INSIDE: Praying Church Revival Fires Rant and Rave
New Anointings A UK JESUS PEOPLE MAGAZINE from the Multiply Network and Jesus Fellowship/modern JESUS army (mJa)
THE PROPHETIC WORD Praying Church
ALIVE WEEKEND was... Alive!
CHANGED LIFE - Grace
3-4 8 10-11 12-14 15-16 20-21 22-23 24 25-26 27 28 30-31
Church Alive Life on the Inside Multiply Apostolic Men - Pascal mJa Tribes - Leeds & Newcastle Jesus Centres Revival Fires - Moravians Spiritual Search - Victor & Sheila National Events/Jesus People Shop Special Feature - Meditation Electronic Postbag Radical Bites Rant & Rave
RAW The unmissable youth event
THE JESUS FELLOWSHIP CHURCH, which is also known as the Jesus Army and includes the New Creation Christian Community, upholds the historic Christian faith, being reformed, evangelical and charismatic. It practises believer’s baptism and the New Testament reality of Christ’s Church; believing in Almighty God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; in the full divinity, atoning death and bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; in the Bible as God’s word, fully inspired by the Holy Spirit. This Church desires to witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over and in His Church; and, by holy character, righteous society and evangelical testimony to declare that Jesus Christ, Son of God, the only Saviour, is the way, the truth and the life, and through Him alone can we find and enter the kingdom of God. This church proclaims free grace, justification by faith in Christ and the sealing and sanctifying baptism in the Holy Spirit. © 2007 Jesus Fellowship Church, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB, UK. Editor James Stacey. Reproduction in any form requires written permission. The Jesus Fellowship does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in articles and interviews printed in this magazine. Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, a member of the Hodder headline Plc Group. All rights reserved. Photographs in this magazine are copyright Jesus Fellowship Church unless otherwise noted. The Jesus Fellowship is part of Multiply Christian Network. Both the Jesus Fellowship and Multiply Christian Network are members of the Evangelical Alliance UK.
Jesus Life One/2007 Page 2
Comments from Noel Stanton and members of the Apostolic Team, Jesus Fellowship UK/mJa
A LA LIIVV EE
New anointings are here
Free to Love One Another FOR YEARS we have been praying that our Church would be more multi-racial, reflecting the diversity of ethnic groups in the UK. And gradually we have been seeing our prayers answered as people of all colours and
races join us. The 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Britain has given us the opportunity to reﬂect on the oneness of the human race. Through God’s creative power, redemption in
Jesus Christ and oneness brought about in His Church by the Holy Spirit, there is unity and harmony. Jesus said that everyone would know that we are His disciples by our love for one another. Love must break every racial
MUCH EXCITEMENT at our Alive Easter Weekend when 1,200 of us were present in the Marquee. During the response times the Holy Spirit moved among us in new anointings and healings, with manifestations of shaking, trembling, spiritual drunkenness, laughter, tears, speaking in tongues and falling under the power. There comes a time in the experience of most churches when a new awakening is clearly needed. With “ﬁrst love” gone for many, the church continues in maintenance mode without any real sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit. People become disheartened with the lack of spiritual power, tired of dullness and dryness, thirsty for God. They cry out for the Spirit to move upon them again. And so at the Alive Weekend hundreds of thirsty souls from our UK congregations found a new touch of God. The response time was full of noise: joy, love and a sense of power were everywhere.
and ethnic barrier. Today’s UK presents us with a great opportunity to show that Christians are totally free of racial prejudice. People have come from all parts of the world as asylum seekers and refugees and, with
All ages were blessed, children and adults. Faith rose to high levels with many receiving healing of body, soul and spirit. At the ﬁnal event there was a long queue of those who wanted to testify. This took nearly two hours. One of the important features of these new anointings is the number of people able to bring the anointing to others. Many (not just leaders) were so anointed that the power in them was transferred to others as they spoke a word and laid hands on them. Jesus still uses humble disciples like Ananias to bring healing and Holy Spirit fullness to those like Paul who are to do great things as His servants (see Acts 9:10-19). Now we expect to see this movement working through Jesus Fellowship congregations bringing new passion for the gospel with real growth. We will introduce many more people to Jesus, reach out to UK cities and towns and bring healing and freedom in His name.
the enlargement of the EU, from various East European states. Different ethnic backgrounds do not hinder our being brothers and sisters in Christ. These dear people often bring something new and vibrant to our
worship and evangelism. Praise God that we are able to show to the world’s society around us that Jesus has ended white superiority and has brought us all, whatever our race or colour, to the table of brotherhood.
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 3
WE’VE BEEN learning the power of prayer. And we’ve been learning that intercession is the only thing that changes things. You can organise things. You can reorganise things. You can motivate things. But really, in the end, the power of prayer and the power of our spiritual life together is what really changes things. Maybe when you think about intercession you think about one or two special people
on their knees for a couple of hours, praying intensely. And that’s very beautiful – but maybe we need to look at it a little differently. Maybe we need to see intercession as something very practical for all of us. Something that we use to clear the decks in situations where we’re stuck. The baptism of love is where the energy comes from for this intercession. We need power.
It’s great what we do – but how much of it carries enough power? We’ve called this year ‘the year of the ﬁghting spirit’. And this will mean activity – but not only activity. Activity is great – but reﬂection is great as well: you need both. Sometimes you have to say: “OK guys, how is it going? Reﬂect. Now, tell me – what would you like to change?” Then we pray.
Guarding and guiding
Fighting spirit, praying people
the final mix
sheep. We need those who will guard the anointing and guide others to receive and go on receiving. Let the anointing unlock new gifts. Gifts give us supernatural power to build the Church. Fear can hold us back in many ways, but the anointing brings new boldness and conﬁdence. Finally, the Holy Spirit is given to cement us to one another, to make us one body. The anointing is not for us to keep but to share, to pass on – the body of Christ, anointed and effective.
UTWARD manifestations of the Spirit’s presence are important – but they’re not the main thing. Ultimately, the anointing is about relationship with Jesus. Keep your relationship with Jesus refreshed and renewed in the anointing. Anointing can ebb away if we just receive passively and then “get on with normal life”. Don’t let your natural life, your ﬂesh, crush the life of your spirit. Become more like Jesus who lived in the anointing all the time. (As the old chorus says, “To be like
Jesus, to love like Jesus”.) Life does not have to be the same: it’s a new person at that desk, at that sink, behind that wheel. The Holy Sprit wants to change our character and it will be your choices that will determine whether you grow in anointing or die. The anointing needs guarding and guiding. Keep open. Shepherds and leaders are particularly responsible for nurturing the Spirit’s life in their ﬂock. The ﬁrst job of a shepherd is to pray regularly for each of their
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THE FIRST four months of 2007 have been lively! We’ve been getting our weekly cell groups really working. We’ve had Holy Spirit times at our UK events. The multi-racial video is complete and a healings video is in preparation. A number of new books have been published. Join us at our forthcoming events (see page 24). We have a special youth event called RAW (Real and Wild), 2-4 August (see page 29). Many events, with much promise of God’s blessing. See you there! With our thanks for your love, JL prayers and gifts.
