Real Life Stories
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Editorial Team: Peter Bell Sara Bell
Design: JAM Magazine Contributors: (In alphabetical order) Andrew Baddeley, Hope and Issac Peter Bell Sara Bell Adrian Brown & the group from Haxby & Wigginton Methodist Church. Tom Elliott Andy Eyre Joe Lampshire Chris Llewlyn and Rend Collective Jonny Young
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Page 4&5 Answers: 1: Butterfly 2: Dandelion 3: Boat 4: Tomatoes 5: Sand toys 6: Clock 7: Cheesecake 8: Laptop 9: Orchid 10: Car 11: Christmas Tree 12: Crown
CONTENTS: 4. TRUST You!
Can you guess what’s behind the glass?
13. The 33 - film
Nothing is Impossible!
24. Dad’s Army
Who can be in God’s army?
30. Andy Eyre
Living the Dream?
6. Jonny Young
Keeping your faith when it’s tough!
14. Rend Collective
Interview with Chris Llewelyn
10. Who do you TRUST? We asked some of you!
18. Can you be TRUSTED? Quiz
12. TRUST Fund
Are you trying to save yourself?
20. Joe Lampshire
A British Champion Powerlifter!
26. Misplaced TRUST! 28. TRUST Me - I’m a Professional 29. TRUST and Obey Some quotes on TRUST
34. Batman V Superman The world needs a saviour!
38. TRUSTY Foot wear! Your most reliable shoes...
Putting your TRUST to the test!
36. Do you TRUST me? Do you TRUST God?
40. Do You Have Faith!
Faith in Action in the Czech Republic
37. Risk Assessment! Who are you trusting?
TRUST YOU! Have you ever heard someone in exasperation say ‘Trust you!’ Something has gone wrong and the speaker is implying that it was bound to happen because the person they are speaking to was involved! It can be a negative phrase which implies that it was inevitable because of what they had done in the past.
person who is told they are clumsy often becomes more so because they embody what others think. It can be as if we are looking at ourselves through broken glass - seeing everything through our mistakes and faults and getting a very different perspective. But the bible says that God sees us differently. He knows we aren’t perfect and that we make mistakes but he sees us through the eyes of love!
Unfortunately if that sort of thing happens often it can shape the way a person feels Have a look at the pictures below and see about themselves. Our mistakes or if you can see what is below the broken failings become a label rather than an event and we start to see ourselves glass! differently. A child who is constantly being told they are in the way or a nuisance often lives up to the label; a Answers on page 2
Jonny Young Saying we trust God when everything is going well is easy but what about when things go disastrously wrong…? Jonny Young knows first hand what it is like to have everything change in a moment but he hasn’t abandoned his faith in God. We asked him to tell us his story.
Where are you from and what were you like growing up?
settled into married life. Then we cycled across America and travelled around New Zealand. When we came back I stepped into an I’m from Belfast, in Northern Ireland. When I was instructors role as a friend was recovering from a growing up school just didn’t interest me. I loved being outside. I got into kayaking at 9 and at 11 spinal injury so I was able to get some more qualifications whilst Fiona had a proper job! We we went on a family holiday to Abernethy Trust only intended stopping for a little while Christian outdoors centre. They were running a before heading off again but Fiona was offered a trainee instructor course and I knew what I wanted to do! When I finished school I went back chance to do some accountancy training so we stayed with the intention of playing in the snow there to do the course, getting qualifications in again at some point. various outdoors activities and I worked in that industry for the next 10 years.
So why didn’t that happen?
What did your outdoor life entail? After completing the TI course I headed to France to do a ski season. There I met a girl, Fiona, and the two of us then went to Canada to work at a Christian sports resort. We got married and I worked at a Christian centre in Kent while we
For Christmas 2012 we decided to treat ourselves and go ski-ing for 2 weeks. The first week was back at the resort where we met and then the second week some friends came out to spend Christmas together. It was on the first morning in the new resort that everything changed. The bindings on Fiona’s board needed
some attention so my friends and I headed up the mountain and were going to meet her later. On the way up in the chairlift I noticed a snow park and was really keen to have a go. My friends didn’t fancy it; in fact one of them said, ‘I don’t want to get injured this early in the holiday!’ But I still wanted to so I agreed to meet them later. There was a queue at the little jump so I went straight to the red kicker. The snow felt slushy compared to the previous resort so I tucked myself up to get more speed. I also thought I could just come back later but I listened to the voice in my head that said, ‘go ahead it’ll be fine!’
I guess it wasn’t…? The jump popped me up into the air really smoothly and as I hung in the air I started to peak over edge of my skis to spot the landing and realised I was really high up. I uttered a prayer to God and managed to land on my feet but I crumpled under the weight of myself and fell forward. I had to dig my head into the snow to stop myself sliding and when I opened my eyes I thought, ‘did that really just happen?’ I had completely cleared the landing area and realised it was quite serious. I don’t think I was panicking or in shock but I know I didn’t try to move because I was in so much pain. The piste patrol arrived very quickly and he was more panicky than me! He closed the jump, got my stuff together and sat next to me! He was
asking me if I’d ever been in a ski park before and whether I knew what I was doing…? A snow mobile arrived with a stretcher attached and I knew I wouldn’t be going off the mountain in it as I had a suspected spinal injury. They radioed a doctor and a helicopter was sent for. I thought the ride might be a distraction but the vibrations made it agony.
What happened at the hospital? They cut off my down jacket - there were feathers everywhere! They also cut off my other 4 layers and I remember thinking that’s expensive! I had an MRI scan and the surgeon explained that I had a bad break of the lumbar spine so they needed to operate to give me the best chance of being able to walk again. At that point I asked them to call my wife! Luckily my friends had seen the commotion on the mountain and found out it was me so had brought my wife to the hospital. The accident happened about 10 or 11 in the morning and when I came round I was in a really bright white room. I was wondering how I was going to say happy Christmas to my parents and tell them I was in hospital too. The nurse said she’d show my wife in and she asked me if I wanted to see mum and dad. I couldn’t believe they were there. I’d been in surgery for 12 hours and they had jumped straight on a flight.
Photo credit: AEphotos.com
What were you thinking at the time? I knew the seriousness because I had watched a friend go through a similar experience a few years before. Basically my L2 vertebrae had burst and bone fragments had done damage to my spinal cord and nerve endings. The surgeon managed to remove some fragments and reattach some of the nerve endings but he wasn’t sure how much damage had been done and how effective it would be. I also had micro fractures further up, a broken sternum and a contusion on my lung. So just breathing was difficult, it seemed like I had tubes going in and out everywhere! I was so doped up with morphine that I wasn’t all that conscious of what was going on…
Did your faith help at all in the situation? I spent 6 days in France then I was transferred to Stoke Mandeville hospital. My nieces (1&3) had done some drawings, which were stuck on the wall. One of them was on yellow paper with blue paint. As I lay in bed it looked like a cross with a crowd of people worshipping. It reminded me that we still need to worship God despite the circumstances and I wondered if I was going to be able to do that in this dire situation. But I realised that my injury doesn’t need to change who I am; the accident doesn’t define me. It was brought home to me again when after 4 months of rehab I was almost ready to leave the hospital. One night as my head hit the pillow I remembered I’d not
done my teeth but thought I’m too exhausted to bother. I decided that I wouldn’t live my life feeling like I couldn’t be bothered, I got back into my wheelchair and cleaned my teeth, feeling angry with myself and with God! It was then that I remembered climbing trees when I was younger. My dad told me not to go above the rope swing but I always did. I felt God was saying He didn’t allow this to happen but it has, so how are you going to live your life? That had a big impact on me as I thought about how I could still physically challenge myself and carry on! My faith defined who I was and that hadn’t changed, I could have adventures, I could still be myself. Obviously there are times when I still get frustrated and annoyed, it’s like a grieving process because some things and dreams have died but there are new opportunities as well.
