Sunday 4th September 2016
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified" - 2 Thessalonians 3:1
This is our deep request that you would pray for us as a family and that you would pray for the ministry we are called to – that the message of God will 'spread rapidly, 'speed ahead' and 'be honoured wherever it goes'.
Paul solicited the prayers of the saints for him personally that 'utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak' (Ephesians 6:19, 20). Please join with us in asking Father that we may truly minister from His heart and that being in His will we might have favour with people and the good news might 'run swiftly'.
We are so grateful to God for all the blessings since our last update. Thank you for your faithful prayers. There has been much to thank God for – people saved, restored, delivered, healed in spirit, soul and body.
Please pray in particular for the new season of our ministry at The Stables, Enniskillen (one Saturday a month), that we will continue to know the Lord's guidance and supernatural interventions. Please also pray for the monthly Oasis Bible Study meeting at Loughbrickland Mission Hall every second Friday of the month.
Please also pray as we continue to minister personally to many people in our home. As we mentioned last time, we are seeing breakthroughs to the glory of God but this work is also very intense and demanding and we covet your prayers for protection, strength and wisdom in it all.
Thank you for your faithful intercessions.
Saturday 7th May 2016
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" - Acts 1:8
Isn't it remarkable that today through the medium of the Internet reaching the 'end of the earth' has become so easy? Not only have we the privilege of serving our Lord here in Ireland (our Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria) but we are able to see the word of God grow mightily, multiply and prevail (Acts 12:24; 19:20) across the globe. What an incredible blessing it was to give our permission for a missionary society to the persecuted church to produce a commentary on Mark's Gospel in Vietnamese from our Mark's Gospel series. To see photos of these dear Vietnamese believers receiving copies of this book was tremendously humbling. To think that we can bless these giants of the faith in such a way is amazing to us. Please pray for these precious brothers and sisters and for 'the word of the Lord to run swiftly and be glorified' (2 Thessalonians 3:1). [The Vietnamese translated Mark Series is also available in PDF format here].
We are so grateful to God for the season of blessing since our last letter. Thank you for your faithful prayers. There has been much to thank God for - people saved, restored, delivered, healed in spirit, soul and body.
Please pray in particular for the ongoing meetings at The Stables, Enniskillen as the Lord continues to move deeply in lives. Please also pray for the monthly Oasis Bible Study meeting at Loughbrickland Mission Hall which I have agreed to take every second Friday for the next while. Alan Bartley and I had a week of meetings there recently at which there were quite significant spiritual breakthroughs which deeply affected the gathering. Please pray that we will be able to build on this at the Oasis Fridays.
Please also pray as we continue to pray with people here in the home. It is proving busy and often very intense. God is doing wonders for which we rejoice and yet we covet your prayers for protection, strength and wisdom in it all. We are very much looking forward to a break from everything during the summer holidays. Thank you all for your faithful prayers.
Thursday 17th March 2016
Who was Saint Patrick? Perhaps a better question is: who is the real Saint Patrick? For hundreds of years, people all over the world have been celebrating St Patrick's Day as they will do today. There are many traditions associated with St Patrick's Day: you may see a parade today; there are the shamrocks; the shillelaghs; the leprechauns with pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. Maybe you will have a meal of ham and cabbage? I don't think that's a tradition we have here in Ireland, but it is something that seems to mark this day for Americans! There is also the green 'Guinness', and in some places they even dye certain rivers green! A lot of this may be the Americanisation of St Patrick's Day celebrations - but the fact remains that, over 1500 years since this man lived, there is very little factually that we know about him, despite this widely celebrated holiday that honours his life.
Much of Saint Patrick's story is a mystery, often shrouded in centuries of myth and legend. People will say: 'Well, wasn't he the fellow that chased all the snakes out of Ireland?'. I'm not too sure about that, unless they were spiritual snakes! Others will say: 'Wasn't he the greatest Irishman that ever lived?'. Actually, we find that he most likely came from Wales! South Wales to be precise - so he wasn't Irish at all, he was a Briton! Born around 360 A.D. he was, in fact, a Celt.
So what is the truth about this man, Saint Patrick? What is the real history behind him? Well, to put it very bluntly - and this is the best time to say it, during a week like this - Saint Patrick is the man whom God used to bring Christianity to Ireland through evangelism. Do you know what evangelism is? It's preaching the good news of the Gospel, heralding forth the life and the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. This good news tells us that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, and grew through childhood into manhood. We learn that He was sinless, and that He came as the incarnate God, in human flesh, to be a sacrifice for sinners. The Gospel shows us how He was crucified according to the Scriptures, was buried, and the third day rose again according to the Scriptures, and has now ascended into Heaven - and He is coming again very soon. As sinners, we need to believe this Gospel, repenting for our sins, and accepting His sacrifice as the only way for us to be accounted righteous in God's sight.
This is the Gospel of the Christian faith, and it was Saint Patrick who brought it to Ireland, transforming this whole nation for the glory of Jesus Christ. What better, more authentic, way to celebrate St Patrick's Day than to preach the message that he came to this island to preach, to give people a real reason to celebrate! There will be folk today sitting in the pub, they're toasting Saint Patrick - yet they don't really know what the real reason is for celebrating his arrival in Ireland. I wonder: do you know?
Join as we consider the testimony and life of 'Saint Patrick – The Apostle Of Ireland', and his heart for the land of Ireland...
Friday 1st January 2016
"Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the kingdom of God and healed those who were in need" - Luke 9:11
What a wonderful Saviour we have in Jesus Christ! He still welcomes ordinary people to Himself and still exercises His transforming power of grace, translating sinners from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light and healing them of all their fallenness. This was the Good News Peter proclaimed to Cornelius and his household of ordinary people: "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38). How amazing that, through the Holy Spirit, our Lord is still working His wonders in broken lives! "Thy touch has still its ancient power. No word from Thee can fruitless fall. Hear, in this solemn evening hour; and in Thy mercy heal us all" (Henry Twells 1868). The early church experience of Mark 16:20 is still extant: "And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen". This is what we pray and expect as we go forth serving the Lord - signs following the ministry of His Word. We thank God for the measure in which we have known this over the last season. Thank you for the part that you have played in this through your faithful intercession.
Praise and Thanks
- South Belfast Elim was an incredibly blessed visit when God was moving from the outset. We were dealing with people both before and after practically every meeting. In actual fact, up until recently we are still visiting the church to minister in prayer to folk whose lives are being delivered by the power of God.
- The Stables, Enniskillen continues to be a very special divine appointment every month. This season so far we have considered subjects such as 'Identity', 'Rejection' and 'Fear'. In these next months we'll be looking at topics such as 'Control', 'Anger', 'Abuse' and 'Forgiveness'. We continue to see mighty breakthroughs in people's lives. These meetings continue to be 'all-night' visits as we minister to people into the 'wee-small-hours'. Logistically, the Stables has been a bridge into the South of Ireland and we have known visits from folk from Monaghan, Sligo, Cavan, Leitrim and even as far away as West Port and Galway (and they travelled up and down in the one night)! It is our belief that there is still much ground to be taken here. Please pray for the special team responsible for 'The Stables' meeting.
- Tobermore Bible Convention, Tobermore Baptist - 24th-29th January.
- Brookeborough Elim, Evangelistic Mission - 21st-28th February. (We had special ministry meetings at Brookeborough in November when God came very near).
- Drumcree Church of Ireland, Holy Week - 21st-25th March.
- Loughbrickland Mission Hall, "Thirsty For God" (shared with Alan Bartley) - 10th-17th April.