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Jan's Blog

Getting happy is not enough

It is now Thursday morning and Theresa’s birthday, and the conference is officially over in one sense. We will be heading back to Bethel today as we still have much to receive. We are all keen to spend some time in Alabaster House which is their prayer building which looks out across the Cascades. Aline Lidwell who many of you met during Mission School has reliably informed us that the best time to go is during School of Supernatural Ministry hours when the students are elsewhere! We have received a couple of invitations to join the school today, but I think all our heads and hearts are thoroughly exploding with what we have heard and received. I honestly think it is going to take me a very long time to go through all the notes I have made... every line has been like a drip of Gold and it has been revelation after revelation. It really is not enough just to get happy. However, at the end of the conference last night, Bill Johnson laid hands on every single person in the room and sent them through a prayer/fire tunnel. If like me you have not encountered one of these allow me to describe!! There are 900 people in the room, and there is a huge hunger for God to impart something of Himself and his Kingdom. You can imagine it is a VERY long queue and extremely disorderly as people are praying and receiving along the way. Actually - completely mental as the Glasweigan expression goes! The students came and stood on the chairs and were moving up and down the crowds (wherever they could) just praying and imparting. As you move through the tunnel (two lines of people either side), they are praying and guiding you down the line. It is often very noisy and as you receive from God, there can be all kinds of goings on along the way. I saw one man having to be carried away as he was unable to leave the floor and was causing an almighty pile up...quite literally!

I cannot say how inadequate I feel to even begin to describe what I have heard and seen this week. It is as if I have crawled up to the top of a mountain that has seemed previously impassable and abit like the spies who went to spy out the land, I have looked into something that is so far out of my understanding and experience...but is beyond my wildest dreams. I have tasted something that I am now so hungry to move myself into this kingdom culture and to take anyone else who is hungry for more with me. Guys, there is SO MUCH MORE! Excuse me while I dance around the room and WOOP WOOP for a while.

I sat in the Associate Leaders Seminar yesterday, and what I saw and heard was like liquid gold, and it made me cry! As a Church family, God can take us into a place that will invite more of His presence and will reflect His glory. This will in turn transform the Culture of our precious city.

I could go on and on...but we actually have to go and do the day ( RATS!!)

We love you Church family and we CANNOT wait to be back with you again! Please pray for us on our journey home. We are all extremely tired and the journey is long and cramped. Upgrades Favour of God or supernatural experience all the way would be utterly wonderful. Please pray for us!


Jan, 04/11/2010


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Jack Hammers and the Presence of God

Phew...it is 6.30am, and we collapsed into bed a little after midnight. Yesterday’s schedule was epic kicking off at 8.30. first base was a gathering of regional folks. We met in at the Twin View Campus which is where the School of Ministry are usually based. We spent an hour and a half meeting folks from all over England France Channel Isles Germany Netherlands Norway Australia and no doubt other places that escape my memory just now. This Forum is part of Global Legacy. The heart behind this is to connect and build relationship with folks who are pursuing the same things with their church family. It has been such a relief to hear a consistent message which says, we are not about building Bethel Central! There is certainly no recruitment campaign going on and there is such a genuine heart to just share and give away what they are discovering!

10am we were all back together at Bethel....worship and then another jack hammer message from Bill. Honestly guys....we probably are not going to stop talking for about three weeks when we get home...the note books are already bulging. There are so many profound gems that get thrown out as one liners...you just want to hit the pause button so you can take it all in. One ore two gems would be... the mind makes a better student that it does a teacher...the mind was designed to follow not lead...your heart will take you to places that your head has no room for... And on and on it goes. Another one...I’m no use to them when I’m not hungry...what feeds me feeds them! None of this may seem new or profound, BUT IT IS. IT’s not what is going on in our heads...it’s what is going on in our hearts. If ever we needed an endorsement, we have got it loud and clear. The way God has been stirring us and leading us at Hope, is not just a bit of a whacky whim....it is something that is deeply seated in the heart of God. IT the pursuit of Him and the stewardship of His presence that is going to take us to where He wants us to be. It was a thrill to be reminded of the fact that when Abraham heard from God, he did not get told where he was going, all he was told was ‘where he could not stay’...and the end result was he shifted the inheritance for his ancestors’ ancestors. Israel camped around the presence of the Lord...LETS DO THE SAME and God will bring about His cultural transformation. If we camp on a hilltop far away just looking down on it, we will not experience it...and we will be left with our intellectual analysis that will do and change nothing!