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e s r o h r a w e h T n the o s i ve! rse o o h m e war Th n the o I is ve! o m
The corporate, intercessory ministry of the Church is a vital, yet undervalued weapon in spiritual warfare, insists Huw Lewis, member of the Jesus Fellowship apostolic team
T IS at once a frightening and inspiring picture. The rampant war horse of Job 39:19-25 strikes terror into the enemy, laughs at fear and charges into battle at the ﬁrst sound of the trumpet! Eating up the ground in frenzied excitement, it catches the scent of war from afar and eagerly responds to the shouts of the commanders as it plunges into combat. To me, it’s an image of the intercessory army of the Church, supporting the front line soldiers in the spiritual conﬂict and strengthening them with persistent prayer and faith. This often hidden band of prayer warriors is a central part of the ministry of overcoming the powers of darkness and extending the authority of the kingdom of God upon the earth. At present, in the Jesus Fellowship, we are moving through a season of corporate prayer, recognising that some ‘mountains’ are only shifted by collective prayer
e s r o h r a w e Th n the o is ve! o m
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 5
Continued from overleaf
e s r o h r a w The n the is o ve! mo
and faith. While individual prayer is valuable, together we can achieve more than the sum of many particular prayers and see victories which could not otherwise have been gained. This prayer starts with God’s need – rather than man’s. God has a purpose which He longs to see fulﬁlled on earth in partnership with His people. He unveils this desire to various prophetic and praying men and women who are serious about seeking God. As these intercessors on earth sense the burdens and longings of God’s own heart, they respond with heavendirected prayers and pleadings. Then God responds and acts to accomplish these purposes. Earth joins heaven in a powerful agreement and the cycle is complete – from heaven to earth, then back to heaven and ﬁnally returning to earth again! In this way, His “will on earth will be done,” (Matthew 6:10). In practice it is never quite as simple as that, but this is real corporate power in action. It is noticeable that in the often recited ‘Lord’s Prayer’, the words our, us, we are used nine times. God’s will is never hindered
1:20; 2:6; 6:12). As Watchman Nee says, “Our prayers lay down a track on which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive His power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without the rails.” Agreement is a key to this. Where there is a united power of coming together in the powerful name of Jesus, then the kingdom of God will advance. Those who live in agreement as well as pray in agreement are overcomers in the battle. The Church can bind and loose in this spiritual agreement to see strongholds unblocked, demonic activity exposed and then removed. But we must be real about this oneness and recognise the importance of coming under the authority of God. Jesus excluded the mockers, unbelievers and cynics when He raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. He only took Peter, James and John – His close inner circle – with Him as He went into the room where the dead girl lay (Mark 5: 35-43). He could not easily move in miraculous power where there was cynicism and unbelief (Matthew 13:58). A leader in the Jesus Army recounts the time when a group were praying for a friend who was very seriously
“Earth joins heaven in a powerful agreement and the cycle is complete” in heaven, but on earth He seeks through a praying people to see this will accomplished – defying the opposition of demonic hosts and protecting the Church. Interpreting what is moving on God’s heart and knowing the mind of the Holy Spirit are essential in uncovering and defeating the unseen powers of darkness. So often these “rulers and authorities” (Ephesians 6:12) dwell undisturbed and unchallenged, operating in hidden ways, tormenting, confusing and hindering. “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge,” the impassioned prophet cries out (Hosea 4:6). It is especially in these times of collective intercession that the Church discerns the real areas of warfare, the particular spirits that are operating and can move in the “binding of the strong man” so that his “goods can be plundered” (Mark 3:27) and his plans frustrated. The ultimate goal of this corporate intercession is attaining the position of authority and victory, in the “heavenly places” where Jesus rules. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he writes in Chapter 1 of the risen Christ now seated at the right hand of the Father in the heavenly places. Chapter 2 speaks of the Church’s position joined with Christ in that place of victory and Chapter 6 shows us how the Church should now be operating from that place – advancing the kingdom of God and defeating the opposing forces of the enemy (Ephesians
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 6
ill and not expected to survive the night. As they prayed, uniting in belief, they realised that there was someone with them who didn’t carry the same faith and he was asked to leave the room. The result was that the sick person soon recovered fully. Such oneness in collective prayer can change the spiritual atmosphere. As E.M. Bounds put it, “Prayer is a disinfectant and a preventative. It puriﬁes the air and destroys the contagion of evil.” It is vital that we learn to pray together against the oppressive or depressive cloud where spiritual death hinders the work of the Holy Spirit. Some years ago, I was faced with a particularly difﬁcult situation with a group of visitors who were staying in the community house where I lived. They carried an opposing and very undermining spirit, hostile to the Spirit of Jesus. Not sure what else to do, some of us resorted to worshipping God together. The collective power of simple praise and adoration which continued for two hours dispelled the antagonistic spirit, changed the oppressive atmosphere and caused the people to leave the house the next day. In this time of increased corporate prayer power, the Church must be alive to the burdens of the Holy Spirit and grow in genuine authority as she pushes forwards. Let’s release the war horse into battle! JL
Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds. At the blast of the trumpet he snorts, â€˜Aha!â€™ He catches the scent of battle from afar, the shout of commanders and the battle cry. Job 39:19-25 www.jesus.org.uk
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 7
ON THE INSIDE For information on the Jesus Fellowship’s Prison Release Programme, write to: Phil Ferris, Jesus Fellowship Central Offices, Nether Heyford, Northants NN7 3LB tel: 01327 344533 or e-mail: email@example.com
Since the 1980s, Stevie Murray, 35, has been in prison several times. He is currently serving a five-year sentence. Here he tells Jesus Life how his life has turned an important corner.
Stevie speaks out PRISON POPULATION INCREASE
• Total prison population in England and Wales has increased significantly from 1995 to 2005 rising from 51,000 to 76,000 • The trend has continued to increase. From 2005 to 2006 there was a 2.4 per cent increase to reach a population of 79,000 • The sentenced population has increased by 2 per cent; the remand population by 1.6 per cent; convicted unsentenced population by nearly 5 per cent • The male prison population increased by 2.6 per cent to reach 74,500 • The female prison population decreased by 1.1 per cent to 4,500 Source: Home Office statistics (figures are rounded)
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 8
MY FIRST time in prison was when I was 16 years old, back in 1987. The time in the police cells and court was easy and never really scared me, but as soon as we went through the gates of Walton prison in Liverpool I felt sick with fear and started shaking violently. Everybody was shouting and talking at once, creating a lot of noise. For the ﬁrst time since my arrest I was really scared, (yes, even this wide boy from Preston!) The warders took me into a changing room and ordered me to strip and shower; then I was given a pair of tatty old jeans and a shirt with nearly all the buttons missing. The worst part was having to put underwear on which had been used by countless others! It was all totally humiliating. After that I was locked in a cell where I would stay for the next four weeks. I was relieved to ﬁnd myself on a wing with under-21s because I was sure that I wouldn’t
have coped being around some of the big guys I had seen on the way in. During the next four weeks at Walton I spent 23 hours locked “behind my door” with one hour exercise each day. We were allowed a shower and a change of clothes once a week, ate meals in our cells and we even had to use a bucket to do our business in which was disgusting. The ofﬁcers were far from pleasant, shouting and bawling at us all the time. We were only allowed one visit each month and to post out and receive two letters a week. From Walton, I was moved to Stoke Heath Young Offenders’ prison. I was assigned to a work party assembling storage boxes. We worked morning and afternoon and there was a TV room where we could watch TV for one hour before we were locked up for the night (except at weekends when it was “early bang-up”). After serving my time, I was so happy as I walked out through
the gates that I couldn’t hold back the tears. I just cried. I thought I would make a new start. Unfortunately, things went downhill again and I felt like a total loser. At a big Jesus Army meeting back in 2000, I decided to give my life over to Jesus. At that time I had my current sentence hanging over me and was on the run, but after I allowed Jesus into my life I knew it was right to turn myself in. Since then I’ve tried my hardest to live my life for Jesus and the way He would want me to. I’m not perfect and have made mistakes; like the time I was released on licence three years ago and was back inside after a small taste of freedom. Since being back in prison I have learned a lot about myself and when I am released this time I want to reach out to others who have been in my position with drink, drugs and homelessness and help them change with the love and power of Jesus. JL
Alive Alive Holy Spirit manifestations at the Jesus Fellowship Alive Weekend
Alive Weekend was... ALIVE! At the Jesus Fellowship’s recent “Alive” Festival Weekend, there were many powerful manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Jesus Life editor, James Stacey, reports.
