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iBelie e AUGUST 2012 • Issue 7 • £2.90




Joyce Meyer says don’t fear Soul searching with RT Kendall Be loud and proud urges Carl Beech



Plus... a simple salad recipe & BBQ fish tips

He faced hunger, homelessness and hopelessness All we ask of you is £18 Children

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iBelie e




AUGUST 2012 • Issue 7 • £2.90

 Because faith is too good just for Sundays  Don’t miss out – get iBelieve delivered VIEWS direct to your door every month ES MILTON JONFF!  Because you love fun, family and faith – IS A ONE-O and we do too! Natasha  Perfect for people who believe – and for ding field Be people who want to believe! HER HOW POP STAR KEEPS E SQUEAKY CLEAN IMAG  Great savings – subscribe today and get a massive 30% off the cover price  iBelieve – a real faith magazine for real people of faith

Joyce Meyer says don’t fear Soul searching with RT Kendall Be loud and proud urges Carl Beech


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A FIVER FEED A FAMILY FORBBQ fish tips Plus... a simple salad

recipe &

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iBelieve August 2012


Pam Rhodes is still on song


54 I wanted more than

Natasha Bedingfield How the pop star backs up her down-to-earth image with her convictions



fame Former child prodigy Dax O’Callaghan on his latest work

11 Ex-robber who now

ON THE COVER Dubbed the ‘sultan of surreal’, Mock the Week star Milton Jones reveals his faith

helps cops Darrell Tunningley found out how to change when two ladies from church melted his heart


28 I’m not angry at losing

Still on song after 25 years Songs of Praise presenter Pam Rhodes says her role has been a compelling experience

James The death of Sadie Hurst’s young son devasted her. But she hopes his story will bring hope


48 Medals don’t define me

British Paralympic hopeful AnneWafula Strike is on a mission that’s bigger than her athletics career



life to the max! We look at this summer’s wardrobe essential


I was a top model but hit rock bottom Jennifer Strickland reveals how her life changed after finding God


Perfect gift ideas for garden lovers

Why I keep a clean image



Make a maxi-mum impact this summer!

33 Healthy recipes





Why I believe... Health visitor and minister’s wife Jackie Williams

family for a fiver A tasty pasta dish

44 ON THE COVER Fear not,

33 ON THE COVER Feed your 34 ON THE COVER Hail

Caesar! iBelieve chef Emily Roberts loves the simplicity of a classic salad

36 ON THE COVER Give it a

grilling Top tips on how to barbecue fish without things going wrong


God’s on your side Wise words from popular evangelist Joyce Meyer

58 ON THE COVER Be loud

and proud just like me, says men’s minstry leader Carl Beech


26 Savings grace! Despite the

8 Gifts Great ideas for garden lovers 15 Rest days We look at the


16 My favourite things Christian


30 Devotion Knowledge may mean


iReview We choose a great read and top CDs for the summer

economic climate, it’s wise to save

Mandy Smith Our agony aunt helps you solve your problems Know what’s good for you Dr Sharon Kane’s tips on healthy eating

9 How nation was brought to

its knees Why the miracle of Fabrice Muamba is a lesson for football


ON THE COVER I hope I finish the race well Bible teacher RT Kendall does some soul searching

stunning Portugese city of Guimarães

singer Philippa Hanna makes her choices

power but it needs to include love


52 How to... Tell a joke 53 Motoring We take the Citroen DS3 for a drive to see what it’s like


Why medals don’t define Paralympian

iBelieve Magazine is published by New Life Publishing Co, PO Box 777, Nottingham, NG11 6ZZ. PUBLISHING Tel: 0115 824 0777 Email: Editor: Peter Wreford All content is copyright and must not be reproduced without prior written permission from the Editor. All rights reserved Printed by Buxton Press, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6AE. The acceptance of advertising does not indicate editorial endorsement. We welcome your letters and comments regarding any of the issues raised within these pages. Write to the Editor at the above address. Back copies are available while stocks last, at cover price plus £1.00




from the editor Has anyone ever thrown a pair of pants at you while you were happily going about your day job? Possibly not. Find out what happens when faith meets fame in the music industry and get Natasha Bedingfield’s take on that rather unusual event – that way you’ll know what to do if it happens to you! Another star whose life is a bit unusual is Milton Jones. Dubbed the ‘sultan of the surreal’, the Christian comic is more famous for splitting sides than hairs, but make no mistake, his faith is as vibrant as his shirts! Once you get past the hilarious hairdo and the aloof stage demeanour, Milton is as endearing and interesting a comedian as you could ever hope to meet. You’ll doubtless be ‘What’s great delighted to know that we’ve picked up about both Milton’s top tips as well Milton and as suggestions from comedians the world Natasha is over and put together that they’re a fascinating guide to full of fun as help you tell a joke. What’s great about well as faith, both Milton and which makes Natasha is that they’re full of fun as well as them perfect faith, which makes them perfect for for iBelieve’ iBelieve where we’re all about Fun, Family and Faith. Neither of them takes life too seriously, but they’re well prepared to stand up for their personal convictions. Faith doesn’t demand that we abandon everything we enjoy. On the contrary, Jesus said he came to give us life, and life to the full! And true faith doesn’t need to fall to pieces, whatever life may throw at us. Sadie Hurst’s story is well worth reading as she coped with the death of her son after years of struggling with cancer. Far from doubting, Sadie says it was her faith that got him – and her – through.

THE POWERFUL NEW BOOK BY TOM RAWLS "A must read..." GARY CLARKE - LEAD PASTOR OF HILLSONG LONDON Relentless is a blueprint of just how awesome God's House can really be. It is a manifesto of how beautiful the church can be! MAL FLETCHER said: "In Relentless, Tom Rawls gives us a FLE compelling vision of the majestic force Christʼs church might become, if she is willing to re-align herself with the revolutionary principles of the New Testament" In this book you'll see the majesty and the splendour of what Jesus Christ had in mind for His church. Relentless gives hope, inspires faith and courageously tells a story of how the church can become all that is in the very mind of God. This is definitely a book for Pastors, it is absolutely a book for those who serve in areas of church leadership and is unquestionably a book for every church member.

What others are saying about Relentless... ʻCourageous and honest. Those who venture into these pages will see the church from a more vibrant perspective - as powerfully profound and vastly underestimated.ʼ

BRIAN HOUSTON Senior Pastor, Hillsong ʻInspiring... for anyone who needs reminding of the beauty, power and true mission of Godʼs Church.ʼ


ʻThis book is infectious, you may become what you read!ʼ

DAVE GILPIN Senior Pastor, Hope City Church




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Man w ho b rought nation to its knees As the new soccer season kicks off this month, we remember the moment that football fans and clubs across the UK united in prayer


ootballers are notorious for falling over at the faintest of touches when it suits them, but when Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba keeled over with no one in the vicinity, something was obviously wrong. Fabrice was not the most exciting player in the world. Nor was he the most famous, but he became the centre of unwanted attention when he collapsed on the pitch and ‘died’ for 78 minutes in the March cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur. Sport often evokes the intense passion of a life or death situation, but as the crowds held their breath in stunned silence, the match had suddenly become just such a struggle for this young man. Whilst few of us operate under the illusion that cardiac arrests can show some favouritism, many were shocked that such a healthy footballer could be so drastically affected so suddenly. In that moment, the usually unsung medics became the heroes of the hour, as life’s drama came flooding into the manufactured hype of an FA Cup clash. Faced with the shattering of the illusion of invincibility which football feeds, the nation united behind one of the game’s fledgling stars, best known for his beaming smile. And they did it with prayer. When all else fails, people don’t appeal to Darwinism and leave a helpless young man fighting for his life on the side of the

pitch as play continues. Indeed, so shaken were the rest of the players that the match was in fact called off. Muamba’s recovery became the topic of conversation around the nation and the faith he and his manager share came to the fore. ‘Pray 4 Muamba’ was the ever-present slogan on shirts and throughout social media, and the player’s name received more chants during his absence than his presence had ever produced. When all else failed, people found themselves appealing to a God whose presence was no longer doubted, offering petitions they scarcely dared hope to see fulfilled. The fact that doctors confirmed Muamba’s recovery as ‘miraculous’ should come as no surprise then, given the amount of prayer on his behalf, but the quick thinking of the teams’ doctors and a heart specialist who happened to be in the crowd merit their own praise. For Christians everywhere, the episode provided a stark reminder of just how spiritual this country remains. Built on

an enduring Christian heritage, England’s propensity to pray occasionally makes the inner pages of the daily papers. But here, in plain view, was an outpouring of prayer that required simply the right motivation – proof that people are hungry for something beyond themselves. While many claimed that the neartragic event put football into focus, it actually magnified the difference that fame makes. Muamba’s close shave with death prompted a national outpouring of emotional pleas for his survival, yet many suffer similar fates every day, and pass unheralded. The burden of mortality is heavy to bear when it is so starkly demonstrated, but the good news of the gospel is the antidote to what ails us all. When Muamba was faced with the fight for his life, we rallied round and pulled out all the stops. There are countless individuals around us who need us to do the same. If a footballer’s collapse merits a national prayer movement all of its own, how much more should the fate of all the earth motivate us to action?

Fabrice Muamba




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A conference organised by the Pilgrims’ Friend Society, a Christian charity with over 200 years experience of meeting the needs of older Christians.

King’s House Conference Centre, King’s Church, Sidney Street, Manchester M1 7HB 7th November, 2012, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm Workshop Speakers: Roger Hitchings, Maureen Sim, Janet Jacob, Louise Morse, Maria Williams, Dr J Ling.

Nestling neatly between the foothills of Skiddaw, and the shores of beautiful Derwentwater, Keswick is an attractive, busy market town which is ideally suited to exploring the northern half of the Lake District National Park. Just a few yards from River Greta and Fitz Park, Primrose Cottage is a traditional Lakeland stone mid-terraced cottage, that gives easy access to Keswick’s amenities, whilst enjoying views of the town’s own fell, the ever popular Latrigg.

z No Smoking z TV with DVD (which will also play CDs) z Gas central heating (radiators) z Washer/Dryer z Microwave z Fridge/Freezer z Iron and Ironing Board z Garden with furniture z Cot and high chair available z Sleeps up to 5 z Off-street parking z Short breaks available z Linen Included z Dogs welcome z Only ten mins walk to town centre.


• The Crisis in Care • Responding to early dementia and what caregivers need • Developing Usefulness in Old Age • Legal Issues for Older People • End of Life Issues.

Early bird discount applies to 30th September, 2012. Organisations = £60, or early bird £50 Non-PFS member = £50, or early bird £40 Book via the website, or email t. 0300 303 1400 (ask for Suzie Leveson, conference organiser). Pilgrims’ Friend Society 175 Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 2AL

Elvis Presley Gospel Tribute Act!

