“But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now, and I have been working’” - John 5:17
God is always doing something. This is one of the reasons we should not “despise the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10), because God is always at work, even when that work seems less or is unobservable. Even when God does new things, we can often miss it through inattention or wrong expectations: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19). So, even when God does big, new things, our perception can be dulled or warped, preventing us from seeing it. ‘Lord, give us eyes to see what You are doing in our world!’.
Over the last four months of ministry since my sabbatical, I've noticed a definite shift in ministry, which has been welcome. I've endeavoured to spend more time with the Lord, and we have also witnessed an increase in “signs following” the preaching of the Word. This has been a tremendous encouragement and a confirmation of some of what the Lord was doing during the sabbatical. We are very blessed to see God move in so many ways. Our Lord Jesus is still at His work and it is so encouraging to see it!
It has been a busy season. Two of the highlights have been: five Sundays of preaching at The Journey Church, Lisburn, on the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and the Dwell Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. We thank God that, at The Journey Church, we didn't merely talk about the Spirit's gifts but we saw them in action (at times sovereignly in our midst). Pastor Gary Bolton is a close friend whom God has His hand upon in an amazing way. It has been such a privilege serving The Journey over the last couple of years and seeing God pour out more and more at each visit. The Dwell Conference in Little Rock was an exceptionally special time on so many levels. The conveners of the event came to know of my ministry through ‘happening’ to stumble on Preach The Word after a Google search for a series on ‘The Presence of God’ during a long drive from Nashville to Little Rock. In the two years since then, they have been regular listeners at Preach The Word. My visit there really felt like a divine appointment. Throughout the trip, I had the opportunity to effectively minister on a personal level to a number of people. There were also various lunch/coffee group discussions on several subjects, which I believe proved to be catalytic in some folk's personal renewal and desire for more. Deep friendships were formed with my host family and the organisers of the event, this has been as significant as anything else God did over the visit. It was wonderful getting to know some of the other speakers too. An amazing experience all round!
One item in particular we'd value your prayers for is the ‘New Life Conference’ in Newcastle, Co. Down, which began last year and at which I will be speaking again, August 14th-18th. We are still getting reports of how God moved last year at the Conference and we're excited in anticipation of what He will do this year. Please pray and spread the word. Thank you!
On one final note, the 'God Encounter' 3-minute daily devotional programmes I recorded previously with UCB UK are now airing each weekday morning at 7:50am on the UCB Ireland station. This is the first time these have been broadcast in Ireland. Please pray that they will have an impact on listeners! You can find out more details on how to tune in on Satellite, Internet and DAB radio on the UCB Ireland website.
Visit the 'Preaching Schedule' page for the latest updates to my upcoming itinerary...