Sunday 23 September 2012 was the 7th anniversary of my buying my home in Derbyshire (“God-incidentally” I flew out to Israel with God tv for my 4th visit there on 23 September 2005, so I wasn’t in Derbyshire the day the purchase completed, or indeed for some while to come, as God had given me a job at Compassion UK in Surrey and I had started there on 15 August 2005).
On 23 September 2007 Hillsong Leatherhead started their Sunday Services in The Theatre (their Leatherhead services having previously been on Saturdays).
I was expecting to have a particularly good day on Sunday, as it was the anniversary of these three events and I know that God likes anniversaries. In New Life Church in Chesterfield we had a visit from The Evidence – a group from Teen Challenge (a Christian ministry operating in the UK since the late 70’s and serving those addicted to life controlling substances such as drugs and alcohol and helping them to become mentally sound, physically well, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted & spiritually alive).
They sang and gave testimony of how Jesus has transformed their lives through Teen Challenge. One song that grabbed me was:
I have often said something like “This world has nothing for me” and people have thought I am depressed and wanting to commit suicide, but the fact is that my desire now is to “die to self” and live instead as Jesus wants me to live.
In his talk, the Executive Director of Teen Challenge UK told of how being a Christian doesn’t mean we don’t go through stuff, in fact if we are being effective then we will get flak from the enemy of our souls, but we must “die to self”. I liked this quote from the Executive Director (speaking of how we are when we have lived self-centred lives): “I am in this state because I have lived for me”.
A friend, Kathryn, came to the meeting. I had originally met her after giving testimony at the “Healing through Creativity” course at Ellel in Lancaster on the weekend of my ex-husband’s 50th birthday (the end of a week in October 2010 in which God had encouraged me about the House of Prayer, Evangelism and Discipleship vision He had given me many years previously).
On Sunday Kathryn met and then introduced to me a lady called Lorna, who has recently come to Chesterfield; it was her first time at New Life. Lorna and I appeared to have a few things in common and it felt very much like God had engineered our meeting. One of those things was that she was reading about New Monasticism. “God-incidentally”, I am re-reading a book about the very same thing at the moment (Punk Monk by Andy Freeman and Pete Greig). It is connected with the House of Prayer, Evangelism and Discipleship vision that God gave me and I was encouraged to re-read it when a friend in Lincolnshire, Helen, had told me she is reading it.
Lorna then told me her surname (she is married to a Finn) means Waterfall, so the Holy Spirit reminded me of one of my important stories entitled Forget-Me-Not. The “forget-me-not” occurrence had happened at Grapevine and I was at the time sat amongst men from Betel, which is a similar ministry to that of Teen Challenge.
Then I realised that I was wearing a Waterfall jacket at church on Sunday
and as I was retiring to bed on Sunday night I went to look for a song on my iPod and found that, of the 1325 songs on the iPod, the one that it had stopped at was “Waterfall” by Doug Horley. That song has a line in it that goes “Singing in the Rain, what a glorious feeling I’m happy again” and I remember my mum telling me that “Singing in the Rain” was “the popular song” the year I was born. I love it – God is so “personal” (and there has certainly been a lot of rain since Sunday!).
The song I was looking for on my iPod is the last song that Teen Challenge sang on Sunday. It is by Chris Bowater (from 1985 – the year I first met with God) and it says “Reign in Me, Sovereign Lord, Reign in Me. Captivate My Heart, Let Your Kingdom; Establish There Your Throne, Let Your Will Be Done”. Amen – that’s what I want.
and, look what the inside label of my waterfall jacket says:
The next thing I noticed was that a few weeks ago my friend Helen had sent me another book about New Monasticism and, not only did she send a card with a waterfall on it, but the book itself has a waterfall on its cover.
And, I am reminded that I first started journalling (which has now transitioned into blogging) on 10 June 1997 (a date I later learnt was the 32nd anniversary of my family and I visiting Swallow Falls in Wales on our Whitsun holiday). And, just one final thing, Pete Greig (co-author of Punk Monk) was on Songs of Praise on Sunday talking about 24/7 prayer.