Andy Kelso’s great passion is to reach people for Jesus! Sadly so many people are put off church but God has been using Andy’s Elvis Presley Gospel Tribute Act to connect with people. If you’re a church with a heart for your community then why not invite Andy along. Many churches book a local hall or club or pub function room and Andy will provide the entertainment. People will have a great time but also get some food for thought! Andy combines the best of Elvis: rock, ballad and Gospel, and weaves in some stories of Elvis’s spiritual journey along with his own. It makes for an amazing evening!

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Real life

‘I was a robber... now I help cops’ Two old women melted Darrell Tunningley’s heart and he knew he had to make changes


former drug dealer, addict and convicted armed robber is now working with the police after finding God. Darrell Tunningley decided to become a Christian after two old ladies told him about Jesus at an Alpha Course during a five and a half year stint in prison. He says: “For the first two or three weeks we gave them stick. But they kept coming back at us with compassion and love. They were like love bombs. “For someone like me who felt dead on the inside, whose emotions had been killed by heroin, all I thought that I would ever feel again was anger. I didn’t care about me or anybody else. I had no respect for life. To see somebody genuinely caring about me hit me right in the heart. “The way these ladies put it was that God doesn’t just give you a clean slate or a second chance, he gives you a whole new slate – one to start all over again. They told us that Jesus is willing to serve out your sentence for you. That made sense.” Darrell, who had only attended the Alpha Course to get some time out of his cell, began to read the Bible in his own

time. “It opened at the book of Job,” he says. “This guy had everything – he was the Simon Cowell of his time but he lost all of his wealth and his kids, but throughout the whole process he wouldn’t budge about who God was. I wanted to know what made God so real to him. “Then I said the first real prayer of my life – ‘God if you’re real, prove it. Take away all this anger and the drugs. If you do that for me I will live the rest of my life doing what you want me to do.’” The next day Darrell woke up a different person. “I picked up my rollie which I’d made the night before and just the thought of it made me want to projectile vomit so I threw it out of my cell window. As soon as I did that I stopped feeling

sick. Then I thought about my joint I’d usually have and the feeling came back so I threw that out of the window too. I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognise the person looking back at me. The big ball of anger had gone.” Darren became the chapel orderly in prison and began to learn about God and the Bible. Upon his release, he became youth pastor at Runcorn Hope Corner Church where he met his wife, Rebekah, and the couple now have two children. Now 34, Darrell runs drug awareness courses as well as training courses for the police to help them understand addiction. He says: “God is more important to me than the air I’m breathing. I should be dead but I’m still here.”




Natasha BedingďŹ eld

Keeping it clean



Pop is littered with stars whose squeaky clean image turns out to be too good to be true. Not so Natasha Bedingfield the down-to-earth singer who backs up her convictions with action. Mark Wreford reports


atasha Bedingfield’s brand of sugary-sweet pop music forced its way into homes around the globe when she burst onto the scene six years ago. At the time, she was the first English female solo artist to top the US charts for nearly two decades, and her success paved the way for a glut of British popstrels to take the world by storm. What’s a little different about Natasha is that her ‘good girl’ image – unlike so many before and after her – was more than a mere façade. In fact, she undermines many of the stereotypical assumptions about blonde divas with teen audiences. And how many rock stars have you heard of that take a year out of their career because it’s all become a little too self-centred? What’s more, Natasha’s pop career is firmly rooted in her Christian faith. She formed part of DNA Algorithim with her siblings and sang with Hillsong London. That’s not to say that she doesn’t have to cope with the rather unusual challenges of fame. “I was singing at a radio show

ABOVE: Kristin’s biography. BELOW: The singing star published a Christmas CD

in New York, and a boy threw his boxer shorts on to the stage,” she remembers. “I picked them up and they were still warm! That’s gross. Do you think people take knickers to throw, or do they whip them off in the front row? Maybe he was wearing a kilt.” Clearly there’s something a little different about this cockney lass whose vocal talents have earned her comparisons with Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone, but whose lifestyle speaks of something more positive. “From a young age, I was aware of a spiritual dimension,” she says carefully. “It’s a very private thing. Creatively it’s helpful for me. Faith is personal and it comes out in the music. “British music feels real and organic right now,” Natasha says. “Music is easiest to listen to when it comes from a place that is truthful. “When Amy Winehouse sang Rehab, it was wonderful to listen to because it felt as if it came from a real situation. I couldn’t pull that song off. I studied psychology. I could have ended up in rehab but probably as the therapist!” Actually, therapy is something Natasha knows a

Natasha has had plenty of hits




Interview because it’s not elitist. It’s anthemic, it’s got structure to it, and it’s easy to understand. Plus, I like to dance.” Natasha, like her background and her music, is a bit of an odd mix. Famous and gorgeous, but grounded and insightful, her attitude to fame is as refreshing as it is pragmatic. “I enjoy the fact that I can go into a club and get straight into the VIP section,” she grins. “It can be intimidating if all eyes are on you, there’s cameras flashing and people yelling out your name. But it’s like being on stage: you get to dress up, play a bit, be expressive. You have to love the camera, otherwise you’re gonna look rubbish.” But just in case you were worried that she’s buying into the cult of celebrity a little too fully, Natasha actually took a break from her burgeoning career to work in an orphanage in Calcutta – away from the cameras. “We picked kids off the street, washed and fed them, taught them a few little songs and just tried to give them a bit of affection. The past few years have been devoted to my career so it was great to do something less selfish. It filled me with a lot of hope. In the past, I have felt there were so many horrible things in the world ing pot, with differences that we should I just wanted to shut it out – what can one celebrate.” person do? It was when Natasha started singing “Especially when it just takes so much in church that she finally found the voice effort to survive, keep your own life that millions would come to know and afloat, pay the bills. But to see the things love. that people are doing to help others, the “I found I could lose myself in music, smiles on the kids’ faces – those kind of and it helped me overcome my shyness. I things stay with you.” forgot to worry about what I looked like, While in India she accepted her record or what people thought company’s request that of me. I love singing – it ‘I grew up singing she conduct a phone makes me feel alive.” interview with a fashion in church, so When you add into magazine. this unusual mix the fact “I’m in the orphanpeople assume that Natasha was homeage, my heart is kind I am traditional schooled for five years of in shock, and they’re from the age of 11, her asking me, ‘What’s the and very proper’ unusual approach to the most you’ve ever spent music industry makes a bit more sense. on an item of clothing?’ I said, ‘Thanks for “I used to think it was weird, and I didn’t reminding me how materialistic I am.’ like to talk about it. But I now realise that “But that is the big question: what is we’ve all got things like that. When I write success? My favourite thing in the world about things that are personal, often is song-writing, and I will do whatever those are the songs people relate to the allows me to keep doing that. most. We all have much more in common “The challenge is not to lose yourself than we think, so many insecurities that in the glamour of it, not just become part we share. of the machinery and the merchandise. “I want to communicate, and I don’t If I did that, I would feel like an absolute want to put up barriers. My music is pop failure.” Natasha Bedingfield: “I found I could lose myself in music.”

thing or two about. Her parents, Molly and John Bedingfield, were both social workers who emigrated from New Zealand to the UK before she was born. Growing up in South London, Natasha felt like something of an outsider. “I didn’t quite belong, because my family was so different. My parents are from New Zealand so they tend to be more straightforward in the way they express themselves, and we are more outdoorsy and bohemian. As a kid, I didn’t think I’d amount to much. My school reports were terrible, and I was such a day-dreamer that my parents took me to the doctor because they thought I was deaf! “I grew up singing in church, so people assume that I am traditional, and very proper,” she continues. “That’s not the case at all. My upbringing wasn’t very conventional. My parents worked with recovering drug addicts and homeless people. They immigrated from New Zealand which has a laid back, organic and wonderfully folky vibe, whereas London is more cosmopolitan, urban and bustling. That’s a unique combination. My music reflects that collision of sensibilities. Urban gypsies in a big, amazing melt14


Rest days

f o s l l i h e h t n High i Guimarães!

e. The city’s a di fferent an gl om fr than re he visible in more in g for somew rich herita ge is f you’re search . er a d ev w en ho sp ure, na ry to st the arch itect a little less ordi year, then ju is fa mous for its th so al ys is da s ng ãe xi ar Gu im few rela s. ãe ar im ily in fluenced by Gu av an he th ectionery, nf co look no fu rther tery rn a female monas e city in northe the presence of If n. Th is picturesqu tio an da pe un ro very fo med the Eu from the city’s to re ts su Portugal was na as be bo , d go an to 12 re for 20 the chance t ge u yo and s ãe to Capita l of Cu ltu ar nd as de Gu im ta ge that is seco sa mple the Tort a histor ical heri céu. the Toucin ho do in g, none. e th as so much your th to t no ed s rr y’ fe or st hi If Sometimes re lity, not. rtug uese nationa CO then fear bi rthplace of Po venues, ES UN e th is ea ar a leng thy list of ic ng or ti st as hi Bo t the city’s gh si ra a r cu ltu l site – and what useu ms and othe m , world herita ge le st is certai nly ca impressive ns, Gu imarães an tio ng ac ti tr as at Bo ! is , it anza If you ti me your e Du kes of Brag ‘has-been’ city. a t no the Pa lace of th al catch one of the re and the Tour t right, you ca n si vi ls dressed the Ol iv iera Squa s’ , Gu imarãe als and fi nd loca ch iv ur st fe ch y d el an liv re Squa ar in g. ld display al l ye up and celebrat histor y is on bo ães shor t of the ar im Gu is r No round. If you get the g for the best xu rious touch. lu ada If you’re look in re su e the centra l Pous however, mak chance, stay in is Th . e va ntage point, ha Th in t. si ar M vi ães Sa nta Mou ntai n a ar a im nh Gu Pe at y de th pa u ity yo ts e qual the region boas r hotel boasts th ta -s ve fi at t bu highest point in s uster of star ator and most of comes w ith a cl – in a a church, an elev ty. ci e th of ht su rprise you s ig ew m vi at r th la es cu ic ta pr ec sp al l, h the it a visit to catc very good way. Be su re to pay ghts si e th e se d an it’ ir sp ‘mou ntai n


Find out why the 10th-century Guimarães Castle is known as ‘the cradle of Portugal’

If you love art head for the museum of Condes de Castro which contains classical paintings of historical figures

The Gui histo Mar marãe ric luxu s inh a, is hotel ry Pou sad loc set the on a ated in a de hill bea San o utif ul c verloo ta ity king

famous church is ell as to a rc o T ing St ls as w The stunn r summer festiva la u es p c o n p a s for it erform cultural p

Don’t miss the beautiful Penha Mountain and the spectacular Campo da Feira church



my favourite things Sheffield singer and Christian chart favourite Philippa Hanna explains what makes her tick…

Special shop

I’m not a big designer girl and I love vintage shops where you can get real bargains that you won’t see many other people wearing. I love shopping for clothes like any girl!

