Thursday, 23 October 2008


God is good, the house is sorted, we move in on Saturday. If you look back to about three weeks ago, you will see that things were looking increasingly desperate, all options closed. We have a house to move to, not everything is sorted, but there is more and more light, I have this job thing tomorrow and I keep getting calls from people about possible jobs, loads of light. I follow light, that is what Jesus is, and right now all I have to say is PRAISE HIM.

I have such a busy time from now till next week sometime, I am even tempted to drop some bits off, but we will see, I probably won't have the time or resources ( the computer has to move as well) to blog for a while. Thankyou to anyone who has prayed, you know who you are, God answers prayer, speak soon.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


I have been and will be very busy over the next few weeks, trying to get things sorted. We lose the house next week, so yesterday and today we have been really trying to sort out where exactly we will be living, hopefully we will find out today if we have a house to go to, and if everything is to the positive. God is really helping, I am sure all will be fine, some people have really stepped up to the plate and acted as the family we are meant to be as christians, there is always hope when we have God.

I have an assessment day with the prison service on Friday, with the intention of being a prison officer, so that is looking positive, Tanya's course is going well, so soon she will be able to start cutting hair for MONEY, haha. I have met with the education authority this week over Morgan's education, so that is looking more positive, if we get the house we hope then Mason's schooling will not be upset, especially as he is doing so well and played for the school football team again yesterday, even though he is the year below, so he is doing well. Turaya is fantastic, we are having a great time together, she is very switched on and her conversation skills aged only 20months are fantastic.

I really feel God has said for me to just concentrate on getting us moved right now, I literally have to put the one hundred ideas running around my head to one side, and get us all resettled.

That is the news for now.

Monday, 20 October 2008


I really want to make a difference, I really want to be used by God, in the biggest way He can use me, I really want God to explode through me into the world, I would love to be doing things internationally, I would love to speak more, I want to see God move in big ways and see loads of expressions of Him, I want to see mircales and lost, sad and empty people, meet with God.

There are an awful lot of I's in that last sentence. I am asking myself right now, if God just asks me to be here now and do what I am doing faithfully and steadily for the rest of my life, serving in the ways I am doing now, can I do it, am I alright with that. Even writing that sounds really condescending to those who serve in small ways that I do not, and I think that is the point. I don't know if I am going to be able to do or see all the things written above, but my desire is that I will, but I should be ready to serve in which ever way God wants me to, He will use me to the best of my ability, and that may mean that I do what I am doing now, and I continue to do it the best I can, as long as I am doing it, because to be perfectly honest, that may be because I would not really be very good at the things I would love to do in my head, my dreams are beyond what I am capable of and I do not want to be promoted to my level of incompetence, I want to be useful and ready to serve and be led in which ever area I am involved in.

I follow a God, who came and served, I want to serve wherever, and I should be grateful that I am allowed along for the ride that He has in store.

Saturday, 18 October 2008


For a long time I have drank an awful lot, even in my old work, I was known for drinking too much, amongst some guys who were big drinkers, I held and probably still do hold a number of records for drinking large amounts of alcohol in certain establishments, not that I could hold my drink that well, I just did not know when to stop, so I just kept going, which resulted in me being in some of the darkest wholes in my life, waking and not knowing where I was, waking and having complete blackouts from the previous night, causing all sorts of pain and embarrassment to loads around me, of course to some, I was always the life and soul.

The amount of times I have awoken, wishing that the night before would never have happened or hoping for a big whole to swallow me up, suddenly frightened, ashamed and guilty, not knowing if I would have a marriage or friends anymore. Scary isn't it. I am glad to say, it has been years now, since I woke feeling like that, it has been years since I last caused destruction and mayhem.

I still like a drink. When I used to drink a lot, which was every night, I used to wake up a lot in the morning and say to myself, have a night off, don't drink tonight, wake up fresh tomorrow. Half way through the day or even into the evening, I would find an excuse to go and buy a beer or two, until Jesus.