So how did you get into ParaCanoeing? Stoke Mandeville is the birthplace of the Paralympics, and sport is a major part of rehab there. I knew I wanted to make sport a big part of my life moving forward so on the day I was discharged I applied to the British Paralympic Association who were having a recruitment drive for Rio! I went for a weekend to try out different sports and one was canoeing. The coaches said it was tough and gruelling but I still wanted to try. Before the accident I had mainly done white-water kayaking but my canoe runs were fast and I was
asked to go to the training facilities in Nottingham. I knew that being offered a place on the squad would mean moving to Notts, but as our own house wasn’t suitable for a wheelchair I thought it would give a more positive reason to move. They did offer me a place and I said I could start straight away! I raced in the National Regatta three weeks later and came 2nd, only 2 seconds behind the guy who had just got a silver medal at the World Championships and had been world champion the year before. Maybe I could have a future in canoeing… The following year I went to the European and World Championships and got silver medals at both.
Has the canoeing helped your rehab? I always thought that doing full time sport was going to give me the best rehab and it has been phenomenal. My top half is stronger then ever and it also works my core and legs. With an incomplete spinal injury they are not sure if or when the muscles will fully return but I have made them stronger and continue to see improvements. I rarely use my wheelchair now but do have an ankle brace.
Will you be going to Rio? The disciplines racing at the Games have changed since I started; it is now all kayaking rather than a split with the Va’a boat, which is what I raced. I am in a different category now as the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) have changed the rules around classification as well. But I raced my new boat at a world cup race this year and made it to the A final, but wasn’t pleased with my
performance. I also raced my old boat at the World Championships and got another silver medal, in the new class. It is a bit disappointing not to be on the podium in kayak but it has motivated me to work hard and I’m determined to improve so Rio is a very real possibility…At least I get to go to a training camp there in January! The whole structure of the sport has changed but the support within British Canoeing is fantastic and the generous funding from UK Sport is pushing us to become the number 1 Paracanoe nation at the Paralympics when the sport makes it’s debut. The coaches are really encouraging and even though it would have been easy to be disheartened this year my coach told me not to put a roof on what I could achieve! You don’t know what you can do till you give it a go…
Are there any bible verses that help you when things are tough? When the accident happened my friends sent loads of verses and stuff to encourage me. One that was actually a favourite even before the accident is in
Joshua 1v 9 Be strong and courageous! I’ve needed to be and it’s good to know that whatever you are facing you can trust in God because he is always with you. Situations may be tough but he is still God and there is nothing he can’t handle.
To find out more about Jonny check out : jonnyparacanoe.wordpress.com
Never Trust a Smiling Cat!
There is a saying that you should never trust a smiling cat - I’m not sure where this comes from but I guess it means that just because they look like they are smiling doesn’t mean they are friendly! We used to have a beautiful cat called Joshua and he certainly couldn’t be trusted; he was always scratching people, in fact when our son was a toddler he nearly took his eye out because he got too close and so Joshua had to go! Some people can be like that. They may seem nice enough but somehow we just don’t trust them or their motives. There are people who we can’t trust to have our best interests at heart and they are only interested in pursuing their own goals and agenda. That might be the sales person who assures you that there are no better deals to be found anywhere, or the shop assistant who says you look great just to ensure you buy a particular item, the ‘friend’ who says they will pay you back later or the advert that promises amazing results if you buy their product. They all rely on the fact that we want to believe them. On the other hand there are people who we feel we can trust with anything; that whatever the situation they will be there to help, to celebrate, to commiserate, to tell us the truth and stand by us. They are reliable and we depend on their friendship. It’s good to have someone that we can rely on. So who do you trust? When you want to know the truth who do you ask? As a christian I would say I trust God to help me in all situations because it says in the bible that he will and because I have experienced his help many times. I can trust God to tell the truth and have my best interests at heart. We asked the guys from Haxby & Wigginton Methodist church to tell us who, apart from God, they trust and why. This is what they had to say….
Friends because they keep secrets. Friends and family because they care about me.
People who stand by me in hard times.
Friends because they always tell the truth.
My mum, because of her life experience and she knows me too well.
Friends because they like me for who I am. My husband because he loves me no matter what.
Friends who have not screwed up – yet! My cat…because it never smiles!
My gran because she keeps her promises and my secrets.
My password because it protects what is important to me.
My Dad because I can’t think of anyone better.
My youth leader - she told me to say that!
TRUST FUND...? You may be one of the few who can rely on a trust fund to see you through life. Someone has put money aside for you to use as and when you need it. For most of us that isn’t the case, money doesn’t grow on trees. We have to live within our means or we are in trouble. But money doesn’t buy happiness. So why do we buy into all those adverts which kid us that we will be happy if we buy their product?
There is an even bigger lie which so many buy into though which is that you can build up a trust fund with God. That if you behave and do lots of kind and good things you will earn enough points to deserve to get into heaven. But the bible teaches that none of us are good enough in our own strength. No one will ever earn enough points by being good.
We all need a saviour not savings!
LLC Photo Credit: Douglas Kirkland
THE 33 LLC Photo Credit: Beatrice Aguirre
Based on an unbelievable true event ‘The 33’ tells the story of a catastrophic explosion and the collapse of a 100-yearLLC Photo Credit: Beatrice Aguirre old gold and copper mine, which had only one way in and out. Buried deep within the mine there seemed as if there was no hope for the miners who were trapped. An international team worked 24/7 in a desperate attempt to rescue them as their families and friends, as well as millions across the world, waited anxiously for any glimmer of hope. In the suffocating heat and with tensions rising, provisions and time were quickly running out. LLC Photo Credit: Douglas Kirkland
One of the lines in the film is
‘I believe we will make it out of here because I choose to believe it!’
and life can be like that. Sometimes it can look like everything is going wrong or something isn’t going to happen but it is at those times that we need to trust God and believe what the bible says -
Nothing is impossible for God!
LLC Photo Credit: Beatrice Aguirre
Warner Bros Pictures Release
37 13 25
REND COLLECTIVE - AS FAMILY WE GO
Dancing in the darkness and singing in the shadows. If you have been in a church recently chances are you will have heard a song by Rend Collective. Their anthems are memorable and inspiring and we had the chance to ask lead singer and guitarist Chris Llewelyn some questions about the journey that has brought them to the attention of a much bigger audience than their home town of Bangor, Northern Ireland…. Did you always want to be a musician?