12md....we had lunch an d met folks from to talk about the Love after Marriage course. As you all know, we are passionate about marriages and we see them as central to the health and life with God, and we want our marriages to be full experience that God intended...and I still think I’m only catching glimpse of what God is after

2pm back in to ‘Breakout Sessions’ I went to listen to Banning Leibscher talk about Community...YOU ARE GOING TO HEAR ME GOING ON AND ON AND ON....He preached my heart out and I now just can’t wait to get home!

4pm...more connection times and then 5pm off to the Red Lion for Dinner with 900 others...chance to meet and share heart with folks we never knew before...except we took the opportunity to meet up with a couple ( and others) who we haven’t known for 25 years. Hope you’ll forgive us? It was a very special time and one of those God Moments that you know God has set you up for. Our only sadness was that we don‘t have enough time to talk with everyone we want to talk with.

7pm...the start of another 3hour evening meeting which was another Jackhammer experience. Worship time was delicious....more to tell you about these times when God shows up...but I’m getting very addicted and our worship times are going to have to be an hour and a half long. Worship team...you are all invited to come round to our house any Sunday evening to soak in these worship times on IBETHEL TV and see what God imparts to you.

11pm sneak off for a drink and a precious download time with Andy and Theresa.

Just to say, Kris Valloton spoke last night and was hysterically funny, but his teaching on the Apostolic was revolutionary, if you had ears to hear. We will be ordering these sessions, so you can all have a listen when we get back.

Today’s schedule is much the same...PRAY we can keep the pace. It is truly fantastic and thank you so much for letting us come.

I am now no longer jet lagged...just sleep deprived...but very very blessed and encouraged.

And so....let THIS day begin.

Much much love to you guys...you are THE BEST church family on my planet and I cannot wait to get back with you and hear what all these blogs are doing for you. Be encouraged to hunger for more guys x

 

Jan, 03/11/2010


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Good Morning Glasgow

Tues Nov 2nd – 6.55am, pitch dark outside but up and dressed ready for what is scheduled to be an very full and very long day. There is a rising sense of panic amongst our little party about how on earch we can find time to blog for you precious folks at home...so this is my little effort...GET up Jan...and get going!

Sat in the meeting lst night, I realised I hadn’t mentioned so many things from the previous day...and I still can’t go through everything. However, the meeting closed and everyone was invited to go through a Fire Tunnel which the Bethel folks created for everyone else. You have to remember it is a 900seat auditorium, so imagine the scale. It was quite an experience, and in true jan style, I decided that I’d just keep my eyes closed to avoid the distractions of what I see with my eyes! All I can tell you is that there was some incredible power flowing. Again the presence of God is the thing that keeps overwhelming me. There is such an impartation going on and it really does feel like we are putting ourselves under a running tap.

Monday was a gloriously sunny day...and hot. Autumn is making a swift entry here and the guys are probably getting sick of me saying’ look at the trees’. They are changing shade every day. I’m hoping by Thursday we will have some great red trees to photograph! We took the opportunity to drive up in the direction of Mt Shasta and Shasta Dam. Mt Shasta is 14,000ft and permanently covered with snow. The surrounding area is woodland and Shasta Dam is IMMENSE. It was a beautiful trip. We hurtled back to Bethal and spent the afternoon queueing to register etc. The evening meeting was so weighty in every way. Again the worship really is ushering in the presence of God in a way I’ve never experienced it. I’m beginning to understand things that you read in the bible when it says that people were bowed down in the presence of God. I don’t think this is just a prosaic term! Danny Silk was the opening speaker and his title was What is Apostolic Community? OH MY WORD GUYS....you have to hear this stuff! I need to let the guys tell you more...but really, we have definitely made the right choice to be here. The impartation of something ENORMOUS culture changing is headed our way!