Bible verse Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Sweetest smell I absolutely love Amor Amor. It’s really sweet and makes me feel all nostalgic but I have no idea why!

Top of the chocs It’s got to be a good old classic Daim bar. They’re really chompy and tasty and I can’t get enough of them!

Desired destination

It has to be Greece. It’s hot and sunny and isn’t as touristy as other places. I love the culture, the language and the food. What a great place to spend a few days relaxing with family! 16


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A real one off!



ABOVE: Milton Jones during a round of ‘Spinning the News’ on Mock The Week

ABOVE: BBC Radio 4 comedy series aired in 2003. BELOW: Two of Milton’s DVDs. His popularity grew out of his decision to hold on to his convictions

Milton Jones is the saviour of the oneliner! Dubbed the ‘sultan of surreal’, he’s known as much for his unusual approach to fashion as he is with wonderful wordplay. If you’re ever going to try to be funny, steal his jokes. He’s a Christian, he won’t mind…


ilton Jones told his first joke to a light fitting at the tender age of eleven. From then on, he knew he was meant to be a light entertainer… If you’re a fan of better jokes than that lame attempt, you’ll probably have heard of the wild-haired ‘lion whisperer’ Milton Jones. The genius within some of the most exotic shirts to have graced the set of BBC’s comedy news quiz Mock the Week is genuinely funny, as the thousands who have seen him tour can attest. Milton’s approach to clever comedy is a little less average, however. Heavily influenced by his Christian faith, his language is distinctly less colourful than his shirts. He relies rather on wordplay and smart puns to tickle the intellectual funny bone of the masses. It’s a style which has helped form his popular approach, but it grew out of his unwillingness to divorce his convictions from his comedy. “I’m a Christian, so

I don’t swear or blaspheme,” he explains. “When I started stand-up I found I needed to be as accessible as possible. Even early on I picked up gigs that other comics wouldn’t have been asked to do: schools, some charity gigs. I was comfortable with it. “If you’re able to develop a style out of being clean then you can be accepted by a wide variety of people. “I can’t see the point of shocking people for shock’s sake. If you are going to be shot for something, make sure it’s worth being shot for. The danger of shock tactics is that you paint yourself into a corner. The next thing you do has to be even more shocking. Where does it end?” A married father of three, Milton is as likely to play a stand-up routine in a church as he is a top theatre. He originally thought about being an actor but got his big comic break at the 1996 Edinburgh Festival. He scooped the prestigious Perrier Best Newcomer Award and followed it a year




PULL THE UDDER ONE: Milton Jones performs for a herd of cows. Asked how it went he said, “They were moved. Really moved!”

later to become a 1997 Perrier Nominee and enjoy back-to-back appearances in the Pick of the Fringe shows at Her Majesty’s Theatre. Milton has indeed found acceptance from a vast variety of different people groups during his career. “It turns out people like jokes,” he deadpans. “Not everyone, but there’s a demographic who like one-liner gags. When I look out into the audience there’s 12 year olds and there’s old people. A real pantomime type of crowd, which I really like in a way. “It sounds rather saccharine, but when I look out and I see that mum and dad have brought their kids, I like that. At one show a little girl asked about my trousers, or something ridiculous, and I talked to her for a bit. I came back to her at the end to ask, ‘Did you like the show?’ and her mum said, ‘She’s asleep.’” Even if Milton could consider a career as the world’s best babysitter with the soporific effect of his shows, there are many out there who’d love to be able to tell ’em like he does. So much so that they simply steal his jokes! “Not so much now, but about ten years ago a mainstream comic would just do one of my jokes in their act,” he recalls. “It was very frustrating. Also, apparently a couple of years ago there was a talent competition on a TV station up North where some bloke stuck his hair up, put 20


on a jumper and did all my gags. It wasn’t a tribute act, it was just a complete rip off. I don’t know whether to be pleased that he didn’t win or not! But there’s nothing you can do, really. There’s been no legal precedent. So a punch in the face is as good as you can hope for.” If that sounds rather pessimistic, you’d be wrong to assume that Milton is just like the archetypal clown – the saddest man in the circus. On the contrary, with a sold-out tour, books, DVDs, TV pilots and most of all, a faith to ground him, the only way is up. For Milton, variety is most definitely the spice of life. “I think variety is the key,” he says. “Sometimes people ask me what I want to do and I think having a variety of different types of work is the best thing. If you do one thing too much, you sort of get stuck in a rut.” That variety may sound attractive, but it is certainly no excuse to avoid hard work. Unlike many comics whose acts rely on foul-mouthed rants about anything and everything that takes their fancy, Milton’s material revolves around the irresistible pull of the most condensed form of joke, which means that his shows take a lot of writing. A one-liner doesn’t take very long to tell, so if you’re going to fill an hour, you’ll need quite a few. “I normally sit myself down in front of the computer in the morning and try

to come up with something, even if it’s rubbish! Sometimes the ideas that come out of the rubbish turn out to be the good things. My productivity really increases when a deadline is looming – like a new tour! “There’s nothing like a deadline. In other words, you’ve got a theatre full of people who are going to be waiting to hear you speak and you’ve got to come up with something. “I try material out on the family, but they’re quite tough and I need to catch them in the right mood. If I produce a piece of paper at dinner time they all go, ‘Oh, no.’” Milton is a regular churchgoer and a committed Christian, but, like any great comic, he’s not afraid to challenge the way we think, though it doesn’t always go that well! “I’ve said to a happy clappy bunch, ‘Christians need to get away from religious clichés. Amen?’ and there’ll just be murmurs!” Nonetheless, the clean comic is here to stay. And when asked for a good Christian joke, Milton has one spare. “Some people see the church as a giant helicopter. They’re scared to get too close in case they get sucked into the rotas.” • Check out iBelieve’s top tips on how to tell a good joke on page 52.


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protects your legs from hot sun. The maxi dress is also an excellent choice for the evening: wear it for a stroll along the beach or for any type of restaurant as the heat of the day gives way to a cooler night. They look great with all types of shoes including wedges, fl ip flops, heels or sandals – perfect for any occasion. iBelieve


Fashion What happens when you reach the pinnacle of the fashion industry – and find that you need something more. Top model Jennifer Strickland reveals all


hen I was a little girl, people used to always stop my mother in the street and tell her that I should become a model. At the age of eight, I started doing fashion shows, photo shoots and mannequin modelling. At 17, my career took off when I signed with the Nina Blanchard Agency of Los Angeles and she sent me to Europe. During the next six years, my life was full with auditions, TV commercials and photo shoots. While attaining a degree from the University of South California, I modelled all over Europe and Australia, appearing in countless fashion and beauty magazines, catalogues and campaigns. So proud of their daughter’s success, my parents collected all of the magazines and framed them in a huge collage on a wall at home. Unbeknownst to them, I constantly found myself in dangerous situations abroad, even having to physically defend myself from clients, photographers and people on the street. I lived with models whose lives were riddled with eating disorders, drug abuse and sexual indiscretions. I dealt with continual criticism and rejection about my imperfections – and my life began to spiral out of control. After college, I signed with two of the most influential modelling agencies in the world – Ford New York and Fashion Milan. I moved to Italy, ready to take Milan by storm and hit the runway. As the new face in town, I immediately began working with elite photographers, clients and designers, including Giorgio Armani. I opened his Giorgio and Emporio shows, showcasing his haute couture and young women’s lines to the world. Armani chose to design the make-up for his 1995 24


‘I was a top model but then I hit rock bottom’ Spring Giorgio Collection on my face, and wanted to hire me for a million dollar print campaign. Yet, at this pinnacle of my career, this place from which there seemed no bounds to what I could achieve, I found myself strikingly unfulfilled. As I saw how the superficiality and flesh-obsessed world of fashion modelling destroyed the selfimage of so many young women, and left even those that achieved success without a clear purpose, I began to have a nagging sense that there had to be more to life than this. After Armani, my career skyrocketed to a frantic pace – I went from studio to studio, country to country, every day dressing up to be a different person – different face, hair, clothes… until the reflection in the mirror revealed a dim resemblance of my former self. I began wondering who the woman in the mirror really was and what her value

in the world could be. Using drugs to quell the loneliness, starving myself for the shows, and being thousands of miles away from home, it all began to catch up with me and this fast-moving train to fame derailed in a painful crash that seemed to take every dream of my young girl’s heart out with its wake. The ‘beauty’ that my career depended upon finally betrayed me – dark circles under my eyes, cystic acne and a frame so thin that you could see all the ribs down my back. When my mother saw me over the holidays, she fearfully tried to feed my anorexic-thin body, and I put on a few pounds. But when the designers noticed my waist-line had changed, they outright fired me for the shows. From there, my career took a downhill slide, and I found myself wandering the streets of Florence, Rome and Siena, searching for the meaning of my life. In

Fashion Q&A Taking the iBelieve fashion Q&A this month is Annie Morris, a Bible student at Kings College and a dancer at Hillsong London


Who is your fashion hero? Victor ia Beckham. Theme park or local park? Such a toughy as I love them both! But I’d probably have to go for the local park. Best place to live? Sydney, Austra lia – city and beach all in one!

ABOVE: Jennifer during her modelling days LEFT: Jennifer relaxes at home

towering, majestic churches I got down on my knees and cried out for love, without any hope or faith that my prayers would be answered. I finally hit rock bottom while working in Munich, and while numbed with drugs and alcohol I contemplated suicide. But little did I know that God had heard my cries and was right there. I soon met a series of strangers whose sage words changed the direction of my steps. By the beer gardens of Munich I met a man who was handing out New Testaments. He told me about Christ, who loved me enough to die for me, and who rose again, proving his power over death – and power over the darkness that had consumed my days. From nearly drowning myself in my cold, empty apartment to climbing the snowy mountains of Germany, discovering a Saviour that could give me a new life and the love I so yearned for, I expe-

rienced the miracle of being sought out by the Creator of the universe and being rescued. In the pages of his Word, I found the true meaning of love and discovered the security that comes from being a child of God. Since I left the fashion industry, my life has truly been transformed from the inside out. Faith has changed me. It has given me the desires of my heart and a Rock upon which to stand. It has given me freedom from my sin and freedom to be me. I have also been extraordinarily blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband who encourages me to use my gifts for God’s glory. And God has given me a purpose – to share his love with the lost, to tell the stories of my life that display so powerfully the beauty that God sees in the heart of every woman. Through faith, we can be transformed to be more and more beautiful... from the inside out.