No, I didn’t is the short answer. When I was at grammar school the first thing I was really passionate about was rugby and that was the route I wanted to go down. My dad was a guitar teacher and had taught me to play but music was in the background rather than something I wanted to pursue. I had no real interest in faith until I sustained quite a serious injury playing rugby, just as my career was going somewhere, and I had time out to reflect. It was during this time that God really met me. I started reading the bible, became totally infatuated with Jesus and it changed the course of my life. Only about 2 weeks after I became a Christian I started playing music.
You’re by my side!
How did you get into Rend Collective?
Rend was initially a movement for young people from about 17 - 30 to pray and study the bible together. It was just young people meeting together, trying to work out how to live out their faith in an authentic way and trying to find a community of others to spur them on and encourage them. The bands drummer, Gareth, sort of pastored that movement and as soon as I became a Christian I got connected with them. I started going as a 17 year old and have never quite got out of his clutches! After about 5 years of pursuing community and evangelism we started writing music that reflected where we were on our journey of faith and that was our first record. It all sort of spiralled from there and today here I am in New York.
Why is this album called ‘As Family We Go’ ?
have songs that address that and give people a battle cry. ‘Giants will fall’ is a battle cry and anthem to cry out in those times where life We are a band but we operate more like a seems to be going downhill to declare that no family in that we share life as well as music together. When we become Christians God calls matter what my circumstances look like I know the truth of the bible and who my God is! The us his family and we believe that we are bible tells us that every mountain and giant have created to do life together rather than trying to go it alone. Jesus calls us not just to huddle to move at the name of Jesus… together for safety but to go and take the good news of his love and grace with us so ‘As family we go’ and we hope the songs encourage people Is writing a joint effort? on their journey! Yes, we believe that if we are writing for the church we should write as a church. That is to say everything for us is a collaboration! We have seen so much better results when we do that. At the start we used to be too embarrassed to write together and it was a kind of awkward thing but when you break through that barrier and make yourself vulnerable you see good What is your favourite song on the results in all areas of life. Music for us is no new album? different. Song writing has been a real It’s always difficult to name a favourite song. It’s like trying to choose between your children! journey for me and Gareth especially and we I have a lot of attachment to them all but at the have become a tight partnership.
Love deeper than the sea....
moment I am enjoying playing ‘Giants will fall’ which we tested for first time at Soul Survivor. Everybody as they come to worship is coming from a place of our broken world with struggles and difficulties. No one comes to worship having everything sorted or without some sort of pain going on so it’s important to
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
You have done some great songs that are now sung in many churches, is it easy to come up with new stuff and trust God with your journey?
No, we don’t find it easy at all! It sometimes seems that everyone else who we meet as we travel are all doing like a 100 songs a year and we really don’t! Whenever there are 12 songs on our album those are the 12 songs we have. There are not loads to choose from and it is a struggle every time for us to get there. We are not music professionals, we are just church people dabbling in music. It takes time but it is also important to wait for the right message. I can’t write anything that I don’t feel personally connected to and we write what we feel God wants to say to the church. There can be seasons of real frustration just waiting for God to speak but it’s better than doing a lot of writing that God isn’t in. If God doesn’t move then we don’t either but that can be stressful!
You are with us, you are for us,
In ‘Giants will fall’ you talk about ‘nothing is impossible with you’ - Can you tell us about any times when this has been true for you?
Gosh, you know I think of the journey of the band with that song because for so many years we felt God had called us to do this yet we felt like the Israelites wandering in the desert! We didn’t have a dynamic plan and for several years we were just writing songs in a little back room in Gareth’s parents house in Bangor. We felt a strong call and were really committed to it but were still working part time and nothing seemed to be moving. It seemed like the doors just weren’t there, never mind opening. Then out of the blue another worship leader, Chris Tomlin, emailed us and invited us on tour. It was a miracle for us that someone like him would bother with us, it had to be God! In the song there is a line that says, ‘there is pain in the plan’ and there often is. We spent years just working away in the darkness for very little reward then all of a sudden it was like God said, ‘now is your time’ and mountains moved. That is quite often how it works.
Do your songs have similar themes but through Jesus’. ‘The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us’ and these are from different angles? Yeah, when we first started I thought that when you got up to lead worship about 98% people were ok and maybe 2% had struggles. Now I realise that it is probably the reverse! Everyone has baggage and struggles so we need to meet the people where they are at and lead them through to celebration. It’s like taking them by the hand, acknowledging their struggle and then in the chorus singing out something positive ‘Nothing is impossible with you’, ‘You are with us, you are for us, always holding on’ that reminds us that God is in control even when it seems like we are ‘Dancing in the darkness and singing in the shadows’ and times are tough.
truths that we can cling to in the darkest times to remind us that there is hope and strength to be found in Jesus.
With all the success is it hard to keep your feet on the ground these days?
Not really. It has certainly been a little overwhelming and the ‘success’ particularly of the last two albums has been amazingly encouraging for us but I guess it depends on what your goal is! We don’t feel that we ‘have made it’ because there is still so much more we want to do. We are not satisfied with our ministry and where we have been because we know there is so much more to learn and we still feel inadequate. We know we need the Holy Spirit to lead us and keep us on track. The other thing that helps keep perspective on things is Do you have any bible verses that you being a community. If the only voices we ever heard were billboards and charts saying ‘wooo, go back to when times are tough? you’ve got 3 top ten places’ then it would be You know I just love the whole chapter of hard to keep balanced but the five of us have Romans 8. The idea that we are ‘more than been together a long time and no one thinks conquerors through Christ’ has been a real sustaining truth for me. The fact that ‘neither anyone else is cool or perfect! We’ve seen all the flaws and unglamorous bits so we are able to heights nor depths, angels nor demons can keep each other in check and remind ourselves separate us from God’s love’ is a really where we have come from! We are just church important statement of identity. The whole chapter is a stirring reminder! Often we can put folk from Bangor and nothing special. It also helps to have a wife! She is able to speak some our identity in our struggles or our scars and believe that we are a defeated people who need hard truths into the situation when we need it… to scrabble about for survival - BUT we aren’t just survivors we are ‘more than conquerors
Nothing is impossible with you!
Check out Rend Collective and their tour dates at www.rendcollective.com
Can you be
‘Honesty is the best policy’ is a saying that isn’t heard too much these days. It is often more like a ‘whatever will benefit me most’ policy. We say what we think will make us look good or be beneficial to us rather than being honest and truthful. In the bible Jesus tells the story of two sons who are asked to do something by their mother. The first says, ‘no’, but then does go and do it whilst the second says, ‘yes’, but doesn’t even try to complete the task.
So what about you? Can you be relied on to do as you say or are you the sort of person who is always letting people down? All of us have times when our best intentions don’t quite match our words but some are worse than others at keeping their word. Take a look at the questions below and see what sort of person you are! You are given too much change by a cashier, do you……
A) Tell them straight away and give it back? B) Give it back if it’s a lot of money but not bother for only a small amount? C) Keep it - they should have been more careful?
Your friend is clothes shopping and asks you to help them, do you……
A) Let them try on as much as they want, making honest comments about how they look? B) Pick out a few things and tell them what looks best? C) Tell them the first outfit looks great so you can get going and not waste any more time?