I like having a social drink or a beer at the end of the day, but sometimes I get that thing in my head, which says go on, drink tomorrow and the next day and the next, it is ok. I cannot serve two masters. It was Jesus that saved me, I didn't know how to sleep without a beer until Him, I didn't know you could be sober on a Friday and Saturday night and still have a good time. So I like a beer, but I have to watch to make sure I stay in control and that Jesus remains my master.

It is amazing writing this, because it reminds me once again, where I was, empty and in dark places. I have so much less now, the world would say, yet I feel so much more alive and full.

Friday, 17 October 2008


Difficult subject to talk about, it shouldn't be but it is, anyway I was not sure how to write about this, so I have gone to how Jesus responded to women, to explain myself.

Firstly, when Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman who had been married five times and was living with another man, a woman with a reputation, He spoke to the person, He spoke to her heart. The danger with lust is you stop seeing people, you only see their body and you only think of that person in your terms of what is going on in your mind, you fail to see the person. Then you bring that into the home and can even stop seeing the person you are with as a person, and start seeing them as an object. Subtle destruction, where a relationship is not then built on all the things it is meant to be, love, respect, friendship, intimacy, etc.., it is built on what someone can get out of it, selfish desire, what the world says you deserve, rather than being a relationship.

I can write that again, but I won't , with everytime I have written 'you', I can put 'I'.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


I am writing here about some issues that are being heavily highlighted in my life right now and my thoughts on the whys and wherefores. I do not feel in a place of guilt or shame and this is about me, not anyone else. That is the disclaimer out of the way, I want to generally talk about my issues with anger and lust today, they are related in the way they destroy, but one is obvious, the other subtle.

When I get angry, it must be scary, I am loud, I stomp about like an indian on the warpath, I am very in the face of the person I am angry with, I am unpredictable, I don't really know what is going to happen, same as the now probably scared individual who I have lost it with. I have most likely lost my temper with someone in my immediate family, my wife or my sons. I used to be known for going off at anyone, pub, car, work. Now it is just at home and this is not something that happens every week, just every now and again, I come to the end of my tether and snap. I am not physically violent by the way, I just snap, shout very loudly, storm around, I might slam a door, I will say things I don't mean. People will cry, I will be getting angrier because I have got angry, then for hours or maybe days after, I have a cloud over my head, of shame and guilt.

This is destructive to my wife and kids, the unpredictability, the anger. It is not the right way to act, or to teach my children, it is upsetting. For my family it may seem to be over very quickly, but then they have to deal with the bear with a sore head for the next day or two. I am very honest about my feelings with my children, they know how I feel about anger, how I feel about losing my temper, I know how they feel, they are honest enough to tell me. That at least is healthy. I still walk about after losing my temper, carrying my shame and guilt, like some sort of penance, that is the unhealthiest part. This is so destructive to me and those around me, carrying shame and guilt, especially since I have been set free from it, set free by the death of God's own son, and I have the audacity, when everyone else is moving on, when everyone else has forgotten and forgiven, to drag it on because I have not forgiven myself. I will read this back to me later, to see if it goes in. I am doing well with my anger, very rarely I lose it, but it needs to be not there and if it is I need to put it at God's feet and move on, not looking back, learning, not dwelling.

I will write about lust tomorrow, because I have gone on a bit and I am a bit unsure how to write about lust honestly, we will see.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Me Again

I am in a bit of a bad mood right now, I can't get into my emails, and there is something there I need to prepare for Sunday, so just a bit frustrated, but I'm ok.

I have loads of things I want to write about, maybe some I shouldn't, maybe some I should, but just being honest, I want to write what I am going through right now, this is my journal as well as a blog. I haven't yet, but I want to look back over all my blogs and see if I have changed, if I have grown.

That is what I feel is happening to me right now, I am having a bit of a growth spurt, not in some uber spiritual, because God loves me more than you, I am doing so much way. In a, have you looked at yourself, these things need dealing with sort of way.

The job, money, house are gone or going, but what about me? What am I holding onto inside of me. It is like God moves closer and through the light you see more dirty bits, like a vanish advert, where you think you are wearing a white tshirt and then you stand next to someone whose shirt is really white and you look an off grey colour.