I need to keep this short (DARN!) as bigguth Nickuth is stood over me waiting for a keyboard!

Today we have Global Legacy where we will be connecting with the other UK folks, Followed by a prophetic Appoint,ent for Nick and I at 10.15. The schedule is packed solidly til about 9 or 10. And guys...we drove home last night at 11pm and the whole place was deserted....IT WOULDN’T HAPPEN IN GLASGOW!...but we were up at 6...and so was the rest of Redding it seems.

Ok Guys, love you very much and can’t wait to see you all on Sunday .

 Be blessed and keep asking The Holy Spirit what He’s upto today and see where you can join in!

 

Jan, 02/11/2010


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'Twas the night before Leadership Advance, and all through the house....

Bethel meeting


This was a line from Danny Silk as he welcomed everyone to the evening service at Bethel on Sunday Evening. The excitement here is very tangible, and there are people gathering from many countries across the world.

Yesterday was a truly epic day, and already I feel like I’ve been stood under a very heavy waterfall. Every line from Bill Johnson‘s message yesterday morning was like a sermon in itself, and it hasn’t stopped since.

My day got off to an unexpected start as I was tapped on the shoulder a number of times, and I turned to be face to face with people we haven’t had any contact with for sometimes up to 25 years. It is not surprising that we should all find ourselves meeting in such a setting. We can only honour the faithful men like Bryn Jones and his team who first burned with a vision of God’s Kingdom. They planted spiritual seed in our hearts and it is this very thing that has sustained us through the years and our quest for more of God than we have seen so far. All these encounters from yesteryear were lovely, but to be honest it left me feeling a bit jangled and I found it difficult at the outset of worship to fully engage as I tried to put all my feelings in a box. I am learning more and more that God is not interested in my ability to box, but is far more interested in loving me where I’m at. It took a while before I heard Him say why don’t you just put your head on my lap for a minute? It was definitely a great move. The worship was loud and no doubt great, but there is no point pretending to be AOK when you’re not! God is after our hearts every time. Having managed to get real with God, His presence completely overwhelmed me. I am increasingly feeling a physical feeling when Jesus or the Holy Spirit show up, and I’m slowly learning how to respond towards it, rather than clamming up and waiting until I understand it before I move towards Him. With my head very much on my Dad’s lap, I had a vision of being scooped under God’s cloak and being ushered safely along, as Moses’ people were, and then established in a place where His kingdom is established and His glory is seen all around. The peace that came in that moment was very precious and I was free to worship along with everyone else with no pretence.

Bill’s message was filled with treasure that could have me thinking for at least a week, but probably longer. Speedy note making will be a help at a later point. He preached from 1 Tim 1:18&19- 2:1 and about the keys for the transformation of culture – learn how to pray and how to give thanks for ALL men. He spoke of the revolutionary traits of thankfulness and a posture of gratefulness, and the sanctifying effect on whatever we are giving thanks for, and that it pulls off demonic intent. He encouraged us to expand the spirit of redemption in our land with thankfulness.

Lunch came in the shape of Mexican food and believe me, I have never been so happy to see a fat free salad option. I swear that the scales are not going to forgive me for 9 days eating in America’s eateries!