What are three items of clothing you would take on a desert island? The fi rst would be a massive pashm ina, to lay on it when it’s hot and wrap up in when it’s cold! Then there’d be a bikini and, of course, a ‘onesie’ – I’m always cold so this would come in handy! Accessories... hat or scarf? Scarf. How much did your last handbag cost? My last handbag was a bit of a splash out as it was a birthday present. It was £90 from Topshop, but the bag before that was a snip at just £7 from my local market! How many pairs of shoes do you own? A ridiculous amount! I used to work in a shoe shop so I got a lot free! Probably about seven pairs of boots, ten heels, ten pumps and a whole lot more back home that I’ve forgotten about! Favourite place for a day out? It’s got to be London.




helping you fettle your finances

The economic climate has hit savings really hard. Low interest rates mean returns are extremely low. We look at what savings accounts are available

Savings grace? I

s it worth saving when the financial outlook is so uncertain? First of all, it’s always worth saving! Think of it this way – saving is the same as spending, it’s just that you’re waiting until tomorrow to do it. If you want to buy anything tomorrow, you’re going to need to save. That said, the state of financial affairs does change things somewhat. Saving is all about trying to get back the most money you can from whoever is looking after it for you. Saving comes in a variety of forms which are in fact investments dressed up as savings plans. For example, if you are to use your full annual taxfree ISA (individual savings account) quota, only half of that can be placed in a standard bank account to accrue interest – a cash ISA.



The other half must be placed in a stocks and shares ISA which carries more risk. Any investment can be a good one if it’s done at the right time, but some are more risky than others. If you’re looking to save at the moment, it’s a good idea to think about how long you’re planning for. If you want to get the most out of your money in five years, that

will require different actions to getting the most out of it in 20 years. Once you’ve figured out how long you want your money to perform over, have a look at what you can invest in. Different companies offer plans under the ISA banner and there are many plans outside of ISAs as well. Look at the plans and find out who they’re investing in. Pick things that you think will make money during the time that you’re interested in. The financial outlook may be uncertain, but there are still some things that consistently make money. Save by investing in them.

Learn to haggle Everyone knows someone with a serious eye for a bargain. But did you know that he who shouts loudest normally laughs last? You’re a lot more likely to get something for nothing if you ask. This is especially true of deals like mobile phone contracts when operators normally have dispensation to give special deals away which change daily. Don’t forget that as the buyer, you not only have your rights, but also the power. If no one buys, companies go bust. Use your power to haggle today.

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Real life

: James and mum Sadie on ABOVE: James with his best friend Alex. RIGHT Red Nose Day, 2009

Little James Hurst couldn’t wait to get to heaven, and although his family are devastated by his death, his story is bringing hope to many. Katie Portman reports

‘I don’t get angry at losing James’ S

adie Hurst had never once thought about writing a book. But, after losing her son James to cancer when he was just 11 years old, she knew she had to tell people of his incredible story and faith in God. James, who would have been 13 this year, was just three when he was first diagnosed with cancer. Although it initially appeared that the youngster was suffering from flu or a virus, the truth was much more devastating. James actually had a 28


brain tumour. “I was not surprised when I was told a mass was found in James’ brain,” says Sadie. “We were rushed to hospital and major emergency brain surgery took place, which lasted 11 hours. Most of the tumour was removed, but a small amount remained as it was attached to the brain stem which was too dangerous to touch. “That day was the longest day of my life. Much of it was spent in silence, but I spoke to the Lord throughout. I truly

believed that whatever the outcome, God was in control. I knew if James didn’t make it then there was a reason and a plan. But praise God, James survived.” Following his surgery, James would often thank God for making him better and had an incredibly strong faith for someone so young, explains Sadie. “James would say, ‘I nearly died but God made me better, I love God!’ He wasn’t afraid to tell his friends about his faith and he would always be concerned for

Sadie with the book she has written about James

ABOVE: James with his family at Euro Disney in April 2010, just two months before he passed away. TOP: James, aged seven, meeting Fath er Christmas in 2006

his friends who didn’t believe. We had a wonderful conversation about heaven. I was describing it as best I could to James and told him, ‘Yes, it will be even more exciting than Disneyland!’ Well, he looked at me and said, ‘Mummy, I know it won’t be very nice for you to hear this, but, I can’t wait to go to heaven.’ He was so excited.” However, seven years later, the family were dealt another devastating blow when James’ cancer returned. This time, it was found in his brain stem, which meant that nothing could be done to save him. “I begged God for intervention and, because I trusted him, I knew that whatever his plan was for James, I would accept it,” says Sadie. “James’ health deteriorated rapidly but he always kept positive. He suffered unbelievably and yet he didn’t once complain. He was the most inspirational and positive person I have ever known.” Sadly, just months after finding out that the cancer had returned, James died in

Bristol Children’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit on June 19, 2010. “When I was saying goodbye to James, I knew it was time for him to leave. He’d been paralysed for 12 days, yet as I leant over him saying the final things I wanted to say, he raised his hand and wiped the tears from my cheeks. I could say that I don’t know how he did it, but, I do know, it was by God’s grace. “I told James that when he was ready to go to be with Jesus, he needed to reach out and take his hand. I didn’t mean physically as I knew he couldn’t move, but, as I said it, James lifted his hand high into the air, as if to take Jesus’ hand. It was an incredibly poignant moment and I am convinced he saw a heavenly being. James entered the Lord’s presence a few hours later.” Sadie says that she has never felt anger towards God for James’ suffering and insists that it was her faith that pulled her through. “James is God’s child. He loaned

him to me for the time he was to be here and I feel very privileged to have been given James to care for on earth. “Without faith, I would have no reason to believe I will see James again. But James knew very well where he was going, and I know, by faith, that he is now existing just beyond my reach.” After James’ passing, Sadie decided to share his story and her family’s experience of dealing with terminal illness, by writing her book ‘Mummy I Can’t Wait To Go To Heaven’ which she hopes will now help others in a similar situation. “I’ve found healing in recalling and writing, especially as I’ve been able to do something positive with my experience,” says Sadie. “I want to encourage and bring hope to others, to help people through times of trial and loss of their loved ones, especially children. Ultimately though, what I strive for above everything else is to bring glory to God in all I do.” iBelieve



Why kno always a

Bible focus Ephesians 5:15-16: “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” As melodramatic as this might sound, it’s an important reminder for us that life isn’t a neutral passage of time as much as a battleground in which we’re required to life a live worthy of the great calling on our lives as Christians. It’s easy to abandon our conception of what’s important when the greatest challenge we’re facing is lighting the barbecue, but that’s precisely what Paul is warning against. Living in a Christian country is a great privilege, but we can’t simply ignore our own personal faith and allow the fact that we’re not facing persecution to let us put our feet up. Don’t forget to tend to your spiritual life in the comfortable times too.



nowledge isn’t s about power K

nowledge is power, we are told. And perhaps the place where we realise this most clearly and acutely is where knowledge of other people is concerned. If we know something of the secret of another person, we are often aware of the enormous power in our hands – weapons to hurt, even destroy. Something very vulnerable and fragile has been put into our grasp – because most people’s hearts are pretty fragile. And we know this too from the other side. I have shared something very private, perhaps humiliating or embarrassing with my friend. And as soon as they’ve left, I’m in an anguish of fear and regret. Should I have done that? Am I safe? And it isn’t even true, alas, that it’s somehow better if the other person has had comparable experience to yours. It’s quite possible for someone to say: “I know exactly what you mean. I had the same experience, but I came to an opposite conclusion.” That doesn’t help, and it intensifies my sense that I can’t even trust my judgment of my own situation. All this really comes to one thing – the terrible

iPray We often forget that any conversation is a two-way affair, and this is as true of faith as it is of your mornin g hob-nob with the neighbours. It’s hard to understand how a God with no body can speak, but it’s true that he does. Some people have incred ible stories of a boomin g voice speaki ng to them at the darkest moments of their

Devotion with Dr Rowan Williams threat of knowledge without love. Knowledge is power. But God does not deal with us in power of that sort. Where we are vulnerable and fragile, it is he who is wounded and broken. He will not break the bruised reed or quench the smouldering flax, but carries all our hurt in himself. So we may take to him our whole selves, in the sure trust that nothing will be thrown back at us to wound or destroy. And that is the measure of clear-eyed love and loving knowledge for us to pray for – praying that if others come and give us their secret we may, by God’s grace, merit their trust, soften their fear and be able to feel their trouble as they do and bring it from them, in us to God. Forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven you. Understand one another as God in Christ has understood you. Know one another as God in Christ has known you, and in no other way. Used with kind permission from the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams

lives, but for many, it’s a still small voice on the inside bringi ng comfor t, direction and encouragement. Take a few minutes today to sit quietly – really quietly – and ask God to speak to you. Then carry that prayerful attitude into your other actions for the rest of the day. You’ll be surprised at the ‘super’ you begin to fi nd in the ‘natural’.

There’s no such thing as ordinary Thought for the day Reaching the New Testament book of Romans is one of the high points of reading through the Bible. In his letter to the church in that renowned city, the apostle Paul explains much of the Christian faith, and in the famous eighth chapter, he explains just how truly extraordinary the Christian life is! Not only does Paul give us great theology but Romans 8 is perhaps one of the most encouraging in all the Scriptures. This passage begins with the bold proclamation that ‘there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’, continuing to explain that God works all things together for the good of the blessed people he has chosen. It concludes with the remarkable assertion that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God… that’s some good news right there! What’s particularly amazing is that this chapter, whilst it deals with the Almighty, is focused on mere humanity – you and me! As Paul explains the incredible change that comes about in the life of a Christian and goes on to number the blessings we can count, it is clear that we are always at the forefront of God’s thinking. You’re not ordinary! Go and read this chapter and remember that it’s talking about you! iBelieve



Mandy Smith The teenage bride of Rolling Stones’ bassist Bill Wyman and former Vogue model Mandy Smith answers your questions

I need romance I have been married for 20 years but my sex life has got worse and worse. How can my husband and I put some romance back into the bedroom? The first key here is friendship. Can you imagine having intimate sex with someone who is your love, but not your friend? I say this because 20 years is a long time to be with someone and it’s a really wonderful achievement. Of course you love each other, but are you best friends? Best friends share everything – thoughts, feelings, anger, fear, pain and love. You might need to have a good look at how you connect on a day to day level because if you are just going along with life but aren’t really engaging with each other anymore then things will become stale and a bit boring. That’s a horrible situation to be in when you still love each other. Maybe let sex take a back seat for a while and concentrate on your relationship and friendship. Intimacy can still be created without sex. Cuddling, holding hands, kissing and even just looking at your partner is still a bonding process. Please don’t be brainwashed by the media or the general thought that you must have sex to have lasting happiness. Yes, it is an important part of a marriage but make sure your relationship is a natural union and not a habitual one!

Horrid hubby My husband is the leader at a church but he can be so rude to me and has outbursts of anger

and you are left angry, hurt and deflated. Problems like this really should be stopped and addressed at an early stage. If you have tried this on many occasions but he has regressed to his old ways then I suggest you seek outside help. It’s vital that you express your thoughts to your husband about how you feel. He also needs to be reminded that his behaviour could be having negative effects on your children and if he does not make changes then you might have to.