This is not a guilt or shame thing, this is not me needing to be perfect, because I'll never get there, this is God saying, is that healthy John, is that good for you? What damage does that do? Where are you going? Why are you doing that?

These areas for me are anger, lust, alcohol, self ambition, people pleasing and judging.

Obviously, if you wanted a list of my faults, they would be much longer, I have loads and God is probably asking me more than this as well. These are just some questions I think God is asking me right now, I think over the next few days I will tell you my thoughts on these matters, not some running commentary of how I am doing or how I have been healed, just some of my whys and problems and thoughts.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008


I could not sleep last night, I was tossing and turning, I got up and walked around. You know when you get something stuck in your head and you cannot shake it, and you have managed to justify the way you feel completely and keep on fueling the fire, I say you know, you may never have thought like this before, but this was me last night, arguing, whining, self justifying and and generally feeling sorry for myself.

I walked outside, I prayed, I calmed down, I really struggled, then as I was walking past the table in our kitchen, there was the bible, I picked it up and just asked God for something, and He delivered.

I opened the bible up, I can't tell you the exact place, although it was in Nehemiah, but it is not relevant to what I am saying. Anyway, God did not give me some, don't worry verse, or something particularily reassuring, He actually reminded me, of what I had been and where I had been, He just sort of put the ball firmly back in my court about what was going on in my head. It sort of brought me to a dead stop, the arguments and self justification in my head, vanished, I went to bed and slept.

I was very tired this morning and I felt like I was in battle last night, I was, God won. I feel back on the crest of the wave, with a God who is right and just and so very clever, and knows and loves me so well.

Monday, 13 October 2008

The weekend

I had been looking forward to this weekend for ages, knowing I was not doing anything, I was looking forward to relaxing and not doing anything. A rarity for weekends.

You see, I have found that my weekends are really busy, I am up and running about, it is great, I usually feel great too, come Tuesday, when everything is quiet and I am back with just me and the baby, I find myself quite down and then get to Thursday and I start going up again.

This week was the same, but to be perfectly honest, I have been a bit of a grump and I have found myself quite short tempered, very short tempered, this morning I feel a bit down, because even though I had a nice weekend, I did not feel very happy about the way I was over the weekend. All one big circle, that has to be broken, easier said than done.

I don't want big highs and big lows, I don't mind the highs but the lows are annoying, I want consistentcy and some balance, which is hard to get at the moment. I think this morning I am having a bit of a blurb, actually using blogging for what it is meant for, just throwing feelings out on the web, because that is how I feel, a bit confused, a bit down, a bit grumpy, a bit feeling sorry for myself, apprehensive and unsure.

I will try to give it all to God, but I will probably try picking it up again myself, blah blah blah.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Christian bubbles

When I came back to God, through years of doing my own thing, it was away from the place I had lived most of my life, I moved to this town of Diss, and it is here that I rededicated my life to God, it is here that He filled me with His spirit and brought me to a point of no return. Really, He moved me to a place where I would be more responsive to Him, a place where I would be able to grow in Him, grow strong, learn, grow up, put down roots. This is what He continues to do and I would love it if I can stay here for ages more, who knows, that is in God's hands. Though, at some point I will have to move on, I believe I will have to get uncomfortable again in some other place. But I will be moving from a place of strength, moving with the backing of home and family, and in the meantime, there are plenty of things He wants me to do, plenty of ares to get uncomfortable, I am still learning.

Sometimes I see the church like this, in a bubble, in a place of safety and strength, not willing to step out and be uncomfortable. It is like we are in the world but not of the world, but actually the church says, we are not in the world or of the world, we cannot relate or understand, we are in our bubble, it is very nice, it is dirty outside and we would rather keep the place clean.

We have a place of strength, I want to step out and I really feel God is calling His people back onto the streets en masse, to be where He would be.

Lets burst the bubble.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Be Still

I have written a blog before on being still and knowing that God is God, I especially wrote on the God being God bit. Today I wanted to write about the being still.