Someone your friend is keen on seems to be more interested in you, do you…… A) Tell them you’re not interested and tell your friend? B) Ignore them and hope they give up? C) Go for it - it’s not your fault they like you better?
You are going out for a meal and you’ve been asked to book a table, do you…... A) Have it organised well in advance? B) Remember the day before but get it done? C) Forget so have to find somewhere else?
You begged for a pet and eventually got one, do you…..
A) Make sure you look after it even if you are tired and it’s wet outside? B) Mostly look after it but occasionally get fed up with it ? C) You are keen for a few weeks but other things soon creep in and its left to fend for itself?
Your teacher asks if you are up to date with your homework, do you…… A) Say, ‘Of Course’, because you are? B) Say, ‘Yes’, and then have to do some later to catch up? C) Say, ‘Yes’ but mean NO and still not get round to it?
A teacher has asked a group of you to tidy up, do you…...
A) Do as you’ve been asked and make sure everything is neat and tidy? B) Do a bit but get distracted? C) Leave it to everyone else - it’s not your problem?
A friend had left an open bag of sweets at your house, do you..…. A) Close it up and make sure you give it back to them? B) Have a couple, they won’t mind? C) Eat them all - they shouldn’t have left them?
You’ve been told a secret, do you…… A) A word won’t pass your lips? B) Keep quiet but really struggle at times? C) Blab to anyone who will listen?
Someone is talking about a friend behind their back…... A) Tell them to stop it and walk away? B) Listen but don’t actually join in with negative comments ? C) It’s usually you doing the talking behind people’s backs?
You are given money and a list to do some shopping, do you……
A) Make sure you get everything on the list and give exactly the right change? B) Get most things but not the hard to find stuff? C) Only get a few things and keep the change?
Did you get a mixture of answers or did one stand out? Take a look below…… If you answered mostly A - You can be counted on to do exactly what you say. People can depend on you to be honest and reliable even when it isn’t easy. Keep up the good work! If you answered mostly B - Most of the time you can be depended upon but you have the occasional slip - people usually forgive you because they know it was just a blip rather than malicious or deliberate. If you answered mostly C - You aren’t the most trustworthy person. You often let people down because you don’t do as you’ve promised if something else comes up or if you just can’t be bothered. Maybe you ought to try being a little more trustworthy or you might end up on your own…
To u g h T a l k w i t h Joe Lampshire Tough Talk is a registered charity dedicated to telling people about Jesus in an informal way that appeals to people who would not normally go to a church meeting. They are a group of men with varying backgrounds, some violent, who have turned their backs on their past and are keen to share their experiences with others. Many of the team are also keen powerlifters. We chatted to Joe to find out how he got involved and how being becoming a Christian changed his life… Can you tell us a bit about your childhood?
I was brought up in Loughton, Essex and I have an older brother. Our childhood was interesting. Mum had her own insurance business so I was surrounded by an office/ insurance environment from an early age and in some ways I think it robbed us of some of our childhood. We did have fun and went on holidays to places like Norfolk, Wales or Somerset; always in the UK as mum didn’t like flying. I have mixed emotions about my childhood. My father was my hero, who I looked up to and trusted, but he left and moved to California when I was about 8. That had a devastating effect on me and I changed as an individual, becoming very extrovert and explosive. My brother became more introverted and although we had been close we started to fight a lot more as we dealt with the frustrations of missing dad. Mum had enough on her plate with the business and it was difficult for her to keep an eye on everything. At school I wasn’t particularly academic but I did love sport; Dad had been a footballer with Palace and Orient so sport was important to me. Whilst I was at high school Steve came into my mum’s life which gave me some stability and I looked to him for that trust and calming influence. I was still quite rebellious and got myself into some trouble
but towards the end of school I realised I’d better get a job before the results came out and I managed to persuade a manager at an insurance brokers in the City that I could do the job.
Why the City?
My mum’s business was an insurance brokers in Loughton so I knew a bit about insurance so thought I’d apply for something in that field. I started in Fenchurch Street in 1990 and have been working in London ever since.
Instead of putt things o I put my tru
What was life like then?
As I walked through the doors of the church I felt this overwhelming sense of love, like I was It was great to have money and a job but with being loved by someone that I couldn’t see. As no real direction everything started to spiral I was walking around the Church I started out of control as I got involved with the talking to the vicar who ultimately told me I excesses of city life, in an attempt to plug the had choices to make. I knew I was living a hole I felt inside. Nothing seemed to satisfy me and I found myself going off the rails. I got dangerous life and so I called on Jesus to forgive and save me. Instead of putting my involved with drugs, witchcraft, ouija boards and tarot. Anything to do with the supernatural trust in things or myself I put my trust in Jesus. I had a massive interest in. I loved horror movies as a kid and it opened my eyes to the fact that there is something more out there. At What do you do now? the same time part of me knew it was wrong I am still in the city but leading a different life! yet I got more and more involved. Jesus has given me the control by the Holy
Spirit that I didn’t have before. Previously I would have jumped into things with both feet What made you decide to turn but now I have the ability to say ‘no’ to stuff. around and follow Jesus? I still make mistakes but Jesus gives me the It started when one night we were doing a strength to go against the norm and stand up ouija in Epping and all hell broke loose! I for what I believe in. I am also part of Tough remember crying out to God and saying the Talk which is a group who use their ability to Lord’s prayer over and over again. I promised lift weights to engage with people and talk to God that if he could get me out of this mess that I would serve him for the rest of my life! I them about Jesus and how he can change their didn’t touch ouija again but I was still living the lives. We go into Prisons all over the world sharing our stories of how Jesus changed our excessive lifestyle, putting my trust in things lives. rather than God. It was about 6 months later that one Sunday morning when I was lazing in bed that Mum and Steve invited me to go to How did you get into Power church with them. I said, ‘No!’ but I heard a Lifting? voice say, ‘Joe, get up and go,’ which I ignored I initially started because I was a bit insecure but then I heard it again so I got up and went! about how I looked when I was about 18. I
ting my trust in or myself ust in Jesus.
found I really enjoyed it and in church one day I remember praying and asking God that if there was any way I could lift weights and honour him at the same time then I wanted to do that. That’s the only prayer I can remember from back then but God has certainly answered it! My body seemed to respond well to the training. Then in 2000 I bumped into a world champion power lifter called Arthur White who is involved with Tough Talk and he encouraged me to start training to become a power lifter. So that is what I did and I won a few local competitions. I went to my first Divisional competition in 2003 as a guest lifter and won. In 2004 I went to the East Midlands competition and won that which qualified me to take part in the British Championships in 2005 where I came 21 away with a Silver medal.
I was selected for the Commonwealth Powerlifitng Championships and gained another silver as well as a bronze at the European Championships. In 2006 I won Gold at the British Championships and broke the total British record for my weight class. I trusted God to answer that early prayer and he delivered more that I could have imagined! I have some medals to show what I can do but more importantly I am able to use those skills to share my faith with people who might never hear about Jesus otherwise. God has opened so many doors through being a British Champion!
What’s the difference between power lifting and Olympic lifting?
Have there been times when your trust has been misplaced, either in your own abilities or someone else’s?