IT WAS Abraham Lincoln who said: “If all the people who fell asleep in church were laid out, end to end... they’d be a lot more comfortable!” The Jesus Fellowship had a few people laid out at their “Alive” Festival Weekend in the Giant Marquee at the beginning of April – but for a happier reason. God released some powerful anointings: manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Many were powerfully touched and some even fell to the ﬂoor, “drunk” with the presence of God’s power. Alive Weekend certainly was alive! Alive with such powerful Holy Spirit happenings – some
laughed and cried as the Spirit came upon them. Some fell down and people were healed. There was shaking, dancing, even blowing Holy Spirit power onto others! And there was pufﬁng and panting, juddering, twitching, sighing. New tongues, singing, swaying, peace, rapturous expressions on faces, deliverance from demons, prophetic words spoken... Yet – as Noel Stanton and Mick Haines, two Jesus Fellowship apostolic leaders, insisted at the end of the weekend – the ultimate purpose of the Holy Spirit manifesting His presence in such ways is not merely that people fall over or display emo-
tion. It is that the people of God are refreshed and empowered to give their all to build the Church of Jesus. Someone put it like this: “It’s not how you fall down, it’s how you get up that counts.” The fruit of such anointings is refreshed saints – a whole lot more human, less stressed, more conﬁdent – the fruit is good. Huw Lewis, another apostolic leader, commented: “The result of anointings like these is that people’s spirits are freed up and that means faith is released. Things that people found a challenge to their faith before will now be within their reach.” JL
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 9
MULTIPLY APOSTOLIC MEN
Name: Pascal Orome Born: 1958, Itia, Ivory Coast Status: Married, with 5 children (3 sons, 2 daughters) Church: Mission Ensemble pour Christ Coordinator for: Ivory Coast Contact: Tel: + 44 207 401 2687 (UK) + 225 2242 3507 / +225 05 869342 (Abidjan -Ivory Coast) + 332 3869 6602 / +336 0932 7512 (Orleans - France) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blood-bought and blood-washed – Pascal Orome, Multiply apostolic leader from the Ivory Coast, talks to Emma Merry Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 10
THE BLOOD of chickens could not save Pascal Orome, but the blood of Jesus has. Pascal was a twin, born into a large family as his father was a polygamist with three wives. For a village in the Ivory Coast in the 1950s, this was quite average! His father was also an animist. “We had an altar where we sacriﬁced chickens, with the blood put on our faces and arms,” Pascal recalls. “There were lots of things I could not eat and lots of places I could not go as a twin.” (In Africa, twins are sometimes regarded with suspicion.) Jesus was to set Pascal free from all of these restrictions, and to make him a man with a limitless vision:
Pascal (second from right) along with others from the Ivory Coast at last year’s Multiply International Leaders Conference
“My burden is for people to have their eyes opened to receive God. Wherever I go, I take the gospel. I want to take it to the whole of Africa.” However, it was to be many years before Pascal’s own eyes were opened to Jesus. As a child, he went to live with an uncle who was secretary in a Catholic mission; Pascal served there as an altar boy. But years of study and depression at his inability to get a job in the UK laid Pascal open to other spiritual paths: for a while he was into Buddhism and then followed the South Indian guru, Sai Baba. But he found this didn’t hold true: “This man says he’s like Jesus – how come I never hear about him then?”
When a friend who was a born-again Christian nagged Pascal to go to a gospel crusade, eventually he agreed – and there he gave his life to Jesus. In the church Pascal immediately saw a need – for organisation – and ﬁlled the gap; within a few weeks he found himself part of the leadership team. Over the next years Pascal grew in ministry, and the church grew in numbers, but sadly, when the original leader left, difﬁculties arose due to lack of experience among the leaders and Pascal was forced to leave the church. And so Mission Ensemble pour Christ (MEPC) was birthed in a hired hall in Elephant and Castle, south London. Today Mission Ensemble pour
From animism to apostolic vision Christ has ﬁve branches, one each in France (Orleans) and England (London), and three in Ivory Coast (Guiberoua and Abidjan). Mission is central to its vision, as Pascal explains: “Jesus came on the earth to die for those who have sinned against God. As those who have received Him, Jesus gave us the mission to go to all the world and preach the good news so others can be saved.” Miracles have accompanied Pascal’s preaching of the gospel. He tells stories of two Ivorian girls in detention centre who were miraculously set free; of a Ghanaian neighbour healed of cancer; of a French lady healed from stomach pains; of three blind people healed in his own village. However, Pascal does not set much store on miracles for their own sake; he points instead, continuously, to the example of Jesus: “My desire is for people to receive Jesus. When I look at the life of Jesus and all the miracles He did, they were nothing to Him. He did not emphasise them, He just carried on His way. “When a miracle happens in someone’s life, he will go and share it and people will come. It’s a key to evangelism – but I want people to get the message and live according to what they receive.” Pascal describes a three-fold strand of mission – preach, teach and encourage: “To preach is to talk about Jesus, to give information so someone can get baptised. To teach is to give some detail, to equip people. And to encourage... well, Christian life is not
I just want people to be touched. For me, God’s word has to be heard by everybody. easy: if you give people the tools but they get stuck, you come to encourage them.” It was an Ivorian friend who recommended the Jesus Fellowship to Pascal, but it took months of nagging before Pascal agreed to ring. It was 2003, and the sight of the Jesus Fellowship’s community life was to be a revolution for Pascal “because when I was preaching, when I came to Acts 2:44, ‘All the believers were together and had everything in common,’ I thought it was impossible to be done by anyone today. We are all selﬁsh. How can we sell our things and live together? “Something new started in me when I met the Jesus Fellowship. The way they receive us is unusual, especially for white men. This love is not fake. It gives me more and more desire to know more and to get closer. “So I’m part of this vision
WHAT IS MULTIPLY?
today. I don’t want to join the Jesus Fellowship but I really want to learn and develop the same vision. Every country I go to, I preach how the church can come out of poverty – by sharing and having common vision. “My prayer is to do something in Africa in every country, starting ﬁrst from where we have Multiply leaders and then to spread.” Challenges – of money, of his wife’s health, and of care for the children – do not hinder him. “Matthew 7:21 says: ‘Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.’ It has made me to be totally straightforward about what I’m doing. In my ﬁrst year of knowing God, He spoke to me in French, ‘Pascal, I didn’t call you to follow men, I called you to serve Me so don’t look at men, but follow Me.’ “I want to do something that someone can carry on. I even want to build a city – with schools, hospitals, factories and community-style accommodation. “I also want to evangelise by radio and TV so the gospel can go everywhere in villages in different languages. I just want people to be touched. For me, God’s word has to be heard by everybody. “Meeting the Jesus Fellowship has helped me a lot because it has given me the opportunity to try to live out Acts. I’m working hard and I’ll share what I have so other people can come, and when they see, then they will join with me in the vision. I believe before I die I will leave a blueprint. Deﬁnitely.” JL
Multiply Christian Network is a worldwide apostolic stream of churches, initiated by Jesus Fellowship Church. It is a member of the Evangelical Alliance UK. Multiply now has 18 UK groups and 105 worldwide.
WHO’S IT FOR?
Any fellowship, of any size, from any culture or race, as long as it is basically evangelical. The latest partner to join was Living Water Church, a Congolese Frenchspeaking church based in Gloucester, UK.
WHAT DOES IT OFFER?
Relationships between leaders are central and are fostered through regular conferences, celebration gatherings and fellowship. Leadership and evangelism training plus a variety of resources, including free literature, are also available.