The prayer meeting before the evening meeting was quite a shock to the senses, and once again I needed to make a decision. Do I retreat and assess the situation, or do I step forward and engage with what God is doing whether I feel secure or not? So, opting for the scary latter, in we went, and I am so glad we did. God draws close every time I make this decision. There was such a heavy sense of the presence of God by the time we made it into the main meeting. Nick has described some of the events of the night. What happens during the worship is hitting me over and over again, and I don’t want to repeat myself, but something very special is happening through it. I spent most of the evening feeling like something very heavy was on my head. Danny Silk said he wasn’t going to be doing a great big word...but he definitely lied! We will be making a new banner for our kitchen on which will say, ‘If it isn’t family, it isn’t kingdom’. Another big statement that seems to sum everything up! There is too much to try and relay, but we were on the receiving end of strong prophetic words...another standing under a waterfall experience...and all this before the conference starts!

Today is a hot sunny day, and we are about to register and get along to the opening evening,


Jan, 01/11/2010


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Healing Rooms  and Storm troopers

Saturday October 30

This was our day for visiting the Healing Rooms which take place at Bethel every Saturday morning. It is always busy here, but this day was especially busy due to the many hundreds of people that are Gathering for the Leadership Advance Conference which begins on Monday evening. Whilst I don’t consider myself to be ill, I planned to visit and ask God to intervene with allergies which can make life a bit uncomfortable at times.

After registering at the welcome desk, we were invited to spend time in the Encounter Room. It was not the peaceful quiet contemplative environment I had rather foolishly expected...there was quite a racket being made when we first arrived. At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a bit higgledy piggledy, with no order, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. I had a wonderful time enjoying the presence of God. My time there felt like a long hot soak in a lovely warm bath! Interestingly, there were many things going on in the encounter room that have often made me feel a little uncomfortable and I have previously just not understood, dancing about in what I may have described as a rather affected manner, flag waving, horn blowing , painting, people walking about with their hands in the air and children everywhere. Putting it like this paints a rather chaotic picture hey? However...let me go on!

The musicians were very many, but hardly visible and I had to use my ears; piano/synth, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, tall bongo’s and an assortment of percussive instruments, flute, pan pipes, violin, cello trumpet, voice, but not playing all at once obviously. What is happening with the worshippers is fascinating me greatly. There is such an ease and an anointing on them, which carries something of what the Holy Spirit is doing every time they lift their instruments. Even Jose ( Hose) the Horn Blower!!

I’m in danger of rabbiting on a great deal here but there is so much I want to share about what goes on in this intimate time with God...but you’ll be reading for hours and I will miss my breakfast! The overall impression is that there is no showmanship in these rooms, but there is a safe and orderly place for such a wide diversity of gifts and expressions of what God is doing. There is no hint of striving or competition, and everyone has their place to bear fruit. It really is beautiful to behold. I wish all hospital waiting rooms could be like this. This must be a shade of heaven’s colour. After thinking a great deal about what we saw, I think the difference we are seeing is the safety and security that apostolic foundations bring when they are operating fully, and the flowing of the spirit in maturity through all involved.

Ministry time was very special for me. When absolute strangers who have not spoken to me and know nothing about me begin to speak over me the things that God has spoken consistently throughout my lifetime, it really makes a huge impact. Lots more to tell on this later perhaps.

The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting and discussing each of our observations and experiences, before we heading out to Turtle Bay National Park and the Sundial Bridge which is a spectacular footbridge which crosses the Sacramento River. I took to the wheel for the first time, guided by my three travelling companions, but when we saw a fully dressed Star Wars Storm trooper taking a walk along a country path, I definitely wondered where on earth we were! We all wished we’d had a camera handy.

The weather is no different from Glasgow. Everyone is at great pains to tell us that good weather is due to arrive on Monday. Our Glasgow roots are standing us in good stead and life goes on...with an umbrella!

Today we will visit Bethel Sunday morning and evening services...switch on Bethel TV and join us?!