If you put your trust in man, at some point it is going to fail as we all do! As a youngster I put all my trust in my dad and although there is nothing wrong with putting your trust in your dad for me it was misplaced… when he left it devastated me and built up a hardness inside me that took years to break down. On the lighter side I was at the Commonwealth Championships and the ‘spotters’ who are supposed to catch the weight if something goes wrong when you are ‘bench pressing’ didn’t and I dropped a 200kg bar on my neck!
Well, in Olympic lifting you have the ‘clean and jerk’ and the ‘snatch’. In Power Lifting you have the ‘squat’, the ‘bench press’ and the ‘dead lift’ and the combined total of your three best lifts from each discipline determines your placing. So in 2005 I was ranked 10th in the world having lifted 800kg. My personal best lifts are squat 335kg, bench press was 220kg and my dead lift was 320kg! So that gives you an idea of what we do.
Do you still do the lifting?
I still train at my local gym in Ely because I enjoy it. Half the battle these days is trying to stay injury free. I’m not sure if I would compete again as it is very time consuming and I’m married with 2 boys, Joshua 9 and Alfie 6, so it would be quite selfish to go and train for 2 hours every other day. To be honest every time I think about a comeback I seem to get an injury, so I’m not sure if that is God saying it’s not what he wants me to do anymore. It can be hard watching what other people are doing and thinking I could do better than that but I want to follow God and that doesn’t seem to be the right path for me.
Who do you trust to give you advice?
My wife, Denise, as she is the most reliable and brutally honest! Also my best friend, in London, Scott.
If you put you he will never l You have to trust them but that time it was misplaced. I have also done that at my local gym and my mate had to rescue me when I put too much trust in myself to be able to lift 200kg at that time. I had claw marks all over my neck where he tried to pull it off me.
Are you trustworthy?
My initial response would be, ‘Can you define trustworthy?’ In terms of ‘can I be trusted to tidy up after myself?’ the answer is probably
‘No’ but in terms of can I be trusted to help out and provide support then I would hope the answer is ‘Yes!’ If someone needs me I’m there and my wife says, ‘Yes, you are!’
Trusting God can be hard when things aren’t going well - do you have any verses from the bible that help you? I went through a difficult time at work a few years back and a verse that really helped was Colossians 3 v 23 - ‘Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as if doing it for the Lord, not men’. It changed my perspective on work because instead of working just to please and
ur trust in God, let you down!
in my life! I trusted God to heal my mum from cancer and because she died you might think I’d feel let down but in her last days I’d never seen so much peace, joy and hope in her before. Previously she had been a bit of a doubting Thomas and worried about a lot of stuff but before she died she was very peaceful. She met Jesus and although it wasn’t the answer I wanted I believe he healed her spiritually. I also trust God to protect me and my family on a daily basis and he has never let us down.
Can you tell us any ‘stand out’ moments you have had with Tough Talk?
There are so many! God has been so gracious and it has been such an honour to see so many people’s lives changed and people saved. One that does stick out is a visit we made to Rikers Island prison in New York back in 2000. It is a huge penitentiary that holds about 20,000 inmates and we took a meeting in the gym that was attended by about 100 + men, all chained and shackled. We asked if anyone wanted to ask forgiveness for their past and put their trust in Jesus and they all stood up; even some of the warders were weeping. Then there was a Men’s Breakfast we held in Queens New York for about 1000 guys, We had these big strong men crying and weeping for Jesus, running to the front, it was very powerful. Even in your darkest hour Jesus wants to rescue you and if you put your trust in God he will never let you down!
appease my boss I was working to please God! I also love Philippians 4 v 13 which says ‘I can do all things through Christ’ as well as Psalm 23 ‘The Lord is my Shepherd.’
What promises have you trusted God for?
I trusted God to bring the right woman into my life and he has definitely done that Denise is my earthly rock and the right lady
Dad’s Army was a TV programme when I was young! We used to laugh at the silly antics they got up to and wonder if the UK had really been defended by the likes of Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and Corporal Jones. I hope the film lives up to expectations and is as amusing as it’s TV predecessor! We may laugh and think that these men were hardly capable of marching let alone defending the country but I’m sure there are many tales of just such people helping the war effort. Their willingness and enthusiasm to help outweighed their lack of ability and experience. With their limited resources they made a difference and were just as much a part of the fight against invasion as those who were part of the armed forces. Sometimes we can get caught up in thinking that because we can’t do certain things or we don’t have particular skills we can’t do anything and that what we can do won’t make a difference. But we’d be wrong! Everyone can make a difference in their own sphere of influence, we just need to be willing to step out and give it a go! Thankfully we don’t need any special qualifications or skills to be part of God’s Army. We don’t need to be perfect before God accepts us, he is in the business of taking wounded, broken and ability lacking soldiers and putting them back together and sending them out with his resources behind them!
Photo Crecit: Universal Pictures
Misplaced Trust... There are bound to have been times when you have placed your trust in someone or something and been let down. We’ve all been there and I’m pretty sure we have all been the cause of pain to others to; we are all human after all. It’s easy though to let those moments determine our future response. ‘You’ve let me down once so I’m not risking getting hurt again!’ can all too often be the outcome. We build emotional walls around ourselves to save us the heartache. Thankfully God doesn’t work like that. We mess up numerous times and yet when we ask for his forgiveness we can start afresh. Take a look at the quotes below on trust and see if you agree…. A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults. Charles Kingsley
Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding! Proverbs 3 v 5-6 What upsets me is not that you lied to me, but that from now on I can longer trust you. Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks. Isaac Watts
The most important lesson that I have learned is to trust God in every circumstance. Lots of times we go through different trials and following God’s plan seems like it doesn’t make any sense at all. God is always in control and he will never leave us. Allyson Felix
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. Jesus Christ Trust has to be earned, and should come only after the passage of time. Arthur Ashe
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it. Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s. Billy Wilder I’m a good enough person to forgive you, but I’m not stupid enough to trust you again. I don’t trust t anyone who talks bad about someone else to me, they probably talk behind my back too. In this world, there is nothing scarier than trusting someone. But there is also nothing more rewarding. Brad Meltzer To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. Alan W. Watts I know God will not give me anything we can’t handle together. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much. MotherTeresa
I only know I was born on March 5th because someone told me. I don’t remember myself. So it’s fact based on secondhand information and trust. Jarod Kintz Trust, like the lubricant in an engine, is noticed only when it is gone and the motor has seized up. David Hurst You may never understand God’s reasons but you can always trust His purpose. He’s the only one who knows what road you need to take to get you on the right track. The road may be long, dirty, and uneasy but the path is already set. Take one step at a time and trust Him to guide you to your destination. Theresa Lewis When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. Corrie Ten Boom Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him. Booker T. Washington
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. Corrie Ten Boom It was Jesus who gave me peace when the shark severed my arm. I trust in Jesus whenever I’m going through a hard time. I see all the beautiful things that have come out of my situation. I’m able to share my story with young girls who have few role models, and I can help others cope with what they have been through. 27 Bethany Hamilton
TRUST ME I'M A PROFESSIONAL I remember the door opening as I sat in the helicopter. The loud noise of the engine and the quick movement of the propellers was enough to make me a little nervous as it dawned on me that I was 10,000 feet in the air. Darren, a professional skydiver, was about to jump out of the helicopter which was all ok, except that I was strapped to him!
