Christmas Newsletter 2016

 

Still walking, still carrying the cross, still in love with Jesus!

It’s an act of worship when the cross is carried and the Holy Spirit within us always rejoices when Jesus is worshipped! No wonder I sense joy when I lift the cross down on my shoulder and head into town. Things happen when the cross is carried, on entering the street with the cross it is spiritually “putting the cat amongst the pigeons”!

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Wales

My dear Welsh friend, Emyr and I carried our crosses in Wales a few months ago. You would have probably cried and laughed listening to him share his story. His father committed suicide when he was a child and by the time he was 17 years he also wanted to commit suicide, he was so unhappy. That was until an African preacher told him that Jesus loved him. “As you see I haven’t committed suicide”, he’d say with a glint in his eyes, “and I’m here to tell you that Jesus loves you as well”! Wow, we walked through the land of the great Welsh revival sharing our Jesus with all. Welsh speaking farmers, single parents, the local police, hairy builders, depressed folk, angry folk , the bemused, the cynical and the just curious.  Many heard our story of Jesus and some were prepared to follow him. Here are just a few accounts:

The Hairy Builder “You sound just like my Nain (Grandmother)!”  Sporting the usual tattoos and piercings  that all hairy builders have to have today he went on to say that he felt something going on within as we talked of Jesus and before long he was repeating the prayer to receive Jesus into his life. “My face started smiling on it’s own accord when I prayed that prayer” he said in that wonderful South Wales accent.

Snowdon People kept on remarking on seeing two crosses being carried. “Should have gone to Specsavers Opticians, get that double vision checked”, I’d joke.

By the time we got to Snowdon there were three crosses.  Clive Cornish another dedicated Welsh carrier of the cross had walked at record pace from Cardiff to join us for the ascent of Wales’ highest mountain. He led the way, followed by Emyr and some old Welsh asthmatic guy from Cornwall who coughed and gasped his way up stopping to witness at every opportunity (chance for a rest!!) Wow, what opportunities as well! A whole class full of female muslim students wanted to know what was the significance of the cross. Ten minutes later they’d heard the wonderful message of the cross. It’s not everyday that I get to share my Jesus with a whole class full of Muslims. One of them later questioned me at length and was happy to receive a Gideon New Testament.

A few hundred yards up the mountain I met a group of apprentices from a rough part of Liverpool. I challenged them to give their lives to the Lord and one immediately responding saying “Yes, I want to receive Jesus because my uncle used to be a bad guy and since he has found Jesus he has totally changed”. He prayed sincerely the sinners prayer and to my surprise their supervisor, a Catholic believer encouraged his friends also to pray the same prayer.

I staggered on, the lungs rebelling and everything inside of me urging me to give up. Walk a few yards and pray a few minutes,,,,keep slowly pressing on!!

Ten minutes from the top the cross was suddenly lifted up from behind and I looked back to see several Asian young men intent on helping carry the cross to the summit. My pride wanted to insist that I carry it but the Spirit told me to let them help me and as we reached the summit together these Asian guys, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus had become my friends and welcomed the message of the cross with open arms. Indeed, they helped me lift up the cross and stood with me as I gave a short preach to the crowds.

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“Did a 32 year old carpenter from Nazereth ever think that 2016 years later that there would be three crosses erected on Snowdon where we would be remembering his crucifixion, his sacrifice so that we could be forgiven for our sins and start a new life with Him as Lord of our lives?. The real flag of Wales is not a dragon it is the cross of St David’s and we declare today that Wales belongs to Jesus”

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Hastings

Just got back from carrying the cross in this needy town!  What a joy to work alongside the wonderful local Calvary Chapel believers who came out to share their faith. I will never forget a local Christian doctor and his wife reaching out to a woman who had clearly experienced all the heart aches that life can bring. She seemed to grasp our message and explained that her friend had been recently born again. He was a boxer and is trying to tell everyone about his new life. Before, long she too was ready to pray and in the pouring rain she invited Jesus into her life.  Beautiful!!

Cornwall

“Wot’s on?” we say in Cornwall.  Well, God is what’s on.  I sense that more Christians than ever are praying earnestly for a move of His Spirit in the county. Certainly, more Christians are out on the streets sharing the gospel than I ever remember and now we are bringing worship and “manic street preaching “ with microphones and all onto the streets. “Can’t you turn it down a bit, even my clients can hear what you’re preaching about on the other end of the phone!!” complained a local Solicitor. “You xxxxxxx guys woke me up”, a young girl moaned who lived in a bed sit above the main street.  “What a great way of waking up” I quipped. She wasn’t amused but before long we were all sharing our stories of how Jesus is changing our lives. “I’m too bad, I could never keep it up!” she argued but gradually she accepted that only those who know they can’t be good qualify to receive his forgiveness. She prayed to receive Jesus!!