This is the new normal!

ad_encounterFor some time now, I have been trailing the weekend just gone as one which I felt would be significant in the life of Jubilee Church. We were really looking forward to the visit of a team from Kings Church Horsham and had a real sense that God wanted to do something quite seismic in the church. He did!

We were wonderfully served by Andy, Trevor, Janet, Jo, Juliet, Nicky, Jules and Jon from Kings. This gifted team gave themselves to us over the whole weekend. It was a packed programme and they served enthusiastically and with such graciousness over the entire time. They had prayed and prepared and came ready to give. We are so grateful to God for them and for their heart to be a blessing to us.

The sense of God’s presence over the weekend was tangible. The prophetic gift which was released was incredible. God has certainly been at work in Jubilee this weekend, and I feel that He has raised the bar as to what is to be called “normal” in church life. The challenge for us now is to not go back, not to settle for anything less. If we are not careful to push on, then this weekend could just become a “that was nice” weekend in our history. I don’t believe for one minute that is what God would want. This remarkable weekend should serve to encourage and motivate forward into all that God wants for us. Sarah and I are certainly up for that. Who else wants to come on the journey?

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What does the label say?

One of my Christmas presents last year was an electronic labelling machine. This was a great present, and anyone who knows me well will not be surprised that I’ve been labelling anything that doesn’t move, and some things that do! It reminded me of the Dymo machine of years past!

But my fresh passion for labelling has got me thinking… We can be very quick to label other people. And we can be very quick to label ourselves. This often isn’t helpful as we can be too quick to judge and too quick to put people into boxes and place limits around what they, or we, can do.

So, if you’re the type of person that tends to label people – be it others or yourself, my encouragement to you is to hold back from this and ask God to give you His perspective on people. Learn to see people’s potential in God. One of my friends was excellent at this recently, where at a prayer meeting he spoke out what he saw God doing in people’s lives and affirmed their gifts. This was so encouraging and very uplifting. Why not this week, look for opportunities to bless, to build up and to encourage.

If you are a Christian, the only label that God puts on you is one that says “son” or “daughter”. Now, that’s a label really worth having!