In this moment, my level of trust was tested.... Did I trust Darren the skydiver? Did I trust the parachute? And the safety Parachute? And the Emergency Parachute?
What if all three failed? It didn’t help that 2 days before jumping, my friend Tim had sent me a youtube link of someone falling out of their parachute and being caught by a free falling professional! As I tipped over the edge of the helicopter that video video came to mind and I wanted another check of my straps. Within seconds, I was free falling for what seemed like forever. My cheeks turned to jelly, my mouth went dry with the wind and I thought the end of my life was near. After a few moments the parachute opened and I certainly knew about it with a sudden tightening of the leg straps! At this point I decided that I trusted Darren and I trusted the parachute. Sometimes, trusting God can be similar to my skydiving experience. It’s only at the very last minute, it’s only when things don’t look hopeful, that God steps in. I love the song lyrics, ‘Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders’ but I’m careful about praying those words!
I need to be reminded regularly that God is a faithful, trustworthy God. He is king of Kings, Lord of lords, he is above all. And I’m pretty sure he’s trustworthy. By Tom Elliott Inspirational Speaker, Comedian & Magician Website: www.tom-elliott.org
It seems that some people just don’t think rules apply to them. They leave their dog’s mess on the ground, they use their mobile whilst driving, they cheat in exams, they leave litter lying around or do what suits them rather than everyone else. I’m sure we all have pet hates which other people do that drive us mad. But we are all guilty of disobeying rules, even if you only look at the 10 commandments in the bible I’m pretty sure nobody would be able to say they’d kept them all. These were set out to help the people live peacefully together and Jesus summed the rules up in just 2 - ‘Love God’ and ‘Love other people’. The trouble is we all think we know better which is arguably not true when we look at the state of our world. We haven’t chosen to Trust and Obey the bible, in many cases we have thrown it out as being irrelevant. But how different would our lives be if we chose to follow the rules Jesus gave us….? See if you can find the words associated with trust in the grid below… Sheet1
t t s u y h t r o w t s u r t n u s
s n t r u s t w o r t h y e r d t l
u e t e l b a i l e r n u k o c r i
r m o r i n s u r a n c e n n y u k
dependable don’t trust anybody do you trust me? I have faith in you independent thinker insurance likelihood
t s i h u p l k y t t t t i d t s e
s s y t l s f o x w r t t h o i t l
i e k u r b t m o u r s z t y l m i
m s q e k u l i s u n o g t o i e h
d s v h l r s t s i m n m n u b i o
j a l x x b a t r s i a r e t a m o
w k i i b n a u f t u e t d r b a d
Mistrust probability reliant risk assessment security too trusting trust and obey trust fund
s s w y d n o d s u l e d n u o d v
h i e o y y p u n i n k s e s r o f
s r b b t f r k a e i d j p t p c s
u e o s z t i n z z p i l e m i t s
y d u k o t t m y j c e y d e q o x
y r o o y t i r u c e s d n p u r q
t n t i h a v e f a i t h i n y o u
trust issues trust me im a doctor trustworthy trust you! trust your instincts unreliable untrustworthy
Andy Eyre Living the Dream! Andy Eyre was brought up in a Christian home but during his high school years things went from bad to worse and he turned his back on God. Read on to find out how things changed and how God is back at the centre of his life… Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born into a Christian family. My dad was a Baptist minister and I have an older brother. We moved to Guernsey when I was 8. At the age of 6 I gave my life to Jesus at a Christian camp and there was a real difference in me. I guess church was always there and was part of who I was.
Was it a happy childhood?
Yes and No. Parts were great but sometimes it was difficult; my weight and the fact that my dad was a minister meant I suffered at the hands of bullies and I struggled to fit in. So when I was 11 I started to explore drinking. I drank a whole big bottle of peach snapps on the beach and passed out. It wasn’t cool but I started to find acceptance with people outside of church because I was an ‘all or nothing’ type of kid who would have a go at stupid stuff. I still went to church and believed in God, in fact I was baptised when I was 14 but I was living a double life.
A double life?
Yes, I was involved with church stuff and was heavily into sports but at the same time I was drinking, smoking and trying to find fulfilment through rock music. I was fascinated by bands like Nirvana, Metallica and Iron Maiden.
Their music and lifestyle had a massive impact on me. I found drinking wasn’t enough for me so I started doing more drugs to get the next ‘hit’. When I was younger I wanted to be a policeman but my ambitions changed - I dreamt of being a rock star! I played the guitar and the music culture took over my life. I was smoking spliffs, skunk and going to house parties where I would get paralytic. I would often drive my car hammered and on drugs which was just stupid! I was one person at church and another totally different one outside. My parents didn’t seem to know how to handle me and my life was in a downward spiral. From an early age I got into pornography and thought this was how to treat girls. I was a muppet, treating girlfriends with very little respect, they were just sexual objects.
Did things improve?
No! My parents moved back to England and although I didn’t want to leave the island I didn’t have a choice. A knee operation put a stop to my sporting interests so at 17 music became my only focus and I cut myself off from church and got more involved with drugs. Acid, coke, speed and skunk laced with LSD became my regular drugs. I formed a rock/ punk band and I got myself a job to pay for my lifestyle. We played in local pubs and won a local ‘battle of the bands’. We were offered a couple of basic record deals but we didn’t say ‘yes’ because we wanted a bigger, better deal.
How were things with your parents?
I had turned my back on everything they believed in so things were strained! My lifestyle totally clashed with theirs and I put them through a lot of grief and heartache. The church manse was used for all sorts of things – there are certainly some stories that I’m not very proud of at all! My dad would leave the Bible open on the table or would leave notes on my door.... my mum did keep ‘the door open’ at home and would often sit listening to the bands I was into. I felt more and more isolated at home and just wanted out.
Did the music take off?
I moved to Camden and our band parted ways but I was determined to make music work. So I left my job thinking I could do it but my lifestyle was a complete mess. It wasn’t unusual for me to drink a litre of vodka before going out, followed by 15 or 20 pints of beer and shots then drugs on top of that! I was going nowhere and became very inward looking and low. I thought I was ‘living the life’ yet in reality it was all fake, I just couldn’t see it. I was either really high or really down! My flat mate was in a band and they were doing really well and on the verge of being properly signed. I started to meet some really cool musicians and was starting to get new music written but I was a mess and just couldn’t get out of the rut I was in. Snorting coke off a manky toilet seat in Wembley to breaking into a block of flats and smoking crack in Brixton were some of the supposed ‘cool highs’ – I was a mess.
Doesn’t sound like fun…?
It wasn’t, though at the time I thought I was doing ok and everyone else was missing out. From a young age I was aware of the spiritual side of life and with the drugs and drinking I opened myself up to the dark side of the spiritual world. On one occasion I remember being aware of a ‘presence’ in my room and feeling I was being offered all sorts of powers and abilities if I would bow and acknowledge the devil. My dreams of being a worldwide rock star with the accompanying lifestyle could all be mine but somehow it just didn’t feel right so I didn’t accept.... it was as if I needed to ‘sell my soul to the devil’ which was just wrong.