Am I a failure?

in front of the children, yet everyone at church thinks he’s some super saint. It has even caused me to consider divorce. What should I do? I think he may need to review his role as a leader at church or start making some changes at home. None of us is a saint and God knows that, and I’m sure the parishioners also know that your husband has flaws, like we all do. I’m sure your husband is liked by people at church in the same way that you and your family like/love him when he’s being nice. But this behaviour is not acceptable. If he is a true man of God then he will know his wrongs and I’m sure at times he will feel awful and even hypocritical because of his role. Divorce is a big decision and I’m sure you don’t mean this lightly being a Christian, which leads me to believe that this has been going on for some time now

My son goes out drinking and smokes, and I know he’s sleeping with his girlfriend. I feel so bad as I raised him in a Christian home and now it’s all gone down the pan. I feel like I’ve failed as a mum. What should I do? You have not failed as a mother. You have raised your son in a Christian home and that is something that God asks of us as parents. The Lord also says that we have a duty to provide, instruct and correct our children, and I’m sure you have been doing this for many years. But there comes a time when we cannot always be responsible for our children’s journey in life, and that time normally starts when they are entering adulthood. As difficult as it sounds, you have to let children actually make mistakes and learn from them to gain some responsibility. If you want your son to grow to be a good man and one day a good father, then you must allow him freedom to experience life and pray that God always leads him back to the Christian foundations that you laid for him.

If you have a question for Mandy, e-mail 32






High five A great recipe

to feed your family for just a fiver

Broccoli & pesto pasta


f you’re after a cheap dinner to fill up a few, why not go veggie for a night and try our broccoli and pesto pasta dish. Trust us, it’s delicious! All you’ll need is a large broccoli, fresh basil, some grated Parmesan, 500g of pasta – whatever shape and sort you prefer – and four tablespoons of green pesto. The first thing

to do is chop the broccoli. Cut the end off the stalk, chop little florets off the head and then slice the thick stalk up thinly. Next, pick the basil leaves off the stalks, chop them roughly and get rid of the stalks. Now’s a good time to grate your parmesan too. Bring a large saucepan full of water to the boil and pop in the broc-

coli stalks and pasta and cook it for as long as the pasta requires. When it’s got two minutes to go, add the broccoli florets. When the time’s up, drain the pasta and broccoli in a large colander and put it back into the pan. Add the basil leaves, half the cheese and all the pesto and give it a good stir. Serve and sprinkle over your remaining cheese. You might like to serve it with side salad, or some runner beans and carrots.

\ iBelieve







iBelieve chef Emily Roberts is looking forward to salad days and has two mouthwatering classic recipes for you to try this month. She’s just praying the weather warms up so you can enjoy them al fresco!

Dress to impress… For many, salad can appear to be a form of dull, unadventurous rabbit food that only someone who has no sense of taste could possibly enjoy. On a personal level, I have grown to like salad, especially as it has significant health benefits which can only be gained by eating certain foods in their raw form. That said, the salad must be made tasty, and one way I do this is through salad dressings. I like to make my own, as many of the good salad dressings you can buy are often quite expensive. Using store cupboard ingredients, you can whip up a dressing in no time! There are many fancy jars and pots that you can use to make a good dressing, but by far the best that I have found is a simple old jam jar that still has a lid and has been washed out. This way, if you have not used it all, you can keep the dressing in the jar and place it in the fridge for up to a week.  In summer, I get fed up of limp sandwiches at lunch time, so will often take a feta cheese salad into work. In another little jar I will have some of my classic vinaigrette dressing. I find that on really hot days, it is no fun slaving over a hot stove, so my family enjoys a chicken caesar salad, which is more filling than most.  It is very quick to put together, as by using the food processor you can get the dressing with all its ingredients really smooth. Classic Vinaigrette 7 tbs of extra virgin olive oil • 2 tbs of white wine vinegar • 2½ tsp of mustard • ½ tsp of caster sugar

Firstly, mix the mustard and the sugar into a paste into the bottom of your jar, then add the vinegar and mix well again. Gradually add the olive oil, stirring as you add it. Firmly place the lid on top and shake well. The best way to add the dressing to your salad is to do so gradually and use clean hands to mix and toss the salad, as otherwise you end up with all the dressing coating a few leaves, while the other parts remain dry.  For best results, always dress the salad just before you are about to serve it. Chicken Caesar Salad 1 large garlic clove crushed • 1 tbs of mustard • 1 large egg • 1 tbs of lemon juice • 1 tsp Worcester Sauce • 3 anchovy fi llets • Black pepper • 100ml of olive oil • Lettuce leaves

• A red onion sliced into rings • Croutons • Cooked shredded chicken • 30g coarsely grated parmesan With a food processor, add the garlic, mustard, egg, lemon juice, Worcester Sauce and anchovy fillets. Season with black pepper then trickle in the olive oil slowly whilst the food processor is running. It will thicken but if too thick you can add a little water until it is at the right consistency. Test for flavour and only add salt if necessary as the anchovy fillets can give it all the taste needed. Assemble the dish by laying the lettuce first, flake the chicken over and then sprinkle over the croutons and add a few onion rings. Drizzle over the caesar dressing and finally, sprinkle over the parmesan cheese.






Barbecuing fish might seem scary to an amateur. But follow these tips for perfect results every time 36


Pick it – the best fish for barbecuing are those with firm flesh, such as salmon, bass, tuna or cod. Cut it – chop your fish into steaks or fillets, or better still, get the fishmonger to do it for you! Leave the skin on as this will help hold the flesh together. Prepare it – use lots of charcoal or turn the heat up high. Lots of heat helps fish cook quickly. Place the fish on the grill with skin side down. Cook it – don’t take your eyes of your fillets. Resist the temptation to fiddle with them and only turn over when one side is done. Flavour it – sprinkle the fish with lemon juice or herbs while it cooks or add flavoured wood chips to the fire. Eat it – amaze your family and friends with your perfectly grilled fish!

Also worth knowing…

If you’re worried about the fish sticking to the grill, it might be worth laying a piece of foil down, or you can even buy specially made fish baskets. Meanwhile, the best spatula for handling fish is one with a thin, wide blade.



Do you know what’s good for you?



ur modern Western Christian culture has largely separated eating from our relationship with God. However, this was far from the case in biblical culture. Their food is seen as a good gift from a loving God to his creatures. Shared religious meals were an integral part of Jewish and early Christian worship. The books of Moses contain detailed instructions about ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ foods, while the New Testament instructs believers: “Whether

Healthy eating – does it matter? Christian GP Sharon Kane explains the ins and outs you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). As Christians we acknowledge that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. As such we are responsible for taking good care of them. There is convincing scientific evidence that what we eat has a major impact on our health and can add or subtract years to our lifespan. Thus by eating sensibly we keep our bodies in good condition for the Lord’s use and may gain added years in his service. Surely then what and how much we eat cannot be simply a matter of personal choice, which has nothing to do with God. Rather, choosing to eat well should be part of our Christian discipleship. Here is a brief outline of what makes up a healthy diet. Following these

basic guidelines will help prevent obesity, raised blood pressure, heart disease, bowel cancer, diabetes and liver disease with their associated ill health, misery and premature death.

For further information about how this diet helps keep you healthy, look up www.patient. For a fun, personalised and interactive forum, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, check out Pages/change-for-life. aspx

Cook! Take-away meals are generally high in fat content so limit them to occasional treats. Use fresh ingredients. Processed foodstuffs generally have higher sugar, salt and fat content than fresh food. Base your meals around starchy foods such as cereals, wholegrain bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. Aim to eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables per day. Dried and canned fruit and vegetables and fruit juices also count. Include two to three portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be ‘oily’. Eat very little fatty food such as fatty meats, cheeses, full-cream milk, butter, cakes and pastries. Use low fat spreads. If you eat meat it is better to eat lean meat, or poultry such as chicken. Boil, grill, bake or poach food rather than frying it. If you do fry, use a vegetable oil. Limit foods that are salty and try not to add salt to food. Watch your portion size – if it helps try using a smaller dinner plate. Avoid snacks, or snack on fruit rather than crisps and chocolate. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to 14 units per week for women and 21 units per week for men. iBelieve


Bread & Wine are the UK distributors of the Celebration Cup; an all-in-one communion set. The Celebration Cup is pre-packed with both wafer and juice in a single two-part container, eliminating preparation time. The cups are hygienic, easy and ready to use. Participants peel back top seal to remove wafer, a second seal under the wafer is then removed for juice. The Celebration cup is available in boxes of 100, 250, 500 and we are now launching the 30-day devotional set for personal use.

*not to scale

30 Days Devotional for personal use

Resellers wanted. Contact us today. - Christian bookshops - Church bookshops - Introduce to your friends & family

0845 095 3403 Includes a daily devotional book and a 30 day calender with scriptures

Award Winning Pilgrim Gardens BARTF POWER CONFERENCE 2012 ‘You Shall Receive Power After The Holy Ghost Comes Upon You’ Acts 1:8 (KJV)

AWARD WINNING DESIGN Pilgrim Gardens is a HAPPI winner! The ‘Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation Award’ sponsored by the Housing Design Awards.

August 30th – September 1st Thursday 6.30 pm Friday 10am, 2pm & 6.30pm Saturday 10am, 2pm & 6.30pm The Campanile Hotel, Chester Street, Aston, Birmingham B6 4BE

Opening Spring 2013, Pilgrim Gardens is a Warden managed, Assisted Living complex with 31 one and two-bedroom apartments for rental or leasehold purchase. Prices range from £115,000 to £148,900.

*Special B&B rates for delegates staying at the hotel* Telephone 0121 359 3330

Take the virtual tour on our website Or email for a DVD and more information – pilgrim.gardens@

Join us for 3 days of excellent teaching about power, by gifted men and women, dedicated to delivering The Word of God to His people.

Or write to: Michelle Hydon, Warden, Pilgrim Gardens, Evington, Leicester LE5 6AL Phone 0300 303 8455

Praise and worship through out, with a special performance by the ‘Birmingham Community Gospel Choir’ on Saturday evening 6.30pm. This is a free event. Freewill offerings will be collected. Merchandise and speakers CDs will be available for purchase. Please visit or call 07957606933 for more information You are also welcome to join us at the hotel on Sunday at 10am for morning worship with The House Of The Lord UK church family.