Contact Multiply Director Huw Lewis Tel: +44 1327 344533 Email: email@example.com or write to: Jesus Fellowship/ Multiply Central Offices, Nether Heyford, Northampton, UK NN7 3LB www.multiply.org.uk
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 11
FOCUS ON: Leeds
Forging the Jesus Army’s north-eastern front is not for the faint-hearted. Jesus Life explores what life is like for these pioneers
Leeds and Newcastle WORK IN PROGRESS
• 40 people regularly involved • mJa Leeds first started in 1993 • One Christian community house, Royal Standard, is about to open in Leeds • Two mJa “Church Households” in Leeds: Royal Standard and Celebration People • Typical age: thirties and tinies
• A small cell-Church is established with vision for growth • 15-20 people regularly involved • Has a keen committed core • A “close cousin” to mJa Leeds
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 12
WE’VE WATCHED the builders, plasterers, painters and carpet layers – but are we ready? Has God completed the work He needed to do in us? His vision is “one new man” (Ephesians 2:15): one vision, one mind, one heart. Are we there? He has done a great deal over the last year – through trials and disappointments and pain, we care a lot more for one another. He wants a solid base to build on, so He’s dug out a few rocks and broken
Beeston Manor is all set to become the new large Christian community house in Leeds. Mary Callard, one of the team about to move into the new community house, reports. them up. At the Manor, the roofers are fixing the guttering so no more rain runs down the walls. We need the angels to cover us and a shield of faith over the roof. We’ve driven the demons out and invited the angels in. We want a fire in the barracks – one that will spread through the neighbourhood. The Jesus Army are moving in! We want our worship times to become more powerful, more united. Carrying the Holy Spirit this
house will become, in truth, God’s house. Children will be a third of the people in the house. There’ll be ﬁve little ones to train in God’s ways (and their mums and dads will be learning too!) Lots of learning to share (“now it’s his turn”) for them – but also for the adults! We all ‘take turns’ in the Kingdom; we all share. We’re all learning. Please pray for us to do this “community thang” – and to do it well!
mJa Leeds outside the new Christian community house
Establishing the Jesus Fellowship in Leeds has been battle all the way – but they’re winning “STRESS, STRESS and more stress” is how leader, Paul Parsons, describes his Leeds cell group of 14 years ago. (He is quick to add that there have been improvements since then to Jesus Fellowship Leeds!) After a year of travelling from Shefﬁeld to lead this cell group every week, Paul began to feel he never wanted to go near Leeds ever again. Nevertheless, following a prophetic word (to “cast his nets over the other side of the boat”) and a successful evangelistic coach campaign, Jesus Fellowship Leeds – “Celebration People” – was born. Numbers swelled – more than half a dozen people joined in; a second cell group was formed. The Holy Spirit was on the move. In 1997, Paul moved to Leeds and joined another leader, Jack, in a bed-sit for a few months before moving into a terraced house in Beeston, a poor area of Leeds. Distress hit the household when a much-loved older sister, Dorothy, was diagnosed with cancer and died shortly afterwards.
“She described her time in the hospice as an ‘evangelism campaign’ because she was so full of joy, telling everyone she met about Jesus,” recalls Paul. At Dorothy’s funeral, a family decided to join Celebration People. The Church bought the house next door to Paul’s for them to live in and a couple of young women, Harriet and Lillian, also moved in. With Paul’s house next door rapidly becoming a “brothers’ house,” the little Church seemed to be coming of age. Then, a few months later, as Paul puts it, “all hell broke loose”. Numbers plummeted and a church household that had numbered about 50 was reduced to seven core members. And tragedy struck yet again. One young man, who had had a dramatic conversion and received the Holy Spirit very powerfully, disappeared – only to be found murdered a few days later. Battles raged. One night, following an evangelistic barbecue, a wheelie bin was set on ﬁre outside the back door; eggs were
thrown at the window; a young alcoholic who had been staying in one of the houses became violent and began self-harming, rubbing oven-cleaner on his slashed arms. On another occasion an intoxicated man came to the house and attempted to stab Jack with barbecue kebab skewers. Harriet prevented the fatal blow and Paul sat on him until the police arrived. After a few hours in a cell, the police took him home and put him to bed with a cup of tea! (He is now a faithful committed member.) Jack and Harriet got married in 2002 (not necessarily connected to her having saved him from being skewered), a year that also saw a large number of Afghans and Iranians joining Celebration People. One of these had ﬂed his native country following severe persecution for his conversion from Islam to Christianity. It became necessary to extend the brothers’ house. Paul remembers: “During the conversion work, a brother who found getting up in the morning rather difﬁcult was found to have slept
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 13
Continued from overleaf
...through the roofer stripping the entire roof off from above his bedroom!” Now an exciting new phase is about to begin. In 2006, two married couples from other parts of the Jesus Army moved to Leeds to help form a large community house team. An old manor house in Beeston has been purchased and renovation works are now complete.
Our man on Tyne
The Jesus Army has vision to plant a church in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Leader, Scott Liston, reports.
T STARTED with a vision. In 1998, while praying at a Jesus Fellowship meeting in Leeds, someone saw in their mind’s eye a tree grow up out of Warwickshire, through Yorkshire and on into the North East. Around that time I left Newcastle to join the Jesus Fellowship in Coventry, with no intention of returning. I got involved in nightclub evangelism in Coventry. One day I was chatting this over with Noel Stanton, the Jesus Fellowship’s apostolic team leader. Changing the subject, he said to me: “So, you'll be our man for Newcastle”. When I heard that, I knew that God was calling me, but it was no bolt from above – just “yeah, ok then”. I began to lead regular outreach in Newcastle, going with others from Coventry to evangelise and gather local people together. Soon after, I married Fiona and she joined in the vision. Six and a half years (and about 100,000 driving-miles) later, Fiona and I and our two children moved to Leeds. It’s right that we’re knitted in with the team here: with vision to see Leeds as a strong regional centre that facilitates Jesus Fellowship growing throughout the North of England. Newcastle is just 100 miles from Leeds, so we can input the little Church there on a weekly basis, helped by a local couple
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 14
who open their home. With the Church in Leeds not too far away, the years ahead will see key people gaining our vision. For instance, we have a Newcastle man with us in Leeds at the moment; he’s growing in capacity and open to building with us in the future. It’s a long haul – and we’re in JL it all the way.
Pioneers: Scott and Fiona and their children, Iona and Benjamin
Jesus Centres Bond Scheme changes lives at Coventry Jesus Centre Val Hook, a Support Worker at Coventry Jesus Centre, reports on one of their success stories. ABOUT 18 months ago Claire* came into the Jesus Centre in a very desperate state. She was a heroin addict and had four children all taken into care because she was homeless and an addict. Claire asked if we could help her sort her life out and ﬁnd her somewhere to live, so we put her onto the Jesus Centre’s Bond Scheme and helped her to go to the community drugs team to get her off heroin. The Bond Scheme started Claire off with some fairly basic accommodation. We needed
to see if she really wanted to change her lifestyle and move forward. She did: she regularly came to the Jesus Centre for support. Since then we have helped her move into a twobedroom ﬂat. Claire is now free from drugs and has two of her children living with her permanently. She is working to get them all back. The last time I went to visit her she said how grateful she was to us for helping her – and that we had shown her the love and acceptance of God. * Not her real name
She said that we had shown her the love and acceptance of God.
Coventry Jesus Centre’s Bond Scheme is a system initiated by the Jesus Centre. It helps homeless people into housing by guaranteeing bonds for them.
FIND YOUR PLACE – IN SERVING GOD’S SERVANTS
AT A RECENT staff and volunteers’ session Steve Jones, manager of Northampton Jesus Centre, asked: “How has volunteering or working at the Jesus Centre changed you?” Answers varied: “More conﬁdence with people”, “A different way to show the gospel”, “Supporting the
Volunteer Coordinator, Su Parker, has found a new lease of life in her role at Northampton Jesus Centre.
team and using our skills”. Su Parker ﬁrst started volunteering at Northampton Jesus Centre in 2004, but when the pilot project ﬁrst opened she
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 15
Jesus Centres Places where the love of Jesus is expressed daily in worship, care and friendship for every type of person.
