. Then God called from a bush and sent him back to where he had run away from.

Before we can do great things we need to hear the call of our great God and know that our schemes and the exciting things God has for us to do can only be fruitful in the thin places where we lay down our ways and submit our lives to His.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The difference

"If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here........What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
(Exodus 33 v15-16)

Amen! God always first, His Presence always above everything else, connecting with Him paramount, nothing else matters more.
We can organise, prioritise, socialise even revolutionise but I'd rather let God arise.

What does that mean in reality?
It means we spend more of our time only with Him.
It means we get to know what He is thinking by listening only to Him.
It means we overflow to others with more of Him.
Time in His Presence makes a difference - it 'distinguishes' us, for God and His glory.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Hungry for God

'The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young assistant Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent' Exodus 33 v11
WOW! face to face! Joshua, the future leader, could not retreat from the presence of God.
Did he have friends or family or other things to do? No doubt.
Could he leave the presence of God? Not when it's been 'face to face'

How hungry am I for God?
Is it above every other hunger? Hunger for acceptance, for love, for wealth, for material possession, for family, for church growth, for friendship, for justice, for peace, for respect, for healing, for comfort? Is my hunger for God above all these things?

When it is these things will be added to us but even if they are not what is our perspective? Are we hungry enough to cry out with the prayer of Hannah? Do we hunger for the one who thought of light when everything was darkness all the time?

Church has some interest but far more interesting and exciting and wonderful is God Himself, for Himself and as Himself 'face to face'.

mike is blogging

Hello welcome to Mike's first blog.
I will be letting you know why I'm doing this at some point in the future.
Love you all