Sermon Having a strong faith doesn’t shield us from soul searching, writes Bible teacher RT Kendall, who reveals some of his greatest concerns


he older I get, the faster time flies and the more I find myself crying to God: “Let me end well.” I have been stunned to discover how many esteemed leaders in Church history did not finish well. Oh Lord, let it not be so with me! Allow me to share with you some of my own greatest fears. Firstly, that God would take his hand off me and leave me alone. Billy Graham expressed that this has been his greatest fear. It is what actually happened to King Saul – a man who was chosen of God, who had a brilliant beginning, who lost his anointing, yet whose prophetic gift flourished on his way to kill his enemy, young David. When I ponder the

‘I hope I finish the race well’ \



RT Kendall, inset, is determined to finish life’s race well

thought that if the Holy Spirit were completely withdrawn from the Church today, 90 per cent of the work we do would go on as if nothing happened. I fear that the same could happen to you or me. It is so easy to let either a natural or spiritual gift camouflage our true, secret relationship with God. Secondly, that I would teach what is not exactly true. I cannot bear the thought that I would pass on any measure of theological error. Some people do not worry too much about sound theology. But I do. I want to get it right in my thinking before I stand in a pulpit or write anything down. I will have to give an account of every word I have uttered, including every careless one. What is my assurance that I will not accept or teach heresy? One thing – but not my training, reading or level of intelligence. It is unconditional obedience to the Holy Spirit. I put all my eggs in this basket, Jesus’ words: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). I conclude from this that if my relationship with God is right, I will be kept from any serious error. Thirdly, that I could be out of the will of God and not know it. If this could happen to Joseph and Mary, it could happen to you or me. They went an entire day with40


out Jesus but assumed the whole time ‘he was in their company’ (Luke 2:44). I am sobered to recall that God is no respecter of persons, that he will not bend the rules for any of us. If we proceed without him, we too are on our own. The only prevention that I know of is to develop such an intimate knowledge of the ways of the Holy Spirit that I instantly sense his absence when I move ahead without him. To be fair, I don’t think anyone can get seriously out of God’s will for very long whose heart yearns for his presence. But I do not want to go a day, not even an hour, knowingly, without his conscious presence. Fourthly, that I might discover that I could have had much more of God and be used in a greater manner but for my stubbornness to recognise his warnings. I have made so many mistakes and would give anything to have a second chance in certain areas (especially with my family). However, I know I am a forgiven man. I have forgiven myself – totally. Furthermore, I hang on to Romans 8:28, that all things work together for good to them who love God and are the called according to his purpose. I believe this promise with all my heart. But at the same time I cannot help but wonder how much better it might have been had I listened to clear cautions from the Lord over the years. This is why I am

so keen not to brush aside any loving word from a friend or stranger – lest I miss all that God would do with me. The older you get, the more you want to avoid any past mistakes. Fifthly, that I might not hear God say to me: “Well done.” You may say that all Christians get that very same commendation when they get to heaven. I don’t agree. A ‘rich welcome’ is promised on certain conditions. I hold that not all who go to heaven also get a reward at the judgment seat of Christ. Some will be saved by fire – their works burned. They will lose their reward. I have heard people say: “I don’t care about a reward, I just want to make it to heaven.” I reply: “You won’t feel that way then!” You should know that a reward (also called crown, prize or inheritance) was very important to the apostle Paul. Martin Luther once said that when he gets to heaven he expects three surprises – 1) there will be people there he did not expect to see; 2) there will be people missing he expected would be there; 3) that he is there himself! If I could paraphrase that, I expect three surprises – 1) there will be those who receive a reward at the judgment I did not think deserved it; 2) there will be those saved by fire who I thought would receive a reward; 3) that I get to hear from the lips of Jesus himself: “Well done RT.”


why i believe Mum-of-four Jackie Williams is a health visitor and minister’s wife in Torquay. Here, she explains why she believes... Tell us about your job I have worked in the English Riviera for 26 years. I support families with pre-school children and my specialist area of practice currently is supporting vulnerable teenage parents and helping them to achieve a better life. Why do you believe? My Christian upbringing allowed me to have an understanding of God from an early age. However, when I was 17, the challenge of total commitment came to me and I made the greatest decision of my life to live totally for God and embrace his plans. I haven’t looked back since! What were you like before? The direction of my life completely changed. I was planning to be a teacher but decided to enter nursing and ultimately I became a health visitor. My dream has always been to live, work and go to church in the same community, which I’ve done for the last 26 years so I’m incredibly blessed! How does your faith affect your job? My faith underpins my work and the relationships I make with clients as I try to emulate how Jesus stepped into other people’s worlds, with empathy and acceptance, to model how to make healthy choices and live the best

‘I try to emulate how Jesus stepped into other people’s worlds, with empathy and acceptance, to model how to make healthy choices and live the best life possible’

life possible. When my clients ask how I manage to do life well I am able to share my faith and explain that nothing I’ve ever achieved would have been possible without God on my side! What is your favourite Bible verse? It’s got to be John 10:10 where Jesus says: “I have come that you

might have life in all its fullness.” This is my goal and experience, as without God life can be a daily struggle. But living with a consciousness of God being with me wherever I go and whatever I do enables me to live life beyond survival and into significance and I am able to embrace the unending opportunities that come my way. iBelieve



ABOVE: Pam Rhodes with her Songs of Praise co-presenter Aled Jones. RIGHT: Pam has been on the show for 25 years

Fronting Songs Of Praise has been a compelling and powerful experience, says presenter Pam Rhodes


Still on song after 25 years

he may have interviewed some of the world’s biggest names but it is the ‘ordinary’ folk who Pam Rhodes really enjoys meeting as part of her role in Britain’s longest running religious series, Songs Of Praise. Pam, who has been presenting the much-loved Sunday afternoon treat for 25 years, says that working on the show has been a great pleasure and has enriched her life in more ways than she could ever 42


have imagined. “I’ve absolutely loved working on Songs Of Praise,” she smiles. “It’s a lovely show and has really enhanced my life and faith. I’ve interviewed all kinds of famous people which has been wonderful but it’s the ‘people next door’ that I’ve really loved meeting. “Every ‘ordinary’ person is extraordinary and as an interviewer, it’s been such a great pleasure. The privilege of my position means that I’m able to ask people the

questions that most people would never normally ask and get right to the nub of the matter. “The fact that people are so generous and trusting about what has happened to them in their lives is incredibly humbling and a great intimacy is usually created with them as a result of my interview.” The TV presenter says that the show has only helped to strengthen her faith. Being constantly exposed to the power of faith

Songs of Praise facts

• The nation’s favourite religious show celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. • There have been more than 2,250 episodes, the first being broadcast in October 1961 from the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cardiff. • Originally due to run for just six weeks, the show has gone on to become one of the BBC’s flagship programmes.

Pam presenting Songs of Praise during one of the show’s popular Choir of the Year competitions

and prayer has meant Pam has witnessed more than most in her working life. She says: “The Songs Of Praise experience means that I’ve had the opportunity of speaking to hundreds of people about their faith and so I’ve heard many, real examples of the power of prayer. I think when you hear that it’s not just you who believes, it becomes incredibly compelling and powerful.” Pam’s journey towards a deep-rooted belief began at school. As a member of a proud navy family, she was introduced to a strong Christian ethos at a young age and has continued throughout her life to remain devoted. “My journey really began in the most traditional way. The hymn ‘Eternal Father, Strong To Save’ was very important to families like mine as many of the fathers were away working at sea for up to three months at a time. “My schooling had the greatest influence on my faith, but it wasn’t until I came to London when I was working behind the scenes in television that I got involved with community projects and began to merge my faith with a sense of responsibility. I used to teach dancing in youth clubs across London and that’s when my role as a Christian really became clear.” Pam’s sense of God’s calling is something which she has now come to accept

as part of her life as a devoted believer. She says: “There are often occasions when I’m talking and I think of the hymn ‘God Be In My Head’. When I’m doing public speaking or interviewing someone, sometimes I’m afraid I won’t know what to say, but yet somehow the right words do come out! “When this happens, it makes me realise that I’m just a channel, that I’m part of a greater plan to do God’s work, which is very comforting. I’m sure many people feel the same way.” After working on Songs Of Praise for so many years, it’s perhaps no surprise that Pam is a huge fan of Christian hymns. Indeed, she describes them as ‘little prayers in our pockets’. “Hymns are often rather overlooked in regards to their value and importance to us as Christians. The writers put the words so beautifully together, so that when they are paired with the perfect accompanying music, they become indelible in our minds. “Hymns come back to you easily because of the music, which means they’re always right there in our heads for us to access when we need them.” While Pam acknowledges that Christianity is changing and modernising, she says that hymns need to be appreciated and held dear by all believers.

“I think we need to be very careful that, as we inevitably move on with the times, we don’t lose our heritage and the wonderful value that hymns can bring into our lives. Otherwise we really will be missing out on such a huge and wonderful resource. “The poetry of hymns and their words say so much and I really do think that hymn singing is a resource that can bring incredible joy and comfort to us as Christians.” Pam, a mother to two children and stepmother to six, is now also a grandmother. Thinking back on her time as a presenter for Songs Of Praise, she says it’s incredible how the journey of her life has echoed that of her as a presenter on the show. “One of the next shows I’m working on with Songs Of Praise is one tied in with the celebration of grandparents, because of National Grandparents Day in America this September. “I’ve really grown up with the show and I do think that my age and experience echoes the profiles of our viewers. “It’s quite funny to think that when I started the show 25 years ago, I was a young thing and now 25 years later, I’m working on a show about grandparents, when I’m a grandparent myself! It really has been a truly wonderful experience.” iBelieve


joyce meyer Fear not, God’s on your side


an you think of a time in your life when you needed to press through something in faith? Maybe you’re going through a trial of some kind right now and you’re struggling to stay positive. In times like that it’s nice to receive encouragement from family and friends. But ultimately, we need to decide for ourselves that we will have victory. If you think about it, almost nothing worthwhile happens in life without having to press through some area of difficulty. It’s just part of the journey. The fact is, we can either suffer the pain of fighting our battle to the finish or we can give up and suffer the pain of defeat. I’ve come to realise it’s better for me to do what God requires of me from the beginning because the truth is that he always has my best interest at heart and he is not going to change his mind. Sometimes God delivers us from hardship and sometimes he takes us through it. The choice is up to him. He knows what we need, when we need it. And when we’re in the midst of a struggle, it helps to ask this question – am I willing to serve God and not understand everything? If we’re only willing to serve God when everything’s going our way, then we aren’t trusting him entirely. We need to serve God at all times, even when we don’t feel like it. One thing you must remember is that God is always with you and he’s always for you. The enemy wants us to forget that. So each time we experience progress in



our journey of pressing through something, he will try to take it back. The enemy tries to get us caught up in a lot of negative thoughts and feelings – rejection, betrayal, abandonment, jealousy, discouragement and depression, and sometimes even disappointment in God. When the enemy is pressing against us, we have to continue to stand in faith and press into God’s Word, keeping our eyes fixed on the promises he’s given us. I encourage you to make up your mind and say: “I don’t care how long it takes or how hard it is to get through this, I’m not giving up! I am not going to live in bondage! I am not going to let my past control me!” In Philippians 3:10, Paul writes: “I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” Do you see what Paul is saying? There’s a place – spiritually – where we can be lifted above every evil thing. This means that no matter how people treat you, you can have God’s joy in your heart, and no matter what kind of storm you’re in, you can have the peace that surpasses all understanding. I believe God wants us to press on for more of what he has in store. He wants us to enjoy the journey. And above all, he wants us to have a life that affects other people in positive, life-giving ways. People who press in and press on are those who do great things for God. And every single one of us can live like this by God’s grace if we choose to do it because God never asks us to do anything without

giving us the ability to do it. Philippians 3:13-14 tells us to forget what lies behind and strain forward ‘to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward’. The best way to do that is to take life one day at a time because we’re living in a world filled with trouble and stress. It takes a lot of power to live in victory today. There are many things that happen in life that come against us – disappointments, offences etc. But God chose us to live at this time in history and he knows what he’s doing. With his help, we can get through the trials and troubles we face and be victorious over them. So today, I simply want to encourage you to press on. Remember, you already have the victory because God is on your side!