I pray, I like to pray, I pray loudly, I call out, I praise God, I have a running commentary with God throughout the day, trying to keep in touch with Him, I also struggle in prayer and some mornings, especially mornings, it seems like such a struggle and it is hard not to get repetitive, praying about the same things in the same way, sometimes it is hard just to concentrate, without going off into what I am going to be doing today, or working out for God how He can sort out the situation I am praying for. Sometimes I say the Lords prayer in my own way, to keep me focused. I might praise God, plead with God, share with God, but do I listen to God.

This is meant to be a two way relationship, yet it involves an awful lot of talking done by me. I read the bible, and when I am praying, like on Monday, God just sometimes speaks or shares, but how often do I just stop.

How often do I just stay still and like psalm 40 says wait on God, how often do I make prayer about Him, instead of me, how often do I just rest in Him, how often do I listen out for the still small voice, or do I just get wrapped up in being loud, in being wordy, in being needy, in prayer being about me.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Passing on the Baton

The title of this blog has so many connotations, so many areas in my life where I can place this expression. Passing on the baton is one of the things which drives me, funnily enough, not me passing it on, me grabbing hold of what is passed to me and running with it.

I do worry that if I am not there with arm outstretched ready to sprint for my life, that the baton will pass to someone else, that if I cannot be what God wants me to be, then He will get someone else to do it, I don't want someone else to do it, I want to, not in some spoilt brat way ( although I am sure that is something to do with it), but simply, not on my watch, not while I can, not while I should.

There are some movements within the church right now, movements of God's people back onto the streets where they should be, movements for more intimacy and community within the church so it is able to step out stronger, movements to break down tradition, in favour of following where God wants us to be.

I do not want to be left behind, I want to be in there, seeing what God is doing, doing what God wants me to do, being part of where His spirit is leading, sprinting with the baton.

I also want to know, when the time comes, when it is time to pass the baton on, I really pray now, that those who are carrying a baton now, will pass it on.

I want to leave you with RT Kendall's number 8 reason for why you may be a pharisee;

We esteem ' the way we've always done it' above change
even when the latter is not heretical.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Sharing Miracles

It has been really encouraging to hear this last week of other peoples stories, who have been in a similar position to us, I have said it before, but one of the most encouraging things one christian can say to another in times of weakness or need is, me too.

My Dad was telling me that just after I was born, we as a family, were in a very similar position to the one me and my family are in now, the house was sold, there was nowhere to go. On the final day, somebody came forward with a house for us to stay in, which worked out lovely as a stopgap, before we moved to Craigavon, into a council house.

A couple of other people have told me of times when suddenly references, credit checks and deposits were not needed, when they should have been, even this morning someone was telling me about the adoption of their child, which should have taken 3-4 years and they were told that they would probably not get a baby, which is what they wanted, within 10 months, they were bringing their baby son home. God moves.

On Sunday, some friends of ours said to us, that if we do not have somewhere to live by the time we are made homeless, they will move in with his mum, and we can stay in their house!!!! They have 2 kids of their own, they are a young family too. Such love. I just did not know what to say. God is big.

I worry for those people going through the same as us, without God or His family, we are blessed to have both.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Such Love

I have had a pretty good weekend, things have felt ok, and there have been some really wonderful expressions of being in God's family this weekend that I will probably talk about in another post. I have made a couple of notes on things that I want to write about, I will probably have to leave them until I get bloggers block, because over the last few days things keep popping in my head and actually staying there, so they are probably more important.

I sort of made a decision yesterday, that I was really going to try to push more and more into God this week, I just want more of Him, I want to fill in gaps where I put other stuff, with Him and honestly I would really like to know what His plan is right now and if He wouldn't mind sharing it with me.

I started to speak to God today and really ask for forgiveness, that if me giving up my job, was just me being selfish, then I am sorry, and I just desperately want to follow Him, because sometimes I do feel that I have got myself into a mess and am now relying on God to get me out of it. He knows my heart, thankfully.

As I continued to pray this morning I got a song going round in my head

' This is Jesus, in His glory
King of Heaven, dying for me
It is finished, He has done it
Death is beaten, Heaven beckons me
Such love, such love is this for me'

Jesus died because He loves me, He has not just died, then I will see Him in Heaven, He continues to love me, He continues to be with me, He is not going to leave me or stop loving me, I am in His hands, everything will be ok.