Jan, 31/10/2010


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Releasing the moreness of God

Saturday 30th October 6.40am

Ok, picture THIS scene. I have just discovered one reason why it is a good thing that in America, the Bathroom is called the restroom. Having woken up 40 minutes ago after six and a half solid hours of sleep, I have been laid awake mulling over one or two headline thoughts. Instead of thinking to myself...I’ll think and write to you...and where best to do that and not wake the peacefully sleeping Nick? In the rest room...where strangely enough...the coffee maker is stationed (??) It is now merrily bubbling away while I type. Just don’t ask me where I’m sitting OK?

A couple of things really struck me last night...other than the very enjoyable, insightful and thought provoking preach.

The Worship and the worship team. They team here are like ours at home in Hope. They serve the family so well. They are clearly not here to perform, and they obviously don’t care two hoots about what folks might think. However, they are excellent musicians. More interestingly, they are so comfortable and passionate about following where the Holy Spirit is leading, that it is easy to respond to what the Spirit is wanting to do with us individually and also corporately. This meant that there was such freedom and such an ease in encountering the Spirit on an individual basis.

You can well imagine that there are hundreds of folks in this congregation. There are all kinds of people, ages and stages gathered. The mums are not all at the back with their little ones...they are often further forward...but on the end of a row perhaps with a buggy...and able to enter in a little more? And are their children learning how to enter in a little more as a result I wonder? They are certainly more used to being a part of things .

There was a moment in the worship last night which reminded me of a moment we had a few weeks ago at Hope. We were clearly enjoying the presence of God and we reached a point where we sensed that God was wanting to do more...but nobody knew what. It would have been so easy for someone to jump up and sy something, but what happened last night really has made an impression.

I quote ‘ let’s just make our own noise before the Lord’. This did not sound a cue for everyone to make a merry old din. What in fact happened was more of a releasing of a sound...gentle but beautiful..and in a spiritual level, it began to release what the spirit was doing. This is where the skill and comfortableness of the musicians really shone for me. Nothing was forced or contrived, and I didn’t notice them at all...but what I definitely did notice was a moment where I could choose to make some response towards the spirit. It would perhaps be described as a gentle moan, but my goodness..did the spirit then step towards us. Not sure if this describes anything or help anyone...but it’s the best I can do.

What happened next?

We joined hands and were encouraged to pray and ask for a release of the moreness of God into the life of the person on our left and on a right. Again.. not a cue to break in to ones or twos...but it was a corporate prayer for a releasing of more of heaven..more dreams, more visons more revelation, more power of God flowing and no doubt other things that I didn’t quite remember. It definitely moved the whole gathering into a deeper place. It was quite a profound experience where everyone  was included...and there was not one ounce of just one or two keeners shouting from the front...it was gentle and sincere.

Lord we want moreness of you.

Another thing that had me laid awake thinking this morning... I was once told that the most important thing about me was what I thought about God. Whilst I’m not sure I would agree with this point, I do understand the encouragement to think a little more...but not limit God to a ‘what I think about Him’ sized or shaped box. If I ever ask God to show up, he’s always much more and much bigger than I think...but what I think does also limit what I experience of Him....mmm BIG thought?

One thing is clear, there is definitely a tipping point in our lives where we are more concerned about what God thinks than we are about what we think.

Ok the day is very young here...now 7.15. So, from the Restroom...lots of love to you.

 I so wish you could all be here and help me think...well maybe not right here...the room is a bit tiny!

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday and ask God to release more of Himself to the church Family tomorrow morning and let us know what happens?

Ah HILARIOUS!! Nick has just walked in...disbelief all over his face. See what this man has to live with?


Jan, 30/10/2010


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Friday 29th October 10pm

We arrived in Redding yesterday evening , extremely red eyed and slightly queasy after a rather bumpy twin prop plane ride from San Francisco, during which you could hardly hear yourself think. I managed to finish my second book of the journey Jesus Culture by Banning Liebscher, which I’d heartily recommend to anyone hungry for more. I got very excited when It started talking about the generations being joined within a church family, something God has been really stirring in my heart for Hope Church.