&KRRVH/RQGRQ6FKRRO RI7KHRORJ\LQ As the largest evangelical theological college in Europe, the London School of Theology (LST) equips God’s people to serve effectively and go on to change the world. In 2012 LST is pioneering a brand new course that combines intensive sessions with online learning and support. The Masters in Theological Education is supported with online blogs, bespoke interactive forums and a host of downloadable content.

Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) accreditation. It is this benchmark of quality combined with a focus on academic rigor, which sets LST apart in the world of theological education.

LST graduates go into Christian leadership, worship and youthwork ministry, as well as wider jobs such as teaching, counselling, business, emergency services and charity organisations to name but a few. We talk to employers about what content they value in courses and ensure that we refine our training to make sure that our graduates leave with the best possible employability.

LST has ongoing relationships with hundreds of churches, organisations and businesses where our students undertake key placements to utilise their learning. Going on placement with a church or relevant organisation enables students to get real world practical experience in areas such as counselling and worship or be put in situations where they must draw on their bible knowledge and deeper relationship with God in Christian ministry or youthwork. It is a vital part of the learning experience.

Feedback from organisations who employ LST graduates is that they come with excellent relevant skills e.g. our Theology, Music and Worship course is unique in the depth of preparation it gives aspiring worship leaders.

Undergraduate, postgraduate or distance learning - start your theological adventure in 2012 with the London School of Theology and make this the year that you get to know God in a whole new way.

LST’s Theology and Counselling course is also the only Christian counselling qualification to be awarded the British Association for

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P L A C E S O F G R E AT T H E O L O G I C A L T R A I N I N G H AV E F O R T H O U S A N D S O F Y E A R S B E E N B R A N D E D I N A C E RTA I N D I S T I N C T I V E WAY. THEY STILL ARE! Welcome to LST - the home of theological excellence. For more information scan the QR code or visit

London School of Theology Green Lane, Northwood, HA6 2UW tel: 01923 456000 email: Registered Charity No. 312778

iReviews BOOKS

The greatest (fairy) tale of all time! If you’ve never heard of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, then you’ve probably been living in a cave for the last 60 years. CS Lewis’ fairytale par excellence tells the story of Aslan and the White Witch fighting for control of Narnia, with striking biblical allusions. Now, this incredible story has made it onto the stage – with a difference. The West End musical production of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe is taking place in Kensington Gardens – in a tent! Staged creatively in the round, the tent provides a blank canvas on which magical backdrops appear to make imagination more possible and the entire experience more compelling. Nor have the producers overlooked the child-friendly material they’re dealing with. There’s a pantomime-esque beginning and plenty of comedy to draw the audience in, and make even adults feel like children, exploring the magical land of Narnia with Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy for the very first time. If you’ve never read The Chronicles Of Narnia, however, now is definitely the time. They are magical when brought to life by an expert crew of actors – including David Suchet as the voice of Aslan. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe forms the second instalment of the seven book saga that is The Chronicles Of Narnia. Written between 1949 and 1954, the



books, which have sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages, are now a classic part of the fantasy literature landscape. Presenting enduring themes such as love, justice and sacrifice, all wrapped up in a delicious coating of magic, The Chronicles Of Narnia tell the story of a different place. Animals start talking, spells are cast and the battle rages between good and evil. Though it’s been more than six decades since Lewis penned the series, time has merely added to the lustre, as generations of families have loved the books. The fact that you can pick up a copy of the whole lot for under £20 on Amazon makes today perfect to discover – or indeed rediscover – the wonder of a less complex land which still has plenty to say to us. And while you’re at it, why not take a trip to the show in London? Tickets cost anywhere from £30 to £65, but they’re cheap at twice the price for a magical experience not to be missed. CDs Downloads are the way forwards – or so we’ve heard! This month we’re sneaking a peak at one group’s free release online and casting our gaze overseas for some inspiration from abroad. 1. Breakthrough Destiny Band £FREE The best things in life truly are free – and this short release is one of them! When it’s free everything’s a bonus,

but there’s some real quality in the four songs you’ll find on this release. Boasting some beautiful arrangements and shining with the gloss of some serious production, the Destiny Band, from Nottingham, have done a great job of putting together an anthemic, accessible collection of worship tunes. The clever use of spoken word really adds something to the overall ambience too. Download from www.destinyonline. today. 2. Heal Our Land Planetshakers £14.88 Here we see Planetshakers, possibly one of the most underrated worship bands out there, in full flow at their passionate best. The inclusion of a free DVD copy of some of the songs is a nice touch, and you’re bound to be inspired by Aussie worship at its best on this record. 3. Center Of It All Desperation Band £9.99 As appalled as you may be at the Yankee spelling in the title, you’ll have to forgive the American in Desperation Band. They more than make up for it though, delivering a record with real ebb and flow – gusto and sensitivity in equal measure at the right moments. Maybe it’s time to learn something from our cousins across the pond?

A classic read for summer

and the latest hot music



Real life

ABOVE: Anne-Wafula Strike in her racing whee lchair. RIGHT: Anne says neither her wheelchair or trophies define her, because her faith in Christ is what makes her different

‘Medals don’t define me... my faith does’ Tipped as one of Team Great Britain’s best medal hopes at this month’s Paralympics, Anne-Wafula Strike is a woman on a mission. Matthew Murray discovered more


ith her infectious beaming smile, Anne-Wafula Strike laughs as she proudly pronounces: “I’m just an Essex girl – with a bit of colour and a different accent.” Such humility is perhaps unwar-



ranted. Anne is an international athlete who has defied the odds throughout her life, overcoming discrimination and a life-threatening illness to become one of Britain’s best hopes in this month’s Paralympics. Born in the outback of Kenya,

few would have given Anne – remarkably named Olympia Anne Wafula at birth – much of a chance, particularly when she contracted polio as a toddler and was told she would never walk again. Such devastating news might have ruined most people – but not Anne. In fact, despite the death of her mother when she was nine, Anne bounced back to become a qualified teacher, work in a mainstream school, move to Britain, marry an Englishman, have a little boy called Timothy and train to become a professional athlete. But such success

hasn’t come without opposition. When she was first diagnosed with polio, villagers thought God was punishing her family and that she had been bewitched. “There is a real stigma attached to diseases like polio in Africa,” she says. “People lack knowledge and education on disability. How could I have been so healthy and then suddenly couldn’t walk? “When my mum died I wondered what would happen to me. Mum was my world. She would bath me and cook for me and it felt like my entire world had collapsed when she died. “My dad took me to a school for the physically handicapped and I was educated there and got a place for university. I became a teacher, which in 1980s and 1990s Africa, was very difficult with my condition. “God gave me wonderful grace but I had to prove to the world that I wasn’t just a disabled person and that I could be a useful member of the community. It certainly wasn’t easy.” Anne moved to Britain in 2000 and married Norman soon afterwards. The couple had a baby boy in 2002. It was shortly after giving birth when Anne discovered

her new passion – wheelchair racing. successes are taken away from me, God “After the baby I’d put a lot of weight will still be there. on so went to the gym to try and sort it,” “It’s so easy to get caught up with the she says. “It was there I was introduced media hype and publicity. When I went to wheelchair racing and I realised I was to Athens one magazine called me Miss quite good at it… the rest is history!” Popularity because of my smile and Anne represented Kenya in the 2004 excitement. That was very kind… but I Athens Olympics and, after gaining UK rejoice that my name is written in heaven citizenship in 2006, she trained for Team – and there will be no media there. And I Great Britain but agonisingly missed out won’t be using my wheelchair in heaven, on Beijing in 2008 by ‘Being a Christian either. just 0.1 seconds. “Being a Christian gives She picked up bronze gives me strength me strength and I believe at the World Cup in God has called me and I believe God that Manchester in 2007 and to do what I’m doing. three silvers in the US It’s not easy to stand for has called me’ Paralympic National beliefs in today’s world Championships in Atlanta the same year. but God has handpicked me and he’s usThe 40-year-old is tipped as one of ing me to show that sport can empower Britain’s best Paralympic hopes at this people to achieve.” month’s Games in London. Anne is training six days a week in the But for Anne, picking up medals and run up to the Paralympics and some being the focus of worldwide attention days will race up to ten miles at a time in is the least of her worries. “Trophies and preparation. She is also writing her secawards don’t define who I am,” the comond book, is involved in several charitable mitted Christian says. “And neither does organisations and is launching her own being in a wheelchair. “The thing that trust, the Olympia Wafula Foundation, defines me is my faith in Christ – that’s to help poverty-stricken and disabled what makes me different. When all my children. Not bad for an Essex girl. iBelieve


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How to...


e all want to leave people with split sides looking dishevelled from all that rolling in the aisles they’ve been doing at our hilarious comedy talent. Sadly, not all of us can tell ’em that well. If a great joke really does come down to the way that you tell it, though, maybe we can teach you how… 1. Make sure you know what’s coming next. Never start a joke that you can’t quite remember the end of, hoping that it will come to you as you go along. Not only is the punch line unlikely to suddenly arrive fully formed in your head, but you’ll meander through the build up getting more winces than giggles and you won’t be able to focus on your audience because you’re busy recalling the funny bit. If you’ve got a big speech or you’re just trying to impress your guests, try rehearsing your jokes and picking out the best ones. 2. Make sure that they don’t know what’s coming. This is for all of you that tell the same joke every time you see someone. Stop it! Jokes are most funny when the people you’re sharing them with don’t know what’s next. Not only should they not know the punch line, but if you can launch into your comedy masterpiece when people aren’t expecting it, that will also help. Certainly don’t announce the joke or declare its merits beforehand. Saying how funny it is will make people defensive and get you smaller laughs. 3. Just get on with it! Jokes always work best in a straight line, taking the

shortest route from A to B. If you can’t get from the guys walking into the bar to the punch line in about 30 seconds, there’s a chance that your joke is just too long. Don’t be afraid to cut it down. If people lost focus during your epic set up, they won’t get your punch line, let alone laugh at it. 4. Know your audience. While fishing jokes may be hilarious when you’re wading up a stream with a rod in your hand, there’s a good chance that your children won’t laugh at them. People find different things funny so make sure that humour is suited to the moment. Don’t be unnecessarily rude or lower the tone. 5. Watch live at the Apollo – or any other comedy programme. Study the timing of the comedians. They are pros for a reason, after all. You might not have to pause for people to applaud in the middle of your jokes, but at least make sure the punchline doesn’t arrive to confused looks because you hadn’t given people enough time to work out your build up. 6.You’ve started, so you’ll fi nish! Use jokes sparingly so that people don’t get sick of your attempts at humour, but never leave a joke incomplete. 7. Practice over! Go and inflict your new-found funny-ness on an unsuspecting audience near you!