Did things change after that?
Not really. I went back to my lifestyle and didn’t really think any more about it. I had random jobs and ended up in sales where I made about £2000 a month but I spent it all on drink and drugs. It came to a point where I had to sell everything – including most of my guitars - to pay my rent but I still thought that I was living in the real world and that everyone else was pathetic and part of the corporate machine just abiding by all the stupid rules.
What else happened?
You’d think that having had such a weird experience I might have changed my lifestyle but not me! I was planning on going to the Reading Festival and as I was looking out of the window at work I really felt someone say to me , ‘Don’t go!’
So did you?
Any sensible person would have at least thought about it but my lifestyle wasn’t exactly sensible. I met up with my brother for a drink before I went and even though we didn’t have a close relationship he could tell something was wrong. He asked me about it and I told him about the two encounters. For him it was obvious and he told me I needed to choose between Heaven and Hell, whether I was going to continue going my own way or whether I was going to come back to God.
Did that persuade you not to go?
No, I still went to Reading. During the first night, I wasn’t drinking or doing many drugs, but something happened. I felt as if something had left me and I knew I’d gone too far. I could hear hordes of demons shouting and screaming. I cried to God, saying, ‘I don’t want this’ and I heard a voice say, ‘Drink as much water as you can and get to a toilet!’ I was really sick and on my way to the toilets people, who didn’t know me, were coming up to me saying things like, ‘We’ve got you!’ ‘You can’t escape!’, ‘There’s no way back!’
What happened then?
I was in my tent laying face down and at that point I had just resigned myself to my fate. My life flashed before me and I saw that I had nothing to show for it. What I had thought was ‘living’ was just a big lie. Then I felt as if a pit opened up in front of me and a hand reached out to pull me into the black pit. I thought this is it I’m dying but I heard a faint voice say, ‘Turn over Andy and take a deep breath.’ As I did so I came back to reality and sat up, promising myself that if there was a God I was going to give church one last try.
So you went to church?
I remembered my dad talking about Kensington Temple in London so I decided to give it a try. But I absolutely hated it everything just seemed so fake! I thought I’ll stay and take communion but then I’m off. This is the crazy thing....As soon as I took communion I had my hands in the air and was repenting of all the bad stuff I’d done in my life. WOW! It was amazing! I felt like a hand was coming into me and taking all my addictions away. It was the most alive I had ever felt!! Previously I’d have said that Christians didn’t know what they were missing but I realised I had been the muppet! Knowing God is far, far better than anything I’d experienced before. I gave my life back to Jesus and felt alive, happy and totally different... a completely transformed life in that very moment.
So was it all plain sailing then?
No way! There was still a lot to work through. I found it hard to trust people but God told me to speak to a church leader called Dominic. I wasn’t keen but God said I could tell him everything and trust him so
I did and Dominic became my mentor. I called my parents and they were overjoyed. Dad came to see me and I told him everything. Some things he expected but others he was shocked by. He told me they had been crying out to God for me all those years when I felt that they hadn’t loved me or cared. They had to come to a point of letting me go and placing me in God’s hands – a big step of faith. I moved in with some guys from church and realised that there would need to be some major changes in my lifestyle. At work, for instance, I was used to lying and cheating to get sales but I knew I couldn’t continue to do that. I was afraid that it would mean me losing my job but I saw God’s hand at work as I chatted to the chief exec and he allowed me to take on another role that I was not qualified for.
Is that what you still do?
No, I was offered a job at Kensington Temple and I got to travel the world, seeing healings , worship and testimonies from all over the place. I even got to play at Hammersmith Apollo - if I’d played there in my previous life I would have thought I’d made it! It’s amazing how God knows your dreams and when you allow him to be the centre of your life he allows those things to happen in a much better way than you ever imagined. There are so many stories of how God has provided and helped me. Since then I have moved jobs and we are now living in Norwich. We looked into several options but this seemed to be where God wanted us and we have had to trust God to lead us. Working as a Youth & Children’s Pastor is so cool and what a privilege to be serving, pastoring and mentoring others now!
Some people think it must be great to have such a dynamic story but I think that everyone has such an important story! It’s not about the big wow stuff. My wife never did any of the kind of things I did and I think it’s fantastic that she managed to stay strong and had faith despite the temptations of being a teen. Not having a ‘wow’ story doesn’t make you less of a Christian, it just means you were stronger than me! God’s at work in each and everyone of us – it is totally up to us to allow Him to be the centre. I guess that is the main point of my story - that my life has been transformed! Not through anything I have done, because I had made a right mess, but because God loves us and is gracious to us! I still mess up now! I am far from being where I should be but, as the song goes,
‘Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see’ We all have hope and a future in Christ – it’s time to really engage and be everything we have been called to be, sons and daughters of the living God! You can follow Andy on twitter @AndyDEyre
You said ‘we’…?
I have a wife and 4 kids! Meeting my wife was a God-incidence. Our parents are friends and they came to visit us in Guernsey when I was 12 and she was just 7. She tells me that she remembers even then thinking that’s the guy I’m going to marry! But then that didn’t seem likely when my life was spiralling out of control. When she heard about me coming back to God she got in touch and the rest is history...
BATMAN v SUPERMAN There is an almighty clash between the god-like Superman and Gotham City’s very own Batman when Bruce Wayne travels to Metropolis. People aren’t sure who to trust and whilst our heroes are at each other’s throats a new threat develops. Will they be able to work together to stop it…? The world has always been looking for a saviour. Whether it was from the marauding Genghis Khan, the mighty Roman Empire, the advancing Colonists or in more modern times the threat of terrorism. We want there to be a nice easy solution but life often isn’t like that - there is no quick fix to the problems the world faces. We may not agree with the way the ‘powers that be’ manage a situation but sometimes there just isn’t a way out that suits everyone.
- DAWN OF JUSTICE The world needs a saviour more than ever! And what about you? Religions can offer a way of life that involves a lot of rule following and individual striving. Thankfully Christianity offers an alternative - it offers us relationship with God through Jesus.
Photo Credits: Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.
Do you TRUST me? Photo credit: Disney
Photo credit: Disney
This question features in Disneyâ€™s Aladdin when he asks Jasmine if she is willing to jump when they are trying to escape from Jafar and the guards.
God asks us the same questionâ€Ś. Do we trust God with our lives? Do we trust that he is good and knows all about our situation? Do we trust that his timing is perfect? Do we trust him to lead us the right way? Do we pray and ask God to help us? Or are we too busy doing things our own way then feeling annoyed when things go wrong? Or maybe you have never made a decision to trust God with your life....
What is stopping you from trusting God?
RISK ASSESSMENT! Nowadays it seems that you have to do a risk assessment before you are allowed to do anything! When I was a kid we were allowed to wander and explore but now there is too much risk associated with kids out by themselves. School trips have very rigorous assessments in case anybody hurts themselves. With a growing blame and suing culture we are more aware of the risks that we should and shouldn’t take. Yet we do take risks every day. You can’t live without risk. Walking, driving, exercising, social media, eating, drinking and even learning can put us in danger. Often it is only a very small risk of being misunderstood or laughed at rather than a physical risk. Some risk is still involved but we choose to take a risk and live with any consequences, hoping there won’t actually be any! For example crossing the road is a risk but often one that we take, usually putting some care and consideration into our actions before stepping out. Maybe we find a zebra crossing, lights or at least somewhere we can have a clear view. It’s only sensible after all…
But do we take the same care and attention to what we eat and drink? Or to what we read or put on social media?