WHAT DO THEY OFFER?
All sorts, including showers, friendship, a listening ear, IT classes and food. They also act as a ‘gateway’ to other services and agencies.
WHO RUNS THEM?
The Jesus Army Charitable Trust (JACT). Staff and volunteers come from Jesus Fellowship Church.
WHAT ARE JESUS CENTRES?
Continued from overleaf
admits she had a bad attitude towards it: “I felt some people were obsessed with it – but then I realised that it was the vision of the Church, and I had to be part of all of the Church’s vision.” She now works full-time in administration and is responsible for 200+ volunteers. She loves seeing “unlikely” people ﬁnd their place. She also ﬁnds that the Jesus Centre enables her to live her faith every day in a more real way. As Volunteer Coordinator, she supports and enables the volun-
teers. She is amazed at how God ﬁts all kinds of people together to make a team. Working at the Jesus Centre has also taught her to rely on God more: “It’s impossible to plan everything, which is hard for an admin person. Also, you carry the responsibility more than you might in an ‘ordinary job’. You have to say ‘Ok, I’ll do it’, not ‘Actually I’m just off home’.”
When Su applied for the job she didn’t expect to be successful, but now her work is helping her to accept herself and her role: “I didn’t see myself as a ‘central person’, but God has given me a place in the life and mission of the Church that I don’t think I’d have found otherwise.” JL
WHERE ARE THEY? Coventry, Northampton and, from mid 2007, central London. Eventually there will be Jesus Centres in other places around the UK.
HOW CAN I HELP? We always need money, food, old clothes and lots more! Check out the website for details.
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 16
i ing For any father the sound of his daughter’s first cry is an awesome moment. But for Jack Pemberton it was the sound of a miracle as he held his healthy newborn daughter, Grace, when by all natural reckoning she ought to be dead.
THREE WEEKS before her baby was due, Sandy Pemberton went suddenly into premature labour. The hospital monitor showed there were problems with the unborn baby. “It was my sixth child,” says Sandy. “Unexpectedly, my body reacted strongly to the epidural injection I was given and
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 17
Continued from overleaf
my blood-pressure plummeted. At the same time the line on the baby’s heart-beat monitor went virtually straight and then the heart-beat stopped altogether. Suddenly bells were ringing everywhere and I was rushed into the labour ward to remove the dead baby by emergency caesarean.” In desperation, Sandy’s husband Jack began to pray and then remembered that it was the night when the all-night prayer team – drawn from many households in the Church – would be meeting at Palm Tree, a Jesus Fellowship community house. It was midnight when the message got through and immediately the team got to work, realising that according to the message the baby had already died and Sandy’s life was in great danger. “The ﬁrst I knew of the miracle that followed,” said Jack, “was seven minutes later, when a nurse hurried out of the theatre, pushed a bundle into my arms and then disappeared back into the theatre because the ﬁght to save Sandy’s life was still going on inside. The baby girl that she dropped into my arms was all messy – but very much alive!” Looking back, Sandy remembers vividly shivering violently and feeling freezing cold as if her life were ebbing away from her, then suddenly becoming aware of an incredible strength coming into her and a cry rising inside: “I’m not going to die and I’m not going to lose this baby!” After the nurse had carried the baby out to Jack, the theatre team fought through the night for Sandy. For the rest of the night her blood pressure virtually disappeared but by
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 18
The umbilical cord was shrivelled up solid and doubled up like the root of a tree
morning they came out and told Jack that the battle had been won. Perhaps the most wonderful – and the most mystifying – aspect of the miracle only became apparent to Jack and Sandy when a nurse told them later: “I’ve never seen anything like it: when the afterbirth came away we saw that the umbilical cord was shrivelled up solid and doubled up like the root of a tree.” She shook her head and added: “There’s no way that cord could have supported life and judging by the state of it, the cord must have shrivelled long before Sandy went into labour.” This was conﬁrmed later by Sandy’s GP, who said that in his opinion because the placenta could not have been feeding the baby for some time, there was no chance naturally-speaking of the baby living and God had worked super-naturally. Sandy had no hesitation in telling the other mothers in the ward that she and her baby both owed their lives to a miracle from God. Before the baby was born Jack had felt God telling him that the baby would be a girl and that Jack was to call her ‘Grace’. After her amazing birth Jack realised why. And Grace herself – now 22 and an active member of the Jesus Fellowship in Northamptonshire – comments: “It seems like I’ve known about the miracle at my birth all my life because it was such a big thing and my Dad talks about it often. I’ve always had a gratitude to God that He saved me and it gives me faith that God can change things and do the unbelievable.” JL
There was no chance naturallyspeaking of the baby living and God had worked super-naturally
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 19
“An Ocean Of Divine Love”
Almost 300 years ago, the Holy Spirit moved in amazing power in eastern Germany, writes Trevor Saxby. THE 1720s were a time of upheaval and uncertainty in central Europe. Many were discontent with a lukewarm Church, but felt powerless to speak out for fear of violent persecution. Then a German nobleman offered safety and religious freedom on his estates in Saxony. Nicholas, Count Zinzendorf, had loved Jesus since he was a child. Now, in his mid-20s, he felt God tell him to do something for poor and persecuted brethren. His invitation drew hundreds of believers from all manner of denominations and he let them build homes in his woodland. However, this motley crew proved to be deeply divided on points of doctrine and stayed in their cliques. Suspicion, envy and bitterness were never far below the surface. Grieved in spirit, the count visited each family, pouring out his heart and pleading for unity and repentance. In May 1727 he drew up a Covenant of agreement to devote their lives wholly to the Lord and His service. Amazingly, every head of family signed it. Next the Holy Spirit led the whole group to prayer. The ﬁrst spur was practical: in a nearby village, a young woman was awaiting execution for murder. They interceded for her and tried to visit her, but were denied. At her public execution, Zinzendorf and the whole fellowship knelt in the mud and wept. The second spur to prayer was the need for God’s power to bring deep unity. Throughout the summer, the community interceded, Zinzendorf often leading the way with tears and loud cries. Groups met in homes to pray and confess their sins. Spontaneous nights of prayer were a regular occurrence. Zinzendorf brought before the whole group the story and the Rule of Life of the United Brethren, a Christian community that had shared their lives and possessions in nearby Moravia 250 years earlier. Everyone was stirred by their brotherhood vision and their zeal for souls and this became the heart of their intercessions to God. Throughout July, the sense of urgency grew. A visiting preacher fell to the ground during the service, crying out to God for a new move of His power. In the prayer meetings, many would kneel or lie prostrate, weeping before the Lord. Zinzendorf recorded later:
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Tears, shouts of joy, hugs and loud praise filled the air. “Everyone desired above everything else that the Holy Spirit might have full control. Self-love, self-will, and all disobedience were removed under the blood of the Lamb, and an overwhelming ﬂood of grace swept us all into a great ocean of Divine Love.” A Holy Communion service was planned for the middle of August at the church in nearby Berthelsdorf. Everyone came with a deep sense of personal unworthiness and a dependence on God’s mercy. During the service, the Holy Spirit descended in power, ﬁlling the whole company. Tears, shouts of joy, hugs and loud praise ﬁlled the air. “Great signs took place in our midst”, the count recalled. “From that time, scarcely a day went by where we did not behold His mighty workings among us. We returned home from this meeting with peace and joy in our hearts, and over the next days we learned to love.” From that day on, they called each other ‘Brother’ and ‘Sister’, in living reality. What had begun as a disjointed group of misﬁts was forged in the ﬁre of the Spirit into a united body with a vision and a purpose. Seventy-seven adults committed