Tell a great joke 52



French fancy!


itroen was once known for oddball cars. Many were groundbreaking – such as the big DS of the 50s, with technology light years ahead of the rest – but they were packaged in a way that can be nicely summed up as quirky! Over the past two decades, however, they haven’t been as exciting as the days of the 2CV, and Citroen started to lose ground – its Berlingo and C4 Picasso aside. The French firm began to get a reputation for offering motors from the boring bargain basement floor. With the original C3 in need of replacement, which was as dull as it was dire, something needed to be done. So, welcome to the DS3. It’s a small hatchback that has quite radical looks. And Citroen have continued that rebellious streak by replacing its chevron logo at the rear with a new DS badge – which it also does on its standard squared off sports steering wheel. The looks are quite radical too; certainly a lot different to the slabby C3. The Bpillar, for example, (that’s the one midway

along the car) gives the appearance of disappearing into the roof. And for all those who love bling, you can ask for the DS3 to come in a host of colour combinations. The black roof adds to the feeling that the small Citroen has lost its top. It is certainly a statement piece. Inspired I reckon, by the Mini, it’s the perfect alternative for those who want something a bit different from the all-too-common little BMW. And it’s also a little cheaper. Prices start about the same (£12,000), but Citroen still loves discounts, so you’ll pick up a better bargain than from Mini. It really does look different and I like the fact that it’s one in the eye for its rivals Mini and Fiat 500, where both makers have fallen back on retro looks as they seem to fear daring and forward-looking exteriors. Even the properly-integrated LED daylight running lights are dramatic! Inside, the looks aren’t quite as radical, but they are modern. The plastics also boast a quality feel, something Citroen has fallen down on in the past.

The interior isn’t huge, but there’s more room than in a Mini. My test car came with the 1.6 diesel engine but for my money go for the basic petrol if you really want a DS3. The diesel is flawed around town. With long gearing, you feel like a sitting duck leaving roundabouts in second gear. You’ve got to work hard at the gears around town in the diesel – it’s much better for motorways. The nose of the diesel also feels heavy. Coupled with steering that doesn’t inspire, the understeer will scare the life out of you if you try to push it too hard round even the slightest bend. I’d also say the clutch pedal’s too high to be comfy and the seatbelts don’t adjust, which is odd. I guess that’s to accommodate those funky B-pillars. The steering wheel and seat adjusted in my test car, but without the belts adjusting it failed to be comfortable. And the driving position feels more like an MPV than a sporty little number. The DS3, then, is like a French fancy. It looks tempting, but bite into the cake and you find something a tad more ordinary than you were expecting!

Photography: David Blakelock



Red carpet TESTIMONY

‘I wanted more to life than just fame’ After mixing with the stars and enjoying fame, child prodigy Dax O’Callaghan still felt empty inside until he picked up the Bible


singer who has shared the stage with the Spice Girls and the Sugababes is now using his talents in church. Dax O’Callaghan, 29, had a record deal with Universal and his band, Lexington Bridge, enjoyed five number one hits in seven countries. But Dax, who went to school with Amy Winehouse, quit his singing career in LA to move back to London. He is now a worship leader at Kensington Temple Church and has released his first Christian album, Bow Down. He says: “I wanted God as my complete centre again so I packed my bags one day while I was living in LA and flew home, leaving the job behind. I knew God had bigger plans for me but I had to surrender, bringing my focus back to totally being on him.” Dax became a choreographer, working with the likes of Olly Murs, JLS and Jedward before getting involved in his latest 54


Dax O’Callaghan on stage

project. In his younger years, he played me straight away. It gave me the peace a lead role in a West End musical when that I’d been searching for. I decided to try he was ten and appeared in Eastenders out what I was reading and saw amazing when he was 15. results. But by the age of 19, the child prodigy “I couldn’t believe it was so practical had reached a turning point. and realistic. I read more and learnt more “I realised that I wanted more than and it turned my whole life around. I laid fame,” he says. “It wasn’t everything down before ‘I read more of fulfilling me. I was looking God and not long after for something more in signed my first record deal.” the Bible and life. I started picking up Dax is planning a tour of learnt more and churches this year showcasbooks about spirituality that didn’t make sense. ing his new album. it turned my Then I thought about He adds: “This is not a life around’ the Bible and the Koran. project planned to trick I’d always thought that people to God, but to show religious people didn’t know what they that God is in everything, and if people rewere going on about – but I’d never read late to the lyrics and sound then they can the Bible myself. So I decided to give it a see that Christianity and God’s Word are try. As soon as I started reading it, it hit very relevant today.”

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Issue 222

How rising star is shining


Joyce Meyer fear says don’t ing Soul search ll with RT Kenda proud Be loud and Beech urges Carl






CHALLENGE... Mark Ritchie



A church in Birmingham

during Sunday worship

CH GROW by Matthew

Learning to influence others for Christ

Preacher’s ‘cross’ THE DAY GOD CALLED ME BY NAME How a Muslim drug dealer found freedom in Christ country challen ge WHY THE CHURCH MUST BLESS ISRAEL REACHING OUT ON A ROUNDABOUT PUT FOOD IN ITS PROPER PLACE How to help people with eating disorders


Tips to recharge your spiritual batteries


The adult the Anglican membership in Diocese don has grown by of LonCENT since 70 PER 1990. The findings,

by experts at theological college Cranmer Hall, University, par t of Durham have been lished in puba ‘Church new study entitled, Grow th In Britain From 1980 To The Present’. The sta ti ● Continueds t i c s c o n t r a d i c t on Page 3


A PREACHER will carry cross for a w idespread days to 700 miles in 70 riots rocked highlight the UK. portance the imIt was during this dark t i me t hat Ma rk decided that he needed plans to stop Mark Ritchie thing to promoteto do somehis tour and at 30 venues on the gospel throughout tic services hold evangelisthe country. where he Mark, who to reach regularly 7,000 people.hopes on stand-up puts shows across comedy gospel challenge the nation, start the trek on August will Mark, who finishing lives near 26, tingham, on October Notwill begin 27. He said: ture in “At each Brighton, the ven- will communicate stop I north to heading Edinburgh, sage the mesjumping then that of the cross – a message west to Wrexham Jesus before finishing sins of the takes away the geous challengethe couraworld. The is a message gospel The trek in Hull. comes a and destiny. of joy, hope year after be ignored.” It also cannot

of Christianity in We have to find balance in the Bible, says Mervyn TilleyBritain. Scotsman

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a man’s w rld I’m loud and I’m proud! with Carl Beech

Carl Beech isn’t afraid to let everyone know about his embarrassing condition…


’ve only realised a painful truth about myself recently. It makes me hard to live with and can frustrate the art of conversation, particularly in the car. Because of this issue of mine, people are always very much aware of me and conscious of my presence, even if I am trying desperately to be discreet. I’ve only just realised that due to this ‘condition’ that I have, it has meant that my natural tendency towards being an introvert is constantly frustrated. I also sadly embarrass my family (one wife, two daughters) without meaning to and can generate a knowing look of resignation amongst the people I work with. In a nutshell, I’m ‘loud’. I don’t mean to be, and frankly I never realised I was until recent times. Get in my car after I’ve been driving and the stereo is pumping, which to me sounds great, but whether it’s Coldplay or Beethoven, I can only listen at one volume. If I’m watching a movie I have to have the volume up, if I’m talking I can’t do quiet – so I’ve been told anyway – even if I’m whispering. My sneezes are said to be particularly and stressfully off the decibel chart, and my wife has suggested that perhaps I need a hearing test. However, considering that I can hear what people are saying 58


miles away (not literally), I know that this is not the issue. So, I don’t know why I have this particular problem, perhaps it’s a blind-spot? Then again, perhaps it’s because I just love life and throw myself into it and have over the years slowly eroded away any sense of subtlety and hesitancy. I’ve started cycling to work again recently, and I love it. There’s one hill that I chase down that has made me whoop with pure joy and exhilaration on more than one occasion. When I used to ride a motorbike I would be singing at the top of my voice as I dialled up a bit more power. I love to laugh as much as possible and when I do, it’s loud. When I’m sad I don’t hold back either. What is it about us that tells us that we should restrain ourselves when we are experiencing the highs and lows of life? Why should we listen to powerful music quietly or laugh at something that’s totally hilarious with muffled restraint? I think that’s more nuts than being a bit on the loud side.

Of course, there are occasions and places when it’s right to be silent or a bit muted… but I’m not talking about a lack of social awareness, I’m talking about restraint when it’s not helpful. So here is my manifesto for a full on life… Jesus told us that he was giving us life to the full – so take him at his word. Cheer someone or something on regularly. Laugh until it hurts at least once a week. Do something that makes you want to whoop with exhilaration at least once a month, if not more. When you cry (even as a bloke, fellas!) let it all out. When you listen to music, crank up the volume and jump around a bit; roar with triumph when you win at something and watch action scenes in movies with max volume! Sure, there’s a time to be quiet… but there’s also a time to be loud. I just suspect that we don’t do the latter as much as we should!


‘‘ I do

70% of people* say keep marriage as it is We agree: politicians should not be meddling with one of our great national institutions. 528,000 583,749 people have signed our petition in favour of keeping the definition of marriage unchanged. Whilst fully recognising the rights and views of others, we’re asking you to support us. If you want to keep the true meaning of marriage as it is, and has been for thousands of years, say “I do” – by signing our petition at


(*Source: ComRes poll for Catholic Voices)

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Europe’s leading Christian Resources Exhibitions

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• The best in Christian resources • The latest multimedia equipment • An extensive book and resource store • A comprehensive programme of seminars • A variety of specialist workshops • Entertaining Christian theatre and music

CRE North


Event City, Manchester 10 &11 October CRE West


Bristol UWE 23 & 24 January CRE International


Sandown Park, Esher 14 – 17 May

For continually updated information visit:

Christian Resources Exhibitions is part of Bible Society (Charity Reg. No 232759) Tel 01793 418218


iBelieve August 2012  
iBelieve August 2012  

The Christian Lifestyle Magazine