We were met in Redding by a nip in the air and the sight of snow on Mount Shasta which lays to the North of Redding. There are mountain ranges to the north, east and west of Redding which makes for some great views...especially from Bethel Church building which lays on the edge of town. For all that Redding is a small place, it isn’t THAT small...it is in fact a city. Today has largely been orientation day. Having never been to the States before, this is quite a culture shock for me. Unsurprisingly, everything is very American, and very big. The food, the cars, the people, the roads the buildings and so it goes on. The roads don’t have bends in them, and the cars are so big, they probably won’t corner too well anyway! Little things that amuse me are...the water hydrants and the amount of water in the...rest thing ( the toilet)!

Our first stop was up to the church just so Theresa and I could see it really. I can’t tell you how honoured and privileged I feel to be here. The church campus overlooks the mountains and you can easily understand why lots of the preaching illustrations are about hunting and fishing. It really is beautiful. Their prayer room is the Alabaster house which stands at the top of a small hill set away from the main church building. We hope to go and pray there at some point during our stay.

We ‘persuaded’ the guys that a spot of shopping could be done today. I was triumphant to find one or two things off the peg that fit my ‘normal’ sized husband...then we took the men to recover in Yaks (as in Yackety Yak’s), drank great coffee and got in to some meaty chats about what we feel God is drawing our church family into. Exciting times ahead.

We attended our first meeting this evening. After spending a day in complete culture shock, it struck me how completely at home and normal it felt to be in that gathering. To be able to worship Jesus in that setting was a thrill and a joy. I kept my eyes firmly shut..as is usual for me. It was quite a surprise to see four beautiful paintings had appeared on the blank canvasses by the time I opened my eyes at the close of worship. I’d like to say I wouldn’t have been distracted by the painters had I had my eyes open, but I think I might be deceiving myself!

Jason Vallaton spoke on forgiveness and shared some extremely helpful insights into how Jesus felt the full impact of my sin as he went to the cross to pay the price for my forgiveness. There is so much I want to share, but Nick quite rightly thinks I need to stop just now. You have all been saved from further ramblings!!

We are praying that we all sleep till a decent hour tomorrow so that we can go visit the Healing rooms bright eyed and and ready to receive all that God has for us there.

Night night lovely family...or should I be saying Good morning?          

 

 

Jan

 

 


Jan, 29/10/2010


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Thursday in a plane somewhere

Thursday 5.20pm Glasgow time....and not a clue as to what time zone we might be in.

24hrs ago I resembled something like a rabbit caught in the headlights, not entirely sure I was ready to leave my boys behind. Nothing to do with their ability to look after themselves you’ll understand, but more to do with this mother’s reticence to leave them to fend for themselves.

As we checked into Glasgow airport in the early hours of the morning, feeling sleep deprived and in the company of three very excited travelling companions, I was heard to utter the now regrettable words ‘it’s a bit like going on holiday with three monkeys’. This has since been edited to ‘three monkeys and a Zombie’. This was swiftly rectified by sleep and food...and now all is well with the world. However, I am convinced that Andy Merrick is in fact an overgrown Hobbit...needing a second breakfast by 10am and has since been playing up to the role with a mischievous grin at every mention of the word ‘food’!

Picture the scene, we are in a mostly blacked out cabin, most folks are sleeping or dosing, and from the darkness bursts distinctive peels laughter from two who are dear to us all. They are of course watching a comedy. I can’t help thinking that this might be a hallmark of our trip. I will always be able to locate our dear Merricks from the sound of their laughter, no matter what the cause!

As one dear friend on Lewis helpfully commented this morning, not long until ‘We’re the Treads in America’. We left home 11hrs ago, 7 more to go, and then it will only be 5.30pm. Could be interesting!

 

 

Jan

 

 


Jan, 28/10/2010


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