I've put the song on my youtube thingy.

Friday, 3 October 2008


You have probably noticed there are a few things going on in my life right now, over the last few posts I have shared what is happening in my life right now, and it does not exactly look good. I have also shared the fact that I know God is with me, He is in charge and up to something He has not told me about yet. I will also confess that I am not always up about this situation, but I can sometimes worry, get frustrated and down.

One of the biggest things I was worrying about yesterday was the reaction of my sons, I know they love living where we are, I also was worrying that they would blame God and start being resentful and bitter and where would that lead?
Well they were great, absolutely no problem, they have started to get excited about where we will be next, although they would like to stay as close to Diss as possible. God takes care of it all, He said, as I said the other day ' do not worry', He means it.

I was thinking about my childrens reaction yesterday evening and I started to laugh an laugh and laugh, this morning every now and then I just start laughing. Laughing is good, I love laughing, I am even doing a youth service soon on laughter, and right now I feel God hs given me laughter.

So, for once doing a bit of research for my blog, I typed laughter into 'Biblegateway' and got some verses and these two jumped out as the most relevant;

Job 8:21He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Psalm 126:2Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."


Thursday, 2 October 2008


Number one, I have made some notes of things I have going on in my head for some future blogging, so hopefully, from the one word titles I have written down, I will remember what I was thinking, I'll try. Seems to be my favourite words, I try.

Number two, today a possession order has been granted on our house for 28 days time. Everything was very polite, very sympathetically done, I could offer no defence, the judge told me, in a very fatherly way, that the world is not finished with me yet and I should look at training and education, but they will have to take the house.

The council have not a lot to offer and consider our debts and my decision about work, as intentionally making ourselves homeless, therefore getting a house from them is now looking distinctly difficult, on top of that no one seems to want to rent to someone who has been repossessed, unless we can put loads of money down up front, if we had that money, we wouldn't be getting our house taken away. Not a lot of options.

So there is only God, probably that is the point, when you have nothing left, there is God, when it is all gone, that is all we can cling onto. When I gave in my notice at work, in January, I really felt God say to me, now you have given your life to me. Well now there is no job or house or some other things, my life is in His hands. I feel ok, why worry, Jesus told us not to, I am just on a fast track learning scheme, wondering what is going to happen next and quite enjoying the ride. Praise God, I am His.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


I have ideas and thoughts all the time about things I want to write down or get off my chest, I then don't make a note of it, I then forget it when I am sitting here in front of the computer, and then I either splurge out randomly, something comes to mind, or I don't write anything. I do enjoy blogging, just throwing random thoughts out there, thinking out loud, making notes for a later date. I should probably start carrying a notebook.

Tomorrow I am in court, for a hearing on the repossession of my house. I feel ok, although it is a bit daunting. I know God will provide, I know He will be with me, it may sound funny to anyone without faith, but I know He has a plan and has been in everything we as a family, have been doing and going through, that has been my desperate prayer, that He be in it and with us, I do worry about the boys and how they are going to handle things, I really pray they will get it, not resent it, resentment leads to such dark places.

I do feel that we are now standing at one of those points, where God asks the big questions. I have applied for so many jobs, I have had loads of interviews, and believe it or not, I am good at interviews ( although the evidence does not seem to support this ) anyway, I have no job. The house is soon to go, the debts continue to back up, and the financial advisors are starting to talk about bankruptcy, the funding for Morgans schooling has disappeared, if we move, Mason will not be able to go to the school that he loves so much, if we go bankrupt, Tanya will not be able to do the hairdressing course.

This is not a depressive blog, I sit here smiling, just about to take my daughter to 'mothers' and toddlers, I have money in my pocket and we all have each other. More than this, I am not alone, God is with me and I when I have nothing, I just want to praise Him, it is all I can do. I know where I was and I know where I am. I am not trying to sound uber spiritual, sometimes, a lot of times, I am down and it is hard, but I know He is there, wherever, whatever, it will be ok, in fact, with God, I am sure it will be great.