themselves as intercessors to pray for the salvation of souls worldwide. The children also were moved by the Spirit to hold prayer meetings. A Prayer Watch (an unbroken prayerchain covering twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week) was started, which went on for a hundred years! With this mighty prayerbacking, the ‘Moravians’ (as they were called) sent teams of evangelists everywhere from Labrador on the Arctic Circle to South Africa, planting churches and building communal settlements – half a century before William Carey, the ‘father of modern missions’, began his work in India. One lasting fruit was the impact made by one missionary team (on board ship in a furious Atlantic storm) on a discouraged young man named John Wesley. The founder of the Methodists caught his ﬂame from the ﬁre of the Moravians. JL
Such manifestations of the Holy Spirit are not just a thing of the past. These pictures are from the Jesus Fellowship’s recent ‘Alive’ Festival Weekend (see page 9)
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Doing the New Testament The land of revivals Wales has experienced several major Christian revivals
1737-55 Methodist Revival • Howel Harris and Daniel Rowland worked together to spread the gospel in Wales • Result: by 1750 there were over 400 fellowship groups in Wales • William Williams was the revival’s great hymn writer, composing almost 1,000 hymns in English and Welsh Early 19th century • Thomas Charles was inspired to form the British and Foreign Bible Society after the 40 mile walk of a young girl to obtain a single copy of the Bible • Christmas Evans came from a poor background and had lost an eye in a fight. After conversion, he joined with Charles, evangelising Wales • A great wave of converts • On average, a chapel was being built every eight days! 1859 • Humphrey Jones’ inspired preaching spread to much of Wales • Spontaneous prayer meetings, new evangelistic zeal and song were important features of the movement • The impact of the revival was reported around the world 1904-5 • The BIGGEST revival of them all • Saw 100,000 converts in the space of six months • Evan Roberts had prayed for revival for 13 years. After an experience of God, he lit a fire that blazed through Wales • All aspects of Welsh life were touched: pubs closed, the police left unemployed in places • The revival spread worldwide • A young Lloyd George (future prime minister) said the movement was “rocking Welsh life like a great Earthquake”
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Victor Shefford, 67, has always been a visionary. Once, his vision was for a big house by the sea and a yacht. But that was 34 years ago, before he and his wife, Sheila, 66, were caught up in an adventure: life would never be the same. AT THE AGE when many in their late 60s are beginning to enjoy their years of quiet retirement, this unﬂagging couple are on the front line of the Jesus Fellowship’s church-planting advance. Today Victor and Sheila, together with right-hand man, Alan, are pioneering a new Church in Swansea, South Wales. “I want to ﬁnd six solid leaders for the Church here,” says Victor, “and to have a congregation of at least 40 to 45 – and before I go to heaven, I want to see at least the beginnings of a Church in Cardiff as well. Ultimately, we want to see the Jesus Fellowship in Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, ˆ Cwmbran and Carmarthen.” This is not the talk of a tired, old man. Energy crackles from Victor and Sheila as they tell their story of many years in the Jesus Fellowship, their dream for the Church in Wales and how they intend to achieve it. “I was born again in 1960,” says Victor, “and later, when I was baptised, I had what I would call a baptism of love. The Lord spoke to me and said, ‘You need to share everything.’ And I read about it in the scriptures. “I asked one of the deacons at the church I was going to, ‘When do we start to share everything?’ He said, ‘We don’t do that these days.’ I felt cheated and wondered why I’d sensed God saying something to me if it wasn’t practised.” Nonetheless, Victor continued to be a man who heard the Lord. He describes the way he “hears” as a gut feeling rather than an audible voice – “an understanding” – though he is quick to admit that this is not an exact science: “I was convinced it was right for me to get married, so I asked the Lord who it was going to be. After a few weeks I ‘knew’ it was Janet.” He laughs (and Sheila smiles). “So I went out with Janet. After another few weeks I knew it wasn’t Janet.” Another guffaw; Victor’s eyes twinkle. Victor met Sheila at the annual general
meeting of the church youth group. “Sheila was the secretary. She was a teacher and listening to her I nudged a girl sitting next to me and said, ‘Listen to this boring report – typical school teacher!’ She said, ‘Yeah, yeah!’ And I looked back – and, as I did, the Lord said ‘This is the woman.’ That was a shock to me.” In order to be sure, Victor resorted to an unusual technique to test his gut feeling. “If You want me to marry Sheila”, he said to God, “then make this wart on my ﬁnger go down.” He looked at his ﬁnger. The wart had vanished. Victor and Sheila were married in 1964. They moved to Somerset where Victor had taken a job in a ﬁrm of architects. They lived not too far from the sea. (Victor still nurtured yachting dreams.) Yet Sheila recalls clearly the basis on which they married: “Victor said to me, ‘If we are going to get married then you’ve got to realise that my ministry in the Church is more important and will always come before you and, likewise, your ministry should come before me.’ It was on that basis that we got married and that has been the foundation of our marriage.” It would appear to have been a strong foundation, judging from 43 years of marriage and ministry – not to mention four children and ﬁve grandchildren. When Victor was offered a job in Northamptonshire, following a nudge from the Lord, he took it. Victor travelled up to the Midlands during the week, planning to return at weekends. And he’d been put in touch with a Church in Northamptonshire called the Jesus Fellowship. Walking into the Jesus Fellowship in the ﬁrst ﬂush of her founding era is an experience permanently etched into Victor’s memory, from the “X-ray eyed” pastor to the crowd of “hippies and leather-jacketed bikers, some with long hair and beards,
Visionaries: Victor and Sheila
some with beads and caftans”. But there was clearly – overwhelmingly – life and love there and Victor found himself consumed with the vision of doing the New Testament in the present. It was what he’d longed for at the time of his baptism. “He was full of it,” remembers Sheila. “He sent me tapes of the meetings.” In fact it wasn’t long before all thoughts of the Somerset seaside were abandoned and Sheila and the children moved to Northamptonshire. And soon after that Victor and Sheila moved into New Creation Hall, the Jesus Fellowship’s ﬁrst large Christian community house. In 1983 the Sheffords were at the helm of a growing Church plant in Leicester. Springﬁeld House, the Jesus Fellowship community house in Leicester was to be their home for the next 20 years. During this time, Jesus Fellowship Leicester had formed connections with south Wales and in 2003, Victor and Sheila were commissioned to go and lead the ﬂedgling Church there, along with Alan who was something of a spiritual son to Victor. “Alan had been part of the Church for many years,” says Victor. “He had some big struggles over the years, but we had remained friends. The strength of our relationship is now crucial to how things work www.jesus.org.uk
“The younger generation are chickens,” grins Victor, enjoying the provocation. “You can tell them! They’re going to have to be flung in at the deep end at some point.”
here. Alan’s ministries complement mine. It’s like I write the instruction manual and Alan puts it together. I bring a prophetic lead – but he’s got the ability to get down to people’s level and translate the prophetic into practice.” Tân Sanctaidd (Welsh for ‘Holy Fire’) is now well established and Victor, Sheila, Alan and one other now live in a Jesus Fellowship community house in Swansea – and in sight of the sea (but no yacht!) And they have a faithful group gathering around them. “There’s a terriﬁc sense of family and brotherhood,” says Sheila. Victor remains on the lookout for leaders. And he has a challenging word for the younger generation in the Church: “Where is the radical new generation? “I had a minor heart attack in 1995 and still have angina. Alan has hernias and kidney problems. It’s no good people in the Jesus Fellowship saying, ‘I can’t do this or that because I’ve got a headache!’ “The younger generation are chickens,” grins Victor, enjoying the provocation. “You can tell them! They’re going to have to be ﬂung in at the deep end at some point.” Victor is serious. “There’s a lot to do. There’s a nation to take. The question is: do you love the Church enough to sacriﬁce JL for her?” Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 23
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Meditation Christian meditation is listening to God – unlike its Eastern or secular counterparts... Rachel Johnson asked various Jesus Fellowship members what it means to them. This is what they said.