Even more importantly to what we believe? Do you know what you believe about God or whether there is life after death?
Have you made a decision whether to follow Jesus? Or are you just drifting and hoping there aren’t any consequences to your actions?
RISK ASSESSMENT! 37
TRUSTY FOOTWEAR! In the olden days cowboys had their ‘trusty steeds’ to get them from one place to the other. Nowadays you don’t often see people travelling by horse, cars are the more normal mode of transport! But even in an age when we don’t walk as much as our ancestors did we still need comfy and trusted shoes… There is nothing worse than knowing you have got to walk somewhere and the shoes you are wearing are rubbing and giving you blisters. You might have got them because they were cheap or trendy, either way they weren’t a great buy if they aren’t to be trusted for those unexpected walks. On the other hand you probably have some shoes that are really comfy and you’d wear all the time if you were allowed; or maybe you have a pair that just make you feel great when you wear them. We asked some of you to send us photos of your favourite ‘trusty footwear’, whether they are just comfy, make you feel great or were a bargain and here are the results….
Do you have Faith?
It is one thing saying you are a Christian and that you believe that God answers prayer however it is quite another to actually act on that. But that is exactly what some youngsters from Shaftesbury did earlier this year when they visited the Czech Republic. We asked the trip organiser Andrew and 2 of the young people some questions about the experienceâ€Ś
Why did you organise the trip? Andrew: About 11 years ago I
met an American couple who were missionaries in the Czech Republic when they came to speak at our church. I kept in touch with them and took a group of five teens out to visit them 10 years ago. In recent years I have been in touch with those 5 youngsters and they all commented on what an impact the trip had made on their lives. I felt that it would be good to take another group out to visit my friends and expose them to a different culture and to get involved with some of the work the church is doing out there. So we set a date and it went from there. We took 12 youngsters between the ages of 12 & 16.
Hope and Isaac were 2 of themâ€Ś Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Hope: I am 14 and I have 2 brothers who are 15
and 10. I enjoy art, drama and dance as well as going to youth at church.
Isaac: I am sixteen and have a brother and a
sister who is currently in California studying at Bethel Church. I like sketching and designing products, basically anything that is creative.
Why did you want to go on trip? Hope: I had been to the Czech Republic when
I was younger. Then earlier this year I went to South Africa with my family and got a taste of being a missionary through praying for people out there. I wanted to experience that again but with the youth from church. I really enjoyed helping people in need.
Where were you staying? Hope: My parents have friends out there and
we stayed at their house. There was plenty of room and a massive garden that was really beautiful.
Isaac: The boys had sofas and roll mats in
the playroom and the girls shared one of their daughters bedrooms so had mattresses and sleeping bags on the floor.
Tell us what you did on the trip? Hope: We were praying for
people on the streets and doing some missionary stuff as well as some worship. We told people what we were doing and asked if they would like us to pray for them. It was good to make a difference and it was made easier by having the youth from the Czech church as translators. They all study English at school which was handy!
Isaac: On Sunday we met with their church
which was really interesting even though we couldn’t understand much of what was said! We went to an orphanage for children with mental disabilities where we played games and sang with the children. We did some worship and praying on the streets and a few people went to the local Christian school and played hockey with them as well as praying.
Were there moments where you felt completely out of your comfort zone and had to rely on God totally? Hope: Yes! When we went out on the streets
praying for people and doing worship we needed confidence and faith to step out
knowing we might not get all positive reactions. We needed to trust that God would lead us to the right people to pray for and as we didn’t have much experience it was quite hard to get into at first.
Isaac: One recurring theme for me was praying
for people and speaking prophetic words over people. It is not something I would normally do with people I don’t know, though I have done it with my friends. On the last night I prayed for about 5 people and just had to trust God that he would give me the right words to say. I thought I might make a fool of myself but had to trust that God was helping me.
What was the reaction like from people? Hope: Usually it was good. Most people had
quite a positive response and it felt like God was leading us to the right people who needed prayer for various things.
Did you see any answers to prayers? Hope: People seemed really pleased to be
prayed for, we didn’t get any miracles on the spot but I’m sure it made some sort of impact on them.
What were your highlights? Hope: I really enjoyed
travelling with everyone and doing it all together. Having other people around made it better as we could share our thoughts and pray for each other. We had an evening where we all prayed for each other and listened to God which was fantastic. I felt I really benefited from that.
Isaac: The last day was my favourite. We went
to Prague and then spent some time with a local church just outside Prague and went to their evening service. Before the service we went and talked to a local gypsy community and prayed for them. Lots of them got healed and felt touched by us just being there. Another group did worship and prayer on street and I went down to the skate park and talked to some young people and prayed for them.
Were you well received? Isaac: I’d say yes. One of the kids at the skate
park was the pastors son so that helped as he could translate and the others were more comfortable with us because they knew him.
Were there any lowlights? Hope: Waiting around was difficult as we had to
wait around quite a lot and the late nights were hard but everyone coped really well.
Isaac: I can’t really think of anything, the whole
experience was really great.
How did you get on with the Czech youth? Hope: They were really nice. One day we went
to Prague with them. It was very different to see beggars on the street going through bins etc but we were able to give them some food and pray for them because the Czech young people could translate. Their youth are used to doing stuff like that so it was good to be part of it.
How did your relationship with Jesus change through the trip? Hope: I gained trust. As I said earlier we had to
trust God to lead us to the right people and having words from and for people gave me confidence. The trip certainly built my friendship with Jesus.
Isaac: Any experience like this will see your trust and bond with Jesus grow. The week was really great and I grew so much. Before I wasn’t the most active at remembering to pray or prophecy over people but now I think about it all the time. My trust in God has increased and I feel more connected to him.
Has been being on trip changed other things? Hope: We also had a ‘refugee
camp’ in church car park where we experienced rationed food and sleeping out and that made me appreciate food a lot more! In general I have more trust in Jesus and the others in the group. It was also helpful for our church to see we are capable of going out and ministering and coming back and reporting what we’ve done - I think they are pleased to have us as their youth!
Isaac: No immediate changes, I don’t think I act that differently but I have grown with God and trust him much more.
And a final few words from Andrew… Were you surprised by the trip or was it what you expected? I was relieved and surprised it went as well as it did. As the leader you have fears of what might go wrong or people feeling homesick or ill or even having accidents. But we were happy that it all went well and that the young people really revelled in the experience.
Did the young people mix ok?
Yes, they all got on well. The young people out there are very friendly and warm. They didn’t have a huge amount of time to mix but it went well and they did worship together and pray for each other. They can also keep in contact via social media and at least one of our young people is talking about going back at some stage.
How have you changed from trip?
For me personally I guess I am really very thankful and amazed how faithful God is when we step out. He always comes through for us in terms of provision and fulfilling the vision because he loves it when we step out and do things for him. So my levels of faith and expectation have definitely increased!
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