“Like Red Bull, it gives you wings” perience of change and the storms of sin – in the arms of unfailing love is transformative. In meditation, the awareness of this reality develops. “As Julian of Norwich put it (Christ speaking), ‘My dear darling, I am glad you are come to Me in all your woe. I have ever been with you, and now you see My loving, and we be one’d in bliss.’ ” • “Meditation is being close to God and really free and pondering things. You get more relaxed in yourself and get more into praying... “Like the advert says about Red Bull – ‘it gives you wings’ – but it’s 110 times better than that – it’s like heaven living inside you.” • “I go somewhere quiet or where I can be alone so there are no distractions, turn off my phone, get in a comfortable
Continued overleaf www.jesus.org.uk
“MEDITATION IS LIKE an explosion inside: you loose the bounds of this earth and get into the realms of heaven – it’s just so big and you just get to see a bit of it. He has shown me concepts I would never have understood myself; it’s mind blowing. I meditate and then think ‘Why the heck don’t I do this more often?’ ” • “One purpose of meditation should be to focus the inner eye on the unchanging reality of God beneath and within the impermanence of the world. Such ﬁxing of the heart on the unchanging God, whose love undergirds all reality, changes our perspective on life. “To look with love upon the unchanging God accustoms us to seeing people and this transient life in a different way. Perhaps it helps us to see reality as God sees it, from His perspective; which is the true perspective. “The recognition that we are held – despite our ex-
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 25
“Satan dreads nothing but prayer... The Church that lost its Christ was full of good works. Activities are multiplied that meditation may be ousted, and organizations are increased that prayer may have no chance. Souls may be lost in good works, as surely as in evil ways. The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” – Samuel Chadwick
“Every promise of Scripture is a writing of God, which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request: ‘Do as You have said.’ The Creator will not cheat His creature who depends upon His truth; and, far more, the Heavenly Father will not break His word to His own child. ‘Remember the word unto your servant, on which You have caused me to hope,’ is most prevalent pleading. It is a double argument: It is Your Word, will you not keep it? Why have You spoken of it if You will not make it good? You have caused me to hope in it; will You disappoint the hope which You have Yourself begotten in me?” – C. H. Spurgeon
“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does
not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.” – E. M. Bounds
Continued from overleaf
position, sitting relaxed, not scrunched up or tense. “I start to breathe in a slow regular way – breathing in for a count of four, holding for a count of two (or four), breathing out for a count of four. I have paper and pen ready to write down any “unhelpful thoughts” that may come to mind – what may be worrying me or maybe something I’ve just remembered to do so I can attend to them later. This helps clear my mind. “Once my breathing is regular, I ﬁnd a scripture to think about – keeping it in step with the breathing – for example, ‘God is spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth’. It needs to be long enough to be part of the ‘breathe in for four’ pattern. “A picture may come to mind or I might start to think about the words I’m ‘speaking’ and let God talk to me
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about that. “I’ve often found that everything around seems to stop when I meditate in this way; it becomes silent all around – the boiler stops roaring, the trafﬁc stops, or even the birds stop singing. It’s as though, because God is in charge, all must bow the knee to His presence.” • “I try to stop long enough to let the ‘holy hot water’ ﬁlter through the teabag of teaching that’s in my head.” • “I think meditation is about getting mentally engaged with the spiritual, or, to put it more simply, listening to the Holy Spirit… I still believe that for me silence is often the way into God’s presence. Twenty minutes of silence really enhances the ability to receive God’s thoughts.” JL
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LOVE this church... not the walls but the people! The first day I stepped into “Heart” I sensed God’s presence ’cos of the love which is not pretence, but genuinely flowing from your heart. Keep on the good work, bearing in mind that there’s a crown to be received – and cast at Jesus’ feet. Tim, UK “Heart” is the Jesus Fellowship’s Sunday evening event at Northampton Jesus Centre. Described as “new style church”, it aims to help people of every kind of background – no prejudice – to find and experience God.
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HOLY greetings to you in the mighty name of Jesus. I am writing from Kenya. By the grace of God that I visited the internet and was privileged to find your web pages. After prayerfully reading and studying them, I was spiritually charged, moved and thrilled. I felt spiritual electricity – you have what we need for spiritual growth. Right now I don’t feel like my feet are touching the ground because of the desire that has been ignited in me by reading your web page. God bless you, Pastor Paul Momanyi, KENYA, AFRICA
I DIDN’T really know what Christianity really was. I was always confused about it. I felt under so much pressure. Thank you so much for this little video. God bless! Ema Tikolevu, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA > Jesus Fellowship videos can be found online at www.jesus. org.uk/videos
I WOULD be interested in community living. It is very refreshing to read about a different variety of people living together with such a caring spirit, wanting to live in a sharing environment. My life has lacked spirituality and something isn’t right. It would be great to live with like-minded people. Can you send me information on how I would be able to join in your community? Teresa Wallace, UK > Check out the New Creation Christian Community website: www.newcreation.org.uk
If you’d like to send your prayer requests, or let us know what God has been doing in your life or you’d like to find out more about Him email: email@example.com write: Jesus Fellowship, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB
THIS IS not a prayer request, but a praise! A while back, I did send you a prayer request about my friend Randy who is an alcoholic. After his mother’s death, I was concerned for his condition. It turns out he needed vital heart surgery, which left
him on the mend for months. Ever since then, he has been off alcohol, has been diligent at his job and has started his own painting business. God is good all the time! Please pray for him at least one more time – that Randy can keep to the path and allow Jesus to redeem him. God bless! David Armstrong, ARKANSAS, USA
FROM KRISHNA TO CHRIST FIFTEEN years ago, I was a practising Christian, with Methodist and later Elim Pentecostal links. I was content with my life through those years, even through the death of my daughter and the break-up of my marriage, as Christians have such a caring, embracing, tolerant and family-like attitude towards others. But the year my son also died, my wife left, and I found myself homeless and drinking. Somehow I found myself joining the Hare Krishna movement. I began serving as one of their missionaries, organising food distribution – mostly in India, though my home was Wales. I came to India to try to ease the pain, intending to immerse myself more into spiritual life. But I was just running away. I turned to the Hare Krishna devotees for guidance and help, but couldn’t find the love I was looking for. I am so used to helping the homeless and the rest; I don’t think I should give that up. But I do very strongly want to get back to Jesus, and you guys seem to have everything I need to serve Him in the way I am used to living. I return to UK late March. I would like to visit you if I may, to discuss whether I am the right material for you and vice versa. I am very into feeding homeless folks, that’s been my thing for some years now. I hope you may be able to make some use of this fallen soul. God bless you. Chris Green, INDIA
Electronic Postbag Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 27
“ “ #04
Give your life to Jesus But what exactly
ARE YOU into your money or do you share the lot, like Jesus? Into the entertainment culture (gagging for the next ﬁlm) or sold out, like Jesus? Are you living for happy families and nice holidays – or are you laying your life down for your brothers and sisters like Jesus? Jesus Himself lived a life of drastic simplicity. He was devoted to His mission and threw out everything that might compromise that call. And He said, “A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.”
Christians can be as guilty of glib clichés as any politician or pop song. How many times have you heard someone say something like “I gave my life to Jesus”? (How often have you said it?) Gave your life, eh? Your whole life? And – to Jesus? We’d better check which Jesus we’re talking about here. Is it the Broadway Jesus, busy being a “superstar”? The quiet hippy who gives us peace, man? Or maybe the “babyjesus” (all one word) who lies on a bed of straw surrounded by prezzies in Santa wrapping paper? Maybe you believe in something much more sound. Jesus is the Son of God, raised from the dead, right? “Jesus Christ is Lord”. But even that can be too easy.
It’s the appeal that ends many an evangelistic speech.
does it mean?
Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on. (Jesus in Luke 6:46-47, The Message)
MODERN JESUS ARMY R TRAINING YEA AN ACTION YEAR DEVELOPING THE POTENTIAL OF A NEW GENERATION OF SHAPERS AND PIONEERS. THE FOCUS IS FORMING CHARACTER, RELEASING PEOPLE INTO BOLDNESS AND STRENGTH IN JESUS info: www.jesus.org.uk/training email: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0845 166 8175
What does “Lord” actually mean in our day and age? (The House of Lords?) Such a word can too easily be just religious jargon. Many songs are sung Sunday by Sunday which applaud Jesus and decorate Him with titles – but the singers too often ignore large sections of what He actually said. Is Jesus really our Lord, our master, our teacher? The real Jesus demands total dedication. As He put it, “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Don’t rush to neutralise this shocking statement with some logic-twisting get-out clause (which usually involves giving up everything “in your heart” while changing little about what you own or how you live). Share your money. Share your house and give up your car. Live for Jesus and His people. Full time. Otherwise we won’t be “like Him”. We’ll be holding on tight to privileges that Jesus denied Himself. JL
HAVE YOUR SAY: email: email@example.com
GET EQUIPPED to advance in Holy Spirit movement in the UK today! GET INVOLVED in reaching the spiritually hungry people of our nation and build the living church of Jesus GO DEEPER in a community lifestyle of simplicity and sacrifice
Jesus Fellowship/Multiply, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 28
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 1
MULTIPLY CHURCHES AND GROUPS MEET ALL OVER THE UK RING UP AND FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR AREA!
compromise rant Georgia Hayward
BELFAST ..........................................................................................0845 123 5552 BIRMINGHAM Jesus Fellowship Church..................................0845 166 8153 BLACKBURN Hyndburn Christian Fellowship ........................(01254) 876980 BLACKBURN Rishton Christian Fellowship ...........................(01254) 887790 BOLTON Jesus Fellowship Church.............................................0845 833 9145 BOURNEMOUTH ............................................................................0845 123 5558 BRIDGEND The Bridge Community Church............................(01656) 655635 BRIGHTON & HOVE Jesus Fellowship Church ........................0845 166 8151 CHATHAM House Of Prayer For All Nations ...........................(01634) 669933 CHATHAM King’s Church Medway............................................ (01634) 847477 CHESTER/NORTH WALES ...........................................................0845 123 5561 COVENTRY Jesus Fellowship Church........................................0845 166 8154 CROYDON Jesus Fellowship Church.........................................0845 226 1972 DEAL Christchurch.......................................................................(01304) 366512 DEVON/CORNWALL Jesus Fellowship Church.......................0845 166 8191 GLASGOW Jesus Fellowship Church ........................................0845 123 5562 GLOUCESTER Jesus Fellowship Church...................................0845 166 8192 HASTINGS .......................................................................................0845 123 5551 HIGH WYCOMBE Church of Shalom.........................................(01494) 449408 HUNTINGDON Jesus Fellowship Church ..................................0845 166 2697 IPSWICH Jesus Fellowship Church ...........................................0845 166 8156 KETTERING Jesus Fellowship Church.......................................0845 166 8157 LEEDS Jesus Fellowship Church................................................0845 166 8167 LEICESTER Jesus Fellowship Church .......................................0845 644 9705 LIVERPOOL Jesus Fellowship Church ......................................0845 166 8168 LONDON CENTRAL Jesus Fellowship Church .........................0845 166 8152 LONDON N Glad Tidings Evangelical Church ........................(020) 8245 9002 LONDON S Bible Life Family Ministries..................................(020) 8689 2244 LONDON SE Understanding Ministries .................................(020) 8855 3087 LONDON SE Ephratah Int’l Gospel Praise Centre................(020) 8469 0047 LONDON SE Flaming Evangelical Ministries ........................(020) 8694 2083 LONDON SE Hope of Glory Int’l Ministries ............................(020) 8694 6738 LONDON SE Mission Together for Christ ............................... (020) 7401 2687 LONDON W Jesus Fellowship Church.......................................0845 166 8152 MANCHESTER Jesus Fellowship Church .................................0845 166 8169 MILTON KEYNES Jesus Fellowship Church .............................0845 166 8159 NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE ............................................................0845 166 8187 NORTHAMPTON Jesus Fellowship Church .............................0845 166 8161 NORWICH Jesus Fellowship Church .........................................0845 166 8162 NOTTINGHAM Jesus Fellowship Church...................................0845 166 8163 OXFORD Jesus Fellowship Church............................................0845 166 8164 PRESTON ........................................................................................0845 123 5554 RAMSEY HOLLOW (Cambs) Christians United ......................(01487) 815528 SHEFFIELD Jesus Fellowship Church .......................................0845 166 8183 STOKE-ON-TRENT Jesus Fellowship Church ............................0845 123 5334 SWANSEA .......................................................................................0845 123 5556 WALSALL 123 5563 Jesus.........................................................................................0845 Life Two/2007 Page 30 WOLVERHAMPTON .......................................................................0845 123 5564
“I’M BORN AGAIN… but these fags won’t smoke themselves”. “This Church is my life… but I need to get home soon or I’ll miss “Eastenders.” “I’m not selfish… but do you think I care if you think I’m being moody?” “I’m gonna live for Jesus and be like Him” doesn’t mean saying all the right things then going home to a lovely comfy, middle-class house with all the trimmings; it means sacrifice. It makes me angry: people who say they’re “living in the kingdom of God”, but are not living the kingdom way. They’re “baptised”, but actually exactly the same as they were before. A lively teenager, “life and soul of the party”, comes to all the Church’s meetings – but then sits outside them and creates a bad scene, mocking and mouthing off. What’s the point in claiming you’re for God and then doing just the opposite? God does not compromise – you’re either living for His cause or not. Don’t waste time messing about. One foot in the kingdom and one foot out of the kingdom doesn’t work: how will more people get in if you’re blocking the way with doubts? The cause of Jesus is painful, yet beautiful. Hard, yet rewarding. It’s definitely not half-hearted and fake. So where do you fit in? Gonna www.jesus.org.uk give it everything you’ve got?
ant & rave
the power of God Jesus Life hears from mJa members, Kerry Smith and Georgia Hayward: one about what makes her bubble with excitement - and one about what makes her boil with rage.
THE HOLY SPIRIT will come to all those who ask. When God anointed me with His Spirit, overpoweringly, it was a particular time in my life when I found forgiveness in my heart. I was able to forgive someone I thought I’d never be able to forgive. A line from a song (‘How can I hold unforgiveness, knowing You forgive me?’) was ringing round in my head. It was when I forgave that the Holy Spirit came. Then God began to bless me in ways which I am lost for words to describe. God filled me with His Spirit – first I started to tremble, then “wooooosh”! I couldn’t stop myself – I felt drunk. And I needed to pass on this anointing. That same evening, when I prayed for others I felt ELECTRIC! The more I prayed, the more God filled me. I found myself falling to the ground, crying out to God, knowing His overwhelming love. Every emotion was taken over by God – tears and laughter all mingled together. Jesus, I love You. I felt connected to God and I know He has changed me and will go on changing me. The anointing is the presence of an amazing God getting through to us, breaking through to us, soaking into us. It’s awesome.
Kerr y Smith
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 31
OUT NOW! from Multiply Publications
In Seven Silver Rings, seven celibates from the Jesus Fellowship tell their stories, sharing how such committed singleness has enabled them to live ‘undivided’ for Jesus and His kingdom. Their stories are interspersed with author Julia Faire’s reflections on celibacy.
Seven Silver Rings A call to radical Christian love by Julia Faire
...devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit... in undivided devotion to the Lord. Paul the Apostle, in 1 Corinthians 7
Jesus Life Two/2007 Page 1
Available from Jesus People Shop, Nether Heyford, Northampton NN7 3LB e: firstname.lastname@example.org www.jesuspeople.biz t: 0845 123 5550 f: 0845 166 8178